Wednesday, March 17, 2010Download All Stories
Repression of human rights on rise, State Dept. says
WASHINGTON (BP)--The annual human rights report by the U.S. State Department has cited increased repression in countries around the world, including China and North Korea.
"There are several trends that we identify in the report. One is that increasingly, governments are becoming more restrictive in their tolerance of nongovernmental human rights organizations, in particular," said Michael Posner, assistant secretary from the State Department's Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, at a news conference for the 2009 report's release.
The report, which is a requirement by Congress, is an annual evaluation of human rights in 194 countries. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who also spoke at the news conference, described the report as an "essential tool" for activists who work to protect human rights.
According to the report, there were alarming accounts of imprisonment, attacks and killings in "countries of conflict," such as China and North Korea, as well as Iran and Russia.
"In many of these conflict zones, insurgents, terrorist organizations, paramilitary forces, and government security forces used murder, rape, and inhumane tactics to assert control over territory, silence opponents, and coerce the cooperation of civilian communities ...," the report said.
The report criticized China's government for its increased persecution of its citizens last year. The government's human rights record "remained poor and worsened in some areas." Chinese activists, journalists and public interest lawyers were harassed and imprisoned, and there were reports of religious abuse of ethnic minorities. Read More
USCIRF: Increase focus on Iran
WASHINGTON (BP)--The call for human rights scrutiny of Iran is a longstanding one, panelists said at a hearing of the congressional Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission.
Q&A: Abortion & the health care bill
WASHINGTON (BP)--Pro-life groups are busy urging their constituents to call the House of Representatives and urge a "no" vote on the Senate health care bill. Following are some common questions, along with answers, about the bill's abortion provisions: Read More
GBC asks GCRTF to strengthen CP wording
DULUTH, Ga. (BP)--Don't mess with the Cooperative Program is the message the Georgia Baptist Convention's executive committee is sending to the Great Commission Resurgence Task Force, according to a report by The Christian Index, the state convention's newsjournal. Read More
GCRTF VIEWPOINT: Calif. president & exec. bd. chairman support 'bold new measures'
FRESNO, Calif. (BP)--To Our Southern Baptist Brothers and Sisters:
What an amazing day it is to be Southern Baptists! The challenges before us are greater than ever; the Commission from our Lord is as strong as when He uttered the words to His disciples; and the power of the Holy Spirit is the same today, yesterday and forever. We must recognize that the challenge before us calls for new strategies, new forms, new wineskins.
We have heard the Great Commission Resurgence Task Force Prog... Read More
GCRTF VIEWPOINT: Ill. exec. on the challenges of a Great Commission Resurgence
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (BP)--At last year's Southern Baptist Convention, a Great Commission Resurgence Task Force (GCRTF) was appointed by President Johnny Hunt and given a task as vast and complex as the lost world in which we live. How should Southern Baptists work together in the future to more effectively reach the billions of people in thousands of people groups that are our Great Commission responsibility?
Implicit in their assignment was the recognition that we as Southern Baptists are pr... Read More