'Scientific Cannibalism'

Responding to news that South Korean researchers cloned and dissected human embryos for stem cell research, Christian groups are renewing their call for a ban on all human cloning, both for research and reproduction. Carrie Gordon Earll of Focus on the Family called such research "scientific cannibalism."

David Stevens of the Christian Medical Association called it unnecessary, too. "To do so when morally acceptable research—the use of adult stem cells—is already producing tremendous therapies for patients is unthinkable."

Ponzi Scheme

Christian ministries that came out ahead as unwitting participants in a massive Ponzi scheme last year have agreed to return their gains to others who lost money. Investors in the scheme, run by IPIC International and five individuals, lost more than $160 million. A consortium of major Christian ministries—including Marilyn Hickey Ministries and Christ for All Nations—established a compensation fund to help those who were scammed. The federal judge overseeing the case and the court-appointed receiver overseeing victims' claims have approved the fund.

Banning Religious Apparel

On February 11 French lawmakers voted to ban both religious apparel and symbols in schools. The law may go on the books in September. "These restrictions," said Michael K. Young, chairman of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, "may violate France's international commitments, including the European Convention on Human Rights, under which each individual is guaranteed the freedom to manifest religion or belief, in public as well as in private."

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