Oregon’s Suicide Crisis Worsens

This article was published by the National Review online on March 5, 2020.

Wesley SmithBy Wesley J Smith

Oregon, a state that has considerably liberalized its assisted-suicide laws, has an ongoing youth and general suicide crisis on its hands. From an Oregon Health Authority press release:In February the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released data showing that suicide was the leading cause of death among Oregon youth ages 10 to 24 in 2018, up from the second leading cause of death in 2017. Oregon is now ranked 11th highest in the nation for youth suicide death rates (up from 17th in 2017).  The change in rank is due to multiple factors: There was a rise in the suicide rate as well as a drop in the rate of unintentional injury deaths, the former leading cause. The unintentional injury category includes overdose deaths and motor vehicle accidents. While the suicide rate has increased, the unintentional injury rate decreased from 2017 to 2018. “Suicide continues to be a concerning problem in Oregon across all age groups, including youth, as this new data confirms,” said Dana Hargunani, Oregon Health Authority’s chief medical officer. “We continue to prioritize work across Oregon to support young people in schools, at home and in our communities. Fortunately, we are able to apply best practices that work to prevent suicide, and there are many ways you can get involved.”Of course, the state’s suicide numbers exclude the thousands of people who have died from assisted suicide since 1997, and state public-health bureaucrats remain clueless of the possibility that allowing assisted suicide for one group of people might give others the idea that self-killing is a splendid way to end suffering.

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Mississippi bill would ban abortions on basis of sex, race, genetic abnormality

Jackson, Miss., Mar 5, 2020 / 06:01 pm (CNA).- A bill has been introduced in the Mississippi legislature to prohibit abortions being performed because of race, sex, or genetic abnormality, citing anti-discrimination laws and a recent opinion of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.

House Bill 1295, the Life Equality Act of 2020, passed through a House committee March 3 and will soon be proposed to the state’s House of Representatives.

“It is the intent of the Mississippi Legislature … to prohibit the practice of nontherapeutic or elective abortion for the purpose of terminating the life of an unborn human being because of that human being’s race, sex, or the presence or presumed presence of a genetic abnormality,” the bill reads.

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Church Leaders in India Offer Aid to Injured Demonstrators

Churches, parishes, schools and ecclesial institutions in the archdiocese of Delhi are offering relief to people injured in clashes among communities of different faiths (Hindus and Muslims) that characterize the popular demonstrations organized in the Indian capital. The toll of violent inter-communal clashes between supporters and opponents of the new law (Citizenship Amendment Act, CCA), approved by the government, which grants Indian citizenship to immigrants from Bangladesh, Afghanistan, and Pakistan and denies it to Muslim citizens from those countries, is of 20 dead and 189 injured. The unrest began in some areas of New Delhi on February 23. The government has deployed the police to monitor the situation.

Mgr. Anil J. Couto, Archbishop of Delhi, in a letter sent to the whole community, to parish priests, institutes, Catholic schools writes: “In this moment of trial, while sudden riots torment Delhi, we come forward with our prayers and every possible effort to bring relief to those affected in terms of shelter, food, and clothing”. The letter from Archbishop Couto, sent to Fides News Agency, asks the institutions of the Church to open themselves to the needs of the people, urging the parish priests to inform the faithful so that they “give their contribution to help all those in need in this Lenten season”.

Sister Anastasia Gill, of the Congregation of the Presentation of the Lord and member of the Commission for minorities in Delhi, condemned the targeted attacks on Muslims. “Christians should not be mere spectators while Muslim citizens are attacked”, says the religious to Fides, who is also a lawyer. “There are innocent victims and the injured are not allowed to go to the hospital for treatment. Shops in Muslim areas were burnt down by militants authorized to destroy property and create violence”, she notes. “Our role is to defend justice”, she says, urging members of the Christian community to “form peace committees in order not to allow troublemakers to infiltrate their areas”. “Do not allow these people to enter your areas”, she said. The religious urges Christian institutions to “monitor the situation, to be in solidarity with Muslims and other communities, taking measures to put an end to violence”. Christians, she added, are called to bring medical aid to the injured and to give refuge to those affected by the violence.

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Women Paid to Wear Burka in Madagascar

Mgr Georges Varkey Puthiyakulangara is Bishop of Port-Bergé, in the North of Madagascar. In an interview with ACN on 20 February this year he spoke about the challenges facing the Church, including the Islamisation of the island and the major problem of sorcery. He was speaking to Amélie de La Hougue.

ACN: Christians are a majority in the country as a whole, but are they present in every part of the island?

 Bishop Georges Varkey: Their presence varies greatly according to the diocese. Catholicism is very much present in the plateau region, which was evangelized 160 years ago, but in my diocese that is not the case. Out of around 800,000 inhabitants, there are only 25,000 – 30,000 Catholics, and some believers of other Christian denominations, but 95% of the population are animists.

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Religious Leaders in Pakistan Call for Justice After Murder of Saleem Masih

Outrage and condemnation for “a barbaric, inhuman and atrocious crime”; request to provincial and federal governments to “punish the killers firmly”; appeal to international organizations to promote the protection of religious minorities in India and Pakistan: requested by the National Commission for Interreligious Dialogue and Ecumenism (NCIDE) and the Church of Pakistan (part of the Anglican Communion) stigmatizing together the brutal murder of Saleem Masih, a young Christian killed in the Kasur district, in Punjab in recent days.

As communicated to Agenzia Fides, several Christian and Muslim religious leaders met yesterday in Lahore, addressing the issue and discussing what to do. The meeting was chaired by Mgr. Azad Marshal, Anglican bishop of the Diocese of Rawalpindi, in the Church of Pakistan, in the presence, among others, of Fr. Francis Nadeem OFM Cap, NCIDE Executive Secretary, Fr. Emmanuel Khokhar and Islamic leader Muhammad Asim Makhdoom. All those present “expressed deep regret” for the events that had taken place, a sign of widespread intolerance towards Christians, and also for the behavior of the police who did not take harsher measures by stopping and immediately releasing the perpetrators of the crime.

Francis Nadeem OFM Cap declares to Fides: “It is the State’s responsibility to provide security to all citizens of the country without any kind of discrimination. All citizens, of all religions, are equal, contribute to the development of their beloved nation and deserve equal rights. We are a nation and live under a single Constitution and a single flag. The State must enforce these fundamental principles”.

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