Corporate Hypocrisy. PayPal has pulled out of North Carolina because the state has put in place a common-sense law, H.B. 2, to protect children from sexual predators. More than a dozen other companies have threatened to leave North Carolina, though so far none of them have actually done so. The Daily Signal took a close look at the companies that have been critical of North Carolina, and discovered some interesting information. Many of the companies that have criticized North Carolina for its law preventing men from using women’s bathrooms do business in countries where homosexuality is illegal, sometimes punishable by death, yet these companies have been silent there. PayPal, for example, does business in Saudi Arabia, Yemen, and Somalia—where homosexuality can bring the death penalty. Nigeria is also an important market, in part because it is the largest country in Africa, with more than 100 million people. But in this country with a 50 percent Muslim population, homosexual conduct is punished by caning and imprisonment. Unilever, Microsoft, and Time Warner are among a dozen or so companies speaking out against North Carolina while still doing business with some of the most oppressive regimes on the planet.
Christian China. Chairman Mao tried to eliminate Christianity from China. Boy, did he miss the mark. Demographers estimate the Protestant population of China to be about 58 million (as of 2010). Fenggang Yang, a professor of sociology at Purdue University and author of “Religion in China: Survival and Revival under Communist Rule,” predicts that by the year 2030, China will have the largest Christian population on earth. Yang believes that by 2030 China’s Christian population—including Catholics and Protestants—will exceed 247 million, far surpassing the United States and exceeding the entire population of all but the largest countries. Yang told the UK newspaper The Telegraph, “It’s going to take less than a generation. Not many people are prepared for this dramatic change.”
Continued Christian Troubles Elsewhere. But just as things are looking up for Christianity in China, things are getting tougher for Christian believers in the Middle East. In Diyarbakir, Turkey this month, authorities seized six churches, ranging from 1,700 years old to 14 years old. That according to WORLD Magazine’s excellent “Globe Trot” column, written thrice weekly by Mindy Belz. Belz also notes that in Kenya, Christians held worship services and a marathon to mark the anniversary of al-Shabaab’s attack on the university in Garissa, which left 147 students dead, most of them Christians.
Prison Reform Getting Traction. Prison reform was a subject near the heart of our namesake Chuck Colson. It’s encouraging to see that the Republican National Committee (RNC) is finally getting the message. The RNC adopted a resolution in support of reforming the nation’s criminal justice laws. There’s been growing bi-partisan support for prison reform for the past few years, in part because such conservative leaders as Richard Viguerie have said that the current system is neither just nor in keeping with conservative values. Viguerie, a committed Christian, told me, “As a Christian I’m horrified and as a conservative I’m outraged” at the waste of lives and money in the current criminal justice system. “Prisons are the largest big-government program in the country,” Viguerie said. “If you believe in limited government, you should be concerned about our current system.” The resolution, passed by the RNC and first reported by the Daily Signal, commends “conservative-led states that have adopted policies to reduce their prison populations.”
Image courtesy of Luke_Franzen at iStock by Getty Images.
Warren Cole Smith is an investigative journalist and author as well as the Colson Center vice president for mission advancement.