News Bites

  • Stately Action. After much work by its Catholic majority, the Philippines officially banned the death penalty in June, winning the thanks of Pope Benedict XVI. The new law also commutes the death sentences of nearly 1,200 prisoners to life without parole.
  • Lights Out. Tearfund, a U.K.-based Christian aid organization, released an online game called Pentathlon to educate players about global warming. The simple game requires players to turn out lights without leaving anyone in the dark and use energy-efficient appliances while keeping a low energy-use score.
  • Kick the Habit. During the World Cup events in Germany, Lea Ackermann, a Catholic nun and founder of Solidarity with Women in Distress, launched “Red Card for Sexual Abuse and Forced Prostitution,” an anti-trafficking project that warned tourists against hiring prostitutes and aided hundreds of trafficked women who called the emergency hotlines.
  • Denouncing Barbarism. Twenty-seven leading Christians, Muslims, and Jews published an advertisement in The New York Times in June calling torture a moral issue that “violates the basic dignity of the human person.” They demanded the elimination of torture and degrading treatment from any part of U.S. policy.

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