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Week Ending March 24, 2006 - From Washington, DC
Religious Freedom Coalition
March 24, 2006 1:01PM EST





This past weekend was the third anniversary of the beginning of the war in Iraq. Tuesday, President Bush spent nearly an hour answering brutal questions from the left. As the Bush administration continues to assure us that the "new" Iraq constitution will not threaten religious liberty, trouble stirs in Afghanistan. The Afghan constitution, adopted after America liberated that country from the Taliban, has a similar provision to that of the Iraqi constitution. Alarming news shadows other successes in Afghanistan this week as an Afghan man, Abdul Rahman, faces the death penalty because he converted to Christianity. "We will cut him into little pieces," one of the prison guards told the press. This is a direct violation of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Response from the Bush Administration did not seem to come fast enough, as frustrations rose. German and Italian Foreign Ministers spoke early saying, "We will move to the highest level to prevent something from happening." Our own State Department replied, "This is a question of the Afghan constitution and its laws." Does this make us comfortable with what we have accomplished in Afghanistan? President Bush during his speech on Wednesday in Wheeling, WV, mentioned that he was deeply troubled by the situation and pledged to do what he could. As critics around the world demanded action, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice finally placed a call Thursday to President Hamid Karzai about the death sentence of Abdul Rahman. This trial has caused a huge outcry; however, Ms. Rice's call to Karzai did not demand a release but only informed the Afghan President of the importance of religious freedom. Apparently our young men and women sacrificed their lives liberating Afghanistan from the rule of jihadists only to establish another Islamic government that persecutes Christians.



The Religious Freedom Coalition's Executive Director, Peggy Birchfield, has been part of the strategy planning sessions for the upcoming Religious Freedom Day scheduled for May 9, 2006 in Washington D.C. The purpose of the day is to promote religious freedom throughout the world and will have numerous events around our Capitol. Plans have been discussed to address religious persecution and to increase awareness of concerns that we have not only in our own country but also in our foreign policies regarding religious freedom. Too many people are beaten, jailed and even murdered because of their beliefs around the world. By working together to secure religious freedom we can create a better future for people of all faiths.



The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced to the public last Friday that two more women's lives have been claimed because of the abortion pill RU-486 (Mifeprex). Danco Laboratories, the manufacturer of the drug, reported the tragic deaths quietly to the FDA. The two most recent victims received their prescriptions at Planned Parenthood clinics. The long running dispute between the FDA and Planned Parenthood over this pill-based abortion and the safest way to provide it has now cost two more women their lives. FDA now reports that six women in the United States and seven in Canada have died from this drug. Reporting of drug side effects in the United States is voluntary, so it could be possible that more women have died and their deaths have gone unreported. Now people are asking what is being done about this outrage. The FDA has decided to hold a 'workshop' on May 11 to investigate RU-486. Yes, May 2006--two months away! Young women are taking this drug and dying, while we wait for the FDA to hold its "workshop" in a couple months to get a better understanding of the risk factors. How much more investigating is needed? How many more women will die needlessly? Ask the family of Holly Patterson, a teenager who died in September 2003 after being given RU-486. The Religious Freedom Coalition is among dozens of groups urging Congress to act now to pull this dangerous drug off the market. The RFC has been working with Congressman Roscoe Bartlett, sponsor of Holly's Law (H.R. 1079) which would suspend FDA's fast-track approval of RU-486. Has your congressman agreed to sponsor this important lifesaving bill? Contact your congressman. Women need to be protected from this drug now, not after the "workshop" has been held.



One of the most important aspects of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that has been overlooked is the plight of Christians in the Holy Land. Christians in the Palestinian territories have dropped from 15 percent of the Arab population in 1950 to just 2 percent today. This Christian exodus is a result of many factors, including the fighting between Israelis and Palestinians, the related decline of the economy, but perhaps most significantly, the religious persecution these Christians encounter from their Muslim neighbors.
English-speaking French journalist Pierre Rehov addresses this alarming trend in his new film, The Holy Land: Christians in Peril. The film is a documentary containing interviews with Christians as well as exclusive footage showing how dangerous their situation is under Islamic rule. The VHS is available for just $4.95 and the DVD for just $5.00 more! Order your copy of Holy Land: Christians In Peril today. (VHS 4.95 DVD $9.95) This is a March only inventory reduction! Click here for our Internet store.


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Peggy S Birchfield, Executive Director

Religious Freedom Coalition , PO Box 77511, Washington, DC 20013 - (202) 543-0300

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