Monday, October 05, 2009

Newsline Extra

Church of the Brethren wrongly named in release from ‘Life News’

The "Life News" organization has falsely reported that the Church of the Brethren denomination has endorsed a letter to Congress on abortion. The misleading release dated Oct. 2 written by Life News editor Steven Ertelt incorrectly stated that the Church of the Brethren was among several mainline Protestant denominations sending such a letter to Congress.

Neither the Church of the Brethren nor its denominational leaders have signed on to a letter to members of Congress asking for taxpayer funding for abortion to be part of health care bills. The Church of the Brethren has not supported a recent statement on abortion produced by the Religious Institute, which also was misrepresented in the release from "Life News."

The Religious Institute did issue an "Open Letter to Religious Leaders on Abortion as a Moral Decision," but this was not endorsed by any Church of the Brethren denominational leader either personally or on behalf of the denomination.

The Church of the Brethren’s official position on the issue of abortion may be found in a statement from the 1984 Annual Conference. The statement begins, "Human life is a gracious gift from God who loves us. The Church of the Brethren opposes abortion because the rejection of unborn children violates the love by which God creates and nurtures human life," and continues, in part, "We grieve with all who struggle with difficult circumstances which lead some to consider abortion. We encourage women and men caught in such struggles to seek the counsel and support of family members, trusted friends, spiritual leaders, and appropriate professionals in the Body of Christ, and to consider prayerfully the church's opposition to abortion." For the full statement go to


The Church of the Brethren Newsline is produced by Cheryl Brumbaugh-Cayford, director of news services for the Church of the Brethren. Newsline stories may be reprinted if Newsline is cited as the source. Contact to receive Newsline by e-mail or to submit news to the editor.