NEWS OF RELIGIOUS INTOLERANCE AND CONFLICT
We also have a list of religious tolerance news
items for this month.
|2000-SEP-5: Statement on the status of non-Catholic religions by
the Vatican: According to The Times News Service, London
The Vatican published a declaration Dominus Iesus on SEP-5. It
was written by Cardinal Ratzinger, Prefect of the Congregation for
the Doctrine of the Faith, with the approval of the pope. It was
ratified and confirmed by the pope "with sure knowledge and by
his apostolic authority."
The statement says, in part, that "Churches such as the
Church of England, where the apostolic succession of bishops from the
time of St. Peter is disputed by Rome, and churches without bishops,
are not considered 'proper' churches." They suffer from
"defects." Religions other than Christianity are
considered to be "gravely deficient." Their rituals
constitute "an obstacle to salvation" for their
2000-SEP-12: China: Crackdown on religious groups: According
to Newsroom: 2
Recent reports indicate China has continued a crackdown on unregistered
religious groups on the eve of United States Senate debate on trade status
with the world's largest country.
In the past several weeks, more arrests have been made on members
of the Falun Gong spiritual movement, Protestant and Catholic house
churches, and a Buddhist sect. Last week it was reported that three
Falun Gong practitioners died recently while in police custody.
2000-SEP-19: Canada: Racist comments about Roma: Journeywoman
™ is an online travel resource for women. They provide, among other
features on their web site, tips for women who are traveling for
business or pleasure. They have two citations that are insulting to Roma,
an oppressed group often referred to by the negative term "gypsy." |
Newsletter page has a tip called "Watch your wallet in Rome."
It warns against "gypsy" women who beg for money
while hiding a child underneath their skirt; the child allegedly will
pick the tourist's pocket.
Travel Tip Bazaar has a tip "Beware of Women carrying Babies in
Italy" which warns about "women who are lingering by souvenir stands holding babies.
These may be gypsies getting ready to rob you. Their babies are not
real babies -- they're dolls which the women will throw to you. You,
of course, will want to stop the (fake) baby from falling and as you
reach out to catch it, the gypsy women will snatch your purse."
|If you don't think that these citations are
racist or religiously intolerant, try substituting "Roman
Catholic" or "American" for "gypsy,"
and re-reading the text.|
|It seems to me that the women with the dolls
would not make a lot of profit. Every time that she grabs at a
purse and steals a few dollars, she loses a life-size baby doll.]|
|2000-SEP-5: Vietnam: Lack of religious freedom: According to Maranatha
In its year 2000 report, the U.S. Commission on International
Religious Freedom criticized the government of Vietnam for its
religious oppression. "The Government continued to restrict
significantly those organized activities of religious groups that it
declared to be at variance with state laws and policies "[and]
uses regulations to control religious hierarchies and organized
religious activities closely, in part because the Communist Party
fears that organized religion may weaken its authority and influence
by serving as a political, social, and spiritual alternative to the
authority of the central Government." Vietnamese government
spokesperson, Le Dung, rejected the report as an improper intrusion
into their internal affairs: "The fact that the United
States gives itself the right to judge the religious situation around
the world is contrary to the fundamental principles of international
law and is interference in other countries' internal affairs.''
|2000-SEP-13: China: Lack of religious freedom: According
In its year 2000 report, the U.S. Commission on International
Religious Freedom also criticized the government of China for its
religious oppression. It said that China was brutally repressing the
Falun Gong spiritual movement, Tibetan Buddhists, Roman Catholics and
other groups. An unidentified spokesperson for the Chinese government
denied the validity of the report. He responded: "Relying
solely on rumors and lies to accuse other governments and interfere in
internal affairs of other countries is a mistake repeatedly made by
the U.S. State Department report. This bad habit should be addressed."
According to the Associated Press:
China published new regulations on SEP-15 which will prevent exercise
groups like the Falun Dafa from discussing religion. It also severely
limits their size and range of activities. Their teachers must register
and be certified by sports officials. Activities with more than 200
participants need the prior permission of police. They will not be
allowed to organize in state-run companies, government offices, schools,
army bases, etc.
|2000-SEP-25: Vatican: Roman Catholic - Jewish Ceremony postponed:
According to CWNews: 15|
The Vatican indefinitely postponed a ceremony emphasizing Christian-Jewish
dialogue. It was scheduled to be held on OCT-3 as part of the
Vatican's year 2000 Jubilee celebration. The reason for the suspension
was that Elio Toaff, Rome's chief rabbi, had revealed that he would
not be attending. There is speculation that Rabbi Toaff was distressed
at recent Vatican moves, including:
|The beautification of Pope Pius IX -- regarded by many as a
|The recently released church document Dominus Iesus which
stated that religions other than Christianity are
considered to be "gravely deficient." 13 Their rituals
constitute "an obstacle to salvation" for their
followers. This presumably included Judaism. More
|2000-SEP-25: USA: Religious intolerance by Christian group:
According to Maranatha Christian Journal: 16|
A Hindu priest,
Venkatachalapathi Samuldrala of Shiva Vishnu Hindu Temple in
Parma, OH, opened a
session of the U.S. House of Representatives on SEP-14
with a prayer. He was the first Hindu to do so. An "Q&A
article" on the web site of the Family
Research Council, (FRC) a Fundamentalist Christian agency,
severely criticized this action. It said, in
"Our founders expected that Christianity -- and no other
religion -- would receive support from the government as long as that
support did not violate people's consciences and their right to
worship. They would have found utterly incredible the idea that all
religions, including paganism, be treated with equal deference."
A spokesperson for the FRC stated that the article "failed to
go though [sic] our full editing process which would have removed any
statements inconsistant [sic] with FRC's position." 20
FRC's Executive Vice President Chuck Donovan removed the article and
posted a correction which said, in part: "It is
the position of the Family Research Council that governments must
respect freedom of conscience for all people in religious matters ...
We affirm the truth of Christianity, but it is not our position that
American's Constitution forbids representatives of religions other
than Christianity from praying before Congress." 17
|2000-SEP-28: Republic of Georgia: Religious oppression:
According to the Jehovah's Witnesses' public affairs office:|
On SEP-8, a convention of Jehovah's Witnesses in Zugdili "was
violently broken up by masked police...the U.S. and British embassies
issued a joint news release stating that they were 'greatly disturbed'
by the violent attacks on Jehovah's Witnesses and other minority
religions and calling upon the government of Georgia to investigate
On SEP-16, "Police joined with [Russian] Orthodox extremists
in attacking unarmed men, women and children as they attempted to
return home. Police also joined in looting the property and
demolishing the convention site. Eyewitnesses report that police beat
at least two male Jehovah's Witnesses." 19
- DayWatch is a daily service of Maranatha Christian
Journal. It provides "a daily summary of news headlines
with a Christian perspective..." The newsletter is free on
request. Their web site is at: http://www.mcjonline.com
- Newsroom is a service of Worldwide Newsroom Inc.
Their articles are written by "a network of journalists, scholars and
other professional contacts in country." You can subscribe to
their free service from their website at http://www.newsroom.org/
- ReligionToday provides free newsletters to which you can
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These summaries are part of GOSHEN.net, which also includes LiveIt.net,
Devotionals.net, ChristianShareware.net, ChristianClassifieds.net,
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WorldNewsToday.net, WebCastGuide.net, and
- Reuters is "the world's leading financial information
and news group. Their web page is at: http://www.reuters.com/
- Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR): E-mail: email@example.com
URL: http://www.cair-net.org To
join CAIR-NET, CAIR's read-only mailing list: Send subscribe
cair-net in the body of a message to firstname.lastname@example.org
- EWTN News carries Roman Catholic news from Catholic World
News, Vatican Information Service, ZENIT, CWNews.com. See: http://www.ewtn.com/news/
- Ecumenical News International (ENI) in Geneva Switzerland
distributes news free religious news highlights to subscribers. They
can be contacted at PO Box 2100, CH - 1211, Geneva 2, Switzerland.
Telephone: (41-22) 791 6087/6515. Fax: (41-22) 788 7244 Email: email@example.com.
Their web site is at http://www.eni.ch
- ZENIT.org is "an International News Agency based in
Rome. Our mission is to provide objective and professional coverage of
events, documents and issues emanating from or concerning the Catholic
Church for a worldwide audience, especially the media." Their
web site is at: http://www.zenit.org/english/
- Anglican Communion News Service provides information from an
Anglican perspective. See: http://www.anglicancommunion.org/acns/index.html
- Robert Mendick, "Pagan teacher to be disciplined by school,"
- AANEWS is distributed by American Atheists.
- "Other churches have defects, Catholics say." The
Times News Service, London. 2000-SEP-5
- The text of the declaration: "Dominus Iesus on the unicity
and salvific universality of Jesus Christ and the church,"
Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, is at: http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cfaith/
- Catholic World News article, 2000-SEP-13 at http://www.cwnews.com
- Catholic World News is at http://www.cwnews.com
- "Family issues group clarifies stance on Hindu prayer,"
Maranatha Christian News Service, at: http://www.mcjonline.com/news/00b/20000925d.htm
- "Family Research Council issues clarification of article on
prayer before Congress," FRC, at: http://www.frc.org/press/index.cfm?get=recent&id=P00I14
- "Brown welcomes Northeast Ohio Hindu priest as guest
chaplain in House," http://www.house.gov/sherrodbrown/india914.html
- The Public Affairs office of Jehovah's Witnesses has a web
site at: http://www.jw-media.org/
- Personal FAX from FRC Legal Studies department, 2000-SEP-26.
Copyright © 2000 by Ontario Consultants on Religious
Originally written: 2000-SEP-1
Latest update: 2000-SEP-26
Author: B.A. Robinson