NEWS OF RELIGIOUS INTOLERANCE AND CONFLICT
2001-AUG: World: Non-existent Sikh holy day: The
Google search engine reports over
three dozen listings for the search string "Khamapana."
These are mostly multi-faith listings of seasonal days of celebration and
observance. Most identify
Khamapana as a
Sikh "day of forgiveness."
This is apparently a hoax, initiated by someone and replicated through the
Internet. Sikhs seek forgiveness continually from God. They don't store up
a year's worth and wait for an annual day of forgiveness.
2001-AUG-1: Sri Lanka: Buddhist clergy call for ban
to Christian conversions: According to Radio Australia, influential
Buddhist clergy have adopted an 11 point plan to combat proselytizers and
have called on the government to pass laws to prevent future conversions.
The clergy estimate that about 23,000 conversions are happening per year.
2001-AUG-1: Bosnia: Remains of 203 Muslims exhumed:
When the Serbian Orthodox forces overran Srebrenica in eastern Bosnia
in 1995-JUL, they are believed to have marched off and murdered as many as
eight thousand Muslims. Srebrenica was a United nations-proclaimed safe
zone at the time. The remains of 203 civilians have been found in a mass
grave northwest of the town. General Radislav Krstic has been charged with
the atrocity and has been tried by the UN war crimes tribunal.
2001-AUG-2: Bosnia: War-crimes tribunal gives first
sentence for genocide: The Yugoslav war
crimes tribunal found Bosnian Serb General Radislav Krstic, 53, guilty of
genocide in the execution of seven to eight thousand Muslim men and male
youth. He was given a jail sentence of 46 years. If he serves his full
sentence, he will be 99 years of age when he exits prison. At the time of
the genocide, he was following a earlier directive of 1995-MAR by Radovan
Karadzic which called for the creation by Bosnian Orthodox Christian
forces of "an unbearable situation of total insecurity with no hope of
further survival or life for the inhabitants of Srebrenica and Zepa."
The inhabitants were essentially all Muslims, protected by a small
contingent of UN soldiers from the Netherlands in what was defined by the
UN as a "safe area." War crimes investigators have unearthed more
than 2,000 bodies in the area. They have located another 2,000.
2001-AUG-5: Afghanistan: 24 Christian foreign aid
workers arrested: Two U.S., four German, two Australian and 16 Afghans
have been detained on a charge of proselytizing. Talking to people with an
aim of converting them from Islam to another religion is a capital offense
in that country. Mohammed Salim Haqqani, deputy minister for the promotion
of virtue and prevention of vice, showed what he asserts is evidence of
proselytizing: computer disks containing Christ's life story in the local
Dari language, copies of the Bible in English and Dari, and a list of
times of Christian broadcasts, and a written confession by one of the
German detainees. He asked: "Are these not valid and strong evidence? They
gave children good food and money and then made them listen about
Christianity." The Taliban government has rounded up 59 children who had
contact with the aid workers. They were sent to a jail where they will
stay until all traces of Christianity are removed. 14
|2001-AUG-7: Indiana: Religious monument defaced: A monument
which features the Ten Commandments, erected on city-owned property
in South Bend, IN, was vandalized. It was spray-painted in red with the words, "NOT ON
PUBLIC LAND." One week earlier, the regional U.S.
Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago declared a Ten
Commandments monument on the Statehouse lawn to be unconstitutional.|
|2001-AUG-16: Florida: Use of Torah scrolls angers Jews: "Holy
Land" is a Bible-themed attraction in Orlando, FL. Its latest addition
is a Scriptorium containing about 12,000 religious artifacts and
manuscripts. Leaders of the local Jewish community expressed concern about
its ten or more complete Torah scrolls, handwritten on sheepskin in
ancient Hebrew. Some are believed to be more than 600 years old. Rabbi
Daniel Wolpe, president of the Greater Orlando Board of Rabbis said: "A
Torah should not be a display item. It is a holy item, and it should not
be used. If a synagogue took a holy item of another faith and displayed it
like it was a museum piece, the other faith would be justifiably upset. We
would be justifiably upset to see something holy to us used as a museum
piece." Some have speculated that the Torahs may have been among those
stolen from European synagogues by Nazis and Communists in past decades.
The Van Kampen Foundation, suppliers of the scrolls, have no documentation
about the origin of the scrolls.|
|2001-AUG-16: World: Religious web sites converted to porn: A number of
disused web site URLs have been rented by groups and redirected to porn
web sites. Gary Bauer, a conservative Christian and former presidential
candidate, abandoned his web site as required under law after the
election. The URL 15 was rented by someone in Armenia
who redirected it to The Adult Movie Network, a pornographic web
site. The same person scooped up an old, little used Web address owned by
the American Center for Law and Justice. Other cases have involved
the Christian and Missionary Alliance, and a New England church.
The OCRT (the group that sponsors this web site) had a similar experience.
A person in France rented the URL
http://www.religoustolerance.org that was almost identical to our own
(except for the second "i" in religious). He directed it to his porn site.
We advertised his name and Email address on our home page and suggested
that people Email him. His URL has since been redirected to our home page.
|2001-AUG-16: World: Nine countries with the worst religious freedom
record: The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom
has nominated Burma, China, Iran, Iraq, Laos, the Democratic People's
Republic of Korea (North Korea), Saudi Arabia, Sudan, and Turkmenistan for
designation by the State Department as "countries of particular concern" ?
the world's worst religious-freedom violators. They also urged
redesignation of the Taliban regime in Afghanistan as a "particularly
severe violator" of religious freedom. 16|
|2001-AUG-16: MD: Church Leaders Guilty of keeping 'Indentured Servants'
According to ReligionToday:|
Three leaders of the Word of Faith World Outreach Church were
convicted last week of smuggling aliens into the U.S. and committing visa
fraud. They had convinced Estonian teen-agers to come to America to take
part in Bible study and missionary work. When the teens got there, they
were put to work cleaning offices and moving furniture for for $15 to $100
a week. U.S. District Judge Marvin Garbis ruled that the church officials
turned the Estonians into "what amounted to indentured servants."
|2001-AUG-21: CA: Macedonia: Religious hate crimes increasing:
The Daily Press reports that the total number of annual hate crimes
has dropped from 2,054 in 1996 to 1,960 in 2000. However, religious hate
crimes have increased by a third since 1996. Anti-semitic hate crimes are
up by 42%. Bill Lockyer, California's Attorney General, said that "Hate
crimes are among the most dehumanizing of crimes. The perpetrator views
victims as lacking full human worth. Hate crimes impact not only their
victims, but also spread concern throughout entire communities... Victims
of hate crimes have long experienced such violence, and the fear and pain
of a recurrence of historical injustice is deep and pervasive."|
|2001-AUG-21: Macedonia: Church destroyed: According to UPI, a
13th century Orthodox Christian monastery in Lesok was destroyed by an
explosion. Islamic rebels are believed to be responsible.|
|2001-AUG-28: Kenya: Religious groups refuses vaccinations:
About 300 members of the banned 'Dini ya Musambwa' ('Religion of
Tradition') faith group have refused to allow their children under
five years of age to be vaccinated against polio. They believe that
vaccinations are "ungodly." They prefer to use traditional healing
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- Ecumenical News International (ENI) in Geneva Switzerland
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- 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
A companion Episcopal News Service is at: http://www.ecusa.anglican.org/ens/
- AANEWS is distributed by American Atheists.
- CNSNews.com -- Cybercast News Service -- is a conservative
news source. Their home page is at:
- "Sri-Lanka's Buddhist clergy want to ban conversion to
Christianity," Radio Australia, at:
- "Remains of more than 200 Srebrenica Muslims exhumed in eastern
Bosnia," Radio Australia, at:
- Nicholas Kralev, "U.S. asks to meet with jailed Christians,"
Washington Times, at:
- Gary Bauer's former web site, now porn site, is at:
This web site is not appropriate to be viewed by minors.
- The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom's web
site is at: www.uscirf.gov
Copyright © 2001 by Ontario Consultants on Religious
Originally written: 2001-JUL-25
Latest update: 2001-AUG-28
Author: B.A. Robinson