We also have a list of religious tolerance news
items for this month.
2001-JAN-4: Russia: Salvation Army evicted:
According to ReligionToday: 3
Government officials in Moscow refused to register the local branch of
the Salvation Army, because they regarded it as a foreign military
organization. The Army was evicted on JAN-1 from their offices. Col.
Kenneth Baillee, head of the organization in Russia, said: "We
have entered a kind of legal 'Never-Never Land.' " He said
that the ministry will continue to exist until the city asks the
courts to have it liquidated. That could take months.
2001-JAN-9: Afghanistan: Religious conversion is
a capital crime: According to ReligionToday: 3
Mullah Mohammed Omar, the Taliban's supreme leader, announced on
the Taliban's Radio Shariat that those who leave Islam or those
who induce others to do so would be killed. He said: "The
enemies of Muslims are trying to eliminate pure religion throughout
2001-JAN-12: World: Large religious web sites in
difficulty: There are an enormous number of religious web sites on
the Internet. Google.com, a superb Internet search engine, has
registered about 18.3 million listings containing "God,"
6.5 million listings for "Jesus," 5.6 million
listings for "Christ," 1.3 million for "Christianity,"
0.9 million for "Goddess," and 0.7 million for "Pagan."
Most religious web sites are relatively small, being sponsored by
individuals, couples and churches. Some of the largest religious web
sites have experienced difficulty:
billed itself as "the leading Christian community on the
Internet," and "a place where believers of all
denominations could come." However, in spite of its
inclusive name, it restricted its articles to only one wing
(conservative) of one religion (Christian). Despite a "tremendous
launch," and achieving "550,000 members, more
than 2 million unique visitors, and 60 ministry partners,"
they were unable to raise additional funding. They closed their
virtual doors on 2000-NOV-24 after nine months of operation. Some
employees were believed to have been offered jobs with a sister
company Family Christian Stores.
On JAN-11, Crosswalk announced that it was reducing its staff by
15, from 49 to 34, as part of a plan to consolidate operations.
This follows a previous cut during the year 2000 of 30 employees,
made when web traffic fell short of expectations. 14
Controversy over same-sex marriage: Kevin Bourassa was married in
the Metropolitan Community Church in Toronto, ON, Canada on JAN-14,
through the reading of the banns. This bypasses the need for a
marriage license, which had been refused previous gay and lesbian
couples. He sent an e-mail to Canada's Governor-General, Adrienne
Clarkson, inviting her to attend his wedding. One
of her staff members replied, saying that Ms. Clarkson was unable to
attend, but that she conveyed best wishes. Bishop Gerald Wiesner of
Prince George, B.C., the president of the Canadian Conference of
Catholic Bishops, then wrote a strongly worded complaint to the
Governor-General and the Prime Minister. He wrote, in part:
"Canadians should be able to expect the Governor-General
to respect and uphold their basic values and laws. However, this
controversial action by the office of the Governor-General offends
most faiths, almost all of which believe that marriage by definition
is the sacred union of a man and a woman, and is also at odds with
Canadian civil and legal tradition."
Douglas Elliott, lawyer for the Metropolitan Community Church,
said it is unfortunate that the Catholic bishops are trying to draw
Ms. Clarkson into controversy. More
2001-JAN-14: Florida: Santero priest arrested: According
to the Palm Beach Post for JAN-17: Richard Rossie, 58,
of Boynton Beach was arrested by police who say that he dumped three
dead chicken carcasses into the Intracostal Waterway. From the point
of view of the police, he was illegally disposing of an animal
carcass. Rossie, a babalawo, or high priest of Santeria, said that
the chickens were a religious offering: "I had to throw the
box with the chickens in the water for the ocean god Yemoja."
Jim Green, an American Civil Liberties Union attorney said that the
police may have violated Rossie's First Amendment rights.
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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 protected].
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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
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Anglican Communion News Service provides information from an
Anglican perspective. See: http://www.anglicancommunion.org/acns/index.html
AANEWS is distributed by American Atheists.
China Crisis News Bulletin #60, 2000-SEP-25, Falun Dafa
Information Center. They publish regular information on the Falun Gong
via fax. Their Email is [email protected].
Their web site is at http://www.faluninfo.net
Covenant News disseminates "Today's news for today's
[Christian] church." See: http://www.CovenantNews.com/index.html
U.S. Newswire is "the leading national wire service for
distribution of full text news." They have a web site at: http://www.usnewswire.com/
"Christian web site cuts 15 jobs..." Wall Street
Journal, 2001-JAN-11, at: http://www.wsj.com
Copyright © 2001 by Ontario Consultants on Religious
Originally written: 2001-JAN-3
Latest update: 2001-JAN-21
Author: B.A. Robinson