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NEWS OF RELIGIOUS CONFLICT & INTOLERANCE DURING 2002-JAN

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We also have a list of religious tolerance news for this month. 
Sad to say, these are usually much shorter lists.

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bullet2001-JAN-3: Canada: Anglican Primate concerned about role of religion: Archbishop Michael Peers delivered a sermon at the Christ Church Cathedral in Ottawa ON Canada on New Year's Day. He warned that the country seems to be moving toward a secular society, devoid of any mention of religious faith. He pointed out the memorial service on Parliament Hill in Ottawa. it was held in response to the 9-11 terrorist attack, and was attended by hundreds of thousands of people. He said that the government deliberately excluded any mention of religion. ACNS reported: "Many Anglican bishops, the national church's executive council and the Canadian Armed Forces' chaplaincy committee decried the absence of religion from that memorial service. The military chaplains had even been asked by the federal government for an 'appropriate protocol for a prayerful interfaith response to the terrorist attacks'." But their suggestions were not followed. 8,11
bullet2002-JAN-3: India: Eight Year-Old Sacrificed By Temple Priest: According to Times of India: In a most unusual incident, a temple priest confessed to chopping off the head of a eight year-old boy with a dagger in order to propitiate a deity by human sacrifice in a town in the  Bijnor district of India. The boy from Kalagarh had been reported missing after he had gone to the Shiv temple to play with his friends.
bullet2004-JAN-4: VT: Supreme court rejects lawsuit: The Vermont Supreme Court unanimously dismissed two lawsuits brought against the legislation that created civil unions for gays and lesbians in the state. One suit was by a group of town clerks. They charged that they had been forced to violate their religious beliefs by being required to issue civil union certificates to homosexual couples. The other was by some Republican legislators who argued that the vote in the legislature should be nullified because a group of Democratic legislators had organized an informal office pool concerning the voting on the civil union law. The "pot" was about $15.00. The suit argued that the pool gave the participating legislators an economic stake in the outcome of the vote; thus they should have excused themselves from the vote. If they had, then the bill would not have been passed.
bullet2002-JAN-4: Christian Coalition settles racial discrimination case: The Washington Times and Baptist Press reported that The Christian Coalition reached an out-of-court settlement of a multimillion-dollar racial-discrimination lawsuit by its black employees. The Coalition will pay the plaintiffs about $325,000; the workers have promised to remain silent about the case. 12
bullet2002-JAN-10: Northern Ireland: Protestant/Catholic violence flares again: Catholic and Protestant rioters have once more threatened the Roman Catholic Holy Cross Primary School in Belfast. 17 police officers were injured. 13
bullet2002-JAN-11: CA: Controversial art work: The Traditional Value Coalition's news service reported that the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights has protested artwork at Copia -- a new food, wine and art museum in California's Napa Valley. The museum allegedly displays figurines of the Pope and several nuns defecating. League spokesperson, Patrick Scully, said: "This exhibit is insulting. It's gratuitous. It's unnecessary." Copia spokesperson, Peggy Loar, said that the display "symbolize the cycle of eating and fertilization of the earth, which is requisite for future existence."
bullet2002-JAN-18: Ritual murder reported in Germany:  According to a British magazine, The Telegraph, Manuela Ruda, 23, and her husband Daniel Ruda, 26, have been charged with murder. The article associates the alleged perpetrators with the occult scene, goth culture, Satanism, and vampirism. The Satanic connection appears to involve Gothic Satanism -- an extremely rare religious belief that is unrelated to religious Satanism. Gothic Satanism is based on belief about Satanism that was promoted by the Christian church during the Renaissance. It involves inverted cross symbols, selling one's soul to Satan, and engaging in ritual murder. From vampirism, the Rudas seem to have picked up the practice of drinking blood, sleeping in coffins and visiting cemeteries. The Rudas talked about glowing eyes, a glowing knife used as a murder weapon, a glowing victim, "Several witnesses have testified that the couple suffered from personality disorders. They could both face long terms at secure psychiatric institutions." Data is sketchy at this time, but it appears that the Rudas were motivated more by their psychotic mental ilness(es) than by the occult, goth culture, Satanism or vampirism. 14
bullet2002-JAN-13: Assembly of God pastor attacks Islam: Maury Davis, pastor of the Cornerstone Church in Nashville TN delivered a the first of a four-part sermon series on the "evils of Islam." Later he received 150 calls of support and two in opposition. The Trinity Presbyterian Church posted a notice on their church sign, saying: "Islam is not a threat: Prejudice is." Rev. Janet Hilley, spokesperson for the Covenant Association -- a local 100 member pastors' group -- said: ''Our concern is also that this will give people who are already angry and prejudiced against the Muslim community license for violence.'' The Islamic Center of Nashville issued a statement saying that "The Muslim community is disappointed after listening to the last Sunday's sermon. Pastor Maury is misrepresenting Islam with inaccurate historical facts and distorted exegesis of the Koran and thereby misleading his congregation with wrong information. At the pulpit, he has a responsibility of presenting the truth. The Islamic Center of Nashville has made and continue the efforts of explaining and educating anyone interested about Islam in the proper way and with accurate information. Islam is a part of the fabric of America and it is time for those who don't know to come and learn about the truth according to the way Muslims understand their religion.'' Hussein Ibish, communications director for the Arab-American Anti-Discrimination Committee said: ''In spite of all the calls for tolerance since Sept. 11, these kinds of comments are spreading in the Christian right.'' D.C.Pastor Davis' sermon series will be broadcast on the Christian cable channel: Inspiration Network in 2002-APR. 15
bullet2002-JAN-27: VA: Grace prohibited at military institute: Two students of the Virginia Military Institute (VMI) objected to the student-led, non-denominational Christian prayer given before meals. This had been a 50 year tradition at the Institute, which is run by the state. With the help of the ACLU, they sued the VMI in 2001-MAY. A U.S. district judge ruled for the plaintiffs, because the "grace" violated the principle of separation of church and state. The decision will be appealed. 16

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References:

  1. 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 
  2. ReligionToday™ provides free newsletters to which you can subscribe at: http://www.ReligionToday.com. These summaries are part of GOSHEN.net, which also includes LiveIt.net, Devotionals.net, ChristianShareware.net, ChristianClassifieds.net, ChristianMessageBoards.net, BibleStudyTools.net, MediaManagement.net, WorldNewsToday.net, WebCastGuide.net, and ChristianCollegeGuide.net
  3. Reuters is "the world's leading financial information and news group. Their web page is at: http://www.reuters.com/ 
  4. Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR): E-mail: cair1@ix.netcom.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 majordomo@cair-net.org
  5. EWTN News carries Roman Catholic news from Catholic World News, Vatican Information Service, ZENIT, CWNews.com. See: http://www.ewtn.com/news/ 
  6. 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: eni@eni.ch. Their web site is at http://www.eni.ch 
  7. 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/ 
  8. 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/ 
  9. AANEWS is distributed by American Atheists.
  10. CNSNews.com -- Cybercast News Service -- is a conservative news source. Their home page is at: http://www.cnsnews.com
  11. "Canada trying to suppress religion in public arena, warns Primate: 'Faith and culture are intimately connected'," ACNS, 2001-JAN-8 newsletter.
  12. "Christian Coalition Settles Racial Discrimination Lawsuit," ReligionToday news summary, 2002-JAN-7.
  13. "Riots close Catholic school," News.com.au, 2002-JAN-10, at: http://www.news.com.au/common/
  14. Hannah Cleaver, "Satanic killers tell of blood drinking rites," at: http://www.portal.telegraph.co.uk/news/
  15. Anita Wadhwani, "Christians at odds over sermon on 'Evils of Islam'," Tennessean.com, 2001-Jan-19, at: http://www.tennessean.com/local/archives/
  16. Charles MiVille, "Federal Judge: No More Prayer at VMI," Focus on the Family, at: http://www.family.org/cforum/fnif/news/A0019416.html  

Copyright © 2002 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Originally written: 2002-JAN-4
Latest update: 2002-JAN-27
Author: B.A. Robinson

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