NEWS OF RELIGIOUS CONFLICT & INTOLERANCE,
2003-NOV-5: Exorcism ends in a death: "D.P." was
sentenced in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, to 18 months in jail for
assaulting a five-year-old girl during a religious exorcism. Both "D.P."
and the victim's mother were convinced that the child had been possessed
by the devil. The intent of the ritual was to drive the devil from the
child's body with a brua-ritual -- a version of Vodun
which is practiced in the Netherlands. The assault was so intense that the
child died. Since she has been in custody for 18 months, the perpetrator
was released. Earlier in 2003, the same court sentenced the girl's mother
to a three-year jail term and conditional psychiatric treatment.
Christian leaders criticize President Bush: At a joint news
conference with the British Prime Minister Tony Blair, a reporter
asked whether President Bush believes that ""Muslims worship the
same Almighty" as he does. Bush replied:
"I do say that freedom is the Almighty's gift to every person.
I also condition it by saying freedom is not America's gift to the
world. It's much greater than that, of course. And I believe we worship
the same God." He was quickly criticized by many conservative
Christian leaders, web sites and radio programs. He was complemented by
liberal Christian groups and Muslim associations. Some responses were:
Richard D. Land, president of the public policy arm
of the Southern Baptist Convention, responded that Bush "is
simply mistaken...We should always remember that he is commander in
chief, not theologian in chief. The Bible is clear on this: The one
and true god is Jehovah, and his only begotten son is Jesus Christ."
The Rev. Ted Haggard, president of the National
Association of Evangelicals, issued a statement stating: "The
Christian God encourages freedom, love, forgiveness, prosperity and
health. The Muslim god appears to value the opposite. The
personalities of each god are evident in the cultures, civilizations
and dispositions of the peoples that serve them. Muhammad's central
message was submission; Jesus' central message was love. They seem
to be very different personalities."
The Rev. Brenda Bartella Peterson, executive
director of the liberal Clergy Leadership Network, said: "I
would rather you not quote my theology. But I have to say that I'm
very pleased that President Bush wants to be so inclusive, and I
think his inclusiveness in this particular comment speaks well for
who we have been as a nation theologically. Not all of his policies
and his actions have been as inclusive."
Sayyid M. Syeed, secretary general of the Islamic
Society of North America, responded to Bush's statement with a
single word: "Alhamdullah." (Thanks be to God.) He added: "We
read again and again in the Koran that our god is the god of
Abraham, the god of Noah, the god of Jesus. "It would not come to
the mind of a Muslim that there is a different god that Abraham or
Jesus or Moses was praying to."
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- "Jail term cut in voodoo death appeal," Expatica, 2003-NOV-5,
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Copyright © 2003 by Ontario Consultants on Religious
Originally written: 2003-NOV-7
Latest update: 2003-DEC-2
Author: B.A. Robinson