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NEWS OF RELIGIOUS CONFLICT & INTOLERANCE,

2003-NOVEMBER

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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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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. 11

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2003-NOV-20: Evangelical 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:
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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."

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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."

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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."

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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." 12

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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. "Jail term cut in voodoo death appeal," Expatica, 2003-NOV-5, at: http://www.expatica.com/
  12. Alan Cooperman, "Bush's Remark About God Assailed," The Washington Post, 2003-NOV-22, Page A06. Online at: http://www.washingtonpost.com/

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Copyright © 2003 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Originally written: 2003-NOV-7
Latest update: 2003-DEC-2
Author: B.A. Robinson

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