News items relating to religious tolerance and information
2009-JAN-06: Kazakstan: Orthodox Church leader calls for religious
freedom: Most citizens of Kazakstan follow one of two main religions:
Islam and the Russian Orthodox Church. Outsiders often
criticize the government of Kazakhstan for oppressing followers of minority
religions. Metropolitan Mefody of Astana and Almaty, the
leader of the Russian Orthodox Church in the country, does not think that the
rights of religious minorities are currently abused in Kazakhstan. However he
emphasized that all religious minorities must have equal rights with
Kazakhstan's two main religions. The government is currently debating a new
law regulating religion. 1
2009-JAN-07: India: Conference being held to
promote religious tolerance: A six-day international conference,
Dharm Samvad, began at the Kailash Gurukul of religious guru Morari Bapu.
The Dalai Lama said that the world needs to learn lesson in religious
tolerance from India and try and adopt its culture that promotes peace He
said: "Indian culture is the only one with the tolerance that the world needs
to bring about peace and unity among all religions." 2
The Dalai Lama was presumably referring to India's historical tolerance
towards all religions. The recent anti-Christian attacks by fundamentalist
Hindus in the Indian state of Orissa are an exception to this tradition.
2009-JAN-10: World: Neopagan forum clamps down on religious
attacks: The administration of "The Cauldron A Pagan Forum"
reminded posters that the forum:
"... does NOT allow generalized attacks or put-downs of any religion --
including Christianity. With very rare exceptions, religions are not evil.
Nor do all members of all but the most tiny religious groups believe the same
things or do the exact same things. You may have had a bad experience with a
religion and/or all the people you know well who are members of a religion may
be scumbags, but that does not mean the religion as a whole is bad or that all
the religion's member's are scumbags."
"Chances are you don't like it where members of another religion say that
Pagan religion X is evil; make claims like 'all Wiccans worship Satan&' or 'Asatru
is just a cover for Neo-Nazis;' or say that all Pagans are flakes based on the
two or three flakes they have seen on TV -- so why on Earth should you be
doing the same thing to religions you happen not to like or have had bad
experiences with? If you can't refrain from making generalized attacks on a
religion, just don't talk about that religion." 3
2009-JAN-05: India: 1,000 km walk from Kanayakumari to Bidadi in Bangalore
India: The walk will last from JAN-12 to FEB-16 and is intended to promote communal
harmony and religious tolerance. Organizer Paramahamasa Nithyananda said:
"One thousand people will walk the distance. Our intention is also to
inspire the locals do away with at least one vice in their life. [The walk is
held] "... at a time when religion-based terrorism is affecting the country.
We have invited leaders of various religions, including Islam, Christianity and Parsi to take part in the walk.
...the walk will be called Kodikkan Darisana Ratha Pada Yatra." 4
[His reference to "religion-based terrorism" is presumably
referring to the anti-Christian attacks in Orissa state.]
2009-JAN-28 & 29: Oregon legislatures to open with Sanskrit mantras:
Rajan Zed, president of the Universal Society of Hinduism will deliver
the opening prayers to the Oregon State Senate and House of Representatives.
He will recite from three ancient Hindu scriptures: the Rig-Veda, Upanishads,
and Bhagavad-Gita. 5
"Kazakh Orthodox Leader Calls For Religious Tolerance,"
Radio Free Europe, 2009-JAN-06, at:
"Dalai Lama hails India's religious tolerance," India Info,
"ADMIN: Religious Tolerance Required," The Cauldron: A Pagan
Forum, 2009-JAN-10, at:
"1000 km walk to promote communal harmony, religious
tolerance," 2009-JAN-05, ChennaiOnline at:
Rajan Zed, "Sanskrit mantras to open both Oregon State
Senate & House of Representatives," mailing, 2008-JAN-16
Links to religious news sources:
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Copyright © 2009 by Ontario Consultants on
Originally written: 2009-JAN-11
Latest update: 2009-JAN-16
Compiler: B.A. Robinson