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Religious Tolerance logo

WORLDWIDE NEWS OF
RELIGIOUS TOLERANCE
FOR 2000-JAN

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Sponsored link.

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We also have a list of religious intolerance news items for this month. 
Sad to say, it is a much longer list.

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JAN-4: Quatar: Tolerance towards Christians: According to ReligionToday: 5
"Heavily Islamic Quatar for the first time approved construction of a Roman Catholic church. Catholic and Protestant groups previously have been allowed to meet only in their homes, Operation World said. The predominantly Muslim country, where Islam is the state religion, has about 60,000 Catholics, most of them expatriate workers, The Associated Press said. ...The church to be built in Doha, the capital, is "a very important step, consistent with the principles of tolerance and freedom which are among the noble goals" of the emir Sheik Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, Italian Ambassador Ignazio Di Pace said. [In the past, Quatar had prohibited the public practice of any religion except for the strict Wahhabi interpretation of Islam.]

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JAN-11: Indonesia: A call for peace: According to ReligionToday: 5
"Harming innocent Christians is a sin, Indonesian Muslim leaders said, rejecting demands for a holy war. Thousands of Muslim protesters are demanding jihad [struggle] against Christians in response for Muslim deaths in the Moluccas islands. Some 1,500 Christians and Muslims have been killed in the past two weeks, news reports said. ...'I reject jihad if it means to collect thousands of people to gather around and cry out expressions of hate to take revenge,' Muslim cleric Umar Shihab said. He is co-chairman of the Indonesian Ulemas Council, Islam's top official body in the country. War that is conducted in revenge is a sin, Shihab said. President Abdurrahman Wahid, also a Muslim scholar, also rejected the calls for jihad....A jihad against those who provoke violence against Muslims is allowable, and people who are fomenting the violence should be restrained, Shihab said."

[The population of the Moluccas Islands is overwhelmingly Christian; almost all of the victims to date have been Muslims.

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JAN-12: USA: Denver, CO vs. religion: According to CitizenLink, a service of Focus on the Family: 7
The municipal code in Denver CO limited prayer meetings in homes to only one per month. Kevin Theriot, lawyer for American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) said: "The cease-and-desist order specifically limits itself to prayer meetings...It did not say you can only have one meeting a month, whether that be a Monday night football game, a poker party, a prayer meeting, or a Tupperware party. It said, 'You can only have one prayer meeting.' " The ACLJ sued on behalf of a prayer meeting hostess, Diane Reiter, and won a settlement out of court. The city has agreed to change the municipal code, to allow prayer meetings to continue and to pay court costs. 

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JAN-18: CARE-a-van diversity bus: According to the Earth Religions Legal Assistance Network: 8
The "CARE-a-van" diversity bus was launched this week. It will be traveling throughout the U.S. for the next nine months. "A donated school bus was painted in religious and cultural diversity themes as a joint project of New Britain (urban) and Berlin (suburban) Connecticut middle schools over recent months.  It was launched for Martin Luther King weekend on a trip around the country, where it will visit schools in various states where kids will have the chance to add or modify themes depicted.  The drivers are college media majors, who are using the trek to produce a documentary film. Initially, the bus heads South, including stops in some states not known for religious tolerance.  North central states are on the Spring agenda, with West coast coming later, along with a return to Eastern states." 

Their initial stops will be at Pittsboro/Durham NC (JAN-21), Madison AL (JAN-24), Lafayette, LA (FEB-7), and San Antonio TX (FEB-21). They have a web site under development at www.care-a-van.com 

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We are not certain whether the following item should be included in this religious tolerance list, or whether it should appear in the religious intolerance list. It has elements of both.
JAN-19: Vatican: The jubilee year: According to ENI:
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"For the first time in history representatives of the Anglican and Orthodox churches have participated in a key ceremony in Rome marking an official Catholic jubilee year. The year 2000 has been designated by the Vatican as a jubilee year, a time of special importance for Catholics which includes the granting of special 'indulgences' - remission of the penalty for sin to be served in Purgatory after death. However, some leading international Protestant organizations pointedly abstained from [attending] the ceremony."

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JAN-23: Turkey: Government shows increasing tolerance towards Christians: According to ReligionToday: 5 
"...Government officials are more tolerant of Christianity lately because churches and international ministries have been central in providing relief after last year's devastating earthquakes:
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Christians in Izmir, Turkey, can worship openly again...fourteen weeks after security police raided Izmir Fellowship of Jesus Christ because of a zoning violation, arrested 40 of its members, and locked its doors

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...Authorities let the church hold a citywide Christmas celebration Dec. 26. 

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...the governor of Izmir telegrammed the church and offered his Christmas greetings. 

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President Suleyman Demirel earlier had made Turkish history as the first head of state to issue formal Christmas greetings to Christians.

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JAN-25: Great Britain: ecumenical chaplains provided at the Millennium Dome: According to the Anglican Communion News Service:
"With an anticipated 30,000 visitors a day and 5,000 staff, the Millennium Dome in Greenwich, South London, is rather like an international airport. The company that operates the Dome has worked with the churches to appoint a team of twenty Christian chaplains...the chaplains are drawn from a very broad sample of church life, both clergy and lay, including Anglicans, Salvation Army officers, Roman Catholics, and five London City Mission staff." [This is at least a start toward providing for their visitors' spiritual needs. However, there is no indication that the Dome management has considered its non-Christian visitors yet.]

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JAN-25: England: Anglican Church may allow divorcees to remarry: According to ReligionToday: 5 
"Divorced Anglicans should be allowed to remarry in the church, its leaders say. Bishops of the Church of England released a report saying priests should be permitted to conduct marriage ceremonies for those who have been divorced, The Associated Press said. The church has long held that only spouses separated by death should be allowed to remarry.
...The church's governing synod is expected to endorse the bishops' report later this year. The report lays down guidelines governing second marriages, including requirements that there be 'a clear distance of time, of local setting, and of relationship' separating the new spouse from the first marriage. The church would not condone a second marriage in which the new spouse is responsible for the end of the previous marriage, it said. ...England and Wales have one of the highest divorce rates in Europe. About 40% of marriages fail, the AP said. Nearly 30% of Anglican priests perform second marriages against church rules and about 10% of marriages in the Church of England include a divorcee.
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JAN-27: Nigeria: Inter-religious council: According to Newsroom: 4
"Religious leaders in Nigeria have launched a peace initiative to end the spate of ethnic and religious clashes in which hundreds of people have been killed in recent months. Members of the Nigeria Inter-Religious Council say they hope to act as intermediaries in resolving ethnic, religious, and regional conflicts." [Conflicts and deaths have been primarily between Christians and Muslims]

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JAN-29: USA: Inaugural colloquium at multi-faith center: According to Teresa Watanabe, writer for the Los Angeles Times:
FEASST is a new center "dedicated to exploring and supporting social justice and feminist spirituality among all faiths and backgrounds." "FEASST" stands for: feminism, education, action, spirituality, support, and thealogy [sic]. Their first colloquium involved representatives from Christianity, Islam, Zen Buddhism and Goddess worship. They plan to offer an academic program, to be taught on its campus, over the Internet "and through affiliations with existing institutions."

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References:

  1. Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) has a web page at http://www.cair-net.org They have an mailing list called ISLAM-INFONET. To subscribe, send an Email with  subscribe cair-net  in the body of the message to majordomo@cair-net.org  
  2. 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 
  3. ENI (Ecumenical News International) provides free bulletins and subscriptions to full text articles. Their home page is at: http://www.eni.ch Its postal address is: PO Box 2100, CH - 1211 Geneva 2, Switzerland
  4. Newsroom is a service of Worldwide Newsroom Inc. Their articles are written by "a network of journalists, scholars and other professional contacts in country." You can subscribe to their free service from their website at http://www.newsroom.org/ 
  5. 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
  6. Reuters is "the world's leading financial information and news group. Their web page is at: http://www.reuters.com/ 
  7. CitizenLink is a service of Focus on the Family. They send regular Emails containing news items interpreted from a Fundamentalist Christian perspective. Signup is at: http://www.family.org/cforum/clinksignup.cfm 
  8. Earth Religions Legal Assistance Network is a leading anti-defamation group which fights discrimination against Neopagans. See:  http://www.conjure.com/ERAL/eral.html 
  9. Anglican Communion News Service (ACNS) maintains a free mailing list. Go to http://www.anglicancommunion.org/acns/ to subscribe.

Copyright © 2000
Originally written: 2000-JAN-4
Latest update: 2000-JAN-29
Author: B.A. Robinson

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