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We also have a list of religious intolerance news for this month. 
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2001-AUG: Ireland - U.S.: Program promoting religious tolerance: Children's Friendship Project arranges for Roman Catholic and Protestant teenagers from Northern Ireland to come to the United States, and stay with American families who support religious cooperation. During the year 2000, 90 families in 13 states were hosts to pairs of Catholic and Protestant teens. One such pair, Chloe Faulkner, 18, a Protestant, and Sheryl Heaney, 17, a Roman Catholic came to Kansas City to live with a local family. They have shared a bedroom, bathroom and dinner table. Referring to her life in a village near Omagh, Faulkner said, "I wouldn't say I'm scared all the time, but I am always careful."  The two girls agreed that religion is important, and hope it won't always be divisive.  When they return home, they plan to use their American experience to teach tolerance, and develop activities that pair Catholic and  Protestant schools. Heaney hopes that: "we can bring lots of people together." 11

bullet 2001-AUG-30: Two agencies discontinue prayers: Since 1997, a government agency, the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights, had started their public meetings with blessings and benedictions. The Louisville and Jefferson County Human Relations Commission had done the same for an unknown period. After some attendees complained, the American Civil Liberties Union of Kentucky negotiated an end to the religious content. Details are missing in the media report. However, it seems that the Kentucky Commission invited a variety of Christian clergy to give the prayers. Catherine Morton Ward, a lawyer and brief employee commented that it was: "ironic to say the least'' that two agencies dedicated to ending discrimination were violating laws and were insensitive to religious minorities. She said the "very, very Christian prayer'' at a county agency's diversity seminars was particularly offensive because people of many faiths, including Jews, Buddhists, Muslims, and persons of who follow no organized religion were present. Cindee Coffee, a spokesperson for Southeast Christian Church, complained that the agencies had "caved in to pressure from the ACLU....It is another indication of our ... failure to appreciate the spiritual heritage of our nation.'' In an unrelated matter, Rep. Kathy Stein, (D), the only Jewish representative in the Kentucky legislature, complained last year that a minister had delivered a prayer in which he said that only believers in Jesus would be saved. The minister who delivered the prayer, the Rev. Tim H. Wells of Bethlehem Baptist Church in Bethlehem, KY said that it was not his intent to offend anyone. However, he could not see how he could pray without mentioning Jesus. 12 [OCRT note: One wonders whether the two groups explored an alternative approach: to select a clergyperson or layperson from a wide variety of religions and secular philosophies to deliver spiritual and religious statements at each of their meetings.]

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  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: 
  2. ENI (Ecumenical News International) provides free bulletins and subscriptions to full text articles. Their home page is at: Its postal address is: PO Box 2100, CH - 1211 Geneva 2, Switzerland
  3. 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 
  4. ReligionToday provides free newsletters to which you can subscribe at: These summaries are part of, which also includes,,,,,,,,, and
  5. Reuters is "the world's leading financial information and news group. Their web page is at: 
  6. 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: 
  7. Earth Religions Legal Assistance Network is a leading anti-defamation group which fights discrimination against Neopagans. See: 
  8. Anglican Communion News Service (ACNS) maintains a free mailing list. Go to to subscribe.
  9. EWTN is a news service of the Roman Catholic Church. It posts news items from Newsline, Newslink, and The World Over on its Internet site at:
  10. Alternative Religions Educational Network (AREN) is an information organization located in Philadelphia. It has monitored discrimination against Wiccans throughout North America for three decades. Their web page is at:
  11. "Program helps Protestant, Catholic teens from [Northern] Ireland look past 'troubles'," at: See also: Northern Ireland Children's Enterprise and Children's Friendship Project for Northern Ireland

  12. "Agencies agree to end prayers at public events," Associated Press at:

Copyright 2001 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Originally written: 2001-AUG-3 
Latest update: 2001-AUG-30
Compiler: B.A. Robinson

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