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Religious Tolerance logo

News of religious/ethical change, tolerance,
information, conflict and/or intolerance


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bullet2009-OCT-01: UK: Televangelist Benny Hinn refused entry into the UK: Benny Hinn, a Pentecostal teleminister from Texas was scheduled to hold a rally in East London starting on OCTG-01. He was refused entry at Stansted airport under new rules on visiting ministers of religion. "One of the aims of the new rules was to combat extremism and prevent teachers of religious hate entering the country."

A Border Agency spokesman said:

"Under the UK's tough new points-based system, religious workers must obtain a valid certificate of sponsorship prior to arriving in the UK. These rules are designed to make sure that a legitimate sponsor is linked to each application to enter the UK for work purposes. These rules are applied objectively and clearly set out for travelers. People who arrive without the required documentation can be refused entry to the UK." 1

bullet2009-OCT-05: Saudi Arabia: King Abdullah fired cleric: King Abdullah fired Sheikh Sa'ad al-Shethry, a conservative cleric, from the Council of Senior Ulema after he criticized a policy of the newly opened King Abdullah University of Science and Technology. The university allows men and women to attend classes together. In every other aspect of Saudia Arabian life, women are very severely restricted when they are not in their homes. They cannot travel freely and are not allowed to drive vehicles. 7

Earlier, Sheikh Saad al-Shithri, a member of a panel of top scholars, is quoted as saying:

"The recommendation is to set up Sharia committees at this university to oversee these studies and look into what violates the Sharia (Islamic law). We are looking at some of the sciences that have included some irregular and alien ideologies, like evolution and such other ideologies."

Religious tolerance appears t be one of the banned ideologies. Alone among the nations of the world, citizens of Saudi Arabia are not allowed to access this website.

bullet2009-OCT-?: NC: Pastor to burn Bibles: Pastor Marc Grizzard of the Amazing Grace Baptist Church in Canton NC is planning to build a bonfire on Halloween to destroy Bible translations other than the King James Version. He said: "What we're doing is we're burning books that are satanic. I believe the King James version is God's preserve, inspired, in erect, infallible word of God." We suspect that "in erect" is a typo and should be "inerrant." He said:

"What we're doing is we're burning books that are satanic. I believe the King James version is God's preserve, inspired, in erect, infallible word of God."

He also said that Billy Graham, Rick Warren, and other Christian leaders are heretics whose books belong should join the Bible in the flames. 2 I can only imagine what he would like to do to this website ... or its main author.

bullet2009-OCT-11: USA: Survivor of terrorist attack becomes a Muslim: Dennis O'Brien is a Roman Catholic and the head of the education committee of St. Anthony's Catholic Church in Wilmington DE. He was injured, but survived, the terrorist attack in Mumbai, India during 2008-NOV. He wanted to understand what motivated the radical fundamentalist Muslim terrorists, and so studied their religion. He decided that the gunmen were not following the religion of Islam. On OCT-11 he recited the declaration: "There is only one God and the Prophet Muhammad is his last messenger." By this act, he became a Muslim. 3
bullet2009-OCT-15: Canada: Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) begins work: Governor General Michaelle Jean led the first meeting of the TRC to study what the Anglican Church says is "the dark legacy of the Indian residential schools in Canada." These schools were funded by the federal government and run by Christian denominations in an attempt to destroy Native culture. Physical and sexual abuse was rampant. 6
bullet2009-OCT-16: LA: No marriage license for interracial couple: Keith Bardwell, a Justice of the Peace in Tangipohoa Parish believes that most interracial marriages do not last long. He is also concerned about children of mixed-race parents, because he feels that they are not accepted by either white or black society. Thus, he has a policy of refusing to issue marriage licenses to interracial couples. In the few years that he has been a Justice of the Peace, he has refused to marry about four couples. He said:

"I'm not a racist. I just don't believe in mixing the races that way. I have piles and piles of black friends. They come to my home, I marry them, they use my bathroom. I treat them just like everyone else."

Beth Humphrey, 30, and Terence McKay, 32 of Hammond, LA are the latest couple to be refused a license. They are planning to consult the U.S. Justice Department about filing a discrimination complaint. Humphrey plans to pursue a masters degree in minority politics at the University of New Orleans. I suspect that she already has a head start on her education. 4

bullet2009-OCT-15: USA: Elizabeth Clare Prophet died: She was the spiritual leader of the Church Universal and Triumphant and prophesized a nuclear version of Armageddon. She taught beliefs from many of the world's major religions, mysticism, and New Age channeling. She retired from active leadership in 1999, and had suffered from Alzheimer's Disease in recent years. The church was still prepared for Armageddon in recent years and kept a bomb shelter stocked for 750 people deep in a forest near Yellowstone National Park. 5

2009-OCT-22: Federal hate crime bill passes Congress: After a decade-long year battle, the bill has passed the federal House and Senate on 2009-OCT-22. President Obama has vowed to sign it into law by the end of the month. It will protect every person in the U.S. from being the victim of a hate crime in eight separate ways, on the basis of their:







National origin,


Gender, whether female, male or intersexual,




Sexual orientation, whether they be bisexual, homosexual, or heterosexual, and


Gender identity, whether they be transgender or cis-gendered

This bill has generated enormous controversy in the religious community. Fundamentalist and other evangelical Christian news sources have been describing this as a pro-homosexual bill, even though it protects heterosexuals, bisexuals, and homosexuals equally, along with women, men, transgender people, disabled persons, etc.

More details

bullet2009-OCT-26: North America: The latest episode of HBO's "Curb Your Enthusiasm" comedy involved a health problem that star Larry David experienced while urinating. He splashed urine on a picture of Jesus that was hanging on the bathroom wall. It appeared as if Jesus was crying. David's assistant believes that Jesus is actually crying. She and her mother plan to take the painting across the country and place it on display. Deal Hudson, author and publisher of InsideCatholic.com, was not amused. He said:

"Somebody should (apologize) ," he said. "When is it going to stop? When is common sense going to dictate that people realize this willingness of artists to do to Christianity what they would never do to Judaism or Islam?" 10

bullet2009-OCT-28: France: The Church of Scientology was convicted of fraud in France: The Paris Correctional Court found six leading Scientologists guilty of fraud. They were found guilty of extorting money from what the court called "vulnerable" people who were followers or employees of the Church. lain Rosenberg, the Scientology leader in France,and five others were given a two-year suspended jail sentence and fined up to € 30,000.

Complaints were filed in the late 1990s by two former church members who said that they had been cheated out of money. She said that she had given € 21,000 to the group and asked that it be returned after she left the group. Scientology allegedly refused. A second women, an employee of Scientology, said that she was fired after refusing to take classes given by the church.

The Celebrity Center and Bookshop -- Scientology's headquarters -- was fined US $890,000. Prosecutors had asked that the be shut down completely. However, this was found to be beyond the court's authority. The French branch announced it would appeal the ruling.

This is the first time that the Church of Scientology's fund raising methods have been condemned by a court anywhere in the world. 8,9
bullet 2009-OCT-29: World: The Internet reaches middle-aged. Web addresses go multilingual: The Internet turns 40 years-of-age today. It started as a result of a computer experiment for sharing data among scientific researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles. On OCT-30, the board of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (Icann) voted to allow Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, and Korean characters throughout the entire Internet address. Previously, domain names have been limited to numerals 0 through 9, the 26 characters (A to Z) of the Latin alphabet, and the hyphen. 11

References used:

The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.

  1. "Texas televangelist Benny Hinn refused entry to Britain," Times Online, 2009-OCT-03, at: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/
  2. "North Carolina pastor burning versions of the Bible he doesn't agree with," WTKR news channel, undated, at: http://www.wtkr.com/
  3. "Mumbai terror survivor embraces Islam," MakeHeadline Blog, 2009-OCT-11, at: http://makeheadline.blogspot.com/
  4. Mary Foster, "Louisiana Justice of the Peace refuses to issue marriage license to interracial couple," Associated Press, 2009-OCT-16, at: http://www.wtkr.com/
  5. "Leader of sect that predicted nuclear Armageddon dies at 70," Associated Press, 2009-OCT-16, at: http://www.star-telegram.com/
  6. Marites Sison, "Truth and Reconciliation Commission gathers momentum at Rideau Hall," Anglican Journal, 2009-OCT-16, at: http://www.anglicanjournal.com/
  7. "Saudi cleric sacked after attacking university mixing," Dawn Media Group, 2009-OCT-05, at: http://www.dawn.com/
  8. Peter Allen, "Church of Scientology convicted of fraud in France," Mail Online world news, 2009-OCT-28, at: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/
  9. Max Colchester, "Paris Scientology Center Is Found Guilty of Fraud ," Wall Street Journal, 2009-OCT-28, at: http://online.wsj.com/
  10. "Offensive Curb your Enthusiasm gag draws criticism," CitizenLinke.com, 2009-OCT-29, at: http://www.citizenlink.org/
  11. "Web addresses go multilingual," Al Jazeera, 2009-OCT-30, at: http://english.aljazeera.net/

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Copyright © 2009 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Originally written: 2009-OCT-03
Latest update: 2009-NOV-01
Author: B.A. Robinson

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