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We also have a list of religious intolerance news items for this month.  Sad to say, these are usually much longer lists.

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2000-DEC-9: Ohio: Interfaith Council welcomes Pagan observer: The Akron Area Interfaith Council was created in 1981 "for Christians to reach out to those of other faiths and coordinate an ecumenical response to social, moral, ethical and cultural issues affecting the community. The mission has grown to include promoting the freedom of religion, equality and tolerance." They currently have 15 Christians, 7 Jews and one each from the Baha'i, Muslim and Unitarian Universalist communities. They had a mind-expanding experience recently, when Crow Welch, a Pagan Priestess from the Church of the Spiral Oak asked to join their group as an observer. Rev. Nancy Arnold, council president and pastor of the Unitarian Universalist Church in Akron said: "At first, some members expressed a concern based on religious grounds, but the discussion ended with us deciding to invite her to attend to get to know more about her group...'' Ms. Welch had to explain to the group that her community does not worship Satan. Jon Dainty, the Council's executive director, said he believes that Witch Welch has a place at the table: "As edgy and itchy as sometimes her presence makes me and others, I think we need to have as many opinions at the table as possible. After all, we are an interfaith group, and because she doesn't espouse any of the beliefs that are already at the table, that shouldn't exclude her from membership.'' 11


2000-DEC-15: Greece: Minority faith groups win court case: According to ReligionToday: 4
After a three year battle, 11 Evangelical Christian pastors have been acquitted of operating religious groups. In Greece, minority religious groups can only function if they first obtain an operating license; licenses are only granted by Greek Orthodox bishops. The pastors had operated without a license. In Greece, proselytizing is illegal unless it is an attempt to convert a person to Greek Orthodoxy.


2000-DEC-19: Germany: High court defends rights of religious minorities: According to the Jehovah's Witnesses Public Affairs Office: 12
"Berlin's Federal Administrative Court...denied Jehovah's Witnesses status as a corporation of Public Law because of alleged insufficient loyalty to the state. This lower court based its decision on the Witnesses' nonparticipation in political elections." On DEC-19, the Federal Constitutional Court of Germany overturned that ruling. They determined "that a religion may not be denied the status of a corporation under Public Law based on a test of loyalty to the state." This is a major development which should lead to increased freedom of religion in Germany; it might also influence policies in the rest of Europe.


2000-DEC-25: British Commonwealth: Queen's Christmas broadcast has religious theme: According to CBC News:
Queen Elizabeth focused on religion during her annual Christmas broadcast. She recommended that her listeners let themselves be inspired by Jesus "simple but powerful teaching: love God, and love thy neighbor as thyself. In other words, treat others as you would like them to treat you." Although she is the head of the Church of England, she did not restrict herself to comments on Christianity. She said: "Whether we believe in God or not, I think most of us have a sense of the spiritual, that recognition of a deeper meaning and purpose in our lives, and I believe this sense flourishes despite the pressures of the world...The Bible, the Koran and the sacred texts of the Jews and Hindus, Buddhists and Sikhs, are all sources of divine inspiration and practical guidance down through the generations.

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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. Colette M. Jenkins, "Not just a question of faith, but interfaith," Beacon Journal, Akron OH, 2000-DEC-9. 
  12. "German high court defends rights of religious minorities," at: 

Copyright 2000 
Originally written: 2000-DEC-1 
Latest update: 2000-DEC-26 
Compiler: B.A. Robinson

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