ReligionNewsBlog.com, Sep. 19, 2003
» [Religion, General] Religion Helps Shape Wealth of Americans, Study Finds
A new national study shows that religious affiliation plays a powerful role in
how much wealth Americans accumulate, with Jews amassing the most wealth and
conservative Protestants the least. Mainline Protestants and Catholics fall in
between and are about average with the rest of the population in terms of
» [Order of the Solar Temple] French sect deaths relative speaks of new
evidence, slams judicial inaction
[Presenter] We have a very moving account, as you will hear, from Alain Vuarnet,
whose brother and mother were among the victims of the Order of the Solar Temple
[who died in the Vercors mountains, in the Isere department of eastern France in
a reported sect group suicide in December 1995]. [On 22nd September one of the
alleged Solar Temple leaders is due to appear in court in Grenoble for an appeal
» [City of Youth] Illinois to remove children from troubled church-run home
Illinois will remove all children from a church-run home for troubled youth that
has been under scrutiny for its handling of a suicide and two alleged sexual
assaults, state officials said Friday. About 130 children at Maryville
Academy's City of Youth residential center in suburban Des Plaines will be moved
to other Illinois facilities within 90 days, officials said.
» [House of Prayer] KKK, Black Church May Become Unlikely Allies
A dispute over the Ten Commandments could bring together some unlikely allies --
a Ku Klux Klan group and a predominantly black church. Joseph Harper, who
describes himself as the imperial wizard of the American White Knights of the Ku
Klux Klan, has invited members of Atlanta's House of Prayer to a Saturday rally
protesting a lawsuit by the American Civil Liberties Union.
» [Hate Groups] Klan Sect Delays Commandments Rally
The head of a Ku Klux Klan splinter group has postponed a Saturday rally in
support of keeping a copy of the Ten Commandments hanging in the Barrow County
courthouse. Joseph J. Harper of Cordele, the self-described imperial wizard of
the American White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, said he decided to push the
rally back to Sept. 27 after his wife became ill.
» [Neil and Christy Edgar] Father told police he tied, gagged son before child
Neil Edgar Sr. told detectives that he alone was responsible for tying and
gagging his son, Brian, the night before the boy died. [...] Edgar's attorney,
Carl Cornwell, told jurors on Thursday that Edgar's taped statement to police
was a lie. Cornwell said that Edgar falsely took the blame to protect his
» [Buddhism] Dalai Lama, the ascetic superstar
The Dalai Lama has also always drawn a small subculture of devotees in the
United States, but the huge turnouts on this trip are testimony to the growing
American fascination with Buddhist practices and the search for genuine
spiritual heroes who profess nonviolence in an era of religious strife and
» [Lyndon LaRouche] Police used cult website to link Zaoui to terrorists -
Police are under attack for relying on the cult website of a convicted fraudster
which links asylum seeker Ahmed Zaoui with a terrorist group. The Security
Intelligence Service has already come under fire for using unsubstantiated
internet reports to gather information about the Algerian. [...] The website is
that of an elderly failed American presidential candidate, Lyndon LaRouche, who
is also a convicted fraudster who has stood for President in elections since
» [Amina Lawal] Anger over adultery stoning case
Pressure is mounting on the Nigerian government to spare the life of a Muslim
woman condemned to death by stoning for adultery. An Islamic court in the
northern Nigerian city of Katsina will next week rule on whether to acquit
31-year-old single mother Amina Lawal on charges of adultery, or uphold the
sentence of death by stoning.
» [Satanic and/or ritual abuse] Sex case likened to witch trials
The Saskatoon Crown prosecutor first handed the Klassen sex abuse file more than
a decade ago compared the children's claims to the complaints made during the
Salem witchcraft trials. "I was completely floored when I read the documents,"
prosecutor Terry Hinz testified Thursday at the malicious prosecution lawsuit
filed by 12 people charged with ritual abuse of several foster children. "It
made me feel I was transported back into the 17th century reading about the
Salem witchcraft complaints."
» [Kenneth Hagin Sr.] Rev. Kenneth E. Hagin, founder of international ministries
The Rev. Kenneth E. Hagin, who started preaching at age 17 and grew his
congregation into an international ministry, died Friday morning at age 86.
» [Kenneth Hagin Sr.] Founder of Rhema Bible Institute, Rev Kenneth Hagin dies
The Reverend Kenneth Hagin, the founder of Kenneth Hagin Ministries has died. In
a news release, we are told Reverend Hagin passed away at seven o'clock this
morning in a Tulsa hospital.
» [Hate Groups] White supremacist fliers left on doors
Despite the message on the leaflets, Police Chief Steven Carl said the National
Alliance broke no laws by distributing them. "It's the same as if you went to a
store and came out and found fliers on your windshield," said Carl. "They're a
white supremacist group that believes the world should be pure white and have no
diversity. They are considered domestic terrorists, the same as the (Ku Klux)
Klan or any of those neo-Nazi groups."
» [Witchcraft] Residents attack Jamaican police station
A mob blocked roads and threw stones at a rural Jamaican police station,
demanding authorities turn over a woman accused of practicing witchcraft on
college students, authorities said Thursday.
» [Hate Groups] Neo-Nazi group targets Phoenix area with leaflets
A national Nazi group is targeting the Phoenix area as part of a national
recruiting campaign coinciding with the anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001,
terrorist attacks. This past weekend, The National Alliance, a White
supremacist group based in Hillsboro, W. Va., left leaflets modeled after
missing-children's advertisements on the driveways of homes in the Moon Valley
section of north Phoenix.
» [Cloning] Scientist 'close to cloning baby'
The first cloned baby will be implanted before the end of the year, according to
a leading scientist. The claim was made by controversial cloning expert Dr
Panayiotis Zavos, who said he had already created and frozen the embryo that
will be used.
» [Kenneth Hagin Sr.] Rhema founder is hospitalized
The Rev. Kenneth E. Hagin, founder of Rhema Bible Training Center in Broken
Arrow, was in the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit of a Tulsa hospital Monday after
collapsing at home Sunday afternoon.
» [Kenneth Hagin Sr.] Kenneth Hagin Sr. in a Tulsa hospital
The founder of Rhema Bible Church and Training Center in Broken Arrow became
seriously ill over the weekend.
» [Ruben Ecleo] Witness testifies she saw Ecleo in Dalaguete with black bag
The so-called surprise witness of the prosecution in the parricide case against
cult leader Ruben Ecleo Jr., wearing a pair of dark glasses, testified yesterday
she saw Ecleo and his bodyguard in Dalaguete with a black plastic bag.
» [Islamism] U.S. links Toronto group to bin Laden
A Muslim youth organization that American counter-terrorism officials say was
founded by Osama bin Laden's nephew has been operating in the Toronto area, the
National Post has learned. The World Assembly of Muslim Youth (WAMY),
established in the United States by Abdullah bin Laden, publishes literature
promoting Islamic jihad and hatred of Jews, according to a senior investigator.
» [Islam] Islamic veil school ban splits ministers
The issue of whether France should ban the wearing of Islamic veils and other
religious symbols in its schools revealed differences within the government
Tuesday when a commission on secularity questioned three ministers.
» [Homosexuality] Homosexuals to be covered by anti-hate legislation
A bill to include sexual orientation in Canada's hate-propaganda law was passed
in the House of Commons yesterday by a 141-110 margin. Bill C-250, sponsored by
gay New Democratic Party MP Svend Robinson, has been described by some Alliance
MPs and religious groups as a "fascist" measure that could criminalize anyone
for reading quotes on homosexuality from the Bible or the Koran.
» [Islam] Muslim author urges reform
"The Trouble with Islam: A Wake-up call for Honesty and Change" is beyond
controversial. It may ignite a firestorm of protest. [...] Manji is a practising
Muslim who observes the month-long fast at Ramadan and prays daily, though no
longer in the proscribed times and style mandated by the faith. "When it becomes
rote, a ritual, it easily translates into submissiveness. Discipline is one
thing, but when it becomes mindless am I truly conscious of communicating with
my Creator?" she writes.
» [Neil and Christy Edgar] Kansas woman pleads guilty in adopted son's death
A woman unexpectedly pleaded guilty to murder and child abuse Thursday just as
her trial was beginning in the death of her adopted son, who suffocated after he
was bound in duct tape. Christy Edgar's husband, Neil Edgar Sr., 47, and the
family's baby sitter, Chasity Boyd, 19, remain on trial on first-degree murder
and child abuse charges.
» [Neil and Christy Edgar] Christy Edgar pleads guilty to murder, child abuse
Moments before testimony was set to begin this morning, church evangelist
Christy Edgar pleaded guilty to killing her son and abusing two other children.
Attorneys had just completed opening statements to the jury in the trial of
Edgar; her husband, Neil Edgar Sr.; and family babysitter Chasity Boyd when
Christy Edgar's lawyer Bob Thomas told the judge that she wished to change her
pleas and plead guilty to first-degree murder and two counts of child abuse.
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