ReligionNewsBlog.com, Oct. 19, 2005
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Mormon Church: Mormons Rising In Government, Business, Schools
The church is often described as the fastest-growing in America and,
sometimes, the world. A graphic that accompanied the recent Newsweek
story showed the Mormons posting 1.71% growth in America last year,
outpacing Roman Catholic congregations, which reportedly grew at 1.28%.
Some critics have questioned the Mormon church's membership claims.
"They are pretty notorious about not explaining what exactly it means
to be a member," a Colorado actuary who prepared a 2002 study of the
church's statistics, Roger Loomis, said. "The growth rate of the
church is slowing down. It's incapable of growing exponentially.
They've been working harder and harder to get fewer converts each
year," Mr. Loomis, who quit the Mormon church more than a decade ago,
Hmong Hmong: Family awarded more than $40,000 in suit vs Fresno
A Hmong family was awarded more than $40,000 Tuesday in a suit
charging a local cemetery with burying their matriarch in a grave that
already contained someone else's bones a repulsive finding family
members said was an affront to their religious beliefs.
Scientology: Hazelwood schools reject firm with ties to Scientology
The tutoring company, Applied Scholastics International, has made
numerous overtures to the school district, Hazelwood superintendent
Chris Wright said.
"We are not interested in your services, not willing to participate in
your training programs, do not want your materials, and will not enter
into any association with Applied Scholastics," Wright wrote earlier
this month. Her comments were in a letter to Bennetta Slaughter, chief
executive officer of Applied Scholastics.
Applied Scholastics is one of 68 tutors on a state list of approved
supplemental educational service providers in Missouri. Mary Adams,
senior vice president for external affairs for Applied Scholastics,
said the company was not faith-based but was based on methods
developed by the late L. Ron Hubbard, the developer of the religious
philosophy of Scientology.
Lord's Resistance Army: Peace talks may yet be possible with Uganda cult
Peace talks with brutal Uganda guerrillas to end 19 years of civil war
may yet be possible despite international arrest warrants against
their leaders, the mediator between the government and the rebels said
Rick Joyner: Jim Bakker may return to Fort Mill for special visit
The old home of Jim Bakker's ministry in Fort Mill was once considered
the third largest attraction in the country. But for more than a
decade the 2,200 acre site sat under cobwebs, destroyed by vagrants.
The old Praise the Lord, or PTL, has been renovated under its new
owners. Rick Joyner is proud of his diamond in the rough.
Main Street will return to life with shops, restaurants and a grand
ballroom, everything Jim Bakker and Tammy Faye hoped it would be back
in the 80s, before a felony conviction changed everything.
"We would like to have him back as a guest speaker at a conference,"
Joyner said. "The true story of Christianity is redemption and that it
doesn't matter how bad you failed there's hope."
Scientology: Spoof site faces religious lawsuit
A New Zealand website spoofing Hollywood actor Tom Cruise and his
religion of choice is facing legal action from the Church of Scientology.
The church is not amused by scienTOMogy - which features spoof videos
of the star - and says it is breaching copyright.
When Cruise engaged in some sofa stomping, he coined a new phrase
called jumping the couch - the defining moment when someone has gone
of the deep end.
From that moment Glen Stollery has been chronicling Cruise's crusade
to promote the Scientology Church.
The church is not amused however and says the website name is too
similar to its own.
Scientology: Mock them using another name
The scienTOMogy.info website has posted an exchange with Moxon &
Kobrin lawyer Ava M. Paquette, which began in September, in which
Paquette warned that the Church of Scientology owns the trademark to
the word Scientology.
The letter isn't the first time Scientology lawyers have claimed that
websites had violated its trademark. San Francisco anti-Scientology
activist Kristi Wachter received a similar letter from Kobrin four
years ago after she registered the domain name
Wachter said Tuesday that, after an exchange of letters, the
Scientology lawyers appeared to drop the issue. But a few weeks ago,
she said, her Web host was forced to temporarily remove more than 600
pages from her site after Scientology lawyers accused her of copyright
infringement under the Digital Millennium Act. When no formal legal
challenge was filed after four weeks, the pages were restored.
Mungiki: Violent youth cult alarms Kenya's government
Mere mention of the Mungiki, a shadowy and secretive religious sect
with alleged historical ties to the Mau Mau uprising in the 1950s,
evokes fear in many Kenyans who see it as a mafia-like criminal
enterprise intent on fomenting chaos.
As the East African nation approaches a bitterly disputed referendum
on a new constitution next month, Mungiki activities - believed to
include ritual killings, carjackings and extortion - have come under
Order of Saint Charbel: Cult falls apart
The walls appear to be falling in on William Kamm's Order of St
Charbel, with former followers leaving the West Cambewarra community
in droves, while others have gone into hiding.
Kamm, known to followers as The Little Pebble, was jailed on Friday
for a minimum of three and a half years after being convicted of four
counts of aggravated indecent assault, and one of aggravated sexual
assault, of a 15-year-old follower.
Science and Religion: Witness says design claim isn't founded on faith
The concept of "intelligent design" relies not on religious belief but
on the powers of observation, a leading proponent testified Tuesday in
a trial over the concept's place in public schools.
"Intelligent design requires no tenet of any specific religion,"
Lehigh University biochemistry professor Michael Behe said. "It does
not rely on religious texts, messages from religious leaders or any
Instead, Behe testified, it comes from making observations of nature,
and concluding that the natural world was designed and didn't
Transcendental Meditation Indian guru who taught the Beatles sets
sights on Canada
The spiritual guru who taught the Beatles the art of transcendental
meditation is planning an international peace palace on two islands
off Nova Scotia, where followers will practice yogic flying to promote
Supporters of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, the India-born spiritual leader
whose teachings also inspired the Natural Law Party in Canada's 1993
federal election, dedicated the two islands in a ceremony last week.
Offbeat News ET lives . . . and he's Christian
There is probably intelligent life elsewhere in the Universe, and
there is evidence in the Bible to suggest that it could be Christian,
according to the Roman Catholic Church.
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