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Religion News Blog, Feb. 27 - 28, 2003

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  • Anton Hein
    February 28, 2003 [House of Prayer] Church members face new legal bind http://www.religionnewsblog.com/archives/00002520.html ... Arrest warrants have been
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 28, 2003
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      February 28, 2003

      [House of Prayer] Church members face new legal bind
      :===Begin Quote===
      Arrest warrants have been issued for the pastor of the House of Prayer
      and two members of his congregation, their attorney said Thursday.

      Probation officers allege that the Rev. Arthur Allen Jr. and church
      members David and Sharon Duncan violated terms of their probation,
      lawyer Manny Arora said.
      :===End Quote===

      [Branch Davidians] Pain still fresh for survivors of Branch Davidian
      :===Begin Quote===
      Some of the Branch Davidians imprisoned on siege-related charges
      continue the movement from behind bars, backed by free-world Web
      pages, Goins said.

      "Livingstone Fagan has been writing along the lines of what David was
      about from a higher religious perspective. Renos Avraam, another
      survivor out of the fire, believes that he has been anointed or has a
      calling. He's written extensively and he has a minor following,
      probably bigger than our following," Goins said.

      Collectively, the survivors' fragmented efforts have given the sect an
      "Internet afterlife," according to religious scholars.
      :===End Quote===

      [Raelians] Cult of freedom
      :===Begin Quote===
      "After the worst coverage of us, the most garbage-filled, there are
      still people who say, 'hold on,' and buy the book and join us," says
      the sect's founder, Raël, a former auto racing journalist and
      chansonnier once known as Claude Vorilhon.

      But the media circus surrounding the cult's cloning claims has focused
      on the freakish nature of Raëlianism and overshadowed the fact that it
      is an intriguing, nascent religion.

      Susan Palmer, who teaches religion at Concordia University and Dawson
      College in Montreal, defines a cult as "a baby religion that is just
      not toilet-trained, that is still throwing up on people's carpets" and
      adds, "Anyone who knows anything about religion knows they all started
      out as cults."
      :===End Quote===

      [Falun Gong] Falun Gong internees get student help

      [Polygamy] Utah House Ups Underage Polygamy Penalty
      :===Begin Quote===
      The Utah Legislature is debating whether to increase the penalties for
      married men who wed underage girls, an attempt to protect teens from
      being married into polygamist relationships.

      A bill overwhelmingly approved by the House on Tuesday makes marrying
      a second wife who is under the age of 18 a second-degree felony,
      punishable by up to 15 years in prison.
      :===End Quote===

      [Polygamy] Young Brides Stir New Outcry on Utah Polygamy
      :===Begin Quote===
      Polygamists and their supporters are opposing the proposal as
      religious persecution and are arguing that the problem is being
      overblown. Rod Parker, a Salt Lake City lawyer who represents the
      Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the
      adjoining towns of Hildale, Utah, and Colorado City, Ariz., said
      stories of young teenagers being forced into marriage were
      :===End Quote===

      [Islamism] 5 Tied to Islamic Charity Indicted in N.Y., Idaho

      [Islamism] Musicians bewail religious crackdown
      :===Begin Quote===
      Traditional Pashtun musicians like Gul are feeling increasingly
      unwelcome in this Pakistani frontier town since a coalition of
      Taliban-like religious groups won control of the provincial government
      late last year, promising to impose Islamic law and crack down on
      :===End Quote===

      [Religious Intolerance] Cambodia bans Christian proselytizing
      :===Begin Quote===
      "Christians are not allowed to proselytize (at) citizens' houses by
      knocking on doors or waiting for them, saying 'the Lord is coming,'
      which is an interruption of daily life or may intrude on privacy in
      the community," it added.
      :===End Quote===

      [Islamism] Lying about Islam
      :===Begin Quote===
      Americans have a lot to learn about Islam - even in the aftermath of
      the horrors of 9/11. While the atrocities of that day provided a
      wake-up call about terrorism, our political and media elites continue
      to show us that they haven't done their homework on the religious
      background of al Qaeda - and are likely not to.

      An exceptionally irritating example of this came to light when a USA
      Today "Q&A on Islam and Arab Americans" appeared as a mass mailing
      around the country. Although the flier bore the USA Today logo, a call
      to the newspaper elicited the claim that the logo was used without its
      permission, even though the content of the flyer appeared on the
      paper's Web site.

      But the leaflet was sent out by the "International Institute of
      Islamic Thought" (IIIT) in Herndon, Va., one of a group of Muslim
      organizations raided by federal authorities in an antiterrorism
      investigation last year.

      IIIT advocates for the Wahhabi sect of Islam, the most extreme,
      separatist and violent trend in the faith of Mohammed. Wahhabism is
      the official religion in Saudi Arabia. Saudi oil royalties are spent
      to spread Wahhabism throughout the world - including right here in
      :===End Quote===

      [Human Rights Violations, USA] Group Asks Vatican to Condemn
      :===Begin Quote===
      A U.S. group that seeks to halt the death penalty and life sentences
      for juveniles took its cause to Pope John Paul II on Wednesday,
      seeking a Vatican declaration that condemns the prosecution of
      children as adults.
      :===End Quote===

      [Rowan Williams] Anglicans enthrone controversial new leader

      [Soka Gakkai] Soka's start hasn't been textbook
      :===Begin Quote===
      One quarter of Soka University's original 20 faculty members have left
      or will leave by June as the university founded by a Buddhist sect
      struggles to balance its religious legacy with a mission to provide an
      open, nonsectarian environment.

      The 103-acre campus opened in August 2001 and was touted as an
      innovative liberal-arts university where peace and human rights would
      be emphasized and professors and students would participate in course
      development, hiring and budgets.

      But those promises haven't been kept, several professors and students
      said. Instead, they said, most decisions are made by an administration
      composed entirely of Soka Gakkai Buddhists. And some non-Soka Gakkai
      professors and students said they are uncomfortable questioning those
      :===End Quote===

      [Hate Groups] Convict charged with plotting to kill judge
      :===Begin Quote===
      A man in prison for a 1994 El Paso murder is scheduled to stand trial
      Tuesday for allegedly plotting to kill the federal judge who presided
      over the Oklahoma City bombing trials.
      :===End Quote===

      [Samaritan Foundation] Williams arrested as accessory to filmmaker's
      :===Begin Quote===
      Police arrested a woman Thursday and charged her with being an
      accessory to the murder of filmmaker Allen Ross in 1995.

      Ross had been missing since November 1995, seven months after he moved
      to Cheyenne with Williams and his common-law wife, Linda Greene, from
      Guthrie, Okla. The three and others belonged to a religious sect
      called the Samaritan Foundation.
      :===End Quote===

      [Branch Davidians] Survivors mark 10-year anniversary of raid on
      Branch Davidians
      A decade later, among the survivors' lingering questions is why the
      ATF raided the compound instead of arresting Koresh during his jogs or
      trips into town. And why couldn't the ATF, with an undercover agent
      inside the compound until shortly before the raid, have planned better
      to prevent such an outcome?

      Because of pending lawsuits, the ATF won't comment on the raid and the
      standoff's fiery end, said agency spokesman Andrew Lluberes.
      :===End Quote===

      February 27, 2003
      [Branch Davidians] Ten years later, Davidian raid has taught lessons
      :===Begin Quote===
      "I don't think it should be forgotten," said Mr. Doyle, one of the
      last of the Branch Davidians. Like many involved in the standoff –
      including law officers – he says it serves as a warning about the
      dangers of a faceless government.

      Paying greater heed to local law officers and building bonds with
      members of fringe groups are key to avoiding another tragedy, they

      Because of the lessons of Waco, "going against Americans with guns is
      the final resort," says retired FBI behavioral expert and Waco
      negotiator Clint Van Zandt.
      :===End Quote===

      [Deepak Chopra] Guru would join Pope in front of bombs
      :===Begin Quote===
      Deepak Chopra, the doctor who is bringing his brand of East-meets-West
      philosophy to Memphis, proposed Wednesday that the Pope, the Dalai
      Lama and himself serve as human shields to avoid bombing in Iraq and
      to rid the world of Saddam Hussein.

      The human shield movement is a growing phenomenon with Iraq welcoming
      volunteers and putting them up in a dormlike facility in a Baghdad
      hotel. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has warned that those serving
      as human shields in Iraq will be treated as war criminals. As of last
      week, more than 130 volunteers, including about 18 Americans, had
      arrived in Baghdad to act as shields - some at specific sites such as
      the Baghdad South Power Plant.
      :===End Quote===

      [Witchcraft] Soaring Teenage Fascination with Witchcraft is Rooted in
      Glamour and Girl Power
      :===Begin Quote===
      The first issue of Sabrina’s Secrets, a magazine spin-off from popular
      TV programme Sabrina the Teenage Witch has just hit the UK high
      street, confirming after 2,000 years of bad publicity, witches have
      been transformed into alluring symbols of female power. A recent study
      by Rachel Moseley, researcher at the University of Warwick, reveals
      that witches are no longer seen by young girls as dark-arts-practicing
      evil crones best drowned or burnt, but magical sorcerers with more
      glamour and girl power than Miss Dynamite.
      :===End Quote===

      [Witchcraft] TV witchcraft casting a spell on teenage girls

      February 26, 2003 (Continued)

      [AUM Shinrikyo] Trial of Aum founder Asahara heading for end
      :===Begin Quote===
      Prosecutors may present the closing statement in late April in the
      trial of Aum Shinrikyo founder Shoko Asahara for murder and other
      charges including those related to the 1995 Tokyo subway sarin gas
      attack, legal sources said Wednesday.
      :===End Quote===

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