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Religion News Blog, Mar. 5, 2003

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  • Anton Hein
    Religion News Blog, March 5, 2003 [Human Rights Violations, Islam] Man tells of flogging - 250 lashes down, 50 to go
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 5, 2003
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      Religion News Blog, March 5, 2003

      [Human Rights Violations, Islam] Man tells of flogging - 250 lashes
      down, 50 to go
      :===Begin Quote===
      Two hundred and fifty lashes down, 50 to go, was how Melbourne man
      Robert Thomas last night described his ordeal of imprisonment and
      flogging in a Saudi Arabian jail for a crime he says he did not

      Before they took Mr Thomas to be beaten, she says prison staff and
      fellow inmates gave him a chance to lessen the pain by converting to
      Islam. He refused the offer.

      He said he had no a lawyer at trial. The punishment is in accordance
      with sharia, the Islamic legal code derived from the Koran.
      :===End Quote===

      [Palo Mayombe] Woman accused of heading cult, stealing bodies
      :===Begin Quote===
      Some of the remains were taken to a religious store in Newark, where
      they were used in religious ceremonies, police said.

      Mirabel was a priestess in the Palo Mayombe cult, which originated
      among West African slaves.
      :===End Quote===

      [Sikhism] Sikh sues NYPD for religious discrimination
      :===Begin Quote===
      A Sikh-American has sued the New York Police Department for alleged
      religious discrimination, saying it fired him for refusing to remove
      his turban and trim his beard.

      Amric Singh Rathour, along with the Sikh Coalition, have filed a
      federal lawsuit charging the NYPD with religious discrimination and
      challenging its "no turban policy".
      :===End Quote===

      [Anthony Fernwalt] FBI Agents Search Home Of Carroll County Religious
      :===Begin Quote===
      About 11 years ago, Fernwalt gained attention after he claimed to have
      received messages from the Virgin Mary and started selling holy water
      from his home.
      :===End Quote===

      [Christianity] Movement prospering under government control
      :===Begin Quote===
      The prospects of some freedoms and more people seeking faith after
      hard times brought on by the collapse of the former Soviet Bloc sowed
      the beginnings of la Iglesia de las Casas or the Church of the Homes.

      "We don't have the possibility to build new churches," Otero said.
      "It's the only way churches can grow in Cuba."

      While there is tolerance from Castro's regime, the church movement is
      part underground and part regulated. Government rules prohibit a limit
      of 25 people from worshipping at a home has helped the movement
      spread, said Hedgepeth, who visited the island in October.
      :===End Quote===

      [Islam] Remarks on Muslims arouse ire
      :===Begin Quote===
      When state lawmaker Lois McMahan chose to not participate in a Muslim
      prayer at the House of Representatives in Olympia, it was, the
      Republican says, for private reasons.

      Now her personal protest has become a public spectacle.
      :===End Quote===

      [Vampirism] 'Vampire cult' killer asks for new trial
      :===Begin Quote===
      If his lawyers had sketched out a plan to tell the jury about his
      mental defects and the hallucinogenic drugs he had taken, maybe
      "vampire cult" leader Roderick Ferrell wouldn't be in prison for life
      for the deaths of Richard and Ruth Wendorf.

      That's what Ferrell is arguing in a motion that claims his lawyers
      didn't prepare an adequate defense for him. He also says they coerced
      him to plead guilty to a murder charge by providing him with
      :===End Quote===

      [Hate Groups] World church leader complains about printer
      :===Begin Quote===
      According to Kroenke, a woman at the print shop quoted him a price
      after examining the original, but after she found out who Kroenke was,
      she told Heckart about the customer. He said Heckart refused to take
      the order.

      Kroenke said he told Heckart that refusing to provide service on the
      basis of religious discrimination could violate the Civil Rights Act
      and be grounds for legal action.

      Tim Thorson, executive director of the Riverton Chamber of Commerce,
      said he is proud of Heckart's stance toward Kroenke.

      ''Discriminating on the basis of religious faith is wrong, but telling
      a member of a terrorist organization to leave your business makes all
      the sense in the world,'' he said.
      :===End Quote===

      [Religion Trends] Poll finds growing acceptance of multiple religious
      beliefs among Christians
      :===Begin Quote===
      A new Harris poll indicates that while the majority of Americans say
      they believe the basic concepts of the Bible, there's also a growing
      acceptance of other religious beliefs -- even among those who call
      themselves Christian.
      :===End Quote===

      [Hate Groups : Scientology] The art of Scientology
      :===Begin Quote===
      Is Scientology something to be wary of? The Internet bristles with
      disenchanted accounts of it. "They have a history of difficulties with
      people who leave," says Professor Morris. "There are lots of reports
      and a number of former members who write books. They see it as
      brainwashing and pressure. There are reports of dependency on

      Mr Ferris says: "If we're ethical we'll survive. Despite the
      brickbats, we have survived."
      :===End Quote===

      Note: The Scientologist's argument is a logical fallacy. After all,
      the Maffia, despite being unethical, survives. Saddam Hussein,
      despite being unethical, survives. Al Quaeda, despite being
      unethical, survives. Unethical behavior is encouraged and condoned in
      Scientology's own scriptures.

      [Warmongering] The Scottish preacher whose wartime writings inspire
      Bush's faith
      :===Begin Quote===
      The devotional lectures of Chambers, who died of a ruptured appendix
      in 1917, make up My Utmost For His Highest, the bestselling daily
      devotional in the world.

      The work has sold two million copies in the United States since 1991,
      and after Newsweek magazine reported the importance it holds for
      President Bush it looks likely to sell even more. Chambers’s message,
      much of which was written in wartime, is a simply written direction to
      devote oneself to the Almighty. In turn, God will lead us through life
      with a sense of victory.
      :===End Quote===

      [Religion Trends] Born-again Christians surge in influence
      :===Begin Quote===
      Claims that the American news media form a vast liberal conspiracy
      strike me as utterly unconvincing, but there is one area where
      accusations of institutional bias have merit: Nearly all of us in the
      news business are completely out of touch with a group that includes
      46 percent of Americans.

      That is the proportion who described themselves in a Gallup poll in
      December as evangelical or born-again Christians. Evangelicals have
      moved from the fringe into the mainstream, and that is particularly
      evident in the current administration.

      Robert Fogel of the University of Chicago argues that America is now
      experiencing a fourth Great Awakening, like the religious revivals
      that have periodically swept America in the last 300 years. Yet
      offhand, I cannot think of a single evangelical working for a major
      news organization.
      :===End Quote===

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