Religion News Blog, July 24, 2003 (Part 1)
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[Falun Gong] Falun Gong Bring Their Cause To Capitol Hill
Cult is a word without much use outside the realm of religious mudslinging.
Falun Gong certainly doesn't qualify in the limited, pernicious sense of the
word: It does not coerce obedience, brainwash its members, gouge them for money
or compel worship of its founder, Li Hongzhi. It doesn't wear down their egos,
then build them up in the new image of the spiritually transformed. Most of the
writings of Li Hongzhi, who now lives in the United States, are expressly
apolitical. The basic Falun Gong motto, "Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance,"
couldn't be less threatening.
But Falun Gong isn't just about these pleasant generalities. Its specific
beliefs about how the body works, how science intersects with spirituality, and
the benefits of practicing Falun Gong, are more controversial. Practitioners
generally describe Falun Gong as a fusion of traditional Buddhist and Taoist
elements, but there is a strong overlay of what -- from a skeptical, outsider's
point of view -- reads like pseudo-science. Li Hongzhi's basic text, "Zhuan
Falun," frequently claims that modern science has found evidence to support
spiritual claims; for instance, that humans have a "third eye" that can be
opened through spiritual practice.
[Crime] Police hunt for self-proclaimed faith healer
A self-proclaimed faith healer, who is wanted in connection with the
disappearance of 15 members of a family, is also suspected to be involved in
five cheating cases reported over the past 45 days.
He is believed to have relieved his victims of cash and valuables.
[Shadowmancer] The good book
Graham Taylor (salary £16,000pa) had to sell his motorbike to get his first
novel printed. This week an American publisher paid him more than £300,000 for
it - and said he was 'hotter than Potter'. Martin Wainwright meets the Yorkshire
clergyman turned literary sensation.
[Christianity] American gay bishop 'would shatter Church'
The worldwide Anglican Church will "shatter" if liberal Americans affirm the
appointment of its first actively homosexual bishop later this month, senior
evangelicals warned last night.
In their most powerful statement yet, seven primates and a number of bishops -
representing more than half the 75 million-strong Church - demanded that Canon
Gene Robinson be stopped from becoming bishop of New Hampshire.
They warned that, if his appointment is ratified by the Episcopal Church's
General Convention, they are "prepared to respond", a signal that they are ready
for the worldwide Church to split into two.
[Christianity] God 'wants openly gay priests in C of E'
God wants gay priests in the Church of England, the Anglican communion's first
openly homosexual bishop has claimed.
Canon Gene Robinson, 53, who will today be confirmed as the Bishop of New
Hampshire in the United States, told The Telegraph that God was paving the way
for the acceptance of homosexuals within the Church just has he had done with
women and ethnic minorities.
Earlier this month, Canon Jeffrey John was forced to resign as Bishop of Reading
because of his open homosexuality.
[Archeology] Jesus ossuary' promoters unfazed by forgery arrest
The arrest of antiquities dealer Oded Golan, owner of the ossuary bearing the
Aramaic inscription "James, son of Joseph, brother of Jesus," hasn't put a
damper on those trying to promote the find as inscription as genuine.
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[Christianity] This evangelist has a 'Purpose'
By 2004, about 2 million people will have joined in one of his "40 Days of
Purpose" evangelism campaigns. They commit to read one of Life's 40 chapters a
dayand participate in an intense program of worship, study, fellowship and
Rick Warren is the master marketer of a single message: "You are here for God."
Yet, the fellow behind this sophisticated international high-tech operation
appears more like a backyard barbecue host Hawaiian shirt, deck shoes, no
socks. And no pretensions.
"I couldn't care less about people coming to see me; I just want to build an
army of the faithful," says Warren, a fourth-generation pastor who often recalls
his father's dying wish: to "reach one more for Christ."
NOTE: Includes video
[Christina Gallagher] Pilgrims told of impending doom
Stark warnings of impending doom were doled out to a few hundred pilgrims at the
tenth anniversary celebrations of Achills House of Prayer on Wednesday last.
In a message purported to be given to Mrs. Christina Gallagher from the Blessed
Virgin criticism was levelled at the spread of commercialism throughout the
[Censorship : Mormon Church] LDS Church to Take Control of Main Street Monday
The City Council voted last month for Anderson's proposed land swap. However,
the minute the documents are signed Monday, the public easement will vanish, and
pedestrians will not have a right to walk through the plaza -- though church
representatives say they plan to keep it open.
[Catholic Church] Mass. reports 1,000 church abuse victims
An in-depth examination of sexual abuse in the Boston Archdiocese found that
Roman Catholic priests and other workers probably molested more than 1,000
people over six decades. The Massachusetts attorney general called the figures
"staggering" Wednesday as he issued a report with the findings.
[Word of Faith Fellowship] Boy brought out of church will stay out
A Florida woman who got her stepson returned to her after a March family court
hearing, will get to keep the now 7-year-old boy with her.
At a Thursday hearing before Judge Robert S. Cilley, an attempt by a Word of
Faith Fellowship member to bring the boy back to Rutherford County was denied.
[Word of Faith Fellowship] DSS going back into court on church case
DSS goes back to court today for a hearing on its petition to take custody of
four children currently in the care of a family in the Word of Faith Fellowship.
A hearing will be held Friday in the case of the children of Shana Muse, a
former member of the WOFF who is now attempting to regain custody of her four
The children, who are between the ages of 8 and 16, remain in the care of a WOFF
minister Kent Covington and his wife, Brooke.
[Satanism] Number of satanic sects increases
Over the past couple years, the number of religious sects, mostly satanic ones,
have been increasing in Slovakia. The internet has become a fertile soil for the
rise of different cults and sects that are often imported from Germany, the
daily Národná obroda writes.
ApologeticsIndex.org / ReligionNewsBlog.com