Religion News Blog, July 24, 2003 (Part 2)
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[Unification Church] PSV's Hiddink hoping to win Peace Cup
The inaugural Peace Cup is hosted by Sunmoon Peace Football Foundation, an
affiliate of Rev. Moon Sun-myung's Unification Church.
The tournament, which was established with the purpose of fostering world peace
through soccer games, is expected to be staged biannually, with profits going to
[Jehovah's Witnesses] Defendant responds to sexual abuse allegations
The national Jehovahs Witnesses organization and Larry Kelley, a former elder
in the Dumas and Amarillo congregation of the church, have filed court documents
denying allegations of sexual abuse which were filed by a former member of the
Amy B., the plaintiff, filed a negligence suit in the 251st District Court at
the beginning of June against Kelley, the Watchtower and Bible Tract Society of
New York, the Dumas congregation of Jehovahs Witnesses and the
Amarillo-Southwest congregation of Jehovahs Witnesses.
[Religious Intolerance] Georgia: Religious sect reportedly harassed by local
After constant confrontations with Jehovah's Witnesses, people are now showing
intolerance towards Pentecostals as well.
[Sabaean Mandeans] Iraqi Sect Holds Onto Old Ritual
The group which believes that John, and not Jesus Christ, was the true messiah
was allowed to worship under Saddam. But the regime seized several of its
temples, and the group was not allowed to build new ones outside Baghdad. Like
all groups in Iraq, they say many followers were among the estimated 300,000
people murdered during Saddam's 23-year reign.
Still, they say the future may be even worse for their sect as fundamentalist
Islamic groups begin to assert control in a new Iraq. Majority Shiite Muslims,
long oppressed by Saddam, appear poised to take a commanding role in the
emerging government, much to the dismay of the Sabaean Mandeans.
[Full Gospel Mission Fellowship] New twist to tug-of-war over cult's assets
An independent party is poised to enter the tug-of-war over the assets of a
former religious cult in prime wine-growing country near Waipara.
An application will be filed in the High Court soon for Tower Trust Ltd to
become the sole trustee of the Full Gospel Mission Trust.
[Zhong Gong] Hearing date set for Chinese dissident charged with attacking
If convicted, he could face deportation to China, which those who follow his
movement say could lead to his execution there. He is wanted in China on charges
of murder and rape.
He was granted asylum in the United States in 2001 after a lengthy immigration
trial. Politicians including then-Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott of
Mississippi and Sen. Jesse Helms, R-N.C., were among those who lobbied on his
[Falun Gong] U.S. Says Chinese Force-Fed Jailed U.S. Citizen
Chinese prison authorities force-fed an American Falun Gong member who went on
hunger strike last week, the State Department said on Tuesday.
U.S. citizen Charles Li, a member of the banned spiritual movement, is serving a
three-year sentence after a Chinese court found him guilty of sabotaging
Li told U.S. officials on July 16 that he intended to go on hunger strike in
protest at his treatment.
"We understand he was force-fed on July 17 and that he resumed eating normally
on July 18," State Department spokesman Richard Boucher told a daily briefing.
[The Body] Prosecutor calls cult mom's psych claim a sham
The prosecutor in the murder case against an Attleboro religious cult member
charged with starving her infant son to death accused the mother of faking
psychological ailments that prompted a judge yesterday to again proclaim her
unfit to stand trial.
[The Body] Cult Mom Still Incompetent To Stand Trial, Judge Says
A mother who allegedly watched her infant son starve to death because of her
religious beliefs was ordered Tuesday to return to a state hospital for
treatment after a judge ruled that the woman was still incompetent to stand
[Jehovah's Witnesses] Jehovah's Witnesses asking woman to pay legal costs in
sexual abuse lawsuit
A woman who received $5,000 in damages after accusing the Canadian wing of the
Jehovah's Witnesses of negligence over their handling of allegations of sexual
abuse is being asked to pay part of the religious group's $160,000 in legal
costs in the case.
Colin Stevenson, the lawyer representing Watch Tower, confirmed Wednesday that
the religious group is asking Boer to pay part of its legal tab.
Stevenson said Watch Tower is not being vindictive.
[Christianity] The most watched film in history
At first sight, Jesus, or the Jesus Film as it has come to be known, is an
unlikely candidate for the title of most watched - and most translated - film.
Documentary-maker Deep Sehgal filmed the screening as part of a six-month
venture to record the work of the project. His film, Selling Jesus, is to be
broadcast in the UK on BBC Four next week.
"The events we witnessed were often bewildering," he says. "But what struck us
most was the utter normality of those who were willing to risk their lives for
"These are not Stepford Christians with glazed expressions and dogmatic
platitudes. These are dedicated, caring and liberal people who believe that they
have stumbled upon the one great Truth, and will die for their right to share
07/24/2003: [Aum Shinrikyo] Three held for playing doctor freed
Three Aum Shinrikyo members who had been arrested on suspicion of practicing
medicine without a license in Aichi Prefecture were released Wednesday due to
lack of sufficient evidence for an indictment.
07/24/2003: [Hate Groups : Scientology] Group sees need to screen chaplains
So many clergy who descended on Ground Zero in late 2001 were either unprepared
or unwilling to offer appropriate spiritual counseling that a new clergy group
plans to screen and credential chaplains for future emergencies in the tri-state
The Church of Scientology had dozens of "volunteer ministers" on hand to offer
counseling, and their involvement was criticized by the mental health
establishment. It is unclear whether Scientologists can meet Disaster Spiritual
Care Services' standards, which will likely ask that chaplains be prepared to
refer people for psychological services. Scientology rejects traditional mental
07/24/2003: [Mormon Church] Former Mormon seeks to bring Gospel light to LDS
John Divito has a passion for proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ to Mormons.
It's a passion driven by an insider's perspective.
For the first 19 years of his life, Divito -- a master of divinity student at
Southern Baptist Theological Seminary -- was a member of the Church of Jesus
Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS).
Divito spent a week passing out Gospel tracts and discussing the Gospel with
Mormons at the church's annual Mormon Miracle Pageant in Manti, Utah, in June.
Divito worked with Mormonism Research Ministry (MRM), an apologetics group for
which he serves as a staff member.
07/24/2003: [Michael Murphy : Brother Benedict] Victims' anger at torturer's
Victims of a monk who tortured pupils with a home-made electric shock machine at
a school for problem children reacted angrily yesterday as he was jailed for two
07/24/2003: [SeventhDay Adventism] Inspectors order group to leave overcrowded
Metro Louisville inspectors yesterday ordered 18 people, most of them young and
apparently affiliated with the Seventh-day Adventist Church, to leave the
three-bedroom house in Newburg in which they had been living.
Jan Tucker, a code enforcement officer, said the house, at 4203 Wooded Way, was
overcrowded. Tucker said the youths were sleeping on air mattresses and floors
throughout the house.
07/24/2003: [Nuwaubians] Judge removes himself from York case
Defense lawyer Ed Garland asked Lawson to step down, saying the judge had
inadvertently involved himself in plea negotiations. He said that affected
York's ability to make decisions about his case.
07/24/2003: [Hate Groups : Scientology] War of words over Cruise's 'dyslexia
There is not a lot of science to support the claims that the teachings of
Scientology founder L Ron Hubbard are appropriate to overcoming dyslexia, said
J Thomas Viall, executive director of the International Dyslexia Association.
ApologeticsIndex.org / ReligionNewsBlog.com