ReligionNewsBlog.com, July 25, 2003
- ReligionNewsBlog.com, July 25, 2003
[Islam] Newsweek article insults Koran, Pakistan says, bans it
An article on Newsweek's Web site deals with a new interpretation of Islam's
holy book by a German scholar of Semitic languages, who uses the pseudonym
He argues that the language of the Koran has been misinterpreted and that in
verses detailing the rewards of heaven the text's original word, meaning "white
raisins," was mistaken for the word "houris," or dark-eyed virgins, the article
NOTE: If true, that should put a dent in the suicide bombing business... The
article itself is over here:
[Religious Insanity] Priest with no faith gets his job back after apologising
A Danish priest who admitted to not believing in God has been given his job back
after he apologised for his comments.
The Danish media are now questioning the priest's credibility and the bishop's
right to decide whether his faith is strong enough.
NOTE: Someone who claims to represent a god he does not believe in is, of
course, a hypocrite.
[Christianity] Jensen warns US church over gays
The Anglican Archbishop of Sydney, Peter Jensen, has joined forces with
conservative primates from Africa and Asia and issued a veiled threat to the
American branch of the church over the ordination of gay clergy.
The group, known as the Evangelical Fellowship in the Anglican Communion, has
warned that a "constitutional crisis" was inevitable if the Episcopal Church USA
voted in favour of approving homosexual bishops or same-sex blessings at its
convention next week in Minneapolis.
The convention is expected to ratify the appointment of Canon Gene Robinson, a
priest who lives in an openly gay relationship, as Bishop of New Hampshire.
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[Word of Faith Fellowship] Complaint filed in WOFF case case
woman who retained custody of her stepson last week despite a challenge from
the boy's aunt who is a member of the Word of Faith Fellowship has filed a
complaint with the Rutherford County Sheriff's Department alleging kidnapping
and child abuse.
[Catholic Church] Suit Over Priest's Funeral Eulogy Could Have Wide-ranging
Can you sue the person in the pulpit for preaching hellfire at least if it
That's only one of the questions raised by an unusual lawsuit filed last month
against a local priest in northern New Mexico and the Roman Catholic Archdiocese
of Santa Fe, N.M.
The lawsuit, filed on behalf of the family of Ben Martinez, charged that at the
funeral for Martinez, the parish priest declared that the deceased, an
80-year-old former town councilor in Chama, N.M., had been a lukewarm Catholic
who had been living in sin and was going to hell.
[Hinduism / India] Fifty-five years down, decades to go: a Sanskrit dictionary
grows in India
For three generations, they have compiled and argued, agonized and transcribed
toiling in monastic tedium to turn an intricate 44-letter language into six
volumes, so far, of word after long-forgotten word.
They have delved into the grammatical roots of ''antahpravesakama'' and debated
the pun hidden in ''anangada.'' They've done a brain-numbingly complete
dissection of ''anekakrta.''
Now, 55 years after a group of scholars began composing the authoritative
dictionary of Sanskrit, the long-dead language of India's ancient glory, they
are almost done with the first letter.
[Lord's Resistance Army] Uganda's spiritual war heats up
Controversy is brewing in Uganda after a proposal by traditional healers to use
killer bees and diseases such as smallpox to help beat the rebels of the Lords
Resistance Army (LRA).
The LRA has been fighting since the late 1980s to replace President Yoweri
Museveni's secular government in a campaign marked by brutality against
The government has appeared powerless in recent months to halt intensified rebel
But now a group of traditional healers, whose own alleged spiritual powers
afford them both fear and respect among many poor and rural communities, have
offered to step in.
[Christianity] The African Church and change
The appointment in Britain of the gay Bishop of Reading went down particularly
badly in Nigeria, even if he did subsequently resign.
But the Lagos-based Reverend Yinka Omolulu, Provost of the Anglican Christ
Church Cathedral, is more concerned with the explosion in new churches in
He puts this down partly to the "Get-rich-prosperity-message" they preach.
This, he told BBC World Service's Africa Live! programme, is being put out by
untrained and uneducated, self-appointed priests.
[Religious Intolerance] Bible verses back up at Grand Canyon
The bible is back at the Grand Canyon - at least for now.
Three bronze plaques inscribed with biblical passages that were removed this
month from scenic overlooks at the canyon's South Rim have been reinstalled
pending legal advice, David Barna, a National Park Service spokesman, said
The plaques were pulled from Hermit's Rest, Lookout Studio and Desert View
overlooks earlier this month after the Arizona chapter of the American Civil
Liberties Union concluded that they violated the U.S. Constitution's precepts on
separation of church and state. As a national park, the Grand Canyon is run by
the U.S. Department of the Interior.
[Islam] Americans link Islam and violence: Poll
A growing number of Americans associate Islam with violence, according to a new
survey that examined issues likely to impact the 2004 election.
A significant shift in the number of the people who associate Islam with
violence has occurred in the last yeara period that follows the September 11
terrorist attacks and the subsequent war to oust the Taliban in Afghanistan.
Forty-four per cent of those surveyed by the Pew Research Center for the People
& the Press said they believe Islam encourages violencea 20 per cent increase
from March 2002. At the same time, 51 per cent of those surveyed said they have
a favourable view of Muslim Americans.
"For all the rise in concerns about Islam, we don't see much of an overt
increase in hostility toward Muslim Americans," said Andrew Kohut, director of
the Pew Research Center.
07/24/2003: [Hate Groups : Scientology] Scientology Church Owes Hollywood Back
The Church of Scientology has failed to pay more than $94,000 in property taxes
for the last fiscal year on four of its Hollywood properties, marking the second
time in recent years that the religious group has had an outsize tax
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