ReligionNewsBlog.com, Aug. 29, 2003
Fri, Aug. 29, 2003
[General Assembly CotFB] Faith-Healing Church Linked to Several Deaths, Says
The Morgan County coroner wants a change in Indiana law. He says several people
in his county have died when attempts at faith healing didn't work, but
prosecutors have been unable to take any action. The incidents are linked to
the same Morgan County church that lost a baby last week. The Church of the
Firstborn advocates prayer over medical intervention.
[USA] Missouri high court overturns 'juvenile' death sentence
In a 4-3 decision, the state's highest court ruled that it is unconstitutional
to apply death sentences to people younger than 18 at the time of their crimes.
The court based its opinion on a U.S. Supreme Court decision last year that
prohibited the execution of the mentally retarded as unconstitutionally cruel.
(NOTE: Since 1990, the US has executed 19 juvenile offenders, compared with 14
in the entire rest of the world. In the last two years, the only other countries
known to have executed those under age 18 at the time of the crime are Iran,
Pakistan and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Pakistan has since commuted the
sentences of all its juveniles on death row, and the Democratic Republic of
Congo reportedly has placed a moratorium on such executions and commuted the
death sentences of five juvenile offenders in 2001. Currently the US and Iran
are the only countries known to actively execute juvenile offenders. - Amnesty
[Polygamy] Woman sues polygamist clan for abuse, seeks $110 million
A woman who escaped from her polygamist clan at the age of 16 after being
physically and sexually abused has filed a lawsuit against the family, seeking
millions in damages for "the harm they have caused." Mary Ann Kingston, now 22,
filed the suit in state court Aug. 1, naming 242 family members and 97
businesses operated by the group in and around the Salt Lake Valley. The suit
seeks more than $110 million from what Mary Ann Kingston called a "secretive
religious society and economic organization" that teaches and promotes sexual
abuse of young girls through illegal and underage marriages, incest and
[Rastafarianism] British Virgin Islands removes Rasta Law from its books
Rastafarians can now legally visit this British Caribbean territory, following
the removal of an executive order banning the religion's adherents from
entering, the government said Thursday.
[Allen Harrod] Texas couple held in ritual sex abuse
A Texas couple who allegedly were disciples of the self-proclaimed religious
prophet facing a Sacramento child molestation trial next month have been
arrested on federal charges of molesting his children and their own, according
to sources and documents filed in federal court.
[Israel] A Koranic reconciliation with the Jewish Return
An Egyptian lawyer, reported the Israeli newspaper Ma'ariv this week, is
planning to sue "every Jew in the world" for the "theft" of 1,125 trillion tons
of Egyptian gold during the Exodus 3,000 years ago. [...] Still, there is,
potentially, good news in this deeply depressing story. By intending to sue
"every Jew in the world" for the theft of Pharaoh's gold, Hilmi is acknowledging
that Jews are the legitimate descendants of the children of Israel.
[Antisemitism] Egyptian Plans To Sue Jews Over Exodus Gold
A prominent Egyptian legal scholar is preparing a lawsuit against Jews around
the world over gold allegedly stolen in biblical times during the Jewish exodus
from Egypt. Nabil Hilmy, dean of the faculty of law at Egypt's Zagazig
University, announced his plan in the Egyptian government weekly, Al-Ahram
Al-Arabi, according to the Middle East Media Research Institute - known as MEMRI
- a group that specializes in translating articles in the Arab media.
[Church and State] Editorial: Moore's monument / Attacking the vehicle of
Schenck and Moore and Mahoney are playing the Christian victimization card, the
litany from the Christian right which whines that they are being persecuted,
that the formerly Christian United States is becoming godless. They're wrong on
many counts, and display an appalling misperception of American history.
Religious liberty was never greater than it is in the United States today --
precisely because the courts so closely protect the concept of separation of
church and state against even modest affronts, like displaying the Ten
Commandments in the Alabama courthouse.
[Islam] Blacks, Muslims Hold Separate Meetings
American blacks and immigrant Muslims are holding separate conventions just
three miles apart - underscoring the divide between the two groups that Muslim
leaders have been struggling to bridge for years. The split is a significant -
and highly sensitive - Muslim issue. Islam teaches unity among all believers,
and American blacks comprise about 30 percent of observant Muslims in the United
[Henry Davis] Alleged Leader Of Teen Sex Ring Pleads Guilty
Henry Davis, 32, of Chicago, pleaded guilty to charges of kidnapping and
criminal sexual conduct in a Wayne County courtroom on Thursday. [...] Wayne
County Prosecutor Mike Duggan said that Davis would lure girls into the ring
with the promise of making money by selling jewelry. He said it operated much
like a cult.
[Superior Universal Alignment] Five on trial for child ritual murders
Five influential members of Brazilian society went on trial this week for the
suspected torture, castration and murder of five children, aged eight to 13, in
satanic rites over a decade ago.
[Islam] Inmates kill 'koran burning' woman
Bibi and her two teenage sons were arrested in May 2002 after a neighbour told
police the family set fire to a copy of the Koran, which she denied, Aslam said.
All three were in prison awaiting trial on blasphemy charges, which carry the
death penalty. Pakistan's blasphemy laws have been sharply criticised by both
international and Pakistani human rights organisations.
[Islam] Court bars two Wakf officials from Temple Mount for two months
A third official, a member of the Supreme Islamic Council, was let off with a
warning. The three were arrested late Monday on suspicion of incitement against
Jewish visits to the compound, and for participating in a scuffle with police
that morning. They were among a group of 15 Arabs who tried to prevent Jewish
visitors from entering the site, Jerusalem police spokesman Shmuel Ben-Ruby
[Falun Gong] Falun Gong man loses fight to stay
A Chinese man who fears persecution in his homeland for practising with the
Falun Gong group today lost an appeal to stay in Australia. [...] But the
Refugee Review Tribunal did not accept that the man was ever a genuine or
committed practitioner of Falun Gong and did not believe he would be identified
as a practitioner and subjected to persecution in China.
[Buddhism] China Protests to U.S. Over Dalai Lama Visit
China urged the United States on Thursday not to allow the Dalai Lama, Tibet's
exiled spiritual leader, to visit next week when he is expected to meet
[Vampirism] Vampire-cult killer tells his side to judge
Convicted murderer Rod Ferrell, the so-called vampire-cult leader who pleaded
guilty in the slayings of a Eustis couple, presented his case for appeal to a
judge Wednesday, saying his court-appointed defense team failed to explain that
pleading guilty would lead to life behind bars.
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