ReligionNewsBlog.com, Sep. 10, 2003
- ReligionNewsBlog.com, Sep. 10, 2003
Wed, Sep. 10, 2003
[Human Rights] New global criminal court starts Congo probe
The United States has campaigned vigorously against the court, which is strongly
backed by allies in the European Union and Canada. It fears its officials could
the subject of frivolous prosecutions but supporters of the court say there are
enough safeguards to prevent this. Bill Pace, head of a coalition of groups
backing the court, told a news conference the Bush administration had spent more
money cajoling countries to sign separate agreements promising not to prosecute
Americans than the court is expected to spend in a year.
[Catholic Church] Church in an $85m accord
The Archdiocese of Boston yesterday reached a tentative agreement with lawyers
representing more than 500 people who say they were sexually abused by priests
in which the church would pay the plaintiffs $85 million, the largest single
amount ever in a case of clergy sexual abuse.
[Islam] A nation adjusts for its 2nd largest religion
The goal of the school is to provide Muslims with an alternative to public
school education, like those that French Catholics, Protestants and Jews have
long enjoyed. The challenge for France is to preserve the country's secular
identity as codified under a century-old law, meet the demands of its
second-largest religious community and discourage religious and ethnic
separatism - all at the same time.
[Aum Shinrikyo] Arrested cultists followers of AUM doomsday leader
Former AUM Shinrikyo members recently arrested for illegally obtaining other
people's family registers were part of a splinter group that was set up to
follow the teaching of its killer guru, Shoko Asahara, the Mainichi has learned.
[Religion Trends] Christianity faces bleak future in UK: Survey
"The outlook for traditional Christianity is bleak. But it's different
elsewhere. Hindus, Sikhs, Jews and Buddhists remain sizeable groups and New Age
beliefs are now mainstream. "For many, reflexology, reiki, spiritual healing,
yoga and crystal healing are part of everyday life," he said.
[Taliban] Thousands join Taliban's new jihad in Afghanistan: Report
Almost two years after they were defeated, the Taliban leadership is recruiting
thousands of extremists popularly called 'Sarbaz' - those who care nothing for
their own lives - to fight the government of Mohd Karzai and the US-led forces
in Afghanistan, reports here said.
[Church and State] Moore opposes commandments plan
Judge Roy Moore said Monday he disapproves of a proposal to display a plaque of
the Ten Commandments at the Capitol that would surround it with other historic
and secular foundations of law. "To put things around the Ten Commandments and
secularize it is to deny the greatness of God," he said.
[Anglican Church] African divide over gay bishop
A South African church leader has defended the appointment of an openly gay
bishop in the United States against the criticism of other African archbishops.
The Anglican archbishop of Cape Town, Winston Njongonkulu Ndungane, said an
appointment in one part of the Anglican church was not a matter that should
concern leaders in another part of the church.
[Al Quaeda] Allies 'losing war on terror'
The US and her allies are losing the war on terror, with al-Qa'eda growing in
power, a British academic has claimed. A report for the Oxford Research Group
by Prof Paul Rogers of Bradford University said that more than 350 people have
been killed in attacks linked to al-Qa'eda since September 11. Rather than
military action succeeding in crippling the terror group, al-Qa'eda has rallied
its efforts, he said.
[Islam] Muslim cleric accused of blasphemy killed in Pak
Gunmen killed a Muslim cleric who was facing a trial for allegedly insulting
Islam's prophet, Muhammad, police said on Sunday. [...] Dogar was released on
bail about five months ago after being arrested in 2002 when another cleric
reported to police that he had allegedly "used abusive words" against the
Prophet Muhammad, Bajwa said. Under Pakistani laws, insulting the Quran,
Islam's holy book, or Muhammad are considered blasphemous and can carry a death
sentence on conviction.
[Science and Religion] Organ music 'instils religious feelings'
People who experience a sense of spirituality in church may be reacting to the
extreme bass sound produced by some organ pipes. Many churches and cathedrals
have organ pipes that are so long they emit infrasound which at a frequency
lower than 20 Hertz is largely inaudible to the human ear. But in a controlled
experiment in which infrasound was pumped into a concert hall, UK scientists
found they could instil strange feelings in the audience at will.
[Science and Religion] Infrasound linked to spooky effects
Mysteriously snuffed out candles, weird sensations and shivers down the spine
may not be due to the presence of ghosts in haunted houses but to very low
frequency sound that is inaudible to humans. British scientists have shown in a
controlled experiment that the extreme bass sound known as infrasound produces a
range of bizarre effects in people including anxiety, extreme sorrow and chills
supporting popular suggestions of a link between infrasound and strange
[Blasphemy] Artist Hirst opens religion show
Controversial British artist Damien Hirst opens a show examining God and
religion in London on Wednesday. The show, Romance in the Age of Uncertainty
at London's White Cube Gallery, is reportedly based on the life of Jesus and his
disciples. The exhibition includes cow heads with metal instruments sticking
out, and a glass cabinet full of bloody medical instruments.
[Falun Gong] Falun Gong in N.Y. bid to free doc
Falun Gong members held a news conference at City Hall Park yesterday as part of
a campaign demanding freedom for Charles Li, a Chinese-American imprisoned in
China. [...] Li was arrested Jan. 22 at the airport in Guangzhou, China, and
charged with sabotaging state-owned radio and television facilities. Chinese
authorities said Li carried cable TV interception tools.
[Kyle Hulbert] Life Sentence in Leesburg Scientist's Death
Kyle Hulbert, a young man obsessed by vampires and witchcraft who used his
27-inch sword to kill his friend's father, a respected Loudoun County scientist,
was sentenced today to life in prison.
[China] Beijing's police go into training for the Olympics
In readiness for the 2008 Beijing Olympics, China's Public Security Bureau has
published a phrasebook to help its policemen deal with foreigners, criminally
inclined or otherwise. [...] Every possibility is covered in a series of
imaginary dialogues, from lost passports to petty crime to earthquakes and
terrorist attacks, via a long section on synonyms for "forbidden". In the
section "How to Stop Illegal News Coverage", a sports reporter is caught in the
act of "gathering news" about Falun Gong, the banned meditation cult.
[Unification Church] Court moons LDP top dog's claims against rag
Liberal Democratic Party Secretary-General Taku Yamasaki was dealt an
embarrassing blow by the Tokyo District Court on Monday when it ruled that an
article saying he wasn't "qualified to be a politician" was not defamatory. "It
was either a fact that the secretary-general and the woman (mentioned in the
article) were lovers and she was a member of the Unification Church, or there
were sufficient grounds to suggest such statements were facts," Presiding Judge
Akio Doi said as he threw out Yamasaki's lawsuit seeking 50 million yen
compensation and an apology from publisher Bungei Shunju.
[Nuwaubians] Religious sect leader's trial date set for January
Originally scheduled to start Aug. 4 in U.S. District Court in Macon, York's
law-yers had requested a a new trial date because they said they needed more
time to prepare in light of court-ordered psychiatric testing that is being done
on their client.
[Transcendental Meditation] Vedic City newest in Iowa
What draws people from around the United States and the rest of the world to
this remote location? For some, it is the Maharishi University of Management
where experts gather daily to meditate and practice yogic flying for a more
[Meditation] Meditation enjoys newfound popularity
By most accounts, meditation is booming in America, with about 10 million
die-hard practitioners, double the number from a decade ago.
[Films] The Gospel of John premieres at Toronto Film Festival
The Gospel of John, the fourth book in the New Testament, is the first feature
film from Visual Bible International, a faith-based company that hopes to make
word-for-word films of all 66 books in the Bible.
[Ruben Ecleo] Big sum of cash found in Ecleos detention cell
Cult leader and parricide suspect Ruben Ecleo Jr. admitted yesterday giving
money to some jail- guards at the Bagong Buhay Rehabilitation Center (BBRC) here
to smuggle huge amount of cash, cellular phones and other belongings inside the
[Islam] Saudis target 'immoral' Barbie
Saudi Arabia's religious police have declared Barbie dolls a threat to morality,
complaining that the revealing clothes of the "Jewish" toy - already banned in
the kingdom - were offensive to Islam.
[Mexico] Churches help fund missionary's defense
Churches in Oklahoma and Texas are trying to raise money for the legal defense
of a missionary jailed in Mexico for possession of drugs commonly sold over the
counter in the United States. [...] In his letter, Mr. Frey said Mexican
authorities seemed most concerned about the medicines that contained the drug
pseudoephedrine, a common ingredient in allergy medications.
[Catholic Church] Group cites dissent in church
A group of 40 conservative Roman Catholics met behind closed doors yesterday
with five US bishops here to press their view of the sexual abuse crisis in the
church, which they said has wrongly been linked to celibacy.
[NXIVM] Ruling lets Web site critical of NXIVM stay online
A Web site that accuses a Colonie-based human potential school of being a cult
can remain online, a U.S. judge ruled Monday. U.S. District Judge Thomas J.
McAvoy denied multiple requests from NXIVM (pronounced NEX-ee-um) to have
critical opinions of the group removed from the Web site of The Ross Institute,
which tracks information about alleged cults, controversial groups and
movements. He cited NXIVM's failure to demonstrate a strong case and said
irreparable damage to the company was not proven. "Today is a very good day for
the First Amendment and freedom of expression on the Internet," said Rick Ross,
the Web site's owner.
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