ReligionNewsBlog.com, Jan. 17-18, 2004
- ReligionNewsBlog.com, Jan. 17-18, 2004
Sun, Jan. 18, 2004
[Toronto Blessing] Toronto Blessing Goes on 10 Years
Ten years ago this month, worshippers at a small church a stone's throw from
this city's airport began laughing uncontrollably. They also made animal
noises -- braying, barking, howling and roaring. They collapsed to the
floor, staggered about as if drunk, shook and jerked; wept, wailed and
yelped. Faces contorted with tics. Groans and guffaws hung in the air.
Bodies lay prone on the carpet. To the uninitiated, this was eerie stuff,
resembling mass hysteria more than religious worship. But to regulars at the
Toronto Airport Vineyard Church (now the Toronto Airport Christian
Fellowship, or TACF), this was the work of the Holy Spirit, and the genesis
of a worldwide revival in the charismatic and Pentecostal movements. The
phenomenon was first noticed on Jan. 20, 1994 and dubbed the Toronto
Blessing by a glowing British press that acclaimed the strange signs and
wonders at the church near the airport of Canada's largest city. [...] But
some conservative Christians have charged the Toronto Blessing exhibits
false teaching and bizarre behavior incompatible with the Holy Spirit. They
say it's the work of the devil.
[Polygamy] Officials plan info blitz to steer polygamists to safety
Billboards and fliers will be used in a new campaign to assure women and
children of polygamous families that they have a safe place to go should
they choose to leave their homes. On Friday, law enforcement officers,
advocates and child-welfare workers from Utah and Arizona met to prepare for
what might be an exodus of women and children from the twin cities of
Hildale, Utah, and Colorado City, Ariz. The cities straddle the Utah-Arizona
state line about 40 miles east of St. George. "We're hearing that families
are being torn apart," said Rickell James-Irish of the Division of Child and
Family Services in St. George. Trouble started a week ago when 20 men, all
prominent members of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day
Saints, were stripped of their membership and told to leave town. FLDS
leader Warren Jeffs ordered the men, including former Colorado City Mayor
Dan Barlow, to leave their wives and children. If history held true,
James-Irish said, the women would be married to other men in the community.
[Islam] French Muslims Protest Rule Against Head Scarves
The battle over the proposed law to ban religious symbols from French public
schools spilled into streets on Saturday as Muslim demonstrators in capitals
around the world voiced their opposition to what they say is a denial of
religious freedom. The demonstrations were largest in Paris and other cities
in France, where thousands of protesters marched against an anticipated law
that would ban the wearing of Muslim head scarves, Jewish skullcaps and
large Christian crosses in the schools. In an apparently well-coordinated
show of solidarity with Muslims in France, protesters from London to
Baghdad joined in. But the demonstrations were far smaller than their
Muslim organizers had predicted.
[Destiny House Church] New lease of life for former sect's HQ
The owner of the building on Aberdeen's Lang Stracht where Word of Life
(International) held its bizarre religious sessions today said a £1 million
scheme had started to transform the building. [...] Word of Life had been
the occupant of the premises since 1991. Another group - Destiny House -
later took over. Members were barred from the building by Mr Handa in
August. Word of Life ceased trading three years ago after amassing
crippling debts of £160,000. Destiny House set up soon after. Word of Life
pastor Jim Addison was involved in both groups but denied they were linked
or that they had done anything wrong. However, some of Word of Life's
ex-members alleged they were taken in as children and pressurised into
rituals of "Deliverance" and "Spiritual Warfare", in which they had to vomit
to rid the body of evil and simulated battling the devil with a sword. They
also claimed they were pressed into parting with cash to support the group
and were not allowed to mix with non-members for fear of "contamination".
[Cloning] 'It's morally repugnant for anyone to clone a human being'
Human cloning in one form or another has been on the horizon for 25 years,
but yesterdays announcement that a cloned embryo had been implanted in a
womans womb for the first time still came as a shock to the medical world,
politicians and ethicists. And it has reignited a fierce debate about
controls on scientific research and the ethics of artificially creating
[Cloning] Scientists pour scorn on doctor's human clone boast
A US fertility specialist flew into Britain yesterday to announce that he
had transferred the first cloned embryo into a woman - but he refused to
give a shred of evidence to back up his astonishing boast. With theatrical
flair, Dr Panos Zavos, an IVF expert from Kentucky, told a packed press
conference in London that he had created the first cloned pregnancy. He said
that he had taken a skin cell from a man and fused it with the egg of a
35-year-old woman and that in two weeks' time they would know whether a full
pregnancy was safely established. His announcement was greeted with
laughter and disbelief. A scientist compared it to recent claims by the
alien-loving Raelian sect, who say they have created cloned babies.
[Cloning] Religious Sect Claimed 'First Cloned Baby'
A religious sect last year claimed to have produced the worlds first cloned
baby. But the announcement by the Raelian movement met with extreme
scepticism from scientists and have not been backed by essential DNA proof.
[Cloning] Bizarre unveiling of 'cloning milestone'
One sceptic present called it a "circus", and it was certainly a bizarre way
of announcing what could be a milestone in medical science - if it proves
true. The news conference called by controversial fertility expert Paul
Zavos at a smart central London hotel lasted an hour, and it was around five
minutes before the end when he dropped his bombshell. He announced he had
transferred a cloned embryo into a woman's womb.
[Cloning] Doctor Says He Has Cloned Human Embryo
maverick U.S.-based fertility expert said on Saturday that he had
transferred a cloned human embryo into a woman but leading scientists
immediately expressed skepticism, saying it was highly unlikely. Dr Panos
Zavos told a stunned news conference in London the embryo had been
transplanted at an undisclosed location less than two weeks ago and that he
was still waiting to see if it had implanted successfully.
[Cloning] What Is Cloning and How Does It Work?
Cloning is the process of making a genetically identical organism without
normal sexual means. Practically, cloning means the creation of cells or
even whole plants or animals using DNA from a single parent bypassing
the normal reproductive process. [Q & A]
[Cloning] Cloning milestones since Dolly the sheep
The claim by Dr Panos Zavos that he has implanted a cloned embryo into a
woman's womb is just the latest in a series of developments in research into
human cloning. [Timeline]
Sat, Jan. 17, 2004
[Islam] Muslim Scarf Protest Slated for Paris
Police expect 10,000-20,000 protesters Saturday at a march through Paris
against the outlawing of Muslim head scarves in schools. Other protests are
expected in the United States, Canada and Britain. The demonstrations would
be the biggest coordinated protest against a proposed law, which forbids
Muslim head scarves, Jewish skullcaps and large Christian crosses in French
[Islam] Muslims upset about removing scarves to get Alabama licenses
Some Muslim women in Alabama are upset because state driver's license
officials are requiring them to remove their head scarves if they want to
get a license.
[Islam] Veil ID woman wins case
In a ruling set to create a country-wide precedent, a Muslim woman who went
to court after being ordered to remove her veil for an identity photograph
has won her case, Belgium's 'La Libre Belgique' newspaper reported today.
[Islam] Spanish Women Praise Cleric's Conviction
Spanish women's associations on Thursday hailed the conviction of an Islamic
cleric who advised Muslims how to beat their wives, calling the ruling a
triumph for women. Mohammed Kamal Mustafa, imam of the southern town of
Fuengirola, was given a suspended sentence of to 15 months in prison on
Wednesday. [...] The cleric will not go to prison as under Spanish law
people with no previous convictions have their first sentences suspended if
they are under two years. He was also fined $2,735. In his book "Women in
Islam," published in 1997, Mustafa urged husbands to hit their wives "on the
hands and feet using a rod that is thin and light so that it does not leave
scars or bruises on the body." In his defense, Mustafa argued he was
interpreting passages of the Quran and said he opposed violence against
women. Trial judge Juan Pedro Yllanes rejected those arguments, saying they
promoted discrimination against women.
[Hate Groups] Owner To Remove White Supremacist Billboard
billboard owner has agreed to remove an advertisement rented by a white
supremacist group after a Jewish group organized a telephone campaign and
threatened a national boycott. The Jewish Defense Organization launched the
campaign against Sunshine Outdoor of Florida and its owner, Jerry Sullivan
of Micanopy, to remove the advertisement from a billboard standing on
Florida's Turnpike about 35 miles from Orlando. Sullivan had defended the
sign on free speech grounds -- a long as the client paid.
[Hate Groups] White Supremacists Show Up At Anti-Defamation Meeting
Some local members of a white supremacist group showed up at a meeting
Thursday night, which was called to discuss issues of racism in Omaha. The
Anti-Defamation League is worried the white supremacist group called the
National Alliance is gaining a foothold in Omaha. The League called a
meeting about fliers the Alliance has been distributing in Omaha. The fliers
protest interracial marriage, immigration and violence by minorities. "I
consider these people dangerous I consider their ideas dangerous," said Bob
Wolfson (pictured, right), of the Anti-Defamation League.
[Ruben Ecleo] Ecleo runs for major from jail
Jailed cult leader Ruben Ecleo Jr. is doing a Jalosjos as he is running
again as mayor of San Jose, Surigao del Norte. Ecleo is locked up in Cebu
City, facing parricide charges for the killing of his wife, Alona Bacolod.
He is expected to win handily in the mayoralty race since majority of the
residents of San Jose town are members of the Philippine Benevolent
Missionaries Association (PBMA), of which he is the supreme leader. Former
Rep. Romeo Jalosjos also ran and won as second district congressman of
Zamboanga del Norte while behind bars for the rape of a minor.
[Church and State] Senate OKs faith-based amendment
After a three-hour debate Thursday, the state Senate approved and sent to
the House a proposed constitutional amendment that would clarify that it is
legal for faith-based organizations to spend taxpayer money on social
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[Books] Cooking's spiritual dimensions inspire cookbooks
Collectors can assemble selections of cookbooks to suit a wide range of
interests, even those that might seem far from the material pleasures of
eating. Brother Victor-Antoine d'Avila-Latourrette has written several
cookbooks, from Our Lady of the Resurrection Monastery, near Millbrook,
N.Y., where he's a resident monk and the monastery cook. Among his
best-selling titles are "Twelve Months of Monastery Soups" (Bantam, 1998,
$16.95 paperback) and "From a Monastery Kitchen" (Liguori, 2002, $14.95
paperback). He also tends the monastery garden, and his recipes call for
plenty of locally grown natural foods. Here's a sampling of other books
that combine recipes with settings from religious life...
[Nuwaubians] Alleged York victims deny cult leader molested them
Five young women that cult leader Malachi York is charged with molesting as
children told a federal jury Friday that York never touched them sexually.
Three of the five women testified that federal agents tried to pressure them
into saying York molested them after the FBI raided the Georgia compound of
the United Nuwaubian Nation of Moors in May 2002. It seemed like they were
trying to get me to say something that didnt happen, said a 21-year-old
woman, whom York is charged with molesting during a 1996 trip to Disney
World. And it was like (the agent) got mad because I wasn't saying what she
[False Memory Syndrome] Is Your Psychotherapist Qualified?
Instead of fixing her marriage Carol's psychologist, Pat Mansmann, came up
with a startling diagnosis -- repressed memories. "They had me convinced
that my parents had raised me in a Satanic cult," Diament said. "That my
father had sexually abused me even prior to that." Carol says Mansmann
prescribed two controversial treatments. One was "rage therapy" which
included beating pillows while screaming. The other, "detachment therapy."
Mannsman urged Carol to move out of her home, away from her family. "You
ended up losing your family over this?" asked Acosta. "I did," she replied.
"My children haven't spoken to me in ten years." After nearly a year with a
different therapist, Carol found out her memories of abuse were implanted by
Mansmann. So she sued, as have other former patients.
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