ReligionNewsBlog.com, Feb. 24, 2004
[Islam] Muslim girl in court challenge
A 15-year-old Muslim girl has won permission to bring a high court challenge
against her school in a dispute over her right to wear traditional religious
dress. [...] Shabina Begum has been out of school since September 2002, when
she was sent home after arriving at Denbigh high school in Luton,
Bedfordshire, in the jellaba, a long, flowing gown. Her lawyers are arguing
that Shabina's right to practise her religion is being infringed unlawfully.
[Media] What The World Thinks Of God: Can religion be blamed for war?
Are religion and religious differences to blame for war and conflict? Many
war leaders have claimed to have God on their side, but should religion get
the blame? A "War Audit" investigating the links between war and religion
through the ages has been carried out by researchers at the Department of
Peace Studies at Bradford University.
[Media] What The World Thinks Of God: About the Programme
What the World thinks of God is a unique BBC event examining the modern
world's relationship with God. A major poll of 10,000 people in 10 countries
has been carried out for the programme. And there are some startling
findings about the current state of belief in Britain - and some surprising
contrasts between other countries around the world. From our studio in
London Jeremy Vine will bring together religious leaders, leading authors
and thinkers in a uniquely global debate.
[Media] What The World Thinks Of God: A breathtaking global picture
Yet as we sent our pollsters out to all points west - Nigeria, Indonesia,
Israel, Lebanon, South Korea, Russia, across Britain, India, the US and
Mexico - it turned out we didn't have the problem with definition we were
fearing. Muslims, Hindus, Christians, atheists, were all able to replace
our definition of God with theirs. The questions were not about religion
but faith. Does suffering make it harder to believe? Do you believe
because your family does, or was it because of someone outside your family?
(Watch for the American answer on that one.) Do you pray often, sometimes,
never? Only at weddings? Would the world be more peaceful without God? I
wish I could say more here. The embargoed poll results are absolutely
fascinating. The UK in particular stands so defiantly alone on so many
questions that we knew, when we got the answers back, we had struck gold.
[Mormon Church] LDS most likely to stay away from 'Passion'
The nation may rush to see Mel Gibson's controversial "The Passion of the
Christ" when it opens Wednesday - but LDS Utahns more than likely are going
to stay away, according to a Deseret Morning News/KSL-TV poll. Only one out
of every three members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
polled will "definitely" or "probably" see the movie, a graphic and bloody
depiction of the last hours of Jesus' life. The film's R rating was the
most-cited reason for not going. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day
Saints counsels its members to avoid inappropriate entertainment and media.
[Hare Krishna] Thousands gather for Hare Krishna festival
Thousands of devotees of the global Hare Krishna sect have converged on the
small West Bengal town of Mayapur to celebrate the inauguration of a new
temple. The International Society for Krishna Consciousness' (ISKCON's)
headquarters in Mayapur has organised a congregation of its devotees to mark
the occasion. Around 12,000 devotees, including many from the US, China,
Russia, Britain, Ukraine, Pakistan and Bangladesh, are participating in
celebrations revolving around the inauguration of the temple dedicated to
the sect's founder and his associates.
[The Passion of The Christ] Advice to parents: Leave kids at home
On one score I had little doubt: "The Passion," which opens Tuesday, is
easily the most violent, blood-drenched film I have seen in years -- perhaps
ever. And therein lies a serious issue I see not only through the eyes of an
entertainment writer, but also a church-going Christian. Churches busing
youth to this movie like it's some sort of Chuck E. Cheese field trip need
to think -- and pray -- long and hard about the aftershock. "The Passion" is
not kids' stuff. It is gory in the extreme, with prolonged flogging and
torture scenes. One lasts 45 minutes.
[Christianity] A Bible based diet aimed at Christians
"By returning to 'the manufacturer's specifications,' your body will
naturally return to its ideal weight, shape and strength levels without any
dangerous side effects," [Jordan] Rubin writes in a daily log for dieters
that accompanies his new book, "The Maker's Diet: The 40-Day Health
Experience That Will Change Your Life Forever." Rubin, a devout Christian,
has a degree in naturopathic medicine from the Peoples University of the
Americas in Puerto Rico and a doctorate in nutrition from the Wyoming-based
Academy of Natural Therapies. He also has a head for business. Only 28,
Rubin is founder of the $40 million-a-year nutritional supplements company
Garden of Life, which is based in West Palm Beach. The Maker's dieters are
encouraged to use some Garden of Life products to improve health, but Rubin
says that's not absolutely necessary.
[Catholic Church] Boston Church Sex Victim Found Dead
Patrick McSorley, a victim of defrocked pedophile priest John Geoghan who
spoke openly of the deep scars left by clergy sexual abuse, has been found
dead, his lawyer said on Monday. Mitchell Garabedian, who represented
McSorley and dozens of others who said they had been abused by Geoghan,
confirmed reports that McSorley's body had been found in downtown Boston,
but declined further comment on the cause of death.
[Fraud] International scam targets Utah Muslims
Several Utah residents have been targeted by what has been deemed an
international scam aimed at Muslims, the Council on American-Islamic
[Raelians] Clonaid Claims Embryos Needed for Human Cloning Produced in Korea
The controversial international cloning company, Clonaid has announced
they've produced the human embryos needed to clone babies right here in
Korea. The firm which was created by a UFO cult known as the Raelians said
Tuesday they have implanted human embryos cloned in a South Korean research
center into wombs. Clonaid said these embryos were the ones used to create
Eve, the first-ever cloned human being in December 2002 and also to give
birth to their sixth cloned baby boy in Australia early this month.
[Yongsaenggyo] Cult Leader Faces W4 Bil. Lawsuit
Cho Hui-song, leader of religious cult Yongsaenggyo, was on Tuesday sued for
4 billion won in a compensation suit by the families of victims allegedly
murdered by the cult leader. [...] The families claimed that Cho ordered the
killings of the five victims in 1985-1992. [...] The Suwon District Court
sentenced him to death on Feb. 2, but the court only recognized that only
six of his former followers were murdered by Cho's order from 1990 through
[Church and State] New York chapter of ACLU says it's suing Salvation Army
over religious issue
A civil rights group said Monday it will sue the Salvation Army because it
allegedly has begun requiring employees to identify their church affiliation
and support the army's mission to "preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ." [...]
The NYCLU says the Salvation Army is overlooking the separation of church
and state while accepting millions in government aid.
[Aum Shinrikyo] Day of Judgment: Cultists loyal despite Matsumoto's arrest
This is the 11th installment of a series on Chizuo Matsumoto, the founder of
the Aum Supreme Truth cult.
[Aum Shinrikyo] Saving best for last, guru verdict done deal?
Friday is verdict day in the eight-year trial of Aum Shinrikyo founder Shoko
Asahara, who if the state has its way will hang for masterminding or
ordering 13 heinous crimes that resulted in 27 slayings at the hands of his
[Aum Shinrikyo] Mind control may have been a factor but not a mitigating one
Mind control at the hands of Aum Shinrikyo founder Shoko Asahara was a key
defense argument for many of the 11 cultists sentenced to death and the six
others handed life prison terms for carrying out Aum's heinous crimes -- an
argument that had little if any effect. As the convicted cultists pursue
their appeals, including before the Supreme Court, their lawyers continue to
seek leniency, claiming their clients were brainwashed by the guru and his
teachings -- a factor the courts have partially recognized.
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