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ReligionNewsBlog.com, Nov. 17-18, 2004

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  • Anton and Janet Hein-Hudson
    ReligionNewsBlog.com, Nov. 17-18, 2004 Thu, Nov. 18, 2004 [Gilbert Deya Ministries] Coroner Dismisses Miracle Baby Claim
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 18, 2004
      ReligionNewsBlog.com, Nov. 17-18, 2004

      Thu, Nov. 18, 2004
      [Gilbert Deya Ministries] Coroner Dismisses 'Miracle Baby' Claim
      The DNA of a “miracle baby” which an evangelist claims was conceived
      through the power of prayer does not match those of her alleged parents, a
      coroner has ruled.

      Dr William Dolman, of Hornsey Coroner’s Court, yesterday said Sarah, who
      died three weeks after she was born, was not related in any way to the
      couple claiming to be her parents, BBC Radio 4 programme You and Yours

      The child was one of many babies who Gilbert Deya, head of controversial
      religious sect Gilbert Deya Ministries, claims were conceived through the
      power of prayer.

      [Raymond Russell George] Alleged cult leader silent at plea hearing
      Trial was set for April 25 for a Reno man who prosecutors say led a
      religious cult in which he molested and raped two teenage girls in his
      “fantasy room” and mentally and physically abused their young brother.

      [Books] Is It the End of the World as This Author Knows It?
      Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins have sold 42 million books by fictionalizing
      the Biblical End Times in the Left Behind series. But this fall their
      Christian publisher, Tyndale House, launched a rival series directly
      challenging the premise that born-again Christians will be "raptured" into
      heaven while those "left behind" face the anti-Christ during the

      LaHaye was not amused when Tyndale asked him to debate his new
      competition, Christian-radio host Hank Hanegraaff, as a promotion.

      [Catholic Church] US bishops shelve statement urging greater use of Bible
      Despite pleas from Bible Belt bishops, the Catholic bishops of the United
      States yesterday voted to shelve plans to develop a statement urging
      greater use of the Bible, a move aimed at restraining spending and cutting
      down on a crush of publications they fear have little impact.

      [China] Chinese Internal Document Puts New Squeeze on Religion
      An internal Chinese government document obtained recently by Christians
      overseas says the state organs should beef up Marxist education to push
      out superstition, teachings of the banned Falun Gong spiritual movement
      and "Western hostile forces."

      [Arlan and Linda Kaufman] Bond set for couple in slavery case
      A federal judge ruled Wednesday that a couple charged with enslaving
      mentally ill residents at a group home in Newton can be released on bond
      while awaiting trial.

      During Wednesday's hearing, federal prosecutor Lisa Krigsten argued that
      the Kaufmans, if released, would take advantage of the "cult-like" control
      they had over the former residents of the Kaufman House.

      [Interfaith] Anderson holds forums aimed at bridging Utah's religious
      If Wednesday night's packed meeting is any indication, there is a
      groundswell of people who want to heal Salt Lake City's religious divide.

      Mayor Rocky Anderson's first community meeting on the topic crammed the
      Main Library auditorium and more listened to the discussion live on KCPW.
      The 1 1/2 -hour open-mic conversation was punctuated not by verbal bashing
      between Mormons and others, as was feared, but with applause for comments
      like this from Susan Deal: "There are many opportunities for me to love
      much more every day.

      [Polygamy] Investigators find missing FLDS girl
      Investigators Tuesday identified and questioned a 17-year-old girl who was
      reportedly missing and rumored to be married to Warren Jeffs, prophet of
      the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

      [Nuwaubians] Convicted Nuwaubian leader files appeal, claims trial full of
      The federal trial of religious sect leader Dwight "Malachi" York that
      resulted in his conviction on child molestation and racketeering charges
      and a 135-year prison sentence was fraught with errors by nearly all
      parties involved, according to an appeals brief filed with the 11th U.S.
      Circuit Court of Appeals.

      Wed, Nov. 17, 2004
      [Islam] Anger over call for Muslim public holiday
      German opposition and government members reacted with anger Wednesday to
      calls by the Greens party - which serve in Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder's
      coalition - for establishing a Muslim holiday in the country.

      Bavarian state Premier Edmund Stoiber, a member of the Christian Social
      Union, slammed the idea as "sending out a totally wrong signal."

      [Islam] Nothing Islamic About Human Sacrifice
      These are the actions of a resurrected blood cult that has nothing to do
      with the message of the Prophet Mohammed and everything to do with the
      bloodthirsty winged devils and gory altars that haunted the ancient Middle

      The terrorists may believe that they're good Muslims -- self-awareness is
      not a widespread human trait -- but their deeds are those of the pagans
      Mohammed condemned

      [Dane Hoover] Teen accused of trying to kill father
      "They have a statement from the son that he'd been reading The Book of
      Mormon, and somewhere along the line he said he had an epiphany that his
      father was evil and that he needed to kill him -- and that's what he
      attempted to do," said LaPorte County police Major Gary Broling.

      [Goth] Black-clad youths say others assume worst
      Goth is a term applied to young people who dress entirely or mostly in
      black, listen to certain types of heavy metal and alternative music, and
      often express a fascination for vampires or similar dark, gothic themes.

      Mainstream people seem to have a natural inclination to fear what they
      don’t understand, said Nancy Kilpatrick, a Canadian author who has written
      14 novels of gothic literature.

      She attempts to assuage some of those fears with her newest work of
      non-fiction -- "The Goth Bible" -- a compendium of all things Goth.

      [Polygamy] Authorities: Colorado City girl is not missing
      An Arizona investigator said a 17-year-old Colorado City girl reported
      missing by her sister and feared forced to marry a polygamist leader says
      she is fine and not married.

      [Colonia Dignidad] Chile Judge Sentences Fugitive German Sect Leader
      The German enclave Villa Baviera, also known as Colonia Dignidad, has been
      the center of dozens of legal battles in Chile for decades, including sex
      abuse charges, tax evasion cases and a human rights investigation related
      to collaboration with Chile's former military government.

      The only person found guilty of acts of sex abuse was the former sect
      leader, Paul Schaefer, who has been missing since 1997. He is believed to
      be 81 years old.

      [Netherlands] Tension high, Dutch ponder old blasphemy law
      Political leaders angrily responded to Donner's proposal. D66, the
      smallest party in the governing coalition, submitted a motion to remove
      the blasphemy clause from the criminal code.

      "Since van Gogh's murder there are great doubts about what can and cannot
      be said," said Lousewies van der Laan, parliamentary leader of D66.
      Instead of addressing those concerns, he said, the minister proposes "to
      dust off a barely used law on blasphemy."

      [Da Vinci Code] World's best-selling novel got its key facts wrong
      The Da Vinci Code is one of the biggest-selling novels of all time. It has
      sold an estimated 17 million copies, been translated into 42 languages and
      reportedly made author Dan Brown ?140million.

      Now it's set to be turned into a Hollywood blockbuster starring Tom Hanks
      as a Harvard professor seeking the Holy Grail. But the news has dismayed
      scholars who dismiss the book as "absurd rubbish".

      [Atheism] Atheist to speak tomorrow despite denied honorarium
      Barker is a former preacher and an atheist who works for the Freedom from
      Religion Foundation, an educational group working for the separation of
      church and state, said Andrew Stangl, Wichita sophomore and president of
      the Society of Open-Minded Atheists and Agnostics (SOMA).

      [Christianity] Billy Graham Is Frail, but Mission Is Strong
      55 years after his first crusade in Los Angeles launched him into
      international prominence, evangelist Billy Graham opens his four-day
      Greater Los Angeles Crusade at the Rose Bowl on Thursday night with a
      Christian Gospel message of salvation that has remained unchanged.

      [Kabbalah] Kabbalah:(In)famous faith
      One of the latest trends in Hollywood isn't Gucci handbags or Prada pumps
      - it's Kabbalah.

      Kabbalah has reached nearly 3 million people worldwide including the likes
      of Madonna, Britney Spears, Jeri Hall, Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher.

      [Offbeat News] Man claims religion prohibits him from carrying license
      A southwest Missouri man who claims he answers to God and not the
      government remained jailed Tuesday after his third arrest on a charge of
      driving his pickup truck without a license.

      [Church and State] Pentagon To Cut Boy Scouts From Bases
      The Pentagon has agreed to warn military bases worldwide not to directly
      sponsor Boy Scout troops, partially resolving claims that the government
      has engaged in religious discrimination by supporting a group that
      requires members to believe in God.

      [Catholic Church] Faithful flock to place of physical and spiritual
      A tiny catholic mission deep in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains in New
      Mexico is known as "the Lourdes of the West" where physical and spiritual
      healings take place.

      The faithful say the curative powers literally swell-up, out of the earth
      attracting pilgrims as close as San Antonio and as far as Russia

      [Buddhism] More Westerners Go East to Learn About Buddhism
      Professor Thak Chaloemtiarana, Director of the Southeast Asia Program at
      Cornell University, says Thailand is a natural magnet for seekers of
      Buddhism because the country has well-developed tourism infrastructure and
      an unusual history.

      [Science and Religion] Study reveals spirituality’s effects on emotions,
      Students who are actively religious are less likely to suffer from
      depression and engage in risky behavior like drinking alcohol, according
      to a study recently released at UCLA.

      The study by the Higher Education Research Institute surveyed students at
      46 colleges and universities and found that students who did not regularly
      attend religious services were more than twice as likely to report
      suffering from depression or poor emotional well-being.

      [Taize] Spirituality of Taize takes root
      The movement's ecumenical community now consists of 90 brothers from 20
      nations, some of Catholic background and others of Protestant. They have
      taken a vow of common life and celibacy.

      Though it remains concentrated in France, the movement has attracted
      followers around the world. "Some are living in small groups in poor
      neighborhoods in Asia, Africa, North and South America," according to the
      Taize website.

      [Offbeat News] 10-year-old sandwich depicting the Virgin Mary draws
      $22,000 bid
      White bread from Publix and Land 'O Lakes American cheese, slapped
      together and fried up for a Dania Beach woman's breakfast 10 years ago,
      produced what she believes is an image of the Virgin Mary.

      "I think she protects me," Diana Duyser said Tuesday. "I guess I'm lucky
      because of her -- I've had a lot of wins at the casino."

      Duyser, 52, isn't the only one who trusts in the crust. Since she offered
      the aging, triangular sandwich for sale last week on the Internet auction
      site eBay, she's had bids of up to $22,000.

      [Hare Krishna] A new kind of adherent dons the saffron robe
      These are Portland’s present-day Hare Krishnas. Unlike the 1970s, you
      won’t find them at the airport, tossing flowers at tourists and tired
      businessmen. You won’t find them dancing with throngs of hippies in the

      These days, they’re more likely to leave you with a vegetarian cookbook or
      just a smile and an enthusiastic “Hare Krishna!”

      [Islam] Animated Islam comes to US screens
      After the turbulence that followed the attacks of 11 September, 2001,
      Muslims in America are making efforts to reach out to the rest of the

      An animated film of the life of the Prophet Mohammed is the latest attempt
      to improve the interaction of Muslims in US society.

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      Anton and Janet Hein-Hudson
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