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Beliefnet News

February 2008 Archives

Chaldean Archbishop Kidnapped in Iraq

posted by nsymmonds

Associated Press – February 29, 2008 BAGHDAD – Gunmen kidnapped a Chaldean Catholic archbishop Friday in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul, police and the church said, in another attack targeting Iraq’s small Christian community. The gunmen killed three people […]

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Prominent Muslim Seminary Condemns Terrorism

posted by nsymmonds

By Achal Narayanan Religion News Service CHENNAI, India (RNS) An influential group of Muslim theologians at a prominent Islamic seminary in northern India have denounced terrorism, saying it is goes against the teachings of Islam. The denouncement came during the […]

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United Methodists Join Anti-Torture Campaign

posted by nsymmonds

By Brittani Hamm Religion News Service WASHINGTON — The United Methodist Church’s social policy office is circulating a petition that tells President Bush, a fellow church member, that torture is immoral and ineffective. The petition cites the Methodists’ Book of […]

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Christian Group’s Study Links Subprime Crisis to Hunger

posted by akornfeld

Matthew Streib Religion News Service Washington – The poorest counties in the U.S. are among the hardest hit by the subprime mortgage crisis, according to a study released Wednesday (Feb. 27) by the Christian anti-hunger advocacy group Bread for the […]

Oregon Teens Suspended for Wearing Crucifixes

posted by akornfeld

Associated Press Albany, Ore. – A pair of Albany teenagers suspended for “gang-related behavior” because they were wearing crucifixes say they were only wearing gifts from their mothers. Jaime Salazar, 14, and his friend Marco Castro, 16, were suspended from […]

Obama Fights False Links to Islam, Denounces Views of Farrakhan

posted by akornfeld

Associated Press Washington – For Barack Obama, it is an ember that he has doused time and again, only to see it flicker anew: links to Islam fanned by false rumors, innuendo and association. The Democratic presidential front-runner and his […]

Report: Railway Hasn’t Helped Tibetans

posted by nsymmonds

Associated Press – February 27, 2008 BEIJING – China’s railway to Tibet is allowing the government to exploit the region’s natural resources while threatening its Buddhist culture and traditional way of life, an activist group said Thursday. The Washington-based International […]

Thousands Protest Cartoon of Muhammad

posted by nsymmonds

Associated Press – February 27, 2008 KHARTOUM, Sudan – President Omar al-Bashir vowed on Wednesday to ban Danes from Sudan and called on the Muslim world to boycott Denmark as tens of thousands of Sudanese chanted slogans denouncing the country […]

Raul Castro Meets with Vatican Official

posted by nsymmonds

Efe – February 27, 2008 Havana, Feb 27, 2008 (EFE via COMTEX) — Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone became the first foreign dignitary to be received by Cuba’s new president, Raul Castro. Bertone and Castro “examined the development […]

Catholics Lose More Faithful Than Any Other Group

posted by akornfeld

By Greg Trotter Religion News Service In the marketplace of American faith, Catholicism is the big loser. Catholics have lost more members to other faiths, or to no faith at all, than any other U.S. religion, according to the new […]

Polygamist Leader Warren Jeffs Is in Custody of Arizona Authorities to Face New Charges There

posted by akornfeld

Associated Press Phoenix – U.S. polygamist sect leader Warren Jeffs was handed over to Arizona authorities Tuesday to face charges that he arranged the marriages of two teenage girls to older men. He already has been convicted in Utah in […]

Senate Investigation of Ministries Continues

posted by akornfeld

Associated Press A senator’s investigation into spending and oversight at six “prosperity gospel” ministries has hit a roadblock with a minister intensifying his efforts to fight the inquiry, but made progress on Monday when another turned over documents. Flamboyant Texas-based […]

Study Finds Americans Fluid in Their Religious Affiliation

posted by nsymmonds

By Adelle M. Banks 2008 Religion News Service (UNDATED) If you’re Buddhist in the United States, you’re most likely a white convert who lives in the American West. If you’re a Jehovah’s Witness, you’re likely to be a white Southerner, […]

Hindus Thrive as Buddhists Struggle to Pass on the Faith

posted by nsymmonds

By Andrea Useem 2008 Religion News Service (UNDATED) In a study that highlights the fluidity of religious affiliation in America today, Hindus stand out as the group with the most stable religious identity, while Buddhists struggle hardest to pass the […]

California McDonald’s Aims to Boost Sales with Feng Shui

posted by nsymmonds

Associated Press – February 25, 2008 HACIENDA HEIGHTS, California – The only familiar signs at the McDonald’s in this large Asian community are the golden arches, the drive-through and the menu. Gone are the plastic furniture, Ronald McDonald and the […]

Blacks and Whites Merge to Forge New Future

posted by nsymmonds

By Bruce Nolan c. 2008 Religion News Service NEW ORLEANS — These old walls have never heard music like this. On Sundays, when morning light fills the vaulted space of the former First United Methodist Church on Canal Street, drummer […]

Christian Leaders Consider ‘Creation Care’

posted by nsymmonds

Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News – February 21, 2008 Calling climate change “the civil rights movement of the 21st century,” evangelical Christian leaders gathered at a daylong environmental conference in Longwood, Fla., Thursday. Global warming is “an offense against God,” added […]

Pope Urges Jesuits to Commit to Orthodoxy

posted by nsymmonds

By Francis X. Rocca Religion News Service VATICAN CITY (RNS) For the second time in two months, Pope Benedict XVI urged leaders of the Catholic Church’s largest religious order to affirm their commitment to orthodoxy in several controversial areas, including […]

NFL Punts: Churches Can Show Super Bowl Telecast

posted by akornfeld

By Paul Walsh Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News After churches in Minnesota and elsewhere in the nation were warned by the NFL about showing the Super Bowl telecast to gatherings, the league has relented and will allow religious organizations to display […]

Change in Good Friday Prayer Prompts Mixed Reaction

posted by akornfeld

Associated Press New York – The Anti-Defamation League was “deeply troubled” by the prayer. Conservative Jewish rabbis said they were “dismayed and deeply disturbed” by its language. But some veteran interfaith leaders – Jewish and Roman Catholic – say there’s […]

Chinese Official in Washington to Deal with US Claims of Religious Intolerance Before Olympics

posted by akornfeld

Associated Press Washington – A senior Chinese official is trying to calm U.S. misgivings ahead of Beijing’s coming Olympic Games about what the Bush administration sees as religious intolerance in China. The director of China’s religious affairs bureau met in […]

Presbyterian High Court Bars Noncelibate Gay Clergy

posted by nsymmonds

By Daniel Burke Religion News Service (RNS) The high court of the Presbyterian Church (USA) has issued a landmark decision that unequivocally bars noncelibate gay and lesbian clergy and halts recent attempts to compromise on ordination standards. Ministerial candidates in […]

Report: Vatican Official Says Future Pope Trip to Cuba is Possible

posted by nsymmonds

Associated Press – February 19, 2008 VATICAN CITY – The Vatican’s No. 2 official, on the eve of a trip to Cuba, held out the possibility of a future visit there by Pope Benedict XVI, according to an interview published […]

Voters in Pakistan’s Conservative Northwest Throw out Religious Hard-liners

posted by nsymmonds

Associated Press – February 20, 2008 PESHAWAR, Pakistan – Fed up with violence and broken promises, voters in Pakistan’s deeply conservative northwest have thrown out the Islamist parties that ruled this province for five years – a clear sign that […]

Vatican to Tighten Rules on Making Saints

posted by akornfeld

By Francis X. Rocca Religion News Service Vatican City — In his 26-year reign, Pope John Paul II canonized a record 482 saints and beatified an additional 1,341 Catholics, more than all his predecessors combined since the late 16th century. […]

Uganda’s Anglicans Threaten to Secede from Global Church

posted by akornfeld

Associated Press Kampala, Uganda – Uganda’s Anglican church threatened Monday to secede from the rest of the 77-million member fellowship unless U.S. clergy condemn homosexuality. The announcement was the latest salvo in a fierce debate about homosexuality has overtaken the […]

Graham Home Following Surgery

posted by akornfeld

Associated Press Asheville, N.C. – Evangelist Billy Graham is back at his North Carolina home recovering from surgery to update a shunt that controls excess fluid to his brain. Mission Hospitals spokeswoman Merrell Gregory says Graham is recovering well and […]

Suits Challenge Pa. Rules on Clergy and Weddings

posted by akornfeld

By Daniel Burke Religion News Service The American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania filed lawsuits Thursday (Feb. 14) challenging a judge’s ruling that marriages performed by ministers without a congregation or place of worship are invalid. The 2007 ruling, by […]

Rabbis Upset Over Good Friday Prayers

posted by akornfeld

By Rachel Pomerance and Francis X. Rocca Religion News Service Conservative rabbis expressed their “dismay” this week over a traditional Good Friday prayer that calls for the conversion of Jews that Pope Benedict XVI revised but left largely intact. In […]

Lourdes Anniversary Ushers in Comeback in Devotions

posted by nsymmonds

By David Briggs c. 2008 Religion News Service EUCLID, Ohio — Hundreds of worshippers pack every seat in the chapel of the National Shrine and Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes. As the rosary is recited, some kneel in front […]

Conservatives Angry at Changes in AIDS Funding

posted by nsymmonds

By Matthew Streib c. 2008 Religion News Service WASHINGTON — Religious anti-abortion groups are angry over proposed changes in the Bush administration’s global AIDS relief program, which has reportedly provided lifesaving medicine to 1.4 million people worldwide. “The way the […]

Billy Graham Recovering After Surgery

posted by nsymmonds

Associated Press – February 14, 2008 ASHEVILLE, N.C. – Evangelist Billy Graham was recovering Thursday from a surgery to update a shunt that controls excess fluid in his brain, a family spokesman said. The 89-year-old Southern Baptist minister was expected […]

Pope Benedict XVI Puts Sister Lucia on Fast Track to Possible Sainthood

posted by nsymmonds

Associated Press – February 13, 2008 VATICAN CITY – Pope Benedict XVI has put Sister Lucia – the last of three shepherd children who claimed to have seen the Virgin Mary during 1917 apparitions in Fatima – on a fast-track […]

Artists Present an Uncensored View of Mormon History

posted by nsymmonds

By Menachem Wecker c. 2008 Religion News Service (UNDATED) Like many religious institutions, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (the Mormons) has commissioned countless works of art to educate believers and non-believers about its history and doctrines. Now, […]

Danish Newspapers Reprint Controversial Prophet Muhammad Cartoon

posted by nsymmonds

Associated Press – February 13, 2008 COPENHAGEN, Denmark – Leading Danish newspapers reprinted cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad in a gesture of solidarity Wednesday after police revealed a plot to kill the creator of the caricature that sparked deadly riots […]

Lourdes Celebrates 150th Anniversary of Virgin Mary Vision

posted by nsymmonds

Deutsche Presse-Agentur (dpa) – February 11, 2008 Paris (dpa) – More than 50,000 Catholic pilgrims took part in a Mass on Monday at the Catholic shrine in the southern French city of Lourdes to celebrated the 150th anniversary of the […]

Abortion Foes Put Grand Jury on Case

posted by nsymmonds

Chicago Tribune – February 12, 2008 (MCT) WICHITA, Kan. – The latest skirmish in the abortion wars is being fought, not on the sidewalk outside a clinic, but in the ornate jury room of a 19th Century courthouse. Kansas is […]

Jews Worried Again as Methodists Mull Divestment Plan

posted by nsymmonds

By Rachel Pomerance 2008 Religion News Service (UNDATED) The United Methodist Church is poised to become the next U.S. church to consider divesting from Israel, a topic so controversial that it prompted the Presbyterian Church (USA) to backpedal on its […]

Gary Bauer Endorses McCain

posted by nsymmonds

Associated Press – February 11, 2008 ANNAPOLIS, Md. – Republican John McCain challenged the notion he is struggling to rally conservative critics as he picked up the endorsement Monday of evangelical leader Gary Bauer. “We’re doing fine. We’re doing fine,” […]

Calif. Rep. Tom Lantos Dies

posted by nsymmonds

Associated Press – February 11, 2008 WASHINGTON – Rep. Tom Lantos, who as a teenager twice escaped from a Nazi-run forced labor camp in Hungary and became the only Holocaust survivor to win a seat in Congress, has died. He […]

Gay Mormons Seek Meeting With New Leader

posted by nsymmonds

Associated Press – February 10, 2008 SALT LAKE CITY – A group of gay Mormons is seeking an unprecedented meeting with the new church president and his counselors, hoping to begin a conversation and find ways to address the concerns […]

Court: Neb. Electric Chair Not Legal

posted by nsymmonds

Associated Press – February 8, 2008 LINCOLN, Neb. – The Nebraska Supreme Court ruled Friday that electrocution is cruel and unusual punishment, outlawing the electric chair in the only state that still used it as its sole means of execution. […]

Archbishop in Storm of Protest Over Sharia Remark

posted by nsymmonds

Deutsche Presse-Agentur (dpa) – February 8, 2008 London (dpa) – A call by the Archbishop of Canterbury to introduce elements of Islamic sharia law in Britain continued to come in for furious criticism Friday, with one former government minister describing […]

Creation Museum Founder Says Evolution Fuels Racism

posted by nsymmonds

Associated Press – February 8, 2008 LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The founder of a popular Kentucky Christian museum that rejects evolution says in a new book that Darwin’s theory fuels racism and genocide. Ken Ham, who opened the Creation Museum last […]

Local Buddhists Greet New Year with Ancient Spiritual Traditions

posted by nsymmonds

The Wichita Eagle, Kan. – February 7, 2008 Feb. 7–Before the colorful Dragon Dance, the passing out of “lucky money” and the shooting of fireworks in celebration of the lunar new year, members of the Phap Hoa Temple gathered in […]

Muslims Say Obama’s Denials Come Up Short

posted by nsymmonds

By Omar Sacirbey 2008 Religion News Service (UNDATED) Muslim Americans and political observers heralded the 2006 elections as a sort of debutante’s ball for the Muslim voter, when anger and organizational heft pushed unprecedented numbers of Muslim citizens to vote […]

Romney, in Ending Candidacy, Takes Shot at Europe and France

posted by nsymmonds

Associated Press – February 7, 2008 WASHINGTON – Republican Mitt Romney, in a speech Thursday ending his presidential candidacy, said Europe faces “demographic disaster” because of moral and religious failings, and warned that United States should not become “the France […]

Beatles Guru Maharishi Mahesh Yogi Dies

posted by nsymmonds

Associated Press – February 6, 2008 THE HAGUE, Netherlands – Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, a guru to the Beatles who introduced the West to transcendental meditation, died Tuesday at his home in the Dutch town of Vlodrop, a spokesman said. He […]

Critics Unsatisfied After Pope Tweaks Prayer for Jews

posted by nsymmonds

By Francis X. Rocca 2008 Religion News Service VATICAN CITY — With his decision last July to liberalize use of the Old Latin Mass, Pope Benedict XVI sought to appease traditionalists disaffected by recent changes to Catholic worship. But in […]

Evangelicals Still in Flux After Super Tuesday

posted by nsymmonds

By Adelle M. Banks 2008 Religion News Service WASHINGTON — The day after Super Tuesday, when so much was supposed to become so clear, evangelicals are as divided — and sought after — as they were the day before. “There […]

Vatican Reports Decline of Numbers in Religious Orders

posted by akornfeld

Associated Press Vatican City – The number of men and women belonging to Roman Catholic religious orders worldwide has continued to decline but there has been an increase in priests assigned to dioceses, the Vatican said Tuesday. The Vatican’s statistics […]

Businessman Rescues Oral Roberts U.

posted by akornfeld

Associated Press Oklahoma City – As a kid, Mart Green made 7 cents for every picture frame he glued together for his father’s arts and crafts business. But before he went out and bought baseball cards with his money, the […]

Kan. Court Blocks Abortion Grand Jury

posted by akornfeld

Associated Press Topeka, Kan. – The Kansas Supreme Court on Tuesday temporarily blocked a grand jury from obtaining patient records from a physician who is one of the nation’s few late-term abortion providers. The grand jury is investigating whether Dr. […]

Chicago’s New Episcopal Bishop, National Leader Speak Up for Gay Clergy

posted by nsymmonds

Chicago Tribune – February 4, 2008 Feb. 4–Chicago’s new Episcopal bishop and the church’s national leader sent a clear message Sunday about where they stand on gay clergy, a smoldering issue that threatens to tear apart the denomination. Wrapping up […]

Monson Named New Mormon Church President

posted by nsymmonds

Associated Press – February 4, 2008 SALT LAKE CITY – Thomas S. Monson, a leader who became known for his folksy storytelling as he ascended through church ranks, was introduced Monday as the 16th president of The Church of Jesus […]

Clinton Closes Baptist Meeting with Renewed Push for Unity

posted by nsymmonds

By Adelle M. Banks 2008 Religion News Service ATLANTA — Former President Bill Clinton closed out an historic meeting of Baptists Friday (Feb. 1) with a call to redouble efforts to help the poor and a renewed push to heal […]

Florida Baptist Edges Emperor Toward Sainthood

posted by akornfeld

Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News Feb. 1–The last ruler of the Austro-Hungarian Empire moved a little closer to Roman Catholic sainthood Thursday, thanks to a Baptist woman from Kissimmee who claims the monarch’s intercession saved her from metastatic breast cancer. Emperor […]

Analysis: Romney Opens Up About Mormons

posted by akornfeld

Associated Press San Diego – The death of Mormon church President Gordon B. Hinckley renews attention on Mitt Romney’s little-known religion – yet rather than being reluctant to discuss it, he’s making a public embrace that shows some shifting political […]

Carter Forges Peace Among a New Group: Baptists

posted by akornfeld

By Adelle M. Banks Religion News Service Atlanta – Since his days in the White House, former President Jimmy Carter has served as an elder statesman on global issues and garnered the Nobel Peace Prize for his humanitarian work along […]

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posted 3:10:30pm Nov. 05, 2013 | read full post »

Billy Graham: I know where I'm going
“Daddy thinks the Lord will allow him to live to 95,” said Franklin Graham recently. It was not a prophecy but a hope, Franklin explained, that he would live to see the beginning of a Christian re

posted 10:02:01am Oct. 24, 2013 | read full post »

Are All These Christians' Complaints of Persecution Just So Much Empty Whining?
The headlines are alarming: “Catholic-Owned Company Wins Religious Freedom Court Decision,” “Death Toll Rises to 65 in Boko Haram Attack on Students,” “Little Sisters Catholic Charity Victimized By Obamacare,” “Christians Sought Out, Murdered in the Kenyan Mall Massacre,” “Judicial

posted 2:41:26am Oct. 07, 2013 | read full post »

How can Christians defend themselves against today's random violence?
So, a crazed gunman opens fire and you’re caught in the middle. How can you survive? Heroes come in all sorts of packages. And they wield all sorts of defensive weapons. Such as guns and Jesus. Sometimes both at the same time. [caption id="attachment_12246" align="alignleft" width="480"] Ant

posted 2:53:48pm Sep. 27, 2013 | read full post »

Does Sunday Morning Church Really Need All This Glitter, Showmanship and Gimmickry?
What’s wrong with church today? Are we in danger of turning worship into a flashy concert? Of watering down the message so nobody is offended? Of forgetting the simplicity of the Gospel? I grew up with a preacher’s kid. He was a fake following in the footsteps of his flimflamming father who d

posted 11:26:20am Sep. 20, 2013 | read full post »

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