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July 2008 Archives

Anglican Bishops Find Unity in Cathedral’s Tortured Past

posted by akornfeld

By Daniel Burke Religion News Service Canterbury, England – For centuries, the cathedral at the heart of this city has drawn millions to its doors, from Chaucer’s rowdy pilgrims to throngs of Anglican bishops and clumps of camera-toting tourists. The […]

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At Yale, A Call For Christians, Muslims to Be At Peace

posted by akornfeld

The Hartford Courant New Haven – The Rev. Robert H. Schuller, a California pastor and host of television’s “Hour of Power,” reaches 20 million Christian followers around the world. Sheik Al-Habib Ali Al-Jifri ranks among the 10 most popular Muslim […]

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New Mass. Law Lets Out-of-State Gay Couples Marry

posted by akornfeld

Associated Press Boston – Massachusetts on Thursday began allowing any gay couple to get married there as Gov. Deval Patrick signed a bill repealing a 1913 law that had blocked most out-of-state same-sex couples from tying the knot. The old […]

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Pastor’s Book: Thank God for Evolution

posted by nsymmonds

By RENEE K. GADOUA c. 2008 Religion News Service (UNDATED) The Rev. Michael Dowd’s Dodge Sprinter van bears an image of kissing fish. The fish, labeled “Darwin” and “Jesus,” reflect his belief that evolution is sacred and that science and […]

Federal Panel Asks Bush to Press China on Religious Freedom

posted by nsymmonds

By Ashly McGlone Religion News Service WASHINGTON (RNS) A federal religious freedom watchdog panel on Wednesday (July 30) asked President Bush to use his trip to the Beijing Olympics next month to speak publicly against abuses of religious freedom and […]

McCain, Obama Urged to Make Poverty a Priority

posted by nsymmonds

By Nicole Neroulias Religion News Service (RNS) Nine faith leaders have banded together to urge Sens. Barack Obama and John McCain to present a 10-year plan to combat poverty when speaking at their national nominating conventions. The interfaith coalition — […]

Jewish Ritual Bath Integrates Religion into Private Life

posted by akornfeld

McClatchy-Tribune Information Services In the seclusion of nightfall just days before her wedding, Leah Kahn stepped into the soothing lukewarm waters of a mikvah, drew in a deep breath and plunged into her new life. After seven dunks in the […]

Anglicans Mull Ban on Gay Bishops

posted by akornfeld

United Press International Canterbury, England – A plan before the Lambeth Conference in England would ban consecration of gay bishops and blessings of same-sex relationships in the Anglican Communion. The proposal for a forum to be headed by Archbishop of […]

Mahony Says Immigration Must Be Top Priority

posted by akornfeld

By Tim Murphy Religion News Service Washington – Los Angeles Cardinal Roger Mahony, who heads the nation’s largest Catholic archdiocese, on Monday (July 28) urged presidential candidates Barack Obama and John McCain to make immigration reform a top-level priority. In […]

Student Apologizes for Swiping Obama’s Prayer

posted by akornfeld

Michele Chabin Religion News Service Jerusalem – An Israeli yeshiva student has apologized for removing a personal prayer that Sen. Barack Obama inserted into the Western Wall during a visit to Israel last week. “I’m sorry. It was a kind […]

Soldiers Coerced at Baptist Church, Watchdog Group Says

posted by akornfeld

Tim Murphy Religion News Service Washington – A church-state watchdog group has asked the Pentagon to investigate a Missouri Army base that sends trainees to a fundamentalist Baptist church on off days. Americans United for Separation of Church and State […]

Police: Man Left Letter Saying He Shot Churchgoers Over Liberal Views

posted by akornfeld

Associated Press Knoxville, Tennessee – An unemployed man accused of opening fire with a shotgun and killing two people at a Unitarian church apparently targeted the congregation out of hatred for its liberal social policies, police said Monday. Knoxville Police […]

Prof Whose ‘Last Lecture’ Became a Sensation Dies

posted by akornfeld

Associated Press Pittsburgh – Randy Pausch, the Carnegie Mellon University computer scientist whose “last lecture” about facing terminal cancer became an Internet sensation and a best-selling book, died Friday. He was 47. Pausch died at his home in Chesapeake, Va., […]

Israeli Paper Publishes Obama Western Wall Prayer

posted by akornfeld

Associated Press Jerusalem – A written prayer that Barack Obama left this week in the cracks of the Western Wall, Judaism’s holiest site, asks God to guide him and guard his family, an Israeli newspaper reported Friday. “Lord – Protect […]

Catholics to Pope: Lift the Birth Control Ban

posted by akornfeld

Associated Press Vatican City – More than 50 dissident Catholic groups from around the world have written an open letter asking Pope Benedict XVI to lift the church’s ban on birth control. Taking a half-page ad in the Italian daily […]

Obama Tells Israel He’s Committed to Its Security

posted by akornfeld

Associated Press Sderot, Israel – From the solemnity of a Holocaust museum to a dusty village battered by Hamas rockets, Democratic presidential contender Barack Obama on Wednesday professed “an unshakable commitment to the security” of Israel, whether the threat comes […]

McCain to Meet with the Dalai Lama

posted by akornfeld

Associated Press Washington – U.S. Republican presidential candidate John McCain is scheduled to meet with the Dalai Lama, the Tibetan spiritual leader, on Friday. The two will meet in Aspen, Colorado where the Dalai Lama plans to address a symposium […]

Anglican Bishops Lead ‘Poverty March’ Through London

posted by akornfeld

Deutsche Presse-Agentur London – Hundreds of Anglican bishops led a protest march through central London Thursday urging world governments to show the “political will” to fulfil pledges of eradicating global poverty by 2015. The colourful march, which turned the government […]

Heisman Winner Declines Spot in Playboy Lineup for Religious Reasons

posted by akornfeld

By Tim Murphy Religion News Service One year after winning college football’s highest honor, University of Florida star Tim Tebow was pulled from consideration for Playboy’s pre-season All-American team because the magazine conflicts with his Christian beliefs, a school official […]

Lieberman Affirms Hagee, Uses Religious Platform to Discuss Security

posted by akornfeld

The Hartford Courant Washington – On Tuesday night, Sen. Joseph Lieberman spoke again to Christians United for Israel — with the tone and biblical references of a sermon — telling Pastor John Hagee’s group, “We Americans have real enemies; we […]

Muslims Begin to Copy the Megachurch Multi-Site Model

posted by akornfeld

By Mallika Rao Religion News Service Washington – Mosques across the country are beginning to use a model similar to the one used by some suburban and downtown megachurches, operating multiple sites to serve a large and dispersed congregation. Many […]

Fourth-Century Bible to Go Online

posted by akornfeld

By Al Webb Religion News Service London – The Codex Sinaiticus, thought to be one of the world’s oldest Bibles, is going online this week in a project led by the British Library to reconnect all its 1,600-year-old parts that […]

Survey: Most U.S. Jews Don’t Support Hagee, Christian Zionists

posted by akornfeld

By Nicole Neroulias Religion News Service New York – As Texas megachurch pastor John Hagee convenes his annual Christians United for Israel summit in Washington this week (July 21-24), a new poll shows most U.S. Jews are leery of his […]

Senate Leader to Push Polygamy Victims Bill

posted by akornfeld

The Salt Lake Tribune Washington – Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid will introduce a measure Wednesday establishing a federal task force on polygamy and offering help to those trying to escape polygamous communities. The bill, if passed, would set the […]

Pope Meets Clergy Sex Abuse Victims in Australia

posted by nsymmonds

Associated Press – July 21, 2008 SYDNEY, Australia – Pope Benedict XVI ended his visit to Australia Monday by meeting with victims of sexual abuse inflicted by Roman Catholic clergy – an issue that has scandalized the church at a […]

Anglican Spiritual Leader at UK Summit Says Fellowship in Crisis Over Homosexuality

posted by nsymmonds

Associated Press – July 20, 2008 CANTERBURY, England – The head of the Anglican Communion said the global fellowship faces “one of the most severe challenges” in its history, and told bishops at their once-a-decade Lambeth Conference that they must […]

California Pastor Says McCain, Obama Will Appear at Church Forum Next Month

posted by nsymmonds

Associated Press – July 21, 2008 LAKE FOREST, California – Republican John McCain and Democrat Barack Obama will participate next month in a question-and-answer forum at Saddleback Church, Pastor Rick Warren said Monday. Warren, who oversees the 22,000-member congregation, will […]

In Sydney, Pope Urges All Faiths to Unite Against Violence

posted by shuang

Associated Press SYDNEY, Australia – Pope Benedict XVI on Friday urged religious leaders of all kinds to unite against those who use faith to divide communities – an apparent reference to terrorism in the name of religion. Benedict met with […]

Interfaith Meeting in Saudi Arabia Ends with Leaders Eager for U.N. Dialogue

posted by shuang

Associated Press MADRID, Spain – Representatives of the world’s religions on Friday ended a three-day interfaith conference called by King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia which some hope could hail the beginning of a new relationship by denominations. The Madrid meeting […]

Anglican Leader Says Bishop Boycott ‘Wounds’ Fellowship

posted by shuang

Associated Press CANTERBURY, England – The spiritual leader of the world’s Anglicans said he feels “great grief” that more than 200 bishops are boycotting the Lambeth Conference, calling it a wound to the once-a-decade meeting of the Anglican fellowship. Archbishop […]

Survey Suggests ‘Unchurched’ Are a Fluid Group

posted by shuang

By Ashly McGloneReligion News Service A new survey shows that “unchurched” Americans may be worshipping more, and “churched” Americans worshipping less, than many people might think. Numerous surveys track trends among “unchurched” Americans, but what does “unchurched” really mean? Does […]

Methodists Won’t Block Bush Library at SMU

posted by shuang

McClatchy-Tribune Information Services An effort by some Methodists to block the George W. Bush Presidential Center from coming to Southern Methodist University failed Wednesday, though clergy and lay leaders wrestled with the issue for almost four hours at a regional […]

Thousands at Burials of Returned Israeli Soldiers

posted by shuang

Associated Press NAHARIYA, Israel – Thousands of mourners turned out Thursday for the burials of two Israeli soldiers returned in a prisoner exchange with Lebanese guerrillas, laying to rest the young men whose unknown fate had riveted the Jewish state […]

Massachusetts May Lift Restrictions on Gay Marriage for Out-of-State Couples

posted by shuang

By Dan Ring Religion News Service BOSTON – The Massachusetts Senate on Tuesday (July 15) voted to repeal a 1913 law used most recently to prevent gay couples from other states from marrying here. The Senate on a voice vote […]

King of Saudi Arabia Calls for Peace and Cooperation at Interfaith Conference

posted by shuang

Associated Press MADRID, Spain – King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia exhorted followers of the world’s leading faiths to turn away from extremism and embrace a spirit of reconciliation, saying at the start of an interfaith conference Wednesday that history’s great […]

Anglicans Head to Canterbury for High-Stakes Lambeth Conference

posted by shuang

By Daniel Burke Religion News Service For centuries, Anglicans have prided themselves on finding the cherished via media–the middle way–through theological and political thickets. But the decades-long debate on homosexuality within the worldwide Anglican Communion seems stuck in a cul-de-sac, […]

Over 100,000 Catholics Arrive in Sydney for World Youth Day

posted by shuang

Associated Press SYDNEY, Australia – More than 100,000 Roman Catholic pilgrims from around the world swarmed Sydney Harbor on Tuesday, waving the flags of their countries and singing as they awaited a Mass opening the World Youth Day festival. The […]

Skeptics Speculate on the Saudi Arabia-Jewish Leaders Dialogue at Interfaith Conference

posted by shuang

Associated Press MADRID, Spain – A Saudi-sponsored conference that will bring together Israeli and American rabbis with clerics from the strict Wahhabi sect of Islam – as well as global religious leaders of nearly every persuasion – is either a […]

Will Evangelicals Return Obama’s Affections?

posted by shuang

By Ted Roelofs Religion News Service GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Heather Rosema is precisely the kind of Christian voter that Sen. Barack Obama covets. Rosema, 41, chose George W. Bush in 2000, when she put greater emphasis on issues like […]

Mormon Excommunicated for Creating a Calendar of Shirtless Missionaries

posted by shuang

By Tim Murphy Religion News Service The creator of a controversial calendar featuring shirtless Mormon missionaries has been excommunicated from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints after meeting with a disciplinary committee on Sunday (July 13). Chad Hardy […]

Wooden Cross Carried Through Sydney for Pope’s Visit

posted by shuang

Associated Press SYDNEY, Australia – Pilgrims bore a giant wooden cross through the streets of Australia’s largest city Monday, as thousands of faithful crowded around the procession, some lunging for a chance to touch the symbol of the Roman Catholic […]

Buddhist Protesters Accuse Dalai Lama of Discrimination

posted by shuang

By Tony NaurothReligion News Service BETHLEHEM, Pa. – Those looking for enlightenment on Saturday (July 12) from the Dalai Lama at Lehigh University first had to maneuver past 400 monks and nuns protesting a 40-year-old arcane decree by the Tibetan-leader-in-exile […]

Court Says Jews Have No Right to Mezuzahs in Condo Building

posted by nsymmonds

By Nicole Neroulias Religion News Service (RNS) A federal appeals court in Chicago has ruled that fair-housing laws do not extend to permitting a Jewish resident to nail a mezuzah to a door frame, prompting an outcry from the Jewish […]

Origin of Well-Known Serenity Prayer Comes Under Scrutiny

posted by nsymmonds

The Virginian-Pilot and The Ledger-Star, Norfolk, VA – July 11, 2008 By Laurie Goodstein The New York Times Generations of recovering alcoholics, soldiers, weary parents, exploited workers, and just about anybody feeling beaten down by life have found solace in […]

Pope May Face Hostile Welcome in Australia

posted by nsymmonds

By Francis X. Rocca c. 2008 Religion News Service VATICAN CITY — The last time Pope Benedict XVI traveled overseas, to the United States in April, he received a warm and reverent welcome, and went home more popular than when […]

ACLU Sues to Get Eagle Feathers of Native American Inmate

posted by akornfeld

Mallika Rao Religion News Service Washington – A Native American prisoner who was denied the eagle feathers he needed to practice his religious rites will be represented by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) in a suit against the Wyoming […]

Hagee’s Attorneys Succeed in Removing YouTube Videos

posted by akornfeld

Adelle M. Banks Religion News Service Texas megachurch pastor John Hagee has successfully worked with copyright lawyers to get more than 120 videos featuring him removed from YouTube. The development was reported by The Huffington Post, whose blogger Max Blumenthal […]

Gay Man Sues Publishers Over Bible Verses

posted by akornfeld

Grand Rapids Press Cascade Township, Mich. (RNS) – A gay man is suing two heavyweight Christian publishers, claiming their versions of the Bible that refer to homosexuality as a sin violate his constitutional rights and have caused him emotional pain […]

Catholic Bishops Reject Changes to Mass Prayers

posted by nsymmonds

By Daniel Burke Religion News Service WASHINGTON (RNS) The nation’s Catholic bishops have rejected a new translation of Mass prayers, a rare instance of U.S. prelates denying a Vatican-ordered liturgical change. While ballots are still coming in, it’s clear they […]

Group Helps Hispanics Who Want to Explore Roots of Jewish Ancestry

posted by nsymmonds

Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News – July 9, 2008 Jul. 9–Growing up in the Dominican Republic, Wendy Canelones was curious about the custom her grandmother and great-grandmother had of lighting candles on Friday afternoon. She assumed it was just an old […]

Cambodians Celebrate World Heritage Status for Disputed Hindu Temple

posted by nsymmonds

Associated Press – July 8, 2008 PHNOM PENH, Cambodia – Cambodians celebrated in the streets Tuesday after their country succeeded in having an 11th century Hindu temple declared a World Heritage landmark despite objections in neighboring Thailand, which claims territory […]

Philanthropist John Templeton, Who Promoted Science and Religion, Dies at 95

posted by akornfeld

Associated Press Nassau, Bahamas – John Templeton, an investor and mutual fund pioneer who dedicated much of his fortune to promoting religion and reconciling it with science, has died. He was 95. Templeton died Tuesday from pneumonia at Doctors Hospital […]

US Town Split After Teacher Fired for Introducing Christian Beliefs in Science Class

posted by akornfeld

Associated Press Mount Vernon, Ohio – The decision to fire a science teacher accused of preaching his Christian beliefs in the classroom and burning crosses on students’ arms has divided residents of this Ohio town and rekindled the debate over […]

England Church Backs Women Bishops, Risks Division

posted by akornfeld

Associated Press London, England – The Church of England’s ruling body voted its support Monday for women to become bishops, a move that risks further division because it lacked accommodation for traditionalists opposed to the idea. The decision after hours […]

Catholic Visionary Draws Thousands to Central Alabama

posted by nsymmonds

By Greg Garrison Religion News Service (RNS) Thousands of pilgrims from across the country visited central Alabama for a five-day prayer retreat focused on a woman who has reported daily sightings of the Virgin Mary since 1981. Marija Lunetti, from […]

China Urges Dalai Lama to Back Olympics

posted by nsymmonds

Associated Press – July 7, 2008 BEIJING – China urged the Dalai Lama again on Monday to show support for the Beijing Olympics, in an apparent effort to link the demand more closely with continued talks. The statement from a […]

Tablet Describing Messiah Adds to Debate About Jesus

posted by nsymmonds

The Virginian-Pilot and The Ledger-Star, Norfolk, VA – July 6, 2008 By Ethan Bronner The New York Times JERUSALEM A 3-foot-tall tablet with 87 lines of Hebrew that scholars believe dates from the decades just before the birth of Jesus […]

Former Clinton Strategist Helps Democrats Bridge the ‘God Gap’

posted by akornfeld

By Daniel Burke Religion News Service Washington – Fresh off the campaign trail, where he headed Sen. Hillary Clinton’s religious outreach, Burns Strider has founded a new firm to help other Democrats bridge the so-called “God gap.” Few are as […]

Churches Get Creative in Helping Offset Gas Prices

posted by akornfeld

By Ashly McGlone Religion News Service At St. Stephen Baptist Church in Louisville, Ky., the 14,000-member congregation billed itself as a “seven-day-a-week” hub of activity, with choir practices, ministry meetings or small groups scheduled every night. Then Pastor Kevin Cosby […]

Dalai Lama Calls for ‘Tangible Results’ in Talks with China

posted by nsymmonds

Associated Press – June 30, 2008 BEIJING – The Dalai Lama called for “tangible progress” in talks with China beginning Tuesday, as international pressure builds for the two sides to ease tensions following anti-government riots that rocked Tibet. The Tibetan […]

Algeria Convicts Two for Promoting Christianity

posted by nsymmonds

Associated Press – July 2, 2008 ALGIERS, Algeria – Two converts to Christianity were convicted Wednesday of illegally promoting their faith in Muslim Algeria and handed suspended sentences and fines, their lawyer said. Rachid Mohammed Seghir, 40, and Jammal Dahmani, […]

Va. Catholic Bishop Sorry After Abortion Mix-up

posted by nsymmonds

Associated Press – July 1, 2008 RICHMOND, Va. – Catholic leaders in Richmond are apologizing after a mix up enabled a 16-year-old illegal immigrant in a Catholic charity’s care to get an abortion with help from charity staffers. Richmond Diocese […]

Maybe Indiana Jones Should Have Looked in Ethiopia…

posted by akornfeld

By Ron Csillag Religion News Service Axum, Ethiopia — “And they shall make an ark of acacia wood; two and a half cubits shall be its length, a cubit and a half its width, and a cubit and a half […]

Official: Taiwan Will Help Chinese Tourists Avoid Falun Gong Followers

posted by akornfeld

Associated Press Taipei, Taiwan – Chinese tourists arriving in Taiwan this week may meet face to face with followers of the spiritual group Falun Gong but tourism authorities will try to prevent any possible confrontations, an official said Tuesday. Tourism […]

Obama to Expand Bush’s Faith Based Programs

posted by akornfeld

Associated Press Zanesville, Ohio – Reaching out to religious voters, Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama called for expanding President Bush’s program steering federal social service dollars to religious groups and – in a move sure to cause controversy – supported […]

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