Apologetics Index: Information about cults, sects, movements, doctrines, apologetics and counter-cult ministry.  Also: daily religion news, articles on Christian life and ministry, editorials, daily cartoon.

News Items of Interest to Apologists and Counter-Cult Professionals
A Service of Apologetics Index
Religious cults, sects, and alternative religions Home PageSpacer Rainbow

Religion Items In The News

September 11, 1999 (Vol. 3, Issue 112)


line
Religion Items in the News is always posted first to the AR-talk list.

Unlike the edition posted to the AR-talk list, items in the archived newsletters will, time-permitting, link back to entries in the Apologetics Index.

If links have not yet been provided, check the Apologetics Index for further information.

As most of these items stay online for only a day or two, URLs to the original stories are provided as inactive links. If you can not find a story online, Read this).

Religion Items in the News - September 11, 1999 (Vol. 3, Issue 112)
================================================================

(Story no longer online? Read this)

=== Waco
1. Document shows FBI knew of tear gas projectiles at Waco in 1993
2. Evidence delay angers siege judge
3. McVeigh lawyer says Waco revelations could have stopped bombing
4. Renewed Waco Probe Troubles City
5. Special counsel vows to get siege answers
6. Danforth will have power to compel testimony in Waco probe
7. The Waco controversy, then and now
8. Up-to-date Waco Cover-up News

=== Scientologyoffsite
[Story no longer online? Read this]
9. Scientology faces French ban
10. French minister raises prospect of Scientology ban
11. Mysterious destruction of files
12. USA: "Sect filter" violates Scientology Rights
13. USA condemns German Scientology politics
14. Professionals vs. Scientology

=== Other News
15. House where 39 Heaven's Gate cultists took their lives is sold
16. Asahara's wife given shorter prison term (Aum Shinrikyo)
17. China Continues Campaign Vs. Sect (Falun Gong)
18. China denies U.S. report of religious oppression
19. Leader for religious freedom commission
20. Roswell pagan fights against intolerance
21. Roswell school board votes to keep policy prohibiting pagan symbols
22. 'Bible Code' Debunked by Scholars
23. Kennewick Man gives up two small bone samples for carbon dating
24. Pope praises 'God the Mother' to pilgrims
25. Kabbalah Centre Celebrates Rosh Hashanah of the Millennium
26. [Religious Pluralism in New Mexico]

=== Noted
27. There's a Growing Love for the People Who Fathered Jesus

=== Internet
28. Researchers Say the Internet is 19 Degrees of Separation


=== Waco

1. Document shows FBI knew of tear gas projectiles at Waco in 1993
Nando Times, Sep. 10, 1999
http://www.nando.net/noframes/story/0,2107,91730-145292-1018584-0,00.html
A lab document that wasn't given to Congress during its investigations
discloses that the FBI knew within eight months of the fiery end of the
Branch Davidian siege that military-style tear gas projectiles were
used, The Associated Press has learned.
(...)

The report is likely to become a key piece of evidence in the
independent inquiry ordered by Attorney General Janet Reno and separate
congressional investigations into whether government officials tried to
cover up about the use of incendiary tear gas on the final day of the
siege. The missing page of the report and the memo were obtained by
AP.
(...)

Justice spokesman Myron Marlin said Friday night that former Republican
Sen. John Danforth, who is heading an independent inquiry into Waco,
will have to examine why the crucial page of the report did not reach
Congress during its probes. Marlin noted, however, that the page was
properly turned over to lawyers in criminal and civil cases involving
Waco survivors.
[...more...]


2. Evidence delay angers siege judge
Dallas Morning News, Sep. 10, 1999
http://dallasnews.com/specials/waco/0910waco1fbi.htm
(...) U.S. District Judge Walter Smith ordered the seizure Thursday
morning and was "infuriated" after the chief U.S. marshal for his
district spent hours consulting with his agency's headquarters in
Washington and the U.S. attorney's office in San Antonio before
executing the raid on the Waco office of the federal Bureau of Alcohol,
Tobacco and Firearms, officials said.
(...)

The seizure is the latest development in an escalating skirmish over
who will control and investigate the vast array of evidence tied to the
Branch Davidian standoff.
(...)

Observers say Thursday's incident is remarkable because Judge Smith's
rulings relating to the 1993 tragedy have long shown little patience
for criticism of government law enforcement actions against the Branch
Davidians.
(...)

The seizure came one week after Judge Smith flatly rejected a plea by
the U.S. Justice Department, parent agency of the U.S. Marshals
Service, not to take control of the government's evidence.
(...)

Lawyers for the Branch Davidians have alleged that the government's
negligence and deliberate actions caused the 1993 tragedy. For several
years, they've claimed projectiles and shell casings found in the
compound rubble include pyrotechnic tear-gas grenades and incendiary
devices. They have also alleged that government officials have worked
for years to hide such evidence.
[...more...]


3. McVeigh lawyer says Waco revelations could have stopped bombing
CNN/AP, Sep. 9, 1999
http://www.cnn.com/US/9909/09/PM-McVeighLawyer-Waco.ap/index.html
Timothy McVeigh's trial lawyer says he believes full disclosure of the
FBI's actions in the Branch Davidian standoff would have eliminated the
motive for the Oklahoma City bombing two years later.

Stephen Jones said he agrees with prosecutors who believed McVeigh was
angry about the outcome of the government's attempt to arrest David
Koresh at the Branch Davidian compound in Waco, Texas, in 1993. The
ensuing 51-day standoff ended in a fire that killed Koresh and about 80
followers.

"Had the wheels of justice worked and there been an independent
investigation and the responsibility assessed, there would have been no
reason for an attack on the federal government in Oklahoma City," Jones
said in a Tulsa World story published today.
[...more...]


4. Renewed Waco Probe Troubles City
Washington Post/AP, Sep. 10, 1999
http://search.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/WAPO/19990910/V000144-091099-idx.html
(...) Now, many people in Waco fear that the renewed furor over the FBI
assault is just reinforcing the way the public instantly associates
their city with the disaster.
(...)

Sheila Martin, the widow of a Branch Davidian and a plaintiff in the
wrongful-death lawsuit, says the rehashing of the siege hurts. But the
latest disclossures ``have made it a lot better'' for the survivors.
(...)

Branch Davidian Amo Bishop Roden, who spends most of her days
distributing literature to tourists at the site of the former compound,
is also glad to see the renewed interest in the case.
[...more...]


5. Special counsel vows to get siege answers
Dallas Morning News, Spe. 10, 1999
http://dallasnews.com/specials/waco/0910waco2waco.htm
John Danforth vowed Thursday to get answers to "dark questions" that
still shroud the deadly 1993 fire near Waco - including whether the
government killed Branch Davidians. "Was there a cover-up? That's a
dark question," Mr. Danforth said after Attorney General Janet Reno
introduced him as special counsel to investigate the FBI siege.
"Did the government kill people? How did the fire start? And was there
shooting? I mean, those are questions that have been raised."
(...)

According to rules negotiated by the Justice Department and Mr.
Danforth, the investigation will determine whether the FBI fired any
other flammable devices at the compound. It will also look into whether
anybody acted illegally to cover up the existence of the recently
disclosed tear-gas canisters.

Critics have also accused the government of firing gunshots at the
Davidians during the FBI's final assault, on April 19, 1993. The
Danforth investigation will also address whether members of the
military took part in violation of federal law. Federal officials have
denied both allegations.
[...more...]


6. Danforth will have power to compel testimony in Waco probe
San Francisco Gate/AP, Sep. 10, 1999
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/news/archive/1999/09/10/national0123EDT0438.DTL
(...) Agents who cooperate voluntarily -- a path Danforth says he would
prefer -- could be placing themselves in legal jeopardy by talking,
depending on whether they're supplying evidence that touches on any
criminality.

If an agent refuses to answer, Danforth must decide whether to immunize
the witness to compel his cooperation, a step that probably would
preclude Danforth from prosecuting the person later if Danforth
concludes the agent engaged in wrongdoing.
(...)

Danforth also will investigate whether there was any illegal use of the
armed forces in the final assault. Delta Force commandoes were at Waco
the day of the FBI assault on the compound, but the Pentagon says the
military team had no operational role.
[...more...]


7. The Waco controversy, then and now
San Francisco Gate/AP, Sep. 10, 1999
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/news/archive/1999/09/10/national0122EDT0436.DTL
The FBI's grudging acknowledgment that it was less than candid about
its role in the final hours of the 51-day standoff with the Branch
Davidian
sect near Waco, Texas, has raised new questions and prompted
yet another investigation into the tragic events of April 19, 1993.
(...)

Here, in question-and-answer form, is a look at some of the basic
issues:
(...)

Q: Why did this come to light now?

A: Because of inquiries by documentary filmmakers, reporters and
lawyers for surviving Branch Davidians and relatives of the dead who
are going to court next month in their longstanding lawsuit that the
government was responsible for the deaths. Use of the potentially
incendiary tear gas was first reported by The Dallas Morning News on
Aug. 24, triggering the latest controversy over Waco.
[...more...]

8. Up-to-date Waco Cover-up News

http://www.apologeticsindex.org/b10#newscurrent


=== Scientology

9. Scientology faces French ban
BBC, Sep. 9, 1999
http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/world/europe/newsid_443000/443271.stm
France might consider banning the Church of Scientology, which it
regards as a sect rather than a religion. The Justice Minister,
Elisabeth Guigou, made it clear that the future of the organisation in
France was under close scrutiny.

Her remarks came as US officials expressed concern over the growing
intolerance shown to minority religious groups in some European
countries.
(...)

But it is treated with suspicion in Europe. Seven Scientologists are
due to go on trial in southern France later this month after an
investigation into alleged fraud, illegal practice of medicine and
premeditated violence.
(...)

France registers Scientology as one of dozens of groups that should be
tracked to prevent cult activities. Justice Minister Guigou said on
Thursday: "Sects, and this one in particular, are extremely powerful. I
think they should be prevented from doing any harm."
(...)

The State Department said that asking people and companies whether they
had associations with the group was an abuse of human rights.
[...more...]


10. French minister raises prospect of Scientology ban
Infoseek/Reuters, Sep. 9, 1999

French Justice Minister Elisabeth Guigou on Thursday raised the
prospect of banning the Church of Scientology as investigators probed
how legal documents that could have been used as evidence against the
movement had vanished.

``Sects, and this one in particular, are extremely powerful ...and I
think they should be prevented from doing any harm,'' she told RTL
radio.

Asked about a call by Alain Vivien, the head of an interministerial
committee investigating sects, to ban the Church of Scientology, she
said: ``I think that actually one can raise the question.''

A lawyer on Thursday charged that legal documents had vanished in a
case involving a Scientology member -- the third such case in a year.
He said they disappeared as the file was being transferred from a court
in Verdun, in eastern France, to Caen in the west.
(...)

The Church of Scientology has denied any responsibility. It said its
opponents were waging a slander campaign by trying to blame an
administrative blunder on the Church.
[...more...]


11. Mysterious destruction of files
Rhein Zeitung (Germany), Sep. 9, 1999
Translation: German Scientology News
http://www.lermanet.com/cisar/990909b.htm
The mysterious destruction of about 3.5 tons of court documents for a
process against seven members of the Scientology organization in
Marseille has caused outrage among France's politicians. On Wednesday,
the French Justice Minister, Elisabeth Guigou, described the event as
"very grave" and immediately had the premises of the state court of the
southern French port city searched and commenced an investigation.

That is where the proceedings against the Scientology members are to
held on September 20 for fraud, illegal practice of medical
consultation and deliberate violence. The French State Attorney General
has also intervened.
(...)

Danielle Gounord, the Scientology spokeswoman, dismissed all
accusations and stated that her organization was not responsible for
the destruction of the files. She said she was just as surprised as
"everybody else."
[...more...]


12. USA: "Sect filter" violates Scientology Rights
dpa ("German Press Agency), Sep. 9, 1999
Translation: German Scientology News
http://www.lermanet.com/cisar/990909d.htm
The use of "sect filters" against the employment of adherents of the
Scientology Organization in Germany violates their rights, in the view
of the U.S. government. That was stated as fact by the U.S. State
Department in its report published on Thursday on religious freedom all
over the world. By "sect filters" were meant statements in which
applicants have to assure that they are not members of Scientology or
other similar organizations. However, the report, on the whole,
expressed significantly less criticism of the treatment of Scientology
members in Germany than did previous reports.

The State Department and the U.S. Embassy in Germany had tried in vain
to arrange meetings between a U.S. Scientology attorney and officials
from the German Foreign Office and other ministries, said the report. A
meeting was refused because no new viewpoints had been anticipated.
[...more...]


13. USA condemns German Scientology politics -
complains of lack of religious freedom all over the world
AFP (Agence France Presse), Sep. 9, 1999
Translation: German Scientology News
http://www.lermanet.com/cisar/990909c.htm
The USA has criticized the "sect filter" which German companies and
agencies use to protect themselves against infiltration by the
Scientology organization. The security statements which are demanded of
[German] employees were said to be discriminatory, stated the U.S.
State Department's first status report on worldwide religious freedom.
Altogether the U.S. State Department published a well-weighed opinion
of the German handling of the organization. In the past, Scientology's
complaints about its treatment in Germany as led to ill feelings
between the German government and U.S. agencies.

According to the report, the USA has brought its objections to the
"sect filter" multiple times in the course of the past year to [German]
representatives of nation and state. They said it was a violation of
human rights if Scientologists were hindered in the practice of their
profession because of their belief alone. Nevertheless, the U.S. State
department also quoted the words of the Bavarian State government that
no Scientologist, just by reason of his connection to the organization,
had lost his [work] position in Bavaria. Unlike the USA, Scientology is
not recognized in Germany as a church. The number of German
Scientologists in the report were given as about 8,000.
[...more...]


14. Professionals vs. Scientologyoffsite
[Story no longer online? Read this]
Suedwest Presse (Germany), Sep. 10, 1999
Translation: German Scientology News
http://www.lermanet.com/cisar/990910a.htm
Is Scientology just a hollow, greatly over-estimated bogey man? That is
what Fritz-Achim Baumann, at least, believes; he is the just retired
chief of the State Office for Constitutional Security in
Nordrhein-Westfalen.

He now advises against further waste of state undercover resources for
the surveillance of Scientologists. Scientology is now said to number
just 5,000 in Germany. Even though the organization is said to have
undemocratic goals, they are allegedly not being realized. Even though
it has allegedly infiltrated business, it was said not to be to a great
extent. Ergo, Scientology would not be a case for Constitutional
Security, but for sect commissioners, believes Baumann, who thereby
runs into a misunderstanding with Helmut Rannacher, his
Baden-Wuerttemberg colleague. His office will be releasing a brochure
in the next few days which alerts people to Scientology.
(...)

How ex-Constitutional Security agent Baumann comes up with a membership
number of 5,000 will remain his secret. There are no official
membership lists. Besides that the number of members is irrelevant.
According to internal strategy documents, the Scientologists have
brought the bulk of their activities underground. Business and
political power is to be obtained primarily through cover
organizations.

For that purpose Scientology has founded its own association: the World
Institute of Scientology Enterprises (WISE)
. Their members have the
stated mission of increasing the influence of the organization in
society. If Baumann asserts that is not happening on a wide scale, that
would be evidence of incompetence. Almost all major corporations appear
in reference lists of the WISE companies. Only they do not talk about
the problems which they have with Scientology. If they did that, they
would have to count on having problems with the "Global Players" in the
USA. The Scientologists' influence is so great there that neither
companies nor the U.S. government object to the Hubbard disciples.
[...more...]


=== Other News

15. House where 39 Heaven's Gate cultists took their lives is sold
San Diego Union-Tribune, Sep. 10, 1999
http://www.uniontrib.com/news/uniontrib/fri/metro/news_7m10heaven.html
The house that served as the headquarters for Heaven's Gate cult
members has been sold. The sprawling seven-bedroom, five-bath
Mediterranean-style villa was purchased for $668,000 by a man who lives
nearby.

Before the March 1997 deaths of 39 cult members there -- the largest
mass suicide ever on U.S. soil -- the house had been listed for sale at
$1.6 million.
(...)

"The house will be removed," Strong said in a brief telephone interview
yesterday. He said he had no immediate plans for the 3.1-acre site.
[...more...]


16. Asahara's wife given shorter prison term
Japan Times, Sep. 9, 1999
http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/news9-99/news.html#story10
Overturning a lower court ruling, the Tokyo High Court on Thursday
reduced the prison sentence of the wife of Aum Shinrikyo founder Shoko
Asahara to six from seven years for her part in the lynching of a
former cult member in January 1994.

Tomoko Matsumoto, 41, was found guilty of approving the killing of
Kotaro Ochida, 29, who was strangled by a fellow former cultist inside
an Aum complex in the presence of the guru, his wife and other senior
members of the group. The Tokyo District Court sentenced Matsumoto to
seven years in prison in May 1998.
(...)

Kanda, however, pointed out that Matsumoto apologized to the family of
the deceased and paid 20 million yen in compensation in February after
she inherited 40 million yen from her mother, who died in December. The
family later requested that the court grant leniency. Matsumoto
donated the remaining 20 million yen to a fund set up to support
victims of sarin gas attacks and their families, he said.
(...)

Matsumoto told the court she no longer wants to have anything to do
with the cult and wants to live a quiet life with her children.
[...more...]


17. China Continues Campaign Vs. Sect
Washington Post/AP, Sep. 10, 1999
http://search.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/WAPO/19990910/V000831-091099-idx.html
The banned meditation sect Falun Gong has started to go underground and
must be completely stopped by punishing its remaining leaders, a
commentary in an official Chinese newspaper said Friday.

The commentary in the People's Daily warned that although most
followers of the group had been persuaded through a massive propaganda
campaign to cut their ties with it, others were gathering secretly and
trying to create an underground organization.
[...more...]


18. China denies U.S. report of religious oppression
Nando Times, Sep. 9, 1999
http://www.nando.net/noframes/story/0,2107,91075-144195-1007966-0,00.html
China on Thursday rejected as malicious interference a new U.S. report
that members of unofficial churches face harassment and detention and
denied that any Chinese have been arrested for their religious beliefs.
(...)

"Nobody has been arrested or detained because of religious beliefs,"
Foreign Ministry spokesman Sun Yuxi said. "If religious believers are
arrested, it is not because of their religious beliefs but because they
have taken part in criminal activities."

China's constitution and legal system promise freedom of worship, but
religious groups are required to register. The government recognizes
five religions - Roman Catholicism, Protestantism, Buddhism, Taoism and
Islam. Unregistered Christian groups that worship in members' houses
frequently report being detained or harassed.
[...more...]


19. Leader for religious freedom commission
AOL/AP, Sep. 9, 1999

Steven McFarland, director of the Center for Law and Religious Freedom,
has been named executive director of the U.S. Commission on
International Religious Freedom
. The commission was established by
Congress last year to monitor American policy.

At the center, McFarland was the strategist on public issues for the
Christian Legal Society, an organization of evangelical Protestant
lawyers. He was a leader in interfaith coalitions working toward the
commission where he now works; the 1993 Religious Freedom Restoration
Act, later overturned by the Supreme Court; and the Religious Liberty
Protection Act, now pending in the Senate.
[...entire item...]


20. Roswell pagan fights against intolerance
Amarilli Gobe-News, Sep. 8, 1999
http://www.amarillonet.com/stories/090899/new_pagan.shtml
(...) She is a Pagan minister. By King's estimation, Roswell is home
to about 200 Pagan believers.
(...)

They are not devil worshipers; King wants to be clear about that.
That's how this whole public outing came to be, she explained.

A Jewish boy in Mississippi was her inspiration. King said she and her
two sons were watching a television news show one night when they
learned of the boy's efforts to reverse a school policy that prohibited
the Star of David symbol.
(...)

"Even the Christian community has been supportive," she said. "If
nothing else, they have understood that if the school could take our
pentagram and ban it, then they could do the same in one swift movement
with the Christian crucifix."
(...)

As with Christianity, Paganism has many sects, she said. But here's the
basic philosophy, according to King:
(...)

"I had a member of my Pagan community say to me one time, 'Boy, that
Jesus was a hell of a witch. I sure can't raise the dead. I have
respect for that guy,' " King said.

Time will tell whether the Christian-dominated community of Roswell
will accept Paganism. The first real test was scheduled Tuesday night
when the school board met to discuss the pentagram issue.
[...more...]


21. Roswell school board votes to keep policy prohibiting pagan symbols
Amarillo Globe-News, Sep. 9, 1999
http://www.amarillonet.com/stories/090999/new_roswell.shtml
The pastor of a Christian church in Roswell on Wednesday applauded a
school board decision that prohibits students from wearing pentagrams,
even as religious symbols. "To most people, the symbol represents
satanists," said Steve Smothermon, pastor of the interdenominational
Church on the Move. "The pentagram is not a healthy sign for our kids.
It's not right."

The Roswell school board voted 2-2 Tuesday night on the issue of
whether the symbol of some pagan religions should be allowed as part of
the school dress policy. Since the vote was a tie, the current policy
banning the symbol remains.
(...)

The controversy over the pentagram began a few weeks ago. Kathryn King,
who said she is a pagan minister in Roswell, asked school officials to
allow pagan students to wear the symbol as Christian students are
allowed to wear crosses.
(...)

"What's next is the American Civil Liberties Union," King said
Wednesday afternoon. "I told the school board we wanted to do this
without lawyers. I told them we wanted it resolved so we could spend
money on the kids' heads instead of on attorneys to do this crap. By
deciding the way they did, they decided they wanted to go to court."
[...more...]


22. 'Bible Code' Debunked by Scholars
Northern Light/AP, Sep. 10, 1999

An international team of statisticians is debunking the controversial
``Bible code,'' which claims the Old Testament has hidden references to
20th century events that can be revealed by a computer.
(...)

Television documentaries, fast-selling books and numerous articles have
popularized the theory, first published in the academic journal
Statistical Science. Now the same journal, published by the Institute
of Mathematical Statistics based in Hayward, Calif., is offering an
article challenging the technique it reported in 1994. The article will
be published in the quarterly next week.
(...)

In the upcoming edition of Statistical Science, the new study's authors
-- Dror Bar-Natan, Maya Bar-Hillel and Gil Kalai, professors at
Jerusalem's Hebrew University, and Brendan McKay of the Australian
National University -- combine expertise in mathematics and computer
science to debunk the theory.
[...more...]


23. Kennewick Man gives up two small bone samples for carbon dating
Sacramento Bee/AP, Sep. 9, 1999
http://www.sacbee.com/news/calreport/calrep_story.cgi?N391.HTML
Two tiny samples have been taken from the collection of bones known as
Kennewick Man -- material that will be used for radiocarbon dating to
determine his age. Initial tests run three years ago indicated the
bones were more than 9,000 years old.
(...)

The Interior Department is responsible for determining if the remains
will be classified as Native American under federal law, which
typically is the case if the bones are more than 500 years old.
Results are expected to be announced in November.
[...more...]


24. Pope praises 'God the Mother' to pilgrims
The Times (England), Sep. 10, 1999
http://www.the-times.co.uk/news/pages/Times/timfgneur01004.html?2488675
The Pope, who this year said that God was not "an old man with a white
beard", went a step further yesterday and referred to "God the Mother".
The Pope, regarded as dogmatically conservative and patriarchal, has
surprised critics this year with uncharacteristically open-minded
revisions of doctrine as part of his preparations for a Christian
mission in the new millennium. He is keen to broaden the appeal of
Christianity, his advisers say, and to ensure that no sections of
society feel "left out of its all-embracing message".
(...)

The Pope is also a devotee of the cult of the Virgin Mary, although she
is referred to as the Mother of God, and not as a God Mother, since she
does not share the divinity of God and Christ.

The Lord's Prayer opens with the words "Our Father, which art in
heaven", and in the Gospel of St Matthew, Jesus says: "Everything is
entrusted to me by my Father; and no one knows the Son but the Father,
and no one knows the Father but the Son" (Matthew xi, 27). But,
speaking to pilgrims in St Peter's Square, the Pope said God had both a
male and female nature.
(...)

The Pope's latest remarks were welcomed by liberal theologians such as
Dr Hans Kung, who was forbidden to teach theology 20 years ago after
repeatedly defying Vatican edicts. He said that it was time to
acknowledge that God "transcends the sexes".
[...more...]


25. Kabbalah Centre Celebrates Rosh Hashanah of the Millennium
Northern Light/AP, Sep. 10, 1999

This weekend's Rosh Hashanah celebration not only signifies the coming
new year, but also marks the beginning of the Hebrew year 5760, which
ushers in the highly anticipated "End of Days" of Kabbalah text. To
celebrate this period of spiritual excitement, 2,400 Kabbalah leaders
from around the world are gathering at the Hilton & Towers in Anaheim
for this once-in-a-lifetime event.

In Kabbalah teachings, the "End of Days" is a time when the spiritual
power, or Light, of the Creator penetrates the physical world with
greater magnitude than ever before. Not to be confused with an
apocalyptic meaning, "End of Days" actually refers to an end of the
chaos and death pervading society.
(...)

Kabbalah traditions have been associated with Judaism for hundreds of
years, but in reality, Kabbalah pre-dates any organized religion.
Founded in Jerusalem in 1922, the Kabbalah Centre seeks to educate all
persons interested in spiritual development in the ways of its
teachings, regardless of their religious backgrounds. Currently, there
are 39 Kabbalah Centres around the world with 3.4 million members, 50
percent of whom are non-Jewish.
[...more...]


26. [Religious Pluralism in New Mexico]
Northern Light/AP, Sep. 9, 1999

An increasing number of the world's religions have become part of the
fabric of faith in largely Roman Catholic New Mexico. Besides Islamicoffsite
[Story no longer online? Read this]
mosques, there are Sikh gurdwaras and Buddhist stupas. And the state is
not alone.

The religious landscape of the United States is changing rapidly, with
temples and mosques going up from coast to coast, said E. Allen
Richardson, author of ``Strangers in This Land: Pluralism and the
Response to Diversity in the United States.'' ``It's not just in the
major metropolitan areas. It's every place,'' said Richardson, an
expert on Hinduism who teaches Eastern religions at Cedar Crest College
in Allentown, Pa.
(...)

The mosque near Abiquiu is part of Dar al Islam, an organization with a
two-fold mission: to educate non-Muslims about Islam, and to bring
Muslims together.
(...)

A community of Sikhs, distinctive in their turbans and white clothing,
has become a fixture in northern New Mexico since it was founded nearly
30 years ago. Sikhism is a monotheistic religion founded by a Hindu
teacher in the 15th century.
(...)

The Buddhist community in New Mexico includes immigrants from China,
Laos, Vietnam, Thailand and Tibet, as well as Westerners. Some attend
services led by monks at Albuquerque temples. Some sit in meditation at
adobe Zen centers in the mountains.
[...more...]


=== Noted

27. There's a Growing Love for the People Who Fathered Jesus
Los Angeles Times, Sep. 10, 1999

(...) Yet the approaching millennium is an apt occasion for Jews to
begin acknowledging the theological changes that have occurred within
Christianity, and especially the Catholic Church, since the Holocaust.
No religion has ever undertaken such a radical and courageous
reevaluation of a fellow faith as has Christianity toward Judaism.
(...)

As a monk in Jerusalem told me, the church is in the process of
transforming itself from a center point of hatred for the people who
rejected Jesus into a center point of love for the people who fathered
Jesus.

True, the Catholic Church still envisions an end-time scenario in which
the Jews, along with the rest of humanity, accept the Christian
messiah. But unlike most of evangelical Christianity, the Vatican has
quietly abandoned proselytizing aimed at Jews, who have rightly
perceived those attempts as contempt for their spiritual legitimacy.
(...)

Jews and Christians have separate spiritual tasks, whose autonomy
should be respected. The Jews see their role as particularistic,
affirming God's presence through a people's historical journey. The
Christians see their purpose as universalistic, bringing the message of
a redemptive God to the world. Yet each side has something to teach
the other. Jews, for so long ghettoized and inward-looking, can learn
from Christianity's concern for the spiritual and material welfare of
all human beings, not just its own faithful. Christians, for their
part, can learn from Judaism's rejection of the notion that everyone
must follow a single faith.

- Yossi Klein Halevi Is a Senior Writer for the Jerusalem Report
[...more...]


=== Internet

28. Researchers Say the Internet is 19 Degrees of Separation
KGTV, Sep. 9, 1999
http://www.sandiegoinsider.com/partners/kgtv/news/090999_web.html
Any two randomly picked pages on the World Wide Web are, on average,
just 19 clicks away from each other, researchers say. The findings,
reported in an issue of the journal Nature, suggests that the Web is so
interconnected that any desired information is nearby even though there
are 800 million documents available. The key is knowing which links to
click.
(...)

Search engine companies could use the findings to create programs
that more intelligently figure out what's available. A recent study
showed that even the best search engine scours only about 34 percent of
the Web.
[...more...]

About "Religion Items in the News"
  • These items are provided as "information only." Unless otherwise indicated, no endorsements are intended.
  • If a URL breaks up, undo word-wrap.
  • Due to copyright considerations, only excerpts are quoted. For full story, see the URL provided.
  • Some of these links stay up for only a day or two. I therefore keep the full items on file. Should you not be able to find them online, email rin@apologeticsindex.org Each request should include Issue and Item numbers (e.g. Issue 86, Items 5, 8, 9).
  • These items are provided for personal use and educational research purposes only, under the "fair use" concept as noted in copyright laws. Copyright for each item remains with the original copyright holder.
  • If you do not have WWW access, you can retrieve the text of Web pages by email using Leadership University's EDoc service. For instructions, email edoc@leaderu.com with in the body of the message one word: help
  • "Religion Items in the News" is provided as a service to the AR-talk apologetics resource discussion list, where it is always posted first. For information about AR-talk, see http://www.apologia.orgoffsite, or send "subscribe AR-talk" to hub@xc.org without quotes.
  • Limited forwarding and reposting of "Religion Items in the News" is permitted only with this unedited footer attached.


Looking for more information?

Home | How To Use | About | Contact


offsite
[Story no longer online? Read this]
Holland


USA