Christianity

Religious Centers File Lawsuits Over Zoning Restrictions

May 19, 2002

Source: Los Angeles Times

On May 19, 2002, the Los Angeles Times reported that "at least seven churches, synagogues and religious schools throughout the state [of California] have filed lawsuits against cities as part of a nationwide effort by religious groups to use a new federal law to overturn local zoning restrictions... The groups are invoking the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act, passed in 2000, to gain leverage in states where they say churches are routinely denied building permits in favor of projects that bring in tax...

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Muslims and Lutherans in the Twin Cities Conference (2002)

Dr. Mark Swanson, Associate Professor of Islamic Studies and Director of the Islamic Studies Program at Luther Seminary, was a member of the planning committee for a conference held in St. Paul in May 2002, entitled "Muslims and Lutherans in the Twin Cities." He explained that the impetus for the conference came from the Lutheran communities of St. Paul and Minneapolis. They had noticed the presence of many Muslims in their neighborhoods, and realized that they ought to know more about their neighbors.

The topic was broached by grassroots participants at the annual meetings of...

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Students Explore Religious Diversity of Kansas

May 18, 2002

Source: The Lawrence Journal-World

http://www.ljworld.com/section/satliving/story/93247

On May 18, 2002, The Lawrence Journal-World featured the article "World of Faith" on Baker University's World Religions Course taught by professor George Wiley. Wiley is a Pluralism Project affiliate in northeast Kansas. "The students, who broke down into groups of three or four, scoured the region looking for communities of faith other than Christianity” such as Hindu...

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Ecumenical Meeting Unites America's Diverse Christian Leaders

May 18, 2002

Source: Los Angeles Times

On May 18, 2002, the Los Angeles Times reported on a meeting of ecumenical Christian leaders, a movement that has traditionally been missing the voices of American Roman Catholics and evangelical Protestants. "That may change after a recent high-level meeting in Chicago at which Catholic, evangelical and mainline Protestant leaders formed what is being called Christian Churches Together in the USA and agreed to work for greater unity among major U.S. Christian churches."

Celebrate Diversity Walk to Celebrate America

May 18, 2002

Source: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

On May 18, 2002, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported on the Pittsburgh, PA area's "second Celebrating Diversity Walk... Last year, some 400 people of all types from all over the region participated in the event, which promotes understanding and harmony between people of all races, religions, and national origins... This year's theme is, 'When you walk to celebrate diversity, you walk to celebrate America.'" Jewish, Christian, Hindu, Muslim, and Buddhist religious leaders will speak at the event which is organized...

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Religious Institutions Exempt from Employer Religious Discrimination Law

May 17, 2002

Source: Los Angeles Times

On May 17, 2002, the Los Angeles Times reported that "Religious institutions cannot be held liable for discriminating against employees on the basis of religion, the California Supreme Court ruled unanimously... The state high court threw out a lawsuit by an evangelical Christian who was fired from a Catholic medical foundation after he proselytized to other employees... Secular employers can still be held liable for religious discrimination, but religions need 'considerable discretion to choose employees who will not...

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Brandeis University Develops "Coexistence Studies" Program

May 17, 2002

Source: The Boston Globe

On May 17, 2002, The Boston Globe featured a story on Jehuda Reinharz, president of Brandeis University in Waltham, MA, and his new program in conflict resolution. With this program, the university is "poised to become a world leader in teaching Israeli Arabs and Jews - and dozens of other warring peoples - to live together on the same land... Brandeis has begun building on its historically Jewish identity to create a new field it calls 'coexistence studies'... The school is now aggessively recruiting Jews and Arabs, Hindus and...

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Presbyterian Church Launches New Interfaith Model for Christians and Muslims

May 17, 2002

Source: PCUSA NEWS

On May 17, 2002, PCUSA NEWS reported that "Christian and Muslim leaders from around the world will visit the United States in September to meet with selected groups of Presbyterians and talk about interfaith relations in their countries and cultures... A pilot project called 'Interfaith Listening' will involve as many as a dozen teams - each consisting of one Christian from a Presbyterian Church (USA) partner overseas and one Muslim with whom the partner is in dialogue - that will meet with PC(USA) congregations and presbyteries...

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LDS Church Attempts to Buy Public Land of Religious Significance

May 15, 2002

Source: Los Angeles Times

On May 15, 2002, the Los Angeles Times reported that "a bill in Congress, opposed by conservationists and history buffs, would allow the Mormon Church to buy a chunk of historic public land beside four pioneer trails southwest of Casper, Wyo... The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints wants to buy a 1,640-acre site known as Martin's Cove, where at least 56 Mormon immigrants died in a blizzard in 1856... But conservationists worry that the U.S. Department of the Interior would set a dangerous precedent by selling...

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Vietnamese Catholic Community of Boston Supports Cardinal Law

May 13, 2002

Source: The Boston Globe

On May 13, 2002, The Boston Globe reported that "the local Vietnamese Catholic community pledged its support for the archbishop [Cardinal Bernard Law]... and condemned sex abuse by priests... Theresa Pham, 55, of Boston, said she and other Vietnamese Catholics felt that Law has done much for their community and other refugees."

Sudanese Church Grows in Omaha, Nebraska

May 11, 2002

Source: Omaha World-Herald

On May 11, 2002, the Omaha World-Herald featured an article on Gatkouth Kuich, "a Sudanese refugee who fled Africa to escape religious persecution and civil war... [and] the leader of the first Sudanese congregation to join the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America's Nebraska Synod." The congregation's name is Cush Community Lutheran Church "a biblical reference to a land that is present-day Sudan... Kuich came to Omaha in 1997 to shepherd the city's growing Sudanese population, which now numbers between 2,000 and 5,000." The...

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Central Ohio Organization Offers a Model of Interfaith Relations

May 10, 2002

Source: The Columbus Dispatch

On May 10, 2002, The Columbus Dispatch reported "Group Unites Eight Faiths for Mutual Enlightenment." It reported on the efforts of the Interfaith Association of Central Ohio: "Members of the 17-year-old association think that the community's religious tolerance, though a good start, isn't enough. 'We need to move beyond that to understanding and respect,' said Tarunjit Butalia, a spokesman for the association and representative of the Sikh community." The article noted that "The association also benefits from having been...

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Minneapolis Religious Leaders and Educators Team Up to Improve Schools

May 9, 2002

Source: Star Tribune

On May 9, 2002, the Star Tribune reported that in Minneapolis, MN, "leaders from 60 churches, synagogues, mosques and temples... are pairing up with individual schools to offer tutoring, building space and other support to improve student achievement." The Religious leaders and school officials will meet at a "summit, to take place at a Minneapolis church, the first between the city's school and faith leaders, and the kickoff to a long-term partnership."

Episcopal Priests Visit Mosque in Jacksonville

May 8, 2002

Source: The Florida Times-Union

http://jacksonville.com/tu-online/stories/050802/met_9348613.html

On May 8, 2002, The Florida Times-Union reported "Priests take closer look at Muslims: Episcopalians visit mosque for a better understanding of Islam." The article explained, "Bishop Stephen Jecko and about 30 clergy members of the Episcopal Diocese of Florida attended a six-hour open house at the mosque in Jacksonville. The clergy wanted to learn more about...

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Study Shows Average SAT Scores by Religious Tradition of Students

May 7, 2002

Source: The Plain Dealer

On May 7, 2002, The Plain Dealer featured an article on "a College Board statistical finding that ranked the SAT scores of college-bound seniors by their religion. Unitarians finished first, averaging 1,209 on the college-entrance exam. Jews averaged 1,161 followed by Quakers at 1,153 and Hindus at 1,110. The average SAT score for college-bound seniors is 1,020."

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