Christianity

First Communions Lavish Affairs in South Florida, Expecially Among Cuban-Americans

June 27, 2001

Source: The Boston Globe

On June 27, 2001, The Boston Globe reported that "the tradition of receiving the Roman Catholic sacrament for the first time threatens to go over the top in this city of lavish expenditures [Miami]...In many affluent Hispanic communities in South Florida...the extravagant affairs have become a common ritual, putting friends and neighbors in a competition to throw the biggest Communion bash...For many Cuban-Americans...[First Communion] is not only a rite of passage but an indicator of success and status."

Selectmen Vote to Allow Display of Menorah

June 27, 2001

Source: Worcester Telegram & Gazette

On June 27, 2001, the Worcester Telegram & Gazette reported that "the [Westboro, Massachusetts] Board of Selectmen...approved a menorah display for the downtown rotary in December, reversing its earlier position on the issue...Selectmen worried that allowing a menorah display would open it to any number of unwanted displays...Westboro Town Counsel Alan F. Dodd said in a report to selectmen last night that the town cannot forbid the free exchange of ideas at the rotary."

School Board Considers Changes to Religion Policy

June 27, 2001

Source: The Seattle Times

On June 27, 2001, The Seattle Times reported that "students would be permitted to say nondisruptive prayers in the classroom, and Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny could be part of holiday displays in school hallways, under proposed policy changes that will be presented tonight to the Kent School Board. The changes would replace strict guidelines the district put into effect last fall," that drew objections from students, parents and others.

Baptists Express Uncertainty about Bush's Faith-Based Initiative

June 26, 2001

Source: The Providence Journal-Bulletin

On June 26, 2001, The Providence Journal-Bulletin reported that "delegates to the Biennial Meeting of the American Baptist Churches-USA voted by a ratio of 4 to 1 to approve a statement highly critical of [Bush's faith-based initiative] but without enough votes to make it official...The debate [at the meeting] made clear that the issue of separation of church and state remains a fundamental concern for American Baptists."

Clergy Insists Government Enforce Wage Violation Payments

June 26, 2001

Source: The New York Times

On June 26, 2001, The New York Times reported that "16 United States senators are at loggerheads with 18 bishops from various denominations...The senators...have urged the department to drop [an] enforcement effort, in which inspectors found wage violations at...51 poultry plants [and told the plants to pay $350 million in back wages]...But the religious leaders want the Labor Department to press ahead, saying the poultry workers need the government's protection."

Reports of Orthodox Catholic Family Slaughtering Sheep Discounted

June 25, 2001

Source: The Morning Call

On June 25, 2001, the Allentown Morning Call reported that "Bethlehem police stopped by [Tea Javashvili's] party...after receiving reports that partygoers were slaughtering sheep, a violation within city limits." Javashvili's Orthodox Catholic family had immigrated from Georgia, the former Soviet republic. They said the lamb they were using "was dead when they bought it from a local butcher, and they were cutting it up in their back yard as part of a religious practice."

Washington Archdiocese Reaches Out to Latinos

June 24, 2001

Source: The Washington Post

On June 24, 2001, The Washington Post reported that "concerned about the loss of traditionally Catholic Latinos to Protestant evangelical and Pentecostal churches that energetically proselytize for new members, more Catholics have decided to respond in kind...About 200 Catholic Latinos from local parishes...fanned out in heavily Latino neighborhoods of Northwest Washington ...in an evangelization effort sponsored by the Archdiocese of Washington...In the Washington archdiocese,...170,000 of the 510,000 Catholics are of Hispanic...

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Religious Rivalries in Ukraine

June 23, 2001

Source: The Boston Globe

On June 23, 2001, The Boston Globe reported on Ukraine, "an extraordinarily tense spot on the map of world religion, where three branches of Orthodoxy and two branches of Catholocism vie with one another, with Protestant missionaries, and with the legacy of 70 years of state-enforced atheism. 'Ukraine is ground zero of Orthodox-Catholic tension in the late 20th and early 21st century, and the tension has spilled onto the international scene,' said one member of the Catholic Archdiocese of Boston. "From the vantage point of...

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Catholics Practice Zen

June 23, 2001

Source: Newsday

On June 23, 2001, Newsday reported that many Catholics have begun practicing Zen, a Buddhist form of meditation. One of them explained that "practicing meditation doesn't mean you have to give up your Catholic faith. I find it helps me to bring more to...my Catholic exercises." Another said "he believes Zen is becoming more popular because the world 'is shifting away from the dogmatic religion and moving toward a meditative type of spirituality.'"

Groups Collaborate to Streamline Aid to Bosnian Immigrants

June 23, 2001

Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch

On June 23, 2001, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported on Southside Bosnian Services Collaborative in St. Louis, which is an organization formed last year to help Bosnians in the region. It is composed of representatives from 40 organizations, including south St. Louis churches, Christian faith-based social agencies, medical clinics and hospitals. Several churches are trying to make Bosnian immigrants in the region feel more welcome.

Flushing, Queens: America's Most Religiously Diverse City

June 22, 2001

Source: Religion and Ethics Newsweekly

http://www.pbs.org/wnet/religionandethics/week443/pluralism.html

On June 22, 2001 Religion and Ethics Newsweekly reported, "R. Scott Hanson wrote his doctoral dissertation at the University of Chicago on 'City of Gods: Religious Freedom, Immigration, and Pluralism in Flushing, New York.' He is a postdoctoral research associate at Brown University. Flushing, Queens is the most religiously and ethnically diverse...

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ACLU Loses Court Battle over Display of Ten Commandments

June 22, 2001

Source: Rocky Mountain News

On June 22, 2001, the Rocky Mountain News reported that "Denver U.S. District Judge Wiley Daniel refused the ACLU's request that he order the Ten Commandments removed immediately" from Grand Junction City Hall. Daniel said he is bound by an earlier ruling that said that a display of the Ten Commandments in Salt Lake City was "'primarily secular, and not religious in character.'...Grand Junction will immediately order granite to surround the Ten Commandments with five new monuments depicting documents important in British and U.S...

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Black Muslim Social Worker Sues California County for Discrimination

June 22, 2001

Source: The San Francisco Chronicle

On June 22, 2001, The San Francisco Chronicle reported that "a former Contra Costa County social worker sued the county for $1 million..., alleging he was demoted and verbally harassed for being a Muslim and for being black."

Four Churches in Virginia County Embody Ethnic Diversity

June 21, 2001

Source: The Washington Post

On June 21, 2001, The Washington Post reported that "four churches in Hyattsville that were once all-white have morphed into a polyglot of faith and racial togetherness[, as] Prince George's County has changed from a predominantly white county to one that is predominantly black...At First United Methodist Church...[an] African American pastor booms out sermons to pews filled with blacks, whites, Hispanics and immigrants from 38 nations. At the Redeemer Lutheran Church...the son of German immigrants... [preaches to] congregants...

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