Christianity

Three Mormon Temples to Be Built in California

April 21, 2001

Source: Los Angeles Times

On April 21, 2001, the Los Angeles Times reported that "three new Mormon temples...will be built in California, including one in Newport Beach and one in Redlands" and one in Sacramento. These temples will bring "California's total to seven, the most in any state outside of Utah...Temple rites include weddings and 'vicarious baptisms for the dead,' ceremonies designed to unite deceased relatives who were not originally church members with their family through eternity."

Seminary's Centennial Celebration Includes Indian Blessing Ceremony

April 21, 2001

Source: The Kansas City Star

On April 21, 2001, The Kansas City Star reported that a sacred Indian Blessing Ceremony will be a highlight of the centennial celebration of Central Baptist Seminary in Kansas City. The seminary is "on a site once occupied by the Delaware Indian Nation."

Unitarian Group Seeks More Spirituality in Their Church

April 21, 2001

Source: The Chicago Tribune

On April 21, 2001, The Chicago Tribune reported that two dozen dissidents have charged the Unitarian Universalist Association of being "extremely intolerant" of people who want to talk about God. They "will meet in Virginia to discuss plans for a new church body for Unitarians who want more God and less politics in church...In time, the Unitarian tradition, which has no creed, [has] shed its exclusively Christian focus and embraced other forms of religious expression, including humanism and Buddhism." The group of dissidents is "...

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Fashion at Religious Services Becomes More Laid-Back

April 20, 2001

Source: Los Angeles Times

On April 20, 2001, the Los Angeles Times reported on the latest fashion trend among Southern Californian worshippers at Sunday services. "Sunday wardrobes now reflect age, ethnicity and even hobbies...Clergy do agree on one thing: Clothes styles don't matter to God. The debate is over whether clothes make, or at least help, the worshiper...Other religions [including Judaism and Islam] have seen a slight dip in fashion formality, though nothing like the eclectic fashion sense of Christian congregations."

Minister Bars Rabbi from Giving Baccalaureate Services

April 20, 2001

Source: The Atlanta Journal and Constitution

On April 20, 2001, The Atlanta Journal and Constitution reported that Rabbi Steven Lebow claimed to be "flabbergasted" when he was informed that Mount Bethel United Methodist Church would not let him give the address to Walton High School's graduating seniors there because of his Jewish beliefs. ""Our philosophy is that the doors should be open, not closed," he said. "I wouldn't expect him to compromise his faith in Christ. All I want is the same respect from him."

Ohio Contemplates Accommodation of Amish Residents

April 18, 2001

Source: The Boston Globe

On April 18, 2001, The Boston Globe reported that in the city of Berlin, OH, "state Representative Anthony Latta Jr. is sponsoring a bill to spend $5 million on road projects to help protect Ohio's 35,000 Amish from passing vehicles." There were 161 buggy-car crashes in Ohio in 1999. Latta's bill would fund projects to widen roads and to "improve visibility, add signs, and otherwise accommodate the Amish."

Eastern and Western Churches Seek to Set Common Date for Easter Celebrations

April 15, 2001

Source: Los Angeles Times

On April 15, 2001, the Los Angeles Times reported that this year, "for the first time in five years, Eastern Orthodox and Western Christian churches celebrate Easter...on the same date, thanks to a mathematical coincidence that has temporarily masked centuries of disagreement over when to observe the Resurrection." This year's "celebrations have rekindled interest--and raised old concerns--about setting a common date for the holiday...If Christians cannot agree on a date for Easter, they fear, their shared 'witness' to the world...

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Baltimore's Ethnic Diversity Reflected in Easter Celebrations

April 14, 2001

Source: The Baltimore Sun

On April 14, 2001, The Baltimore Sun reported on the "ethnic tapestry" that is made up of the different groups celebrating Easter in Baltimore. The article reported on the egg-dying and night vigil of the Greek Orthodox Cathedral of the Annunciation, the sausage-eating of the city's Polish community, and the choirs of the city's many African-American Baptist churches.

Many Modern Easter Traditions Have Roots in Ancient Earth Traditions

April 14, 2001

Source: Santa Cruz Sentinel

On April 14, 2001, the Santa Cruz Sentinel reported that many of the customs with which people celebrate Easter have their origins in "ancient earth traditions." Second-century Christian missionaries found that pagan springtime celebrations occurred at the same time of year as Christianity celebrated the resurrection of Christ. The missionaries "cleverly decided to spread their religious message slowly throughout the populations by allowing them to continue to celebrate ancient feasts, but in a Christian manner." The name "...

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Origin of Easter Bunny Explored

April 14, 2001

Source: The Arizona Republic

On April 14, 2001, The Arizona Republic reported on the origin of the Easter Bunny. "No one's quite sure just how the Easter Bunny became associated with the Christian holiday...He was a symbol of fertility in ancient Egypt, a reputation that eventually spread to Europe as the rabbit became one of the featured stars of springtime pagan rituals."

New Bishop Seems Fitting Choice for Increasingly Diverse District

April 14, 2001

Source: Los Angeles Times

On April 14, 2001, the Los Angeles Times reported on the new bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal Fifth Episcopal District, John Richard Bryant. The district encompasses 250 churches in 14 states west of the Mississippi. "As the church wrestles with dramatically changing demographics, which are reshaping historically black neighborhoods into multicultural ones, church members say no better man than Bryant can lead the way. 'He is the renaissance man of racial reconciliation,' said the Rev. Mark Whitlock."

Eastern and Western Churches Seek to Set Common Date for Easter Celebrations

April 14, 2001

Source: The Washington Post

On April 14, 2001, The Washington Post reported that this year "for the first time in more than a decade, Orthodox Christians will celebrate Easter on the same day as Protestants and Roman Catholics. "In Orthodox eyes...celebrating [Jesus's] resurrection before Passover is historically incorrect and theologically questionable." Protestants and Roman Catholics follow a Gregorian calendar and therefore sometimes celebrate Easter before Passover. Rev. Victor Potapov, rector of St. John the Baptist Russian Orthodox Cathedral in...

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Eastern and Western Churches Seek to Set Common Date for Easter Celebrations

April 13, 2001

Source: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

http://www.jsonline.com/lifestyle/religion/apr01/easter-date041301.asp

On April 13, 2001, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported that "Easter celebrations for Orthodox churches and other Christian denominations coincide Sunday and many church officials had hoped to make that an annual occurrence...But it doesn't look likely any time soon...Orthodox churches say differences arise because they adhere to a rule that...

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Maryland Court Permits Religious Discrimination in Hiring Practices

April 13, 2001

Source: The Baltimore Sun

On April 13, 2001, The Baltimore Sun reported that Maryland's Court of Appeals "struck down a Montgomery County measure that barred religious institutions from religious discrimination in hiring for jobs in which faith plays little or no role...The "attorney for the church-affiliated Montrose Christian School in Rockville, which won the case,... said he thought that the decision was perhaps the first in which a state's highest court ruled on federal First Amendment grounds on this issue." In 1996 the school fired two workers...

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Recent Comic Strip about Easter Offends Many

April 13, 2001

Source: Los Angeles Times

On April 13, 2001, the Los Angeles Times reported on a "B.C." comic strip by cartoonist Johnny Hart, which "depicts the candles of a menorah being extinguished one by one until the Judaic symbol is finally transformed into a cross. The strip...already has disappointed and angered some readers, religious leaders and newspapers...Critics argue Hart's message is that Christianity replaced Judaism as a viable religion 2,000 years ago." Hart said "his purpose was merely to honor both Easter and Passover."

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