Interfaith

Religious Groups Support Mormon Temple Plans

January 8, 2001

Source: The Boston Globe

On January 8, 2001, The Boston Globe reported that "Catholics, Protestants, and Jews yesterday welcomed a Supreme Court decision upholding the right of Mormons to build a giant temple in Belmont, saying the decision guarantees continued freedom for religious groups in Massachusetts." Many religious groups were watching the case, in which neighbors asked to have the temple bulldozed, arguing that allowing the temple "violated a constitutional prohibition against the government establishment of religion."

"At stake in the...

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Growing Numbers of Hispanic Converts to Islam

January 7, 2001

Source: The Washington Post

On January 7, 2001, The Washington Post reported the conversion of thousands of Latinos nationwide to Islam. Hispanics are "the country's fastest-growing ethnic group," and Islam is "the nation's fastest-growing religion." There are 1 billion Muslims worldwide, and "the Muslim population in the United States is estimated at more than 4 million, nearly six times the number in 1970." The American Muslim Council, an advocacy group in Washington, estimates that 25,000 of these are Hispanic. "The largest communities are in New York...

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Episcopalians and Lutherans Celebrate New Alliance

January 7, 2001

Source: The New York Times

On January 7, 2001, The New York Times reported that, "after more than three decades of debate, the Episcopal Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America inaugurated an alliance...that will allow them to share clergy members, churches and missionary work." Each "church will retain its own structure and worship style," but the contract, "Called to Common Mission," "brings together two denominations that have long been separated by fundamental differences over the role and authority of bishops." The alliance was celebrated...

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Proposed School Calendar Changes Accommodate Jewish Holidays

January 6, 2001

Source: The Tampa Tribune

On January 6, 2001, The Tampa Tribune reported that Hillsborough County's proposed 2001-2002 school calendar "includes a day off in September coinciding with the Jewish Day of Atonement, Yom Kippur. The calendar also shows a spring break from March 25 to April 1, 2002, which would span both Easter and Passover." Jewish parents call the proposed changes to the calendar "a step in the right direction." Phyllis Rogoff, a Jewish parent who served on the district's calendar committee, said the changes...

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Interfaith Ministries aids elderly, refugees, and children

January 3, 2001

Source: The Houston Chronicle

On January 3, 2001, The Houston Chronicle reported that "this holiday season, the staff and volunteers at Interfaith Ministries of Greater Houston, located in the Montrose area, did its part to ease [the] burden of loneliness and need through various holiday programs and activities." The organization "exists to build collaborations among Houston's faith communities and business, civic and philanthropic organizations to address critical human and community needs." The organization's programs include Meals on Wheels, which...

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Religious Discrimination in the Workplace

January 1, 2001

Source: The Boston Herald

http://www.bostonherald.com/business/business/cap01012001.htm

On January 1, 2001, The Boston Herald reported that "research conducted for the Tanenbaum Center for Interreligious Understanding shows that some two-thirds of a sample of ethnically diverse workers have experienced or witnessed some form of religious discrimination or bias in the work place. More than half said such incidents affect their job performance. Almost 45...

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Pact Celebrates Unity of Lutheran and Episcopalian Churches

January 1, 2001

Source: Los Angeles Times

On January 1, 2001, the Los Angeles Times reported that a unity agreement between the Episcopal Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America will be formally signed on Saturday at the Washington National Cathedral. The Called to Common Mission pact "allows members of the two denominations to receive communion in each other's churches and call either an Episcopal priest or a Lutheran minister their pastor." The agreement stems from the recognition that "both denominations have more in common than not....

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New Hampshire Focuses on Holistic Health

January 1, 2001

Source: India New England News

In January, 2001, India New England News reported on Saraswati Mandiram, the Institute of Holistic Health, Music, Yoga, Science and Philosophy, in New Hampshire. It celebrated the official anniversary of the Baghavad Gita, a text which "is central to the institute's teachings. Holistic health...does not just focus on the physical self but also on the health of the spirit, mind and emotions. One of the institute's stated goals is to provide a place of worship...that will 'explore and promote the good in both Eastern and Western...

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Muslims Celebrate End of Ramadan

December 31, 2000

Source: Los Angeles Times

On December 31, 2000, the Los Angeles Times reported that while many were celebrating Christmas or Hanukkah, hundreds of Muslims gathered in the San Fernando Valley this year for Eid-al-Fitr, the end of the holy month of Ramadan, which "commemorates what Muslims believe was God's revelation of their holy book, the Koran, to the prophet Muhammad nearly 1,400 years ago. It is a month of prayer, reflection, goodwill toward those less fortunate and fasting from dawn to dusk. Eid al-Fitr...is celebrated with family and feasts, and...

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Why Schools Should Teach About All Cultures and Religions

December 31, 2000

Source: Los Angeles Times

On December 31, 2000, in the Los Angeles Times , a professor of human development at Cal State offered a solution to the conflict that arose at Mariners Elementary School in Newport Beach when "a local rabbi and some of his congregation demanded the dismantling of holiday lights" put up at the school. The rabbi "called the act 'provocative,' saying it 'disfranchised' non-Christian students." At the same time, however, a Jewish mother "has been free to address classrooms of students about Hanukkah." The author suggests...

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Students Sometimes Adopt New Religious Beliefs

December 30, 2000

Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch

On December 30, 2000, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that religious experts cite a recent growth of religious life on college campuses, and the accompanying trend of students coming home from school with religious beliefs different than their families. "Some students," they say, "are turning toward a more lasting commitment to religion, while others are looking for a type of spirituality different from the beliefs they got from their parents." The result may be a feeling of alienation from parents, who may not...

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Top Religion News Stories of 2000

December 30, 2000

Source: The Washington Post

On December 30, 2000, The Washington Post reported on some of the biggest religion news stories of 2000.

The biggest one was "when Vice President Gore named Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman, an Orthodox Jew, as his vice presidential running mate." Lieberman, thereby "the first Jewish candidate on a major party presidential ticket," called "for a greater role for religion in civic life." In this way, "the Democratic team...opened the door for Jewish Americans to play a more prominent...role in the nation's public life...

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Columnist Gives Top 10 Religion Stories of 2000

December 30, 2000

Source: The Boston Globe

On December 30, 2000, The Boston Globe ran Michael Paulson's "Top 10 religion stories of 2000:"

1. "Senator Joseph I. Lieberman (D-Conn.) is nominated as the first Jewish candidate for vice president of the United States." Among other things, this caused Jews to question the "assumption that orthodoxy, at least for Jews, is incompatible with success in America."

2. "Pope John Paul II, Cardinal Bernard F. Law, and other Catholic prelates offer sweeping apologies for sins as part of celebration of Jubilee year...

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Synagogue's Dwindling Congregation

December 27, 2000

Source: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

On December 27, 2000, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported on "a tiny, resilient Jewish community in Greene and Washington counties" serviced by the Beth Israel Synagogue. If the size of the congregation does not grow, said its vice president, "the decision has to be made as to whether it's viable to continue." Both counties have tiny Jewish populations, and, with southern Allegheny county, contribute "fewer than 150 members" to the congregation. The synagogue is able to survive on bequests from late members. Particularly...

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Suggested Approaches to Teaching Religion in Schools During the Holidays

December 26, 2000

Source: The Christian Science Monitor

On December 26, 2000, The Christian Science Monitor reported on public schools' history of abstaining from religious material during the holidays. Since the mid-1980s, however, public schools have finally begun to focus on "the key role of religion in American life." Scholar Charles Haynes notes, "For the first time, we have a widely shared consensus that teaching about religion is important and constitutional." He claims, however, that we are still ignoring "how we will live with these religious differences."...

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