Interfaith

Religious Accommodation in the Workplace

October 4, 1999

Source: The Columbus Dispatch

On October 4, 1999, The Columbus Dispatch published an article on the increasing flexibility that some businesses are showing in accommodating religious practice in the workplace. National Electric in Columbus, Ohio has allowed its Muslim workers to leave their jobs for up to an hour and a half for Friday prayers. National Electric, with more than 300 workers, originally said no to the proposition made by mostly Somalian Muslim employees over a year ago, but then the Council on American-Islamic Relations intervened for the...

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Roman Catholic Cardinal Francis George Trying to Build Bridges to Other Faiths

September 27, 1999

Source: Chicago Sun-Times

On September 27, 1999, the Chicago Sun-Times reported on a speech given by Cardinal Francis George at Holy Names Cathedral in Chicago on September 26th that urged Catholics, Muslims, and Jews to work together to create a more civil world. Cardinal George stated: "If we cannot talk civilly among ourselves with deep respect, then the world will remain the bloody place it had been in the century that has just passed." The Cardinal wants to strengthen the Muslim-Catholic dialogue in the Chicago area, while suggesting that Catholic...

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Interfaith Group in Texas Debates Whether to Accept Muslim Congregation

September 25, 1999

Source: The Houston Chronicle

On September 25, 1999, The Houston Chronicle reported that the application of an Islamic group for membership in Interfaith of the Woodlands, a social services organization in The Woodlands, Texas that only serves congregations within the Judeo-Christian heritage, has created a debate among the 16-member board of directors of The Woodlands Religious Community, Inc. Rabbi James Brandt, a board member representing the Beth Shalom Congregation, stated in an August 26th letter: "How can it make any sense to include the Christian...

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Minnesota's Religious Organizations Are Working to Stop Gun Violence

September 25, 1999

Source: Star Tribune

On September 25, 1999, the Star Tribune published an article on the efforts of Minnesota religious organizations and congregations to stop gun violence. Churches are lobbying the state legislature in Minnesota and Congress in Washington to improve efforts against hate crimes, and are inviting speakers to talk about violence and its prevention. Rev. Rufus Campbell of Camphor Memorial United Methodist Church in St. Paul stated: "Our political leaders fail to come to grips with the depth of evil and the power of evil that guns have over...

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Ban on Pentagrams Lifted in New Mexico School District

September 24, 1999

Source: The San Diego Union-Tribune

On September 24, 1999, The San Diego Union-Tribune reported that the public school board in Roswell, New Mexico voted 4-1 to lift a ban on students wearing pentagrams, a Wiccan symbol. The school district had a ban on any "attire associated with gothic, satanic or occult-type activities such as pentagrams, etc.," but the pentagram has been excluded from this group because the district faced legal action from Kathryn King, a local minister of Wicca who says she knows approximately a dozen students in the district who...

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Controversial Efforts of Jewish Conversion During High Holy Days

September 23, 1999

Source: The Christian Science Monitor

On September 23, 1999, The Christian Science Monitor published an article on the Southern Baptist Convention's push to convert Jews. The prayer guide for Jewish conversion asks members to focus on praying for a Jewish population in a particular place in the world each day and "to pray each day for Jewish individuals...by name." The Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) intends to do the same for Muslims during Ramadan, for Hindus during Divali, and for Buddhists during the Festival of Lights. Abraham Foxman, national...

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Controversy Over School Closings for Jewish Holy Days in Ohio

September 19, 1999

Source: Los Angeles Times

On September 19, 1999, the Los Angeles Times published an article on the school closings at the Sycamore Community School District in Ohio entitled, "School Breaks for Jewish Holidays Bring Lawsuit."

Jewish Congregation in California Hosts Interfaith Service on Reconciliation and Healing

September 19, 1999

Source: Los Angeles Times

On September 19, 1999, the Los Angeles Times reported that Temple Knesset Israel in Los Angeles, which saw a swastika painted on the entranceway to the temple's preschool with the phrase "Jews die" on August 14th, hosted an interfaith service to speak out against the recent surge of hate crimes and to promote reconciliation and healing. Leaders from Jewish, African American, Central American, Latino, and Asian communities spoke at the service, which was held the day before Yom Kippur.

Controversial Efforts of Jewish Conversion During High Holy Days

September 18, 1999

Source: The Atlanta Journal and Constitution

On September 18, 1999, The Atlanta Journal and Constitution published an article on the expanded efforts of Hebrew Christians and Southern Baptists to convert Jews to Christianity during the High Holy Days. David Brickner, executive director of Jews for Jesus, stated: "We feel the High Holy Days are an important time in the Jewish calendar when many of my people are thinking about spiritual things...This year we're hoping the Jewish people will look at Jesus in a new way." Jews for Jesus has stepped up its...

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Disney Millennium Exhibit Causes Controversy

September 16, 1999

Source: Los Angeles Times

On September 16, 1999, the Los Angeles Times published an article on the growing controversy over a Disney exhibit for Epcot's Millennium Village, scheduled to open on October 1st, which features Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Both Israelis and Palestinians lay claim to the city, which figures prominently in current peace negotiations between the two sides. A spokesman for Disney stated: "We are not taking sides on this issue...We are in the business of entertainment, trying to provide a good experience for our guests." Bill...

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Jewish High Holy Days

September 13, 1999

Source: Los Angeles Times

On September 13, 1999, the Los Angeles Times reported that 400 people, Jews from the University Synagogue and Christians from the Irvine United Church of Christ, gathered at the Irvine church for a joint Rosh Hashanah worship service on Sunday, September 12th.

U.S. Ethnic Diversity

September 12, 1999

Source: Los Angeles Times

On September 12, 1999, the Los Angeles Times published an article on the entrepreneurial impact of some immigrant groups in the 1990s, particularly immigrants from the Middle East. In a 1996 study published in the Journal of Human Resources, Americans of Middle Eastern descent, including Christians, Muslims, and Jews, were twice as likely as the national average to be self-employed. In the five-county greater Los Angeles area, an analysis done by California State Northridge demographers James P. Allen and Eugene Turner found that...

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Interfaith Group Publishes Guide to Workers' Rights

September 11, 1999

Source: The Plain Dealer

On September 11, 1999, The Plain Dealer published an article on the efforts of the National Interfaith Committee for Worker Justice and its affiliates to educate American workers on their rights in the workplace. One affiliate, the Chicago Interfaith Committee on Worker Issues, has issued what the Labor Department has acknowledged as a comprehensive guide to workplace rights. The 56-page manual deals with minimum wage and overtime compensation, health and safety standards, freedom from discrimination in the workplace, and the right...

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