School District in Pennsylvania Conducts Survey of World Religious Instruction

January 31, 1999

Source: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

On January 31, 1999, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported on a survey that is to be conducted by Ringgold School District in Washington County, PA. District officials will survey the high school's world culture teachers to determine how much instruction is provided in world religions. The results of the survey, which are set to be released on February 17th, may open up a history of religions course offering in the high school.

Papal Visit to St. Louis

January 27, 1999

Source: The New York Times

On January 27, 1999, The New York Times reported on the Pope's specific attention to Catholic-Jewish relations. With a rabbi reading scripture at the Roman Catholic Cathedral in St. Louis and a Polish-born Jew as an official guest, Catholic-Jewish relations have advanced a great deal over the course of John Paul's papacy. Rabbi A. James Rudin, the inter-religious affairs director of the American Jewish Committee, stated that, "it's a tangible sign, in the heart of America, that this Pope reaches out, especially to Jews, wherever...

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Interfaith Talks Launch Global Ceasefire Measure for Millennium

January 25, 1999

Source: The Plain Dealer

On January 25, 1999, The Plain Dealer published an article on the growing movement to affect a 3-day global ceasefire to usher in the new millennium. California Episcopal Bishop William E. Swing has helped to launch the effort. Tibetan Buddhists and Chinese Christian Councils have signed on to the measure and a vote is scheduled before the American Medical Association and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Organizers of the 3-day ceasefire are hoping to see child vaccinations in war-torn countries, with participation...

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Ecumenical Martin Luther King Celebration

January 18, 1999

Source: Newsday

On January 18, 1999, Newsday reported on the 14th annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Ecumenical Celebration, which was held this year at the Sons of Israel Synagogue in Woodmere, NY. Approximately 500 Jews, Christians, and Muslims attended the celebration with speakers representing all three religions.

Catholic-Jewish Relations

January 2, 1999

Source: The Buffalo News

On January 2, 1999, the Buffalo News published an article on the Catholic-Jewish Educational Enrichment Program, which is an effort to educate students in Catholic and Jewish schools about each other's faith. This program is in place in Philadelphia and similar programs exist in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. It involves a teacher-exchange situation, where a Rabbi visits to a Catholic school and a Priest visits to a Jewish school. The Catholic-Jewish Educational Enrichment Program is funded by the Righteous...

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World Religion Day

January 2, 1999

Source: St. Petersburg Times

The St. Petersburg Times reported that the Interfaith Council and Baha'is of Citrus County, Florida are sponsoring a World Religion Day program on January 17, 1999. World Religion Day was begun in 1950 by the national administrative body of the Baha'i faith, the Spiritual Assembly, in the United States in order to promote religious unity. The subject for this year's event, which will include speakers representing Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, and Baha'i faiths, is "Life After Death."

Religion and the World Wide Web

December 26, 1998

Source: Star Tribune

On December 26, 1998, the Star Tribune of Minneapolis, MN published an article on the growing use of the World Wide Web by religious communities to help spread their message. The article states that religions are turning to this medium in order to "remain relevant among an increasingly fickle audience." The Barna Research Group, based in Ventura, CA, conducted a recent survey on religion and the internet. The results show that one out of six teens rely on the Internet to attempt to meet their spiritual needs. Quentin Schultze,...

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Creche Controversies

December 9, 1998

Source: No source given.

In Somerset, MA, a 60-year tradition of a creche on the front lawn of the Somerset Town Hall was ruled unconstitutional because it violated the establishment clause of the First Amendment. On December 1st, 1998, the Boston Globe reported on the federal ruling by US District Court Judge Richard G. Stearns in Boston (December 1, 1998, Boston Globe, Metro/Region, Pg. B1). Stearns ruled this particular creche presentation unconstitutional because it offered "no superabundance of secular symbols to dilute the religious message...

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Launching of the Greater Boston Interfaith Organization

November 23, 1998

Source: The Boston Globe

On November 23, 1998, The Boston Globe reported on the launching of the Greater Boston Interfaith Organization (GBIO). About 4,000 people from many different congregations gathered to discuss working together. "By galvanizing such a broad array of religious congregations, leaders hope to make the GBIO a potent force to tackle vital issues, including the quality of public schools, affordable housing, and fair wages."

Interfaith Festival in Louisville

November 9, 1998

Source: The Courier-Journal

On November 9, 1998, The Courier-Journal of Louisville reported on the "Festival of Faiths," running from November 11th-15th at the Louisville Gardens. The event is sponsored by the Cathedral Heritage Foundation, a non-profit group that was created to "promote the idea of an ecumenical gathering place for people of all faiths in metropolitan Louisville." The theme for this year's festival, "Song and Celebration," will include performances from different musicians each day.

Conference on Western and Tibetan Medicine Held in Washington, D.C.

November 6, 1998

Source: The Baltimore Sun

On November 6, 1998, The Baltimore Sun reported that the First International Congress on Tibetan Medicine was held in Washington on the weekend of November 7th. Approximately 1200 Western medical professionals received an intensive introduction to Tibetan medicine. The Dalai Lama opened the event and it concluded with a ceremony around a sand mandala dedicated to the Medicine Buddha. After the mandala was ritually destroyed, it was put into the Potomac River as an "offering of healing powers to the waters." In consonance with the...

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Jewish Exploration of Tibetan Buddhism

October 23, 1998

Source: Sun-Sentinel

On October 23, 1998, the Sun-Sentinel issued an article about a series of events to take place at the Temple Beth El of Hollywood, Florida from October 30th - November 5th exploring the relationship between Judaism and Tibetan Buddhism. The events will be based around a set of screenings for a new film entitled, "The Jew in the Lotus," which is based on a 1995 book by poet Rodger Kamenetz. The book tells of a 1990 journey of eight Jewish leaders to meet with the Dalai Lama in Dharamsala, India. On October 31st, Temple Beth El hosted...

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Catholics and Buddhists Meet to Compare, Contrast Faiths

October 3, 1998

Source: Los Angeles Times

On October 3, 1998, The Los Angeles Times reported that a national-level Buddhist-Catholic dialogue was taking place at the Serra Retreat in Malibu on the weekend of October 3rd and 4th. James Fredericks, a professor of comparative theology at Loyola Marymount University, stated that the meeting was "historically important" for the understanding of Buddhism and Catholicism in this country. The event, sponsored by the Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles and the Buddhist Sangha Council of Southern California, will hopefully spark...

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