New Religious Movements

National Religious Broadcasters Chairman Defames Islam

February 10, 2003

Source: Oklahoma's News Channel 8

On February 10, 2003 Oklahoma's News Channel 8 reported that at the "National Religious Broadcasters convention in Nashville, Tennessee, chairman Glenn Plummer declared that the Bible says the only way people can reach God is through Jesus, 'not Muhammad' and 'not Allah'... Plummer added that people can't get to God through Buddha, the Dalai Lama or Sun Myung Moon either... [He also] called...

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Eckankar Group of Topeka, Kansas

Information about this center is no longer updated. This data was last updated on 9 March 2012.

Phone: 785-233-6954
Eckankar, "the religion of the Light and Sound of God," is an ancient though not well known religion. Over centuries, its teachings were scattered, but Eckankar was refounded by Paul Twitchell in 1965. Since then, Eckankar has grown to include over 50,000 members in numerous countries and continents, a growth that is notable considering that members do not actively seek to convert non-members and... Read more about Eckankar Group of Topeka, Kansas

Harry Potter and the Establishment Clause

December 4, 2002

Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch

On December 4, 2002 the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that "while her fifth-grade classmates at Truman Elementary School in Pacific listen to the adventures of Harry Potter, Merry Noella Skaggs chooses to sit in the library and read other books. Martha Skaggs says her daughter's teacher should not read the best-selling books in class because they teach kids about witchcraft, which she considers a religion. 'They won't give equal time to other religious books,' said Skaggs, who identified herself as Pentecostal. 'If...

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Survey on Religious Diversity in Marin County, California

December 2, 2002

Source: The San Francisco Chronicle

On December 2, 2002 The San Francisco Chronicle reported that "a recently released survey by San Francisco's Institute of Jewish and Community Research shows that a far higher percentage of people in Marin County [CA] than in the rest of the country embrace alternative religions or no religion at all. The findings, gathered from random telephone interviews of 604 people in April and May of 2000, do not mean the famously wealthy and liberal suburban county is full of barefoot pagans wearing robes and worshiping in the...

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Religious Groups Speak Out Against War with Iraq: Nov. 2002

November 15, 2002

Source: The Oregonian

On November 15, 2002 The Oregonian reported that "a protest Sunday in downtown Portland against a possible war in Iraq is drawing support from Palestinians, Jews, Catholics, Buddhists, Quakers and Scientologists, among others. Frank Fromherz, director of the Portland Catholic Archdiocese Office of Justice and Peace, said the peace activists will call on the U.S. government to find nonviolent solutions to threats such as terrorist attacks."

Romney Win is Sign that Massachusettes is Now More Accepting of Mormons

November 9, 2002

Source: The Boston Globe

On November 9, 2002 The Boston Globe reported that "The election of Mitt Romney-- an adherent of a faith shared by less than half of a percent of his fellow Massachusetts residents-- demonstrates an increasing acceptance of Mormons in the United States, as well as the increasing willingness of Americans to elect members minority faiths... Romney's aides say his faith has no public significance. "It's absolutely irrelevant," said his spokesman, Eric Fehrnstrom. "People here didn't even think about it. It wasn't even a topic of...

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Elementary School Yoga Ed Becomes Church and State Issue

August 29, 2002

Source: The Denver Post

On August 29, 2002 The Denver Post reported that Aspen Elementary School's plans to start a pilot program called Yoga Ed has stirred up a controversy over separation of church and state. The report states, "several parents have objected to their little ones participating in what they see as something bordering on a mystical religious practice. The school now plans to hold a meeting for parents next week to explain the program. 'I wish I could just change the name of this to 'stretching and breathing' and call it good,' said...

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LDS Church Attempts to Buy Public Land of Religious Significance

May 15, 2002

Source: Los Angeles Times

On May 15, 2002, the Los Angeles Times reported that "a bill in Congress, opposed by conservationists and history buffs, would allow the Mormon Church to buy a chunk of historic public land beside four pioneer trails southwest of Casper, Wyo... The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints wants to buy a 1,640-acre site known as Martin's Cove, where at least 56 Mormon immigrants died in a blizzard in 1856... But conservationists worry that the U.S. Department of the Interior would set a dangerous precedent by selling...

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Clergy Sexual Abuse Across Traditions

April 8, 2002

Source: Newsday

On April 8, 2002, Newsday reported that "from Episcopal and Protestant churches to Jewish synagogues and Hindu temples, religious leaders... are reflecting on the sexual abuse scandal within the Roman Catholic Church and its potential impact on their own houses of worship... In truth, the scourge of clergy sexual abuse has been exposed in virtually every religious faith and denomination... Members of the Jewish Orthodox faith recently... [faced] their own sexual abuse scandal involving... a leader in the Orthodox Union's National...

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Seattle Hosts Women of Wisdom Conference

February 9, 2002

Source: The Seattle Times

On February 9, 2002, The Seattle Times featured an article on the Women of Wisdom conference, whose participants are practitioners of "everything from earth-centered and goddess spirituality to Incan shamanic practices... About 2,000 people are expected to attend parts of the eight-day women's spirituality conference at Seattle Unity Church, a nondenominational metaphysical church. More than 90 events are planned, exploring...

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Editorial: "American Dream" Explores Spirituality and Commercialism

January 14, 2002

Source: The Boston Globe

On January 14, 2002, The Boston Globe featured "American Dream," an editorial about America's search for meaning. "Considered a sacred object in [Native American] culture, the web-like dream catcher - which is supposed to hang above a baby's cradle to trap nightmares and let good dreams into the soul - has become a staple in mall trinket stores... But while this popularization of the spiritual can be written off as the co-opting and secularizing of a belief system, it is, at its heart, a search for meaning... Our society is a...

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Americans Detained for Falun Gong Protest in China

November 21, 2001


On November 21, 2001, USA TODAY reported that several Americans and other Westerners were detained in China when they "chanted slogans and unfurled a banner... in Tiananmen Square to protest the government's crackdown on the Falun Gong spiritual movment... They sat, legs crossed, eyes closed and hands pressed as if in prayer... It was the first Falun Gong protest to involve Westerners exclusively."