On October 26, 2002 The Boston Globe reported that "Tony Van Der Meer was raised a Baptist, but years ago, friends introduced him to the religion of the Yoruba people of Nigeria. The Yoruba revere family and ancestors. Van Der Meer, 48, an African studies professor at the University of Massachusetts at Boston, says he saw a powerful demonstration of his new faith a decade ago involving his father, a man he barely knew. The Yoruba believe in a supreme god and more than 400 lesser divinities, called orishas, each with its...
On October 18, 2002 The Associated Press reported that "a health agency is seeking to force six
Amish families to install septic systems, something they say violates their
religious beliefs. Meanwhile, a one-room Mennonite schoolhouse in Elkton, Ky., was
ordered closed after school officials there refused to install running water
and a septic system for outhouse toilets. The regional Central Michigan District Health Department in Mount
Pleasant wants to bring the Amish families' properties in line with health
On October 15, 2002 The Associated Press reported that "a plaque displaying the Ten Commandments no longer hangs in Altoona's [PA]
municipal building, and some council members who want to put it back on display
are running into opposition. Groups such as the American Civil Liberties Union and the American Atheists
Inc. argue that displaying the religious text in a government building is a
clear violation of the separation of church and state and would offend some
people. Altoona city officials say the plaque deserves to be...
On September 24, 2002 The Washington Post reported that "[people] from 26 predominantly Muslim countries... are
experiencing delays of two months or more as they await permission to study,
work or vacation in the United States, the result of a quiet tightening of the
visa review process in Washington prompted by the Sept. 11 attacks of a year
ago... It is not just ethnic Arab students who are affected. A number of Malaysian
students of Chinese descent have not received visas in time to return to fall
classes in the United...
On September 22, 2002 The Associated Press reported that "Minnesota's religious landscape became more diverse in the 1990s, although
the state remains mostly Lutheran and Catholic, according to a survey of U.S.
religious institutions. From 1990 to 2000, the state has seen double digit percentage increases for
Jews and the Latter-day Saints. Muslims were also counted in significant
for the first time. The research also found that Minnesota has more evangelical
Christians and fewer mainline Protestants... Minnesota is...
On September 18, 2002 The Columbus Dispatch reported that "a Cambodian prince who has done intelligence work for that country's king
said yesterday that [Rev. Lim Buntheoun],... abbot of a Buddhist temple in central Ohio, is the
long-missing Prince Norodom Naradipo, potential heir to the throne. The declaration by Sisowath, 65, appeared to put him at odds with King
Sihanouk, who is being treated in Beijing for prostate cancer and diabetes. 'Do I believe that Prince Naradipo is alive?' asked Prince Sisowath
On September 13, 2002 The Atlanta Journal and Constitution reported that "the White House expects the Senate to vote soon for a
long-delayed bill to make it easier for faith-based groups to seek federal
support for programs to help the needy. Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle (D-S.D.) said the Senate would vote on the
bill during the end-of-session rush if the two senators could obtain unanimous
consent from their colleagues for strict limits on debate time and the number
On June 13, 2002 The San Diego Union-Tribune reported that the a local group of the Self-Realization
soon be moving from its cramped, rented quarters in a commercial office building
on Valley Parkway to a seven-building complex in southwest Escondido, [California]... The city Planning Commission voted... to approve plans and a
conditional-use permit for the group to turn a former residential care facility... into a meeting and mediation center."
On June 7, 2002, The New York Times reported that a Pennsylvania "judge fined 20 members of an Amish sect today for refusing to put bright
orange reflective triangles on their horse-drawn buggies, ruling that public
safety overrode any religious objections... The Swartzentruber Amish argued that the garish symbols violated their
beliefs. The members were ordered to pay 27 fines of $95 each for failing to use
the triangle, a symbol that alerts other travelers to a slow-moving vehicle... Instead of the triangles, the...
On May 23, 2002 The Christian Science Monitor reported that "the ultratraditional Swartzentruber sect of Amish living in western Pennsylvania
refuse to use... the simple orange triangle,
which state law requires on the backs of all slow-moving vehicles... on their horse-drawn buggies... The police have
ticketed them, but they've resisted paying the fines... Matters came to a head when 19 Amish, responsible for a total of 24 tickets... appeared in Cambria County [PA] Court
last month, defended by lawyers who were secured...
On May 7, 2002, The Plain Dealer featured an article on "a College Board statistical finding that ranked the SAT
scores of college-bound seniors by their religion. Unitarians finished first,
averaging 1,209 on the college-entrance exam. Jews averaged 1,161 followed by
Quakers at 1,153 and Hindus at 1,110. The average SAT score for college-bound
seniors is 1,020."
On March 27, 2002, The San Diego Union-Tribune reported that "authorities are investigating whether to charge a City Heights [CA] shop owner with
animal cruelty for keeping 48 animals...
some meant for religious sacrifice, in cardboard boxes and bags without food
or water... Meanwhile, the city's code compliance department decided yesterday not to
fine the owner of Botanica Chango, which sells religious paraphernalia, for
keeping animals on property not zoned for them...
Julian Villota, the owner of the shop......
On February 7, 2002, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch featured an article on "Voodoo -- or Vodou as scholars and practitioners prefer... 'Vodou may be the most misunderstood and maligned religion in the world,'
said Terry Rey, an assistant professor of religion studies at Florida
International University in Miami. 'Its similarities and ties with Christianity
and, especially, Catholicism are abundant'... Rey says is practiced by roughly 250,000 people in the United States and 80
million worldwide... Vodou originated in central...