Other Traditions

Connecticut Muslims Open New Mosque in Former Bowling Alley

February 2, 2002

Source: The Hartford Courant

On February 2, 2002, The Hartford Courant reported that "after years of worshiping in rented space while enduring failed attempts to establish a place of their own, [central Connecticut] Muslims have what they have been searching for... The mosque is in a former bowling alley turned office building... The congregation does not yet have an imam, a Muslim religious leader, and plans for a library and kitchen will have to wait until funding improves. But just having a site for the 44 member families devoted to the Shiite branch of...

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New Hampshire ECKists Detail Practices and Beliefs

January 31, 2002

Source: Portsmouth Herald

http://www.seacoastonline.com/2002news/1_31living_a.htm

On January 31, 2002 the Portsmouth Herald published an article in which members of the Eckankar religion explained their beliefs and practices. "Eckankar, called the religion of the Light and Sound of God, was introduced as a modern-day religion in 1965 by Paul Twitchell, the first Living ECK Master, responsible for the continued evolution of the Eckankar teachings. Eckankar offers...

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Rastafarian Wins Discrimination Suit Against Greyhound

January 17, 2002

Source: The Buffalo News

On January 17, 2002, The Buffalo News reported that "a man who claimed he was denied a bus driver's job because of his long dreadlocks has won a $33,500 settlement from Greyhound Lines... The company agreed to pay Kevan Sheppard of Rochester [NY] in order to end an employment discrimination lawsuit filed on his behalf in 2000 by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in Buffalo... Sheppard, who practices the Rastafarian religion, claimed Greyhound's Buffalo management turned him down for the bus driver's job because his...

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Rastafarians Fight for Right to Wear Dreadlocks at Work

September 10, 2001

Source: Newsweek

On September 10, 2001, Newsweek reported that Christopher Polk was fired from his FedEx job for refusing to cut his dreadlocks. There is a "Rastafarian belief in the sanctity of dreadlocks - the cords of permanently interlocked strands first worn by African cheifs perhaps 6,000 years ago." Polk, a practicing Rastafarian, explains that "'your hair is your covenant...once you grow your locks, it puts you on a path'...Six other New York-area FedEx employees have lost their jobs because of dreadlocks. They have sued, alleging religious...

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Utah Man Convicted of Polygamy

August 25, 2001

Source: The Boston Globe

On August 25, 2001 The Boston Globe reported that Tom Green of Utah, "a man with five wives and 30 children, was sentenced...to five years in prison...Polygamy is an open secret in Utah and elsewhere in the West, where there are an estimated 30,000 people practicing plural marriage." Green took the stand and "made it clear he has no regrets." He was sentenced "to five years on each charge he faced - four bigamy charges and one for failing to support his family. The sentences will run concurrently...He is still awaiting trial on...

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Nonbeliever Coalition Opposes Faith-Based Initiative

July 9, 2001

Source: U.S. Newswire

http://www.usnewswire.com/topnews/Current_Releases/0709-129.html

On July 9, 2001, U.S. Newswire reported that a "coalition of Atheist, Freethought, Secular Humanist and other nonbeliever organizations...under the banner of 'The Day That Counts' will hold a media conference...in Washington, D.C...The goal is to encourage the nation's 27,000,000 persons who define themselves as Atheists, Agnostics, Freethinker, Humanists or other...

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Eastern and Western Traditions Come Together in Washington Church

June 29, 2001

Source: The Columbian

On June 29, 2001, The Columbian reported that "at Beautiful Savior Lutheran Church [in Vancouver, Washington]...a certified Qigong instructor teaches the ancient practice of movement and meditation once a week." Qigong was created in China more than 4,000 years ago.

Spiritualist Leader Sues County to Be Allowed to Build Church

June 11, 2001

Source: The New York Times

On June 11, 2001, The New York Times reported that "the Volusia [Florida] County Council voted, 4 to 3, to deny [the Rev. John A.] Ferro's Dunamis Community and Outreach Ministries an exception to zoning rules to build a 130-seat church on the site" they chose. They wanted to build near the Cassadaga Spiritualist Camp, a settlement for Spiritualists. Mr. Ferro is now suing the county in federal court.

Fashion at Religious Services Becomes More Laid-Back

April 20, 2001

Source: Los Angeles Times

On April 20, 2001, the Los Angeles Times reported on the latest fashion trend among Southern Californian worshippers at Sunday services. "Sunday wardrobes now reflect age, ethnicity and even hobbies...Clergy do agree on one thing: Clothes styles don't matter to God. The debate is over whether clothes make, or at least help, the worshiper...Other religions [including Judaism and Islam] have seen a slight dip in fashion formality, though nothing like the eclectic fashion sense of Christian congregations."

Research Group Documents Religious Diversity in the Bible Belt

April 1, 2001

Source: The Tennessean

http://www.tennessean.com/local/archives/01/04/03814884.shtml?Element_ID=3814884

On April 1, 2001, The Tennessean reported that the Bible Belt is now home to "Six Buddhist communities. Five Jewish congregations. Five Islamic mosques. A Baha'i center. A Hindu temple and a Hindu ashram, or teaching abode. Plus assorted Sikhs and Jains...Others exist, too." Tom Russell, a...

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Symposium Promotes Dialogue

March 23, 2001

Source: The San Francisco Chronicle

On March 23, 2001, The San Francisco Chronicle reported on "the Eighth Annual Sufism Symposium in Fremont [California]...The symposium is being held to promote dialogue, cross-cultural understanding, interfaith education and unity among the people of the world... Sufism is an ancient religion that dates back to the prophet Mohammed and the 7th century."

Socially Responsible Investing Gains Popularity

February 25, 2001

Source: The Atlanta Journal and Constitution

On February 25, 2001, The Atlanta Journal and Constitution reported that "socially responsible investing...is coming into the mainstream...There are bond mutual funds as well as stock funds, funds aimed at Muslims and Mennonites, funds for animal lovers, and funds that focus on gay and lesbian rights, pro and con."

Both Christianity and Shamanism Represented in Hmong Community

February 10, 2001

Source: Star Tribune

On February 10, 2001, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported that, among the Hmong community in the Twin Cities, some have embraced Christianity over the past 50 years, "but many have remained faithful to the traditional faith, shamanism...The Hmong are a farming people who live in mountainous ranges in Southeast Asia and southern China. Refugees began immigrating to the United States in the 1970s, after the Vietnam War ended...Today, about 11 percent of the estimated 75,000 to 80,000 Hmong in the Twin Cities are Christian, according to...

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Mormons Flock To Palmyra, New York To Learn About Historical Roots

December 20, 2000

Source: The New York Times

On December 20, 2000, The New York Times reported that many Mormons are traveling to Palmyra, New York to visit the birthplace of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Joseph Smith, the founder of Mormonism, eventually led followers west. His recreated log home is one attraction in Palmyra. "A restored printing shop shows where the Book of Mormon was first published, and a visitors' center plays a recording of Christ's words in 20 languages including Hungarian, Finnish and Tahitian. A new temple overlooking the Sacred...

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