Civic

Nation of Islam Leader Calls For Million Family March

February 13, 1999

Source: The Hartford Courant

On February 13, 1999, The Hartford Courant reported on the visit of Minister Benjamin F. Muhammed to Hartford. Muhammed, the former NAACP Director Benjamin Chavis Jr. who has converted from Christianity to Islam, is now a leader within the Nation of Islam. He spoke at Mosque 14 in Hartford and called for a "Million Family March" to take place in the year 2000 in Washington. "The Million Family March has the potential to transform our society...and the world," Muhammed said. "There once was a time when we'd look out for one...

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Buddhist Alliance for Social Engagement

January 31, 1999

Source: New Age

In the January/February 1999 issue of New Age, an article was published about the Buddhist Alliance for Social Engagement (BASE), which is a social help organization based on the model of the Catholic Worker movement. Founded in 1995 by the Buddhist Peace Fellowship, BASE has attracted more than 90 participants aged 18 to 65 to programs in Boston, the San Francisco Bay Area, and Arcata and Santa Cruz, California.

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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Buddhist Social Help Organization Making Presence Felt in New York

January 20, 1999

Source: Newsday

On January 20, 1999, Newsday published an article on the Flushing branch of Tzu-Chi, the Buddhist Compassion Relief Foundation, which is committed to teaching and helping the poor. Tzu-Chi, which was founded in Taiwan in 1966, has grown to more than 4 million members in 17 countries. The Flushing branch, which has 2,000 volunteers, has flourished in the area by visiting hospitals and nursing homes, shoveling snow, street cleaning, helping the homeless, and offering classes in Chinese culture, language, and philosophy. Tzu-Chi relies on...

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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.

Ramadan Reflections

January 2, 1999

Source: Star Tribune

On January 2, 1999, the Star Tribune reported that since the U.S. air strikes against Iraq last month, there has been a upsurge in public interest as to the meaning of Ramadan. Sayyid Muhammed Syeed, secretary general of the Islamic Society of America near Indianapolis, says he's been "barraged with phone calls about this season of praying and fasting."

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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Sikh Community in Houston Has Tradition of Helping in Local Shelter

November 29, 1998

Source: The Houston Chronicle

On November 29, 1998, the Houston Chronicle reported on the tradition that has developed at the Star of Hope shelter in Houston with the area Sikh community. What started five years ago as an annual feast prepared by the Sikh community at the shelter has turned into a monthly event. The Sikh volunteers, who buy, cook and serve the food, create an Italian-Mexican offering of enchiladas and lasagna to suit the Texan diet. Hardeep Kaur Singh, one of the volunteers, stated, "we thought we needed to give back to this community...

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West Virginia Bible Class Controversy

October 6, 1998

Source: The Boston Globe

On October 6, 1998, The Boston Globe published an article dealing with a proposed Bible-as-literature course at James Monroe High School in Monroe County, West Virginia. The proposal, which now rests with the school board to devise a Constitutionally- allowable curriculum, has met strong local opposition from four clergy members from three mainstream denominations. Their major concern is that "teaching the Bible purely as a literary gem - severed, as constitutional practice demands, from its spiritual and religious context -...

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Soka Gakkai Sponsors Conference on Earth Charter in Florida

October 3, 1998

Source: The Tampa Tribune

On October 3, 1998, The Tampa Tribune reported that Soka Gakkai International-USA, an American-based Buddhist movement that is grounded in the Nichiren school of Mahayana Buddhism, is sponsoring a conference on October 10th, 1998 entitled, "Share the Planet, Share the Responsibility" at the Florida Nature and Culture Center, 25 miles west of Fort Lauderdale. The conference was organized to discuss the Earth Charter, which is a two-page document setting out 21 principles in order to "reinvent an industrial-technological...

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