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

December 11, 2002

Source: National Council of Churches


On December 11, 2002 National Council of Churches reported that "a broad coalition of leaders of religious and civic organizations announced here today the launching of a movement titled 'Keep America Safe: Win Without War.' They will seek to bring the case of alternative action to stop Iraqi militarism without resorting to American militarism.  Coalition members, who include National Council of...

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Tucson Women Organizing Interfaith Conversations

December 9, 2002

Source: Tucson Citizen


On December 9, 2002 Tucson Citizen reported that "[Judyth] Lessee, the library manager at Catalina High School and a member of Congregation Ner Tamid, is part of a trio of passionate Tucson women organizing Interfaith Conversations. Their goal is to form a better understanding of people from other religions. The bringing together of people from different faiths started before the...

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Play Portraying Lesbian Mary Draws Protest in Boston

December 8, 2002

Source: The Boston Globe

On December 8, 2002 The Boston Globe reported that "singing songs and chanting prayers, more than 100 people from several Catholic organizations gathered for a vigil in Davis Square yesterday to protest the opening of a multimedia rock opera 'Jesus Has Two mommies...' Eric Schmider, music director and one of three producers of the opera, said the show's message, despite its provocative title, is not to mock the religious icons or offend Catholics, but to encourage discussions about people's concepts of relationship and self."

Cotroversy over Azizah covers

December 7, 2002

Source: The Dallas Morning News

On December 7, 2002 The Dallas Morning News reported that "the mother of Amadou Diallo shared the story of how she turned to the strength of her Muslim faith after her son was shot and killed by new York police officers in 1999... Ms. Diallo's account of perseverance is typical fare for Aziaah, a Muslim quarterly women's magazine whose Arabic title translates to dear, bold, noble and strong... But its covers, all like the one featuring Ms. Diallo, have drawn rebukes from conservative Muslims for whom religious rules of...

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Wiccan Sues Chesterfield County on Charges of Discrimination

December 7, 2002

Source: The Washington Post

On December 7, 2002 The Washington Post reported that "in Chesterfield County, elected leaders bow their heads for a brief prayer to start every meeting of the Board of Supervisors. Local ministers, priests and the occasional rabbi, each of whom has volunteered to be on a list, offer words of inspiration before the meeting shifts to zoning laws, budget cuts and public hearings. It's been that way for years. But when Cynthia Simpson, a witch and local Wiccan priestess, volunteered, she received a firm "no." In a letter from...

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Ramadan in America, 2002

December 1, 2002

Source: Herald-Leader


On December 1, 2002 the Herald-Leader reported that "born Michaela Colleen Jeffries, the Somerset, [Kentucky] resident and former Seventh-day Adventist converted to Islam in June, about a year after a tour of the Middle East led her to begin studying the Koran. 'Islam has given me an inner peace,' said Saleem, author of the autobiography Grasping for Love, about surviving...

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Muslim Woman Reaches Out to New Orleans Community

November 28, 2002

Source: The Times-Picayune

On November 28, 2002 The Times-Picayune reported that "ever since the Sept. 11 attacks in America by Islamic extremists, Aneela Shuja of Kenner, a Muslim, has been on a mission to dispel the stereotypes and fear in the community about people of her faith. 'I felt somebody had to speak up or something bad was going to happen,' Shuja, 42, said. 'It is a calling for me. I have been encouraged to do this.' She's traveled around New Orleans talking at local public and Catholic schools and churches, to priests and politicians to...

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Arranged Marriages in Hindu and Muslim Communities

November 21, 2002

Source: The Associated Press

On November 21, 2002 The Associated Press reported that "with increasing numbers of Hindus and Muslims living in the United States, members of these communities say arranged marriages are becoming more common, although no one tracks their numbers. These unions are very different from marriages in rural parts of their native countries where girls in their early teens can be forced by their parents to marry older men. Here it's often a family decision with parents and children, usually in their mid-20s, both holding veto...

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Zen Center in Pittsburgh

November 7, 2002

Source: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

On November 7, 2002 Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported that "twenty years ago, Kyoki [the name she chose for herself, meaning strong or courageous life force] and her husband owned an organic hog farm in Nebraska. She was introduced to Buddhism while subsequently going through a divorce and being involved in mediations between farmers and government.  She returned to Pittsburgh three years ago, opening the Zen Center in 2000. The Zen Center is the former home of her aunt, Mary...

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One Woman's Journey from Catholicism to Islam

November 6, 2002

Source: The Plain Dealer

On November 6, 2002 The Plain Dealer reported that "in eighth grade, [Meghan O'Connor] walked to her neighborhood Catholic school, St. Wenceslas, in a plaid uniform skirt. At 20, she was a party girl and single mother. Today, she covers her hair with the hijab, the traditional scarf that signifies modesty for Muslim women. 'The women's issue was huge for me,' O'Connor said. 'I found that all the pressure to look thin and the lines fed to us - equal opportunity to expose our bodies - weren't good for me. As I studied, Islam...

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From Methodist to Wicca

November 5, 2002

Source: Intelligencer Journal

On November 5, 2002 the Intelligencer Journal reported that "because they find meaning and comfort in ancient traditions that pay respect to nature and the turn of the seasons, the Bezzards, one-time Methodists, practice Wicca, a modern faith reconstructed from the earth-based beliefs of pre-Christian peoples. Their daughter, Jessica, 25, was the first in the family enamored of Wicca. As a nonconforming 15-year-old, she became intrigued with Wicca's belief in the divinity of nature, as represented by a god and goddess, and...

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Putting Tulsa on the Interfaith Map

November 2, 2002

Source: The Herald


On November 2, 2002 The Herald reported that "women of various faiths united in Sharon [PA] Friday in the hopes of promoting peace in the world. Local members of Church Women United, a national ecumenical interfaith organization, hosted a service for about 60 Christian, Jewish and Muslim women at Oakland Avenue United Methodist Church. The program, 'Daughters of...

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Putting Tulsa on the Interfaith Map

October 31, 2002

Source: Tulsa World

On October 31, 2002 Tulsa World reported that "an interfaith service written by three Tulsa women will be presented Friday in hundreds of cities nationwide. 'It's very unusual to have Tulsa people write the national service,' said Harriet Larsen, the leader of a Tulsa Church Women United group. The 'Daughters of Abraham' service on World Community Day, sponsored by Church Women United, was written by Mickey Simpson, who is on the CWU national board; Sheryl Siddiqui, representing the Tulsa Muslim community; and Jeanne Jacobs,...

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Wiccan Sues Chesterfield County on Charges of Discrimination

October 31, 2002

Source: WomensENews


On October 31, 2002 WomensENews reported that "Cyndi Simpson has come under fire by the Board of Supervisors of Chesterfield County [Virginia], which has barred her from offering a prayer before its open meetings, a customary practice there. Simpson, 47, says she simply wants to share the Wiccan tradition with her hometown of Richmond. Wicca focuses on ritual, nature, spirituality, prayers and...

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Plans to Attack Florida Islamic Centers Uncovered

October 24, 2002

Source: St. Petersburg Times

On October 24, 2002 St. Petersburg Times reported that "the wife of a Pinellas County podiatrist accused in a plot to bomb Islamic centers was arrested today on federal charges of possessing illegal explosives and firearms, federal authorities said. Agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms arrested Kristi Goldstein... said ATF Special Agent Carlos Baixauli. Full details of the investigation that led to Goldstein's arrest were not immediately available."