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- White House announces new appointees to faith council: National Association of Evangelicals President Leif Anderson and Nancy Wilson, head of the and Metropolitan Community Church – the nation’s largest denomination expressly serving LGBT Americans – are among the appointees to the panel, which was launched by President Barack Obama in 2009.
- Chechnya Muslim leader calls for women to cover up: The spiritual leader of Russia’s Muslim Chechnya region called on women on Wednesday to dress more “modestly” and only show their face and hands, in the latest attempt by authorities to install Islamic ideas.
- Mistress of former televangelist bodyguard to testify in his murder trial: Chris Coleman, 33, goes on trial this month on three counts of first-degree murder in the strangulation deaths of his wife, Sheri, and two pre-teen sons. Police allege that Coleman wanted to start a new life with Tara Lintz without seeking a divorce that might have cost him his career as televangelist Joyce Meyer’s bodyguard.
- 2nd imam is out at Islamic center near WTC site: Muslim scholar Shaykh Abdallah Adhami who was ecently named as the new senior imam at the Islamic center being built near the World Trade Center site has given up the job, just a few weeks after his appointment.
- Vatican says Benedict no longer an organ donor: Pope Benedict XVI has long championed organ transplants, but don’t expect an organ donation from him. The Vatican says his body belongs to the whole church.
- Reformist German theologians call to let priests marry: About one-third of the scholars teaching theology at Catholic seminaries and public universities in Germany, Austria and Switzerland signed the appeal for change in the church, which has a rule requiring priests to be celibate. They also called for the church to allow women to be ordained as priests.
- Sikh man ‘murdered’ western daughter: Gurmeet Singh Ubhi, a Sikh man accused of strangling his daughter could not accept her western lifestyle, his son told a court in England.
- German state risks Muslim anger after becoming first in the country to ban the burka: Hesse, a state run by Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats, has now became the first German region to ban Muslim face veils for public sector workers. Hesse Interior Minister Boris Rheinsaid it was ‘not acceptable’ for a teacher in Frankfurt to wear a face veil because ‘public sector workers are obligated to have neutral religious and political views’.
- Muslim woman resigns after German state imposes cover-up ban: The woman, who is of Moroccan origin, previously wore a headscarf while counselling city residents, but wanted to resume her job after maternity leave with her face completely veiled. The city objected, saying taxpayers would not accept an official if they could not see her eyes.
- Conspiracy charges filed against Muslim students: A group of Muslim students accused of disrupting a speech by Israeli ambassador Michael Oren at the University of California, Irvine, were charged Friday with misdemeanor conspiracy counts, ending speculation about what would come from their actions nearly a year ago.
- Muslims must embrace our British values, David Cameron says: British Muslims must subscribe to mainstream values of freedom and equality, David Cameron will say as he declares that the doctrine of multiculturalism has “failed” and will be abandoned.
- David Cameron tells Muslim Britain: stop tolerating extremists: David Cameron will today signal a sea-change in the government fight against home-grown terrorism, saying the state must confront, and not consort with, the non-violent Muslim groups that are ambiguous about British values such as equality between sexes, democracy and integration.
Analysis, Commentary, Opinion
- Concern about Islamists masks wide differences among them: Part of the problem trying to figure out what Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood or Tunisia’s Ennahda party would do if they got into any future power structure in their countries is knowing what kind of Islamists they are. The label “Islamist” pops up frequently these days, in comments and warnings and (yes) news reports, but the term is so broad that it even covers groups that oppose each other. Just as the Muslim world is not a bloc, the Islamist world is not a bloc
- Where Have All the Presbyterians Gone?: Are we witnessing the death of America’s Christian denominations? Studies conducted by secular and Christian organizations indicate that we are. Fewer and fewer American Christians, especially Protestants, strongly identify with a particular religious communion—Methodist, Baptist, Presbyterian, Pentecostal, etc. According to the Baylor Survey on Religion, nondenominational churches now represent the second largest group of Protestant churches in America, and they are also the fastest growing.
- How to convert witches to Catholicism: Witches can and should be converted to Catholicism, according to Wicca & Witchcraft: Understanding the dangers by Elizabeth Dodd who portrays spell-casting as spiritually empty, exhausting and immoral
- The Son and the Crescent: Bible translations that avoid the phrase “Son of God” are bearing dramatic fruit among Muslims. But that translation has some missionaries and scholars dismayed.
- Television ads talk about life as a (fill in your faith here): religion groups are trying to convey that theirs is a faith for everyday people who look and act like them, says Mara Einstein who wrote Brands of Faith: Marketing Religion in a Commercial Age. [Kindle edition | Buy a Kindle]
- Beware the “Main Street Bubble” of Multi-Level Marketing groups without U.S. Government Protection: Cult expert Steve Hassan writes, Quixtar, a former subsidiary of Amway, one of the largest multi-level marketing (MLM) companies in the world, has agreed to a $150 million class action settlement. The settlement points out the serious risks that face consumers who fall for the well-worn pitch that MLM “business opportunities” offer the average person a lucrative “home-based” income opportunity.
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