Religion News, February 9, 2011

    Religion News

  • Romania may get even tougher on witches: A month after Romanian authorities began taxing them for their trade, the country’s soothsayers and fortune tellers are cursing a new bill that threatens fines or even prison if their predictions don’t come true. Superstition is a serious matter in the land of Dracula, and officials have turned to witches to help the recession-hit country collect more money and crack down on tax evasion. Witches argue they shouldn’t be blamed for the failure of their tools.
  • Leading scholar says Christianity is overtaking the globe led by spectacular, ongoing growth in Africa and Asia. To back up his claim, Philip Jenkins – the author of a host of influential books, including “The Next Christendom: The Rise of Global Christianity” – offered a series of eye-popping statistics and projections.
  • Parents discourage daughters who would be nuns: Communities of nuns and sisters in the U.S. are weathering a season of demographic decline with far-reaching consequences for the country’s vast network of Catholic schools, hospitals and social services. But as Catholic leaders try to convince more young women like Graus to dedicate their lives to the church, recent surveys suggest that a big obstacle may lie surprisingly close to home. More than half of the women who professed final vows to join a religious order in 2010 said a parent or family member had discouraged their religious calling, according to a survey conducted by Georgetown University’s Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate.
  • UEP trust overseer has day in court: A judge here on Monday heard prosecutors make their criminal trespassing case against Bruce R. Wisan, the accountant appointed by a Utah court to oversee a polygamous FLDS sect’s land trust.
  • High-profile Mormons in media, politics advance understanding of church: When Mitt Romney ran for president three years ago, calls from reporters came pouring into the public affairs office at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The reporters’ questions made it clear that they didn’t know much about Romney’s faith, church officials said. As a second Mormon candidate appears likely to join Romney on the list of Republicans seeking to challenge President Obama in 2012, the calls are flooding in again. This time, the questions indicate a better understanding of the religion, said Michael Otterson, a spokesman for the church. Theologically the Mormon Church is considered to be a cult of Christianity.
  • LDS Church Responds to South Park Mormon Musical. Interesting, but the Book of Mormon faces countless internal problems.
  • Muslim threatens to sue David Cameron for libel: Mohammad Naseem, chairman of Birmingham Central Mosque — one of Britain’s largest mosques — is threatening to sue David Cameron for libel over his recent criticism of Islamic extremism.
    Analysis, Commentary, Opinion

  • “Taliban Dan’s” Teacher: Inside Bill Gothard’s Authoritarian Subculture: Critics describe shattered lives, abuse of spiritual authority. See Apologetics Index’s research resources on Bill Gothard
  • Explaining Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood: Lawrence Wright is the author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning book The Looming Tower, which examines the history of al-Qaida. The founding members of al-Qaida are former members of the Muslim Brotherhood, a group banned in Egypt by the regime of President Hosni Mubarak that could play an important role in the future of the country. On today’s Fresh Air, Wright talks about the history of the brotherhood, why al-Qaida considers the group an enemy, and what the future may hold for the organization. He says that the brotherhood’s decision not to field a presidential candidate in Egypt is remarkable and, in some ways, unsurprising.
  • Shocking Planned Parenthood videos renew defunding calls: Another series of videos secretly recorded at Planned Parenthood clinics — in this case apparently showing its employees agreeing to aid sex traffickers whose prostitutes are in their early teens — has renewed calls for the federal government to defund the country’s largest abortion provider.
    Also Noted

  • Mannequins Wear a Message for Iraq’s Women: endors around the Kadhimiya mosque in northern Baghdad sell all manner of women’s clothing, from drape-like black abayas to racy evening wear. But on a recent afternoon, Hameed Ibrahim ushered his family toward a different kind of fashion display. On a raised stage between two shops, four mannequins in Western dress, their blond hair peeking out under colored scarves, stood amid crepe-paper flames. To one side was a banner featuring lust-crazed male ghouls; behind the mannequins, images of eternal suffering. And at the foot of the stage was a scripture from the mosque. “Whoever fills his eyes with the forbidden, on judgment day God will fill them with fire.” Our view: On judgment day God will have a busy scheduled dealing with Islam-inspired terrorism and other expressions of hatred. Islam‘s problems are not caused by Western dress…
  • Cyber chatting against Islam, says Malaysian preacher: Preacher and motivational speaker Mohammed Zawawi Yusoh told Harian Metro newspaper that people who engage in chats even on cyberspace were ‘vulnerable to temptation’. It is akin to committing ‘khalwat’ (close proximity), which is an offence under the Islamic jurisprudence. Sigh.
  • How the Church of England invests its billions: Over the past decade, the Commissioners have distributed £310 million more to the Church than they would have done had their performance merely matched the industry average. Thus, the ‘boring old Church’ triumphs over the millionaire managers of the City and Wall Street!

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Religion News Blog posted this on Wednesday February 9, 2011.
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