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Religious News Online: General Religious News

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Muslim anger fear halts opera
General Religious News A leading opera house called off a production of Mozart's "Idomeneo" that features the severed head of the Prophet Mohammed, setting off a furious debate Tuesday over Islam, freedom of speech and the role of art.

The furor is the latest in Europe over religious sensitivities -- following cartoons of the prophet first published in a Danish newspaper and recent remarks by Pope Benedict XVI decrying holy war.

Kirsten Harms, director of Berlin's Deutsche Oper, announced "with great regret" that she had decided to cancel the three year old production after state security officials warned it could provoke dangerous reactions in the current politically charged climate.

Posted by SweenyTod on Thursday, September 28 @ 12:40:02 MSD (2540 reads)
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A Rare Coming-Together of the Jewish and Muslim Holy Seasons
General Religious News Joining 1.28 billion Muslims and 14.9 million Jews around the world, Southern California adherents of the two faith traditions are observing their respective holy seasons starting today.

It's the first full day of Rosh Hashana — the Jewish New Year — and also the beginning of the month of Ramadan.

Rosh Hashana, the start of the 10 High Holy Days leading up to Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, began at sundown Friday. Ramadan, the Muslim month of fasting, prayer and charity, started today.
Posted by SweenyTod on Monday, September 25 @ 13:17:38 MSD (2699 reads)
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Convert from Islam to Christianity killed in Somalia
General Religious News

Somali Christian sources report Ali Mustaf Maka`il, a 22-year-old college student and cloth merchant who converted from Islam to Christianity 11 months ago, was shot and killed in the Manabolyo quarter of Mogadishu.

According to a report from the Barnabas Fund, quoting a Christian source inside Somalia, the gunman was loyal to the Union of Islamic Courts, the Islamist organization that took power in Mogadishu in early June and now controls much of southern Somalia.

The report states the gunman shot Ali in the back Sept. 7 after he refused to join a crowd chanting Quran verses in honor of the lunar eclipse. Solar and lunar eclipses are significant in Islam and are accompanied by special congregational prayers. The Union of Islamic Courts confiscated Ali`s body for 24 hours before delivering it to the grieving family, the report said.

Posted by SweenyTod on Wednesday, September 20 @ 12:33:26 MSD (2719 reads)
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Al-Qaida warns pope of war against Christianity
General Religious News

CAIRO, Egypt - Al-Qaida in Iraq warned Pope Benedict XVI yesterday that its war against Christianity and the West will go on until Islam takes over the world, and Iran's supreme leader called for more protests over the pontiff's remarks on Islam.

And, as a Vatican official said its ambassadors would seek to better explain the pope's statement, a Turkish man with a fake gun tried to storm a Protestant church in Turkey's capital, Ankara. He was arrested after worshippers trapped him in the church entryway.

Apart from the continuing anger at the pope's speech, in which he cited a medieval passage that called Islam "evil and inhuman," the debate yesterday seemed to turn on whether the pope had actually apologized.

Posted by SweenyTod on Wednesday, September 20 @ 12:31:24 MSD (2577 reads)
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Pope 'deeply sorry' for reaction to comments
General Religious News

CASTEL GANDOLFO, Italy (CNN) -- Pope Benedict XVI on Sunday said he was "deeply sorry" for the reaction to comments he made last week when he quoted from a 14th-century emperor regarding Muslims.

"These in fact were quotations from a medieval text, which do not in any way express my personal thought," the pope said in his regular Sunday blessing, the Angelus.

The pontiff spoke to a rain-soaked crowd at Castel Gandolfo, his summer residence outside Rome, in his first public comments since the controversy erupted last week. (Watch pope apologize as Muslims protest -- 2:02)

Posted by SweenyTod on Monday, September 18 @ 12:25:31 MSD (2386 reads)
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Muslims assail pope over Islam comments
General Religious News As Pope Benedict XVI arrived back home from Germany, Muslim leaders Thursday strongly criticized a speech he gave using unflattering language about Islam and violence.
Some of the strongest words came from Turkey, possibly putting in jeopardy Benedict's plan to visit there in November.
"I do not think any good will come from the visit to the Muslim world of a person who has such ideas about Islam's prophet," Ali Bardakoglu, a cleric who is head of the Turkish government's directorate of religious affairs, said in a television interview. "He should first of all replace the grudge in his heart with moral values and respect for the other."
Posted by SweenyTod on Friday, September 15 @ 13:07:43 MSD (2467 reads)
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Hinduism no barrier to job as priest in Church of England
General Religious News A PRIEST with the Church of England who converted to Hinduism has been allowed to continue to officiate as a cleric.

The Rev David Hart’s diocese renewed his licence this summer even though he had moved to India, changed his name to Ananda and daily blesses a congregation of Hindus with fire previously offered up to Nagar, the snake god. He also “recites Gayatri Mantram with the same devotion with which he celebrates the Eucharist”, according to The Hindu, India’s national newspaper.

Posted by SweenyTod on Wednesday, September 13 @ 12:38:58 MSD (2754 reads)
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Govt orders probe into occult act
General Religious News LUCKNOW: Within hours of TOI reporting that the prestigious Loreto Convent School here had organised an occult session which left a number of students unconscious, chief minister Mulayam Singh Yadav on Sunday ordered an inquiry into the issue.

Lucknow DM Ramendra Tripathi will conduct the probe and submit a report within three days. Other members of the probe team are ADM (city), ACM-1 and district inspector of schools. The probe took off with DIOS Vikas Srivastava recording statements of people associated with the session held on September 6.
Posted by SweenyTod on Monday, September 11 @ 13:49:00 MSD (1296 reads)
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Polygamists' children rally for their families
General Religious News

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (AP) -- Calling their lives blessed, more than a dozen young women and girls from polygamist families in Utah spoke at a rally Saturday, calling for a change in state laws and the right to live their life and religion.

"Because of our beliefs, many of our people have been incarcerated and had their basic human rights stripped of them, namely life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness," said a 19-year-old identified only as Tyler. "I didn't come here today to ask for your permission to live my beliefs. I shouldn't have to."

Polygamy is banned in the Utah Constitution and is a felony offense. The rally was unusual because those who practice polygamy typically try to live under the radar.

Posted by SweenyTod on Monday, August 21 @ 13:02:45 MSD (1493 reads)
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Gold throne worth Rs 22 cr for Shirdi Sai
General Religious News MUMBAI: The Saibaba Sansthan Trust has decided to buy a gold throne weighing 325 kg for the Shirdi saint at a cost of Rs 22 crore despite the fact that the hugely popular baba was the epitome of simplicity.

Trust chairperson Jayant Sasane told TOI on Thursday that it would take at least six months to replace the existing silver throne with a gold one.

"We have floated a tender for the throne," the trust's chief executive officer B R Wakchaure said. "We had installed the silver throne weighing 180 kg in 2000, but many devotees had suggested a gold throne as it would give the idol of baba a majestic look," he added.
Posted by SweenyTod on Friday, August 18 @ 13:08:06 MSD (1691 reads)
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Kabul to deport Korean Christians
General Religious News Afghanistan says it will deport hundreds of South Korean evangelical Christians amid fears for their safety.

They have been accused by Islamic clerics of preaching Christianity. Afghanistan bans attempts to convert people to non-Islamic faiths.

Around 1,500 South Koreans arrived this week for a "peace festival", and education and entertainment programme.

On Wednesday, hundreds of Afghans held a protest rally against them at a mosque in the city of Mazar-e-Sharif.

Posted by SweenyTod on Friday, August 04 @ 12:07:59 MSD (1359 reads)
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Conversions harder in India state
General Religious News he state legislature in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh has approved a law aimed at making religious conversions harder there.

The law says a person wishing to convert and the priest conducting the ceremony will have to inform the authorities in advance.

Religious minorities and human right groups have opposed the law saying it seeks to appease radical Hindu groups.

Posted by SweenyTod on Thursday, July 27 @ 12:29:09 MSD (1030 reads)
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Anti-abortionists' burning of Quran called 'hateful'
General Religious News Jackson Muslims and a statewide interfaith group reacted with disgust Wednesday to reports that the national anti-abortion group Operation Save America burned a Quran during a Tuesday night gathering at a Pearl church.

"A group that acts in such a hateful way does not really represent the word of God," said Emad Al-Turk, co-founder of the International Museum of Muslim Cultures in Jackson.

Activists from Operation Save America, formerly known as Operation Rescue, have been in Jackson since Saturday for eight days of protests against the state's only abortion clinic, the Jackson Women's Health Organization in the Fondren neighborhood.
Posted by SweenyTod on Tuesday, July 25 @ 16:50:46 MSD (795 reads)
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Long wait for English priest's burial
General Religious News An English priest who spent 40 years working with the poor in northern India has finally been buried in peace - 17 months after he died.

Controversy marked the death of Father Mark Barnes in February, 2005, after his body was mysteriously exhumed amid a controversy between his followers and India's Roman Catholic church, who regarded him as a renegade.

A dispute over whether the 72-year-old priest should have been buried in an official Roman Catholic cemetery or in the grounds of a convent he set up without the Church's authority dragged on in the courts before the Church bowed to his followers' wishes.

Posted by SweenyTod on Tuesday, July 25 @ 16:47:20 MSD (733 reads)
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Malaysia's converts test freedom of faith
General Religious News KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) - Five days after she declared legally that she had converted from Islam to Christianity, several officers from Malaysia's state Islamic department turned up at the woman's office and arrested her.

She said they took her, then 21, to a drug rehabilitation center for men, where a Muslim teacher counseled her on her conversion and on one occasion, caned her back. After two months, she found an unlocked door out of the compound and escaped.

"What they did was wrong. They shouldn't decide our beliefs for us," said the woman -- who asked not to be named -- of her ordeal in 1999.

Posted by SweenyTod on Tuesday, June 27 @ 11:45:59 MSD (852 reads)
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