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NEWS OF RELIGIOUS INTOLERANCE AND CONFLICT

2001-AUGUST

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Sponsored link.

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We also have a list of religious tolerance news for this month. 
Sad to say, these are usually much shorter lists.

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2001-AUG: World: Non-existent Sikh holy day: The Google search engine reports over three dozen listings for the search string "Khamapana." These are mostly multi-faith listings of seasonal days of celebration and observance. Most identify Khamapana as a Sikh "day of forgiveness."  This is apparently a hoax, initiated by someone and replicated through the Internet. Sikhs seek forgiveness continually from God. They don't store up a year's worth and wait for an annual day of forgiveness.

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2001-AUG-1: Sri Lanka: Buddhist clergy call for ban to Christian conversions: According to Radio Australia, influential Buddhist clergy have adopted an 11 point plan to combat proselytizers and have called on the government to pass laws to prevent future conversions. The clergy estimate that about 23,000 conversions are happening per year. 12

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2001-AUG-1: Bosnia: Remains of 203 Muslims exhumed: When the Serbian Orthodox forces overran Srebrenica in eastern Bosnia in 1995-JUL, they are believed to have marched off and murdered as many as eight thousand Muslims. Srebrenica was a United nations-proclaimed safe zone at the time. The remains of 203 civilians have been found in a mass grave northwest of the town. General Radislav Krstic has been charged with the atrocity and has been tried by the UN war crimes tribunal.

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2001-AUG-2: Bosnia: War-crimes tribunal gives first sentence for genocide: The Yugoslav war crimes tribunal found Bosnian Serb General Radislav Krstic, 53, guilty of genocide in the execution of seven to eight thousand Muslim men and male youth. He was given a jail sentence of 46 years. If he serves his full sentence, he will be 99 years of age when he exits prison. At the time of the genocide, he was following a earlier directive of 1995-MAR by Radovan Karadzic which called for the creation by Bosnian Orthodox Christian forces of "an unbearable situation of total insecurity with no hope of further survival or life for the inhabitants of Srebrenica and Zepa." The inhabitants were essentially all Muslims, protected by a small contingent of UN soldiers from the Netherlands in what was defined by the UN as a "safe area." War crimes investigators have unearthed more than 2,000 bodies in the area. They have located another 2,000.

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2001-AUG-5: Afghanistan: 24 Christian foreign aid workers arrested: Two U.S., four German, two Australian and 16 Afghans have been detained on a charge of proselytizing. Talking to people with an aim of converting them from Islam to another religion is a capital offense in that country. Mohammed Salim Haqqani, deputy minister for the promotion of virtue and prevention of vice, showed what he asserts is evidence of proselytizing: computer disks containing Christ's life story in the local Dari language, copies of the Bible in English and Dari, and a list of times of Christian broadcasts, and a written confession by one of the German detainees. He asked: "Are these not valid and strong evidence? They gave children good food and money and then made them listen about Christianity." The Taliban government has rounded up 59 children who had contact with the aid workers. They were sent to a jail where they will stay until all traces of Christianity are removed. 14

bullet2001-AUG-7: Indiana: Religious monument defaced: A monument which features the Ten Commandments, erected on city-owned property in South Bend, IN, was vandalized. It was spray-painted in red with the words, "NOT ON PUBLIC LAND." One week earlier, the regional U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago declared a Ten Commandments monument on the Statehouse lawn to be unconstitutional.
bullet2001-AUG-16: Florida: Use of Torah scrolls angers Jews: "Holy Land" is a Bible-themed attraction in Orlando, FL. Its latest addition is a Scriptorium containing about 12,000 religious artifacts and manuscripts. Leaders of the local Jewish community expressed concern about its ten or more complete Torah scrolls, handwritten on sheepskin in ancient Hebrew. Some are believed to be more than 600 years old. Rabbi Daniel Wolpe, president of the Greater Orlando Board of Rabbis said: "A Torah should not be a display item. It is a holy item, and it should not be used. If a synagogue took a holy item of another faith and displayed it like it was a museum piece, the other faith would be justifiably upset. We would be justifiably upset to see something holy to us used as a museum piece." Some have speculated that the Torahs may have been among those stolen from European synagogues by Nazis and Communists in past decades. The Van Kampen Foundation, suppliers of the scrolls, have no documentation about the origin of the scrolls.
bullet2001-AUG-16: World: Religious web sites converted to porn: A number of disused web site URLs have been rented by groups and redirected to porn web sites. Gary Bauer, a conservative Christian and former presidential candidate, abandoned his web site as required under law after the election. The URL 15 was rented by someone in Armenia who redirected it to The Adult Movie Network, a pornographic web site. The same person scooped up an old, little used Web address owned by the American Center for Law and Justice. Other cases have involved the Christian and Missionary Alliance, and a New England church.

The OCRT (the group that sponsors this web site) had a similar experience. A person in France rented the URL http://www.religoustolerance.org that was almost identical to our own (except for the second "i" in religious). He directed it to his porn site. We advertised his name and Email address on our home page and suggested that people Email him. His URL has since been redirected to our home page.
bullet2001-AUG-16: World: Nine countries with the worst religious freedom record: The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom has nominated Burma, China, Iran, Iraq, Laos, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (North Korea), Saudi Arabia, Sudan, and Turkmenistan for designation by the State Department as "countries of particular concern" ? the world's worst religious-freedom violators. They also urged redesignation of the Taliban regime in Afghanistan as a "particularly severe violator" of religious freedom. 16
bullet2001-AUG-16: MD: Church Leaders Guilty of keeping 'Indentured Servants' According to ReligionToday:
Three leaders of the Word of Faith World Outreach Church were convicted last week of smuggling aliens into the U.S. and committing visa fraud. They had convinced Estonian teen-agers to come to America to take part in Bible study and missionary work. When the teens got there, they were put to work cleaning offices and moving furniture for for $15 to $100 a week. U.S. District Judge Marvin Garbis ruled that the church officials turned the Estonians into "what amounted to indentured servants."
bullet2001-AUG-21: CA: Macedonia: Religious hate crimes increasing: The Daily Press reports that the total number of annual hate crimes has dropped from 2,054 in 1996 to 1,960 in 2000. However, religious hate crimes have increased by a third since 1996. Anti-semitic hate crimes are up by 42%. Bill Lockyer, California's Attorney General, said that "Hate crimes are among the most dehumanizing of crimes. The perpetrator views victims as lacking full human worth. Hate crimes impact not only their victims, but also spread concern throughout entire communities... Victims of hate crimes have long experienced such violence, and the fear and pain of a recurrence of historical injustice is deep and pervasive."
bullet2001-AUG-21: Macedonia: Church destroyed: According to UPI, a 13th century Orthodox Christian monastery in Lesok was destroyed by an explosion. Islamic rebels are believed to be responsible.
bullet2001-AUG-28: Kenya: Religious groups refuses vaccinations: About 300 members of the banned 'Dini ya Musambwa' ('Religion of Tradition') faith group have refused to allow their children under five years of age to be vaccinated against polio. They believe that vaccinations are "ungodly." They prefer to use traditional healing techniques. 

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References:

  1. DayWatch is a daily service of Maranatha Christian Journal. It provides "a daily summary of news headlines with a Christian perspective..." The newsletter is free on request. Their web site is at: http://www.mcjonline.com 
  2. Newsroom is a service of Worldwide Newsroom Inc. Their articles are written by "a network of journalists, scholars and other professional contacts in country." You can subscribe to their free service from their website at http://www.newsroom.org/ 
  3. ReligionToday™ provides free newsletters to which you can subscribe at: http://www.ReligionToday.com. These summaries are part of GOSHEN.net, which also includes LiveIt.net, Devotionals.net, ChristianShareware.net, ChristianClassifieds.net, ChristianMessageBoards.net, BibleStudyTools.net, MediaManagement.net, WorldNewsToday.net, WebCastGuide.net, and ChristianCollegeGuide.net
  4. Reuters is "the world's leading financial information and news group. Their web page is at: http://www.reuters.com/ 
  5. Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR): E-mail: cair1@ix.netcom.com
    URL: http://www.cair-net.org To join CAIR-NET, CAIR's read-only mailing list: Send subscribe cair-net in the body of a message to majordomo@cair-net.org
  6. EWTN News carries Roman Catholic news from Catholic World News, Vatican Information Service, ZENIT, CWNews.com. See: http://www.ewtn.com/news/ 
  7. Ecumenical News International (ENI) in Geneva Switzerland distributes news free religious news highlights to subscribers. They can be contacted at PO Box 2100, CH - 1211, Geneva 2, Switzerland. Telephone: (41-22) 791 6087/6515. Fax: (41-22) 788 7244 Email: eni@eni.ch. Their web site is at http://www.eni.ch 
  8. ZENIT.org is "an International News Agency based in Rome. Our mission is to provide objective and professional coverage of events, documents and issues emanating from or concerning the Catholic Church for a worldwide audience, especially the media." Their web site is at: http://www.zenit.org/english/ 
  9. Anglican Communion News Service provides information from an Anglican perspective. See: http://www.anglicancommunion.org/acns/index.html A companion Episcopal News Service is at: http://www.ecusa.anglican.org/ens/ 
  10. AANEWS is distributed by American Atheists.
  11. CNSNews.com -- Cybercast News Service -- is a conservative news source. Their home page is at: http://www.cnsnews.com
  12. "Sri-Lanka's Buddhist clergy want to ban conversion to Christianity," Radio Australia, at: http://www.abc.net.au/ra/newsdaily/
  13. "Remains of more than 200 Srebrenica Muslims exhumed in eastern Bosnia," Radio Australia, at: http://www.abc.net.au/ra/newsdaily/
  14. Nicholas Kralev, "U.S. asks to meet with jailed Christians," Washington Times, at:  http://www.washingtontimes.com/world/
  15. Gary Bauer's former web site, now porn site, is at: http://www.bauer2k.com/ NOTE: This web site is not appropriate to be viewed by minors.
  16. The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom's web site is at: www.uscirf.gov

Copyright © 2001 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Originally written: 2001-JUL-25
Latest update: 2001-AUG-28
Author: B.A. Robinson

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