Religious Diversity News

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Yuba City Sikhs Hold 26th Annual Parade

Source: Yahoo! News / PRWEB

On November 7, 2005 PRWEB reported, “Another near record crowd today, estimated at 60,000 people, continues to make the 26th Annual Sikh Parade in Yuba City one of the Valley’s largest religious and cultural celebrations. The weekend activities honor the receipt by Sikhs of their Holy Book, the Guru Granth Sahib, in 1708, which they use as their spiritual guide.

The four and a half mile parade through the streets of Yuba City drew parade participants from throughout the West Coast. The parade featured floats and a procession of thousands of Sikhs walking with the floats. In the Sikh tradition, anyone is free to join in the parade at anytime. As the parade left the Sikh Temple Gurdwara grounds to circle the city, a helicopter dropped rose-petals on the parade spectators from above… As thousands continued to congregate at the Sikh Temple following the parade to enjoy the free food and entertainment, volunteers continued to serve free meals. By the time the weekend comes to an end tonight, more than 200,000 free meals will have been prepared and distributed at no charge. ‘The Sikh Temple Yuba City is open 365 days a year for anyone in need of a place to sleep or a meal,’ said Dilbag Singh Bains, Chairman, Sikh Parade. Sikhs consider it a privilege and honor to serve people that come to their Temple.”

Yuba City’s Sikh Parade Draws Over 40,000

Source: The Appeal-Democrat

On November 5, 2001, The Appeal-Democrat reported, “Yuba City’s 22nd annual Sikh Parade brought a moving mass of humanity to Tierra Buena and Yuba City on Sunday. Organizers estimate 40,000 to 50,000 people attended…The event is considered by Sikhs to be the largest Sikh parade in the United States.” The article continued, “A group carried signs saying ‘There is one God for all creation,’ and ‘These we will defend,’ showing the American flag and the Sikh symbol.”

Yuba City’s Sikh Parade Draws Over 40,000

Source: The KCRA Channel

On November 4, 2001, The KCRA Channel reported on the annual Sikh parade, “which featured Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante walking among the procession’s leaders. The festivities had a decidedly patriotic theme. ‘I love America, it is my country,’ Stockton’s Paramjit Grewal said. ‘I love it. I am an American.'” The article noted, “An estimated 10,000 Sikhs live in the Yuba City area.”

Yuletide Traditions

Author: Elizabeth Huff

Source: Battle Creek Enquirer

Homes were once warmed by a fire in the hearth, and it was tradition to save the first log of the season to be burned in a Yule celebration.

Over time, fewer and fewer homes were built with a fireplace and the tradition faded.

Yet in small pockets of the community, the tradition remains.

At Sacred River Moon Metaphysical Spiritual Center in Battle Creek, Yuletide celebrations continue.

Christi Fleming, also known as Crowfox, is a high priestess at Sacred River Moon. She explained that during the Dec. 22 winter solstice – which is the shortest and darkest day of the year – family and friends gather for Yule Sabbat.

According to, Yule was the winter solstice celebration of the Germanic pagans. In Wicca, a form of the holiday is observed as one of the eight solar holidays, or sabbats, where Yule is celebrated on the winter solstice in the northern hemisphere on Dec. 21.

Yusef Islam Becomes First Muslim Chaplain to be Honored by Associated Chaplains in California State Service

Source: Muslim Journal

On February 28, 2003 the Muslim Journal reported that the Associated Chaplains in California Sate Service, a professional consortium representing California State Chaplains of all faiths, honored retired Chaplain Yusef Islam with a Distinguished Service Award. He is the first Muslim Chaplain to receive this award.”

Zambia Gathering is First in Series of 41 Conferences

Author: Staff Writer

Source: Bahá’í World News Service

Some 750 Baha’is from Zambia, Malawi, and Zimbabwe gathered in Lusaka last weekend for the first of 41 regional Baha’i conferences scheduled over the next four months in cities around the globe.

The unprecedented series of gatherings comes at the midway point of a five-year effort by Baha’is to decentralize many of their activities and organize study circles, devotional meetings, and classes for children and young people at the neighborhood level.

“I feel that the conference was exactly what we needed to inspire, encourage and boost our spirit…,” said Musonda Kapusa of Lusaka.

Participants came from all nine provinces of Zambia and from neighboring Malawi and Zimbabwe. Five traditional African chiefs, all Baha’is and supporters of the Baha’i work in their areas, were among those who attended.

The 41 conferences – in cities from Abidjan to Yaounde, reaching geographically from Vancouver to Sao Paulo to London to Johannesburg to Ulaanbaatar to Auckland – are being held in response to a call by the Universal House of Justice, the elected body that heads the Baha’i Faith.

In a letter to the Baha’is of the world announcing the conferences, the House of Justice indicated that the purpose of the gatherings was to celebrate achievements in grassroots community-building, and to discuss the lessons learned and deliberate on how to involve more people in a particular approach to improving the societies they live in – an approach that combines spiritual development with community service.

Zambo Folk to Mark Ramadan with Fear, Rights Group Avers

Author: Staff Writer

Source: GMA News

No thanks to ongoing military operations there, the Muslim community will observe “with fear” the holy month of Ramadan starting Sept. 13.

The Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates (PAHRA) said this Friday as it lamented the holy Islam month there will be met with “anguish and pain.”

“While historically it is looked forward with excitement and piety by the whole Islam world, today it shall be met with anguish and pain with its hounding blows of discrimination, terror-suspicion, virtual policy of degrading and inhuman treatment as a people of faith. In Zamboanga Peninsula, it shall be observed with fear in a situation of total military offensives and debilitating effects of evacuation,” it said in a statement.

It called on all warring parties to let up war as the Holy period of supplication for our Muslim brothers and sisters is observed.

The group also called for the government and Moro Islamic Liberation Front to go back to the negotiating table and bear witness to the situation of people affected by war in designing plans for lasting peace.

Likewise, it called on religious groupings and churches to engage in truthful interfaith dialogue.

Zarathushti Heritage and Cultural Center Opens in Houston, Texas

Source: No source given.

From April 10-12, the Zoroastrian Association of Houston held their gala opening of the Zarathushti Heritage and Cultural Center. The Association Chairman, Rustom B. Engineer, wrote the following in the Inaugural publication: “…this center will always be a tribute to our community’s commitment to the Zarathushti way of life in our new adopted land. We are at a very significant juncture in time and place. After hundreds of years of religious perseverance and migrations, the followers of Ahura Mazda have finally managed to reassemble at the dawn of the new millennium. It is our greatest hope and desire that our children, grandchildren and the future generations carry on the Zarathushti torch into yet another millennium.”