Religious Diversity News

Showing all news articles.

Catholic-Jewish Relations

Source: The Buffalo News

On January 2, 1999, the Buffalo News published an
article on the Catholic-Jewish Educational Enrichment Program, which
is an effort to educate students in Catholic and Jewish schools about
each other’s faith. This program is in place in Philadelphia and
similar programs exist in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, and San
Francisco. It involves a teacher-exchange situation, where a Rabbi
visits to a Catholic school and a Priest visits to a Jewish school. The
Catholic-Jewish Educational Enrichment Program is funded by the
Righteous Persons Foundation, which was established by Steven
Spielberg to bolster interfaith relations.

World Religion Day

Source: St. Petersburg Times

The St. Petersburg Times reported that the Interfaith
Council and Baha’is of Citrus County, Florida are sponsoring a World
Religion Day program on January 17, 1999. World Religion Day was
begun in 1950 by the national administrative body of the Baha’i
faith, the Spiritual Assembly, in the United States in order to
promote religious unity. The subject for this year’s event, which
will include speakers representing Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism,
and Baha’i faiths, is “Life After Death.”

Ramadan Reflections

Source: Star Tribune

On January 2, 1999, the Star Tribune reported that since
the U.S. air strikes against Iraq last month, there has been a
upsurge in public interest as to the meaning of Ramadan. Sayyid
Muhammed Syeed, secretary general of the Islamic Society of America
near Indianapolis, says he’s been “barraged with phone calls about
this season of praying and fasting.”

Religious Practice in the Work Place

Source: The Christian Science Monitor

On December 31, 1998, the Christian Science Monitor
published an article on the accommodation for Muslim prayer that the
city of Denver provided for Muslim taxi and airport-shuttle drivers
at Denver International Airport. Denver moved a glass shelter to the
grounds of the international airport to provide a warm and dry space
for Muslim drivers to pray at the airport. Though, the shelter is
open to use by all drivers at the airport as a shelter. Around the
country, lawsuits claiming religious discrimination in the work place
are on the rise, from 1,192 in 1991 to 1,786 in 1998. Roberto
Corrada, a law professor at the University of Denver, stated that,
“in the last decade or so, religion has been more a part of the
political landscape, and a lot more people in minority religions are
now claiming their rights and asking for accommodations.”

Plans for a New Mosque in Midtown Manhattan

Source: The New York Times

On December 27, 1998 the New York Times reported that a local Muslim community
plans to purchase a five-story building in midtown Manhattan and
convert it to one of the largest prayer halls in the city. The
congregation’s director, Mohammed Ali Abdelaal, commented, “We are
modest people — a real mix from all over the world, just like
Manhattan.” The article noted that there are over 400 mosques in the
New York City area, the first of which was opened some 45 years ago.
“Tucked among the office towers of Manhattan there are about 10
mosques, most operating out of rented quarters and serving overflow
crowds of workers at the noon prayer on Fridays.”

Stamp to Honor El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz

Source: The Boston Globe

An article in the December 27, 1998 Boston Globe reported
that the U.S. postal service will feature El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz
(formerly known as Malcolm X) in their Black Heritage series. The 33
cent stamp will be available in early 1999.

Religion and the World Wide Web

Source: Star Tribune

On December 26, 1998, the Star Tribune of Minneapolis,
MN published an article on the growing use of the World Wide Web by
religious communities to help spread their message. The article
states that religions are turning to this medium in order to “remain
relevant among an increasingly fickle audience.” The Barna Research
Group, based in Ventura, CA, conducted a recent survey on religion
and the internet. The results show that one out of six teens rely on
the Internet to attempt to meet their spiritual needs. Quentin Schultze,
professor of communication at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, MI and
author of “Internet for Christians,” stated that, “we are seeing the
beginnings of a wave of religious reformation, one as big as the one
seen after the invention of the Gutenberg Press.”

Pagan Education Network Creates Pagan Community Fund

Source: Pagan Education Network

On December 25, 1998 Pagan Education Network released a press release stating that “The Pagan Educational Network, Inc. is proud to announce the founding of the Pagan Community Fund. This fund, formerly known as the Wiccan Community Fund, provides cash assistance to Pagans in need. Recipients may use the assistance to put food in the cupboard, pay bills, recover from some natural disaster, or fund legal efforts in the case of religious discrimination.”

Winter Solstice Celebrants Arrested

Source: The New York Times

On December 23, 1998 the New York Times reported that 33 participants in a
Winter Solstice celebration were charged with trespassing. The Staten
Island beach is technically closed after dusk, and the ritual fire
was seen as problematic. “Ms. Henes, 53, said she had held at least
15 solstice ceremonies on South Beach and never run into a problem
before. ‘In the past,’ she said, ‘sometimes the Fire Department has
come because someone has seen the fire, and we say, look, this is our
religion, and they have been very respectful and let us finish the
ceremony.'” (NYT, December 22, 1998, Section B, Page 5, Column
1, Metropolitan Desk) The next day, the paper reported that the ACLU
was asking the City to drop all charges before the court date,
scheduled for January 25. The executive director of the ACLU, Norman
Siegel commented, “‘What the city should be doing is accommodating
these diverse religious, cultural and political events that help make
up the zaniness of New York City. But instead of enhancing them, they
are making it a crime.'”

Muslims in the U.S. Military

Source: The Washington Post

On December 21, 1998, the Washington Post published an
article entitled, “Military, Muslim Life Meld on U.S. Bases.” The
article noted the increased recognition and visibility of Islam in
the Armed Forces, including “appointing three Muslim chaplains,
beginning with the Army in 1993; drafting about a dozen others into
chaplain training programs; offering pork-free field rations;
allowing Muslims to leave duty stations to attend prayers on Friday
… ; facilitating travel to Mecca for Muslim personnel making the
hajj, or pilgrimage, to that holy city; and according Islamic symbols
parity with those of other religions.”