Afro-Caribbean

Religion or Not, Man Still Punished for Pot

November 24, 2007

Source: News Tribune

http://www.thenewstribune.com/news/religion/story/211741.html

A Norwich man’s religious belief was not enough to convince a judge to reduce his jail time for marijuana possession.

Vernon Smith, 43, is a Rastafarian who believes his use of pot is a God-given right. He had pleaded guilty to two counts of possession of marijuana with intent to sell after police found him with more than 20 pounds of the drug in July.

In...

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Santa Muerte: The New God in Town

October 16, 2007

Author: Steven Gray

Source: The Times

http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1671984,00.html

In a small shop in one of this city's largest Mexican neighborhoods, Laura Martinez scans rows of candles bearing the images of Saint David, Saint Raphael, and Saint Jude. But she overlooks those and grabs two candles featuring Santa Muerte — Saint Death. "She's my patron saint," says the 24-year-old Martinez, who arrived here from a...

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For Santeros, Religious Freedom is Anything But

August 15, 2007

Author: TERE FIGUERAS NEGRETE AND ELAINE DE VALLE

Source: The Miami Herald

http://www.miamiherald.com/news/miami_dade/story/203628.html

Noriel Batista has had little peace since a swarm of Coral Gables police officers burst onto his property, disrupting a Santeria ritual intended to initiate him into a special order of his religion's priesthood.

''It has ruined my life,'' said Batista, a Cuban-born pharmacy owner who bought the...

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Downtown Principal Removed after Santeria Ceremony

August 10, 2007

Author: Jennifer Milne

Source: DowntownExpress.com

http://www.downtownexpress.com/de_222/downtownprincipal.html

A Soho high school principal was removed from her job Aug. 7, following allegations that she engaged in Santeria rituals in the school involving dripping chicken blood on the floors.

Maritza Tamayo, principal at The Unity Center for Urban Technologies, located at 121 Sixth Ave., has been under investigation by the Office...

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Santeria Priests Accuse Police of Force

June 27, 2007

Author: Elaine de Valle

Source: The Miami Herald

http://www.miamiherald.com/416/story/153502.html

Two Santeria priests -- including one who fought for the religious right to sacrifice animals -- say police used excessive force earlier this month when they stormed, guns drawn, into a Coral Gables home where the homeowner was conducting a ritual involving the sacrifice of 11 goats and 44 fowl.

''They came inside this house where priests, old...

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Beheaded Animals Divide Gables Neighborhood

June 8, 2007

Source: CBS News Miami

http://cbs4.com/topstories/local_story_159195322.html

(CBS4) CORAL GABLES The sound of animals being hurt and loud noises coming from a home in a posh Coral Gables neighborhood led concerned neighbors to call the police Friday afternoon, and when police got there, what they found was gruesome.

Several animals were found beheaded as sacrifices in a Santeria ritual. Police stormed in without a warrant because they felt animals could be in...

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Faith Healer: Erol Josue Uses Music to Rehabilitate Voodoo’s Image

May 24, 2007

Author: Robert C. Young

Source: Boston Herald

http://theedge.bostonherald.com/musicNews/view.bg?articleid=1002777

Erol Josue is a Haitian vodou (voodoo) priest inspired by a higher power - yet he makes some of the earthiest Caribbean roots music you’ve ever heard.

The singer, who visits Johnny D’s tomorrow to mark the release of his new CD, “Regleman,” doesn’t want listeners to merely move...

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Animals Removed From House of Sacrifice

April 23, 2007

Author: Vianna Davila

Source: Express-News

http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/metro/stories/MYSA042407.01B.animal_sacrifice.34ef4fd.html

In a West Side backyard, behind a bright yellow building that advertises the sale of amulets and healing herbs, police said they stumbled across what may have been the remnants of a very real religious ceremony: a pigeon missing its heart.

By the time it was all over,...

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Animal-Sacrifice Case Highlights Tensions Over Religious Practices

March 28, 2007

Source: First Amendment Center Press Release

Wire Service: AP

http://www.firstamendmentcenter.org/news.aspx?id=18342

EULESS, Texas — On many Sunday mornings Jose Merced watches police officers directing traffic into and from overflowing church parking lots and realizes his own religion doesn't evoke the same friendly treatment.

When police came to his home on a quiet cul-de-sac in this Fort Worth suburb last summer, it was to...

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The Spirits Move Them

March 28, 2007

Author: Natalie Hope McDonald

Source: Philadelphia City Paper

http://www.citypaper.net/articles/2007/03/29/the-spirits-move-them

The drums are already playing softly as members of Le Peristyle II Voodo sanctuary gather on the second floor of John Dowell and Roseanne O'Connor' home on North 15th Street, just a block away from Temple University. Th regular participants, usually no more than a dozen women and men, wearin regulation...

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Art Helps Local Kids Delve into Haitian Culture

March 22, 2007

Author: Cate Lecuyer

Source: Salem News

http://www.salemnews.com/local/local_story_074094021

HAMILTON - As she prepared to decorate a small box with Haitian designs, Hamilton-Wenham High School junior Kelly Hendrickson turned to an art book rather than a stack of nearby paints.

"I'm actually hoping to pursue art in college, and a lot of my inspiration comes from different cultures and backgrounds," she said.

A youth crafts...

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Will Stark's Admission Make Area Lose Faith?

March 14, 2007

Author: Matthew Artz

Source: Inside Bay Area

http://www.insidebayarea.com/trivalleyherald/ci_5432609

FREMONT - Rep. Pete Stark believes in democracy and free speech - but not in God.

Stark, who says he's "a Unitarian who does not believe in a supreme being," is the first member of Congress - and the highest-ranking elected official in the country - to do so.

The 18-term Fremont Democrat's beliefs became public after the...

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Sacrifice of Animals Spurs Dispute

February 10, 2007

Author: Michael Grabell

Source: The Dallas Morning News

http://www.kentucky.com/mld/kentucky/living/religion/16658847.htm

DALLAS - The city of Euless, Texas, has asked a federal judge to dismiss a religious discrimination lawsuit filed by a Santeria priest who wants to sacrifice animals at his home.

The priest, JosŽ Merced, sued the city in December after police and permit officials told him he couldn't kill goats for an...

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