Afro-Caribbean

Texas City Trying to get Santeria Suit Dismissed

February 4, 2007

Author: Michael Grabell

Source: The Dallas Morning News

http://www.sunherald.com/mld/sunherald/news/nation/16622742.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, Jose Merced, sued the city in December after police and permit officials told him he couldn't kill goats for an...

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Santeria Priest Banned from Animal Killing

January 16, 2007

Source: Beliefnet

Wire Service: UPI

http://www.beliefnet.com/story/209/story_20972_1.html

EULESS, Texas, Jan 16 -- A Santeria priest has taken a Texas town to court, arguing its ordinance against slaughtering animals within the city limits is religious discrimination.

Santeria is one of several religions brought from Africa to the Caribbean and American South with slaves. Because its practitioners had to operate in secret for...

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Atheists Challenge the Religious Right

January 4, 2007

Author: Jane Lampman

Source: The Christian Science Monitor

http://www.csmonitor.com/2007/0104/p13s01-lire.html

For some time, the religious right has decried "secular humanism," a philosophy that rejects the supernatural or spiritual as a basis for moral decision-making. But now, nonbelievers are vigorously fighting back.

Only a small percentage of Americans admit to being nontheists (between 2 and 9 percent, depending on the poll), but...

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Kwanzaa Celebrated in White Plains

January 4, 2007

Author: Reka Bala

Source: The Journal News

http://www.thejournalnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20061228/NEWS02/612280367/1018/NEWS02

WHITE PLAINS - With thunderous beats from African drums resonating throughout the Thomas H. Slater Center last night, hundreds of residents rang in the second day of Kwanzaa in a colorful ceremony that educated them on the history of the holiday and its significance within...

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Can an Atheist Believe in Christmas?

December 16, 2006

Source: The Dallas Morning News/New York Times News Service

http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/dn/religion/stories/121606dnrelatheists.1d22264.html#

If last holiday season charitably could have been described as the war-on-Christmas Christmas - with Bill O'Reilly of Fox News declaring war on the warriors and others declaring war on him - maybe it's not such a stretch to think of this year's prevalent yuletide theme as the...

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Believers Find Spiritual Sustenance at Botanicas

December 13, 2006

Author: Victor Manuel Ramos

Source: Orlando Sentinel

http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/local/orange/orl-botanicas1306dec13,0,7035587.story?coll=orl-news-promos-orange

At Botanica Yemaya Olokum, in a strip shopping center in south Orlando, business is brisk -- as it is at most other shops for the holidays.

As shelves are restocked, the voice of Celia Cruz wails devotional...

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Vodou Followers Mark Day of the Dead

November 2, 2006

Source: Sun Sentinel

http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/local/broward/sfl-c9ahemidig02nov02,0,2787354.story?coll=sfla-news-broward

PORT-AU-PRINCE: Thousands of Vodou followers flocked to Haiti's largest cemetery on Wednesday to rouse sacred spirits and remember lost relatives in raucous Day of the Dead celebrations.

Followers passed beneath a crumbling archway adorned with a black skull-and-crossbone flag that...

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K-12 Teachers Seek Out Lesson in African-Latin American Links

October 9, 2006

Author: David Arriaza

Source: UCLA International Institute

http://www.international.ucla.edu/article.asp?parentid=54785

This summer, 17 Los Angeles–area schoolteachers in a ten-day training workshop at UCLA learned about Haitian Vodou customs, African influences in Mexican music, and challenges faced by their colleagues at various levels of K-12 instruction. The July 22–Aug. 3 workshop on "Africa-Latin American Intersections:...

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Afro-Brazilian Priest Has Following in South Florida

September 26, 2006

Source: The Miami Herald

http://www.miami.com/mld/miamiherald/15608357.htm?template=contentModules/printstory.jsp

On September 26, 2006 The Miami Herald reported, "Antonio Carlos Encarnacao, spiritual son of a revered Brazilian Candomblé temple, caressed the creamy white cowrie shells on the small table in front of him. 'They can tell you how to stop bad omens, how to resolve a conflict or when to have patience,' he said. 'They tell...

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Interfaith Prayer Service Marks Opening of UN General Assembly

September 21, 2006

Source: Sikh Sanghat

http://www.sikhsangat.org/publish/article_1373.shtml

On September 21, 2006 the Sikh Sanghat reported, "Religious leaders representing up to 30 faith traditions from all over the world attended an interfaith prayer service on Sept 12th to mark the opening of the 61st United Nations General Assembly. The introductions were led by Hiro Sakurai, Committee of Religious NGOs and Rev. William Tully, St. Bartholomew’s Church. This was followed...

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Haitian Priestess Opens Art Exhibit with Consecration and Explanation

September 15, 2006

Source: Observer-Tribune

http://www.zwire.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=17199904&BRD=1918&PAG=461&dept_id=

On September 15, 2006 the Observer-Tribune reported, "The scents of cedar, incense and perfume permeated the air on Saturday, as a Haitian priestess offered words ofvodouto open the latest exhibit on Haitian art at the Myhelan Cultural Arts Center on Schooley’s Mountain Road. The 'Inspiration Haiti! Works of Spirit and Nature' exhibit...

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EPA Warns Against Use of Mercury in Afro-Caribbean Ritual Practices

September 2, 2006

Source: Reuters

http://www.dailyherald.com/story.asp?id=223673

On September 2, 2006 Reuters reported, "Ritualistic use of toxic mercury by followers of Voodoo and other religions is dangerous but regulating it could drive the practice underground and possibly violate U.S. guarantees of freedom of religion, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said on Thursday. Mercury can be worn in amulets, sprinkled on the floor, or added to an oil lamp as part of some Latino and Afro...

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Cubans Draw on Many Faiths in Praying for Castro's Health

August 5, 2006

Source: The Herald

Wire Service: AP

http://www.bradenton.com/mld/bradenton/news/breaking_news/15208512.htm

On August 5, 2006 the Associated Press reported, "Cubans are drawing on their rich spiritual traditions, calling out to the African gods of Santeria, the saints of Roman Catholicism and to the Christian God of Protestant faiths in prayers for ailing leader Fidel Castro's health and continued peace on their island...

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"New World Blood Libel" By Spencer Drew

July 20, 2006

Source: Martin Marty Center

http://marty-center.uchicago.edu/sightings/archive_2006/0720.shtml

On July 20, 2006 the Martin Marty Center published an essay by Spencer Drew, a Ph.D. candidate in Religion and Literature at the University of Chicago Divinity School: "Last month in Tampa, Florida, a grave was robbed. The body of a six-year-old boy killed by a car in 1975 was stolen. Police immediately speculated, publicly, that this crime was 'more' than...

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Miami Police Officer Educates Citizens on Santeria

June 4, 2006

Source: The Miami Herald

http://www.miami.com/mld/miamiherald/news/local/states/florida/counties/miami-dade/cities_neighborhoods/kendall/14731072.htm

On June 4, 2006 The Miami Herald reported, "For months, Kendall homeowners asked police about animal carcasses on rail roads and backyards, questioning whether it was related to religious practices and what legal actions they could take. Realizing...

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