Afro-Caribbean

Afro-Caribbean Worshippers Charged With Grave-Robbing

April 15, 2004

Source: The Associated Press

http://abclocal.go.com/wpvi/news/41504-stealingbodies.html

On April 15, 2004 The Associated Press reported, "A 61-year-old woman accused of being a high priestess in the Palo Mayombe religion is charged with directing followers to steal human remains from Newark cemeteries for use in the sect's rituals. Miriam Mirabal's trial began Wednesday in Superior Court in Newark. The Cuban immigrant is charged in a seven-count indictment with...

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Santeria Ritual Animal Sacrifice Alarms Neighbor

April 8, 2004

Source: The Miami Herald

http://www.miami.com/mld/miamiherald/news/local/states/florida/counties/

On April 8, 2004 The Miami Herald reported, "A Miami Lakes resident trimming branches hanging over her yard from a neighbor's tree one recent Saturday saw a large white goat in a cage in her neighbor's yard. That Sunday, as she was again trimming branches, she caught a glimpse of a large white cross and heard singing -- 'mumblings'- and the clucking...

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Voodoo Agency Sues Sci Fi Channel Over Dubious Rituals

April 5, 2004

Source: Beliefnet

http://www.beliefnet.com/story/143/story_14394_1.html

On April 5, 2004 Beliefnet reported, "A Voodoo-certifying agency in Philadelphia has sued the Sci Fi Channel, demanding that a 'questionable' Voodoo priestess be removed from a reality TV show. The National African Religion Congress, which claims to represent 5,000 authentic 'priests and priestesses of varying African-derived religions,' said Voodoo rituals shown on the 'Mad Mad House' reality...

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Despite Widespread Practice, Santeria Remains a Stigmatized Religion

March 17, 2004

Source: New York Newsday

http://www.nynewsday.com/news/local/queens/nyc-cov0314,0,1424524.story?coll=nyc-manheadlines-queens

On March 17, 2004 New York Newsday reported, "People who practice Santeria are not always open about it because of the stigma that still surrounds the religion. For that reason, Marta Moreno Vega, a professor of religion at Hunter College and founder of the Caribbean Cultural Center in Manhattan, did...

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Newark Santeria Priest Claims Supreme Court Protection for Animal Sacrifice

October 15, 2003

Source: 1010 Wins

http://1010wins.com/topstories/winstopstories_story_288175257.html

On October 15, 2003 1010 Wins reported that "a Santeria priest vowed to go forward with an animal sacrifice in Passaic on Monday, insisting the activity is protected by a U.S. Supreme Court decision. Felix Mota, a santero, or priest of the Afro-Cuban religion, said he will sacrifice a chicken at a Santeria altar in back of his religious artifact store, the Botanica St....

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Voodoo Officially Recognized as a Religion by Government

April 30, 2003

Source: BBC News

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/2985627.stm

On April 30, 2003 the BBC News reported, "Voodoo has been practised in Haiti since the late 18th Century, but only now has it been recognised as a religion on a par with others worshipped in the country.

Haiti's Catholic President, Jean-Bertrand Aristide, took the decision earlier in April which means that voodoo ceremonies such as marriages now have equal standing with Catholic ones."

Sacrificial Animals for Santeria Rituals Sized by Houston Police

February 14, 2003

Source: The Houston Chronicle

On February 14, 2003 The Houston Chronicle reported that "members of a north Houston family that practices Santeria rituals said they were praying for a relative in a coma when authorities barged into their home, seizing 12 goats, 11 chickens and two pigeons about to be sacrificed... No charges were immediately filed against the five participants in the religious ritual in the 300 block of Coach near Imperial Valley, but the Houston SPCA seized all of the animals in the family's back yard Wednesday... The five residents,...

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Voodoo and Academia in the U.S.

January 19, 2003

Source: The New York Times

On January 19, 2003 The New York Times reported that "as an assistant professor in the Religion Department at Wesleyan University, the wife of a Haitian man, the mother of an adopted Haitian daughter and a follower of the [voodoo] religion herself, Ms. McAlister has to find a balance between the personal, the professional and the academic... Voodoo is a religion developed by Africans forced to leave their homes behind and work as slaves on Haiti's sugar plantations. A broad religion with millions of faithful and countless...

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Ancestor Worship in Atlanta

November 6, 2002

Source: The Atlanta Journal and Constitution

On November 6, 2002 The Atlanta Journal and Constitution reported that "Mexicans in metro Atlanta commemorated Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead), a celebration rooted in both their indigenous traditions and their adopted Christianity. Several hundred people viewed 13 homemade altars at a celebration in Forest Park sponsored by the city and the Mexican consul general's office Saturday. The celebration... shares its philosophy with that of other cultures such as those in Asia and Africa in which ancestor...

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Professor Reconnects to Religion of the Yoruba People of Nigeria

October 26, 2002

Source: The Boston Globe

On October 26, 2002 The Boston Globe reported that "Tony Van Der Meer was raised a Baptist, but years ago, friends introduced him to the religion of the Yoruba people of Nigeria. The Yoruba revere family and ancestors. Van Der Meer, 48, an African studies professor at the University of Massachusetts at Boston, says he saw a powerful demonstration of his new faith a decade ago involving his father, a man he barely knew. The Yoruba believe in a supreme god and more than 400 lesser divinities, called orishas, each with its...

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Cambridge Center for Adult Education Holds Conference on Role of Ancestors in African Ritual and Art

October 26, 2002

Source: The Boston Globe

On October 26, 2002 The Boston Globe reported that "last week, the Cambridge Center for Adult Education devoted its second annual conference on African ritual and art to the role of ancestors. The conference 'focused on seeing how the traditions from Africa, transplanted in the Western Hemisphere... still have influence,' says Cambridge Center spokesman Jim Smith... Dragged from Africa during slavery, the Yoruba brought religious beliefs that couldn't be suffocated... The Yoruba believe in a supreme god and mo...

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U.S. Postal Service to Issue Stamps Commemorating Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and the Muslim Eid

October 4, 2002

Source: The Philadelphia Inquirer

On October 4, 2002 The Philadelphia Inquirer reported that "the Postal Service issues its holiday stamps in October to continue interest in collecting. Next Thursday, four holiday stamps, all 37 cents, will be issued commemorating Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and the Muslim Eid. Contemporary Christmas stamps, featuring snowmen, will be issued later."

2000 Glenmary Research Center Survey of Religious Congregations in America

September 28, 2002

Source: The Houston Chronicle

On September 28, 2002 The Houston Chronicle reported that "despite the difficulties of collecting data, the numbers in the census released last week reveal the strength of religion county-by-county across America. The report said that 141.3 million people, or 50.2 percent of the U.S. population, were involved with churches, synagogues, mosques or temples. That makes the United States one of the most religious nations in the world, said Houseal, a statistician for the Church of the Nazarene. However, the number does not...

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St. Louis Celebrates Pagan Picnic

June 17, 2002

Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch

On June 17, 2002 the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported on a "two-day Pagan Picnic in Tower Grove Park [in St. Louis, Missouri]... Sponsored by the Council For Alternative Spiritual Traditions, the picnic is a chance for pagans to celebrate being pagans, said River Higginbotham, chair of this year's 10th-annual event. Local pagans also see it as an educational opportunity - a chance to let the public know what paganism is all about... Higginbotham estimated [that the picnic] attracted about 2,500 people this year. Over the...

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Boston Area Haitians Practice Vodou in Private

June 15, 2002

Source: The Boston Globe

On June 15, 2002 The Boston Globe featured an article on the vodou practice of the Haitian community in Boston. "Wesleyan scholar Elizabeth McAlister says vodou historically has been a force for good in Haiti, intimately woven with the struggle for civil rights and against poverty... Yet the... popular misperceptions and a relatively small Haitian community in Boston means vodou in this area is practiced in the privacy of homes and basements, unlike in New York or Miami, which have larger vodou populations and occasional public...

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