Boston Church Property Increases in Value

July 22, 2001

Source: The Boston Globe

On July 22, 2001, The Boston Globe reported on "the potential financial bonanza for churches, synagogues and other religious organizations sitting on increasingly valuable parcels of land...In the city itself, the value of real estate owned by religious denominations has doubled over the last five years...At the same time, many religious denominations...are scrambling for money."

Senate Should Vote Against Faith-Based Bill

July 22, 2001

Source: The Harford Courant

On July 22, 2001, The Harford Courant published an editorial on the faith-based initiative recently passed in the House, which said, "the House inadvisably strengthened what Thomas Paine called 'the adulterous connection of church and state.'...It will now be up to the Senate to say no to a well-meaning but constitutionally offensive."

Neighbors Oppose Plan for New Church

July 21, 2001

Source: The San Diego Union-Tribune

On July 21, 2001, The San Diego Union-Tribune reported that "some future neighbors of the North Coast Church campus [an evangelical church] say the 365,000-square-foot complex -- as big as three typical Wal-Mart stores -- will destroy the area's country character with bright lights, big buildings and an increase in traffic. And, a neighborhood group says the City Council could face a lawsuit if it approves the project."

Faith-Based Bill Passes in House

July 20, 2001

Source: The Baltimore Sun

On July 20, 2001, The Baltimore Sun reported that "the House voted mostly along party approve a bill to allow more federal money to go to religious charities that deliver social services...The leaders secured the votes after pledging that changes would be made to the bill after it goes to the Senate to bar religious groups that receive federal money from discriminating on other grounds, particularly against homosexuals...The bill faces an uncertain the Democratic-led Senate."

Muslim Guard Sues Prison for Discrimination

July 19, 2001

Source: The Plain Dealer

On July 19, 2001, The Plain Dealer reported that "a guard at a Grafton [Ohio] prison is suing the state, claiming that his bosses won't let him pray behind bars. Dawoud Kareem Muhammad...filed a First Amendment claim in U.S. District Court in Cleveland...His attorney...said the prison discriminated against Muhammad because employees can wear crucifixes under their uniforms," but he is not allowed to wear a skullcap under his uniform hat.

$2.5 Million Awarded to Man Fired for Not Working on Sabbath

July 18, 2001

Source: The Denver Post

On July 18, 2001, The Denver Post reported that "a Denver federal jury...awarded $2.25 million to a former Pueblo air traffic controller who was fired for refusing to work on the Sabbath. The jury concluded that employers may not force religious worshipers to work on the Sabbath if it is their 'sincerely held religious belief.'...Reed, who said he believes 'in the word of God' rather than a formal religion, said his belief in resting on the Sabbath comes from the book of Genesis."

Outdoor Religious Services Bring Together People of Different Faiths

July 17, 2001

Source: Newsday

On July 17, 2001, Newsday reported that the "Montauk Community Presbyterian Church, which is hosting a series of sunrise and sunset worship services this month in the Montauk [New York] area...on local beaches and in parks," which bring together members of different churches and cultures. The hosts include Protestant ministers, a Catholic priest and a rabbi... Montauk's religious leaders are trying to break down the walls between churches."

Churches Help to Spread Utility Bill Discounts to Poor

July 17, 2001

Source: Los Angeles Times

On July 17, 2001, the Los Angeles Times reported that "Southern California Edison has enlisted the help of an unlikely ally--churches--to sign up thousands of low-income customers for hefty discounts on rising utility bills...Pastors, priests and church volunteers have become Edison's most effective tool in telling the poor about a state-mandated program that offers 20% off electric bills."

Mormon Temple Built in Historically Mormon Town

July 16, 2001

Source: The New York Times

On July 16, 2001, The New York Times reported on the construction of a Mormon temple in Nauvoo, Illinois. "In the early 1840' was Illinois's largest city after Chicago... Had non-Mormons...not driven church members out, forcing them to make the trek west to Utah, Nauvoo might have evolved into something like Salt Lake City, a metropolis with a distinct religious character...In the 11-million-member church, expectation surrounds this project," which will be completed some time in September.

Salvation Army's Position on Gays Stirs Controversy

July 15, 2001

Source: The Washington Post

On July 15, 2001, The Washington Post reported on the Salvation Army's appeal to the White House for protection from state and local laws prohibiting discrimination against gay employees. "As a church, the Army is intolerant of sin, but at the same time, it chooses to engage with the secular world through its charitable and social work...Last week's controversy stemmed from disclosure of...a 'firm commitment' from the White House to shield government-funded religious groups from state laws barring discrimination against gay...

Read more about Salvation Army's Position on Gays Stirs Controversy

Study Finds Drop in Number of Evangelicals

July 14, 2001

Source: The Houston Chronicle

On July 14, 2001, The Houston Chronicle reported that "a study of more than 6,000 randomly sampled adults by the Barna Research Group reports a drop in the overall number of mainline American Christians who are considered to be 'evangelical' Christians... The study also showed that during the past five years there has been substantial growth in the percentage of 'born-again' adults in four of the 12 groups examined...Barna classifies about four out of every 10 U.S. adults as 'born-again Christians,' based on the stated belief...

Read more about Study Finds Drop in Number of Evangelicals

Religious Leaders Ask Congregations to Pool Tax Refunds

July 14, 2001

Source: The Washington Post

On July 14, 2001, The Washington Post reported that "at the annual meeting of the Baltimore-Washington Conference of the United Methodist Church...the finance chairman of [the] congregation...called on the area's 200,000 United Methodists to donate" to their churches the "advance payment'" check they will receive as part of the $ 1.35 trillion tax cut President Bush has just signed into law. "The Union of American Hebrew Congregations, which represents 1.5 million Reform Jews, also sees the potential of pooling rebates for...

Read more about Religious Leaders Ask Congregations to Pool Tax Refunds

Wal-Mart Sues Church Members Outside Its Doors

July 14, 2001

Source: The Houston Chronicle

On July 14, 2001, The Houston Chronicle reported that "Wal-Mart is suing a Riverside, Calif., church that set up tables to seek donations in front of its stores, saying the church has failed to abide by the [store's] policies... Since January, Wal-Mart has filed 10 suits in several counties against the 1,000-member Missionary Church of the Disciples of Jesus Christ, seeking to keep church members away from its doors."

Antiochan Orthodox Church "Comes of Age"

July 14, 2001

Source: Los Angeles Times

On July 14, 2001, the Los Angeles Times reported on the Antiochian Orthodox faith, which "came to the U.S. in 1895 as a small Syrian mission. Now it is poised to seek autonomy [from its mother church in Damascus, Syria], and other Orthodox groups may follow suit...The Antiochian Orthodox Christian Church has grown to 500,000 members in the U.S. and Canada...The vote asking for autonomy is scheduled during the church's national General Assembly, which will meet July 27-28 at the Century Plaza Hotel in Los Angeles."

Judge Rules in Favor of Couple Holding Prayer Meeting

July 14, 2001

Source: The Houston Chronicle

On July 14, 2001, The Houston Chronicle reported that "a federal judge said last week New Milford, Conn., officials violated a couple's religious freedoms by limiting the number of people who could attend prayer meetings at their home." The couple had violated zoning rules by inviting too many people, but asserted "their constitutional rights to freedom of religion and peaceful assembly."