Christianity

Many Modern Easter Traditions Have Roots in Ancient Earth Traditions

April 14, 2001

Source: Santa Cruz Sentinel

On April 14, 2001, the Santa Cruz Sentinel reported that many of the customs with which people celebrate Easter have their origins in "ancient earth traditions." Second-century Christian missionaries found that pagan springtime celebrations occurred at the same time of year as Christianity celebrated the resurrection of Christ. The missionaries "cleverly decided to spread their religious message slowly throughout the populations by allowing them to continue to celebrate ancient feasts, but in a Christian manner." The name "...

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Origin of Easter Bunny Explored

April 14, 2001

Source: The Arizona Republic

On April 14, 2001, The Arizona Republic reported on the origin of the Easter Bunny. "No one's quite sure just how the Easter Bunny became associated with the Christian holiday...He was a symbol of fertility in ancient Egypt, a reputation that eventually spread to Europe as the rabbit became one of the featured stars of springtime pagan rituals."

New Bishop Seems Fitting Choice for Increasingly Diverse District

April 14, 2001

Source: Los Angeles Times

On April 14, 2001, the Los Angeles Times reported on the new bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal Fifth Episcopal District, John Richard Bryant. The district encompasses 250 churches in 14 states west of the Mississippi. "As the church wrestles with dramatically changing demographics, which are reshaping historically black neighborhoods into multicultural ones, church members say no better man than Bryant can lead the way. 'He is the renaissance man of racial reconciliation,' said the Rev. Mark Whitlock."

Eastern and Western Churches Seek to Set Common Date for Easter Celebrations

April 14, 2001

Source: The Washington Post

On April 14, 2001, The Washington Post reported that this year "for the first time in more than a decade, Orthodox Christians will celebrate Easter on the same day as Protestants and Roman Catholics. "In Orthodox eyes...celebrating [Jesus's] resurrection before Passover is historically incorrect and theologically questionable." Protestants and Roman Catholics follow a Gregorian calendar and therefore sometimes celebrate Easter before Passover. Rev. Victor Potapov, rector of St. John the Baptist Russian Orthodox Cathedral in...

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Baltimore's Ethnic Diversity Reflected in Easter Celebrations

April 14, 2001

Source: The Baltimore Sun

On April 14, 2001, The Baltimore Sun reported on the "ethnic tapestry" that is made up of the different groups celebrating Easter in Baltimore. The article reported on the egg-dying and night vigil of the Greek Orthodox Cathedral of the Annunciation, the sausage-eating of the city's Polish community, and the choirs of the city's many African-American Baptist churches.

Eastern and Western Churches Seek to Set Common Date for Easter Celebrations

April 13, 2001

Source: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

http://www.jsonline.com/lifestyle/religion/apr01/easter-date041301.asp

On April 13, 2001, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported that "Easter celebrations for Orthodox churches and other Christian denominations coincide Sunday and many church officials had hoped to make that an annual occurrence...But it doesn't look likely any time soon...Orthodox churches say differences arise because they adhere to a rule that...

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Maryland Court Permits Religious Discrimination in Hiring Practices

April 13, 2001

Source: The Baltimore Sun

On April 13, 2001, The Baltimore Sun reported that Maryland's Court of Appeals "struck down a Montgomery County measure that barred religious institutions from religious discrimination in hiring for jobs in which faith plays little or no role...The "attorney for the church-affiliated Montrose Christian School in Rockville, which won the case,... said he thought that the decision was perhaps the first in which a state's highest court ruled on federal First Amendment grounds on this issue." In 1996 the school fired two workers...

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Recent Comic Strip about Easter Offends Many

April 13, 2001

Source: Los Angeles Times

On April 13, 2001, the Los Angeles Times reported on a "B.C." comic strip by cartoonist Johnny Hart, which "depicts the candles of a menorah being extinguished one by one until the Judaic symbol is finally transformed into a cross. The strip...already has disappointed and angered some readers, religious leaders and newspapers...Critics argue Hart's message is that Christianity replaced Judaism as a viable religion 2,000 years ago." Hart said "his purpose was merely to honor both Easter and Passover."

Eastern and Western Churches Seek to Set Common Date for Easter Celebrations

April 13, 2001

Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch

On April 13, 2001, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that "for the first time since 1990, all Christians are celebrating the same day as Good Friday and the same day as Easter. Easter celebrations of Eastern Orthodox Christians and Western Christians are usually separated by weeks...Since the 1960s, the Vatican and Eastern Orthodox Patriarchs have discussed converging their Easter dating systems."

Religion-Based Program Tries to Rehabilitate Prisoners

April 12, 2001

Source: The New York Times

On April 12, 2001, The New York Times reported on the InnerChange Freedom Initiative, a religion-based program in a medium-security prison near Des Moines "that would seem likely to interest the Bush administration...It works under contract with the state to rehabilitate felons." The article reported that results from the program "are still emerging." Whether the program would be excluded from government funding under Bush's faith-based initiative because acceptance of a religious message is central to its work "remains to be seen...

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Immigrants in Georgia Have Own Ways of Celebrating Easter

April 12, 2001

Source: The Atlanta Journal and Constitution

On April 12, 2001, The Atlanta Journal and Constitution compared the way Americans celebrate Easter to the way Christians from other parts of the world, including Cambodian, Indonesian, Liberian and Hispanic congregations, celebrate it. The article cited many communities in Georgia where immigrants are demonstrating different ways of celebrating Easter. "One particularly American difference from other Christian cultures is Easter's secondary importance to Christmas. In most cultures, Easter is the more important...

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Recent Comic Strip about Easter Offends Many

April 12, 2001

Source: The Arizona Republic

on April 12, 2001, The Arizona Republic reported that Jewish and Christian leaders are objecting to a B.C. comic strip run on Easter, which carries a religious theme that they see as offensive to Jews. The Los Angeles-based Jewish Defense League said the comic "fuels the ideals that have led to our persecution and murder for thousands of years."

New Korean Church Built in Buffalo Diocese

April 8, 2001

Source: The Buffalo News

On April 8, 2001, The Buffalo News reported on the newly built St. Andrew Kim Catholic Church, in the Town of Tonawanda. "After holding services in borrowed sites for 26 years, Korean Catholics in the Buffalo Diocese finally have a church to call their own...Currently, all Masses are celebrated in the Korean language."

Mixed-Faith Couples Face Challenges

April 8, 2001

Source: The Denver Post

On April 8, 2001, The Denver Post reported on the challenges that face couples of mixed religious faiths. "The bumping together of religion and tradition isn't as simple for couples of different faiths deciding how to raise their children, practice their beliefs and cope with their families...Christian ministers are mixed on whether they will co-officiate at [wedding] ceremonies...'There are [only] a couple hundred' rabbis across the country who will co-officiate with a minister, said one Denver rabbi."

Jewish Leaders Desire Overhaul of Education about Christianity

April 8, 2001

Source: The Boston Globe

On April 8, 2001, The Boston Globe reported that "over the last several decades, the Catholic Church has made extraordinary changes in the way it talks about Jews and Judaism...[It] now goes out of its way to" present Jews in a favorable light. "At the same time, Jewish educators have not significantly changed" the negative way they portray Christians. "Some prominent Jewish leaders are beginning to question whether they, like their Catholic counterparts, need to overhaul the way they teach their children." Their desire for...

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