Christianity

Rev. Billy Graham Does Not Support Latest SBC Conversion Efforts

January 3, 2000

Source: Chicago Sun-Times

On January 3, 2000, the Chicago Sun-Times reported that the Rev. Billy Graham, one of the most famous Southern Baptists in the world, would not defend his denomination's plan to send evangelists to Chicago for the summer of 2000 to convert Jews, Muslims, and Hindus. Graham, in an interview for Fox News Sunday, stated: "I normally defend my denomination, I'm loyal to it...But I have never targeted Muslims. I have never targeted Jews. I believe that we should declare the fact that God loves you, God's willing to forgive you, God can...

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Christmas 1999

December 25, 1999

Source: The Denver Rocky Mountain News

On December 25, 1999, the Denver Rocky Mountain News published an article on conversions to Christianity as the year 2000 approaches. At Trinity United Methodist Church in downtown Denver, more than 30 baptisms were performed on one Sunday this month. St. Thomas More Catholic Church in Englewood, Colorado has welcomed 630 new members since January 1999. The Next Level Church of Wheat Ridge, which is geared to young adults, has grown from a congregation of 700 to 1800 in two years. The First Spanish Assemblies of God...

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Christmas 1999

December 25, 1999

Source: The Tampa Tribune

On December 25, 1999, The Tampa Tribune reported that the Dover Community Council in Dover, Florida held a Christmas event for the children of migrant workers and others who were in need of assistance. The event, begun in 1997, was held at the Dover Elementary School and included a Spanish-speaking Santa that handed gifts out to the children. School Principal Kathleen Carr stated: "It's wonderful to see the faces of those kids...They were just thrilled to death." Approximately 1000 gifts were purchased with donations from local...

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Christmas 1999

December 24, 1999

Source: The Columbus Dispatch

On December 24, 1999, The Columbus Dispatch published an article on the differing practices and origins of Christmas celebration. The Peace United Methodist Church in Pickerington, Ohio performs an annual Nativity reenactment, with participants telling the story through Christmas carols and guiding live farm animals. At St. Nicholas of Myra Episcopal Church in Hilliard, OH, a traditional creche is erected without the baby Jesus. At the Christmas Eve service, the baby Jesus is placed in the manger. According to Joseph Kelly, a...

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Southern Baptist Church Distributes Prayer Guides to Help Convert Hindus

December 8, 1999

Source: Chicago Sun-Times

On December 8, 1999, the Chicago Sun-Times reported that Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, founder and president of the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews, stated that Southern Baptists "have crossed the line of responsible witness" in calling for 100,000 Baptists to come to Chicago seeking converts next summer. Eckstein stated: "I have broken with the Southern Baptist leadership, and I would urge all Jewish institutions to do likewise...I want to make it clear that it doesn't mean Jewish institutions should break with every...

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Southern Baptist Church Distributes Prayer Guides to Help Convert Hindus

December 4, 1999

Source: The New York Times

On December 4, 1999, The New York Times published an article on the recent tensions between the SBC and many Jewish organizations around the country. The proposal to send 100,000 Baptists to the Chicago area next summer for the purpose of seeking converts prompted Yechiel Eckstein, a prominent Chicago rabbi involved in interfaith relations between Christians and Jews, to state that the SBC has "clearly crossed the line, from general evangelizing and witnessing - which I strongly affirm - and breached the trust by proselytizing...

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Southern Baptist Church Distributes Prayer Guides to Help Convert Hindus

November 29, 1999

Source: The New York Times

On November 29, 1999, The New York Times reported that the Council of Religious Leaders of Metropolitan Chicago sent a letter to SBC president Rev. Paige Patterson to reconsider sending thousands of missionaries to Chicago for the summer of 2000 because it could incite violence against Jews, Hindus, and Muslims. The letter stated: "While we are confidant that your volunteers would come with entirely peaceful intentions, a campaign of the nature and scope you envision could contribute to a climate conducive to hate crimes." The...

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Southern Baptist Church Distributes Prayer Guides to Help Convert Hindus

November 22, 1999

Source: The Boston Globe

On November 22, 1999, The Boston Globe reported that about 60 people gathered outside the Beacon Hill Baptist Church on Cambridge Street in Boston to protest the SBC prayer guide to convert Hindus. The rally was organized by the New England Hindus Against Religious Intolerance. The prayer guide states: "Hindus seek power and blessing through the worship of gods and goddesses and the demonic powers that lay behind them...Hindus lack a concept of sin or personal responsibility...they are slaves bound by fear and tradition...and the...

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Southern Baptist Church Distributes Prayer Guides to Help Convert Hindus

November 20, 1999

Source: The New York Times

On November 20, 1999, The New York Times reported that the Rev. Paige Patterson of the SBC may have a joint meeting with representatives of the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York on the issue of messianic Jewish groups. Letters have gone back and forth between the two organizations since the SBC published a prayer guide at the time of the High Holy Days to convert Jews to Christianity. Though the format of the meeting has yet to be determined, it is most likely that a one-to-one discussion will take place between...

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Confessions of Anti-Semitism

November 20, 1999

Source: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

On November 20, 1999, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported that Bishop Peter Rogness, head of the Greater Milwaukee Synod for the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, issued a statement in reaction to Catholic Archbishop Rempert Weakland's public apology for centuries of anti-Semitic words and actions by the Catholic Church. Rogness stated: "For the leader of the largest faith community in the area to make such a speech was profound...His words struck close to home. The second-largest faith community in the...

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Confessions of Anti-Semitism

November 12, 1999

Source: Chicago Sun-Times

On November 12, 1999, the Chicago Sun-Times reported that Milwaukee's Roman Catholic Archbishop, Rempert Weakland, admitted to centuries of Catholic prejudice against Jews in an interfaith Catholic-Jewish service at Congregation Shalom in Milwaukee on Sunday, November 7th. Weakland stated: "I acknowledge that we Catholics, by preaching a doctrine that the Jewish people were unfaithful, hypocritical, and God-killers, reduced the human dignity of our Jewish brothers and sisters, and created attitudes that made reprisals against them...

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Southern Baptist Church Distributes Prayer Guides to Help Convert Hindus

November 9, 1999

Source: The New York Times

On November 9, 1999, The New York Times reported that Orthodox and non-Orthodox Jewish leaders, the heads of the four major Jewish theological seminaries, and the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York, sent a letter to the Southern Baptist Convention president, Rev. Paige Patterson, asking the SBC to stop supporting "deceptive" tactics to convert Jews. The letter denounced the SBC's endorsement of messianic Jewish organizations: "Our quarrel with the Southern Baptist Convention is not over its right to proselytize....

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Southern Baptist Church Distributes Prayer Guides to Help Convert Hindus

November 8, 1999

Source: The Houston Chronicle

On November 8, 1999, The Houston Chronicle reported that the Hindus of Greater Houston organized a rally on Sunday, November 7th outside of the Second Baptist Church to protest the recent SBC prayer guide for converting Hindus. More than 100 people attended the protest, including several Jews, carrying signs saying, "Religious Intolerance is Un-American," and "The Truth is One. The Paths are Many." Gary Moore, spokesman of the 26,000 member Second Baptist Church, had not seen the guide, but spoke on behalf of Southern Baptists...

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Pentecostal Teacher Becomes Head Administrator at Yavneh Academy in Dallas, Texas

November 5, 1999

Source: The San Diego Union-Tribune

On November 5, 1999, The San Diego Union-Tribune reported that Donald Ray O'Quinn, an Irish-American Pentecostal physics teacher, was chosen to become head administrator of Dallas' only Jewish high school, Yavneh Academy, in March 1999. O'Quinn was chosen for his credentials and for his reputation as an inspiring teacher. Rabbi Michael Cytrin helps O'Quinn to run the Academy and oversees Yavneh's classes in Jewish faith, history, and law. Cytrin stated: "I can lead him [O'Quinn] through the labyrinth of the Jewish world...

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