Christianity

Southern Baptist Church Distributes Prayer Guides to Help Convert Hindus

November 1, 1999

Source: The Atlanta Journal and Constitution

On November 1, 1999, The Atlanta Journal and Constitution reported that 60 Metro Atlanta Hindus attended a rally on Sunday, October 31st at Centennial Olympic Park in Atlanta to protest the SBC's prayer guide to convert Hindus. Signs held by the protesters stated, "Bigotry and Hatred, the world can live without" and "Truth is one. Wise call it different." Shyam Tiwari, a software developer, attended the rally: "It's basically the pain we feel because of the denigration of Hindus and Hinduism by Southern Baptists...

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Christian-Jewish Interfaith Relations

October 30, 1999

Source: The Houston Chronicle

On October 30, 1999, The Houston Chronicle published an article on the 16th Annual Workshop on Christian-Jewish Relations, a forum held every two years to broaden communication and understanding between the two religions. This year's workshop was held in Houston and attended by 350 people. Jay Rock, a Presbyterian and director for Interfaith Relations of the National Council of Churches in New York, discussed the different Christian approaches to viewing salvation that can either accommodate or complicate interfaith relations...

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Images of Virgin Mary Defaced

October 28, 1999

Source: Los Angeles Times

On October 28, 1999, the Los Angeles Times reported that there has been a rash of vandalism of images of the Virgin Mary in Los Angeles in the past few weeks. At least 10 murals of the Virgin of Guadalupe have been defaced with slashes of paint along Cesar E. Chavez Avenue and a dozen images along San Pedro Street have been attacked with "66," "La Bestia," or "The Beast" written under the Virgin's abdomen. The attacks have coincided with a tour through the region of a replica of the Virgin's image, which is being displayed in...

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New Catholic Bishop Appointed as Church's Leader for Interfaith Efforts

October 28, 1999

Source: Los Angeles Times

On October 28, 1999, the Los Angeles Times reported that Roman Catholic Bishop Tod Brown of Orange County, California will become the church's national leader of interfaith affairs. The appointment comes one day after a historic agreement in Germany between the Catholic Church and the Lutheran Church that erases the more than 400-year-old theological conflict over the place of faith and good works in earning God's grace. Brown will mark the agreement with an unusual joint service Sunday night, October 31st, with Murray Finck,...

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Does God See Color?

October 26, 1999

Source: Los Angeles Times

On October 26, 1999, the Los Angeles Times published an article on the issue of race in church worship in Southern California. The author notes that while there has been a great ethnic influx in Southern California, it is rare to find churches that are multi-ethnic, where people from different races and cultures worship side by side. Dudley Rutherford, pastor of Shepherd of the Hills Christian Church in Northridge, CA, stated: "It's true what they say...that Sunday morning at 10 o'clock is still the most segregated hour in America...

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Southern Baptists Target Hindus in Conversion Efforts

October 23, 1999

Source: The Associated Press

On October 23, 1999, The Associated Press published an article entitled, "Ex S. Baptist Leader Chides Church" by Julia Lieblich. The article reports the reaction of Keith Parks, former president of the International Mission Board for the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC), to the new prayer guides being published by the SBC. Parks was president of the Mission Board for 13 years, until he left for the more moderate Cooperative Baptist Fellowship in 1990. Parks stated that he was "no longer acceptable" to new convention leaders...

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Southern Baptists Target Hindus in Conversion Efforts

October 23, 1999

Source: The Atlanta Journal and Constitution

On October 23, 1999, The Atlanta Journal and Constitution reported that on Monday, October 25th, the SBC is publishing its latest prayer guide on Hinduism and how Baptists should pray for the conversion of Hindus to Christianity. Subash Razdan, who chairs the board of trustees for the National Federation of India-American Associations, stated: "What are they trying to do, start a holy war?...You can make Christianity look good, but don't make any other religion look bad." Paul Courtright, an expert on Hinduism...

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Southern Baptists Target Hindus in Conversion Efforts

October 21, 1999

Source: The Washington Post

On October 21, 1999, The Washington Post published an article on the new prayer guide published by the SBC for Christian prayer toward Hindus during Divali, the Hindu festival of lights. The first sentence of the prayer guide reads: "More than 900 million people are lost in the hopeless darkness of Hinduism." The guide continues: "Pray that Hindus who celebrate the festival of lights would become aware of the darkness in their hearts that no lamp can dispel." Suresh Gupta, president of the Durga Temple in Fairfax, Virginia,...

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Greek Orthodox Archbishop to Speak in Chicago

October 21, 1999

Source: Chicago Sun-Times

On October 21, 1999, the Chicago-Sun-Times reported that Archbishop Demetrios, new head of the 1.5 million-member Greek Orthodox church in America, will speak at a dinner honoring Bishop Iakovos for leading the Chicago Diocese for the past 20 years. Bishop Iakovos stated that the Archbishop's visit is a "gesture of healing for our church," since the Greek Orthodox church in America had been in a three-year dispute over the leadership of the previous Archbishop, Spyridon. The event is expected to bring together Orthodox bishops...

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Roman Catholic Cardinal Francis George Trying to Build Bridges to Other Faiths

September 27, 1999

Source: Chicago Sun-Times

On September 27, 1999, the Chicago Sun-Times reported on a speech given by Cardinal Francis George at Holy Names Cathedral in Chicago on September 26th that urged Catholics, Muslims, and Jews to work together to create a more civil world. Cardinal George stated: "If we cannot talk civilly among ourselves with deep respect, then the world will remain the bloody place it had been in the century that has just passed." The Cardinal wants to strengthen the Muslim-Catholic dialogue in the Chicago area, while suggesting that Catholic...

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Controversial Efforts of Jewish Conversion During High Holy Days

September 23, 1999

Source: The Christian Science Monitor

On September 23, 1999, The Christian Science Monitor published an article on the Southern Baptist Convention's push to convert Jews. The prayer guide for Jewish conversion asks members to focus on praying for a Jewish population in a particular place in the world each day and "to pray each day for Jewish individuals...by name." The Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) intends to do the same for Muslims during Ramadan, for Hindus during Divali, and for Buddhists during the Festival of Lights. Abraham Foxman, national...

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New Archbishop for Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America

September 18, 1999

Source: The New York Times

On September 18, 1999, The New York Times published an article on the enthronement of Metropolitan Demetrios, new Archbishop for the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America. The previous Archbishop Spyridon, resigned on August 19th, 1999 after a three year reign amid claims that he was "acting in an autocratic manner" in an American political culture that prefers a democratic decision-making style. The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America had openly discussed autocephaly, or independence, from the Ecumenical Patriarchate of...

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Controversial Efforts of Jewish Conversion During High Holy Days

September 18, 1999

Source: The Atlanta Journal and Constitution

On September 18, 1999, The Atlanta Journal and Constitution published an article on the expanded efforts of Hebrew Christians and Southern Baptists to convert Jews to Christianity during the High Holy Days. David Brickner, executive director of Jews for Jesus, stated: "We feel the High Holy Days are an important time in the Jewish calendar when many of my people are thinking about spiritual things...This year we're hoping the Jewish people will look at Jesus in a new way." Jews for Jesus has stepped up its...

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Jewish High Holy Days

September 13, 1999

Source: Los Angeles Times

On September 13, 1999, the Los Angeles Times reported that 400 people, Jews from the University Synagogue and Christians from the Irvine United Church of Christ, gathered at the Irvine church for a joint Rosh Hashanah worship service on Sunday, September 12th.

Jews Offended at Southern Baptist Convention's Prayer for Jewish Conversion

September 10, 1999

Source: The Tampa Tribune

On September 10, 1999, The Tampa Tribune reported that Jews are offended at the Southern Baptist Convention's plan to pray for Jews to convert to Christianity during the High Holy Days. David Freidman, the congregation president at Temple Emanuel in Winston-Salem, NC, stated: "To do this at this time of year is a little bit startling...I find it rather sad that they place their emphasis on converting Jews, rather than looking for common ground and discourse among all faiths." The Southern Baptist Convention's International Mission...

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