Christianity

Pope's Apology - U.S. Response

March 13, 2000

Source: Los Angeles Times

On March 13, 2000, the Los Angeles Times reported that Pope John Paul II asked for God's forgiveness for sins committed or condoned by Catholics over the last 2,000 years in a homily on Sunday, March 12th from St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican. The Pope divided the sins into seven broad categories: sins "in the service of truth", sins against Christian unity, sins against Jews, sins against other religions and cultures, sins against women and the unity of the human race, sins against individual rights, and sins in general. In...

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Lent

March 5, 2000

Source: The Denver Post

On March 5, 2000, The Denver Post published an article on the Christian season of Lent, which is the introspective, somber 40-day period before Easter that emphasizes penance. Lent will begin on Ash Wednesday, March 8th, for Roman Catholics (Orthodox Christians follow a different calendar, starting Lent on March 13th.) in a ceremony where ashes are placed on the forehead to symbolize sinfulness and the need for penance. Sister Moira Debono, director of the office of liturgy for the Catholic Archdiocese of Denver, stated: "Lent is...

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New Orthodox Christian Congregation in Palm Harbor, Florida

February 7, 2000

Source: St. Petersburg Times

On February 7, 2000, the St. Petersburg Times reported that the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America has given its blessing to the formation of a new congregation in Palm Harbor, FL to meet the growing demands of Orthodox migration to the Northern Pinellas region. The new St. Raphael, St. Nicholas and St. Irene Hellenic Orthodox Church celebrated its first liturgy on Sunday, February 6th at its temporary home in the Palm Harbor Library. Members of the new congregation specifically left the word "Greek" out of the church's name...

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Relics of Saint Therese of Lisieux Attract Over One Million Viewers

January 29, 2000

Source: The Washington Post

On January 29, 2000, The Washington Post reported that the U.S. tour of the relics of Saint Therese of Lisieux drew to a close in Honolulu on Saturday, January 28th. Therese, a French Carmelite nun nicknamed "Little Flower" who died in 1897 at age 24, was canonized in 1925 and is best known for her writings of the "Little Way," her method to achieving spiritual fulfillment in the world. The tour included 140 stops in 50 cities and 25 states, drawing in over one million viewers. Rev. Donald Kinney, an Oregon-based Carmelite...

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Serbian Orthodox Center to be Built in Northeast Ohio

January 22, 2000

Source: The Plain Dealer

On January 22, 2000, The Plain Dealer reported that a Serbian Orthodox religious center will be built in Richfield Township, Ohio. There is currently only a small religious center in the area, the Chapel of the Holy Archangel Gabriel, at the Serbian Orthodox Monastery Marcha in Summit County. The monastery is run by two nuns, Mother Ana and Sister Anastasia, who are two of only eight Serbian Christian Orthodox nuns in the United States. The two women support themselves financially through candle making, baking, and contributions...

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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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