Interfaith

For the Holidays, County Sikhs Meld Religious Celebrations With Christmas Traditions

December 23, 2009

Author: Erin Donaghue

Source: The Gazette

http://www.gazette.net/stories/12232009/bethnew184058_32563.php

To tree or not to tree? It's only one of the many dilemmas county Sikhs are faced with around the holiday season. And for followers of the faith, there seems to be just as many approaches to melding their own traditions with the Santas, reindeer, presents and elves that are pervasive in the communities in which they live.

For...

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Creche Returns to Northeastern Pa. Courthouse Lawn

December 21, 2009

Author: Staff Writer

Source: The Times Leader

Wire Service: AP

http://www.timesleader.com/news/ap?articleID=3460377

Santa, a snowman, an elf and other secular figures have joined a nativity scene at a northeastern Pennsylvania courthouse, resolving a controversy over the display of religious holiday symbols in a public space.

Luzerne County commissioners had removed the creche (CRESH') and menorah from the...

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Jews Angry After Pope Moves Pius XII Closer to Sainthood

December 21, 2009

Author: Francis X. Rocca

Source: The Pew Forum/Religion News Service

http://pewforum.org/news/display.php?NewsID=19330

Jewish leaders warned of new strains in Catholic-Jewish relations after Pope Benedict XVI moved his controversial wartime predecessor, Pope Pius XII, one step closer to possible sainthood.

Benedict signed a decree on Saturday (Dec. 19) recognizing Pius' "heroic virtues" and declaring him "venerable." That new status makes...

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Ban On Angels, Stars On County Christmas Trees

December 21, 2009

Author: Derek Moore

Source: The Press Democrat

http://www.pressdemocrat.com/article/20091221/NEWS/912219968?Title=Ban-on-angels-stars-on-county-Christmas-trees

Sonoma County's top official on Monday ordered the removal of stars, angels and other religious symbols from Christmas trees in county buildings after a complaint that the decorations violate constitutional protections.

...

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Neo-Nazis Protest Outside Synagogue

December 20, 2009

Author: Staff Writer

Source: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette/Los Angeles Times

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/09354/1022372-84.stm

Congregants at Temple Beth El who had gathered to celebrate the last night of Hanukkah were met by a group of neo-Nazi demonstrators who waved red-and-black swastika flags outside the Reform synagogue in Riverside, Calif., on Friday evening.

Rabbi Suzanne Singer said she suspects that the demonstration -- the third such...

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Christians, Jews, Muslims Reach Out to Each Other

December 20, 2009

Author: Bob Smietana

Source: The Tennessean

http://www.tennessean.com/article/20091220/NEWS06/912200370/1971

When Daoud Adudiab first heard that the Islamic Center of Columbia was on fire, he prayed the damage would be minimal.

But when he arrived at the center on Feb. 9, 2008, he realized the mosque could not be saved. Then he noticed the graffiti spray painted on the foundation of the building — three swastikas and the...

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Suspected Insurgents Kill 3 Buddhists In Thai South

December 19, 2009

Author: Surapan Boonthanom, Viparat Jantraprap and Jason Szep

Source: Reuters

http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE5BI0TD20091219

Suspected Muslim insurgents blew up a gas tank near a school in southern Thailand on Saturday, killing three Buddhist villagers and wounding two including a local leader, police said. 

The blast appeared intended for a senior official of Bajao district in Narathiwat, one of Thailand's three southernmost...

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Loss Of Holiday Display Sparks Backlash

December 18, 2009

Author: Jennifer Learn-Andes

Source: Times Leader

http://www.timesleader.com/news/Loss_of_holiday_display_sparks_backlash_12-18-2009.html

Former Luzerne County commissioner Frank Trinisewski said he will resort to legal action against the county if a Nativity scene and menorah are not returned to the courthouse lawn.

Political activist Gene Stilp is also organizing a live Nativity scene – complete...

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In a Rich Tapestry Of Columns, a Search for Common Threads

December 18, 2009

Author: Peter Steinfels

Source: The New York Times

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/19/us/19beliefs.html?emc=tnt&tntemail0=y

It comes to mind now because the Beliefs column is about to close out 20 years of appearing every other week, with occasional absences, in these pages — 486 columns, counting this one, or 482 over the strict quota of four good ones.

That student’s opinion also comes to mind because the...

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UN Gives Final Approval to Resolution Criticizing Rights Violations In Iran

December 18, 2009

Author: Staff Writer

Source: Baha'i World News Service

http://news.bahai.org/story/743

The United Nations General Assembly gave its final stamp of approval today to a strongly worded resolution condemning Iran for a long list of human rights violations.

By a vote of 74 to 49, with 59 abstentions, the General Assembly confirmed an earlier vote by its Third Committee in November on a resolution that expresses "deep concern at serious ongoing and recurring human...

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Support Lower for U.N. Text On Religion Defamation

December 18, 2009

Author: Staff Writer

Source: The New York Times

Wire Service: Reuters

http://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2009/12/18/world/international-us-un-religion.html?_r=2

The U.N. General Assembly condemned defamation of religion for the fifth year running on Friday but support continued to erode for a resolution Western countries say threatens freedom of speech.

The assembly...

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Islamic Group Hosts Interfaith Dinner

December 18, 2009

Author: Mirko Petricevic

Source: The Record

http://news.therecord.com/News/Local/article/646975

With Arabic script regarding the Prophet Muhammad and his son-in-law Ali hanging over each shoulder, Bob Chodos leaned forward Friday afternoon and lit a row of colourful candles seated on a tiny menorah.

Onlookers, among more than 50 people gathered in the audience, included Muslims and Christians from more than a handful of faith traditions....

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Creche, Menorah Removed From Pa. Courthouse Lawn

December 18, 2009

Author: Staff Writer

Source: Google News

Wire Service: AP

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5gh0-A7VXdEglScaadBAOJmd85SXgD9CLB38G1

Officials in northeastern Pennsylvania have removed a pair of religious holiday symbols from a public space after being threatened with legal action.

Luzerne County commissioners took down the creche (CRESH') and menorah from the...

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