Interfaith

Supreme Court Turns Down Church-State Case

January 19, 2000

Source: The Washington Post

On January 19, 2000, The Washington Post reported that the Supreme Court declined to hear a constitutional challenge to Maryland's law requiring public schools to close on Good Friday. The case of Koenick v. Felton was brought by Judith Koenick, a former Montgomery County teacher who is Jewish, arguing that the law "sends a message of inclusion to Christian schoolchildren and a message of exclusion to their Jewish, Muslim, and non-believing classmates." The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit concluded last year that the...

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Martin Luther King Day

January 17, 2000

Source: Omaha World-Herald

On January 17, 2000, the Omaha World-Herald reported that members of Omaha's black and Jewish communities worshipped together on Sunday, January 16th in remembrance of Martin Luther King. About 100 people attended the service at the Church of the Living God, which welcomed members of the Temple Israel synagogue. In addition, approximately 600 people gathered for a Sunday evening service at the Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance to remember King.

Interfaith Youth Conference 2000

January 8, 2000

Source: Los Angeles Times

On January 8, 2000, the Los Angeles Times published an article on the preparations for the inaugural Interfaith Youth Conference 2000, an event schedule for April 2nd at Chapman University in California. A group of 25 teenagers of a variety of faiths, operating under the umbrella of the National Conference for Community and Justice, has met since October 1999 to plan the day-long event that they hope will attract more than 1,000 youths. Genevieve Hakanson, a 17-year-old Methodist from...

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Santeria in Washington, DC

January 4, 2000

Source: The Washington Post

On January 4, 2000, The Washington Post published an article on the presence of Santeria in the Washington, DC area. Santeria, which now attracts several thousand adherents in the region who cross ethnic, racial, professional, and religious lines, became a more visible presence in the Washington area about 20 years ago, when the Mariel boat lift brought Cubans to the District. Santeria is an Afro-Cuban faith with roots in the Yoruba region of Nigeria. The religion began when West African slaves who were brought to the New World...

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The Flushing Remonstrance is on Display

January 4, 2000

Source: New York Daily News

On January 4, 2000, the Daily News reported that The Flushing Remonstrance, America's first written declaration of religious tolerance, is on display through January 30th in the International Resource Center Gallery of the Flushing Library in New York. The document, which is rarely in public view, was written in 1657 by the citizens of Flushing as a response to Dutch exclusion of Quakers in their town. The Remonstrance demanded tolerance for all religions and declared that the town was open for all faiths.

Interfaith Millennium Celebration

January 3, 2000

Source: Los Angeles Times

On January 3, 2000, the Los Angeles Times reported that the Procession of Light 2000, an interfaith celebration, kicked off the start of the new century and the new millennium at Huntington Beach, California. More than 1000 worshippers from at least a dozen religious faiths gathered on Sunday, January 2nd near Huntington Beach's famed pier. The celebration cost about $10,000, which was raised mostly through donations. Phil Bellon of Huntington Beach, who attended the event, stated: "It was a wonderful experience...The community...

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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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December Diversity

December 25, 1999

Source: Los Angeles Times

On December 25, 1999, the Los Angeles Times published an article on the crossing of Christmas traditions to different Christian and non-Christian faiths. In many Latin American countries, the Catholic celebration of Christmas includes las posadas, a nine-day series of festivities from December 16-24 that involves celebrants dressed up as Mary and Joseph in a procession followed by meals and activities. In Pico-Union, California, St. Thomas the Apostle Church, joined neighboring St. Sophia Greek Orthodox Cathedral for the second...

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Christmas 1999

December 25, 1999

Source: Los Angeles Times

On December 25, 1999, the Los Angeles Times published an article on the Southern California Vietnamese community, which is embracing the American Christmas celebrations. Many Vietnamese shops are decorated with Christmas trees, wreaths, and paper cutouts of Santa Claus. Westminster City Councilman Tony Lam, who came to the United States from Vietnam in the mid-1970s, stated: "Just because my family is not Christian, that doesn't make Christmas less meaningful. For Asians, festival time is important. There are messages there that...

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Creche Controversy

December 24, 1999

Source: The New York Times

On December 24, 1999, The New York Times reported that federal judge Alfred M. Wolin of the United States District Court in Newark denied a motion brought by the ACLU against Wall Township in New Jersey to dismantle a holiday display on public property. In a public courtyard next to the municipal building in Wall Township, there is a Nativity scene and a menorah. The ACLU filed a lawsuit against Wall Township in February 1999 for its holiday display in December of 1998. When the township erected another such display this year on...

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December Diversity

December 24, 1999

Source: The San Francisco Chronicle

On December 24, 1999, The San Francisco Chronicle published an article on how several two-faith families celebrate multiple holidays. Vicki Roberts, who is Jewish, and Mark Roberts, who is Christian, combine the decorations of the house for their two daughters, who are being raised Jewish. Vicki stated: "Sure, half the house is decorated for Christmas, the other half is for Hanukkah...All it means to us is that we love the celebration of Christmas, the lights and the smell of the trees and candles. It really doesn't...

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December Diversity

December 24, 1999

Source: The Denver Post

On December 24, 1999, The Denver Post reported that an exhibit entitled 'Holiday Traditions' at the Aurora History Museum in Aurora, Colorado runs on Tuesday and Sundays through January 23rd. The exhibit shows the diversity of seven holidays around the time of the winter solstice. The holidays include Diwali, Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and the Chinese and Vietnamese New Year celebrations.

Controversy Over New House Chaplain

December 19, 1999

Source: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

On December 19, 1999, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel published an article on the controversy over the selection of a new chaplain for the House of Representatives to replace James David Ford, a Lutheran minister who is retiring in January of 2000. The controversy began when a bipartisan committee of 18 members of Congress selected a Catholic priest, Father Timothy J. O'Brien of Marquette University, as their top choice. Recommendations were then forwarded to the top three leaders of the House. Democratic leader Richard...

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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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