Muslims attack Christians in Uganda
Only 6 percent of the Ugandan population is Muslim, says Operation World, but the book notes that "there has been a rise in Islamist extremism" as "Arab states have poured large sums of money into education."
According to common practice in Pallisa, Uganda, only Muslims slaughter animals for sale. But evangelist Umar Mulinde told local Christian butchers they shouldn't defer to the tradition — after all, he reportedly said, there was no law saying only Muslims can butcher animals.
When Christians started buying meat from Christian butchers instead of Muslim ones, Muslim activists turned violent. "Muslims reacted and burnt butcheries," police commander Phinehas Arinaitwe told The Monitor of Kampala. "We arrested three of them and they have been prosecuted." Arinaitwe also confirmed that there's no law prohibiting Christians from being butchers.
Christians attack Muslims in Malawi
Christians attacked a mosque in Nthawira, Malawi, reports Channel Africa. Roman Catholic priest Bernard Tiyesi told the news service that a group called the Apostles started preaching against the Qur'an in a market square. Muslims got upset, and violence broke out.
Ugandan imam: Night prayers spread AIDS
Sheikh Mohammed Senjala, the imam of Muslim community in Kamwokya, Uganda, told his local congregants that night prayers are a major contributor to the spread of AIDS, reports The Monitor. "Children escape from their homes; how are they protected from the many activities that take place during the night prayers?" he said in his AIDS Day address. He says the kids aren't praying — they're having sex.
The Monitor's story is only three paragraphs long, but don't be deceived: it's short because the story is so complicated.
On one hand, there's ample evidence to support Senjala's claim. "[The teens] say they are loving Jesus when there is a danger of another kind of loving happening there," Anglican priest Bernard Tusiime told The Guardian of London last year. "We had the same problem with night dancing. It encourages sex."
On the other hand, night prayers have been a touchy subject in Uganda. Local governments have banned night prayers in various parts of the country, sometimes arguing that it was an issue of safety, sometimes out of suspicion that they were being used to recruit rebels, and most often to protect against "noise pollution." The prayers are most commonly practiced by the country's "born again churches," which argue that the bans are an effort to infringe on their religious liberties.
Man who shot Baltimore priest acquitted, jury asks for leniency on gun convictions
Dontee Stokes admitted shooting Roman Catholic priest Maurice Blackwell three times, but said he did so in a kind of out-of-body experience. He says Blackwell abused him a decade ago, when he was just a teen. Stokes said he shot Blackwell because he was frustrated that the church didn't believe his accusations.
"This was not an intentional act of violence," Stokes explained. "This was something that was a result of the violence that was done to me."
That was good enough for the jury, which acquitted Stokes of all felony charges, including attempted murder, and only found him guilty of three misdemeanor weapons charges. And even on these charges the jury asked the judge to be lenient in sentencing. Stokes is therefore likely to receive only probation.
"With the decision of the jury tonight, one sad chapter is concluded, but there remains much healing ahead," said Cardinal William H. Keeler, who showed support for Stokes and told the jury that he regretted not being able to stop the abuse. "Many of us have been praying for this healing. My prayers are with Dontee Stokes and his family. He is a young man who has shown much promise; may God bless him now and in the days and years to come."
Keeler's statement, noted The Baltimore Sun, didn't mention Blackwell at all.
Remarking on the verdict, Stokes said as he left the courtroom, "This is a statement not just for me, but for every person who has been abused by anyone." That's exactly what the prosecutor fears. "I don'' want this to send a message in Baltimore City that you can go out there and resolve your differences with a handgun," Sylvester Cox told the Sun.
Abortion and life ethics:
- Georgia abortion bill draws criticism | Even Georgia abortion opponents are criticizing a bill that would force women who want an abortion to go through a trial and have a judge sign a death warrant for an "execution." (Associated Press)
- High court asks govt. views on anti-abortion case | The high court sought the U.S. Justice Department's views of an appeal by two anti-abortion organizations and a number of individuals arguing their activities were protected free speech (Reuters)
- At U.N. family-planning talks, U.S. raises abortion issue | Taking its fight against abortion overseas, the Bush administration has opened a sharp debate over a landmark family-planning agreement (The New York Times)
- Also: U.S. isolated at population conference over its anti-abortion stand | The dispute between the United States and other participants stems from an international family planning agreement reached in Cairo in 1994 (Associated Press)
- Also: U.S. anti-abortion stand under fire at U.N. Meeting (Associated Press)
- Study finds pill process helps cut abortion rate | The number of abortions in the United States dropped by 51,000 in 2000 because women took "emergency contraception," or extra doses of birth-control pills after sex, a leading abortion-research group says in a report issued today (The Washington Times)
- Ethicist questions quest to extend life | Who wouldn't want to live forever? Not Daniel Callahan, 72, who, in the autumn of his life, thinks our yearning for the fountain of youth may be misguided (The Boston Globe)
International religious freedom:
- 'Hindu republic' after BJP win | Allies of the Bharatiya Janata Party said they would seek to build on the win and make India a Hindu republic within two years (The Daily Telegraph, London)
- Also: Fears for secular India after BJP win landslide in Gujarat | Religious hatred nets hardline Hindus a landslide in Gujarat. Analysts now fear a similar shift across the country (The Guardian, London)
- U.S. pushes China on prisoners, religious freedoms | .S. rights envoy Lorne Craner on Monday began two days of high-level talks with Chinese officials (Reuters)
- Also: U.S. envoy in Beijing for rights talks (Associated Press)
Missions and missionary:
- The new after-school activity: evangelism | The Good News Club is a missionary program run by the Child Evangelism Fellowship, a Missouri organization that has chapters in every state and in 150 countries. As of August, there were 4,759 Good News Clubs in the United States and more than 1,000 of them were housed in public schools. (The New York Times)
- Faith beyond words | Baptist church holds special service for hard-of-hearing members (Wilmington [N.C.] Star)
- Evangelical gift program under fire | Organizers of Operation Christmas Child were predictably surprised this year when a group of parents complained about the program to their school boards, alleging it is a front for a Christian evangelists seeking new converts (The National Post, Canada)
- Faith in herself, and God, drives a dedicated student | Actions speak louder than words, as the saying goes. But if Brittney Lynn Zafonte's actions could speak, they could blanket an area the size of Times Square (The Bergen [N.J.] Record)
- Missionaries' faith in cause unshaken by foreign slaying | The Portland area is home base for a thriving community of missionaries who work abroad (The Oregonian)
- Burress' hatred of porn rooted in his former love for it | The leader of the nation's most high-profile, anti-pornography group is anything but a grim field general (The Cincinnati Enquirer)
Jerry Falwell lawsuit:
- Interactivity of Falwell parody site argued | As they wait for Judge Norman Moon to rule on the fate of www.jerryfalwell.com, lawyers in the case have filed paperwork asking permission to supplement the record (The News & Advance, Lynchburg, Va.)
- Lawsuit raised question about Internet libel | Court narrows libel suit's jurisdiction (The Roanoke Times)
- Animal rights Christmas ad sparks uproar | Dutch animal rights group says its anti-cruelty campaign using pictures of the Virgin Mary cradling a dead hare was designed to highlight how animals eaten at Christmas are farmed and slaughtered. It has also incensed devout Christians. (Reuters)
- Opera House attacked over 'sacrilegious' website ad | Advertisements for a satirical show that opened at the venue's Studio theatre last week depict a montage of religious icons with the superimposed faces of the show's actors (The Sydney Morning Herald)
- BBC faces action over religious slot | Former president of the National Secular Society says she'll sue the BBC over its refusal to allow secular contributors on Thought for the Day (The Daily Telegraph, London)
- Girl Meets God: Born again … and again | Lauren F. Winner's memoir recounts two religious conversions, first to Orthodox Judaism, then to evangelical Christianity (The New York Times)
- Darwinian literary criticism | Literary Darwinism seeks to understand the way literature is produced by human nature and reflects human nature — basic human motives like mating, parenting, gaining social status, acquiring resources (The New York Times)
- Tolkien | Scholar and man of faith created a world to be enjoyed by everyone (Ledger-Enquirer, Columbus, Ga.)
- Also: The theology of the 'Ring' | Tolkien's tales, although not overtly Christian, are filled with moral lessons for our time, pastors and scholars say (The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
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