Hundreds of protesters, many from the Christian Coalition, demonstrated yesterday against India's increasing violence against Christians as Indian Prime Minister Atal Vajpayee addressed a joint session of Congress. Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.) told the protesters that Vajpayee was asking for U.S. help against terrorism while allowing Christians to be terrorized in the country. For very pro-Vajpayee coverage, see The Times of India's coverage. For a very anti-Vajpayee coverage, see Pakistan's Dawn. The U.S. State Department's recently released Annual Report on International Religious Freedom has more information about India's religious freedom record over the last year.
At Vajpayee's request, a Hindu priest offered the invocation yesterday in the U.S. House of Representatives. Venkatachalapathi Samuldrala, from the Shiva Vishnu Hindu Temple in Parma, Ohio, was the first Hindu to deliver the opening prayer, but his words were very inclusive: "O God, You are Omnipresent, Omnipotent, and Omniscient. You are in everything and nothing is beyond You. You are our Mother and Father and we are all Your children. Whatever You do is for our good. You are the ocean of mercy and You forgive our errors. You are our teacher and You guide us into righteousness. Today, in this great Hall, are assembled the elected Representatives of the people of this Nation. They are ready to perform their duties. God, please guide them in their thoughts and actions so they can achieve the greatest good for all."
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The mainstream press is starting to note the controversy over Weigh Down founder Gwen Shamblin's denial of the Trinity. For ChristianityToday.com readers who've been following the story (see our latest article here), The Tennesseean's coverage won't offer anything new, but it does offer one interesting quote: "I respect their right to do whatever they want to do. I respect their right to disagree. … Was I surprised? Yes. I don't know if they are planning on interviewing all their authors on their beliefs or what." It's not like Thomas Nelson Publishers' other authors like John and Patsy Ramsey, Benny Hinn, Robert Schuller, Jim Bakker, Charles Stanley, and Bob Larson are all that controversial …
Jack I. Tompkins, head of the Christian Web portal/ISP/software company/speakers' bureau, has quit over "differences of opinion on management-related issues." Chief Operating Officer Kirwin Drouet and board member Jim P. Wise quit too. The publically traded company, whose stock once traded at 18 1/6, has been trading under $2 a share for months.
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