Orthodox-evangelical fighting in Ethiopia leaves two dead
Young Orthodox Christians tried to disrupt a meeting of evangelicals at the stadium in Mekele, Ethiopia, Sunday. The evangelicals were talking about drought relief and HIV/AIDS, but the Orthodox called it a breach of a ten-year-old agreement against public preaching, reports the BBC.
When police stopped the youths from entering the stadium, the young Orthodox became violent. The police, some observers said, fired into the crowd.
Violence between the two groups is rare, says BBC reporter Damian Zane, but the ban on public preaching came after another violent clash, in 1993, between the Orthodox and Adventists over pamphleteering.
Three Northwest Christian College faculty members resign over dean's firing
Betsy Clewett, Associate Dean of Education of Northwest Christian College in Eugene, Oregon, was fired from the school December 11. College President James Womack won't say why, except that the reasons "have absolutely nothing to do with race." ("The dismissal had to do with certain protocols of higher education that were not observed and in my judgment were of a serious nature," he told The Chronicle of Higher Education).
But the college's only black faculty member and two other professors in the school's teacher education program say it was about race, and have resigned from the Disciples of Christ school.
Clewett, reports the Eugene Register-Guard, sent a "strongly worded e-mail" to Womack regarding allegations that minority basketball players at the school are treated differently from white players, and that minority students face discrimination in other areas of campus life, including financial aid, housing, and student life programs.
When she was fired shortly thereafter, Cloe Veney, an instructor in the school's department of Education and School Counseling and Northwest's diversity coordinator, tendered her resignation, along with another e-mail message.
"As a well-educated black woman with 25 years of experience in public and higher education, I have a much better understanding of racial discrimination and harassment than most Oregonians," she wrote to Womack. "It is clearly present at Northwest Christian College, and you are well advised to investigate thoroughly the incidents described above."
Professor Mary Ellen Arbuckle and Assistant Professor Louise Karther, who served under Clewett, also resigned, leaving the Teacher Education and School Counseling department bereft of fulltime education professors.
Womack says the school should have faculty in place for the beginning of the winter term on January 6. He also defends the school against the allegations of racial discrimination. "We're a student body and a faculty that's in Eugene and in Oregon, and I would not for a minute say there's no latent racism in our culture," he told the Register-Guard. "But to suggest that students and faculty of this college are intentionally racist is absolutely incorrect and misses our deepest commitments."
War with Iraq:
- Church issues prayer against Iraq war | The Church of England has issued a prayer for the people of Iraq, warning that a war could unleash "crimes against humanity" (BBC)
- Also: Church's prayers condemn war but not Saddam (The Daily Telegraph, London)
- Church group says war with Iraq can be averted | A group of American Christian leaders and experts visiting Iraq said Thursday there was still a chance of averting war but expressed concern about food shortages among Iraqis (Reuters)
- Catching the eye of the godless blinds the wise men | Western church leaders are opposing war against Iraq but some are going too far (Mark Steyn, The Sydney Morning Herald)
- Saddam: Iraq's Christians prepared to die for me | Saddam's comments on state television were introduced as: "Our valorous leader sending Christmas wishes to Christians"—a stark break with the Islamist rhetoric he has relied on so far (The Scotsman)
- Blunkett challenges archbishop | Home Secretary says Rowan Williams was "misleading and selective" in his criticism of the government (BBC)
- Also: Anglican archbishop under fire from Blunkett (The Guardian, London)
- Police: Minister stabbed wife, neighbor and killed dog | When police asked him what happened, he said he stabbed his wife "because the universe was evil" and later stated "he is evil," officers reported (The Battle Creek [Mich.] Enquirer)
- Burglar jailed for church thefts | Christopher Coulthard, who admitted robbing hundreds of churches, has been sent to prison for four years (BBC)
- Professors argue intelligent design | Phoenixville Area School District recently added new language to its mission statement that permits science teachers to discuss theories of intelligent design alongside evolution (The Phoenix, Phoenixville, Penn.)
- Religion replaces Lenin for children of Russia | School administrators in the Noginsk district, with some 20,000 students, 22 miles south-east of Moscow, added religion to the curriculum as a moral framework to replace Lenin's discredited Communist dogma (Associated Press)
- Woman who refused to wear pants gets paid | Brink's will pay Carol Grotts, a Pentecostal, $30,000 and train its Peoria managers about religious discrimination (Associated Press)
- Former student settles case with Regent U | Herbert Chadbourne had accused the school of ordering him to undergo counseling after classmates labeled him a "demon" (The Virginian-Pilot)
Politics and law:
- Anti-conversion law challenged in High Court | The Madras High Court issued notice to the Tamil Nadu government on a petition challenging the state's anti-coversion law and seeking to declare it as "unjust and constitutional" (PTI)
- Onward, Christian soldiers | With its allies now controlling Congress and the White House, the religious right launches a crusade to cleanse America of sin. The first battlefield: Women's bodies (Louise Witt, Salon.com)
- U.S. awards marriage grants to 12 states | In step with President Bush's faith-based initiative, the government on Thursday sent money from its child support programs to religious and nonprofit organizations so they can promote marriage (Associated Press)
- Abortion foes involve police in new tactic | Group's linking of child abuse to teen pregnancy alarms rights advocates (Austin [Tex.] American-Statesman)
- Abortion in the tides of culture | Where did the prolife movement go? (Frederica Mathewes-Green, First Things)
Missions and ministries:
- Ala. mourns slain medical missionary | Dr. Martha Myers, a medical missionary shot to death this week by an Islamic militant at a hospital in Yemen, was eulogized Thursday as a "beacon of light" and a Christian martyr (Associated Press)
- Missionary aims to convert addicts | East Bay man found Jesus, spreading word (The Argus, Pleasanton, Calif.)
- Reality stems from pastor's Vision | Ted Haggard sees things other people don't (The Gazette, Colorado Springs)
Other religions and interfaith relations:
- Mosque apologizes for message | Christmas e-mail unauthorized; Didn't intend to `cause distress' (The Toronto Star)
- 'Whose God?' Moyers, panel seek answer tonight | How can so many people invoke God's will while snuffing out the lives of others? (The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
- Pat Robertson's evangelical propaganda | Hardening the American heart (Salim Rashid, CounterPunch)
- Rael Religion? | 'Cultist' cloning advocates test definitions of faith (ABCNews.com)
- Still proceeding to honor the Magi on the 12th day | Epiphany: Several Howard County churches prepare to observe the Feast of the Three Kings (The Baltimore Sun)
- Christian karaoke CDs get booming reception | Family Christian Stores Inc. released six different karaoke CDs in October featuring Christian performers (Associated Press)
- Churches use multimedia to reach modern masses | Slowly and surely, the gospel is becoming electric in a growing number of churches (The Detroit News)
- Are lottery winnings acceptable donations? | Some churches say no thanks to gamblers' gifts (The Charlotte Observer)
- Troubled church orders second audit | Initial report finds evidence of misappropriation at Southwest Community Church (The Desert Sun)
- 'Cutest little church' faces final sermon | Sixty-three years of Sunday services will come to an end in 23 days when Black Diamond United Church parishioners say a final prayer in their "sweet little" church in the heart of the small town's business district (Calgary Herald)
- 'Happy-clappy' rector hits the road | A rector who attempted to stamp out criticism of his "happy-clappy" services by suspending choristers, "demoting" the organist, and trying to oust the captain of bell-ringers has quit (The Daily Telegraph, London)
- Reconciliation comes in Brownsville Revival split | Two sides apologize for hurt caused by division (Charisma News Service)
- Earlier: Weblog: Schism Threatens Brownsville Assembly of God as School Head Fired (Dec. 28, 2000)
- The ring and the cross | How J.R.R. Tolkien became a Christian writer (The Boston Globe)
- Lord of Rings author toasted on `eleventy-first' (Chicago Tribune)
Other stories of interest:
- Debate erupts over authors of the Dead Sea Scrolls | Though much has been written about the Dead Sea Scrolls themselves, the ruins of Qumran where the scrolls were found were largely unexplored, until now (The New York Times)
- Turkish group demands 'Santa's bones' | The Santa Claus Foundation says remains were stolen from what is now Turkey by pirates in the 11th century and taken to Italy (Associated Press)
- The future of secularization theory | The assumptions of academics and social commentators about the certain decline of Christianity in the West were challenged at a international conference on the future of Christianity in the West at the University of Otago in New Zealand this past December (Richard V. Pierard, Sightings)
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