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December 2004

Believers go on rack to prove God relieves pain: "People are to be tortured in laboratories at Oxford University ... to determine whether belief in God is effective in relieving pain. Top neurologists, pharmacologists, anatomists, ethicists and theologians are to examine the scientific basis of religious belief and whether it is anything more than a placebo. ...

    "A central aspect of the two-year study, which has $2 million (£1.06 million) funding from the John Templeton Foundation, the US philanthropic body, will involve dozens of people being subjected to painful experiments in laboratory conditions. .... The aim is to develop new and practical approaches 'for promoting wellbeing and ultimately maximising individual human potential'.... 'We will simulate a burn sensation to see how people, through distraction or by accessing different strategies, can modulate and reduce the levels of pain.” See Mystical Merger of Religion & Science

How religious are Europeans and Americans? "The United States of America, Western and Eastern Europe are far apart as far as religion is concerned. While 86 percent of all US-citizens believe in a Creator God this only applies to 80 percent of the population in Eastern and 70 percent in Western Europe.... While 40 percent of the religiously affiliated in Central and Eastern Europe go to church at least once a week – Poland heads the list with 60 percent – only 25 percent of all West Europeans worship at least weekly.... An exception to the rule is Italy with almost 40 percent regular worshippers. Most Swedes and Danes on the other hand seem to shun churches." Statistics for the Changing Church

Lords of the Rings star embraces Buddhism: "[Orlando Bloom, who played elf Legolas in the Lord of the Rings trilogy] was presented with his Gohonzon, a scroll with Chinese and Sanskrit characters on it.... Orlando said his Gohonzon would take place of pride in his home. It is likely to be kept in a wooden shrine, surrounded by candles. He would chant the holy Japanese mantra nam-myoho-renge-kyo to the scroll twice a day. He must also read and recite two chapters from the Lotus Sutra holy scripture. Orlando, who played elf Legolas in the Lord of the Rings trilogy, has never publicly spoken about his religious faith but has often been seen clutching Buddhist prayer beads." See Lord of the Rings: Truth, Myth or 'Discovered Reality'?


Royal Navy to allow devil worship: "Chris Cranmer, 24, a technician serving on the Type 22 frigate Cumberland, has been officially recognized as a Satanist by the ship's captain. That allows him to perform satanic rituals aboard and permits him to have a non-Christian Church of Satan funeral should he be killed in action." See Popular Occultism


Witches no fantasy to pagan believers: "Nine-year-old Luna Sansone thinks she may want to be an artist when she grows up. Or a witch. But not just any witch. 'I want to be a real witch,' she says, 'someone who 'makes herbs and things, and helps people make lots of tea, and makes 'protective spells.'

     "As Wicca and related earth-based religions reach into the mainstream, more parents are passing down those beliefs to their children. ... Krystal Barger takes a similar approach.... Every morning, she and her girls each choose a Tarot or fairy card to meditate upon as they sit around an improvised altar of stones, feathers, driftwood, candles, sage and other totems. ...

     "Barger and Sansone are part of a growing wave of parents turning to books, Web sites and other resources aimed at spreading the Wiccan way to children." (Jeff Wright, The Register-Guard, OR, 10-29-04)   See Harry Potter Lures Kids to Witchcraft


Beyond the Mat - Yoga Stretches Out [Registration required]: "By last summer, 15 million Americans were practicing yoga, 28.5 percent more than the year before, according to a Harris poll.... Wal-Mart's Web site boasts 990 yoga products; Target's has a mind-numbing 4,235. ... Last year, 2.2 million Americans were practicing yoga at commercial health clubs.... Eighty percent of clubs now offer yoga classes....

    "In his book 'The Complete Illustrated Book of Yoga,' well known Yoga authority Swami Vishnudevananda explains, 'the aim of all yoga practice is to achieve truth wherein the individual soul identifies itself with the supreme soul of God.'

    "In contrast, Scripture declares 'For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come." (1 Timothy 4:8). The true peace, unity, and harmony for which society is so desperately longs can only be found in eternity through a relationship with Jesus Christ." See A Twist of Faith - Chapter 2


Record crowds for Burning Man festival: "As jugglers danced with hoops and spirals of fire, vehicles belched flames and hypnotic drums echoed through the night, more than 35,000 costumed revelers ritually burned a 40-foot neon-and-wooden icon of a man deep in the Nevada desert.... Silvie, of San Diego [said], 'There's a reverence here.'...

    "For many, torching the temple has become the centerpiece of the annual burn, a more intimate, spiritual event than the rave-party-like immolation of the man icon. ''s like giving it to a higher force. It's like an offering,' said Fred Dickson." Chart: America's Spiritual Slide


Teen suicide concerns officials: "Sarah Casey and Debra Jean Kawaguchi, both just 13-years-old, walked onto the tracks as a train approached. According to those close to the case, the girls allegedly left a note saying they killed themselves because they believed they would be reincarnated. Police believe both girls were involved in the practice of Wicca. Wicca is an earth-centered religion sometimes known as witchcraft. Police believe the girls may have been helped by the Internet." From Father God to Mother Earth

Spiritual books boom — Religious literature is becoming mainstream: "The No. 1 nonfiction book in 2003 was Pastor Rick Warren's The Purpose-Driven Life, according to the Book Industry Study Group. The self-help guide has sold 17 million copies. Top sellers on the fiction side include The Da Vinci Code, The Five People You Meet in Heaven and Armageddon, all titles with a spiritual bent. ... But while sales are increasing, the reality behind the statistics is not good news for everyone. Bookstore chains and mass-market outlets are benefiting the most." 1 Peter 5:8


Spread of neo-paganism brings racism and violence: “'Neo-paganism' has gathered such a following in the former Soviet Union that organizations, seminars and books are sprouting up throughout the country, claiming adherents. According to Viktor Shnirelman, compiler of the book Neo-paganism on the Expanses of Euroasia, St. Petersburg has become the main center of Russian neo-paganism, though cults and organized ‘churches’ have spread throughout every part of the country.... In February of this year in Orel, vandals at the Russian Orthodox church broke windows, destroyed bookstalls, and attempted to set the iconostasis, which was under restoration, on fire. They left a slogan on the walls saying, 'The Jewish God will depart, praise to the gods' and a symbol resembling a nazi swastika." Our Father in Heaven or Our Mother the Earth?

Greek pagans battle government in fight for rites: "In the distance, the Acropolis is bathed in the white light of the full moon as the chorus, with arms aloft, chants the name of Zeus into the night....These are worshippers of the 12 Olympian gods, a hardy band of Hellenic pagans who have seen their main religious festival - the Olympics - become a bloated commercial extravaganza, their sacred flame sponsored by Coke." The Olympic Dream: A Renaissance of Unholy Oneness

Northwest seen as 'unchurched' yet religious: "Twenty-five percent of adults in Washington and Oregon say they have no religious identification, compared to 14.1 percent nationwide. But that doesn't mean Northwesterners aren't spiritual. 'Even among the 'nones,' only a small minority identify as atheist or agnostic.'.... Northwesterners may, instead, express their spirituality in anything from nature religion to working for environmental protection." Charts: Five Types of Religious Expressions


Buddhist prayer wheel to top new WTC? "An engineer working on plans for the 1,776-foot-high replacement for the World Trade Center in New York wants the wind turbines at the top to serve as Buddhist prayer wheels, 'cycling through mantras of peace.' ....'These spin on an axle, continuously repeating the prayer," writes the Village Voice's Erik Baard. 'The words aren't directly translatable, but they invoke blessings from Chenrezig , the embodiment of compassion.... Imagine if, from miles away in any direction, you could look to that skyscraper and know that within its ethereal, translucent summit was a testament to our better selves, our shared prayers." See Dalai Lama Celebrating the Medicine Buddha


An Inspired Strategy: "Becoming an atheist 'felt weird,' she says. 'I had this empty space that I didn't know how to fill. What should I do? Meditate? Sing or dance?' She decided that she did need God, whom she defines as 'a bigger power you can confide in, find comfort in, someone who makes you feel more safe and secure.' Wicca, a form of pagan nature worship, could be the answer, she says. Because 'in Wicca, you have a goddess and a god. God will still be there for me.'" See My will be done!

A winning team: "...when Anand sat down in December to sketch a 'sacred space' that would welcome everyone, he knew what he was looking for. 'I wanted to get into what resonated with people while not getting anyone to feel this was exclusionary or specific to any one religion.'... What he created with the help of his partner... resonated with the jury of the Interfaith Sacred Space International Design Competition....

    "The common ground of spirituality is what inspired their design. Each element harks back to archetypes and symbols that can serve almost any religion. Pagans, American Indians or members of other religions that connect with the Earth and mankind's beginnings can find symbolism and sanctuary in the large, round cavern, with natural illumination from a skylight. Smaller side chambers, evocative of monks' cells, could be suitable for individual prayer, Buddhist meditation or Catholic confession." See A Twist of Faith - Chapter 1 and Symbols and their meaning

Relics of crucifixion coming to U.S. cities: "Venerated relics of Christ's Passion – from pieces of the cross, to replicas of the nails believed to have been used 2000 years ago to crucify Jesus – will be put on rare public display next month during Easter."


Vatican appoints first female theologians: "The Roman Catholic Church has quietly taken a step forward for women's equality, naming the first female theologians as Vatican consultants, and promptly denied the appointments had anything to do with their gender. Pope John Paul, whose defence of the male-only clergy has rankled some liberal Catholic women, named the two theologians at the weekend to the International Theological Commission."


Europe's Christian Movements to Gather (Click on March 2): "More than 150 Christian movements -- Catholic, Orthodox, evangelical and Anglican -- will meet May 8 to help add a spiritual dimension to the building of the new Europe.... More than 10,000 people are expected to attend the event in Stuttgart, Germany. At least 141 cities will be linked by satellite to join in the event. ... 'For the first time, Catholic, evangelical, Orthodox and Anglican ecclesial movements will meet to show the spiritual riches of Europe which is moving toward unity,' explained Valeria Martano of Sant'Egidio." Conforming the Church to the New Millennium


The Return of Paganism -- As Christianity Declines, Superstitions Gain Force (Link is now obsolete, but the summary is worth reading): "Denmark has announced it will allow a group that worships Thor, Odin and other Norse gods to conduct legally-valid marriages.... 'It would be wrong if the indigenous religion of this country wasn't recognized,' said Tove Fergo, the government Minister for Ecclesiastic Affairs and a Lutheran priest....

     "Wheen also recounts that Cherie Blair, wife of the British Prime Minister, is keen on alternative forms of spirituality.... Also increasingly popular in England is Kabbalah." Deut 18:9-12


Catholic Mystics: "Catholics are not the only mystics. There are also Hindu mystics, Buddhist mystics, and Muslim mystics. Therefore, mystical experiences do not necessarily indicate that a person has encountered the God of the Bible. They do not even indicate that a person is a Christian. Thomas Merton was an influential monk. He taught that every form of mystical experience is valid, no matter what its source. He praised Hinduism and Buddhism. Merton wanted to see the religions of the world become united. Some Catholic priests and nuns teach prayer techniques which are not prayer in the Christian sense at all. Rather, they result in altered states of consciousness, and susceptibility to demonic influence." For more about Merton, see A Twist of Faith Chapter 2


Africa grows Christian leaders: "Could 2004 be the year the world's Catholics will be led by a Nigerian? That is the question on many believers' lips as concern grows that ailing Pope John Paul II will not survive the year. One likely successor is Cardinal Francis Arinze, 71, an Ibo from Nigeria ....He is tough, energetic, knows how to handle youth, and most importantly perhaps, is an expert on Islam."


Dean Says Faith Swayed Decision on Gay Unions: "Democratic front-runner Howard Dean said Wednesday that his decision as governor to sign the bill legalizing civil unions for gays in Vermont was influenced by his Christian views.... 'From a religious point of view, if God had thought homosexuality is a sin, he would not have created gay people.'... My view of Christianity... is that the hallmark of being a Christian is to reach out to people who have been left behind,' he told reporters... [see Psalm 50:21]

      "Dean, who is a member of the Congregationalist Church, which preaches a liberal brand of Christianity, falls on the side of Episcopal leaders in the United States who recently stirred international controversy by ordaining a gay bishop...

      "In broad terms, it pits Christians who look at the Bible less literally and argue that the Gospels never quote Jesus talking specifically about homosexuality against more conservative Christians who take a more literal approach and point to scripture in the New and Old Testaments that they believe forbids homosexuality.... Polls show voters want a religious president and one who talks about faith."

       You might say that Dean is "purpose-driven." His wants to win the election, and he will say whatever furthers that purpose. So he describes God's intentions in ways that fits his human purpose -- not according to Biblical revelation. See Spirit-Led or Purpose-Driven?  As for homosexuality, see Romans 1:22-32 and 1 Cor 6:9-11


The Bible’s Lost Stories: "Fueling faith and igniting debate, a new generation of scholars is altering our beliefs about the role of women in the scriptures.... For close to 2,000 years, Christians have known her as Mary Magdalene....

    "This revisionist view helped inspire the plot of 'The Da Vinci Code,' which has been on The New York Times best-seller list for 36 weeks, with 4.3 million copies in print. Author Dan Brown draws on some credible discoveries...."

      That's what many believe. But his sources (and those of the feminist researchers in search of fuel for their worldwide power struggle) point readers to the twisted truths in the Gnostic gospels -- the heretical teaching Paul warned us to avoid in his letter to the Colossians. To better understand Gnosticism and other secret societies, see Popular Occultism and the chart at the end of Trapped in the Matrix


Interest Surges in Voodoo: "Voodoo priests and priestesses take a variety of approaches in their rituals. Many of their public rites involve singing, dancing, chanting and drumming. When working with individuals, some use oils, candles and herbs. Others prepare small bags or charms that are said to have special powers. Still others read cards, leaves or bones.

    "...voodoo priests and priestesses said demand for their services had greatly increased.... 'I get people from all walks of life, from street people to professors to psychiatrists to political leaders. ... They turn to voodoo because there's an increasing desperation in our culture for spiritual meaning and direction.'" Deut 8:10-20


President Bush, Prime Minister Hold Joint Press Conference: "PRIME MINISTER BLAIR: Good afternoon, everyone. First of all, can I extend the warmest possible welcome to the President of the United States.... We'll take three questions from British journalists....

      "Q: Thank you, Mr. President, Mr. Prime Minister. Mr. President, when you talk about peace in the Middle East, you've often said that freedom is granted by the Almighty. Some people who share your beliefs don't believe that Muslims worship the same Almighty. I wonder about your views on that....

     "PRESIDENT BUSH: I do say that freedom is the Almighty's gift to every person . I also condition it by saying freedom is not America's gift to the world. It's much greater than that, of course. And I believe we worship the same God ." John 14:6 

      The Quran denies both the resurrection and Christ as Lord. As for freedom, He promised political freedom only to His chosen people in the Old Testament days if they remained faithful to Him. Today, after the cross, He only promises spiritual freedom -- and that promise only applies to those who trust and follow Him.  Freedom in Christ


A–maze–ing Prayer: "The labyrinth offers ancient meditation for today's hurried souls.... Postmodern generations are hungering for something more—an unhurried, mystery-filled, meditative experience that doesn't have to fit into a preplanned time schedule. The prayer labyrinth offers a feast to fill that hunger.

     "Meeting God in the middle. The labyrinth is a maze-like path similar to those designed into the floors of European cathedrals during the Middle Ages. Christians of that time would walk the labyrinth to aid their contemplative prayer and reflection. The labyrinths fell into disuse....

     "At the National Pastors Conference in San Diego, however, we found the labyrinth was back and given an update. The path was formed by black lines on a 35-foot square piece of canvas laid on the floor.... After thirty minutes we found ourselves at the labyrinth's center, where, seated on cushions, we were offered the elements of Communion."

      See Labyrinth. Then do a website search for "labyrinth" or for  Grace Cathedral in San Francisco and Cathedral of Saint John the Divine in New York -- two overtly New Age Episcopal/Anglican churches that embrace paganism, goddess worship and medieval mystical practices. Both have been promoting meditation-walks through their large labyrinths for many years. Go to Our Mother the Earth and skip down to "Celebrating the Goddess." Or go to Chapter 5 and skip down to "Grace Cathedral."


Witch gets state grant in Norway: " A witch has won subsidies from the Norwegian state to run a business of potions, fortune-telling and magic....  Skarning...said the runaway success of JK Rowling’s Harry Potter books about a boy wizard may have made society more tolerant of sorcery. 'But Harry Potter is a fairy tale and I’m not,' she told Reuters.... 'And now I’m Norway’s only state-backed witch.' She said the government subsidy would help her tell fortunes from Tarot cards, teach magic tricks...."

      When I was growing up in Norway, its public schools started the day with the Lord's prayer, and Norway sent out more missionaries per capita than any other nation in the world. See Deut 18:9-12 and Harry Potter & the Order of the Phoenix


The Great Revivial - Understanding Religious Fundamentalism: "As the authors rather defensively admit, there are strong reasons for objecting to the term 'fundamentalist.' First, it has tended to be used in a pejorative way, denigrating almost anyone of convinced religious viewpoint. In addition, it is often carelessly linked to the word 'terrorist,' as though being a fundamentalist almost inevitably leads to violence....

     "The larger issue raised by this effort to understand fundamentalism is the premise of the entire project: that such religious movements are 'militant and highly focused antagonists of secularization.' Many so-called fundamentalist movements are undoubtedly hostile to much of modernity...." Psalm 52:3 and Religion (see the first comment)

Religion. Prosperity Gospel & The New Age: "The term 'positive confession' refers to the teaching that words have creative power. What you say... determines everything that happens to you. Your 'confessions,' that is, the things you say -- especially the favors you demand of God -- must all be stated positively and without wavering. Then God is required to answer."  John 15:7-8


Call for Queen to lose title as head of Church: "The commission, which was set up by the Fabian Society and received the full co-operation of Buckingham Palace, will say it does not want to see full disestablishment of the Church of England, but rather that it should lose its links to the monarchy....

      "Prince Charles is known to be keen to modernise the monarchy and has spoken about being a 'defender of faiths' rather than the present oath which makes the monarch the 'Defender of the Faith' - Christianity."

      See the beliefs and values behind Fabian socialism in Julian Huxley's  UNESCO: Its purpose and Its Philosophy


Is Terrorism Tied To Christian Sect? "The arrest of alleged Olympic bomber Eric Robert Rudolph may finally allow authorities to answer a question that has loomed since the beginning of the five-year hunt for him...  Is he a 'Christian terrorist'? ....Federal investigators believe Rudolph has had a long association with the radical Christian Identity movement, which asserts that North European whites are the direct descendants of the lost tribes of Israel, God's chosen people....

     "...there seems to be a fairly high likelihood that he can legitimately be called a Christian terrorist," said Michael Barkun, a professor of political science at Syracuse University who has been a consultant to the FBI on Christian extremist groups." But this heretical and often militant group has no connection to Biblical Christianity. In these times, many identify with Christianity who have never been joined to Christ through the cross. See Biblical versus Cultural Christianity and Mark 13:22-23


Witch doctors revel in new spell of power. Setting aside the unchanging truths of God's Word, the world is changing fast. See Two UN Summits, One Millennium Goal and The Fall and Rise of Human Violence


Into the Gnostic Wonderland: "...where is Gnosticism in today's culture? You might bump into it in successful films and novels, such as Harry Potter, Star Wars and The Matrix, or face it in 'religious' and 'philosophical' movements, such as the New Age, the Raelian cult and Freemasonry." See Trapped in the Matrix


Muslims outnumber Jews in Canada: "Canadian census figures show for the first time that Muslims outnumber Jews — a demographic that could ultimately affect this country's position toward the protracted Middle East conflict....

      [The next section illustrates today's self-made postmodern spirituality:] "The number... of those identifying themselves simply as Christian with no particular denomination was up by 121.1 per cent to 780,450.

      "'People have, over the last 20 to 25 years, kind of moved away, not from faith or spirituality, but from institutionalized religion....They have moved away from the formal disciplines and really personalized it or taken what they want from a variety of different faith perspectives and combined it, made it personal.'" See A Twist of Faith, Chapter 1


Zimbabwe and Zambia - A Tale of Two Countries and Three Religions: "In Central Africa an epic conflict rages between Communism, Islam and Christianity. ... Transporting a large quantity of Bibles and Gospel booklets in transit through Zambia... we were arrested at Kazangulu. Stripped and searched at the police station in Livingstone, thrown into stinking cells covered in human filth and infested with flying, crawling and biting insects. Interrogated. Blindfolded, barefoot and transported in chains...

      "Under the British, Lusaka Central Prison had had electricity, running water, a working plumbing system and cooked food. Now, under Kaunda's 'Socialist Humanism', there was no electricity, no plumbing, no running water, no sanitation, no toilet facilities - it was one big disease factory." 2 Cor 4:7


(Registration required) Credit card worshippers buy up prayer space: "Monks at one of Russia's most famous religious retreats have struck on a new scheme to raise cash - selling prayers on line. Visitors to the monastery's website can now complete a prayer form and send it to the monks, who pledge to read it aloud in front of the 'miracle-working' Iberia icon of the Holy Virgin. A single mention in prayers costs 25 roubles, while an 'eternal' mention costs 1,000 roubles." (The Scotsman Online, 5/14/03)  2 Cor. 2:17


Voodoo recognised as official religion in Haiti: "Voodoo practitioners believe in a supreme God and spirits who link the human with the divine. The spirits are summoned by offerings that include everything from rum to chickens. Many books and films have depicted voodoo as black magic based on animal and human sacrifices to summon zombies and evil spirits." Chart: Five Types of Religious Expressions


Church and state connected in most European countries: "...the state is entwined with the religious life in the vast majority of the 25 EU countries – the fifteen EU member states plus the ten acceding countries. The constitutions of five countries (Ireland, Greece, Poland, Germany and Slovakia) point to Christianity as the foundation on which ideas and values are built.... Six other countries (Denmark, Finland, Spain, Austria, Portugal and Great Britain) have constitutions establishing a more or less formal marriage between state and church by giving one particular church a special position...." But in many European countries, Biblical Christianity is barely tolerated by the non-participating masses -- while compromising "cultural Christianity" might be acceptable. See the first item here: Seeds of Persecution


 New Age Catholicism: "The 'New Age' is actually a resurgence of old paganism which has been 'westernized' and dressed up in modern vocabulary. It denies foundational Christian doctrines and basic Christian morality. But in spite of this, there are Catholic priests and nuns who are openly promoting New Age beliefs and practices....

     "The theology of Jesuit priest Teilhard de Chardin opened the door for New Age concepts to come into the Catholic Church. These led to 'creation-centered spirituality' and Catholic feminism....

     "Thomas Merton was a Trappist monk. He taught that every form of mystical experience is valid, no matter what its source. He praised Hinduism and Buddhism. Merton wanted to see the religions of the world become united." Merton is popular among Protestants as well. See A Twist of Faith Chapter 2


Multi-faith bid to scale Everest: "Ten mountaineers will climb for peace and tolerance.... A multi-religious expedition to climb the world's highest peak promoting peace and religious tolerance has been announced in Nepal. ... Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Muslim, Jew, Confucian and Taoist climbers would form the Everest peace team."  Such a feat would honor human achievement and produce spiritual synthesis, not Biblical peace through Christ. John 14:6, Col 2:8 and Deut 8:10-20


Wicca Casts Spell Over College Students: "While Harry Potter wards off calamity with a flick of his wand, hundreds of students nationwide are casting more than the occasional love spell, as they identify Wicca and other pagan practices as their official religion....

      "Anthony Paige, a recent SUNY Purchase College graduate who started a pagan student group there, said Wicca appeals to some college students because 'there is no sense of sin.' 'There is a karmic law, but there's no scorn or condemnation,' said Paige...

       "'There is a cultural shift with college students identifying themselves less as religious and more as spiritual,' said the Rev. Thomas Wolfe, dean of Hendricks Chapel at Syracuse. Wolfe, who worried some would object to having Wiccan rituals performed in the same spiritual center used by Christian, Jewish and Muslim students, said he's faced no objections....

        "'Young girls want to be involved in witchcraft," [Barger] said. 'There is an occult explosion going on around us.'" Our Father in Heaven or Our Mother the Earth?


Science eager to study spiritual change: "When the Metanexus Institute on Science and Religion solicited research proposals for studying 'spiritual transformation,' its officials didn't expect to be inundated with 500 applications. Proposals arrived from 21 countries, outlining research on topics such as the evolution of personal spirituality....

     "Metanexus, a scholarly organization funded by the John Templeton Foundation, will award 20 grants of between $75,000 and $150,000 to specialists to study the process of spiritual transformation in a variety of contexts.... Spiritual transformation is a dramatic change in world and self views, purposes, religious beliefs, attitudes and behavior...." Establishing a Global Spirituality and America's Spiritual Slide


A sawdust trail for low-caste Hindus? "Low-caste Hindus in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu are threatening to embrace Christianity, Buddhism or Islam to protest a new law that outlaws religious conversion....  10,000 will convert to Buddhism on Dec. 6 if the law is not revoked. Another group, known as the Dalit Panthers of India [DPI], pledged that 25,000 of its members would become Christians to protest what they called an 'unjustified' decree."

     Buddhists may be able to change their faith as a political tactic, but Christianity is different. "No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him," said Jesus. (John 6:44) What it means to be a Christian


The First Commandment.  John Paul II Calls for More Profound Study of Mary: "The Holy Father said he was particularly interested in the subject, because 'it takes up the expressions with which I conclude the apostolic letter 'Novo Millennio Ineunte,' entrusting to Mary, Mother of God and of all believers, the future of the new millennium and the way of the Church.'

     "In order to learn to contemplate and to love the face of Christ, 'we must go to Mary...," he stressed. Because of this, the Pontiff encouraged 'interdisciplinary research that develops Mariological reflection, seeking new sources, in addition to the traditional, to obtain other suggestions for theological research."

     For those who would follow Christ, there's no need to seek "new sources" or guidance from "Mary, 'Luminous Dawn and Sure Guide' of the New Evangelization." See Psalm 119:11


Wiccan seeks to lead prayers for meetings: "A Wiccan priestess wants the Board of Supervisors of Chesterfield County, Va., to add her name to the list of clergy members who say prayers before board meetings. 'I am a witch and I am fine with that,' said Cyndi Simpson, a member of Reclaiming Tradition of Wicca. 'I have something good to share, and I think they should let me.'...

      "The Rev. Enid Virago, pastor of the First Unitarian Universalist Church of Richmond, offered an invocation several weeks ago at a county planning board meeting. Unitarian Universalists live their lives according to principles, not deities. 'You come into our church, you can be sitting next to a pagan, a Buddhist, a Christian or a Wiccan,' said Miss Virago." See Our Father in Heaven or Our Mother the Earth?


High school Satanism club prompts parental outrage: "A group of San Mateo High School students trying to stir up controversy formed a club based on Satanism, a religion typically associated with hedonistic philosophy and with the rituals of black magic. Calling themselves The Satanic Thought Society, co-president of the club James Doolittle admits he originally started the club with his friend Matt Heeney to 'rile things up a bit.' But now that the two juniors have studied the teachings of Anton LaVey, founder of the Church of Satan, they say Satanism helps people to express themselves. ...

     "'Satanism doesn't support hate for no reason,' Doolittle said. 'Satanism says it's OK to feel hate, because hating allows them to love more.'" Isaiah 5:20


Churches Try to Recapture 9/11 Crowds: "Despite a brief surge -- churches, synagogues and other spiritual centers were packed with 25% more people immediately after last Sept. 11 -- attendance subsided within weeks.." Luke 8:5-15


Europe's first school for witches and wizards opens in Austria: "Students can take a six-semester course, including learning to make potions and cast spells, ending in a 'sorcerers' diploma.' ... 'Wizardry is very close to nature and is in no way a form of religion,' said school director Andreas Starchel." See Twelve reasons not to see Harry Potter movies


Aspen parents question whether classroom yoga teaches religion: "A yoga program at Aspen Elementary school has been put on hold while administrators and parents determine whether the meditation would bring religion into the classroom. Some families say the chanting that accompanies a selection of yoga techniques creates a challenge for separation of church and state....The Aspen Center for New Medicine, with help from the Aspen Youth Center and Aspen Education Foundation, is sponsoring the program." See Establishing a Global Spirituality


105 kids ‘buried’ for a minute: (India, 8-21) "At least 105 children were 'buried’ alive for ‘just one minute’... on Wednesday to propitiate two female deities...  The children—who were first rendered unconscious—were sunk into makeshift graves, covered completely, kept there for 60 seconds and then pulled out....

      "All villagers participate in the ritual, ‘burying’ their children in the hope that their wishes will be granted. ... Family members first sprinkle ash on the child’s head and then spray his or her face with turmeric water, after which the child falls ‘unconscious’. If the child fails to do so, the ‘burial’ is cancelled and the family fined a thousand rupees." Jer 7:16-20


Yorkshire river may be the new Ganges: "Hindus and Sikhs want to scatter the ashes of their relatives in the River Aire in West Yorkshire, as happens in the Ganges. They have asked Bradford council for permission on behalf of many British-based Hindus and Sikhs....

     "Hindus from all over India take their dead to the Ganges because the waters are needed to reach Pitriloka, the World of the Ancestors. Without them, the dead are said to exist in a limbo of suffering. But Hindus also believe that all rivers merge and flow to God, so the Aire would be as good as any other for the ritual." Gorbachev's Plan For A United World


Face-Clawing Monster' Terrifies Indian State (Reuters, 8-19-02): "Reports of a flashing space creature, or maybe a mutant bug that glows at both ends, have created panic in India's most populous state, triggering riots and lynchings that have killed more than a dozen people. Victims report being scratched by something flashing blue, red or green that strikes only at faces and only at night...

        "Some police in Uttar Pradesh state have declared that Muhnochwa is an extraterrestrial being. Others say it is a 'technologically developed special insect' that glows red from the front and blue from its rear....

        "'I woke up with a start to find a bright red blinking object attacking my face and trying to pull me away,' said Asma, who lives in Lucknow's old quarter. 'I screamed, but no sooner than my husband got up, it vanished into the thin air, leaving a couple of scratches on my face.'" 1 John 4:4 and Aliens, Monsters and Creepy Creatures


Bad Spirits Ousted from Colorado Town Hall: "Shaman Christopher Beaver conducted a smudging ceremony in the Telluride Town Council chambers earlier this summer after he declared the basement room full of negative, even violent, energy.... Steel said the open-minded town council may be open to whatever else might bring and keep harmony. 'We haven't gone to a sweat lodge yet,' he said. 'Maybe that will be the next step.' [Would they be open to Christian prayer as well?]

     "[Incoming council member Hillary] White said she believes smudging, which is used in different forms by many Christian religions as well as by American Indians, should be done regularly. She lights little sage sticks when she arrives early for council meetings." See "My Will be Done" and "find" smudge. Notice how Christianity is blending with earth-centered religions. Deut 8:10-20


Why We Need Heaven: " the Jewish settlement of Itamar, with the Biblical landscape stretching all around her, Zar says she doesn’t know exactly what the next world looks like, but she knows that it’s good, and that her husband has a special place there 'at the feet of the throne of the Almighty' because he died for God. There is nothing at all unusual about Hagar Zar’s religious beliefs, except for the theological puzzle they present: can her enemy be in heaven, too? ...

      "According to a Newsweek poll, 76 percent of Americans believe in heaven, and, of those, 71 percent think it’s an 'actual place,' but after that, agreement breaks down." See what God's Word tells us about heaven.


Reading the Bible from the Perspective of Earth: "The Earth Bible has been developed by a team of scholars from Adelaide, South Australia....Ecojustice principles are used as guidelines as they ask questions of the text: Does a given text value or de-value Earth? Is the voice of Earth heard or suppressed? Are humans portrayed as 'rulers' over Earth or kin with Earth? Does Earth suffer unjustly?

     "The basic aims of the Earth Bible Project are to... provide a responsible forum within which the suppressed voice of Earth may be heard and impulses for healing Earth may be generated....

     "The project explores text and tradition from the perspective of Earth, employing a set of ecojustice principles developed in consultation with ecologists, suspecting that the text and/or its interpreters may be anthropocentric and not geocentric, but searching to retrieve alternate traditions that hear the voice of Earth and value Earth as more than a human instrument." See Saving the Earth and Al Gore's Vision of Global Salvation


Why the [British] Archbishop is embracing pagan roots: "...the man expected to be the new Archbishop of Canterbury will be inducted as a druid in a 200-year-old ceremony with pagan roots in Wales next month. As the sun rises over a circle of Pembrokeshire bluestones, the Archbishop of Wales, the Most Rev Dr Rowan Williams, will don a long white cloak while druids chant a prayer to the ancient god and goddess of the land.... The Mistress of the Robes, Sian Aman, will then clothe him in a druidic white headdress, and a steward will lead him to join the other assembled druids inside a sacred circle. ... Evangelical leaders in the Church of England described it as 'unbelievable.” Jer 5:21-24 and Five Types of Religious Expressions


Teenager 'cut out widow's heart in vampire sacrifice': "...he had been fascinated by vampires. 'He believed they existed, believed they drank human blood, and believed most importantly that they could achieve immortality. He had decided that he needed to murder a human being to provide a sacrifice. It was a planned, deliberate killing 'to satisfy his own grotesque and selfish ends. What may have started out as a bizarre interest became an obsession and led ultimately to murder." The occult forces that Harry Potter fans dismiss as fantasy are actually both real and ruthless. Romans 1:22-32 and America's Spiritual Slide


 Witches win converts: "Witchcraft is the fastest-growing religion in Australia. Census figures show an increasing number of worshippers are looking towards the earth, rather than the heavens, in search of God. There are now nearly 9000 witches in Australia, up from fewer than 2000 in 1996, while the number of pagans more than doubled to 10,632....

      "Religious experts said the shift towards nature religions was consistent with a growing emphasis on the esoteric beliefs in Australia. Most of the major Christian denominations lost followers during the past six years....

      "But Consumer Affairs Victoria warned that con artists were keen to profit from those seeking the divine.... In some ways this is a reflection of the Americanisation of the current religious scene in Australia,' Dr Russell said. 'We don't follow American religious trends slavishly, but this is one way in which we do; the commercialisation of those kinds of religious involvements." See Our Mother the Earth?


Poll: Americans Overwhelmingly Favor 'Under God': "A vast majority of Americans say 'under God' should remain part of the Pledge of Allegiance in the wake of a court ruling that said the pledge is unconstitutional.... The survey showed that 87 percent support the phrase and 54 percent think the government should not avoid promoting religion. Additionally, 60 percent think that government leaders making public expressions of faith in God is good for the nation....

     "On Thursday the chief author of the 2-1 decision, Judge Alfred Goodwin, stayed his own order, indefinitely blocking the ruling that was loudly criticized across the country, particularly in Washington....

      "Some 45 percent of those surveyed in the poll said they see the United States as a secular nation in which religious beliefs -- or lack of them -- is not a defining characteristic. Eighty-four percent said references to God should be allowed in public as long as they do not mention a particular religion." John 14:6


'Star Wars´ like religion for legions of fans: "When Great Britain took its census last year, the Office for National Statistics got a surprising lesson in the power of the Force: Under 'religion,' thousands of British 'Star Wars' fans wrote in 'Jedi Knight.' ... While some fans focus only on the light-saber battles and special effects, others ponder and debate creator George Lucas' blend of ancient myths, Christianity and Eastern mysticism. 'There are people who say this movie has changed their lives in a spiritual way, and it's always in a positive way.'...

       "Some critics have seen a more amorphous spiritual sensibility, frequently shorthanded as 'New Agey,' at work in the saga. 'Our culture is infected with this notion of New Age emotionalism - don't let me think, I just want to feel my way,' says Mr. Snyder, referring to the original trilogy's frequent admonition to 'feel the Force.'

       "'I see 'Star Wars' as taking all the issues that religions represent and trying to distill them down into a more modern and easily accessible construct,' Mr. Lucas said in an interview with Bill Moyers in 1999. 'I put the Force into the movie in order to try to awaken a certain kind of spirituality in young people - more a belief in God than a belief in any particular religious system,' he added. Mr. Lucas has said he believes in God, but holds that 'all the religions are true.' Many of those who are drawn to the values of 'Star Wars,' however, look more to Mr. Lucas' use of ancient mythic archetypes than for details corresponding to any particular religion." Star Wars Joins United Religions at the Presidio


Satanists on attempted murder charges: "Authorities in Germany have charged two members of a satanic cult with attempted murder for allegedly stabbing a man repeatedly to drink his blood. The superior court in the eastern German town of Neubrandenburg have remanded a 19-year-old woman and 21-year-old man in custody as suspects in the stabbing of a 40-year-old man. ...the pair said they'd been inspired by another German couple who killed a colleague in Satan's name in July 2001 in a macabre ritual." Occult violence


Judge rules Catholic school must allow gay student to take boyfriend to prom: "A gay Ontario teen put on a gleaming white tuxedo, took his boyfriend's hand, and together they set off in a limo to his Catholic high school prom just hours after a judge ruled school board officials could not ban the couple from attending.... In his ruling, MacKinnon wrote that 'the idea of equality speaks to the conscience of all humanity, the dignity and worth that is due each human being. 'Marc Hall is a Roman Catholic Canadian trying to be himself. He is gay. It's not an answer . . . to deny him permission to attend his school's function with his classmates.' .... Martin said the board is disappointed with the ruling and that it interferes with the responsibility of the Catholic school system in Ontario to teach Catholic values. 'Homosexual romantic activity such as dating goes against those values,' she said." Trading U.S. Rights for UN Rules


1867 law doesn't apply to prom: "A blue-haired gay teenager fought his Catholic school board in court today for the right to take his boyfriend to the prom....  The school board is arguing it has the right under the Constitution to run its schools in accordance with Catholic teachings. But Douglas Elliot, a lawyer for 17-year-old Marc Hall, told Superior Court Justice Robert McKinnon that the law doesn't grant the school board such sweeping powers....

      "Social scientists and caseworkers submitted affidavits to court that said discrimination by the school board and principal is worse than utterances of hate by individuals, because it carries all the power and weight of an institutional authority. 'It sends a message that they're not worthy of the same consideration as other students. . . not welcome to be themselves.'" Trading U.S. Rights for UN Rules


Yoga Extends Its Reach: "The practice itself is the spiritual teaching," says John Schumacher, founder of Unity Woods, one of Washington's oldest and largest yoga studios. 'If you do the practice, it's going to lead you to spiritual awareness."  No, it leads to spiritual deception. For the "ruler of this world" is not the what his subject are led to believe. Dalai Lama Celebrating the Medicine Buddha


Kofi Annan urges participants to set example of interfaith cooperation: "...we all know that the practice of religion can have its dark side, too. Religious extremism has too often oppressed or discriminated against women and minorities. Religion has often been yoked to nationalism, stoking the flames of violent conflict and setting group against group. Religious leaders have not always spoken out when their voices could have helped combat hatred and persecution, or could have roused people from indifference.... So I humbly suggest that today's meeting is also an opportunity for religious, spiritual and political leaders, as well as their followers, to look within, and to consider what they can do to promote justice, equality, reconciliation and peace." Rev 13 and Two UN Summits


Child fighters face deadly last stand in Sudan: "Up to 5,000 child fighters have been encircled by Sudanese and Ugandan troops in southern Sudan, in readiness for an all-out assault on their cult-driven rebel army. With the abducted and brainwashed children so far violently resisting efforts to negotiate, the United Nations Children’s agency is warning of a possible child massacre.

      "'These are indoctrinated children who believe they have to fight to the death - and neither Ugandan nor Sudanese soldiers are likely to feel too sorry for them,' said Nils Kastburg, UNICEF’s director of emergency programmes, yesterday. "The joint offensive against the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), a brutal Ugandan rebel group, led by a self-declared spirit medium with supernatural powers, and largely composed of stolen children, began two weeks ago." See The Nature and Tactics of Satan

Medieval fertility ritual leaves Czech women's rights in the Dark Ages: "It's an old fertility rite that dates back to the Middle Ages; the only thing is that, in the Czech Republic, it's not confined to the history books. It is a ritual still assiduously practised by Czechs today. On the morning of Easter Monday, men and boys whip women of all ages, around the legs with special whips made out of twisted willow branches. The women reward the men for this with a painted Easter egg. The symbolism is pretty clear: the whipping, say Czechs, ensures the woman stays fertile and beautiful. ...But a lot of Czech women complain that men are abusing the tradition...." 2 Tim 4:3-4

'I was forced to kill my baby': "Last September a boy's torso was found in the Thames. Police now believe it could have been a 'muti' killing, a human sacrifice practiced in southern Africa. Here, as seen in a BBC... documentary, a mother reflects how she was forced to help kill her own child. 'When the child was dead, he started to cut all those pieces, the hands, the legs and even the sex organs,' Helen says. Limbs from children, primarily the sexual organs, are said to be the most potent. These are sometimes taken from live victims because their screams are thought to enhance the power of the medicines." This horrible ritual murder illustrates a carefully concealed truth about the earth-centered religions touted by UNESCO and multicultural education. See also 0Five Types of Religious Expressions and The Nature and Tactics of Satan

Aphrodite to rise again: "...the Greek goddess of love could once again rise from the foam off the east coast of Cyprus in a £36 million project. ... the building of a giant Aphrodite that would rival in size the Eiffel Tower and the Statue of Liberty. Cyprus was the birthplace of the mythical Aphrodite and a government official said of the statue: 'It will be quite big. We are talking about a worldwide tourist attraction. The Great Wall of China, Taj Mahal, Eiffel Tower and Statue of Liberty all have a certain size, so we have to compete with that.'" Deut 8:10-20

Pre-Hispanic ritual and New Wave fads at Mexican pyramid: "More than a million Mexicans jostled with shamans and charlatans to mount the ancient Pyramid of the Sun, 30 miles from Mexico City, at dawn on Thursday. The huge step-pyramid at Teotihuacan, twinned with the Pyramid of the Moon, annually draws throngs of sun-worshippers.... Since the millennium, turn-out has soared. ... During vernal equinox rites every 21 March, most pyramid climbers face the sun, eyes shut, intent on charging themselves up with energy.... Pre-Hispanic revivalism, known as Mexicanidad, does not seem to faze populist Roman Catholics, however. Nuns joined in these equinox celebrations with gusto." See Chapter 7 in A Twist of Faith


Pagan witch is hired to teach at Jesuit college: "Heythrop College, part of the University of London, has appointed Vivianne Crowley, who describes herself as a Wiccan high priestess, as a visiting tutor. Dr Crowley, once described by a women's magazine as 'the nicest witch you could ever meet', will lecture throughout the Lenten term on the psychology of religion." Deut 8:10-20


Labour minister backs new 'gay Jesus' prayerbook: "A government minister has launched an outspoken attack on Church leaders in a new collection of prayers written for homosexuals. Ben Bradshaw, the Foreign Office minister, accuses Christian leaders of 'hostility' to homosexuals in a foreword to the controversial anthology, which includes contributions by Church of England clergy. One prayer in the book is addressed to 'the wife of my lover', another prays that the next Pope 'shall be young, coloured and gay'....'" Gal 6:7-8


Baptized Paganism: "His mother's hysterical cries only add to the discordant shrillness of the flute and timbrels as the dance becomes more frenzied. When only the crackling of the fire and the mournful, lonely cries of the mother can be heard, the priest announces that the sun-god is pleased." Deut 18:9-12


'Amen' to a church-free life: "Linda Shields, 56, manager of the Quest Bookshop -- selling crystals, chimes, charms and book titles from Alchemy to Zen -- sees restless seekers every day. 'We created a safe environment for people to bring their spiritual issues. We don't impose any belief but just help people along their path. The real spiritual center is inside all of us.' ... [But] Rev. Bill Keeton, 48, pastor of the tiny, yellow-frame Chapel of Grace in Olympia, dubs secular Washington 'downright anti-religious.' 'Every other house on the block is a New Age religion....'We had neighbors complain when we had a cross in the parking lot.''' 2 Cor 2:14


Murder Suspect Said He's a Vampire: "One of the suspects in the killing of a prominent scientist allegedly claims to be a practicing vampire who went into a frenzy after getting some blood in his mouth. That was among the gruesome details heard in a Leesburg courtroom today, as an investigator discussed the confession of 18-year-old Kyle Hulbert." What is fantasy to some, becomes an obsession and bondage to others. See Harry Potter and the Power of Suggestion


Bush 'Worship' at Shinto Temple Troubles Christians in Japan and U.S.: "When President Bush entered the ornately beautiful Shinto Temple erected to house the spirits of the late Emperor Meiji he clapped once and bowed deeply, following the common etiquette of worship at such shrines. At the same time, the Prime Minister of Japan was left sitting in the car—forbidden from entering the shrine by a postwar constitution written by the U.S.

       "''The Prime Minister of Japan is forbidden by their constitution from even participating in the Shinto religion because it’s emperor worship that led to World War II,' says Dr. Robert Morey..... “So the Prime Minister stayed in the limo while Bush and his wife went into the temple and clapped to awaken the demon and then bowed in worship and signed the book of worship,' says Dr. Morey, referring to the Bush temple visit made February 18 as part of his Asia tour."


'Om' schooling  - Schools reach for yoga to calm and collect students: "Slowly opening his eyes, Rosa Parks Elementary fourth-grader Benny Huang said, 'I feel really grumpy in the morning. Yoga makes me feel ungrumpy.'...The kid-geared yoga program fits perfectly into the California Department of Education's goals for physical education programs. ...  An ideal program, says state schools chief Delaine Eastin, emphasizes 'the whole child -- physically, mentally and socially.' ...

      "The hatha [yoga] program used in these schools was created in 1997 by respected yoga teacher Tony Sanchez, who founded the nonprofit United States Yoga Association and runs the San Francisco Yoga Studio. The kid-geared yoga program fits perfectly into the California Department of Education's goals for physical education programs.... An ideal program, says state schools chief Delaine Eastin, emphasizes 'the whole child -- physically, mentally and socially.' ...

      "Sanchez's program, called ABC Yoga, combines mind and matter.... Teachers incorporate yoga into lessons on physics, anatomy and geometry. While careful not to discuss yoga's religious aspects, teachers do explore the history of yoga and its exercises." See Psalm 1:1-6 and Establishing a Global Spirituality


Atheist says he acts in good faith: "Mitchell Kahle added another scalp to his belt when restrictions on apparel and accessories depicting Satanism were yanked from Kaimuki High School's dress code last week. 'To me, Satanism is a superstition,' Kahle said. 'Just like Christianity.' The point, he insisted, was that if one religious symbol is banned from a public school dress code, they all must go. It was the latest in a string of successful actions initiated by Kahle since 1997 that have included the removal of church descriptions from the official Honolulu city Web site, the removal of crosses from various locations around O'ahu, and limitations placed on the use of nativity scenes ....

        "Kahle met his partner and 'soul mate,' Holly Huber, in 1988 when he was attending Boston University and she was working at Houghton Mifflin publishing company.'" That's one of the largest U.S. textbook publishers and the publisher of Al Gore's Earth in the Balance. See also  2 Cor 2:14


Organizations of the Unification Church: "Rev. Moon has a powerful international network with upwards of 350 closely affiliated companies worldwide (280 of them are located in the U.S.). Many are businesses that service the community everyday. They have 200 front organizations many of which are family oriented (since Moon believes that this is his mission of restoring the family). Many promote world peace through unification theology....

    "In the 1970's Moon had told some of his leaders that he was preparing an international infrastructure that would be in place to establish a new world order as they anticipate the worlds economy will collapse.... The most recent purchase was UPI bought by News World Communications." Though we are not familiar with this website, Berit attended one of Moon's regional American Leadership Conferences last year and can confirm much of this information.  See two related links below -- and compare with the Olympic vision.

Media Bias Censored by the Washington Times: "Readers have been under the impression that the views of Sun Myung Moon, founder of The Washington Times, do not determine your news coverage. But Cheryl Wetzstein's January 24 article, "U.S.-U.N. relations discussed at parley," proves that Moon and/or his agents are pulling the strings. What's more, it demonstrates that Moon has fully embraced the United Nations. ...Moon has called the U.N. 'a temple of peace.'  Moon has called for a U.N.-based religious body and has declared, 'As long as America sticks with its nationalistic pride it will never be able to embrace the world.' ...His Unification Church teaches that, 'All of humanity will become one people and use one language, thus establishing one global nation under God.'" Moon has countless organization posing as conservative (and some liberal) institutions. These are winning the attention of conservatives who ordinarily wouldn't pay any attention to Moon's ideology. See United Religions. See the next article:


Rabbi looks for 'core' interfaith values (Washington Times): "Rabbi Arnold E. Resnicoff, the first military chaplain to head interreligious affairs for the American Jewish Committee, is in search of the 'moderate Muslim' voice. As the new director of an office that has gained prominence in U.S. interfaith activities over 50 years, he is also eager to work more closely with mainline Protestants, Hindus and even American Indians....

         ...In 1983, Rabbi James Rudin took the job, participating in many papal meetings and weathering the rise of the religious right. The Christian conservatives wanted to declare Christ in America, but were also intensely loyal to Israel — an interfaith dilemma for Jews. In that social setting, policy groups such as the Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith and the American Jewish Congress often opposed the conservatives.... 'Religious groups must stand up to their own extremists.'...

        'We are looking for core values, and I think those can be found in the Declaration's words: "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." In his first meetings with interfaith leaders, Mr. Resnicoff is proposing this three-part theme be covered over three years by a new interfaith project in the United States."  Charts: Five Types of Religious Expressions


Satanists on attempted murder charges: "Authorities in Germany have charged two members of a satanic cult with attempted murder for allegedly stabbing a man repeatedly to drink his blood. The superior court in the eastern German town of Neubrandenburg have remanded a 19-year-old woman and 21-year-old man in custody as suspects in the stabbing of a 40-year-old man. ...the pair said they'd been inspired by another German couple who killed a colleague in Satan's name in July 2001 in a macabre ritual." Occult violence


Human Sacrifice in London?  "The body discovered in the Thames River on Sept. 21... belonged to a boy, aged 5 to 7 years old, of Afro-Caribbean descent, and it was missing its head, arms and legs. Two weeks later, police found seven half-burned candles wrapped in a white sheet... Fola Adeoye was inscribed on the candles. The names are Nigerian, common to the Yoruba people....

       "This month, a South African expert in ritualistic killings performed a second autopsy on the body of the boy, and pronounced what many people had feared. The discovery of the body, the nature of the wounds, and the way the boy was killed 'are consistent with those of a ritual homicide as practiced in Africa'.... 'Muti' is a South African word that means traditional medicine.... It is always based on the idea of taking energy from another living thing for your own....

       "And children, it is believed, have the most powerful energy... Most of the body parts taken for medicine correspond directly with the powers desired, experts said. For example, using eyeballs in a potion would be expected to increase foresight, brains would be expected to aid wisdom, and a heart — courage or sympathy... But the most gruesome part of muti is that the body parts are usually taken while the victim is alive, because death is believed to reduce the potency of the medicine. In an alleged muti murder case that took place in South Africa last October, a gang was accused of removing the facial skin, genitalia, breasts, hands and feet of a young mother while she was still alive....

       "Growing up in Africa, Benjamin Ola Akande said it wasn't uncommon to read about as many as a dozen muti murders in a year. 'It's such a common practice the [newspapers] don't write about it anymore,' said Akande." See African Witchcraft and remember Romans 1:22-32

"Grappling with South Africa's Alarming Increase in the Rapes of Children" (no link, New York Times, 1/29/02): "Sinazo is 8 years old, and doctors say she is so damaged inside that she will never have children....It is a popular myth in this AIDS-ravaged country... that the cure lies in having sex with a virgin. Some experts say that belief accounts in part for the surge in child rape."  

       Contrary to multicultural arguments, all cultures are not equal. Some are far worse for families and children. The Western world's emphasis on facts, integrity, Biblical compassion and truth gave rise to science and diminished the kinds of superstition that drives this horrible crime. Col 2:8 and Gal 5:19-26

Parents Cautioned About Tarot Card Promotion (AgapePress): "Taco Bell has begun giving out tarot cards in their 'Kids Meals.' ... 'These cards teach kids that they can predict [their own] future ... simply by turning over a playing card,' [says Randy Sharp, special projects director for the American Family Association]. 'This is very dangerous, especially when you look at... the controversy that Harry Potter brings with magical spells and sorcery... Any parent who’s concerned about their children and the sorcery and the witchcraft and the fortune-telling that is presented in tarot cards, might want to avoid Taco Bell.'" See Twelve reasons not to see Harry Potter movies


Wiccan is new state prison chaplain: "The Rev. Jamyi Witch, who has voluntarily ministered to Wisconsin inmates for at least two years, began her new full-time position at the maximum security facility this week. ... Department of Corrections officials on Wednesday defended the hire, saying Witch met the position's requirements and that it would be unfair and illegal to bar her from serving because of her faith....
      "'Jamyi is an outstandingly approachable person - somebody that I wouldn't mind approaching on spiritual matters myself,' McCaughtry said. 'If biases are present, it's a matter for us to work through those biases.'...
      "'Wiccans have been volunteer ministering to inmates for many years, said Tizzy Hyatt, development director for the Reformed Congregation of the Goddess in Dane County.
'Wicca is 'a very fast-growing religion, and also there's so many misconceptions about it....We're just like any other ordained folks. We have ordained priests and priestesses. Most Wiccans in general do not proselytize. We don't ever try to convert anyone." Deut 18:9-12


Wizards and hobbits inhabiting the classrooms (Unfortunately, this article has been replaced): "In a scene reminiscent of the Harry Potter movie, students get to carry a magic wand or wear a wizard's hat as a reward for reaching certain levels of achievement in the school's Accelerated Reader program. The rewards are part of a new motivational program at the school called the 'Magical, Mystical World of Reading.'...

       "Student progress is measured on a large bulletin board displayed in a hallway, using a student's picture to mark the level of achievement and the rewards earned. When students reach 15 points they become a unicorn and receive a gold magic wand; at 25 points they become a gnome and are rewarded with a treat of doughnuts in the library during recess; at 35 points they become a wizard and wear a wizard's hat in school; at 50 points they become a Hobbit and wear a hat and cape; at 75 points they become a sorcerer and receive chocolate gold coins.... 'They're excited about it -- even the older kids.'" See Harry Potter and the Power of Suggestion


World Religious Leaders Join Pope in Peace Bid: "Pope John Paul and religious leaders including Muslims and Jews, Buddhists and Hindus, committed themselves on Thursday to work for peace and shun violence. Christian monks in brown woolen habits, saffron-robed Buddhists, black-cloaked Muslims, Sikhs wearing turbans, white-bearded Orthodox patriarchs and rabbis traveled together on a peace train to pray near the tomb of St. Francis. 'Violence never again! War never again! Terrorism never again! In the name of God, may every religion bring upon the earth justice and peace, forgiveness and life. Love,' the Pope said ...

     'We commit ourselves to proclaiming our firm conviction that violence and terrorism are incompatible with the authentic spirit of religion,'' said one read by Konrad Raiser, secretary-general of the World Council of Churches...." 2 Cor 6:12-18 and Our Father in Heaven or Our Mother the Earth?


300 Religious Leaders Expected at Assisi (Scroll down to this title): "A provisional list of participants in the Day of Prayer for Peace, scheduled for Jan. 24 in Assisi, reveals that at least 44 religious delegations with 300 people will attend. Compared to the 1986 and 1993 meetings in Assisi, this is the first time a large Muslim representation from Iran will attend. ... Eleven Orthodox patriarchs, led by Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople, are planning to attend. So are six ancient Eastern Churches, and 16 Churches and Christian communities of the West.... Also expected are delegations from Judaism, Buddhism, Tenrikyo, Shintoism, Islam, Jainism, Sikhism, Hinduism, Zoroastrianism and traditional African religions, as well as other Christian denominations. The Jewish delegation is particularly representative.... In total, some 300 people will join the Pope and his entourage of 33 cardinals, archbishops and bishops...."  Twisting Truth by Group Consensus



Helping Students Understand the World of Religion - Teaching Diversity, Tolerance Takes On Urgency in Schools : "There is a new awareness that public schools need to do more to help people understand one another across religious differences," said Charles C. Haynes, senior scholar at the Freedom Forum's First Amendment Center, which works with schools on constitutional approaches to teaching about religion.... See The Freedom Forum: Twisting Truth by Classroom Consensus

        "Currently, many schools across the country use a one-year Bible course promoted by the National Council on Bible Curriculum in Public Schools. The group's president, Elizabeth Ridenour, said the Bible is "taught as history and literature" in the curriculum used by 172 school districts in 32 states." This, unlike that of the the Freedom Forum, teaches the truth. We recommend it!

        "Many educators said it is imperative today for schools to teach a variety of world religions in a factual, historical way that does not include opinion. ... In ninth and 10th grades, as part of the two-year world history and geography curriculum, students learn about the three monotheistic religions as well as Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism and Taoism -- their origins, beliefs, traditions and influences on trade, achievements, conflict, exchange of ideas and other subjects. Waters works hard as the chairman of the history department at Fairfax County's Centreville High to give equal and in-depth treatment to various faiths."  All the textbooks we have checked tend to demean Christianity and idealize other religions, espcially Buddhism and Native American spirituality. See Establishing a Global Spirituality


The blessing of religious freedom[?]: "The White House may be closed to tourists, but the first family is running a national tour through the religions. One week they throw a Hanukkah party where Jews light the menorah in the East Wing, eat a kosher buffet, and smile for photos beside the Bush Christmas tree. The next week, they host a celebration of Eid al Fitr where 19 Muslim kids come to celebrate the festival marking the end of Ramadan. In the home where the creche and the Christmas ornaments are in their usual places, an Episcopalian-turned-Methodist president tells the world, ''This year, Eid is celebrated at the same time as Hanukkah and Advent. So it's a good time ... to remember how much we have in common....''

      "Since Sept. 11, I've become all too conscious of how the world divides into two religious camps. On the one side, fanaticism. On the other side, pluralism. I no longer take our side lightly or for granted. Searching back through American law and luck, through history and hard struggle, I count my ecumenical blessings....

     "A survey done by the Pew Research Center shows, remarkably, that favorable opinions of Muslims have gone up, not down. We've chosen pluralism.... Now if only we could get to the part that says, ''Peace on earth.''  That can only come through Jesus Christ, our Lord -- and He won't be allowed into Ellen Goodman's vision of peace and pluralism. John 15:20-21 and Matt 24:9


Buddhism, warts and all  (review of a journalistic book by Donald S. Lopez Jr., one of the Dalai Lama's principal translators): " Lopez's rapid and pithy descriptions Buddhism is:

The feds' psychic spies FBI, CIA reportedly using 'remote viewers' for intelligence purposes : Prudence Calabrese may not be a soldier in the regular sense of the word, but the FBI and CIA are reportedly hoping her psychic warriors can help prevent future terrorist attacks. Calabrese's company, TransDimensional Systems, employs 14 remote viewers and says the government has contracted with her to bolster the agency's more traditional investigative methods. Remote viewers claim to be able to visualize events occurring in distant places by using higher or paranormal powers they say are inherent in all humans. ...The U.S. government has a long history of promoting and funding paranormal operations in such programs as the Stargate Project."  Deut 8:10-20

"Fire Damages St. John the Divine."  (no link, New York Times, 12-19): "Gift shop is gutted and some art is severely damaged in Episcopal cathedral."  See its gargoyles and books on Buddhism photographed in this bookstore on our last trip to New York. This "Christian" bookstore was a mockery of the Truth we treasure. Gal 6:7-8


Cherie stops [British Prime Minister Tony] Blair being stick in the mud: "...the Blairs were particularly impressed by the Temazcal, a Mayan steam bath, where they took part in a “rebirthing ritual.”  Mrs Blair, whose enthusiasm for New Age and alternative therapies is well known, initially went to the Temazcal on her own..... According to the hotel brochure: 'The Temazcal ritual is equally beneficial for the mind and spirit. Led by Nancy Aguilar, the participants are invited to meditate, feel at one with Mother Earth and experience inner feelings and visions.'

      "Ms Aguilar told the Blairs to bow and pray to the four winds as Mayan prayers were read out. Each side of the building is decorated with Mayan religious symbols: the sun and baby lizards representing spring and childhood; a bird to signify adolescence, summer and freedom; a crab to represent maturity and autumn; and a serpent — the most sacred in the Mayan Indian culture — to symbolise winter and transformation. ...Ms Aguilar chanted Mayan songs, told the Blairs to imagine that they could see animals in the steam and explained what such visions meant. They were told the Temazcal was like the womb and those participating in the ritual must confront their hopes and fears before “rebirth” and venturing outside."

       The Prime Minister has every right to participate in pagan ceremonies. But, to those who know the blessings of Christian leadership, the new trendy new blends of New Age religions among the world's powerful leaders bring sobering warnings. Deut 8:10-20


Soul for the Machine: A New Humanism: "A new humanism is needed to give technological progress a soul, says Archbishop John P. Foley. ...[He] proposed a 'new humanism,' as articulated by John Paul II, 'founded on the person and his inalienable rights, on the values of justice and peace, on solidarity and respect, to give an authentic meaning to life and be at the latter´s service.'"  A 'new humanism" founded on human rights and justice rather than God's truth and justice? Col 2:8


"The Museum of World Religions [founded by Zen Buddhist monk Hsin Tao], seeks to promote understanding and tolerance among the world's major religions.... [and to tear] down barriers between faiths.... Conceived by Ralph Appelbaum, the New York designer who planned the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washing, the museum is a cavernous, soothing space that mixes cutting-edge technology with ancient religious relics.... Hsin Tao recruited scholar from the Center for the Study of world Religions at Harvard Divinity Schools to design the exhibits...."  "Religion Museum in Taiwan Promotes Tolerance" by Mark Landler (New York Times, 12-3-01)

Like Reverend Moon's deceptive message, this museum fits the UN vision for a global spirituality. Both builds their quest for oneness on Buddhist principles and pantheism. But Biblical Christianity cannot conform to their pluralistic vision. John 15:20-21 and Declaration of Principles on Tolerance


Controversial 'Tarot Evangelism' Outreach 'Dangerous,' Critic Says: "An internationally respected theologian has sparked a major controversy by suggesting that Christians use tarot cards to share the gospel with New Agers. Professor John Drane says that despite their strong occult links, the cards can be an effective way to get those who read them to 'consider the claims of Christ.'
      "Director of the Centre for Christianity and Contemporary Society at the University of Stirling in Scotland, Drane defended his explosive theory in the latest issue of the U.K. magazine "Christianity and Renewal" (CR). Although a specialist ministry not for everyone, if used properly it could be 'an effective evangelistic tool in relation to today's spiritual searchers,' he said. Drane, who is also visiting professor at Fuller Theological Seminary in California, said that many tarot illustrations were from Bible stories, covering 'all the significant ideas of Scripture.' He believed that 'any Christian who knew their Bible well could easily share the gospel using [them].'"
 This popular form of divination has no place among Christians. We cannot serve God by using the very tools He forbids.
Deut 18:9-12 and Harry Potter Lures Kids to Witchcraft - with praise from Christian leaders


The healing sound of music: "By the time doors opened for the Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir's 16th Annual Christmas Concert on Saturday, rain was coming down in torrents.... Rev. Jim Hooper opened the night's performance with a prayer for goodwill and a shout- out to the world's three largest monotheistic religions -- Islam, Judaism and Christianity -- during their shared holiday season. But the 62-member interfaith choir encompasses more than just three religions. Since its founding in 1985, its members have included Buddhists, agnostics and a psychic minister. For many choir and audience members, this diversity is especially meaningful at the end of a year marked by violent cultural conflicts and religious extremism. ...

        "Our motto is 'All faiths in harmony,'  added Oakland attorney and alto Patricia Bahia. Raised in the Baha'i faith, she's been with the choir since its inception."  "Find" Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir in Chapter 5, A Twist of Faith


Beatle's ashes are flown to India: "As Beatles fans mourned the death of George Harrison yesterday, his widow and son were reported to have flown to India to scatter his ashes. Olivia Harrison and Dhani, 23, left Britain on a private jet with friends from the Hare Krishna movement, to which the former Beatle was deeply committed, to conduct a ceremony in which his ashes will be scattered over the Yamuna river in northern India....He is believed to have died in the Studio City mansion of his friend Gavin de Becker... Harrison's widow and son were at his side and with two Hare Krishna friends, Shayam Sundara and Mukunda, they sang soft chants as he died serenely."  No one can measure the Beatles' part in the promotion of Eastern and New Age spirituality, but their impact not only helped change our culture, it also changed churches across the country. Their blend of "good" and "evil" continues to shift "Christians" from a foundation of absolute truth to a feel-good blend of selected Bible verses, human philosophies and popular psychology. Col 2:8



The New Group of World Servers: "The power which the New Group of World Servers will eventually wield, will be drawn from two sources. first, from that inner centre or subjective world government, whose members are responsible for the spread of those ideals and ideas which have led humanity onwards from age to age. This inner centre has always existed and the great leaders of the race, in every field, have been connected with it. The great idealists and world workers, (such as the Christ and His great brother, the Buddha, and those lesser workers, such as Plato Spinoza, Abraham Lincoln, or Florence Nightingale) have all been associated with this centre. The range of these associates is tremendous and the grades of these workers are many, but self -sacrificing work for the betterment of human living and love of their fellow men have distinguished them all. Yet all drew their light and inspiration from this central focal point." For more insight into the influence of this occult ideology, see Star Wars Joins United Religions at the Presidio and Atlantis. Then fill your mind with God's wisdom: Preparing for Victory


Psychics join the manhunt (click on "terrorism" in column at left): "US intelligence agencies are recruiting psychics to help predict future attacks and to find Osama Bin Laden. The recruits, known as 'remote viewers', claim to be able to visualise happenings in distant places by using paranormal powers. The US government established a remote viewing programme, known as Stargate, in the 1970s in an attempt to utilise the skills claimed by psychics to combat communism.... Prudence Calabrese, whose Transdimensional Systems employs 14 remote viewers, confirmed that the FBI had asked the company to predict likely targets of future terrorist attacks. 'Our reports suggest a sports stadium could be a likely target,' she said." 
       But God says, "Do not let your prophets and your diviners who are in your midst deceive you, nor listen to your dreams which you cause to be dreamed. For they prophesy falsely...."
Jeremiah 29:8 and
Deut 8:10-20


From fashion to philanthropy: "Hollywood is known as the trend-setting capital of the world. And since the attacks on September 11th, spirituality is especially in vogue. It's what Beatlemania did for transcendental meditation in the 60's ... Yoko Ono for EST in the 70's ... And like what devout Scientologists like John Travolta did in the 90's ... This millennium, Madonna modernizes mysticism. ...

      "Today, Kabbalah centers are popping up all over the United States and the largest one is right here in Los Angeles, which claims 10,000 students in eight countries -- many of them famous....  Madonna, is devout. Jewish comedians Roseann and Sandra Bernhard are also students of the 'Zohar,' the sacred text Kabbalists believe bestows protective powers upon those who carry it."  At Gorbachev's 1997 State of the World Forum, Kabbalah was promoted repeatedly. Each Forum featured different forms of occult spirituality. See The State of the World according to Gorbachev


Clash of Religions a Contradiction in Terms, Says John Paul II (Click on Daily Dispatches, Nov. 9): "John Paul II made it clear today that the events unleashed by the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks are not a 'clash of religions,' because that would be a contradiction of the very essence of religion. Since the attacks on the Twin Towers and the Pentagon, the Pope has preached the need for dialogue between cultures and religions.
       "'It has been suggested that we are witnessing a veritable clash of religions,' the Holy Father. 'However, as I have already said on numerous occasions, this would falsify religion itself.' ...
       "In 'the climate of increased cultural and religious pluralism, which is expected to mark the society of the new millennium, it is obvious that [interreligious] dialogue will be especially important.... The name of the one God must become increasingly what it is: a name of peace and a summons to peace.'" But there can be no spiritual unity between God's people and those who follow other gods. Even so, we are called to demonstrate His love wherever He sends us.
See 2 Cor 6:12-18 and Four Faces of Islam


The Chartres Labyrinth: "The labyrinth is an ancient ritual walk to the sites in the holy land to meet Jesus. ...You may pray your own mantra, walk or dance. The labyrinth is a spiritual container in its being, as you follow the path to the center.... The labyrinth is your invitation to interact with the Divine." Notice the similarity to the Sufi branch of Islam. See the "Sufi" section of Four Faces of Islam


Masonic Centers are dream catchers. "Here, for a while, the affairs and problems of daily life are shut away, and men dream the great dreams taught in Freemasonry --- the dreams of true Brotherhood, Relief, and Truth. And from these centers, men enter the world to make those dreams a reality. Yes, there is much in common between that small hoop of willow and net of string and these great achievements of our Rite --- our libraries, hospitals, clinics, museums, and centers. All speak of the human condition. All show a path to a better future." See  2 Cor 11-15 and Symbols and their meaning (scroll to" Masons" and "Dreamcatchers"). You may also want to read "Brotherhood of Darkness" by Dr. Stan Monteith.


Say a little prayer, and keep a count: "Muslims are not alone in relying on beads to help count prayers and focus the mind. Buddhists and Hindus use a kind of bracelet, known as a "mala" or garland, typically containing 108 beads, to count their mantras and aid in meditation. Eastern Orthodox practitioners use a woven band, known as a "komboskini" or prayer rope, with several notches on it. Perhaps the most well-known prayer beads are the Roman Catholic rosaries....
    "In many early religions, repeating a prayer was believed to increase its efficacy....  For example, the traveling Knights Templars, founded in 1119 to fight in the Crusades, were required to recite the Lord's Prayer exactly 57 times a day, Mr. Panati writes. On the death of a fellow knight, the number jumped to 100 times a day for a week."
Our Father in Heaven or Our Mother the Earth?


Film company signs deal for space at former army base: "The company's plans call for a 900,000-square-foot campus for 2,500 workers. Officials with the Presidio Trust had been courting the film company for more than two years to build an office on the grounds. 'Lucas is going to be the backbone for the park and a great tenant,' said Mary Murphy, a member of the Presidio Trust." Do you wonder why San Francisco's former army base welcomes Lucas and his occult world view? See Star Wars Joins United Religions at the Presidio


"Nigerian girl accused of witchcraft murder" (San Jose Mercury, 7-28-01, link obsolete): "A 13-year old Nigerian girl was charged Friday with killing a 2-year old boy and selling his body parts to be used for witchcraft. Police said she claimed to have taken part in the ritual murders of 47 others. ...While in custody, Jummai confessed to membership in a secret cult that she claimed trades in human organs for use in "juju," or voodoo rituals.... Ritual killings are relatively common in parts of Nigeria, Africa's most populous nations, where some believe witchcraft medicines made with human remains have magical properties."

       Surrounded by today's idealized images of paganism, we need a glimpse of reality. This example of traditional earth-centered religions is true to the historical record. It also explains why missionaries went to some of the world's most primitive places to share God's love with people trapped in the occult torments of hostile spiritual forces. See  Chapter 8 - "Deliver us from evil" and  America's Spiritual Slide


New and Alternative Religious Movements: (a thought-provoking commentary -- strange words and all) "... it is much more difficult to define the boundaries of evangelical orthodoxy and detect the marks of heterodoxy and heathenism today than it was thirty, forty or fifty years ago. Theological liberalism, philosophical relativism, religious pluralism, soteriological inclusivism, doctrinal obscurantism - all have conspired to chip away at the very foundations of a New Testament missionary faith....

         " If not abandoned, orthodoxy is often at least stretched to the breaking point. Ideas such as the wideness of God's mercy; the unreasonableness of a strict limitarianism; "no-fault" heathenism; the openness of God; transculturation of the gospel; moving boundaries of faith; radical holism-all of these and still other notions impact our view of both Christian distinctives and the very nature of Christian mission. has become all too easy to set aside Jude's injunction to "contend for the faith once for all entrusted to the saints" (Jude 3). In fact, it has become all too easy to misconstrue what that faith is.

        "The Great Commission was given to all of us. It is to be carried out prayerfully, unitedly and wisely in obedience to the dictates of Scripture and in dependence upon the Holy Spirit. ... Perhaps this is one of those times when He is directing us who take biblical faith, biblical unity and biblical mission seriously to come together in new and exciting ways to the end that the world may know that Christ is Lord to the glory of the Father." Col 2:8 and Chapter 1 - A Twist of Faith


"There's Room for Religion, and for Respect, in Public Life" [no link]  by Charles E. Haynes (The Courier-Journal Forum, 6-10-2001):  In consideration of what some have called the 'spirit of the First Amendment,' is it appropriate for the President to make his religious faith a prominent part of his official speeches and actions. And is it appropriate for the Attorney General to organize religious meetings in the Justice Department. In short, while such actions may be constitutional, are they the right thing to do? 

        "It might help to dispel any appearance of favoritism based on religion if the attorney general let others organize and lead the meeting. ...the president and attorney general must reduce distrust and division if they hope to advance their agenda for the nation. That's why it's in their best interest to signal a strong commitment to fairness and religious freedom, even as they remain true to their deep religious convictions.... Surely we can reach a civic consensus on the importance of treating one another with civility and respect." It's no surprise that Charles Haynes -- a fervent inter-faith promoter of a politically correct twist on the First Amendment -- would apply the standards of consensus on personal faith. He may not know that God calls us to an uncompromising and visible lifestyle of Biblical faith. "Let your light so shine...."  See Mark 8:38 and  The Freedom Forum - Twisting Truth by Classroom Consensus


Strange Lights: "Most callers described the same scenario: golden-orange lights moving quietly, some say beautifully, across the night sky over the Arthur Kill river. They described how the lights flickered and how they seemed to vanish into the night, one-by-one." "...very serene, very beautiful," said one witness. "I think we witnessed some type of miracle." See Aliens Are Coming! and  Matt 24:24.

Belgian Jacques Rogge wins Olympic presidency in landslide: "It is anResearch &  important moment in my life and it is a great responsibility, not only to lead the IOC [International Olympic Committee] but to succeed Juan Antonio Samaranch, who has led the Olympic movement to a position of strength," Dr. Rogge said in Moscow's ornate Hall of Columns. See The Olympic Dream- A Renaissance of Unholy Oneness


Baha'i conference is for all faiths: "Thousands of Baha'i believers, followers of a faith whose teachings say the time has come for all people to be unified in a single global society, will converge on Milwaukee next week for a national conference unlike any they have held before. Leaders of major Christian denominations and other faiths throughout the Milwaukee area are not the only ones who have been invited to participate....  What's truly unique about this, and this is a real paradigm shift, is that this conference is specifically designed to demonstrate not only to the Baha'is but to the general public the community building aspects of a religion."  This universalist religion has become very visible at UN conferences. Its literature is prominently displayed at many meetings. It fits the vision of a universal church. Matt 24:11

Mormon PR Hard at Work Before 2002 Olympics: Even though the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympic Games are still months away, the public relations department of the Mormon church is already in high gear. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints wants to use the Olympics as an opportunity to tell about the history and culture of Mormonism." See The Olympic Dream - A Renaissance of Unholy Oneness

Are Religious Experiences Just a Side Effect of Brain Chemistry?  "The work is part of an effort by scientists around the world to better understand religious experiences, measure them, and even reproduce them. Using powerful brain imaging technology, researchers are exploring what mystics call nirvana and what Christians describe as a state of grace. Scientists are asking whether spirituality can be explained in terms of neural networks, neurotransmitters and brain chemistry. What creates that transcendental feeling of being one with the universe? ... How does religion prompt divine feelings of love and compassion?"  But God says, "Let no arrogance come from your mouth, for the Lord is the God of knowledge; and by Him actions are weighed." Prov 12:15

Mormon PR Hard at Work Before 2002 Olympics: Even though the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympic Games are still months away, the public relations department of the Mormon church is already in high gear. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints wants to use the Olympics as an opportunity to tell about the history and culture of Mormonism." See The Olympic Dream - A Renaissance of Unholy Oneness

Neurotheology Fuses Spirituality and Science: Books such as  "Neurotheology: Virtual Religion in the 21st Century" and "Why God Won't Go Away" have introduced the world to new ways of explaining away the truth about God.  Author Andrew Newburg, "takes the approach that the human brain is 'hard-wired for religion.' Just as the mind has 'the capacity for analytical thought, abstract mathematical reasoning, and invention of highly sophisticated technology, it also has the capacity -- and the built-in design -- to experience God.'
            "Newberg and a team of researchers studied the brain activity of eight Tibetan Buddhists deep in meditative experience. 'We used meditation as a model ... for prayer and other types of intense religious experience,' says Newberg, assistant professor of radiology at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine in Philadelphia."
 Don't be deceived by such human speculation in the name of "science." Col 2:8  


Forcing Christians to fight for Allah: "The Sudan government's current practice of forcing Christian boys into slavery and conversion to Islam may appear to be a new phenomenon, but such religious persecution by ruling Muslims actually had its genesis many centuries ago with the creation of the mysterious Janissaries."

When Is Religious Doctrine Bigotry?  Answer: When Biblical truth and God's warnings clash with politically correct opinions and popular UN ideology. See Clinton's War on Hate Bans Christian Values.


Youth meditations: "Tony and Emily are among a handful of Silicon Valley students who practice qi gong to develop deeper concentration, reduce anxiety and harness creativity. The Chinese have used qi gong, the ancient Eastern art of tapping life-force energy through movement and visualization, for thousand of years as a way to cultivate self-healing, rejuvenation and longevity."  1 Tim 4:1  See also America's Spiritual Slide

Religion researcher's 40-year quest to tabulate every believer on earth. Or, perhaps, those who call themselves believers?

Cult Fear Hits Bush Plan to Fund by Faith: "Bush's plan to channel US government aid to "faith-based" religious charities is being held back by the fear that it could end up funding controversial groups such as The Church of Scientology, Hare Krishna and the Unification Church - the Moonies."  See also Faith-Based Compromise.

Presbyterians reject anti-gay proposal: "Ban on blessings of same-sex unions falls short in vote."

Student launches First Amendment suit against dist rict: "A Yorktown High School student and her father filed a federal lawsuit against the district last week alleging  members of a school Christian club had their First Amendment rights violated because they were not allowed to put religious symbols on posters."

New Biblical Theme Park a Blessing or Blasphemy? Orlando, Fla. has roller coasters, Mickey Mouse and now Bible stories.

Spiritual Start-Ups Find Fertile Ground .

Postmodernity: A Risky Business


Hare Krishna, Moonies join race for federal grants. (See also Faith-Based Compromise)

What is a cult? This article by an ex-member of a Buddhist-like cult illustrates a common brainwashing process. Three of the elements -- "Personal Aspiration" (discovering and manipulating a person's felt wants and needs), "Mental Dis-orientation" (cognitive dissonance, mental or moral confusion) and "Re-orientation by Group Pressure" (re-learning a new way of seeing and thinking) -- are central to Goals 2000's program for training human resources everywhere for the global workforce. See Brainwashing in America and the illustrations and details in Brave New Schools, chapter 3.

Hare Krishna, Moonies join race for federal grants. (See also Faith-Based Compromise)

Evangelical Environmental Network (EEN)  

The Scholars and the Goddess. Author Charlotte Allen, who wrote a book titled "The Human Christ: The Search for the Historical Jesus, "shares some interesting facts about the modern Wiccan movement and its new ideals. But she dismisses most of its historical roots. Contradicting her suggestions, the Bible mention witchcraft six times in the Old Testament. The passage in  Deuteronomy 18:9-12 was written over 3000 years ago.

For more recent information on this topic, go to Religion News

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