Wednesday, October 2

Belarus to impose strong restrictions on minority religions

Belarus moved today toward imposing harsh new restrictions on religious activity by minority faiths, adopting what human rights activists called the most suffocating religion law in Europe.
Lawmakers gave final approval to legislation that recognizes Russian Orthodoxy as the officially favored religion and makes it far more difficult for anyone of another faith to worship without state approval. Under the new law, all unregistered religious activity will be banned and all religious literature must be submitted for prior approval.....The law prohibits religious organizations that have not been in Belarus for at least 20 years from distributing literature or establishing missions, and it imposes government censorship on religious publications. It also bans foreign citizens from leading religious organizations and bans most religious meetings in homes, according to the Keston News Service, which reports on religious rights.

One of the regrets I took away from my years living in Central Florida was that I never visited Cassadega, a little town that's been a haven for spiritualists ever since the 19th century. Well, the news today is that Cassadega is going to permit (only after a lawsuit, though) a Christian church to be built in its environs for the first time.
Brother associated with the Vatican Observatory speaks on Yale campus
VOTF supporters and opponents in the Boston area
Buffalo, NY has the highest proportion in the nation of people who identify with a specific religion - 71%
Boston postpones every-six year bishops' visits to parishes scheduled for 2003
Florida bishops ask Governor Bush to cancel execution scheduled for this morning

I wonder how frequently the bishops of Florida implore medical professionals and institutions to stop performing abortions?

BTW, the article mentions that the next person scheduled to be executed in Florida is the notorious female serial killer Aileen Wuornos.

This is really too bad, but not surprising:

Abuse victim to testify before UN organization

Mark Furnish, 31, an Albany lawyer who says the Rev. Robert O’Neill abused him when he was a member of O’Neill’s Greece parish in the early 1980s, will tell his story to the U.N. Committee on the Rights of the Child in Geneva next Wednesday. Furnish was invited to be part of an international delegation by Catholics for Free Choice, a Washington-based church-reform group. He also will join the group on Tuesday in Rome, Italy, at a news conference asking that the church take a tougher stand and develop a speedier process for dealing with priests who abuse children and adolescents.

If by "reform" you mean "put out of existence," I guess you could say that's what CFFC is.


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