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Religious Leaders Split on Cloning
Posted on 2001/11/26 22:47:02 ( 630 reads )


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MASSACHUSETTS, USA, November 27, 2001: Roman Catholic and conservative Protestant leaders condemned the first reported cloning of a human embryo, while other Christian and Reform Jewish leaders supported using the procedure to cure diseases. Massachusetts scientists announced Sunday that they had cloned a six-cell embryo. It wasn't clear whether the cloned embryo that Worcester, Massachusetts-based Advanced Cell Technology announced it had created would have been capable of growing into a human being. The embryo died even before any stem cells were produced. Stem cells -- the master cells that can turn into other body tissue like heart muscle and skin -- can be used to treat a variety of diseases, scientists say. Muslim scholars called it a "new issue" and have yet to issue any guidance. Hindu opinion is also in the formative stages. There are examples from the ancient stories of the creation of beings by some process that resembles cloning. Hinduism is opposed to the deliberate killing of an embryo or fetus (except to save the life of the mother), so part of the Hindu evaluation may focus on the large failure rate of the cloning methods. Hindus also hold that a soul has connected to the embryo right from fertilization, even in a laboratory petri dish.




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Desecration of Illegal Temple Sparks Tension in Bombay Outskirts
Posted on 2001/11/25 22:49:02 ( 712 reads )


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BOMBAY, INDIA, November 21, 2001: Tension prevailed in the sprawling Borivli National Park on the outskirts of Bombay following the desecration of an illegal temple in the area, police said. The icons of Siva, Parvati, Hanuman, Ganesha and the resting place of a local saint, Khadeshwar baba, were desecrated. Police have taken possession of the icons to prevent a flare up. Investigations are underway to nab the culprits. The park authorities allege that the temple has been illegally constructed on forest land and have made several attempts to demolish it.




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Estimating the US Muslim Population
Posted on 2001/11/25 22:48:02 ( 643 reads )


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USA, November 21, 2001: With a spotlight cast on American Muslims since September 11, one simple question has defied a clear answer and become the focus of a politically charged dispute: What is the size of the U.S. Muslim population? Four major Muslim organizations released a study in April that estimated the population at 6 million to 7 million. Based in part on that report, most media organizations, as well as the White House and the State Department, have said in recent weeks that there are at least 6 million Muslims in the country. But two studies released last month, including one commissioned by the American Jewish Committee, concluded that the total is much lower: no more than 3.4 million and perhaps as few as 1.5 million. Political clout in America is very much related to numbers, so these varying estimates are causing considerable controversy. Estimating minority faiths in America is especially difficult, for the official government census cannot, by law, ask about religion. Researchers then have to find other methods, all of which are prone to inaccuracies. Asking organizations their membership -- the method that got 7 million Muslims -- probably gives inflated figures. Calling people on the phone in surveys tends to undercount minorities because many immigrants won't respond to questions out of suspicion of a covert government investigation. Another approach, used by the World Christian Encyclopedia, is to estimate the number of people from a particular country in America from immigration records, and then assume that they are proportioned according to religion the same as their originating country. By this method, 86% of Indian immigrants would be judged Hindus, for example. One still has to guess at the number of indigenous members, such as the Black Muslims, and at the number of second and third generation members born in America. Estimates of Hindus in the USA are also clouded by the same problems.




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Wave Of Attacks Shatters Nepal Truce
Posted on 2001/11/25 22:47:02 ( 632 reads )


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NEPAL, November 24, 2001: Maoist guerrillas in Nepal have broken a four-month truce by launching attacks on police stations in the west of the country, killing at least 100 people -- most of them policemen. The violence comes two days after a senior Maoist leader, Prachanda, said the cease fire could no longer be justified because the Nepalese leadership was not being sincere. The Maoists, who have their key stronghold in the western region, are fighting to replace the impoverished Himalayan country's constitutional monarchy with a communist republic. To date the rebellion has claimed 1,800 lives. The King has declared a state of emergency, suspending civil liberties and allowing the use of the military against Maoists rebels.




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Women in Kashmir Valley Toss Their Burqas Aside
Posted on 2001/11/25 22:46:02 ( 758 reads )


Source: Times of India





SRINAGAR, INDIA, November 19, 2001: While the women of Afghanistan are celebrating the fall of the Taliban, their sisters in the Kashmir valley have also been liberated from wearing a burqa to cover their faces. Quoting Rifat Hyder, a working woman, " If Afghan women who were covered from head to foot can now remove their robes, why should we cover our faces? Islam has ordained women to wear a loose dress but it does not mention wearing a burqa. These are alien to Kashmir." Hindu women were exempt from the burqa requirement, but had to wear an identifying forehead mark.




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Bangladesh Court Investigates Hindu Attacks
Posted on 2001/11/25 22:45:02 ( 666 reads )


Source: The Daily Star, November 25, 2001





DHAKA, BANGLADESH, November 25, 2001: A Division Bench of the High Court of Bangladesh yesterday issued a order asking the government to explain within four weeks why it should not be asked to take proper steps to protect the country's Hindus from terrorist attacks and harrasment. The court will also hear on November 27, petitions for the punishment of persons, identified in investigations, for perpetrating pre-and post-election attacks on the Hindu community and other incidents. According to the complaint brought before the court, both the home ministry and the police administration failed to carry out their constitutional responsibilities by not taking necessary actions against atrocities against Hindus.




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U.K. Vicar Bans Yoga in Church Hall
Posted on 2001/11/24 22:49:02 ( 585 reads )


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ESSEX, UNITED KINGDOM, November 24, 2001: A vicar in Essex has banned yoga classes from his church hall because he fears it is not compatible with Christianity. Reverend Dick Farr of St Mary's Church in Henham, near Saffron Walden, said he became concerned on discovering an aim of the class was to "ascend to a higher spiritual plane." He said a leaflet advertising the classes had "overtones of Eastern mysticism". "That is not what we are into. We are into telling people about Jesus, and we do not want to muddy the waters by confusing people and giving a platform to the promotion of something else," Mr Farr said. Howard Kent, founder and director of the Bedfordshire-based Yoga for Health Foundation, said the vicar's action was "regrettable." "There is absolutely no question of trying to convert anyone to another religion."




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Sanskrit Text Oldest Example of Printing
Posted on 2001/11/24 22:48:02 ( 632 reads )


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CHINA, November 25, 2001: The exact year in which woodblock printing was invented is still very much debated in academic circles because no artifacts or documentary records related to the earliest printing have been discovered. However, a sheet with mantras of the Dharani Sutra, in Sanskrit, printed in the early Tang and unearthed in the suburban district of Xi'an is the earliest extant printing relic. A picture of the still readable sheet is shown at "source" above. The Dharani Sutra is the teaching of Buddha on "Longevity, the extinction of offenses, and the protection of young children.




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Hindus convert to Christianity in Orissa village
Posted on 2001/11/24 22:47:02 ( 576 reads )


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BHUBANESWAR, INDIA, November 22, 2001: At least six Hindus have converted to Christianity in Orissa. Kalicharan Behera and five members of his family converted to Christianity in Chapalli village in Kendrapara district but a Hindu organization says the family converted under duress. Subash Chouhan, convener of the Hindu Jagran Sammukhya, claimed that Behera's in-laws had adopted Christianity few years ago, and had been pressuring Behera and his family to become Christians. Behara has denied that he had been forced to convert. "We decided to adopt Christianity," he said.Chouhan claimed that more than 60 people had been illegally converted to Christianity in the Kendrapada district during the last few months. "We have registered cases against the persons who have violated the Orissa Freedom of Religion Act," said district police chief Sanjaya Kumar.




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Another Place of Worship Damaged in Jagatsinghpur
Posted on 2001/11/24 22:46:02 ( 694 reads )


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ORISSA, INDIA, November 22, 2001: The police registered a case on a fresh complaint of damage to a place of worship in Jagatsinghpur district of Orissa on Thursday, even as indefinite curfew was clamped in three subdistricts. Damage was caused to a place of worship at Dhoti village. Ten platoons of armed police were maintaining vigil with senior police and district officials camping in the areas. Three nearby subdistricts had witnessed violence and arson after Hindus and Muslims people fought over ownership of a four-acre plot at Piteipur, which was used both for grazing and burial.




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Bangladesh Refugees Face an Uncertain Future in India
Posted on 2001/11/24 22:45:02 ( 628 reads )


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BONGOAN, BENGAL, November 22, 2001: Hundreds of Bangladeshi Hindu families who have crossed the border into India to escape repression at home are refusing to return to their country. To escape any possible move by the Indian authorities to send them back, these families were apparently hiding in a village near the Thakurnagar railway station. Dipali Adhikari related how a group of armed men entered their house of and looted everything they had. "We also heard stories of Hindu women being raped and murdered by armed hoodlums in neighboring villages," Dipali said.




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Overview of Recent Incidents in Bangladesh and Protest in UK
Posted on 2001/11/24 22:44:02 ( 666 reads )


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DHAKA, BANGLADESH, November 24, 2001: This website contains and extensive account of recent acts of violence against the Hindu community in Bangladesh. "From the day after the election," they state, "members of the Hindu community have been living in fear as news of terrible acts of violence dominated the daily papers. The group "Hindu Human Rights" is holding a protest Saturday, December 15, 2001 at 12pm outside the Bangladesh High Commission, 28 Queens Gate, South Kensington, London.




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Los Angeles Times Reports on Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami's Maha Samadhi
Posted on 2001/11/24 22:43:02 ( 667 reads )


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LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA, November 23, 2001: An excellent article on the passing of the founder of Hinduism Today and HPI appears at "source" above.




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Swami Krishnanandaji Attains Mahasamadhi
Posted on 2001/11/23 22:49:02 ( 551 reads )


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RISHIKESH, INDIA, November 23, 2001: His Holiness, Sri Swami Krishnanandaji Maharaj, of Sivananda Ashram, Rishikesh, who was one of the foremost disciples of Sri Swami Sivanandaji Maharaj of Rishikesh, passed away and attained Maha Samadhi today, Friday, November 23, 2001 at 4:30pm at Sivananda Ashram. He had served as the General Secretary of the Divine Life Society founded by Sri Swami Sivanandaji Maharaj for more than forty years. He was a well-known sannyasi all over Uttarakhand, an example of dispassion, detachment and discipline. He was one of the greatest living philosophers of the world, with a great mastery over both Indian and Western philosophy. His mortal body has been kept for the last view of his innumerable devotees and will be given Samadhi on Sunday, November 25 in the morning.




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What to Send a Hindu for Christmas?
Posted on 2001/11/23 22:48:02 ( 647 reads )


Source: Hinduism Today





KAUAI, HAWAII, November 24, 2001: Hinduism Today received an interesting letter from a New Jersey business with many Hindu clients. "We would like to do something for these clients around the holiday, but want to respect their religious beliefs. What should we give?" Hinduism Today replied, "Hindus in America are, by now, quite used to getting Christmas cards, gifts, etc., and take these items in the spirit they are given. If you want to be really culturally aware, you should send your Hindu customers Deepavali greetings, the major Hindu festival which takes place in October/November (November 12 this year). You can get Deepavali cards from any Indian store, and send the same kinds of gifts as you do for Christmas -- cookies, candies, fruit. Be sure gifts are vegetarian. And if you want to just stay with the one season, then generic 'Holiday Greetings and Happy New Year' cards are quite appropriate."




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