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Survey Reveals Surge in Muslim Worshipers
Posted on 2001/7/6 23:43:02 ( 808 reads )


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INDIANAPOLIS, USA, July 5, 2001: Mosques in America are generally places with a growing community of believers that have a vital spiritual life and offer social services to the faithful, says Ihsan Bagby, the leader of the first comprehensive survey of Islam in the United States. Bagby of Shaw University in Raleigh, N.C., led a project in which the leaders of 416 of America's roughly 1,200 mosques were interviewed last year. Today, an estimated 6 million to 7 million Americans consider themselves orthodox Muslims. Bagby, said 77 percent of the imams and other mosque leaders reported increases in the number of regular participants over the previous five years, with 61 percent of mosques seeing 10 percent growth or more. "We are probably experiencing the greatest growth rates of any faith group in America," said Bagby, a former United Methodist who converted to Islam 32 years ago.




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American Press Loves Mata Amritanandamayi
Posted on 2001/7/2 23:49:02 ( 836 reads )


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CHICAGO, ILLINOIS, June 29, 2001: Mata Amritanandamayi has changed a lot of people's lives for the better, but her greatest miracle in America may have been melting the hearts of one mainstream journalist after another across the country. Reverential articles have appeared about her in the New York Times, the Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times. These are among the nation's most prestigious newspapers. Their take on Hindu religious figures is, shall we say, sometimes less than laudatory. This latest article, in Chicago's equally prestigious Sun Times, by Cathleen Falsani, announces Mataji's upcoming visit to the city. "Next week, just in time for Fourth of July celebrations, a middle-age woman from India will come to town with the sole purpose of giving away free hugs. Hugs and pats on the back and kisses on the head and chucks on the chin. For free. No strings attached. And nothing creepy. Her name is Mata Amritanandamayi, but most people call her Amma, Ammachi, or simply, Mother. She's a 47-year-old Hindu holy woman from the Kerala state in India who, for the last dozen years or so, has been coming to the United States each summer to hug people. Many who have been held in her arms say it's a healing embrace. Sometimes the healing is physical, they say. More often, it's emotional and spiritual."




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TV Station Takes Temples Live India-Wide
Posted on 2001/7/2 23:48:02 ( 793 reads )


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MUMBAI, INDIA, July 3, 2001: Sanskar TV is India's first 24-hour channel to cover Indian culture, heritage and traditions. A press release from Sanskar says they devote 80% of the channel time to video of temple worship and devotional singing and music. They announced today that for the next month, beginning July 5, they will have air video of the major and minor Siva Lingam shrines, beginning with Mount Kailas itself. For more information, contact by e-mail "source" above.




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Scientist in Britain Collects Data to Confirm Near Death Experience
Posted on 2001/7/2 23:47:02 ( 824 reads )


Source: Reuters





LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA, June 28, 2001: Doctor Sam Parnia of Southampton General Hospital in England, published the results of his study of 63 heart attack patients who were declared clinically dead but later revived in the February issue of the journal Resuscitation. This study has revitalized the age-old question as to whether there is life after death and the existence of the human soul. Parnia presents his research to Caltech scientists in Los Angeles last week. Fifty-six of his initial patients did not recall any memories of the time they were unconscious. The remaining seven did have memories and of these seven, four had Near-Death Experiences. Recalling that they could still think, reason, and communicate after the doctors declared that their brains were not operating, these four also reported feelings of peace and a heightened awareness. Prompted by the success of his study, Parnia and his associates have since interviewed more than 3,500 people who have vivid memories of the time when they were declared clinically dead and later revived. Quoting Doctor Parnia, "When these people are having experiences they say, 'I had this intense pain in my chest and suddenly I was drifting in the corner of my room and I was so happy, so comfortable. I looked down and realized I was seeing my body and doctors all around me trying to save me and I did not want to go back.' "




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Nun Fined For Torturing Girl
Posted on 2001/7/1 23:49:02 ( 756 reads )


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KOLKATA, INDIA, JULY 01, 2001: A nun from the order founded by Mother Teresa was fined by a court for torturing a 12-year-old girl. Sister Francisca, 70, from the Missionaries of Charity order, admitted to the court in Kolkata on Saturday that she had put a hot knife on the girl's hand because the girl stole a few pieces of bread. The incident happened in June last year at the Mahatma Gandhi Welfare Missionary of Charity school in the city, where the girl was a pupil. The case came to court after the father of the girl lodged a complaint against the order. In a voice choked with emotion, Sister Francisca admitted the crime to the court and was fined US$21.74. The Missionaries of Charity order was set up by Nobel peace laureate Mother Teresa in 1950.




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Site of Nepal's Palace Massacre to be Demolished
Posted on 2001/7/1 23:48:02 ( 789 reads )


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KATHMANDU, NEPAL, July 2, 2001: The building at the Narayanhity Royal Palace in Kathmandu, the site of the June one massacre, is to be demolished, a newspaper reported on Monday. Nepalese Queen Mother Ratna has ordered the building be demolished as it constantly reminds her of the horrendous event, the Naya Sadak newspaper wrote. The building was Crown Prince Dipendra's residence in the palace complex. Nepal's popular King Birendra and Queen Aishwarya were among 10 people killed in the massacre reportedly carried out by Crown Prince Dipendra. After shooting nine people, Prince Dipendra turned the gun on himself, committing suicide. Queen Mother Ratna was one of the survivors of the massacre. Work to pull down the building, called the "Tribhuvan Sadan" in Nepalese, will begin this week, the newspaper said quoting its source at the royal palace.




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Yoga On The Beach
Posted on 2001/7/1 23:47:02 ( 790 reads )


Source: Miami Herald





MIAMI, FLORIDA, June 30, 2001: Since 1996, Peter Rickman has been sharing the grace and joy of yoga on a strip of sand behind his Millionaire's row condo off Collins Ave. He has studied yoga in New York and India for more than 25 years. Classes are held amid sunsets and star-lit nights in the winter, and ocean blue skies and bright sunshine in the summer. With Yoga on the Beach, asanas are gentle and brief, as appropriate to the youngsters as to the grandmas who take the class, "No stress, no strain," Rickman will say. The class strives for constant change, incorporating elements from Japanese Zen, tai-chi, Korean meditation, ayurveda and other eastern methodologies.




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Now Science Says Prayer Heals
Posted on 2001/7/1 23:46:02 ( 898 reads )


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CHICAGO, ILLINOIS, June 30, 2001: Dr. Larry Dossey revealed the results of a second phase study at Duke University on the power of prayer. The MANTRA project at Duke is headed up by cardiologist Dr. Mitchell Krucoff and nurse practitioner, Susan Craven. The results show that heart patients who receive prayer have 50 percent to 100 percent fewer side effects than those patients not prayed for. If patients agreed to be part of the study they were randomized and the "prayer" patients' names went to prayer groups around the world. First names only were sent via e-mail to Buddhist groups in Nepal, Hindus in India and Jewish groups in Jerusalem. Catholic nuns, Unity Village Missouri and Protestants in North Carolina also participated. The full report on the study will be published in an upcoming issue of the American Journal of Cardiology, according to Dossey. It will be the first time a heart journal has published a study on the effects of "distance" prayer. Dossey also noted hundreds of other studies on the power of prayer that, until now, have been mostly ignored by the allopathic, or traditional medical community. However based on the Duke study Dossey concluded, "There's no going back. This is a huge transition in medicine. Medicine will not be able to retreat from the impact."




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America's 20-Somethings Hit By "Quarterlife Crisis"
Posted on 2001/7/1 23:45:02 ( 788 reads )


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WASHINGTON, USA, June 29, 2001: An epidemic is sweeping across America with people in their 20s divorcing, giving up high-paid jobs to 'find' themselves, suddenly doubting the path they have taken in life, according to some experts. Intense self doubt is driving them to give up families and jobs in a quest for fulfillment and connectedness, says a new book on the phenomenon which it calls the "Quarterlife Crisis". According to the authors, a midlife crisis is caused by too much stability, predictability and security. However, the quarterlife crisis is the opposite with the lack of stability, predictability and certainty resulting in a cycle of intense self-doubt.




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Nepal's King Committed to Democracy
Posted on 2001/6/30 23:49:02 ( 742 reads )


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KATHMANDU, NEPAL, June 29, 2001: The new Nepalese King, Gyanendra, making his first address to parliament after ascending the throne earlier this month, has said he remains committed to a constitutional monarchy and multi-party parliamentary democracy. The King pledged to continue the policies of his slain predecessor, Birendra. The royal address is a customary parliamentary procedure in which the King outlines the annual policies and programs of the government. King Gyanendra called for a joint effort to translate the late King Birendra's ideals into action and speed up economic development. King Birendra won praise at home and abroad for the role he played as a constitutional monarch after he gave up absolute power in wake of a pro-democracy movement a little over a decade ago.




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1,000 Lower-Caste Hindus Convert to Christianity
Posted on 2001/6/30 23:48:02 ( 877 reads )


Source: AFP





NEW DELHI, INDIA, June 30, 2001: About 1,000 lower-caste Hindus in southern India have converted to Christianity after alleging ill-treatment at the hands of upper castes. The group, comprising members of over 200 families from the state of Tamil Nadu, said they had been "humiliated and harassed" by upper caste Hindus for the past ten years. They were not allowed to participate in temple ceremonies or other functions despite repeated representations to the local authorities, one of the new converts said. The conversions took place on Friday at a simple religious function organized by a priest.




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Honored Holy Man Brings Muslims and Hindus Together
Posted on 2001/6/30 23:47:02 ( 745 reads )


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PAKISTAN AND INDIA, June 28, 2001: Honoring the life of Baba Daleep Singh, a holy man who lived 300 years ago, approximately 100,000 Hindus and Muslims gathered for a seven-day religious festival. Occurring on the border between Pakistan and India, the festival is organized by an Indian paramilitary force. Those attending the event expressed that the devotees present were happy and expectant about the upcoming summit meeting between India and Pakistan later this year.




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Racial Violence in Britain
Posted on 2001/6/30 23:46:02 ( 735 reads )


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LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM, June 29, 2001: Lancashire county has again become victim to racial attacks as the situation between disaffected Asian and white youth gangs continues to escalate. Community leaders of Asian and white origin fear that the racial violence is out of control. The towns of Burnley, Oldham, Leeds, and Bradford have been hit the hardest and a right-wing British party called the British National Party is advocating that the two races be physically separated. Others, such as MP Alan Simpson, told the Commons, "I know the leader of the House will be as appalled as anyone else about the rioting that has taken place, and the ways in which the National Front and the BNP have targeted areas in order to ferment divides that split and devastate communities." A member of the House of Lords, Tony Greaves, has stressed that the police should work closely with the community leaders in areas where racial tensions exist. However, the police are often reluctant to handle the sensitive problems in fear of provoking the large ethnic minorities. Quoting the article, "In 1999-2000, there were 249 racist attacks reported by whites in Bradford. This has leaped to 324 in 2000-2001. The number of attacks on Asians rose by nine percent to 275."




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Now It's "Englishes"
Posted on 2001/6/29 23:49:02 ( 681 reads )


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SINGAPORE, June 30, 2001: In this entertaining New York Times article, we learn that the English language is in the process of splitting into Englishes, perhaps ultimately to spawn different languages, as Latin split into French, Italian and Spanish. Author Seth Mydans writes, " 'Wah! Government say Singlish no good, must learn how to speak proper English. It a bit the difficult. How can?' In their latest initiative to perfect society, Singapore's leaders have begun the Speak Good English Movement -- a campaign to eliminate a rough-and-ready patois known as Singlish that has spread through their nation like a linguistic virus." Today, 350 million people are native English speakers, but by some counts more than a billion speak at least some English as a second language. Most of them are in Asia." Mydans cites experts who say the attempt to get Singaporeans to all speak good English is doomed.




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Gayatri Pariwar Expo Celebrated
Posted on 2001/6/29 23:48:02 ( 782 reads )


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WASHINGTON, D.C., June 17, 2001: The men in saffron-colored robes sat cross-legged on the stage, the Gayatri Mantra reverberating through the tent. This was not the bank of the Ganges, but the County Fairgrounds in Gaithersburg, near the nation's capital. This weekend, it is filled with members of the Hindu movement Gayatri Pariwar, which claims a large worldwide following. About 3,000 people, mostly Washington area residents of Indian descent, performed the ritual of yagna at the Gayatri Scientific Expo 2001. "You are offering an oblation to the inner being," explained Vashisht Sharma, an engineer. For Indian immigrants in the Washington area, many of whom work in science or technology, Gayatri nourishes the part of them that yearns for home and for faith. "It refreshes your knowledge of your culture," said a chemical engineer with the U.S. Patent Office who left Bombay 30 years ago. "It's easy to lose touch with that. Also, since this is a religion based on science, it makes sense." The festival also included seminars on such topics as "Holistic Management" and "IT Revolution and Global Community."




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