Religion Briefs

Posted: Friday, February 25, 2000

Senior banquet scheduled for Saturday

The Apostolic Assembly of Jesus Christ Church in Soldotna will host the 10th annual Senior Sweetheart Banquet on Saturday at 5 p.m.

Seniors from the Kenai-Soldotna area, Homer and Seward are invited to spend the evening at the Fellowship Hall, which will include music, door prizes, photos and awards.

To RSVP, call Kirsten Deede at 262-5557 or Nancy Bergevin at 262-9693.

Benefit concert slated in Anchorage

Unity Medicine and the Baha'i of Soldotna will host a benefit concert for the Alaska Native Heritage Center in Anchorage on Saturday from 8 to 11 p.m. at the center.

The proceeds from the concert will be given to the center for its artist-in-training program. Tickets are $10 at the door. For more information, call Kizzi Davis at (907) 345-3740.

Christian music talent search is on

Embassy Music of Nashville, Tenn., is conducting its annual Christian music talent search with more than $50,000 in prizes, including a recording contract for the grand-prize winner. The winning song will be distributed nationwide to Christian radio stations.

The deadline for entries is Tuesday. To get entry information, call the Embassy Music hot line at (615) 846-1700.

Ladies conference slated for March 9-11

The Kalifonsky Christian Center Ladies Conference 2000 will be held March 9-11. It is designed to encourage, uphold and inspire women of all ages. The theme of the conference is "Lasting Beauty. The speakers are Vicki Toliver and Michelle Faumui.

Three sessions will be held at the center both on March 9 and 10. They are at 1, 3 and 7 p.m. each day. The conference will end with a luncheon celebration at Old Town Village Restaurant on March 11 at 11 a.m.

There is a $15 fee for the conference, which includes the luncheon. For more information, call Marta Eldridge at 283-7152 or Terri Hutchens at 260-5484. Reservations need to be made by March 4.

Eternal Reign festival set for June

The third annual Eternal Reign Music and Arts Festival is scheduled for June 16-18 in Wrangell. Activities include worship, outdoor recreation, teen and children's events, music and arts. The festival culminates with a salmon bake. The festival is non-denominational.

For more information, call Cindy Martin at (907) 874-3676.

Town sued for barring Muslim leader's festival

REIDSVILLE, N.C. -- The American Civil Liberties Union has sued on behalf of a Nation of Islam leader who was refused the right to hold a downtown street festival. The suit in U.S. District Court says this violated Amon Muhammed's First Amendment rights.

''We believe the city denied this request because this was the Nation of Islam and because several City Council members are opposed to the Nation of Islam,'' said Caitlyn Fulghum, an ACLU attorney.

City officials acknowledge religion was a main reason for denying Muhammed a permit in 1997 for his proposed Black Family Day festival. A city ordinance prohibits the city from issuing permits for any religious-oriented event, officials said.

''We did think this was a religious-type thing,'' said City Councilman Clark Turner, who was mayor in 1997. ''We didn't think it would sit under the ordinance.'' The Reidsville city council held a public hearing and rejected Muhammad's request in March 1997.

Parishioners urged to complete census forms

SAN ANTONIO, Texas -- Roman Catholic Archbishop Patrick Flores is telling parishioners they have a moral obligation to complete census forms.

U.S. Census Bureau Director Kenneth Prewitt joined Flores at a special Mass for Census 2000.

Officials said they believed San Antonio was the only U.S. city where a major religious service helped launch the national population count, which occurs every 10 years.

Prewitt said church support is an important symbol to the Hispanic community.

''Many of you have come to this country with a dream to make a better life for yourself and your children,'' Prewitt told parishioners. ''The census is a way to help you realize that dream.''

Speaking mostly in Spanish, Flores said those who refused to participate in the census were like the paralyzed man whom Jesus Christ had to heal before he could stand up and acknowledge his worth.

Christian teacher under fire for criticizing evolution

BEND, Ore. (AP) -- A Central Oregon Community College science teacher is under fire for presenting evolution as a fatally flawed theory. Kevin Haley says his religious beliefs do not enter the classroom but he does ''teach evolution with a critical eye.''

That could cost him his job.

Haley, who advises a Campus Crusade for Christ chapter, doesn't believe life sprang from a primordial soup, or that one species can evolve from another. He says his view is drawn not only from the Bible but scientific research.

At least one student has filed a complaint against Haley, and some fellow faculty members have also protested.

Haley, 44, said he has been targeted not because of his teaching but because he is an avowed Christian. When he was investigated by the college, Haley lodged a complaint alleging religious discrimination. His action was dismissed this month by the school's equal opportunity office.

Bruce Emerson, chairman of the community college's science department, said he couldn't discuss Haley's competence because of the pending personnel issue, which he predicts will be resolved by spring. But the former department chairman said Haley is an excellent teacher and recently recommended that he be promoted.

Haley, has taught freshman biology since 1996. If his contract is renewed this spring, he would come up for tenure next year.

Serbs count 80-plus church sites destroyed in Kosovo

VATICAN CITY (AP) -- More than 80 Orthodox churches and monasteries have been destroyed in Kosovo since an international peacekeeping force was deployed there last June, according to a Serbian Orthodox priest.

The Rev. Rasko Radovic, a priest in Trieste, accused the international force of looking on while attackers target Orthodox institutions. He was quoted in the Vatican missionary news service.

''The international community seems to be indifferent to the destruction of all these sacred buildings,'' the news service quoted Radovic as saying.

Serbs and the Orthodox Church have repeatedly blamed Kosovo Albanians for destruction of Serb religious sites since Serbian and federal Yugoslav forces pulled out of the province and NATO-led troops moved in.

World church body urges United Nations to ease Iraq sanctions

GENEVA (AP) -- The World Council of Churches has appealed to the United Nations Security Council to reconsider its embargo of Iraq, praising two U.N. officials who resigned to protest the sanctions.

The resignations underscore ''the disastrous effects of the Security Council's sanctions'' on the Iraqi people, the Rev. Konrad Raiser, head of the church group, said in a letter to U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan.

Raiser noted that Hans von Sponeck said in quitting as U.N. humanitarian coordinator for Iraq that the Security Council's ''Oil for Food'' program failed to meet even the ''minimum requirements'' of the civilian population. Jutta Burghardt, head of the U.N. World Food Program in Iraq, has also quit, citing similar concerns.

The council includes 337 Protestant and Orthodox churches in more than 100 countries.

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