9:03 AM PDT, September 20, 2001
Bush Names Baptist Leader to Panel
By Associated Press
WASHINGTON -- President Bush has named Richard Land, a leader of the
Southern Baptist Convention, to a panel on religious liberty.
prominent evangelical thinker was appointed Monday to the nine-member
U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, which Congress
created in 1998.
Land is president of the Ethics & Religious
Liberty Commission, the Southern Baptist's public policy arm, and has
organized Washington summits on religious persecution. That effort led
to the creation of a coalition of religious and public policy leaders,
focusing on the issue.
Land has spoken on religious freedom in
the former Soviet republic of Georgia and other countries, and has
testified on the issue before Congress.
The Southern Baptist
Convention has 15.9 million members and is the nation's largest
Bishops to publicize hot
line, Web site to help travelers find Mass<
WASHINGTON (AP) --
Roman Catholics don't have to miss Mass while they're traveling.
United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has formed a partnership with
"1-800-Mass Times" to help publicize the hot line and Web site -- http://www.masstimes.org -- that
lists church services nationwide.
Nearly 22,500 Mass sites are on
the database. In 1999, the phone line received more than 100,000 calls,
while the Internet site got 120,000 hits.
The database lists Mass
times by city and language, and indicates whether the worship site is
accessible for people with disabilities.
The service was created
by Robert Hummel and is supported by his Perpetual Help Foundation. The
bishops' communications arm will help publicize the free
Church groups push to make voting easier for
CHESAPEAKE, Va. (AP) -- Virginia churches are lobbying
the state to make it easier for felons to regain their voting
Thirty-seven states automatically restore voting rights
to felons once they've served their time or completed a waiting period.
Virginia requires case-by-case approval by the governor.
Roman Catholic diocese believes the state's policy violates Christian
principles of forgiveness and redemption.
"From a human perspective,
if they've done their time, they ought to be reinstated fully. They ought
to be able to get to vote," Bishop Walter Sullivan said.
the 340,000-member Virginia Conference of the United Methodist Church
endorsed restoration of voting rights to felons after they complete
Representatives from several South Hampton Roads
churches gathered at Chesapeake's Bethany Baptist Church last month and
started a petition drive urging legislators to relax the requirements
for restoring rights.
State Sen. Yvonne Miller, who favors
changing the system, thinks greater church involvement might influence
lawmakers who have opposed the change.
Sen. Kenneth Stolle, who
chairs the Virginia State Crime Commission, has opposed restoring voting
rights. But this summer he appointed a task force to study current
Any changes would have to be approved by state
lawmakers and through a statewide referendum amending the Virginia
Arizona's growing Asian population
prompts building boom in mosques, temples<
MESA, Ariz. (AP) --
There's a construction boom for temples and mosques in Arizona, as more
people of Asian descent make their homes here.
A mosque that will
be the state's largest is scheduled to be built in Scottsdale. Another
mosque is planned for Chandler. Four other mosques have already been
built in the area.
In Scottsdale, a former Church of God has
become Arizona's first Hindu temple.
About 5,000 Hindus live in
the metropolitan Phoenix area, drawn in part by the technology boom,
temple member Ninmala Chhibber said.
Until now, local Hindus have
worshipped in private homes.
The census does not track religious
affiliation. However, the 2000 census found the Asian population has
grown significantly since 1990.
In the eastern Phoenix suburbs
alone, the Asian population more than doubled, from 14,716 to 29,481
Lubavitch, Bahais among groups chosen for
Hawaii City Lights<
HONOLULU (AP) -- Jewish and Bahai groups are
among five private organizations chosen to display lights on City Hall
grounds during the holidays in December.
The National Spiritual
Assembly of Bahais of the Hawaiian Islands and Chabad Lubavitch of
Hawaii each won a space in the Honolulu City Lights celebration.
groups were selected this month through a lottery established in 1997,
after the American Atheists accused the city of giving a Christian group a
The other groups selected this year were the Parents,
Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays, an advocacy group; Goodwill
Industries of Hawaii, a workshop for disabled employees; and Kamaaina Care,
an affiliate of Kamaaina Kids, operators of preschools.
School names first president from outside founding family<
VILLAGE, Mo. (AP) -- The new president and chief executive officer of
the Unity School of Christianity is the first leader of the 112-year-old
religious movement from outside its founders' family.
was appointed Monday, succeeding Connie Fillmore Bazzy, great-granddaughter
of founders Charles and Myrtle Fillmore.
Bazzy, who had served as
president since 1987, has no heirs. She becomes chairman of the board,
replacing her father, Charles R. Fillmore, who becomes chairman emeritus.
Bazzy announced her succession plan in March.
Zender, 62, will move to
Unity Village, a self-incorporated suburb of Kansas City, from Irvine,
Calif. He has held management positions at General Electric, Honeywell and
As Unity School of Christianity's president and CEO, Zender
will preside over the headquarters of an organization that operates in
175 countries. The Unity movement has churches and full-time ministers,
but keeps no official membership list.
©Copyright 2001, Los Angeles Times