Key Quotes for 2009

Key Quotes for 2009

A world perspective in bite-size chunks
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Last update: Saturday 21st October
 
A human rights group is fighting an Islamic council after the council issued a fatwa (Islamic edict) declaring that building a church is ‘a sin against God’, it was reported at the beginning of September. According to the Egyptian Union Human Rights Organisation President Dr. Naguib Gabraeel, the controversy began after his group found a troubling passage in a Cairo University textbook. The passage, dealing with inheritance and execution of wills, said: ‘It is forbidden for a person to donate money for what would lead to sin, such as donating in his will money towards building a church, a nightclub, a gambling casino…’. When asked, the Fatwa Council upheld the passage, even though it contradicts Egypt’s constitutional guarantee of religious freedom.
Religion/SpiritualityEvangelicals Now - October 2009
 
It was reported in August that lawyers have asked the Chief Constable of Greater Manchester to answer allegations that police officers intimidated a street preacher and falsely accused him of ‘inciting hatred with homophobic and racial comments’. Volunteer evangelist Miguel Hayworth (29), and his 55-year-old father, were approached by three policemen as he was reading passages from the Bible in St. Ann’s Square. The Christian Legal Centre has taken up the case.
The LawEvangelicals Now - October 2009
 
A Christian receptionist is suing her school, its headmaster and the local council for victimising her because of her faith, it was reported in August. Jennie Cain was suspended for nearly four months from Landscore Primary School in Credition, Devon, after an email she sent to church friends was forwarded to the headmaster. In the email she had asked for prayer for her five-year-old daughter Jasmine, who had been reprimanded for talking to another pupil about Christianity. A panel found Mrs. Cain guilty of serious misconduct, but she was allowed to return to work. However, she says she then suffered harassment over her beliefs.
Religious PersecutionEvangelicals Now - October 2009
 
J K Rowling was denied the U.S’s highest civilian honour because members of the Bush administration believed Harry Potter “encouraged witchcraft”, a new book claims. Matt Latimer, a former speech writer for George W Bush, states in ‘Speechless: Tales of a White House Survivor’ that White House officials objected to her ‘promotion of sorcery’ and denied her the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
EntertainmentThe Sentinel - 30 September 2009
 
One of the gang who terrorised a mother and her disabled daughter has claimed his family is being harassed after receiving death threats. Ross Simmons, aged 20, of Barwell, Leicestershire, said he took an anonymous phone call after he and his 16-year-old brother Alex were named as two of those who bullied Fiona Pilkington and her daughter Francecca Hardwick. Ms Pilkington committed suicide and unlawfully killed her 18-year-old daughter when she set fire to their car.
MediaThe Sentinel - 30 September 2009
 
A top Italian hospital has agreed to allow a ‘chaplain’ from the local Union of Atheists and Agnostic-Rationalists to enter its wards and offer comfort to sick and dying patients. “I intend above all to listen, since no-one has ready-made answers to life’s great questions,” the 38-year-old volunteer told the Corriere della Sera daily. “From a legal point of view, non-confessional moral care can be compared to spiritual care, which is what I’ve been trained for.”
Religion/SpiritualityThe Universe - 27 September 2009
 
A London borough which banned posters advertising a weekend of environmental-themed events in a local parish because they contained Christian references has refused to rescind the ban, even though other major religions have stepped in to protest against the decision. The local library refused to put up the posters for the weekend – billed as Climate Change is a Christian Issue – because it does not want to be seen as promoting religion. “We are happy to help promote community events that are open to everyone on our notice boards. However, we are not able to accept posters that promote particular religious beliefs or political points of view,” said a spokesman for Camden Council. Adding to an expression of support from a local Muslim leader in the spirit of multi-faith respectfulness, Jon Benjamin, the chief executive of the Board of Deputies of British Jews said: “If this is a way of appealing to Christians to engage in an important topical debate, then there is nothing at all wrong with a flyer of this nature. There is no suggestion of proselytising or of promoting intolerance and there can be no reasonable objection.”
MediaThe Universe - 27 September 2009
 
A council has been criticised for funding a nine-day “fact-finding” tour of the U.S. to learn how major visitor attractions are run there. Nottingham City Council spent £5,000 on a trip taken by the Sheriff of Nottingham and five others to maximise the impact of the Robin Hood legend to benefit Nottingham.
Work/EmploymentThe Sentinel - 24 September 2009
 
Catholics are “filled with joy” at the prospect of the first official papal visit to the UK. The Archbishop of Westminster, the Most Rev Vincent Nichols, said he was “encouraged and pleased” at the news pontiff Benedict XVI was set to accept a number of government invitations. Downing Street would not officially confirm reports of a visit next year.
Religion/SpiritualityThe Sentinel - 24 September 2009
 
One in four burglary victims falls foul of identity fraudsters using snatched documents, it was claimed today. Householders are making life easier for thieves by leaving important paperwork bundled near their home computer, researchers found. Experts believe criminals are increasingly hunting for items such as passports, driving licences and utility bills.
CrimeThe Sentinel - 23 September 2009
 
Four out of 10 small firms are considering closing their existing pension scheme when the Government’s new personal accounts are introduced in 2012. Around 41% of companies with less than 250 staff are thinking of replacing their existing scheme with low-cost personal accounts, according to the Association of Consulting Actuaries (ACA). Around 54% of smaller employers also said they were likely to revise the pension benefits they offered.
Work/EmploymentThe Sentinel - 23 September 2009
 
Gordon Brown will today signal his readiness to scale back Britain’s Trident nuclear deterrent as part of an international deal to cut the world’s nuclear arsenal. The Prime Minister is expected to tell world leaders that he is prepared to consider cutting the UK’s fleet of Trident missile-carrying submarines from four to three.
PoliticsThe Sentinel - 23 September 2009
 
The makeshift homes of more than 100 Afghan children were razed to the ground as calls were made for Britain to take in some youngsters forced from the Jungle immigrant camp in Calais. The shanty village, where some have lived for eight months, was reduced to a dusty wasteland following a swoop by French police yesterday. But refugee groups have condemned the operation in which 600 officers surrounded the site, leading to angry scenes and scuffles.
World IssuesThe Sentinel - 23 September 2009
 
British soldiers who used outlawed interrogation techniques on Iraqi prisoners were “implementing official policy”, a public inquiry heard. One detainee, Baha Mousa, aged 26, died after being subjected to beatings over 36 hours that left him with 93 separate injuries, his family’s lawyers said. The UK troops holding him employed “conditioning” methods, such as hooding and sleep deprivation that the Government banned in 1972. But they did not realise it was illegal, the inquiry into the Iraqi father of two’s death was told.
Disasters/WarThe Sentinel - 22 September 2009
 
The Catholic Church in Slovenia has accused the Government of provocation after it appointed a self-proclaimed satanist to head the country’s State Office for Religious Affairs. “Our Church has been accused of not knowing how to engage in dialogue with the Government here,” said Barbara Balogh, a spokeswoman for the bishops’ conference in Ljubljana. “But it seems the Government actually has an interest in provoking conflict with us to gain support from anti-clerical voters. We will, of course, give him time to show his character as a minister. But the appointment has come as a big surprise.” The lay Catholic was reacting to the appointment of Ales Gulic – an MP with the co-governing Liberal Democracy party – to a five-year term as director of the office which monitors and supervises Slovenia’s 43 registered churches for the Social-Democrat-led government of Premier Borut Pahor. In a Universe interview, she said the move had shocked local Catholics, who comprise 58 per cent of Slovenia’s population of 1.9 million, according to official data. She added that Gulic has co-founded and publicly identified with the country’s Satan’s Brethren association, and had also been pictured recently wearing a shirt with the slogan “Free Speech – go to Hell!”
World IssuesThe Universe - 20 September 2009
 
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