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A United Nations of Religious Groups / One World Interfaith

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September 29, 2014, 05:33:00 am Christian40 says: Proverbs 21:31 The horse is prepared against the day of battle: but safety is of the LORD.
September 28, 2014, 04:34:49 am Christian40 says: Well your going to find some quality information here about the Scriptures this forum has been going since 2010 i like to go back to the earlier posts sometimes and see what is covered if you have questions do post Smiley
September 27, 2014, 11:18:53 pm rick50 says: Thx for the welcome. I like to dig into the scriptures seeking God`s truths and I enjoy presenting scriptures in challenging ways. Hopefully I can do that in the right spirit. I used to engage in a lot of debates but about 6 years ago I repented for it and haven`t participated in any online religeous discussions since then until now. My number 1 goal is to express myself in ways that God likes while still upholding the beliefs that God has led me into. I love to learn new things about the scriptures.
September 27, 2014, 02:12:13 pm tennis shoe says: Sure got lively around here. Good to see such spirited discussion. Welcome Rick Shocked.
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September 21, 2014, 11:09:46 am Watchman4u says: Please Pray that I can get my car fixed the mecanic can't figure it out , & another backup van is down too & I need a ride , Please Pray that I would find a good truck or car I've got a lemon & I need a Break I have an Elderly Aunt I take care of & I need to see her today , May the Lord help me find a ride till I can get my car going. I've been under spiritual attack , but good news the Lord has used me to open the eyes of a SDA that was an JW's he see's now that he joined another cult, may he be Born Again from above , pray that the Lord would help me give him the right answer & Above All he Would come to Know The LORD Jesus Christ God manifest in the Flesh. Praise God for you guys, I will Agree in prayer in Jesus name Amen
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Author Topic: A United Nations of Religious Groups / One World Interfaith  (Read 5441 times)
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« Reply #30 on: May 11, 2011, 07:02:50 am »



Our mission is to help Americans engage with the realities of religious diversity through research, outreach, and the active dissemination of resources.



In the past thirty years the religious landscape of the United States has changed radically. There are Islamic centers and mosques, Hindu and Buddhist temples and meditation centers in virtually every major American city. The encounter between people of very different religious traditions takes place in the proximity of our own cities and neighborhoods. The results of the 2000 census underscore the tremendous scope of ethnic change in our society, but tell us little about its religious dimensions or its religious significance.

Pluralism has long been a generative strand of American ideology. Mere diversity or plurality alone, however, does not constitute pluralism. There is lively debate over the implications of our multicultural and multireligious society in civic, religious, and educational institutions. How we appropriate plurality to shape a positive pluralism is one of the most important questions American society faces in the years ahead. It will require all of us to know much more about the new religious landscape of America than we presently know.

The Pluralism Project: World Religions in America is a decade-long research project, with current funding from the Ford and Rockefeller Foundations, to engage students in studying the new religious diversity in the United States. We will explore particularly the communities and religious traditions of Asia and the Middle East that have become woven into the religious fabric of the United States in the past twenty-five years. The overall aims of the Pluralism Project are:

1. To document and better understand the changing contours of American religious demography, focusing especially on those cities and towns where the new plurality has been most evident and discerning the ways in which this plurality is both visible and invisible in American public life.

2. To study the religious communities themselves - their temples, mosques, gurudwaras and retreat centers, their informal networks and emerging institutions, their forms of adaptation and religious education in the American context, their encounter with the other religious traditions of our common society, and their encounter with civic institutions.

3. To explore the ramifications and implications of America's new plurality through case studies of particular cities and towns, looking at the response of Christian and Jewish communities to their new neighbors; the development of interfaith councils and networks; the new theological and pastoral questions that emerge from the pluralistic context; and the recasting of traditional church-state issues in a wider context.

4. To discern, in light of this work, the emerging meanings of religious "pluralism," both for religious communities and for public institutions, and to consider the real challenges and opportunities of a public commitment to pluralism in the light of the new religious contours of America.

http://www.pluralism.org/about/mission.php
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« Reply #31 on: May 11, 2011, 07:03:25 am »

North American Interfaith Network



http://www.nain.org/

The main focus of NAIN’s is to support the growth of interfaith understanding by supporting the work of member organizations.  NAIN chooses the term “network” to describe its work rather than institution, organization or association. 

NAIN was envisioned by a group of leaders from existing interfaith organizations in theUS and Canada from 1985 to 1987.  In 1988, a North American Assisi, hosted by one of the oldest interfaith councils in the US, Interfaith Ministries of Wichita, Kansas, came together as the birth of NAIN and the first NAIN conference.  In 1990, at the second conference in Seattle Washington, a constitution for NAIN was approved.  NAIN was incorporated as a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization in the State of New York.

NAIN has continued to sponsor conferences, now familiarly called "Connects", held at first every two years and now annually.  In between Connects, NAIN networks member interfaith organizations via an online public website at www.nain.org, an internet members’ worksite, and an online newsletter.
 
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« Reply #32 on: May 11, 2011, 07:04:08 am »

Faiths Act – Tony Blair Foundation and Interfaith Youth Core

Submitted by April Kunze and Tony Shapiro, Interfaith Youth Core
Tony Blair announced the launch of the Faiths Act Fellowship to engage young people who will lead the way in uniting religious communities in the fight against deaths due to malaria. In Spring 2009, thirty outstanding young people will be chosen from the US, UK, and Canada to serve as inter-religious ambassadors for the Millennium Development Goals in their countries. The Fellowship, launched by the Tony Blair Faith Foundation, will be coordinated by the Chicago-based Interfaith Youth Core.

Eboo Patel, Executive Director of Interfaith Youth Core, said “We believe that young people will lead the way in building inter-religious cooperation for the 21st century. The Faiths Act Fellowship is about producing exceptional young leaders whose inter-religious leadership results in real impact on the lives of others. This is the mission of Interfaith Youth Core.”

Faiths Act Fellows are between 18 to 25 years-old; live in the US, UK or Canada and have demonstrated an on-going commitment to interreligious understanding, social justice and global service.

Organizations host Fellows. The Fellows need an organizational base to work from in their home countries. If your organization’s mission overlaps with the work of the Faiths Act Campaign in the USA and Canada, you can apply to host a pair of Faiths Act Fellows for the inaugural year.  Complete details may be found at www.faithsactfellows.org





In Spring 2009, thirty outstanding young people will be chosen to serve as inter-religious ambassadors for the Millennium Development Goals.

The Faiths Act Fellowship will empower thirty religiously diverse young leaders from the US, UK and Canada to embark together on a 10 month journey of interfaith service.  Training begins with a 2 month intensive initiative that includes training in London and Chicago and fieldwork with primary health care partners in Africa. Fellows will return to their home countries for 8 months to mobilize young people of faith to raise awareness and resources to promote the Millennium Development Goals. They will focus on fighting deaths due to malaria.

Halting and reversing the spread of Malaria is one of today’s most urgent moral challenges.  500 million people contract the disease each year and one million die from it. The vast majority of malaria's victims are African children under the age of five. Yet, malaria is preventable and treatable. Intervention is as simple as providing bed nets that protect sleeping families. Progress in the fight against deaths due to malaria will speed our collective success toward achieving 6 of the 8 Millennium Development Goals.

In their home countries, Fellows will be hosted by a local organization whose mission fits closely with this project. Host organizations in the UK include Muslim Aid, World Vision UK, Tzedek, and the Christian-Muslim Forum. We are now seeking host organizations in the US and Canada. Interested organizations should submit an application.

The Faiths Act Fellows will act on this opportunity by becoming ambassadors for inter-religious cooperation in the fight against deaths due to malaria and the accomplishment of the Millennium Development Goals.
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« Reply #33 on: May 11, 2011, 07:04:36 am »

INTERFAITH  CALENDAR
       Primary sacred times for world religions

http://www.interfaithcalendar.org/2009.htm

For those who really want to know.
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« Reply #34 on: May 11, 2011, 07:05:24 am »

NCC Member Communions

NCC member churches reflect the diversity of Christianity in the United States. They also vary greatly in size and in the geographic distribution of their congregations, their style of worship, even the architecture of their buildings.



Each participating denomination brings distinctive faith traditions to the Council's common table. Protestant and evangelical traditions are represented by churches of British, German, Scandinavian and other European origin, historic African American churches, and immigrant churches from Korea and India. Orthodox member communions have roots in Greece, Syria, Russia, the Ukraine, Egypt, India and other places where Eastern and Oriental Orthodoxy have long histories.

Reflecting the rich variety of its members, the NCC believes that genuine unity demands inclusivity and a respect for diversity, and strives to embody this belief in its programs, decision-making and staffing

NCC Bibles,

English Revised Version (1885)
American Standard Version (1901)
The first full-scale frontal attack on the Word of God came with the publication of the ERV in 1885, and its counterpart, the ASV in 1901. Only a few voices of protest were raised. Most staunch defenders of the faith of that day were apparently unaware that the ASV differed from the KJV in over 36,000 places or that the Greek text underlying the translation of the ASV (the Westcott-Hort Text) differed from the Textus Receptus (underlying the KJV) in over 5,700 instances. Possibly it was because the Fundamentalists then were too busy combating the modernists' infiltration of seminaries and churches; or, perhaps it was due to the fact that the ASV never really found great acceptance publicly. It was not until the publication of the Revised Standard Version in 1946 and 1952 that many Fundamentalists became aware of how effectively a new Bible version or translation could be used to pervert the truth.

Revised Standard Version (1946, 1952)
Some of God's people woke up with a start when the Revised Standard Version was published in 1952. This version, supposedly a revision of the ASV of 1901, eliminated the word virgin in the prophecy of Christ's birth in Isaiah 7:14. It was also copyrighted by the apostate National Council of Churches. Protests were heard far and wide! Sadly, many failed to recognize that some of the same changes they found so objectionable in the RSV were also true of the ASV. The furor over the RSV gradually died down. But this was the version which paved the way for future perversions of the Scriptures. It had conditioned people to accept changes in the Bible- changes dictated by modern scholarship. At least the RSV left the word virgin in the New Testament references to the birth of Christ. It remained for the Good News Bible to remove it in both the Old and New Testaments.

New Revised Standard Version ( l990)
The NRSV is the latest product of ecumenical scholarship and will soon replace the RSV, thus helping to fill the financial coffers of the apostate National Council of Churches which holds the copyrights on both the RSV and NRSV.  Translated by liberal Protestant, Catholic and Jewish scholars, and eliminating so-called sexist language, the NRSV with the Apocrypha, has already received the Imprimatur of the Roman Catholic Church and may well become the ecumenical Bible of the future.
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« Reply #35 on: May 11, 2011, 07:06:48 am »

A Network of Ecumenical Cooperation
The National Council of Churches USA is part of a worldwide community of ecumenical organizations fostering cooperation among Christians.  Within the NCC structure, the state and regional councils of churches are represented through the Ecumenical Networks Standing Committee.  Click here for information on the committee's current membership. 

A complete listing of such associations, with full contact information, may be found in the Yearbook of American and Canadian Churches, an annual publication of the National Council of Churches.

Below are known links to websites maintained by ecumenical associations across the United States.  If your organization's website should be listed below, or is incorrectly listed, please let us know at news@ncccusa.org.


Websites of State and Local Ecumenical Organizations in the USA

Arizona Ecumenical Council
California Council of Churches

Council of Churches of Santa Clara County

Fresno Metro Ministry

Pomona-Inland Valley Council of Churches

Southern California Ecumenical Council

Colorado Council of Churches

Christian Conference of Connecticut

Council of Churches of Greater Bridgeport

Florida Council of Churches

Illinois Conference of Churches

Churches of the Quad City Area

Indiana Partners for Christian Unity & Mission

Kentucky Council of Churches

Maine Council of Churches

Massachusetts Council of Churches

Greater Lawrence Council of Churches

East Boston Ecumenical Community Council

Minnesota Council of Churches

Greater Minneapolis Council of Churches

Saint Paul Area Council of Churches

Missouri

Council of Churches of the Ozarks

Ecumenical Ministries of Callaway County

Montana Assocation of Churches

New Hampshire Council of Churches

New Jersey

Windsor-Hightstown Area Ministerium

New Mexico Conference of Churches
 New York State Community of Churches

Council of Churches of the City of New York

Long Island Council of Churches

Council of Churches of Buffalo and Erie County

Queens Federation of Churches

North Carolina Council of Churches

Ohio Council of Churches

Akron Area Association of Churches

Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon

Pennsylvania Council of Churches

Rhode Island State Council of Churches

South Carolina Christian Action Council, Inc.

Association of Christian Churches of South Dakota

Texas Conference of Churches

Community of Churches in Utah

Vermont Ecumenical Council & Bible Society

Virginia Council of Churches

Washington Association of Churches

Associated Ministries of Tacoma-Pierce County
Church Council of Greater Seattle

Spokane Council of Ecumenical Ministries

Associated Ministries of Tacoma-Pierce County

West Virginia Council of Churches

Wisconsin Council of Churches


___________
This is not a complete list. Only those U.S. ecumenical organizations with active websites are shown here.  A more complete listing of both ecumenical and interfaith associations, with personnel, phone, fax and e-mail contacts, may be found in the current edition of the Yearbook of American and Canadian Churches, an annual publication of the NCC's research department.
 
 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Other Ecumenical Organizations

 
Churches Uniting in Christ (CUIC)
National Association of Ecumenical
and Interreligious Staff (NAEIS)

National Workshop on Christian Unity

The Standing Conference of Canonical Orthodox Bishops in the Americas (SCOBA)
 National Councils of Churches

Regional/Multinational Councils of Churches

World Council of Churches

Ecumenical Institute of Bossey

Christian World Communions
 
http://www.ncccusa.org/ecmin/councils-links.html
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« Reply #36 on: May 11, 2011, 07:07:19 am »

NCC's Partners in Ministry or INTERFAITH
Throughout its history, the National Council of Churches has fostered working relationships among its member denominations and in joint ventures with local and regional councils of churches and other ecumenical and interfaith organizations.

Now, as part of its 10-year mobilization to address the complex issue of poverty, the NCC is developing alliances with  foundations, think tanks and national non-profit organizations which have expressed interest in collaborating with the NCC on identifying and tackling measurable goals together.   Among the NCC's national partners are:



Bread for the World:  This is the nation's largest grassroots advocacy network on domestic and international hunger issues.  It does not provide direct relief, but rather conducts nonpartisan research and education on hunger and gives support to congressional legislation to address the root causes of hunger and poverty.

Call to Renewal:  Led by its convenor Jim Wallis, CTR is working with the NCC Poverty Mobilization under a joint "Covenant to Overcome Poverty."  The Covenant's sponsors agree that "the persistence of widespread poverty in our midst is morally unacceptable."

Children's Defense Fund:  Led by Marian Wright Edelman, CDF has sounded a call for a national grassroots movement for the nation's children on the magnitude of the Civil Rights movement.  NCC General Secretary Bob Edgar is on the steering committee of CDF's Mobilization to "Leave No Child Behind."

Families USA:  This non-profit, non-partisan organization works for high-quality, affordable health and long-term care for all Americans, through a grassroots advocates' network of organizations and individuals, and a consumer clearinghouse for up-to-date, reliable information about the health care system.

Good Schools Pennsylvania: Good Schools Pennsylvania is a statewide non-profit organization working with a coalition of education, religious and civic associations seeking to mobilize parents, students and concerned students to advocate for improved public education. Improved public education must include adequate funding, equitably distributed; quality education principles; and a strong accountability system.

Habitat for Humanity:  This widely respected organization has embraced a long-term series of joint ventures with NCC to build decent, low-cost housing in communities here and overseas.  Leaders of HFH International  envision a new movement like that to end slavery, with America's churches in the forefront.

Jewish Council for Public Affairs:  Like the NCC, the JCPA has a vision to end poverty in the United States, including welfare reform that measures success not by how many people are dropped from welfare rolls but by how many are lifted out of poverty.   Find out more about their program at their website.

National Jobs for All Coalition:  The NJFAC is uniting a diverse group of individuals and organizations through its plan for reducing poverty, Five Years Closer to Economic Justice, centered on a movement for full employment.  The NJFAC supports the NCC's poverty initiative with technical assistance and public outreach.

National Religious Partnership for the Environment: Believing that poverty and environmental degradation go hand-in-hand, the NCC, the U.S. Catholic Conference, the Coalition on Environment and Jewish Life, and the Evangelical Environmental Network have worked together for more than a decade through NRPE to inititate environmental justice programs.



The NCC is also a partner in religious television programming, through two major interfaith committees that facilitate the production and distribution of liturgical services and documentaries:

The Interfaith Broadcasting Commission is a working alliance of the National Council of Churches, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, and representative groups in the Jewish and Muslim traditions.   Through this alliance, the NCC's member communions participate in the production of an annual series of faith-based television presentations offered to stations affiliated with the ABC, CBS and NBC broadcast networks.

The National Interfaith Cable Coalition is cooperative venture founded by the NCC and other religious organizations to create the VISN cable network in 1988.  After it merged with the Southern Baptist-sponsored ACTS channel, the combined network was renamed Odyssey.  Today, the coalition is known as Faith and Values Media and serves as a gateway for faith-based programming carried on the Hallmark cable channel. In addition to its cable offerings, the Faith and Values group also features a Web site, FaithStreams.com, where programs and feature materials produced by NCC communions and other religious groups are accessible from anywhere by personal computer.

http://www.ncccusa.org/about/partners.html
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« Reply #37 on: May 11, 2011, 07:07:50 am »



Mission

The Interfaith Broadcasting Commission exists to secure that attention from the electronic media for religion and religious values which their status in the minds and hearts of the American people merits. To fulfill this purpose the IBC seeks:

1.To heighten within the electronic media industries and the general public an awareness of and appreciation for the principles of the Abrahamic faiths - Judaism, Christianity and Islam - and their importance in American life.
2.To demonstrate through programming a variety of ways in which faith is expressed in the lives of individuals.
3.To inspire individuals via the electronic media to explore ways in which faith can enrich their lives.
4.To influence in positive ways the quality and values of all programming.
 
History

The Interfaith Broadcasting Commission (IBC) is composed of four member groups:
National Council of Churches
Consortium of Jewish Organizations
Islamic Society of North America
United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
representing 100,000,000 adherents in the United States.

In existence since 1980, the IBC is committed to providing outstanding television network programs with quality religious content for the three major television networks in the United States — ABC, CBS, NBC. Individually, faith group members of the IBC have been involved with these networks since 1951 (NBC), 1952 (CBS), and 1960 (ABC) — offering more than 50 years of programs that touch the lives of viewers. The IBC states that it "exists to secure that attention from the electronic media for religion and religious values which their status in the minds and hearts of the American people merits." Regarded as a primary source for faith based network programs, the IBC represents mainstream religion in our society, affirms the integrity of each other's faith perspective, and helps television in particular and mass media in general to exercise their societal and public service responsibilities.

IBC and the networks

ABC
In 1980 ABC was offering a weekly half-hour series called "Directions", airing 12:30pm Sundays on the network. Individual programs were produced in cooperation with individual faith groups, with only very occasional programs done with two or more groups cooperating. ABC would also utilize other, smaller faith groups for a small proportion of this series. "Directions" had begun on ABC in 1960. ABC also produced three liturgical specials during the year. Cooperating groups: Jewish Theological Seminary, National Council of Churches, Southern Baptist Radio & TV Commission, U.S. Catholic Conference.

In 1984 ABC discontinued its religious production unit, and in January, 1985, it began producing one-hour specials through its Special Events Unit (four such specials were produced in 1985-86), with all four faith groups cooperating in each special.

Then, in 1986, following a direction that NBC had taken a year earlier, ABC proposed to the faith group partners who cooperated with it that they assume the responsibility for producing programs that would be distributed by ABC. ABC offered initial production funding for 1987 and 1988; the first program produced and aired on the network under this arrangement was in June, 1988, under the series title VISION AND VALUES.

At the same time ABC said that it would no longer produce the liturgical specials, although it would offer network air time and a feed for programs produced by the faith groups for three liturgical specials a year (Easter, High Holy Days, Christmas Eve). This pattern of providing liturgical specials has continued.

CBS
Members of the IBC have worked with CBS in various manifestations since 1952 (including the program series "Look Up and Live", "Lamp Unto My Feet", and "For Our Times"). Most recently the IBC has worked with the RELIGION AND CULTURESeries (Executive Producer, Jack Blessington) since 1989 in the production of four half-hour programs each year. These programs reflect the interests and concerns of the faith communities represented in the IBC. The CBS production team works diligently to represent these interests and concerns in the programs that eventually reach the public via CBS stations. Those contacted by members of the CBS production team as productions are researched are urged to cooperate with them so that faith perspectives might become a richer part of the American television landscape.

NBC
Beginning in 1950 NBC had produced and offered to its affiliates programs related to the four major faith groups in America in order to fulfill, in part, its public service responsibilities. In 1985 NBC (represented by Merryle S. Rukeyser and Betty Hudson) asked these four faith groups, which were then represented by the Interfaith Broadcasting Commission, to meet.

At that meeting NBC informed the faith groups that it was disbanding its religion production unit, although it would continue to produce "liturgical specials" through Special Events. In place of NBC production of religious (documentary-style) programs, NBC proposed funding for two years to do program productions which would air on the NBC network. After discussions, it was understood that these monies would fund four one-hour specials per year (one each produced by each faith group). Moreover, the four programs would air in a close-enough time proximity so that they could be seen by affiliates as a series. NBC also agreed to provide funding for two years for promotion of the series to stations and to audiences. NBC specifically stated at this time that future grants under this arrangement, after the initial two years, would be determined by a demonstrated success in terms of station clearances.

Programs were produced and aired on NBC beginning in 1988 under the series title of THE PROMISE OF AMERICA, which was used again in 1989. Beginning in 1990 and continuing to date the series title has been HORIZONS OF THE SPIRIT.

Promotion efforts by the faith groups in 1988 and 1989 resulted in extraordinarily high station clearances and ADI's. In fact, the station clearance figures for both of these first two years under this new arrangement were at least twice as high as those for the most recent previous NBC religious specials produced by the network: the average station clearance for the four specials in 1988 was 150 and the average ADI was 82.75%; and in 1989 the average clearance was 148 and the ADI was 87.25%.

However, funding for program production and promotion was reduced in subsequent years and eliminated altogether by 1992, although NBC would continue to feed IBC programs to affiliates via satellite.

Moreover, in 1992 NBC News, which had continued to produce liturgical specials (Passover, Easter, Christmas Eve Mass from Rome, and Christmas Day), informed the IBC that it would no longer produce these specials (except for the Christmas Eve Mass) though it would accept programs produced by IBC members for these holy days and distribute them to affiliates. One result of this decision was a new Thanksgiving special, produced cooperatively by the IBC on behalf of all its members, and offered twice (1992 and 1993) to NBC affiliates. In early 1996 the IBC was informed that NBC would consider the Easter (or Passover) special to be a network program, beginning in 1997.

Of even more import than the funding, around 1990 NBC stopped considering the documentary programs as network programs (the same was true for liturgical programs beginning in 1992, with the exceptions noted above), and NBC stopped indicating to its stations that these were part of the network line-up. Rather, they were simply offered to the stations on the satellite.

Throughout this process the IBC has continued its commitment to provide the highest quality of programs to NBC stations -- a commitment which the IBC re-affirms and continues as it produces both documentary and liturgical programming.

Member Organizations

National Council of Churches
Islamic Society of North America
United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
New York Board of Rabbis
Union for Reform Judaism
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« Reply #38 on: May 11, 2011, 07:08:28 am »

An Inside Look at the Global Interfaith Agenda

by Carl Teichrib, 2001

Please visit his website at www.forcingchange.org


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

NOTE: the following article details an interfaith event attended by the author. It is meant to provide you with insights on how the interfaith/New Age movement works and thinks, and how you can respond to its advances.

January 11-14, 2001, St. Petersburg, Florida.

For those of us from the "snow-belt," St. Pete can be a wonderful place in the middle of January. The salty Gulf of Mexico breeze and the warm sunshine create a perfect escape environment from the clutches of our long, cold winter. Everybody north of the "40th parallel" knows this. So it was no surprise to discover that one of this year’s earliest interfaith events would take place in "sunny St. Pete."

Starting on January 11 and ending on the 14th, interfaith activists from as far away as Korea and the United Kingdom gathered in St. Petersburg to attend the "Religions is Dialogue: Moving from Conflict to Trust" conference. Held in the Unitarian Universalist Church in the heart of the city, the event’s purpose was to create common vision and cooperative strategy to advance the global interfaith agenda for this year and beyond. God opened the doors, and I attended.

It was through my on-going research into the occult, New Age, and interfaith movement that I came to find out about this conference. For the past five years I have attended numerous interfaith and occult events–all for the sake of obtaining first source research material (I don’t recommend anybody do this unless you are specifically led by God). After contacting the International Association for Religious Freedom–one of the events hosting bodies–and explaining my past interfaith associations, I had an invitation to attend in St. Petersburg.

In this type of "investigative journalism" there is rarely a dull moment. One never knows how these types of meetings will go. Flexibility to the program and alertness to one’s surroundings are key components in gathering first source material in a potentially hostile setting (and yes, I have had some very dicey situations!). If the crowd is large, I can usually remain anonymous. This time less than 50 people were there. At first appearance it was going to be another "too close for comfort" situation, but instead of having the small size work against me, God used it to my advantage. As it turned out, three of the five largest interfaith organizations in the world were there, and they were represented at the "directors level."

How was this "advantageous?" Everyone was comfortable. It had the atmosphere of "family." Hence, by the end of the first evening, any potential suspicion fell away, and the directors of these three major institutions were willing to open up and talk. And talk they did!

Here is the breakdown of the key interfaith leaders in attendance and the organizations they represent,

• Marcus Braybrooke, Director of the World Congress of Faiths (WCF) and arguably one of the most prolific writers on interfaithism. He is considered by many to be the most knowledgeable and influential man in the interfaith movement. The WCF is located in the United Kingdom. Mr. Braybrooke is also a Patron of the International Interfaith Centre at Oxford.

• Richard Boeke, Chairman of the WCF. He too lives in the UK.

• Allan Race, Editor of WCF’s publication World Faiths Encounter. Mr. Race is also a Trustee of the International Interfaith Centre.

• Andrew Clark, Secretary-General of the International Association of Religious Freedom (IARF), also located in the UK.

• Doris Hunter, IARF Director for the United States.

• Jim Kenney, International Director for the Council for a Parliament of the World’s Religions (CPWR)–the group that organized the 1993 and 1999 World Parliament of Religions. Mr. Kenney is also a Trustee of the International Interfaith Centre. The CPWR is headquartered in Chicago.

Of the five global interfaith organizations, only the World Conference on Religion and Peace (located in New York city) and the United Religions Initiative (located in San Francisco) were not officially represented, although some of the conference participants and attendees had played roles in both of these absent groups.

Others participants included,

• Dr. Hal French, Professor at the Dept. of Religious Studies, University of South Carolina, author of Zen and the Art of Anything.

• Frank Tedesco, Buddhist scholar and interfaith activist. He currently resides in Korea and flew to the US to participate in this conference.

• Dr. K.L. Seshagiri Rao, Chief Editor for the Encyclopedia of Hinduism, and Professor at the University of South Carolina

Because the event was held in the Unitarian church, Unitarians were in the majority. Other "faith communities" (I found out that "faith traditions" has been replaced as "faith communities" in the politically correct interreligious world) present were,

• Christianity. In all cases those representing "Christianity" held a very liberal view. Marcus Braybrooke and his wife were among the Christians present. Some attendees claimed a form of "grafted" Christianity, such as Christian-Buddhist or Christian-Unitarian. Many admitted being brought up as a child in the "Christian faith." Richard Boeke, who played a fundamental part throughout the four days, had been at one time the pastor of a Southern Baptist church. He’s now a Unitarian minister. On a couple of occasions I heard attendees confess that they had been "saved" at a Billy Graham crusade but had "come to their senses" soon thereafter.

• Hindu. Representation included one lady who "converted" to Christianity while in India to escape her overbearing family’s legalistic brand of Hinduism. Once she moved to the US and was freed from her "fundamentalist" Hindu family, she converted back to Hinduism. She told me that if she ever moved back to India, she would once again become a "Christian."

• New Age/Wiccan. Representation included the Thursday evening interfaith worship service (remember, this is a religious meeting, and "worship" is planned into the program agenda). During this time, a ceremony was conducted in which a wiccan invoked a "blessing,"

"I am the four corners of the earth, north, south, east, and west, which bound the sacred circle where we stand, ready to receive our gods. Beloved Mother, by many names and faces are you known. As you are the name ‘ever young,’ let us stay young forever and ever grow within our faith. As you are the fertile mother, ever giving. Help us to harvest the sweet fruit of this gathering–tolerance, understanding, and love."

Other "faith communities" included,

• Judaism. On Friday evening we were led in an interfaith Judaic Shabbat service, conducted by the Beth Rachamim Synagogue–which is one of only a handful of overtly gay and lesbian synagogues in the country. Throughout the service, prayers and reaffirmations were made to endorse their homosexuality.

• Theosophy. The Theosophical Society (see my Lucifer Rising series for more information on Theosophy) set up a display table and gave a workshop presentation.

• Native American. Saturday afternoon a sweat lodge was set up for those who wanted to partake in a Native American spiritual experience.

• Humanism. Humanism was presented as one of the "religions" (or should that be "anti-religions"?) and was given a time slot for a Saturday afternoon workshop. Strange as it may be, the St. Pete Unitarian church had numerous brochures and informational sheets for anyone interested in humanism.

• Kashi Ashram interfaithism. Located near the east coast of Florida is Ma Jaya Sati Bhagavati’s interfaith ashram. "Ma," the guru of the Kashi Ashram, has blended a variety of western and eastern spiritual traditions. Ma’s interfaith teachings have been an example to the interreligious community and she has been involved in a variety of world interfaith events and organizational activities. At least two of her followers were present at the St. Pete meeting.

• Scientology. Besides giving a workshop on Scientology, a Scientology drama and musical team gave a performance during Saturday evening’s cultural program.

Other religions were involved–such as Buddhism–but this gives you a good cross-section of the "faith communities" present at this meeting. And while "Christianity" was represented, the reaction to "fundamental Christianity" was very interesting. As with every other interfaith meeting I’ve been to, fundamental Christianity was unashamedly bashed. Claiming to be a way of "tolerance," the interfaith movement is, in reality, extremely intolerant when any religion–such as Christianity–proclaims exclusive truth (see John 14:6). According to interfaithism, all religions are pathways to truth–except the exclusive message of Jesus Christ.

So what "inside information" did I come away with? Here it is,

• The next Parliament of the World’s Religions. After the 1999 Cape Town Parliament of the World’s Religions, it was determined that a parliament should be convened every five years. Due to circumstances, the next parliament will not be held until 2005, one year later than expected. According to Jim Kenney, the CPWR wants to bill its next event as a type of "Olympics" of world religions. To this end, the CPWR wants cities to compete in hosting the event, much like the Olympic system. Here’s the inside scoop; Mr. Kenney made it very clear that at least 10 major world cities have started the bidding to host the 2005 parliament, but the CPWR hasn’t even made the "call to host" public yet! Watch as the momentum for the next parliament builds as cities compete to host it. It is also expected that other players (possibly corporate, financial, and institutional) will come alongside with support packages and endorsements. If all this takes place–and it looks like it will–the interfaith agenda for the next five to ten years will catapult forward in an unprecedented way.

• United Religions Initiative. The URI and its global charter was founded by Bishop William Swing at the behest of the United Nations and the vision of Robert Muller, a top UN official. Bishop Swing and the URI has been exposed by Christian researchers for a number of years. While this is nothing new, the reaction by the historically established interfaith community to the URI is noteworthy. URI, under the direction of Swing, was considered the black sheep of the interreligious family. Statements made by Swing caused a real rift between the URI and the other interfaith groups. Now that Swing has stepped down and handed the reigns to Charles Gibbs, the global interfaith community is ready to embrace the URI as a respectable player. Watch as the URI gains influence by the fact that international interfaith leaders are more willing to work with it.

• Earth Charter. Jim Kenney explained in private conversation that the interfaith movement is in agreement with and working towards the acceptance of Mikhail Gorbachev’s Earth Charter program. This is no surprise. However, up until this point there hasn’t been a strong official link between the Earth Charter and the interfaith agenda–it’s been implied and there has been a crossover of individual support, but tighter links have been harder to substantiate. Mr. Kenney’s remarks point toward a much deeper connection than previously thought. Watch as the interfaith movement and the Earth Charter program work closer together.

[The Earth Charter is a platform document intended to shape a new world civilization around Earth-first principles and a strengthened system of global governance.]

• International Association of Religious Freedom in America. The IARF is the oldest interfaith group in the world (it was founded in 1900), but it doesn’t have a strong presence in the US. One of the anticipated results of having this conference in St. Pete was that the IARF would cement ties with US interfaith activists. IARF has been a substantial player in Japan, India, and the UK, and now it plans to sink deeper roots in America.

• World alliance of interfaith organizations. The most important development that came out of the St. Petersburg meeting was that the three global bodies proposed an informal world alliance strategy. During the event they refrained from calling it an interfaith "world federation," but in many ways this is what was being discussed. All of this came about through "coffee table talk"–informal discussions in the lunchroom and lounge.

Where will this alliance go? At this point it’s hard to say. At the very least, the CPWR, the World Congress of Faiths, and the IARF will work together in a tighter fashion. A common internet data base for interreligious networking was discussed. As the leadership from the three major bodies that met at St. Pete continue to flesh out this alliance, the other two groups (URI and the World Conference on Religion and Peace) will, in all probability, join. Watch as the interfaith movement shapes itself to become a more cohesive and potent force at both the national and international level. Only time will tell what will come of this alliance.

Where does this leave you? As a follower of Jesus Christ and His exclusive message of salvation, stay alert to how the interfaith movement is shaping your own community and the church. The New Age/interfaith movement recognizes that education at the grassroots level is vital to its global agenda. Already many churches and Christian schools have succumbed to its philosophy of "religious pluralism." In Jesus own words, "take heed that no man deceive you." (Matt. 24:4) Likewise, counter the dangers of this philosophy by ingraining God’s truth in yourself and your children.

Consider the exhortation of Deuteronomy 6,

"Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up."

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« Reply #39 on: May 11, 2011, 07:09:00 am »

The New Interfaith Generation
I had the chance to speak to 3,000 young people at the United Church of Christ's National Youth Event in Tennessee 10 days ago. I paused in the middle of my talk to ask a question: "How many of you know someone from a different religion personally - a Jew or a Muslim or a Hindu?"



Almost every hand in the room went up.

Faith formation, for these young people, is going to not only involve the question: "What does it mean to be a Christian?" It is going to have to include an additional element, "What does it mean to be a Christian in a community/country/world of Hindus, Muslims, Jews, Buddhists, Sikhs, secular humanists, etc?"

The great comparative religions scholar Wilfred Cantwell Smith predicted this in his book, "The Faith of Other Men," based on his experience in South Asia a half century ago: "The religious life of mankind from now on, if it is to be lived at all, will be lived in a context of religious pluralism."

Cantwell Smith was way ahead of his time. My bet is that many Americans over a certain age still don't know someone from another faith. But their children do. And it's not just an urban America experience. A good number of the young people in the audience I spoke to were from rural areas - small towns in Wisconsin, Texas, Pennsylvania. Religious diversity has become an everywhere phenomenon in America. And it means the first "Interfaith Generation" in America is growing up in front of our eyes.

Scholars, educators and activists are recognizing this new phenomenon. Three new publications (full disclosure: I contributed to two and was interviewed for the third) seek to guide and equip our interfaith America.

Gustav Niebuhr, the former religion reporter for The New York Times and currently a professor at Syracuse University, recently published an excellent book describing and analyzing the religious dynamics of contemporary America, with special attention to the growing interfaith movement. He writes that he saw this movement emerging in America during his two decades as a journalist, and watched it explode after 9/11, "pressed by a new sense of urgency to encourage peaceful encounters across religious lines." His book, Beyond Tolerance, is a lyrical read and as good a window into America's religious diversity as you will find.

Reverend Bud Heckman, a long-time interfaith leader and one of the best I know in the field, has put together an edited volume of "how-to" pieces called Interactive Faith. It answers one of the most common question that I hear when I talk about the importance of interfaith cooperation: "I think bringing people from different religions together is a great idea, now how do I do it?" This book has chapters on the methodology of interfaith dialogue, arts, service and other such programs. Reverend Heckman opens it with a lucid introduction on the theory and practice of interfaith work. The field has long needed a book like this. It belongs on the bookshelf of anybody in a religious, civic or educational community who wants to start an interfaith project.

Rebecca Kratz Mays' edited volume, "Interfaith Dialogue at the Grass Roots" answers another common question in a concrete way: "Is interfaith dialogue only for religious leaders and scholars." The answer is, "No - it's a movement that everyone can and should participate in." The pieces in Mays' volume are examples of interfaith work in a variety of ways and in a range of contexts, from the United States to Macedonia to Indonesia. The pieces are well-written and introduced by one of the most important scholars in the field, Leonard Swidler.

The interfaith generation is going to be asking a whole new set of questions about what it means to be young and religious in this day and age. A new literature is going to have to emerge to light the path for them. These books are amongst the first in what promises to be an exciting and important new field.

Eboo Patel
THE FAITH DIVIDE
Eboo Patel is founder and executive director of the Interfaith Youth Core, a Chicago-based international nonprofit that promotes interfaith cooperation. His blog, The Faith Divide, explores what drives faiths apart and what brings them together.
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« Reply #40 on: May 11, 2011, 07:09:52 am »

THE ALLIANCE OF CIVILIZATIONS: WAR ON MONOTHEISTIC RELIGIONS?

By: Constance Cumbey
December 19, 2006

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One is, it appears, allowed to have a religion in the “New World Order,” a/k/a “Alliance of Civilizations,” a/k/a “global governance.” One is not, however, allowed to believe it true. Nor is one allowed to tell others it is true. If somebody believes that “Maitreya is the Christ,” Rev. Moon is “the Lord of the Second Advent,” or Sai Baba is God, they may tell you their religion is true. That is called “dialogue.” If a Christian dares to suggest Jesus is the only way, that is called “proselytizing.” We are looking at what anti-Christian writer, Theosophist Gina Cerminara during her lifetime cheerfully admitted in her books was a “war of general semantics.”

The newest and most powerful front in this war I have seen to date is the Kofi Annan convened, Javier Solana 2003 originated “Alliance of Civilizations.” Officially proposed, no doubt at the request of Dr. Solana, by prime ministers of Turkey (Erdogan) and Spain (Zapatero), it is a powerful convergence of politics and religion blending into frightening and fast-growing “global governance.” Right on schedule, its “High Level Group of Eminent Personalities,” (amazingly similar to long disappeared former Lucis Trust administrator, Donald Keys’, and his then 1981 proposed “World Council of Wise Persons”) issued its final recommendations on November 13, 2006. You may read it for yourself by clicking here.

What a surprise! I didn’t get an invitation to make my input! Karen Armstrong, an obviously apostate former Roman Catholic nun did. She is one of the “Eminent Personalities.” Not making it quite to that level, but respectfully listened to at Palais des Nations hearings in Geneva on July 17th, 2006 was another apparent Catholic sell-out to the New World Religion: Fr. Gaspar Martinez. He purports to represent something he calls Pax Romana. Curious, I also found him on a Google.com search posing with a group of Spaniards in something called “Bilbao 2005. Its symbol looked amazingly like a spiral formed mirror image 666. Its theology sounded remarkably like Matthew Fox. As to Karen Armstrong, her new and lofty position as an eminent personality” has put her in a place where she may even be a form of female pope. She comfortably thinks she can tell the present one what he may think – as well as what the rest of us should believe.

They believe they have placed standards and recommendations in place for governmental (oops, ‘global governance’) action to come – soon. Here’s a sampling:

“Guidelines and mechanisms should be established to ensure that religious schools are registered with authorities and that their curricula do not foster hatred of other communities.”[1] [Does that include AOC incitement of hatred against fundamentalism? Probably not!]

“Religious leaders, education policymakers, and interfaithcivic organizations should work together to develop consensus guidelines for teaching about religions.”

“Governments and international organizations should work together to convene curriculum-review panels consisting of curriculum experts and representatives of the major faith traditions to review widely used educational curricula, ensuring they meet guidelines for fairness, accuracy, and balance in discussing religious beliefs and that they do not denigrate any faith or its adherents.
* “A reciprocal review mechanism would develop guidelines for fairness, accuracy, and balance in teaching about other religions and cultures, help guarantee consistency in their application across diverse regions, and encourage countries to work together toward these goals in their education systems.”

This AOC agenda was obviously not immaculately conceived. It has clearly traceable roots to another person on whom I have placed much focus over the past 11 years: Javier Solana. Nor was it originated by the two given public credit for same, the prime ministers of Spain and Turkey respectively, Tayyip Erdogan and Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero. Both of them, deeply indebted to Javier Solana, obviously received their sponsorship mantles from him as he seeks to keep a lowered profile on this potentially explosive issue, especially given the increasingly critical attention he has received from prophecy watchers after the creation of his job with Europa code section 666 and his June 2000 power boosting proposal “Recommendation 666.” Small wonder he is laying a little lower on this one! But he has left his mark.

Googling “Alliance of Civilizations” also known as “Alliance of Civilisations” to British Commonwealth countries, yielded 118,000 hits as I was writing this article. The Yahoo! Search engine yielded a lesser but still impressive number of 85,300 ones. Its adopted symbol is hardly a mark of “civilization” – it is a creepy obvious “eye of horus” with a planet in place of the eye. It is obviously designed to bring more comfort to pagans than to monotheists of any stripe!

The “Alliance of Civilizations” would, when fully implemented bring planetary religious liberty, at least for those taking their revealed religion seriously, to a crashing halt. It would, inter alia require registration of all religious schools with the UN under the arm of a to-be-appointed “High Representative for the Alliance of Civilizations.” Interestingly, the same title that Javier Solana holds for the European Union: “High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy.”

[Order Constance Cumbey's book #25, "Hidden Dangers of the Rainbow" while supply lasts]

Javier Solana has been talking much as of late about what he calls a borderless, “toxic brew” that he says refers to the “use or misuse” of religion. He mentioned this in at least two public speeches that I have had occasion to read from the internet. One of them was in his acceptance of a Carnegie Peace Prize award. I am starting to suspect that he is campaigning for this “High Representative” position as well and if he is not, you can bet that he will have much to say about who gets the job!

The much maligned Book of Revelation and the equally maligned Old Testament Book of Daniel contain specific and alarming prophecies about an end time dictator making war on those keeping the faith of Jesus and the commandments of God. War is nearly always preceded by marginalizing and propaganda. The New Agers whom I have observed closely since 1981 have a well advertised slogan: Crisis = Opportunity.

The opening chess moves for the Alliance of Civilizations came in 2003 and meetings were steadily had in 2004 and 2005. Then in March came the crisis that generated the real opportunity – the Danish cartoon crisis.

Aren’t there days you just wonder if that was a precipitated crisis designed to inflame to generate the opportunity to put the three Abrahamic religions under as Alice Bailey said should happen in her writings:

“There are certain areas of evil in the world today through which these forces of darkness can reach humanity. What they are and where they are I do not intend to say. I would point out, however, that Palestine should no longer be called the Holy Land; its sacred places are only the passing relics of three dead and gone religions. The spirit has gone out of the old faiths and the true spiritual light is transferring itself into a new form which will manifest on earth eventually as the new world religion. To this form all that is true and right and good in the old forms will contribute, for the forces of right will withdraw that good, and incorporate it in the new form. Judaism is old, obsolete and separative and has no true message for the spiritually-minded which cannot be better given by the newer faiths; the Moslem faith has served its purpose and all true Moslems await the coming of the Imam Mahdi who will lead them to light and to spiritual victory; the Christian faith also has served its purpose; its Founder seeks to bring a new Gospel and a new message that will enlighten all men everywhere. Therefore, Jerusalem stands for nothing of importance today, except for that which has passed away and should pass away. The "Holy Land" is no longer holy, but is desecrated by selfish interests, and by a basically separative and conquering nation.

“The task ahead of humanity is to close the door upon this worst and yet secondary evil and shut it in its own place.”

Well, as my critics have said for the past 25 years, I surely must be reading too much into this. And, another coincidence of coincidence: There it was, page 61 “Hearings with the International Community & Civil Society regarding the: United Nations High Level Group for the Alliance of Civilisations, one Ghislaine de Reydet, representing Lucis Trust-Bonne Volonté [World Goodwill]. “Googling” Mme de Reydet, I discovered her to be none other than the “Secretary General” of Lucis Trust of Switzerland.

For the record, I have three books in my personal library from the time Lucis Publishing Company (owned by Lucis Trust) published as “Lucifer Publishing.” Another “coincidence,” I suppose. Well, I wonder when the Alliance of Civilizations will get around to analyzing the incitement from that organization against what David Spangler calls “Peoples of the Book” – Jews, Christians, and Moslems. Never, I suspect!

Oh, and one last thing. Lucis Trust and its “World Goodwill" have made a “generous” suggestion for something that could solidify an “Alliance of Civilizations.” They have generously offered the world the use of its “Great Invocation.” I wonder how widely they will circulate its last stanza: “Let light and love and power and death fulfill the purpose of the Coming One.” I wonder further how much publicity they will give to page 548 of its co-founder, Alice Ann Bailey’s quoting her “Djwhal Khul” master suggesting that the atomic bomb could be used to keep powerful religious groups such as the Church of Rome should they not leave politics alone. I suspect none! I suspect the Alliance of Civilizations won’t do much about that “incitement” either. I further am growing in the suspicion that the Alliance of Civilizations may be a grand culmination of long awaited Lucis Trust “prophecies” a/k/a plans. I recommend author Lee Penn’s excellent book, False Dawn, as well as his excellent New Oxford Review articles appearing from time to time in that journal for more detail. I first wrote of this group myself in my 1983 book, still available from NewsWithViews.com for a limited time, The Hidden Dangers of the Rainbow: The New Age Movement and our coming age of barbarism.

Fasten your seatbelts – spiritual and otherwise -- friends. The ride is getting very bumpy! Keep the faith!
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« Reply #41 on: May 11, 2011, 07:10:21 am »

Blair declares his faith: I want to awaken world's conscience
Friday, 4 April 2008 (old i know)

Tony Blair has called for a drive among people of all faiths to "awaken the world's conscience" over the failure to tackle poverty, illiteracy and poor health in the developing world.


Delivering his first major speech on religion at Westminster Cathedral, the former prime minister, who converted to Catholicism last year, argued that religions of all kinds should be rescued from extremism and irrelevance to help meet a "profound yearning within the human spirit" at a time of unprecedented global turbulence.

He set out plans for the Tony Blair Faith Foundation, which is designed to forge closer ties between young people of all major religions, as well as promoting the importance of faith in general.

Its first aim, he said, would be to champion the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the targets set by the United Nations for improve conditions in the developing world by 2015. They include halving extreme poverty, providing universal primary education and halting the spread of HIV/Aids.

He said the MDGs were a "litmus test of the world's values" and were "stark in their ambition and necessity". Mr Blair warned: "We are falling short as a world in meeting them. It would be a great example of faith in action to try to bridge the gap and awaken the world's conscience."

He added that the foundation would focus on the "Abrahamic faiths" of Christianity, Judaism and Islam, as well as Hinduism, Sikhism and Buddhism, and that it would help people of those faiths "discover what they share" and "help partner those within any of the faiths who stand up for peaceful co-existence and reject the extremist and divisive notion that faiths are in fundamental struggle against each other".

Mr Blair also admitted he had under-estimated the extent of "seismic shift" globally from West to East while he was Prime Minister. He said: "The centre of gravity, economically and politically, is shifting east and it is shifting fast.

"China and India together will industrialise the bulk of their populations, presently employed in subsistence agriculture, probably within two decades."

He argued that the "strong historical and cultural influence" of religion in both East and West could help both hemispheres unite around "common values" rather than undergo "a battle for domination".

About 1,600 people obtained free tickets to hear the address by Mr Blair, who has divided his time between acting as a Middle East envoy, pursuing business interests and developing his plans for the Foundation. He has also accepted a teaching post on the subject of faith and globalisation at Yale University.

Mr Blair said he was forced to play down the importance of his faith while in Downing Street because of scepticism in Britain about politicians who were actively religious.

He said they could be considered "weird" people who engaged in "some slightly cultish interaction" with their religion, wanted to impose their faith on others and were pretending to be better than the next person.

"[There is an assumption] that you are somehow messianically trying to co-opt God to bestow a divine legitimacy on your politics."

He said: "Even 10 years ago, religion was still being written off as a force in the world ... But, in fact, at no time since the Enlightenment has religion ever gone away. It has always been at the very core of life for millions of people."

A major police operation was mounted as anti-war protesters holding placards gathered outside the cathedral during his speech.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/blair-declares-his-faith-i-want-to-awaken-worlds-conscience-804519.html
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« Reply #42 on: May 11, 2011, 07:10:45 am »

Tony Blair Calls for World Church

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vxm5eKSZNRs&eurl=http://www.deceptionbytes.com/OneWorldChurch

NEW YORK (AP) — Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair said Friday that leaders in an interdependent world must work to end religious conflict or face "catastrophe" as he introduced a new foundation dedicated to interfaith understanding.

Religion is as important in this century as political ideology was in the last, Blair said. The Tony Blair Faith Foundation will fight extremism, organize faith groups against poverty and illness, and educate people worldwide about religions other than their own, he said.

"There is a new reality. We have to come to terms with it. And it implies, at its fundamentals, peaceful coexistence or catastrophe," said Blair in a speech before religious and business leaders at the posh Time Warner Center. "If faith becomes a countervailing force, pulling people apart, then it becomes destructive and indeed dangerous."

Former President Bill Clinton, who became a close friend of Blair's when both men were in office, opened the event, putting his arm around the former prime minister and calling his faith "genuine" and "deep." ( Bill Clinton is now a judge of character?)

The group's advisory council includes evangelical megapastor Rick Warren,( interesting guess we know whose side he is on)  who with his wife, Kay, advocates for HIV/AIDS victims worldwide; Ismail Khudr Al-Shatti, an adviser to the prime minister of Kuwait; and world Baptist and Jewish leaders. Catholic Cardinal Cormac Murphy O'Connor of Westminster, England, has pledged to join the council when the pope allows him to retire.

Yale University is a partner in the project. The former prime minister plans to teach at the school next year, leading a seminar on faith and globalization.

In a brief interview, Blair said he defined extremists as "people who want to exclude the other if someone is of a different faith."( so in Tony's world anyone that beleives Jesus is the only way to God is an extremist) Blair told the crowd that although Islamic extremism draws the most attention, "there are elements of extremism in every major faith."

"It is important where people of good faith combat such extremism, that they are supported," said Blair, who is an envoy for the Quartet of Mideast peacemakers — the U.S., European Union, Russia and United Nations.

Among the foundation's many initiatives are promoting research on religion and globalization; ( ooooh so it is to not only promote  a one world religion but a one world government- thanks for clearing that up for us) developing interactive media and publications on religion geared for young people, businesses and political groups; and, working with the U.N. and groups such as the Malaria No More Campaign to fight the illness.

Blair said the foundation would not focus on "doctrinal inquiry" ( no for heaven's sake lets not worry about DOCTRINE) or "subsume different faiths in some universal faith of the lowest common denominator."

Sayyid Syeed, a national leader of the Islamic Society of North America and a veteran of interfaith outreach, said it is possible to find common ground without watering down religious teachings if the work is based on sound scholarship about each faith.

"It has been done in the past and can be done again," Syeed said.

( notice the doublespeak in the last three paragraphs)

Richard C. Levin, Yale's president, who shared the stage with Blair and two young American Muslim leaders, said the community service programs that will be part of the foundation's work will build a bond among young people, despite any theological differences.

"You cannot understand the modern world," Blair said, "unless you understand the importance of religious faith."
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« Reply #43 on: May 11, 2011, 07:11:09 am »

Many Americans Say Christianity Not the Only Way to Eternal Life

Most American Christians believe many religions can lead to eternal life and among them, the vast majority says you don't even have to be Christian to go to heaven, a new survey shows.

Sixty-five percent of all Christians say there are multiple paths to eternal life, ultimately rejecting the exclusivity of Christ teaching, according to the latest survey conducted by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life.

Even among white evangelical Protestants, 72 percent of those who say many religions can lead to eternal life name at least one non-Christian religion, such as Judaism or Islam or no religion at all, that can lead to salvation.

Dr. R. Albert Mohler, Jr., president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, called the survey results "a theological crisis for American evangelicals," according to USA Today.

"They represent at best a misunderstanding of the Gospel and at worst a repudiation of the Gospel," the prominent evangelical theologian said.

Majorities among white evangelicals, white mainline Christians, and black Protestants who do not believe in the exclusivity of salvation say Catholicism and Judaism can lead to eternal life, Pew results show.

Smaller but still sizeable percentages (more than half) of white mainline Christians, black Protestants and white Catholics who say there are multiple ways to eternal life also say Islam can lead to salvation; among white evangelicals, 35 percent agree. And more than half of white mainline Christians and white Catholics who view heaven's gates as wide say Hinduism can lead to eternal life compared to 33 percent of white evangelicals and 44 percent of black Protestants.

Surprisingly, Christians also believe atheism can provide a ticket to heaven. Forty-six percent of white mainline Christians, 49 percent of white Catholics and 26 percent of white evangelicals who believe many religions lead to salvation say atheism can lead to eternal life.

Mohler called the findings "an indictment of evangelicalism and evangelical preaching."

"The clear Biblical teaching is that Jesus Christ proclaimed himself to be the only way to salvation," he told USA Today.

Explaining the challenge many believers face in today's culture, Mohler noted, "We are in an age when we want to tell everyone they are doing just fine. It's extremely uncomfortable to turn to someone and say, 'You will go to hell unless you come to a saving knowledge of Jesus.'"

The Pew Forum first surveyed Americans on the exclusivity view of salvation in 2007. The survey of 35,000 adults provided startling numbers with 57 percent of evangelical church attendees saying they believe many religions can lead to eternal life and overall, 70 percent of Americans sharing that view.

But when the survey results were released in June this year, critics reported flaws in the survey such as the Pew Forum's definition of evangelical and the vagueness of the statement "many religions can lead to eternal life." Critics say it was possible some respondents may have interpreted "many religions" as other Christian denominations besides their own while others might have thought more broadly to include non-Christian faiths.

The new survey, conducted July 31-Aug. 10, 2008, among nearly 3,000 adults, serves to clarify the previous findings.

And alarmingly, 52 percent of all American Christians think that at least some non-Christian faiths can lead to eternal life.

Additionally, only 30 percent of those affiliated with a religion say one's belief determines eternal life; 29 percent say eternal life depends on one's actions and 10 percent believe it's a combination of belief and actions.

White evangelicals were less likely to say actions determine who obtains eternal life compared to white mainline believers, black Protestants and white Catholics; and they were more likely to agree that salvation is dependent on belief (64 percent) compared to only 25 percent of white mainline Christians.

Despite the alarming findings, the Pew Forum provided one trend that may be good news for evangelical Christians.

The percentage of evangelical Christians who say theirs is the one, true faith has gone up from 39 percent in 2002 to 49 percent in 2008. The religious exclusivity view has also grown among black Protestants, all Catholics, and slightly among white mainline Protestants.

http://www.christianpost.com/article/20081219/many-americans-say-christianity-not-the-only-way-to-eternal-life.htm
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« Reply #44 on: May 11, 2011, 07:11:38 am »

Globalization Needs 'Values' to Succeed, Says Blair

Globalization needs a “solid basis of values” to succeed, contended former British Prime Minister Tony Blair in a major address this past week.

Faith is one way to provide a values system for globalization, but not the only way, he told hundreds of students and professors at Yale University after completing his first semester as a visiting professor.

Blair’s hour-long speech on Thursday was focused on whether or not a value system could be introduced to globalization and how, according to the Yale Daily News.

“The problems we face today cannot be solved without alliances,” he said. “And alliances won’t work without common values.”

Blair says his experience at Yale has strengthen his belief that religious, economic, and social globalization are linked.

Multicultural and multi-religious societies are the result of “pushing people together,” and now “spiritual capital” and “human capital” need to be linked, he argued.

“Unless we find a way of reconciling faith and globalization, the world will be a more dangerous place,” Blair said, according to The Associated Press.

The former British leader called on the United States, Britain and its allies to emphasize the importance of social values in the fight against terrorism.

“It’s the force of argument, and not of arms, that will cause us to succeed,” Blair said, according to Ecumenical News International.

During his time as a visiting professor at Yale, Blair co-taught a seminar on faith and globalization with Professor Miroslav Volf, a theologian and the director of Yale’s Center for Faith and Culture.

Blair, who was an Anglican Christian, converted to Catholicism in 2007 after stepping down as prime minister of Britain. In an interview with BBC, Blair said that his belief in God played a “hugely important” role during his 10 years as prime minister.

The former British prime minister will continue to teach at Yale for the next two years as part of a three year partnership between the university and his London-based Tony Blair Faith Foundation. Blair said Yale will be the headquarters for the U.S. operations of his foundation, according to the Yale Daily News.

http://www.christianpost.com/article/20081214/globalization-needs-values-to-succeed-says-blair.htm
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« Reply #45 on: May 11, 2011, 07:12:06 am »

Tony Blair and Belinda Stronach Join to Support Faiths Act Fellowship

TORONTO -- Rt Hon Tony Blair and Hon Belinda Stronach announced that they were joining forces to collaborate with representatives of a broad cross-section of the communities of faith and spiritual belief in Canada in a new proposed interfaith initiative.
 
Belinda Stronach and Tony Blair had the honour to meet in Toronto in a roundtable with some 30 representatives of faith and belief communities, including young people of faith, to share views and to form concretely a steering committee that will explore the launch of a new interfaith forum dedicated to advancement of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

In adopting the Millennium Declaration in 2000, the global community through the United Nations committed itself to setting and meeting a series of basic overarching goals to improve the lives of all of humanity known as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The original target for reaching these defining goals was 2015 and we are now half way along that path. Progress has been made but it has also been slow and uneven. The MDGs need grassroots champions the world over to push toward the targeted objectives now more than ever.



"I believe that people of different religious faiths and spiritual beliefs care about the issues of development and human justice captured in the MDGs, and have a remarkable ability to collaborate and mobilize resources at the community level. We are proposing here to try to tap into the energy and capacity of the faith and belief communities and encourage them to achieve even more together than apart," stated Tony Blair.

"We are looking to work with Canadians of faith and belief to build a secure and neutral public space in which to encourage and facilitate inter-faith cooperation on practical humanitarian matters where there is a large degree of consensus, starting with the MDGs. And the process of the interfaith collaboration itself is also an important endeavour," added Belinda Stronach.

Tony Blair and Belinda Stronach also affirmed that they are supporting together the Tony Blair Faith Foundation's programme Faiths Act Fellowship as a first concrete deliverable programme of the proposed interfaith initiative. This programme, developed in partnership with the Interfaith Youth Core based in Chicago, is an opportunity for young leaders of faith to become ambassadors for inter-religious cooperation achieving the Millennium Development Goals and ending deaths due to malaria. The Fellowship will allow thirty outstanding young people from, in the first instance, Canada, the U.K. and the United States to embark together on a ten month journey of interfaith service. Training begins with a two month intensive initiation that includes training in London and Chicago and fieldwork with primary health care partners in Africa. Fellows will return to their home countries for eight months to mobilize young people of faith to raise awareness and resources to promote the Millennium Development Goals. The forum proposed above will help in identifying and supporting young Canadian participants and seeking the best host organizations in Canada.

The steering committee would work going forward with staff of the Tony Blair Faith Foundation and The Belinda Stronach Foundation to:



develop collaboratively a mandate and strategic plan for organization of the interfaith project with the structure it needs to be successful; and,
create programming with the organizational resources required to have real impact at the community level.


"Believers all know our Creator made us diverse peoples, following different paths in search of God's Grace throughout the world. Serving each other together transforms us into a community of Faith, despite our differences. The Faith of Life Network offers Mr. Blair and Ms. Stronach our heartfelt congratulations and support for their bold international initiative of positive change," said David Liepert, who represented the Canadian Council of Imams at the roundtable and is Founding Director of the Faith of Life Network.

"I fully endorse this worthwhile cause. If ever there was an endeavour worthy of the world's grassroots spiritual movements, this is it," declared Sayone Arasratnam, President of both the Hindu Youth Network and the Hindu Canadian Network.

Friday 05 December 2008
http://tonyblairfaithfoundation.org/2008/12/tony-blair-and-belinda-stronac.html
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« Reply #46 on: May 11, 2011, 07:12:47 am »

Through the Demon Queen of Heaven known today as Mary, she is bringing all faiths together for the end time one world interfaith religion.

Mary and Other Religions

The maternal and sympathizing figure of Mary, the Mother of Jesus, is so close to the human heart - of any human heart - whatever its culture, its time, its religion that the Blessed Virgin is loved and venerated beyond the Christian world!

The Virgin is universally honored as being pure; she is the Mother who is able to understand the human heart and man's need for love which is always the same on every horizon.

Thus for example, in Buddhism or Hinduism, religions so remote from the Christian Revelation, Mary is perceived as a Mother full of love whose tenderness is matched only by her courage to defend her beloved Son.

For this reason, many followers of these non-Christian religions are attracted to the Mother of Jesus and go to extent of even praying to her, as they would to their own mother.


Mary and Islam

Mary is known and respected - she is even prayed to at times - in Islam.
Mary is well-known in Islam because she is mentioned on several occasions in the Holy Qur'an, and in particular in the Sourate 19, as a virgin and mother - by divine intervention - of the Prophet Jesus.

Mary is venerated in Islam primarily for her virtues: her virginal purity, her humility and her piety, which makes of her a model for believers.

Muslims do not recognize Jesus as the Son of God

But Mary is not regarded as the Mother of God because the Muslims don't recognize Jesus as the Son of God incarnate, as God Himself. However, in Islam Jesus is just a great prophet, born by miracle, of an exceptional virgin.

Actually, the main point of convergence between Islam and Christianity is the recognition of a common Patriarch, Abraham from whom the Muslims, like the Jews and the Christians, hold their monotheist faith (belief in only one God).

But in spite of common references among the figures in the Bible who can be found again in the Qur'an, the Muslim and the Christian faith differ on the question of the origin of Mary herself because of a confusion in the Qur'an between Mary - Mother of Jesus - and Myriam, the sister of Moses and Aaron, who lived in the 13th century B.C.

Mary in the Holy Qur'an

What does the Holy Qur'an say about Mary and Jesus? (1)

And mention Marium in the Book when she drew aside from her family to an eastern place;
So she took a veil (to screen herself) from them; then We sent to her Our spirit, and there appeared to her a well-made man.

She said: Surely I fly for refuge from you to the Beneficent God, if you are one guarding (against evil).

He said: I am only a messenger of your Lord: That I will give you a pure boy.

She said: When shall I have a boy and no mortal has yet touched me, nor have I been unchaste?

He said: Even so; your Lord says: It is easy to Me: and that We may make him a sign to men and a mercy from Us, and it is a matter which has been decreed.

So she conceived him; then withdrew herself with him to a remote place.
And the throes (of childbirth) compelled her to betake herself to the trunk of a palm tree. She said: Oh, would that I had died before this, and had been a thing quite forgotten!

Then (the child) called out to her from beneath her: Grieve not; surely your Lord has made a stream to flow beneath you;

And shake towards you the trunk of the palm tree, it will drop on you fresh ripe dates:

So eat and drink and refresh the eye. Then if you see any mortal, say: Surely I have vowed a fast to the Beneficent God, so I shall not speak to any man today.

And she came to her people with him, carrying him (with her). They said: O Marium! surely you have done a strange thing.

O sister of Haroun! your father was not a bad man, nor, was your mother an unchaste woman.

But she pointed to him. They said: How should we speak to one who was a child in the cradle?

He said: Surely I am a servant of Allah; He has given me the Book and made me a prophet;

And He has made me blessed wherever I may be, and He has enjoined on me prayer and poor-rate so long as I live;

And dutiful to my mother, and He has not made me insolent, unblessed;
And peace on me on the day I was born, and on the day I die, and on the day I am raised to life.

Such is Isa, son of Marium; (this is) the saying of truth about which they dispute.

It beseems not Allah that He should take to Himself a son, glory to be Him; when He has decreed a matter He only says to it "Be," and it is.

And surely Allah is my Lord and your Lord, therefore serve Him; this is the right path.

But parties from among them disagreed with each other, so woe to those who disbelieve, because of presence on a great.

How clearly shall they hear and how clearly shall they see on the day when they come to Us; but the unjust this day are in manifest error.

And warn them of the day of intense regret, when the matter shall have been decided; and they are (now) in negligence and they do not believe.

Surely We inherit the earth and all those who are on it, and to Us they shall be returned.

(Verses 16-40 of chapter 19 "Marium" from the Holy Qur'an)
 
- (1 ) It is interesting to note, while reading these passages, that Mary, although she is recognized by the text to be a virgin and the mother of Jesus, she is not considered to be the Mother of God. She is simply the mother of a prophet. In the Qur'an, Jesus is not considered to be the Son of God incarnate, but merely a simple prophet.

Do Muslims Believe that Mary Can Intercede for Men?

The Qur’an speaks of Mary in respectful, even admiring terms, and frequently invites the faithful to “remember her”: yes, “mention Mary” (Qur'an 19: 76). The common sight of Muslim men and women in Marian shrines invites one to ponder: Does Islam teach anything about Mary’s intercession like the Catholic Church (Vatican II, Lumen Gentium 62 or 69)?

An example from Algiers

In Algiers, Algeria, the Basilica of Our Lady of Africa wasn’t Islamized during the recent push of Islamism, but has remained a place of pilgrimage. In the apse of that sanctuary is the inscription:

“Our Lady of Africa, pray for us and for the Muslims!”

This is a prayer written by Christians, accepted and tolerated by Muslims.

An example from Mozambique

In 1948, in Nampula, a delegation of Muslims interrupted a procession for Our Lady of Fatima, and their president, Galamussen R. Bangy, delivered an address to the Virgin by reading the following declaration:

 

“The Islamic community of S. A.Aga Khan, from the province of Niassa, united in the veneration of Our Lady of Fatima, cannot fail to pay its most sincere homage to the venerable Pilgrim statue who, from the Cova da Iria is being carried throughout the world and who, in this moment of historic importance, gives us the great honor and privilege of coming to us.”

 

O Our Lady of Fatima, bless our city

O Our Lady of Fatima, bless the whole human race, so that it may follow a path of peace, human fraternity and spiritual elevation.

O Our Lady of Fatima, grant concord to all men on earth.

O Our Lady of Fatima, allow us to pay you this homage, although insignificant, which comes directly from our hearts full of veneration and true love.[1]

 

This speech could partly be one suited for the occasion, to entertain local conviviality. We can’t dismiss the possible confusion for the Muslim audience between “Our Lady of Fatima” and “Fatima, the daughter of the Prophet” either. The fact remains that what you have here is an expression of the Muslims’ popular trust in Mary’s intercession. This Muslim prayer is a blessing for peace that could take root – although indirectly – with the surah of Mary, where the son of Mary is described as a non-violent being on whom Peace rests (Qur’an 19 : 33).

The Teaching of Islam

The Qur’an teaches that intercession is possible, but does not say who can intercede. Some verses warn that at the last Judgment, no one will be able to intercede before Allah, who will remain the only patron (surah 2: 48 or surah 6 : 51). (Cf. what has been said about determinism.)

 

In particular, there won’t be the possibility of intercession for those who will not have recognized in Muhammad the messenger of Allah (Surah 9 : 80).

Popular faith expects a certain intercession from Muhammad

 


Muhammad is the only one who can intercede because all others have sinned:


Adam ate of the fruit of the tree,


Noah did not take care of those who were sent to perdition,


Abraham argued about the religion agreeable to God,


Moses killed a man,


Jesus and his mother were adored as if they were gods. [2]

 

In such a context, speaking objectively of an intercession from Mary, whether in favor of Muslims or non-Muslims, doesn’t make a lot of sense in Islam.

An example that happened in Jordania

A monk from the abbey of Latroun in Israel shared a story he heard from the very mouth of Father Joseph, pastor of Anjara:

 


Nasser, a young Muslim serving as a paratrooper for the Jordanian army in Amman, was bedridden after making a bad landing and hurting a vertebra. He wasn’t recovering. Nasser’s fiancée was a young Muslim girl, raised by the Sisters of the Rosary. The young people felt a great sadness about the future. Nasser was sent to London where an unhappy injection left him paralyzed for life. Back at the military hospital of Amman, he learned that his fiancée’s parents wanted to break off the engagement and he himself agreed.


However, a friend of the girl, Sister L. of the Rosary, went to visit Nasser through an inspiration of the Holy Spirit, and gave him a Miraculous Medal. He kissed it and accepted to wear it. Sister L. told him: "What the doctors can’t do, God will do and heal you."


That night, Nasser heard a voice telling him: "Nasser, you are healed now, get up."


He answered: "It’s impossible, I am paralyzed for life."


A second time the voice said: "Nasser, you are healed now, get up."


Same answer.


The third time, the voice said: "I am the Mother of Jesus, in his Name, I have healed you, get up." At that moment, he felt two strong hands pulling him up. He was healed. Exulting with joy, truly healed, he woke up the whole hospital. Doctors and nurses couldn’t believe their eyes.


The next day, he asked for a certificate stating that his recovery was miraculous. He only received a certificate attesting that his recovery was humanly unexplainable. No matter, Nasser became an apostle of Mary and proclaimed everywhere that “Sittna Mariam,” Our Lady Mary, healed him. He attended a Mass of thanksgiving with his fiancé. Now nothing prevented their marriage. And Bishop Sinnaan, the bishop the Amman, was informed of the fact and of Nasser’s desire to become a Christian. [3]

 

Sister L. entrusted the paralyzed man to Mary’s intercession. This was the meaning of her gesture when she had given Nasser a Miraculous Medal. However, the Muslim faith does not teach that Mary intercedes for men.

 

This is where another revelation came in for the young Muslim, which occurred in a private manner, through a voice he heard (it is of little relevance here how he heard it, interiorly or exteriorly).

 

To remain a Muslim wasn’t for Nasser the coherent and harmonious thing to do while he had gained this new consciousness of Mary’s intercession; so he decided to become a Christian.

 

 

________________

[1] P. Demoutiez – M. T. Pereira da Cunha, Nossa Senhora de Fatima, Peregrina do Mundo, Lisboa 1953,- cité da E. Oggé, La Madonna Missionaria, Edizioni Missioni Consolata, 2° editino, Turin 1968, p. 333.

[2] (SMITH J. AND HADDAD Y., The Islamic Understanding of Death and Resurrection, Albany 1981, p. 80)

[3] Article de "Message et Messagers" #163, 1984, - Told in "Recueil marial" (1986) by Brother Albert Pfleger, Marist

OUR LADY AND ISLAM: HEAVEN’S PEACE PLAN
 Fr Ladis J. Cizik, Blue Army National Executive Director

OUR LADY AND ISLAM: HEAVEN’S PEACE PLAN
Fr Ladis J. Cizik, Blue Army National Executive Director

Islam Islam is an Arabic word that can be defined as "to make peace." Islam is the religion founded by Mohammed, which considers the Koran as its holy book. In addition, Islam accepts the New Testament of the Christians and the Old Testament of the Jews as Divinely inspired works. Followers of Islam are known as Muslims (also: Moors, Turks, and Moslems) and, just as Jews and Christians, believe in only one God. Yet, over the centuries, Muslims have engaged in tremendous wars with Christians and Jews. It would seem that there is little hope for peace. However, Heaven's Peace Plan, involving Our Lady, is evidenced at Fatima, Portugal as well as other places around the world.

Fatima

The Moors once occupied Portugal. The village of Fatima was given the Islamic name of the well-loved Princess of the nearby Castle of Ourem. She died at an early age after marrying the Count of Ourem and converting to Catholicism. Baptized with the Christian name of Oureana, she was named at birth "Fatima," like many other Moslem girls, in honor of the daughter of Mohammed. Of his daughter, Fatima, the founder of Islam, Mohammed, said: "She has the highest place in heaven after the Virgin Mary."

It is a fact that Moslems from various nations, especially from the Middle East, make so many pilgrimages to Our Lady of Fatima's Shrine in Portugal that Portuguese officials have expressed concern. The combination of an Islamic name and Islamic devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary is a great attraction to Moslems. God is writing straight with crooked lines, as we will see. Fatima is a part of Heaven's Peace Plan. It is hope for the world.

The Koran

In the Koran, the holy name of the Blessed Virgin Mary is mentioned no less than thirty times. No other woman's name is even mentioned, not even that of Mohammed's daughter, Fatima. Among men, only Abraham, Moses, and Noah are mentioned more times than Our Lady. In the Koran, Our Blessed Mother is described as "Virgin, ever Virgin." The Islamic belief in the virginity of Mary puts to shame the heretical beliefs of those who call themselves Christian, while denying the perpetual virginity of Mary. Make no mistake about it, there is a very special relationship between the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Moslems!

The Holy Land

The Holy Land has been a real battleground between the Islamic peoples and Christianity over the centuries. Evidence of this are the numerous churches and basilicas that have been built by the Church, destroyed by, the Moslems, rebuilt by Catholic Crusaders, leveled again by the followers of Islam, and so on over the course of history. However, there is one remarkable exception: the Basilica of Saint Anne in Jerusalem.

The Crusaders built this church and named it in honor of the mother of the Blessed Virgin Mary. In the Crypt of St. Anne's Basilica, a statue of the Infant Mary is venerated on what is believed to be the exact spot where Our Lady was born. Their great reverence for Our Lady precluded the Moslems from destroying her birthplace. The foundation for Heaven's Peace Plan at Fatima, Portugal, can be found in the Land of Our Lord Jesus Christ.

Spain

As the Moslems swept through Spain in the 8th century, a great religious treasure was buried for safe-keeping in the earth, high in the Estremadura Mountains. It was a much venerated statue of Our Lady holding the Divine Child Jesus that was a gift of Pope Gregory the Great to Bishop Leander of Seville. After the overthrow of Moorish occupation, the image was uncovered in the year 1326, subsequent to a vision of Our Lady to a humble shepherd by the name of Gil. Our Lady's very special statue was enshrined in a nearby Franciscan Monastery next to the "Wolf River."

The Moslems, during their Spanish occupation, had actually named the river. The Islamic term for Wolf River is "Guadalupe" (Guada = River; Lupe = Wolf). Hence, the famous Catholic image in Spain has been known, since the 14th century, by the Islamic name of "Our Lady of Guadalupe."

Mexico

In the fullness of time, we can be sure that Almighty God knew that the Islamic religion would pose a serious threat to Christianity. God also knew that the Spanish missionaries would face grave resistance in the "new world" from the mighty Aztec Indians. The Aztecs worshipped an evil stone "serpent god" that demanded human sacrifice. It was extremely difficult to win souls for Christ from these bloodthirsty savages. However, with God all things are possible. Our Lady appeared to a humble Aztec Indian convert by the name of Juan Diego in 1531. When asked her name by Juan Diego, at the request of the local bishop, Our Lady's response, in the Aztec language, included the words "te coatlaxopeuh" (pronounced: "te quatlasupe") and meant "one who crushes the head of the stone serpent."

To Juan Diego and his fellow Aztecs, this revelation had great meaning, coupled with the miraculous image of Our Lady standing on top of a "crescent," the symbol of this evil serpent god. A tidal wave of conversions to Catholicism ensued. However, Bishop Zumarraga, who was from Spain, made what was no doubt a "heavenly mistake" that one day may lead to the mass conversion of Moslems. To the Bishop's Spanish ears, Our Lady's Aztec name of "Te Quatlasupe" sounded just like the name of the revered Madonna from Spain with the Islamic name, "Guadalupe." Hence, the bishop named the Mexican Madonna "Our Lady of Guadalupe." It is interesting that the "crescent" is also the symbol for Islam and that America's Shrine to Our Lady has an Islamic name.

Battle of Lepanto

On October 7, 1571, a great victory over the mighty Turkish fleet was won by Catholic naval forces primarily from Spain, Venice, and Genoa under the command of Don Juan of Austria. It was the last battle at sea between "oared" ships, which featured the most powerful navy in the world, a Moslem force with between 12,000 to 15,000 Christian slaves as rowers. The patchwork team of Catholic ships was powered by the Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Knowing that the Christian forces were at a distinct material disadvantage, the holy pontiff, St. Pope Pius V called for all of Europe to pray the Rosary for victory.

We know today that the victory was decisive, prevented the Islamic invasion of Europe, and evidenced the Hand of God working through Our Lady. At the hour of victory, St. Pope Pius V, who was hundreds of miles away at the Vatican, is said to have gotten up from a meeting, went over to a window, and exclaimed with supernatural radiance: "The Christian fleet is victorious!" and shed tears of thanksgiving to God.

What you may not know is that one of three admirals commanding the Catholic forces at Lepanto was Andrea Doria. He carried a small copy of Mexico's Our Lady of Guadalupe into battle. This image is now enshrined in the Church of San Stefano in Aveto, Italy. Not many know that at the Monastery of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Spain, one can view a huge warship lantern that was captured from the Moslems in the Battle of Lepanto. In Rome, look up to the ceiling of S. Maria in Aracoeli and behold decorations in gold taken from the Turkish galleys. In the Doges' Palace in Venice, Italy, one can witness a giant Islamic flag that is now a trophy from a vanquished Turkish ship from the Victory. At Saint Mary Major Basilica in Rome, close to the tomb of the great St. Pope Pius V, one was once able to view yet another Islamic flag from the Battle, until 1965, when it was returned to Istanbul in an intended friendly token of concord.

The Rosary

At Lepanto, the Victory over the Moslems was won by the faithful praying the Rosary. Even though they had superior numbers, the Turks really were overmatched. Blessed Padre Pio, the Spiritual Father of the Blue Army, said: "The Rosary is the weapon," and how right he was!

The Battle of Lepanto was at first celebrated liturgically as "Our Lady of Victory." Later, the feast of October 7th was renamed "Our Lady of the Rosary" and extended throughout the Universal Church by Pope Clement XI in 1716 (who canonized Pope Pius V in 1712).

And with that we are back to Fatima, Portugal where Our Lady, when asked her name, said: "I am the Lady of the Rosary." At Fatima, Our Lady taught us to pray the Rosary every day. Heaven presented its peace plan at Fatima and truly gave us hope for the world. Conversions were promised at Fatima: the conversion of sinners; the conversion of Russia; and what also appears to be the conversion of Islam. Our Lady of the Rosary, pray for us!
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« Reply #47 on: May 11, 2011, 07:13:23 am »

Mary and Other Religions

The maternal and sympathizing figure of Mary, the Mother of Jesus, is so close to the human heart - of any human heart - whatever its culture, its time, its religion that the Blessed Virgin is loved and venerated beyond the Christian world!

The Virgin is universally honored as being pure; she is the Mother who is able to understand the human heart and man's need for love which is always the same on every horizon.

Thus for example, in Buddhism or Hinduism, religions so remote from the Christian Revelation, Mary is perceived as a Mother full of love whose tenderness is matched only by her courage to defend her beloved Son.

For this reason, many followers of these non-Christian religions are attracted to the Mother of Jesus and go to extent of even praying to her, as they would to their own mother.


Mary and Hinduism

Since ancient times, goddesses have been both well known and revered in India. Thousands of images of women that were found in the North-West of India in the ruins of the Indus Valley civilization (around 2500-1500 B.C.) show that goddesses played an important role in the religion of this culture, even though male divinities dominated the written traditions.

Goddess worship is very developed in Hinduism

The daily worship of goddesses in Hinduism is visible at a village level, where goddess worship occupies a key role. Although in the minds of the villagers goddesses are part of literature and tradition, many of them in fact only have a regional or local reputation. These village goddesses care for the existence, interests and well-being of the community. They are particularly associated with fertility – both of the crops as of the human – as well as illnesses.They are usually revered by all the members of one village and identified with that specific village.

The existence of a Great Goddess...

Some Hindu theologians believe in the existence of a Great Goddess who appears in different forms.  Numerous goddesses in the Hindu tradition represent a unifying cosmic principal, powerfully fecund, active and female in gender. Although this character has many names, she is generally known as Devi (Goddess) or Mahdevi (Great Goddess). She is often called Sakti, which means “power” and hints at her wide and unending powers of creation. This Great Goddess is fundamentally an active divinity, attentive to the stability of the world and to the needs of her worshippers.

…which reminds us of the Virgin Mary without being comparable to her

The dark, destructive, blood-thirsty side of the Great Goddess is seen as a natural part of a certain sense of order given that she covers all things and affirms a positive and necessary interaction in the cosmos between life and death, creation and destruction, strength and rest. The devotion of Hindus and other Indian religions towards the Blessed Virgin Mary should be put into this context of worship of the Hindu goddesses.

If we were able to speak to them convincingly of the real greatness of Our Lady as Immaculate Mother of our Redeemer...

The popular concept of the Hindu goddess cannot be applied to Our Lady, even though she has many of the attributes of Hindu goddesses.  She is respected and venerated by Indians in popular tradition like a holy woman who answers their prayers for material and spiritual needs. However if we were able to speak to them convincingly of the real greatness of Our Lady as Immaculate Mother of our Redeemer, they might grow to respect and venerate her as she deserves.

Mary and Buddhism

Buddhism, strictly speaking, does not evoke God, and therefore understandably has no reason to include a figure such as the Blessed Virgin Mary in the picture of salvation.

As goes an ancient Sutra (sacred Buddhist text): “Like a mother loves and protects her beloved son with her very life, you too, Buddhist monks, must cultivate without limit the virtue of kindness and pity toward all living things.”

With time, the concept of Kannon-Bosatsu (in Sanskrit: Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara) as the Mother Buddha - with boundless pity - appeared and expanded in Mahayana Buddhism (most common type of Buddhism in Japan, Korea and China). The devotion to Kannon-Bosatsu quickly spread throughout China, Korea and Japan. The numerous of temples dedicated to this Kannon has become popular destinations for Buddhist pilgrimages.

An interesting detail in Japan’s history:

From the time when Tokuwaga was shogun (governor), Christians were persecuted for three centuries. The persecuted Catholics remained faithful with the help of small statues of Mary-Kannon (Kannon was a goddess of pity worshipped by the Buddhists).

Some of these statues, apparently depicting Kannon, were in actual fact venerated as the Blessed Virgin Mary (often with the Infant Jesus in her arms). This allowed Catholics to escape the scrutiny of the authorities.

Nowadays, many Buddhists – particularly Buddhists from Japan – choose Lourdes as their favorite place of pilgrimage when they come to Europe. The image of Mary, mother and refuge of a wounded and ailing humanity, draws the hearts of many Buddhists to her, as they have not forgotten Kannon. In October 2000, Phra Sommai, the head Buddhist priest of the Kaew Praew temple in northern Thailand, friend of the Catholic Focolari movement, took part in the Pope’s Wednesday Public hearing, after which he visited the Focolari centers of Rocca di Papa and Loppiano.

Mother of Love, serene face, you hold the universe in your arms…

Bearing in mind the Buddhist saying that “being a mother means being a loving presence that welcomes and creates a home”, he wrote the following poem while contemplating the holy image of the Madonna of the Light of Tonadico (this is my translation):

“O Mother of love, you hold the universe in your arms. As you look down, your serene face seems sad, but you are full of tenderness, of kindness, of endless pity. Your hands together in prayer bless us from the heart.

In times of loneliness, turning towards you, I have felt the warmth of your close presence.

For he who errs, you bring real comfort; in anxiety you bring us guidance and light. You give us happiness and rest.

From you we obtain everything, and then with complete detachment you ask for nothing in return.”
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« Reply #48 on: May 11, 2011, 07:13:55 am »

Nowadays many non-Christians see Mother Mary as an expression of the feminine face of God, another form of the Great Mother, whom humans have worshipped for 25.000 years.

To Catholics Mother Mary is not a goddess yet more powerful than any goddess or any saint. She is hailed as the Mother of God and of all humans, the Queen of Heaven and Earth, the Queen of Peace, the Queen of the Apostles, the Queen of the Angels, the Seat of Wisdom, the Spouse of the Holy Spirit…. The Bible describes her as the "woman clothed in the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of 12 stars". (Revelation 12,1) She is said to share the throne of Christ and to have been "divinized", i.e. to have become inseparably one with God in complete "divine, mystical union", to have "inherited the kingdom of God" as Paul would call it. Hence Pope Benedikt XVI called her "divine mother" at Pope John Paul II’s funeral.

These pilgrimages are not about who is objectively right, but about who Mary is meant to be for you personally. And only you can determine that. We can help by taking you to her holy sites and sharing her public messages with you, but you will have to find out yourself what she is saying in your heart.

Throughout the centuries Mother Mary has been appearing to people across the globe. She started in the year A.D. 40 and never stopped. (See Roy Abraham Varghese’s book "God Sent: A History of the Accredited Apparitions of Mary") Since 1981 the Mother of God has been appearing daily in Medjugorje, Bosnia, which is now her most powerful holy place. There she has been affirming that she is the Mother of all humans of all faiths and that God is the King of all Religions. She says that all her children are equal in the eyes of God and his Mother, and that we are the ones who like to divide, not God. Hence all are welcomed to come before her, no matter what their faith and opinion.

 On these pilgrimages we will go and see what the Queen of Heaven herself has said about who she is. For example in Rome she appeared in 1947 as Our Lady of the Revelation, saying: "I am the one that is of the Divine Trinity: daughter of the Father, the Mother of the Son, and Spouse and Temple of the Holy Spirit." (See: Brother Francis Mary Kalvelage, "Marian Shrines of Italy". A highly recommendable book in preparation for this pilgrimage.)
 

Our Lady of Revelation dressed in: Green: The Creative love of the Father;
White: The Saving Love of the Son; Pink: The Sanctifying Love of the Spirit


We will also discuss what the Blessed Mother has communicated in other apparitions, whose sites we will not get to. For example: in Paris in 1830, she demanded that a medal be crafted and widely distributed, depicting the cross of Jesus permanently anchored in her initial M and their two hearts underneath it, perfectly equal in size.
 


In Fatima, Portugal, she said: "Tell everybody that God gives graces through the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Tell them to ask graces from her, and that the Heart of Jesus wishes to be venerated together with the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Ask them to plead for peace from the Immaculate Heart of Mary, for the Lord has confided the peace of the world to her." (See: "Our Lady of Fatima’s Peace Plan from Heaven" , p.10)


What to expect on these pilgrimages:

You will be on a traveling meditation retreat, a true pilgrimage, but with the modern comforts of public transportation and skipping the sack and ashes!

More than studying the power of the Blessed Mother in the course of Christian history, you will experience it for yourself through prayer and meditation at her holy places. You will be encouraged and supported in doing what she recommends for the sake of the earth and our own peace and illumination: First, to pray in silence, word, and song three times a day for one hour each. Second, to fast on bread and water on Wednesdays and Fridays or at least to make some kind of sacrifice and offering on those days. (e.g. no alcohol, meat or TV) Our Lady often says that prayer and fasting can stop wars and prevent natural catastrophes, not to mention the spiritual graces it confers.

Don’t worry about this. Experience shows that the rewards of answering her call to fast are so great that one often looks forward to the next opportunity. If you do these practices at her sacred shrines and on her holy mountains, you will surely receive many blessings from the Queen of Heaven and she will let you know herself who she is for you. She herself will be your guide

Read the rest to see what you get on the trips and where they go
http://www.interfaithmarianpilgrimages.com/pages/pilgrimages.html
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« Reply #49 on: May 11, 2011, 07:14:38 am »

THE POPE’S STRANGE PRAYER MEETING

The following first appeared in O Timothy magazine, Volume 4, Issue 2, 1987. I am republishing it now to give our readers more background information about the apostasy of the late Pope John Paul II, who was revered by many evangelical leaders.

The Christian world is clamoring to join hands with Rome. We are told that Rome is no longer the apostate institution it was in the sixteenth century. Not only is that not true, but THE ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH OF OUR DAY IS ACTUALLY FAR MORE UNSCRIPTURAL THAN IT WAS IN LUTHER’S DAY. It still holds all of its ancient heresies that were condemned by Baptists and Protestants of old, such as the Pope being the head of church, the mass being the re-sacrifice of Christ, Mary being the ever-virgin Queen of Heaven, prayers to and for the dead, and the sacraments being a channel for salvation. In addition to traditional Catholic heresies, the Roman Catholic Church of our day is filled with many gross errors which were almost unknown to the Catholic Church of the sixteenth century, such things as Evolution (even the late Pope declared his belief in it), New Age faith and practice (i.e., a seminar at Catholic Quigley Seminary in Chicago in 1988 featured messages by Matthew Fox and other New Age speakers on “the cosmic Christ within”), universalism (Mother Teresa and Pope John Paul II are examples of contemporary Catholic leaders who believe all men are children of God), and modernistic theology (Rome’s theological schools are largely given over to the modernistic approach to the Bible which denies the infallible inspiration of Holy Scripture, the Mosaic authorship of the Pentateuch, etc.).

The following report leaves no doubt about Rome’s complete apostasy.

______________________________

As we dig in the ecumenical walls for 1986 the most striking event is the Day of Prayer for World Peace. Never before in church history has there been a clearer fulfillment of the New Testament prophecies of the great falling away from the faith and of the formation of the Harlot one-world religion. Indeed, in this now famous peace meeting we see that the hour is very, very late, brethren.

In the center of this amazing event we see a cheerful man who claims to be the sole successor to the apostle Peter and the Head of all churches. Gathered around Peter’s supposed successor are all sorts of leaders of other religions--religions Peter considered heathen and godless. What are these men and women doing? Why, they have come together, they say, to pray to their gods for world peace!

The meeting, which was held in Assisi, Italy, October 26, 1986, was first announced by John Paul II January 25 of that year. The announcement was made during a Mass in Rome marking the end of the Christian Unity Week. The official Vatican newspaper reports the Pope’s words on the occasion of the announcement:

“‘Peace within the Church and peace with all mankind.’ The words of Pope Gregory VII are particularly appropriate in this year 1986, which the United Nations Organization has proclaimed as the International Year of Peace. ... In regard to this matter, I wish to announce on this solemn occasion that I am initiating opportune consultations with the leaders, not only of the various Christian Churches and communions, but also of the other religions of the world, to organize with them a special meeting of prayer for peace, in the city of Assisi ... The date and details of this meeting will be decided as soon as possible” (“Pope’s Announcement in St. Paul’s Basilica: Meeting of Prayer for Peace with all Religious Leaders,” L’osservatore Romano, 10 February 1986, page 19).
It was, by the way, from this same location on January 25, 1959, that the late Pope John XXIII announced his decision to convene Vatican Council II (RNS, January 27, 1986).

WHO WAS THERE?

Altogether there were 160 participants at the prayer meeting for peace in Assisi (Rocky Mountain News, Denver, Colorado, October 28, 1986). Let us note some of those who attended this affair:

The “Christian” leaders represented 32 denominations, whose adherents allegedly number 3.5 billion people, or 70 percent of the world’s population! This was certainly no small affair. And if someone complains that these leaders did not actually represent the people of their denominations and organizations, we respond with two questions: First, if the leaders who attended this abominable affair did not represent the people of the denominations and organizations they head, why were they chosen as leaders? Secondly, if the people of these denominations and organizations considered the actions of these leaders apostate, why weren’t the leaders rebuked, disciplined, and put out from their churches, denominations and organizations? Silence and inactivity in the face of evil is as wicked as direct participation!

The “Christian” leaders came from many ecumenical organizations--The World Council of Churches, represented by its executive secretary and three of its seven presidents, the World YWCA, the World Alliance of YMCAs, Friends World Committee for Consultation, Mennonite World Conference, Reformed Ecumenical Synod, Baptist World Alliance, Disciples of Christ, World Alliance of Reformed Churches, Lutheran World Federation, Anglican Communion, Old Catholic Union of Utrecht, the Assyrian Church of the East, the Orthodox churches. Also invited were 15 Roman Catholic bishops, and leaders of six Roman Catholic Franciscan organizations. (EPS, 26-31 October 1986, 86.10.121)

Among the “Christian” leaders present were--

John Paul II, head of Roman Catholicism
Robert Runcie, Archbishop of Canterbury, head of the worldwide Anglican and Episcopal denomination
Emilio Castro, head of the World Council of Churches Greek Orthodox
Archbishop Methodios of Thyateira and Great Britain, archbishop and delegate of Ecumenical Patriarch Dimitrios
Gunnar Stalsett, Executive Secretary of the Lutheran World Federation
Allan Boesak, South Africa’s anti-apartheid activist and president of the World Alliance of Reformed Churches
Metropolitan Filaret, head of Russian Orthodox Church
Mother Teresa, Roman Catholic nun
Susanna Telewona, a vice-president of the Lutheran World Federation
Nita Barrow and Marga Buhrig, two of the WCC presidents
Bernice Schrotenboer, representing her husband, the Reformed Evangelical Synod general secretary
Val Ferguson, general secretary of Friends World Committee for Consultation (Quakers)
Lydia Breen and Doreen Boyd, on the World YWCA staff in Geneva
Manuela Mattioli and Christiane Witmers, two Catholic Franciscan leaders
Also represented at the Day of Prayer for World Peace were leaders of 11 non-Christian religions: Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jews, Muslims, African and North American animists (who worship spirits and nature), Japanese Shinto’s, fire-worshipping Zoroastrians, Baha’i. The Dalai Lama, exiled Buddhist leader who is supposed to be the god-king of Tibet, was at the forefront of the activities, as was Elio Toaff, chief Jewish rabbi of Rome (EPS, 26-31 October 1986, 86.10.121). The Dalai-Lama and John Paul II have become close friends, and the Buddhist god-king was seated at the immediate left hand of the Pope. It should be noted that all of these men worship false gods and are therefore breakers of the first commandment of God’s Holy Law -- “Thou shalt have no other gods before me” (Exodus 20:3).

WHAT TRANSPIRED AT THE EVENT?

The events of the Day of Prayer for World Peace were divided into four main parts: First was the greeting by Pope John Paul II, who was the organizer and main leader of the program. The participants then moved to various venues in the city for two hours of private prayers, after which they came back together and held prayers in the presence of one another. Finally, following a few other rituals for peace, there was a meal and the farewell address by the pope.

An interesting description of some of the strange events at Assisi was given as follows in an Associated Press report:

“ASSISI, Italy--Chants, temple bells and pagan spells echoed around the Roman Catholic shrines of Assisi yesterday as Pope John Paul II and his 200 guests from the world’s 12 main religions prayed for world peace...


“The medicineman of the Crow Indians [spirit worshippers], Chief John Pretty-on-Top, offered to cast out evil spirits. Many came forward, among them a young Franciscan monk.

“In a chapel down the road, the head of the Zorastrian church in Bombay prayed before a fire that symbolized his God.
“Next door, six turbanned Sikhs--all Italian converts--sat chanting their prayers in the lotus position to gramophone music.


“At an old Roman temple, shoeless Moslems sat on prayer mats.


“The 14th Dalai Lama, exiled god-king of Tibet, headed the strong Buddhist contingent, mumbling sutras amid tinkling bells at the Basilica of St.
Peter.

“In the gardens outside, a Shinto sect called Tenrikyo, in black kimonos, swayed to temple music.
“African animists, their togas the envy of any designer, invoked the spirits of trees and plants to come to the aid of peace...

“The Pope made three speeches” (Gazette News Services, taken from the AP,  Chicago Tribune and reproduced in Christian Beacon, December 25, 1986, p. 7).
WHAT PRAYERS WERE SAID?

An example of the prayers that were offered to the false gods is seen in the prayers of the animists from Africa and North America. Two tribal animists from Africa intoned:

“Almighty God, the Great Thumb we cannot evade in tying any knot, the Roaring Thunder that splits mighty trees, the All-Seeing Lord up on high who sees even the foot prints of an antelope on a rock mass here on earth... you are the cornerstone of peace.”

Smoking a ceremonial peace pipe, John Pretty-on-Top, a Crow Indian medicine man from Montana in full-feathered headress, recited, “O Great Spirit, I raise my pipe to you, to your messengers the four winds, and to mother earth, who provides for your children... I pray that you bring peace to all my brothers and sisters of this world” (“A Summit for Peace in Assisi,” Time, November 10, 1986, pp. 78-79).

In the Day of Prayer for World Peace we have the coming together of those claiming to be followers of Jesus Christ with those who boldly profess that Jesus Christ is not the only God and Savior and who claim that the God of the Bible is not the only true God. What an infamous day!

AN HOUR OF GREAT DARKNESS

The Day of Prayer for World Peace at Assisi was a day of great spiritual darkness. The evidence of that darkness we have seen in the event itself.

The prophecy that it would be a day of darkness was unwittingly given in the speech January 25, 1986, when John Paul II announced the event:

“On 25 January, the closing day of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, John Paul II celebrated Mass in St. Paul’s Outside the Walls in the presence of representatives of other Christian Churches and religious communities. The following is a translation of his homily delivered in Italian. ‘A great light from heaven suddenly shone about me’ (Acts 22:6)... On this path of prayer and service trodden together by brothers of different ecclesial communities, may we be guided effectively and clearly by the light that won over Paul, and may we be urged onwards by the intercession and example of the saints. Let us invoke the protection of Paul, and also of a Pope who lived here as monk and abbot, Gregory VII, Hildebrand of Soana” (EPS, 26-31 October 1986, 86.10.121).
Though the Pope called this event a day of light, we see that it was a day of darkness by the very fact that he invoked the prayers of the dead, something the Bible forbids. Nowhere in Scripture do we see God’s people praying to the dead. That One Name given whereby we come unto God in prayer is Jesus Christ! So we see in the Pope’s very announcement, that this would be a day of darkness.

Finally, we know this was a day of darkness because the prayers for peace were not answered. Heaven was brass. God’s ear was closed to the abominations of that day. The nations have not laid down their arms. The spiritual darkness under which the event at Assisi was held is seen in the fact that the religious leaders gathered there completely ignored God’s warning in 1 Thessalonians 5 -- “For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.”

What a dark day!

THE YEAR’S BIGGEST LIE

The following was reported in the World Council’s Ecumenical Press Service, 26-31 October 1986:

“As had the pope in his welcome, Roger Cardinal Etchegary, president of the Pontifical Commission for Justice and Peace, stressed in opening the series of acts of prayer in the square that there was to be no mixing of religions. ‘We have come together,’ he said, ‘in complete faithfulness to our own religious traditions, well aware of the identity of each of our own faith commitments. We are here together without any trace of syncretism’” (EPS, 26-30 October 1986, 86.10.121).
It is appropriate, I suppose, that the biggest lie of the year accompanied the most spiritually abominable event of the year. After bringing together representatives of most of the world’s religions, after calling one another brothers and sisters, after praying together or at least respecting one another’s prayers and rituals, after marching together in a peace march, making speeches to one another, supping together--after such unadulterated yoking together of “Christians” with non-Christians, the claim was made that “We are here together without any trace of syncretism.” Oh, my, what a lie!

I hope we can cause our readers to understand that false teachers do lie.

Some Christians cannot seem to believe that men who appear to be so good, so holy, so religious--could speak lies. But the Bible repeatedly warns that false teachers are liars, deceivers, wolves in sheep’s’ clothing, those who creep in unawares, those whose “good words and fair speeches’ are designed purposely to deceive the hearts of the simple. False and disobedient Christians lie.

Friends, if this event at Assisi was not syncretism in action, there is no such thing. If this event at Assisi was not open rebellion to the Word of God, there is no such thing. The fact is that the good words and fair speeches of these spiritual rebels do not deceive us. This event was perhaps the greatest act of syncretism and rebellion toward Scripture in church history. If the Christian leaders participating in this event had been faithful to God they would have done the following things:

1. If they were not syncretistic and rebellious they would not have come together in close fellowship and spiritual harmony with those who follow and serve false gods. Keep in mind that these men sat together, worshipped together, spoke to one another on the same spiritual theme, marched together, performed rituals together, supped together. Yet the Bible commands:

“Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? For ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you” (2 Corinthians 6:14-17).

2. If they were not syncretistic and rebellious they would have rebuked the false, heathen ways of the non-Christian leaders and would have preached to them the one, true Gospel of salvation through the Blood of Jesus Christ.

This, of course, would have spoiled the man-made harmony of the event and was not done. Another reason is that the Christian leaders present were themselves apostate and do not believe in the Gospel of the Blood Atonement of Christ. These Christian leaders do not know how one is born again and they accept anyone as a Christian who has been baptized or confirmed or who makes any sort of feeble profession. The writings, speeches, and actions of the World Council of Churches, John Paul II, Mother Teresa, and others present make it clear that they are not convinced the non-Christian is lost. This is why they could come together in so happy and peaceful fellowship with heathen religious leaders.

3. If they were not syncretistic and rebellious they would not have acknowledged the prayers of the heathen. It is true that during part of the event the prayers were held privately in separate places, but during another part of the event the prayers and rituals were performed in the presence of one another. John Paul II and Emilio Castro watched as the North American spirit-worshippers and the African nature-worshippers danced and spoke the foolish prayers we have printed above. The Christian leaders present apparently accepted such unscriptural prayers as efficacious. The very fact that they believed that somehow the prayers of these heathen could help bring world peace proves that they believed the God of Heaven would hear and answer the prayers of Christian and non-Christian alike.

Further, John Paul II affirmed that he believed the prayers of the heathen religious leaders would be effective and heard by God. Consider what he said about these non-Christian prayers:

“It is therefore urgent that an invocation rise in chorus, and with insistence, from the earth toward heaven, to ask the Omnipotent One, in whose hands lies the destiny of the world, for the great gift of peace,” he said. (The Tidings, official Roman Catholic newspaper of the Los Angeles diocese, April 11, 1986, p.1)
The Pope emphasized the spiritual nature of the meeting by saying that the convening of such diverse groups, “Should constitute a coming together of a vast movement of reflecting and prayer, in which followers of EVERY RELIGIOUS FAITH should feel themselves involved” (Foundation, May-June 1986, p. 18; The Tidings, official Roman Catholic newspaper of the Los Angeles diocese, April 11, 1986, p. 1).

I repeat, if this meeting at Assisi was not syncretistic, the word should be removed from our dictionaries. If the Christian leaders involved are not rebels against God’s Word, the very concept of apostasy is a myth.

The hour is very late, my friends. Are you born again? Do you know that your sins are forgiven and that you have eternal life through the Blood of Jesus Christ? Are you scripturally baptized by immersion as a picture of Christ’s death, burial and resurrection? Are you a faithful member of a sound New Testament church? Are you living an obedient, fruitful life for Christ? Are you busy serving God and waiting for Christ’s return? Are you separated from the apostasy of these last days? I trust the answer is yes.

Jesus Christ warned, “Watch, therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.”

http://www.wayoflife.org/fbns/popesstrange.htm
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« Reply #50 on: May 11, 2011, 07:15:09 am »

Queen of All
Apparitions!

          She appears as a living, breathing, three-dimensional lady enveloped in exquisite light. Visionaries and seers describe a beautiful, young woman glowing in radiant splendor. Seers, while describing her as brilliant to behold and arrayed with every splendor, admit that the "Queen of Heaven" transcends human description.

Marian followers also report seeing strange lights and glorious visions that often accompany an apparition. Visions of angels, glowing orbs, tongues of fire, mysterious solar phenomena, and peculiar luminous clouds have been sighted. Because of the tremendous pleasure and joy experienced by visionaries during an apparition, the term ecstasy[1] is the word most often used to describe this event. Those who have witnessed her, admit that they are paralyzed and enraptured by her beauty and charm.

Numerous healings and miracles have been reported at apparition sites around the globe. In addition, the apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary has repeatedly announced that her most significant signs and wonders are yet future! She admits that she has not yet revealed her full glory to the world. She predicts heavenly signs and wonders that the whole world will soon witness. Consider the following messages received by three separate visionaries:

My sign is emerging. God wills it thus. Only my children recognize it, as it reveals itself in secrecy, and they praise the Eternal One for it. Today I cannot reveal my power to the whole world. I must withdraw with my children. In secrecy I will perform miracles on the souls until the number of sacrifices has become full. ?Then I can reveal myself to the whole world?[2]

Soon, I will come, my children! Soon, I will be in your midst with a great light. I will enlighten the entire world. Many souls will cry because they did not listen to my call. ?I will pass above everyone in a cloud and everyone will see me. What will become of those who insulted me and made a laughing stock of me? ?I will come soon, my sons, to travel through the entire world. I will give a great sign in the sky for those who will still want to be saved. All those who have recourse to me, who have a look of repentance, this will be sufficient to save them.[3]

I wish to also tell you that before my apparitions end completely, I shall be seen by every denomination and religion throughout this world.  I will be seen among all people, not for just a moment, but everyone will have a chance to see me. As I appeared in Zeitoun, I shall appear again so everyone may see me.  Pray and help my plans to be realized, not just here, but throughout the world.[4]

The Numbers are Staggering

          Consider that 15 to 20 million Marian followers visit a single shrine in Guadalupe, Mexico, every single year! The shrine is dedicated to Our Lady of Guadalupe, who appeared in 1531 to seer Juan Diego. On December 12, 1999, the anniversary of the Virgin Mary's appearance, five million pilgrims visited the shrine to pay honor to Our Lady.[5] In addition, 1999 marked the first time in church history that the feast of the apparition of Our Lady of Guadalupe was celebrated by all bishops and priests in the Western Hemisphere. In an apostolic exhortation delivered during his visit to Mexico in 1999, Pope John Paul II elevated December 12 to a holy day for the Catholic Church.[6]

In war-torn Bosnia, an estimated 30 million pilgrims have visited Medjugorje since the apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary began in 1981.[7] Besides the six visionaries who regularly receive messages from the Virgin, thousands of pilgrims claim to see signs and wonders; experience healing; and hear the voice of Mary at Medjugorje. Visiting Medjugorje is a painstaking task involving many hours by bus over war-torn roads. The millions of pilgrims who venture to Medjugorje do so with the knowledge that their pilgrimage will be difficult and dangerous -- yet they continue to come in droves.

In Conyers, Georgia, seer Nancy Fowler has received up to 100,000 visitors to her farm on a single day.[8] The pilgrims come from all over, many traveling great distances to hear the most recent message from the Blessed Mother. At the National Shrine Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes, in Emmitsburg, Maryland, attendance has increased to 500,000 per year.[9]

Marian Apparitions Everywhere

Marian apparitions from almost every state in America are being reported -- many of these sites are drawing thousands. From New York City to San Francisco numerous reported visitations from the Queen of Heaven have been documented.[10] The sheer number of Marian followers and their determination to hear from the Virgin reveals that these individuals are not merely curious sightseers, but rather a huge, growing flock of Marian disciples.

Five and one-half million pilgrims visit a single apparition site in Lourdes, France annually.[11] Poland's Marian shrine Our Lady of Czestochowa (a favorite of the late Pope John Paul II) draws an estimated five million pilgrims a year.[12] A single apparition site in Knock, Ireland, has drawn millions who come to pray to Our Lady of Knock and visit the Apparition Gable. This Marian shrine has been honored by four popes during the 20th century, including Pope John Paul II, who went on pilgrimage to Knock, Ireland in 1979.[13]

In Sabana Grande, Puerto Rico, a location where the Virgin Mary reportedly appeared more than 50 years ago, multiplied thousands of religious devotees come from all over the world. The site has become so popular that preparations are underway to construct a statue of the Virgin twice as high as New York's Statue of Liberty. A local newspaper reports that:

The grand scale heroic statue of Our Lady of the Rosary, part of the projected 500-acre Mystical City complex, will top at 1,500 feet. It will have room inside to contain radio and TV stations, various chapels, apartments, a food court, conference rooms and an observation deck.[14]

At the famous apparition site in Fatima, Portugal, pilgrims numbering more than one million are in attendance during the October 13th anniversary of the 1917 apparition. Total annual attendance at Fatima is estimated to be 4.5 million, and growing.[15] The list of major apparition sites goes on and on.

Thousands gather every year in Amsterdam to celebrate the International Day of Prayer of the Lady and Mother of All Nations. Scores of priests, bishops and cardinals preside over the event, where thousands of participants from over seventy countries and six continents converge to honor the Lady of All Nations.[16]  This apparition of the Virgin Mary appeared to visionary Ida Peerdeman numerous times. Her main message was that she wants unity. This unity will come only when the Church and pope officially proclaim the Lady of All Nations as Co-Redemptrix.[17]  To date, millions of faithful Marian advocates have petitioned Rome to officially name her Co-Redemptrix.[18]

Growing Worldwide Popularity

The popularity of the apparitions and her messages has grown to mammoth proportions. Marian historians are quick to point out that apparitions of Mary have been recorded throughout the centuries, but never in the history of Marian apparitions has she appeared with such consistency and frequency as in our day.

In 1997, Newsweek ran a cover story on the Virgin Mary. In the article they write: "In many ways, the 20th century has belonged to Mary. From almost every continent, visionaries have reported more than 400 'apparitions' of the Virgin -- more than in the previous three centuries combined.... Taken together, these visions point to what the Marian Movement believes is a millennial 'Age of Mary.'"[19]

We might expect this phenomenon to occur in countries that are predominately Catholic, but apparitions are being reported from Japan to Africa, from Korea to Australia, from Iraq to Israel, from Egypt to Syria. Whether looking deep within the former Soviet Union or among the peoples of India, one thing is found in common -- they are all allegedly being visited by a woman who calls herself Mary, the Queen of Heaven, Our Lady. Father Robert Faricy, quoted in the book Queen of the Cosmos, states:

 Never in the history of Christianity has the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to so many people over so long a period of time with such regularity. Moreover, it seems that the apparitions at Medjugorje have ushered in a new Marian age. There are reports of her appearing everywhere.[20]

 In his book Call of the Ages, author Thomas W. Petrisko writes: "Millions and millions on all continents of the globe have heard and responded to the Virgin Mary's apparitions and messages. Indeed, there is a significant upswing in attendance at Marian shrines everywhere."[21]

The Rev. Charles Dickson, Ph.D., a Lutheran minister, reported this trend in Queen Magazine: "People around the world are traveling enormous distances to demonstrate in person their veneration of the Mother of Our Lord."[22] He goes on to state that France alone has 937 pilgrimage shrines and that at the most popular Marian shrine in France, attendance has increased ten percent in two years.

There are over 1500 Marian pilgrimage shrines in Italy, which account for 85% of all their shrines.[23] These are not backyard grottos, but rather significant shrines where Marian followers pilgrimage to! And while devotion to Mary is most noticeable in Catholic countries, Marian devotion is attracting an enormous following from every religion, race and nation.

Concerning the growing number of apparitions worldwide, noted Catholic Marian author Michael Brown wrote: "[During the second half of the 20th century Marian apparitions] grew to remarkable proportion ? if every daily or weekly apparition is counted in cases where a seer had more than one, the number would not be calculable....the French periodical Le Monde once estimated twenty-one thousand apparitions between 1976 and 1986!"[24]

Our Lady's Ecumenical Peace Plan

A consistent message given by the thousands of apparitions currently manifesting worldwide is one of peace, unity, and tolerance. At Medjugorje, the apparition of Mary has stated:

Dear children, today I invite you to peace. I have come here as the Queen of Peace and I desire to enrich you with my Motherly Peace.... I invite you to become carriers and witnesses of my peace to this unpeaceful world. Let peace rule in the whole world.[25]

In another message, Mary told the seers: "Tell this priest, tell everyone, that it is you who are divided on earth. The Muslims and the Orthodox, for the same reason as Catholics, are equal before my Son and I. You are all my children."[26] Mary's message of peace, unity, and tolerance is one that a distressed and perplexed world craves.

Her reported messages in Betania, Venezuela typify her words of hope given around the world: "My children, I am giving you a piece of Heaven.... Betania, Venezuela. It is for everyone, not only Catholics.... My message is of faith, love, and hope. More than anything, it brings reconciliation between people and nations. It is the only thing that can save this century from war and eternal death."[27]

          According to Charles Dickson, author of A Protestant Pastor Looks at Mary, Mary transcends our cultural and even religious boundaries:

A Muslim student visiting Rome wants especially to see the Church of Santa Maria Maggiore. Surprised? The poetry of a Syrian mystic is replete with Marian devotion. Surprised? Martin Luther recommended prayer to Mary. Surprised? An American Pentecostalist minister begins to visit shrines of Marian apparitions. Surprised? Muslims refer to Mary as il-Sittneh, or Our Lady. Surprised? A chapter in the Koran is named after her. Surprised? Mary's deep kindness as a mother is portrayed in Chinese art. Surprised? And now a presbyterian minister has written a book recommending praying the rosary. Still surprised? ? a closer investigation of both past history and current events points out that Mary has a universal appeal that transcends our cultural, geographical, and even religious boundaries.[28]

Let the Walls Come Down

          In 2005, Time Magazine featured an image of Mary as The Mother of God on the cover with the title "Hail, Mary -- Catholics have long revered her, but now Protestants are finding their own reasons to celebrate the mother of Jesus." The article explains the stunning trend of the growing Marian devotion among Protestant churches:

In a shift whose ideological breadth is unusual in the fragmented Protestant world, a long-standing wall around Mary appears to be eroding?Mary is also gaining popularity at Protestant divinity schools, where her icons adorn future pastor's walls.[29]

          The article cites examples that were previously unimaginable. For instance, in a Methodist church on Chicago's South Side, flanking the altar are two Mary statues with fresh roses at their feet, and hanging from the hands of the baby Jesus is a Rosary. The altar cover presents the church's most stunning image: Mary again, this time totally surrounded by a multi-colored halo.

          R. Albert Mohler, Jr. -- president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary -- makes the following comments concerning the Time Magazine article on Mary:

The Time cover story is part of a larger phenomenon, with many mainline Protestants turning to a reconsideration of Mary and incorporating the veneration of Mary into personal devotions and corporate worship. Some are going so far as to acknowledge Mary as an intercessor, addressing prayers to her as well as to other saints. Surprisingly enough, some Protestants now argue that believers should pray to Mary, and should request her intercession.[30]

The Queen Promises Unity

Almost all of the apparitions have stated that Mary is going to usher in a new era of peace and unity. Under her mantle all people will gather in peace and solve the problems facing the world. Her emphasis on unity and ecumenism has increasingly garnered attention from the media. The Los Angeles Times reported in an article entitled "Mary's Rising Popularity Goes Beyond Faith" that:

A growing number of Americans from all Christian denominations are reaching out to the Virgin Mary as a comforting conduit of spirituality and a symbol of peace in troubled times.... Reported sightings of Mary have steadily increased across the globe in recent years.... Her maternal gaze seems to have an ecumenical appeal.... It's not just Roman Catholics who are interested in Mary and following the apparitions.... Each day, thousands of people bring their troubles to the sites where the Virgin is claimed to have appeared.[31]

One of the best witnessed series of apparitions occurred at a Coptic Orthodox church in Zeitoun, Egypt, a suburb of Cairo. People from many countries and of varied religious backgrounds witnessed the apparitions from 1968 to1973. It is estimated that the total number of witnesses numbered in the millions! Moslems, Copts, Roman Catholics, Protestants, and others were united in their adoration of the Lady who seemed to be composed of light. Moslems chanted from the Koran: "Mary, God has chosen thee. And purified thee; He has chosen thee above all women." At Zeitoun, as well as countless other sites around the globe, the phenomenon draws together people from every conceivable background.

The following message from the "Lady and Mother of All Nations" states her clear mission:

Try to understand the reason for My coming on this day. The Lord Jesus Christ has selected this great day for "the Lady of All Nations." Her mission is to establish unity among Her nations. She is sent to make one great Community of Her nations. To gather all nations into one Community, that is the task set before the world in this present time, which I have heralded repeatedly.[32]

The Queen's Appeal

In 1996, Life Magazine featured Mary on the cover and asked these questions: "Why are two billion Hail Marys said daily? Why did five million people, many non-Christian, visit Lourdes this year to drink the healing waters? Why did more than 10 million trek to Guadalupe to pray to Our Lady??Why the apparitions? Why are Mary hymns creeping into Methodist songbooks??What is it about Mary?"[33] The Life article goes on to list numerous apparitions and to quote various statistics. For instance, Life notes that "In Italy, 50 weeping Madonna statues have been reported in the past two years."

Life explains that Mary's popularity is not just among Catholics: "One of the intriguing aspects of the latest rise of Mary is this: The emotional need for her is so irresistible to a troubled world that people without an obvious link to the Virgin are being drawn to her. It's not news that Muslims revere Mary as a pure and holy saint -- she's mentioned 34 times in the Koran, ?but to see large numbers of Muslims making pilgrimages to Christian Marian shrines is a remarkable thing. Interdenominational Marian prayer groups are springing up throughout the world."[34]

There can be no doubt that her ecumenical messages and her maternal appearances attract multitudes. In addition, there is another aspect to the apparitions that is also drawing many. Reported miracles, signs, and wonders have risen sharply in recent decades. In a world that seeks interaction with the supernatural, it is no surprise that many flock to the miraculous. These miracles, if true, would rival the miracles performed in Moses' day. Consider the phenomenon known as "the Miracle of the Sun" commonly reported at sites around the globe.

Miracle of the Sun

At the Fatima apparition site, on October 13, 1917, 70,000 people witnessed the sun fall from the sky. These eyewitnesses said that they watched as the sun fell from heaven toward the crowd and then return to its normal position in the sky. Many thought this was signaling the end of the world and were sure they would perish. Here is a brief recount of the events at Fatima:

Just when it seemed that the ball of fire would fall upon and destroy them, the miracle ceased and the sun resumed its normal place in the sky, shining forth as peacefully as ever. When the people arose from the ground, cries of astonishment were heard on all sides. Their clothes, which had been soaking wet and muddy, now were clean and dry. Many of the sick and crippled had been cured of their afflictions.[35]

The Miracle of the Sun is a common, albeit fantastic, event at many apparition sites. At dozens of locations, literally millions have reported the sun miracle. It happened before a crowd of 100,000 in Puerto Rico on April 23, 1991, which was the 38th anniversary of the apparitions there.[36] It happened again in the Philippines on March 5, 1993, in front of a crowd of 300,000.[37] In El Cajas, Ecuador 120,000 pilgrims were in attendance when the miracle of the sun occurred there in the late 1980's. Similar events have been recorded at such apparition sites as Medjugorje, Bosnia; Denver, Colorado; Lubbock, Texas; and Conyers, Georgia.

The Miracle of the Sun is one of many supernatural wonders reported at apparition sites around the globe. Here is an abridged summary of the miracles reported at just one apparition site:

The appearances of the Mother of God in Medjugorje have been accompanied by a number of miracles, including physical healings (now numbered at 360), reports of the sun dancing or spinning in the sky, rosary links and medals that apparently change from silver to gold, and other phenomenon....Just as Christ worked miracles during his earthly life to authenticate his teaching and ministry, so Our Lady of Medjugorje seems to be using them to validate her presence and messages, which, as always, direct us to her Son.[38]

Queen of All

          While the title of this book may seem presumptuous, as we continue to document, it will become clear that the Queen of Heaven is truly gathering a massive, global following from ever religion and race. The many books on Marian apparitions express that there is a growing consensus that the world is looking for a heavenly Mother -- one who is tender, merciful, and non-judgmental, with the power and influence to solve our problems. Global peace, unity, and tolerance are repeatedly heralded by the Queen of Peace -- as she is often called. This is a common reason for the Marian apparition's universal appeal. The Lady and Mother of All Nations -- a title she ascribed to herself at a popular apparition site -- presents herself as kind and approachable, while at the same time claiming heavenly access and authority.

          In addition to maternal charm, the apparitions draw millions due to the numerous reported signs, wonders, and miracles. The testimony of pilgrims to a physical or emotional healing has proven irresistible to people from all walks of life. This combination of qualities that the apparitions put forth -- a caring Mother, a powerful intercessor, a bridge-builder, and a miracle worker -- has proved successful in bringing together multitudes who would not normally associate. In these difficult days, when our global problems seem insurmountable, a growing number are turning to the Queen of All as perhaps the world's best advocate.

http://www.biblebelievers.com/tetlow/queenofall01.html
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« Reply #51 on: May 11, 2011, 07:15:35 am »

Most US Christians define own theology
More than half say other faiths can also lead to salvation.

A sizable majority of the country's faithful no longer hew closely to orthodox teachings, and look more to themselves than to churches or denominations to define their religious convictions, according to two recent surveys. More than half of all Christians also believe that some non-Christians can get into heaven.

"Growing numbers of people now serve as their own theologian-in-residence," said George Barna, president of Barna Group, on releasing findings of one of the polls on Jan. 12.

In the Barna survey, 71 percent of American adults say they are more likely to develop their own set of religious beliefs than to accept a defined set of teachings from a particular church. Even among born-again Christians, 61 percent pick and choose from the beliefs of different denominations. For people under the age of 25, the number rises to 82 percent.

Many "cafeteria Christians" go beyond the teachings of Christian denominations to embrace parts of other world religions.

Half of Americans also believe that Christianity is now just one of many faith options people can choose from (44 percent disagree with that perception). Residents of the Northeast and West were more likely than those in the South and Midwest to say Christianity has lost its status as the favored American religion.

Christians expressed a variety of unorthodox beliefs in the poll. Nearly half of those interviewed do not believe in the existence of Satan, one-third believe Jesus sinned while on earth, and two-fifths say they don't have a responsibility to share their faith with others.

The most striking divergence from orthodoxy, however, was first revealed in the 2007 US Religious Landscape Survey by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life. That comprehensive survey of 35,000 Americans found a majority of Christians saying that people of other religions can find salvation and eternal life.

The results stirred controversy among some Christian leaders for whom Jesus as the only path to salvation is a paramount teaching. Some questioned whether those surveyed about "other religions" might have been thinking of Christian denominations or traditions – such as Protestants referring to Roman Catholicism – rather than non-Christian faiths.

Pew undertook a follow-up survey, which it released in late December. That poll found 65 percent of American Christians (including 47 percent of Evangelicals) do indeed think that many different religions can lead to eternal life. Among these Christians, 80 percent cited one non-Christian faith as a route to salvation; 61 percent named two or more.

The survey also asked about views on how one obtains eternal life. Among all adults with a religious affiliation, 30 percent say correct beliefs are what counts, 29 percent say salvation depends on one's actions during life, while 10 percent say both are essential. Those who emphasize the impact of actions are more inclined to believe that practitioners of non-Christian faiths can achieve eternal life. Most of those who emphasize beliefs say non-Christian paths do not lead to heaven.

The poll confirms a broad rejection of religious exclusivity. Among all religious adults interviewed, 65 percent say many religions lead to eternal life and only 29 percent say theirs is the one true faith. Sixty-nine percent of all non-Jews say Judaism can lead to eternal life and 52 percent of non-Muslims say that of Islam.

Forty-two percent of religious Americans also say atheists are able to find eternal life.

While some people hail these findings as heartening for American pluralism, others see them as a wake-up call. R. Albert Mohler Jr., president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary writes on his blog about biblical Christianity's role in countering such inclusive views and helping people find the true Christian way. Others point to the power of egalitarian American culture.

"It's just part of a 200-year working out of ideas about personal autonomy and equality that are sort of built into the American experience," says Alan Wolfe, director of the Boisi Center for Religion and American Public Life at Boston College. "The notion that someone is going to burn in hell because they have their own beliefs is just not resonant within our larger political ideals."

http://www.csmonitor.com/2009/0114/p02s02-usgn.html
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« Reply #52 on: May 11, 2011, 07:15:58 am »

Obama stresses unity among religions, prepares faith office

Washington - US President Barack Obama on Thursday reached out to believers of all faiths as he expanded the White House office of faith-based partnerships. Speaking at the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, Obama acknowledged differences among religions, but stressed the common beliefs of all faiths to care for others.

"Instead of driving us apart, our varied beliefs can bring us together to feed the hungry and comfort the afflicted; to make peace where there is strife and rebuild what has broken; to lift up those who have fallen on hard times," he said.

"This is not only our call as people of faith, but our duty as citizens of America, and it will be the purpose of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighbourhood Partnerships that I'm announcing later today."

Former president George W Bush created a White House Office of Faith-Based Initiatives that helped religious groups seek grants to provide social services. Obama, who signed an order later Thursday creating his own programme, is expected to keep a similar structure. He has also created a council of religious advisors from various backgrounds to provide input on policy.

The office has drawn criticism for blurring the line separating church and state, but Obama insisted his work would not favour religious groups over secular ones but simply allow all organizations to provide services to their communities.

Obama made an effort during his election campaign to reach out to religious groups, even designating staff specifically to the task. He faced controversies, however, over inflammatory statements made by his then-pastor and rumours that he was a Muslim.

At the breakfast, Obama outlined his religious journey as the child of a Muslim father who became an atheist and non-religious mother, and how he became a Christian as an adult while working with disadvantaged residents in Chicago.

The breakfast draws thousands, including many legislators and religious leaders, each year. Former British prime minister Tony Blair gave the key note address, speaking of religion's attack from extremists within and non-believers.

Haitian President Rene Preval, Philippine President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, Albanian Prime Minister Sali Berisha, Macedonian Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski and Mauritius Prime Minister Navinchandra Ramgoolam also attended.

http://www.earthtimes.org/articles/show/254409,obama-stresses-unity-among-religions-prepares-faith-office.html
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« Reply #53 on: May 11, 2011, 07:16:18 am »

from 2002 but still relevant

New Religion for a New World

Two developments have become obvious to observers of the rapidly changing geo-political landscape. We have entered a time of accelerated global transformation, and religion will play a major role in how this new world order will be configured. In short, a new world calls for the creation of a new world religion.

In the construction of this new world order, Christianity will face ideological challenges to the central tenets of its faith unlike anything it has experienced in the previous the previous two millennia. In this new world, all religions must be recognized and acknowledged as legitimate pathways to God. Religious exclusivity, absolutism and dogmatism will be viewed as potential threats to world peace and survival.

Hans Kung, director of the institute of Ecumenical Research at the University of Tubingen, makes this point emphatically in his book, Global Responsibility: In Search of a New World Ethic:

"All the religions of the world today have to recognize their share in responsibility for world peace. And therefore one cannot repeat often enough the thesis for which I have found growing acceptance all over the world: there can ‘be no peace among the nations without peace among the religions. In short, there can be no world peace without religious peace.”

At the 1999 annual meeting of The World Economic Forum, an international think-tank of political, business and academic leaders held in Davos, Switzerland, Dominic Peccoud, Advisor for Socio-Religious Affairs at the International Labour Office (ILO) in Geneva, speaking on the topic “Religion as a Global Phenomenon for the New Millennium,” asserted, “Fundamentalism is a worldwide threat.” The way it has to be countered, he maintained, is “to change the view that salvation depends on playing by certain religious rules: everyone is saved.”

Denys Teundroup, Honorary President of the European Buddhist Union, speaking at the same Forum, claimed: “The world is fed up with dogmatic religion but starving for spirituality.”

The Prime Minister of Spain, Jose Maria Aznar shared his vision for a new world order that is free from the threat of religious fundamentalism in the September 21 edition of The Financial Times.

“Our system of values respects all ideas and beliefs. However, we cannot confuse this respect with conferring legitimacy on fanaticisms that prevent us from living together in a civilized manner...We must all contribute to building a system of peace and security without divisions: a system that is today more feasible than at any time in the past. Combating terrorism demands a stronger global order based upon respect for all beliefs."

Andrew Sullivan, writing in the October 7, 2001 edition of The New York Times Magazine, in an article entitled, “This Is A Religious War”, had this to say: “It seems as if there is something inherent in religious monotheism that lends itself to terrorist temptation.” By linking a belief in monotheism to inherent terrorist tendencies, he and other influential reporters make it easier to single out certain groups for espousing beliefs that are seen to be disruptive to world peace and security.

Leaders of transnational corporations also see the value of supporting a global ethic that counters the rise of religious fundamentalism in the new millennium. Reacting to claims that globalization devalues the dignity of the human personality by treating people primarily as commodities to be exploited -- and challenged by the inability of individual nation states to solve the myriad of socio-economic, health and environmental woes with which they are confronted -- both business and political leaders are anxious to forge closer ties with their religious counterparts to work for more equitable and humane solutions. After all, free trade fueled by globalization works best in a secure and peaceful world uninhibited by religious wars and conflicts.

As Patricia Mische, president emeritus of Global Education Associates, in a paper entitled “A World Order Focus for the Role of Religion," explains: "Up until now, antireligious dialogue has focused  primarily on developing greater peace and understanding between people from diverse religious traditions, and also, in some cases, on promoting values of peace, social justice, human rights, and ecological integrity. There has not been much focus on the contribution of religions to the development of a more humane world order or more effective global systems. In a period of increasing globalization, such a focus becomes ever more urgent."

At this year’s annual meeting of The World Economic Forum, religious leaders in attendance expressed their desire to work more closely with their business and political counterparts in the building of a just and equitable world order.

"We enthusiastically endorse the project of initiating and continuing dialogue in order to create a framework that integrates leaders of religion, business, politics and civil society. Let us join forces to seize this opportunity.”

However, Alan Morrison, who heads Diakrisis International, a Christian apologetics ministry based in France, in analyzing these current trends, observes:

“What we have here is world governance and world religion beginning to come together in a common utopian purpose to establish a global order without the Christ of the Bible and without the missionary encumbrance of Christian evangelism. The purported reason behind these gatherings is the establishment of peace on Earth," Morrison points out, "but the real intention is the eradication of the Christian gospel."

Since Christianity is essentially evangelistic, there is bound to be an inevitable conflict between the Christian who takes seriously the claims of Jesus Christ that "I am the Way, the Truth and the Life, no man comes unto the Father but through Me." (John 14:6) and those who believe that all religions are equally legitimate pathways to God.

In a world that is becoming increasingly globalized by the blending together of economies, peoples, laws, cultures, religions and social ethics, these types of dogmatic religious assertions will not be tolerated.

On the other hand, the misguided rhetoric and tactics of the religious right is about to bear its bitter fruit with its dominionist and "Kingdom Now" theology playing right into the hands of the architects of this new world order.

Suffering from the proverbial “head in the sand, don’t confuse me with the facts” approach to reality, especially when it upsets their comfort-zone, many are completely oblivious to the global developments that will profoundly affect the practice of their faith.

Jesus said to the Jews of his day: “You can discern the face of the sky, how is it that you cannot discern the signs of the times?” We are truly living in the times of prophetic fulfillment as we watch these global events unfold.
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« Reply #54 on: May 11, 2011, 07:17:09 am »

THE WORLD COMMISSION ON
GLOBAL CONSCIOUSNESS & SPIRITUALITY

Members Dr. Ervin Laszlo, Co–Chair
Dr. Robert Muller, Co–Chair
Dr. Karan Singh, Co–Chair
   Ms. Audrey Kitagawa, Co–Convenor
Dr. Ewert Cousins, Co–Convenor
Dr. Ashok Gangadean, Co–Convenor
Mr. Theo Cosmora, Executive Director, Global Councils
 



MEMBERS



His Holiness The Dalai Lama
Former President Abdurrahman Wahid (Indonesia)
Archbishop Desmond Tutu
Seyyed H. Nasr (Distinguished Professor of Islamic thought and culture)
Tu Weiming (Harvard Professor and eminent voice for Chinese culture)
Hazel Henderson (Eminent Author, Futurist, Ecology of Global Economics)
Wangari Maathai (Nobel Peace Prize Laureat, Moral Leader, Head of Green Belt Movement, Nairobi)
Robert Thurman (Buddhist Tibetan Scholar, Columbia University, Advisor to The Dalai Lama)
Sir Sigmund Sternberg (Winner of the Templeton Prize, Inter–religious relations)
Rodrigo Carazo (Elder Statesman, Leader, The University for Peace)
His Royal Highness El Hassan bin Talal of Jordan (President, Club of Rome)
Barbara Marx Hubbard (Futurist, President–Foundation for Conscious Evolution)
The Very Rev. James Morton Parks (President, Interfaith Centre of New York)
Professor Cornel West (Princeton U. Professor, Leading African–American voice)
Elizabet Sahtouris (Evolution Biologist, Ecology, Voice for Indigenous People)
Dr. Riane Eisler (Distinguished author, visionary leader for Partnership Education)
Mary Evelyn Tucker (Distinguished Scholar, leading voice for Religion & Ecology)
Jane Goodall (Distinguished Primatologist, Voice for Wildlife Conservation)
Jim Kenney (Exec. Director of Common Ground; Exec. Director, Inter–religious Engagement Project)
Jonathan Granoff (President, Global Security Institute)
Angaangaq Lybert (Eskimo Inuk Elder & Healer, Greenland)
Betty Williams (Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, Pres. – World Centres of Compassion for Children International)


http://globalspirit.org/pages/wc_members.php
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« Reply #55 on: May 11, 2011, 07:17:43 am »

THE WORLD COMMISSION ON
GLOBAL CONSCIOUSNESS & SPIRITUALITY


Global Councils

1) Global Council on Indigenous Wisdom & Wellbeing: Leroy Little Bear, Angaangaq Lybert, Woody Vaspra, Diane Longboat, George Amiotte, Chief Jake Swamp, Judy Swamp, Vickie Downey, Joseph Rael, Nancy Maryboy, Leon Secatero

2) Global Council on Education in the 21st Century: Jane Goodall, David Scott, Helga Breuninger, Riane Eisler, Sunita Gandhi, Dee Dickinson, Fred Mednick, Usha Ballamore, Manish Jain

3) Global Council on Peace & Conflict Resolution: Desmond Tutu, Arun Gandhi, John & Susan Marks, Rabbi Michael Lerner, Elie Wiesel, Rama Vernon

4) Global Council on Spirituality & Deep Ecology: Mary Evelyn Tucker, John Grimm, Brian Swimme, Duane Elgin, Wangari Maathai, Thomas Berry, Rupert Sheldrake, Jean Houston, Diane Williams

5) Global Council on Spiritual Politics & Global Citizenship: Al Gore, Dennis Kuccinich, Marianne Williamson, Deepak Chopra, Cornel West, Robert Thurman, Tu Weiming, Barbara Bernstein

6) Global Council on Personal & Planetary Security: Jonathan Granoff, Mikhail Gorbachev, Douglas Roche, James George

7) Global Council on Planetary Ethics and Values: Steven Rockefeller, Ervin Laszlo, Vaslav Havel, Mary Robinson, Bette Williams, Oscar Arias Sanchez, Hafsat Abiola, Hans Kung, Diane Williams

8 ) Global Council on Conscious Economies, Corporate Responsiblity and Economic Justice: William Wallin (CAUX Round Table), David Korten, Thom Hartmann, John Dalla Costa, Christopher Laszlo, Rama Mani, Theo Cosmora

9) Global Council on Interfaith Dialogue & Inter–religious Relations: Karan Singh, James Parks Morton, William Vendley, Jim Kenney, Houston Smith, Suheil Bushuri, Diane Eke

10) Global Council on Planetary Sustainable Futures: Sesh Velamoor, Barbara Marx Hubbard, Don Beck

11) Global Council on Integral Medicine & Planetary Health: John Kabat–Zinn, Daniel Coleman, Andrew Weil, Larry Dossey, Rachel N. Remen, Lewis Mehl–Madrona

12) Global Council on Frontier Science & Sustainable Technologies: John Hagelin, Yasuhito Kimura, Elisabet Sahtouris, Mark Cummings, Fritjof Capra, Fred Alan Wolf, Peter Russell, Beverly Rubik, Peter Russell

13) Global Council on Islam & The West: Dr. Seyyed Nasr, Dr. Riffat Hassan, Dr. Akbar S. Ahmed, Dr. Michael Sells, Prince Hassan of Jordan, Queen Noor of Jordan, Dr. Omid Safi, Dr. Asghar Ali Engineer

14) Global Council on the Welfare of Youth and Emergence of Youth Leadership: Dr. Nina Meyerhof, Valentin Vollmer, Juliana Hepp, Dr. Helga Breuninger

15) Global Council on the Welfare, Wisdom & Empowerment of Women: Riffat Hasan, Audrey Kitagawa, Hafsat Abiola, Wangari Maathai, Diane Williams

16) Global Council on Mindful Media: Gill Wright, Barbara Marx Hubbard, Hazel Henderson, Thom Hartman, Marcus Morrell, Sandra Hay, Ashok Gangadean, Kit Thomas

17) Global Council on Awakening Arts & Entertainment: Bono, Peter Gabriel, Steven Speilberg, Kit Thomas, Michael Douglas, Susan Sarandon, Stephen Simon, Robert Redford

http://globalspirit.org/pages/wc_councils.php[/quote]
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« Reply #56 on: May 11, 2011, 07:18:14 am »

These last three are affiliated with www.awakeningmind.org

Just go through their affiliations.  Shocked

Associated Websites   


The following is a list of websites which are related to the global, dialogic and forward–thinking ideals of international, cross–cultural communication and betterment. Please note that ((Awakening Mind)).Org is not responsible for content not found on its website.



Saith Music

International Theosophy Conferences, Inc.

Alliance for a Sustainable Future

Center for Conscious Evolution

Global Responsibility.org (Global Town Meeting)

Greater Philadelphia Philosophy Consortium

Jane Goodall Institute

The Philadelphia Earth Charter Citizens

World Commission on Global Consciousness & Spirituality

DroppingKnowledge.org : The Living Library

Alliance for the New Humanity

CILA - Community for Integrative Learning and Action

Montessori Europe - the Prague Conference

Kosmos Journal - An Integral Approach to Global Awakening

SEED Open University

Center for Partnership Studies

Club of Budapest International

The Wasan Project - Integral Education for Global Responsibility

Wasan Island

World Spirit Forum

Praxis Peace Institute

Let's Talk America

Spirit Rising Productions

The Center for Contemplative Mind in Society

Philosophy Documentation Center

Intuition Network

Creative Lifestyle

Stiftung Weltkulturerbe der Weisheitslehren® (Website in German)

The Vision Project

 
http://www.awakeningmind.org/pages/relatedsites.php
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« Reply #57 on: May 11, 2011, 07:19:17 am »

Popes have long claimed dominion over the world and its peoples. Pope Gregory XI's papal bull or 1372 (In Coena Domini) claimed papal dominion over the entire Christian world, secular and religious, and excommunicated all who failed to obey the popes and to pay them taxes. In Coena was confirmed by subsequent popes and in 1568 Pope Pius V swore that it was to remain an eternal law.

Pope Alexander VI (1492-1503) claimed that all undiscovered lands belonged to the Roman Pontiff, for him to dispose of as he pleased in the name of Christ as His vicar. King John II of Portugal was convinced that in his Bull Romanus Pontifex the pope had granted all that Columbus discovered exclusively to him and his country. Ferdinand and Isabel of Spain, however, thought the pope had given the same lands to them. In May 1493 the Spanish- born Alexander VI issued three bulls to settle the dispute.
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« Reply #58 on: May 19, 2011, 07:18:21 am »

Prayer Request [catholic mass] for Osama bin Laden Ruffles Feathers in Florida Church


A devout Catholic in Florida has angered members of his congregation by asking that they pray for Osama bin Laden in their next Mass.

Henry Borja’s request has been granted by Holy Name of Jesus Catholic Church in West Palm Beach, Fla., but not everybody’s happy about it.

One church member, Luis Pizzano, told WPTV television that praying for bin Laden was “unconscionable” and “sacrilegious.”

“I think it’s totally wrong. [Bin Laden] doesn’t belong in the Catholic religion. For what he did to Americans, he doesn’t belong anywhere,” he said.

“Let’s pray for our soldiers that are over there, not for somebody that caused our soldiers to go over there.”

Borja said he wanted to pray for the al-Qaida leader who was killed early this month in a raid by U.S. Navy SEALs in Abbottabad, Pakistan, because of the teaching given by Jesus to his followers to love their neighbors.

“I’m not a sympathizer nor admirer of the deceased man,” he said. “The only thing that I did was to host a Mass for the forgiveness, mercy and compassion of that miserable criminal.”

The church’s pastor[catholics do not have pastors], Fr. Gavin Badway, explained why he agreed to add bin Laden’s name to the list of people prayed for at Sunday Mass.

http://www.christianpost.com/



Christian VP Chosen for Muslim Brotherhood's Party

[coptics are catholics]

A party formed by the Muslim Brotherhood to run in Egypt’s next parliamentary elections has chosen a Coptic intellectual as its vice president, in an effort to broaden its appeal.

Rafiq Habib has been selected for the position in the Freedom and Justice Party as the Muslim Brotherhood seeks to establish its position in Egypt after years of being hamstringed by the ruling party.

Submitting its legal papers to the party affairs committee for approval on Wednesday, the party’s secretary general, Mohamed Saad el-Katatni, said it now had nearly 9,000 members, including 978 women and 93 Coptic Christians.

“The party is open to all Egyptians, Muslims and Copts alike,” he said.

While confirming that the party would campaign for civic state “with religious reference” to Islam as the official state religion, he sought to assure that the rights and freedoms of Coptic Christians would be guaranteed. The elections are scheduled for the fall.

Since the overthrow of President Hosni Mubarak, Christians have feared that the Muslim Brotherhood will seek to establish an Islamic state.

rest: http://www.christianpost.com/news/christian-vp-chosen-for-muslim-brotherhoods-party-50307/
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« Reply #59 on: June 01, 2011, 04:20:50 am »



The New World Order is a spiritual agenda enthroning Lucifer as the god of this earth. Lucis Trust was set up as Lucifer Publishing by theosophist Alice A. Bailey. Don't be deceived
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