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Weekly News In Review

January 29 - February 5, 2006
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We are adding a commentary by Roger Oakland in our Weekly News In Review and we will be adding them as they become available. The commentary will appear at the bottom of this email.

The following articles were posted at this past week:

Tough talk from Tehran
Four out of 10 say science classes should include intelligent design
New Barna Report Explores Teens and the Supernatural
Seeds of Ecumenism Sprouting in Russia
Jordan's king talks Islamic moderation to evangelical Christian group
Democrats kill proposed gay 'marriage' ban

This Weeks Commentary by Roger Oakland
Iran, Russia and Israel

Article: Wars And Rumors Of Wars

Feb 2, 2006 - Tough talk from Tehran

It is another sign of the escalating crisis over Iran's alleged nuclear ambitions that the Islamic republic's foreign minister has warned of swift retaliation if, as expected, it is reported to the United Nations security council. Manouchehr Mottaki uses an interview with the Guardian today to threaten "severe consequences," including an end to snap inspections and other co-operation with the International Atomic Energy Agency. Mr Mottaki said something similar to Jack Straw yesterday. Like the threat by the commander of the revolutionary guard that Iran would fire missiles if attacked, this was, to put it mildly, extremely unhelpful.

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Article: Creation/Evolution

January 2, 2006 - Four out of 10 say science classes should include intelligent design

Four out of 10 people in the UK think that religious alternatives to Darwin's theory of evolution should be taught as science in schools, according to a BBC poll.

The natural history broadcaster Sir David Attenborough said scientists should defend the boundary between science and religion: "Science teachers know perfectly well that science is based on evidence and that intelligent design is not based on evidence - in fact, quite the reverse."

Intelligent design (ID) is the notion that some structures within cells are too complicated to have just evolved and must have been placed there by a divine creator. "That is not a scientific statement," said Sir David. "If you inject that into science classes you are denying the very intellectual processes that you are supposed to be teaching as part of science."
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Article: Rising Interest In The Supernatural

January 26, 2006 - New Barna Report Explores Teens and the Supernatural

The 47-page report revealed that most teens believe in the supernatural realm with seven million teens having encountered an angel, demon, or some other supernatural being. According to the Barna research, 30 percent of all teens claim they had supernatural encounters. More than 10 percent of teens say they have communicated with the dead and nearly 10 percent of youth claim they have psychic powers.

Studies by The Barna Group also showed that nearly three-quarters of America’s youth (73 percent) have engaged in at least one type of psychic or witchcraft-related activity beyond media exposure or horoscope usage. The most common named were using an Ouija board and reading a book about witchcraft or Wicca – each of these activities were done by more than one-third of teenagers.

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Article:  Ecumenical Movement – Protestants Uniting With Roman Catholics

February. 2, 2006 - Seeds of Ecumenism Sprouting in Russia

Last Friday, for instance, a Christian ecumenical celebration was held on a large scale in St. Petersburg.

The event was held with an eye toward the just-ended Week of Prayer for Christian Unity and the 62nd anniversary of the lifting of the blockade of what was then Leningrad during World War II.

In statements to the religious agency Blagovect-info, Catholic Archbishop Tadeusz Kondrusiewicz, metropolitan of Moscow's Archdiocese of the Mother of God, spoke about this meeting of "ecumenical symphony on Nevski Avenue," referring to St. Petersburg's main traffic artery, where the celebration took place.

Some 200 people gathered in the Evangelical-Lutheran church there to attend the conference on "Christian Unity and Religious Tolerance." Russian Orthodox, Catholic and Lutheran representatives addressed the gathering.

During the conference, participants mentioned the imperative need to work as a whole and to give collective testimony to achieve unity. Subsequently, they went to the Catholic church of St. Ekaterina for an ecumenical prayer service.

Archbishop Kondrusiewicz, 60, said that the ceremony was conducted "in a sincere spirit of prayer of believers who desire to achieve unity in one same heart, as a symphony." He added: "And this prayer was heard by Christ."
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Article: Ecumenical Movement - Christians Uniting With Other Religions

February 3, 2006 - Jordan's king talks Islamic moderation to evangelical Christian group

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- King Abdullah II of Jordan took his efforts to promote moderation in Islam to the evangelical-dominated National Prayer Breakfast in Washington Feb. 2, earning a standing ovation with a speech that quoted the Bible as much as the Quran.

He called upon people of faith to witness to its positive role in public life by being an example of "the principles transgressed by those who oppose us."

"In every generation, people of faith are tested," King Abdullah said. "In our generation, the greatest challenge comes from violent extremists who seek to divide and conquer. Extremism is a political movement under religious cover.

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Article: Perilous Times

February 4, 2006 - Democrats kill proposed gay 'marriage' ban

ANNAPOLIS -- Maryland House Democrats yesterday killed a proposed ban on homosexual "marriage," likely preventing any such proposal from getting on the November ballot.
"It doesn't look good for additional action," said Delegate Anthony J. O'Donnell, Southern Maryland Republican and minority whip. "The Democrats want to keep this from the citizenry in an election year."

In a 78-61 vote, the Democratic-controlled House of Delegates rejected a bill for a constitutional amendment defining marriage as a union of a man and a woman.

Nineteen Democrats and 42 Republicans voted for the proposed amendment. One Republican -- Delegate Jean Cryor of Montgomery County -- sided with 77 Democrats to kill the bill.

State Sen. Brian E. Frosh, Montgomery County Democrat, said the bill's House defeat sounded the death knell for similar legislation in the Senate.
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Commentary - Creation/Evolution

Iran, Russia and Israel

If you have never looked at a map of Israel, you should. Have your Bible in one hand and look for a number of the cities and towns that the Bible mentions – for example, Nazareth, Bethlehem and Jerusalem.

Now ask yourself, where did these names come from? Do these places have anything to do with the Jewish people? If you are wondering why I am asking these simple questions, I have a reason. Did you know there’s a trend in the world today to wipe Israel off the map and replace Israel with a Palestinian nation?
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