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Religious Conversions

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WORLD
May 10, 2007 | From Times Wire Reports
Police in western India arrested two Christian missionaries, who allegedly forced conversions, and 11 Hindu hard-liners accused of attacking them this week, officials said. The two missionaries were charged with "unlawful religious conversions" after a complaint filed by two Hindu residents of Ichalkaranji, 140 miles south of Mumbai, police said. The missionaries told police they were attacked by Hindu extremists, and TV footage showed them being kicked and punched.
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OPINION
April 4, 2014
Re "Seeking souls, not votes," Opinion, April 2 Holy doctrinal evolution! The Southern Baptist Convention's Russell Moore urged conservative evangelicals to shelve ardent efforts to thwart gay marriage and even to push hard for immigration reform. The religious right's reassessment of its regressive political agenda may stem from placing too much blind faith in electing conservative evangelicals. After all, in recent times such politicians - while sermonizing on gay marriage, illegal immigration and more - have wound up favoring wealthy patrons' interests much more than those of their faithful electoral base.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 9, 1999 | Associated Press
Leaders of the Reform and Conservative branches of North American Judaism have asked members to mobilize against proposed legislation in Israel that would restore Orthodox rabbis' exclusive right to perform religious conversions. The bill would overturn a December ruling by the Jerusalem District Court that validated conversions by non-Orthodox groups within Israel. The government's Interior Ministry plans to appeal the ruling to the Supreme Court.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 23, 2008 | James Ricci, Times Staff Writer
Moshe Cotel thought he was leaving music behind when he forsook a successful career as a composer and high-ranking conservatory professor in order, in his mid-50s, to become a rabbi. Fate, however, turned out to be not entirely on board with the plan. As he finished his studies, Cotel proposed, out of laziness, to perform a rabbinical thesis rather than write one. So he was permitted to give a piano recital in which he paired traditional rabbinical monologues with pieces of classical music.
NEWS
January 27, 1998 | MARJORIE MILLER, TIMES STAFF WRITER
The Israeli government and Jewish leaders appear to have averted a split in world Jewry with the drafting of compromise proposals on the potentially explosive issue of who will conduct religious conversions in Israel. No one involved in the negotiations seems happy. The proposals still would leave the basic question of the status of Reform and Conservative Jews largely unresolved.
SPORTS
October 13, 2006 | SAM FARMER
James Trapp used to prey on people. Now he prays for them. The thug has turned thankful, touched by the Holy Spirit, he says, and is ready to start his new life as a Christian advisor for an NFL team. He has been serving an internship with the Atlanta Falcons and could eventually be promoted to team chaplain. This is the same James Trapp who, as a Los Angeles Raiders defensive back, came off the sidelines at Denver and joined in an on-field brawl -- while in street clothes.
NEWS
January 9, 2001 | From Times Wire Reports
The supreme leader of Afghanistan's ruling Taliban movement warned that any Afghan converting to Christianity or promoting other religions will be executed. In his decree, Mullah Mohammed Omar also warned booksellers that they face five years in prison if they sell material insulting Islam or promoting "wrong beliefs."
WORLD
March 27, 2006 | Wesal Zaman and Henry Chu, Special to The Times
After days of international outcry, an Afghan court has dismissed the case against a man threatened with being put to death for having converted from Islam to Christianity, a court official said Sunday. The charges of apostasy against Abdur Rahman, a 41-year-old medical aid worker, were being dropped for lack of evidence, said Abdul Wakil Omari, a spokesman for the Afghan Supreme Court. "It has been sent back to prosecutors," Omari said of the case.
WORLD
March 28, 2006 | From the Associated Press
An Afghan man who faced the death penalty for converting from Islam to Christianity has been freed from prison, the deputy attorney general said early today. The man has asked for asylum in another country, according to U.S. and U.N. officials. Abdur Rahman was released from the high-security Policharki prison on the outskirts of Kabul late Monday, Deputy Atty. Gen. Mohammed Eshak Aloko said. "We issued a letter saying he was mentally unfit to stand trial, so he has been released," Aloko said.
WORLD
March 26, 2006 | From Times Wire Reports
Pope Benedict XVI has written to Afghan President Hamid Karzai asking that charges be dropped against a man facing a possible death sentence for converting from Islam to Christianity, the Vatican said. The appeal to spare Abdur Rahman was sent in the pope's name by Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Angelo Sodano, who said the pope's appeal was inspired by the "firm belief in the dignity of human life and by respect for every person's freedom of conscience and religion."
WORLD
May 10, 2007 | From Times Wire Reports
Police in western India arrested two Christian missionaries, who allegedly forced conversions, and 11 Hindu hard-liners accused of attacking them this week, officials said. The two missionaries were charged with "unlawful religious conversions" after a complaint filed by two Hindu residents of Ichalkaranji, 140 miles south of Mumbai, police said. The missionaries told police they were attacked by Hindu extremists, and TV footage showed them being kicked and punched.
SPORTS
October 13, 2006 | SAM FARMER
James Trapp used to prey on people. Now he prays for them. The thug has turned thankful, touched by the Holy Spirit, he says, and is ready to start his new life as a Christian advisor for an NFL team. He has been serving an internship with the Atlanta Falcons and could eventually be promoted to team chaplain. This is the same James Trapp who, as a Los Angeles Raiders defensive back, came off the sidelines at Denver and joined in an on-field brawl -- while in street clothes.
WORLD
March 28, 2006 | From the Associated Press
An Afghan man who faced the death penalty for converting from Islam to Christianity has been freed from prison, the deputy attorney general said early today. The man has asked for asylum in another country, according to U.S. and U.N. officials. Abdur Rahman was released from the high-security Policharki prison on the outskirts of Kabul late Monday, Deputy Atty. Gen. Mohammed Eshak Aloko said. "We issued a letter saying he was mentally unfit to stand trial, so he has been released," Aloko said.
WORLD
March 27, 2006 | Wesal Zaman and Henry Chu, Special to The Times
After days of international outcry, an Afghan court has dismissed the case against a man threatened with being put to death for having converted from Islam to Christianity, a court official said Sunday. The charges of apostasy against Abdur Rahman, a 41-year-old medical aid worker, were being dropped for lack of evidence, said Abdul Wakil Omari, a spokesman for the Afghan Supreme Court. "It has been sent back to prosecutors," Omari said of the case.
WORLD
March 26, 2006 | From Times Wire Reports
Pope Benedict XVI has written to Afghan President Hamid Karzai asking that charges be dropped against a man facing a possible death sentence for converting from Islam to Christianity, the Vatican said. The appeal to spare Abdur Rahman was sent in the pope's name by Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Angelo Sodano, who said the pope's appeal was inspired by the "firm belief in the dignity of human life and by respect for every person's freedom of conscience and religion."
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 21, 2003 | From Times Wire Reports
The Southern Baptist Convention, the nation's largest Protestant denomination, spent much of its annual gathering this week defending the right of evangelicals to proclaim their religion as the only path to salvation. "There are forces that attempt to silence us, who say, 'Don't intrude on our lives,' " said the Rev. Jack Graham, the Southern Baptist president. "We cannot resist the love and the call of God to penetrate our world."
NEWS
April 2, 1997 | REBECCA TROUNSON, TIMES STAFF WRITER
The Israeli parliament on Tuesday gave preliminary approval to a bill to recognize only Orthodox conversions performed here, dealing a blow to Reform and Conservative Jews hoping to win official status for their movements inside Israel.
NEWS
March 30, 1997 | SCOTT MARTELLE, TIMES STAFF WRITER
For most of Jaewoo Lee's life, religious faith has existed as a possible answer to "some of the questions you can't avoid" about life and death and meaning. A pragmatist, he considered himself an agnostic, not ready to disbelieve, but not ready to make a basic leap of faith, either. Until about six months ago, that is, when a chance encounter with a book explaining some of the tenets of Catholicism turned the Korean immigrant into a "shallow and shaky" believer.
OPINION
September 15, 2002 | LORRAINE RHOADS
Why do we have juries? We have them to hear evidence presented by prosecutors and defense lawyers. Our justice system guarantees that a person charged with a crime, no matter how heinous, is entitled to a trial that is heard by a jury of his or her peers. I was a juror on the William Payton trial ("Death Penalty Is Overturned in 1980 Murder," Aug. 2). This trial came during Thanksgiving-Christmas 1982. I was working as an administrative secretary at a hospital.
NEWS
April 26, 2002 | From Times Wire Reports
Muslim prosecutors sought the death penalty for two men accused of converting from Islam to Christianity. An Islamic court judge gave the men three days to reconvert. Lawali Yakubu and Ali Jafaru, both in their 30s, were accused in the northern town of Mada of abandoning Islam and joining the Great Commission Movement, an international evangelical church. The two argued that they had never been Muslims.
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