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Religious Relations

November 18, 2007 | Doug Smith, Times Staff Writer
A least 30 bodies were discovered Saturday in an unfinished west Baghdad house as police and citizens groups probed neighborhoods that they said until recently were under the control of militants with the group Al Qaeda in Iraq. Iraqi police described the site in the heavily Sunni Muslim Hur Rijab section of the Dora neighborhood as a grisly scene, with decomposed bodies wrapped in black plastic. The dead, some not bearing identification, appeared to be mainly Shiite Muslims.
November 15, 2007 | Ned Parker, Times Staff Writer
A government-sponsored Sunni religious foundation Wednesday closed the main office of the influential Muslim Scholars Assn., a group of Sunni clerics suspected of ties to insurgents. The clerics' group, most of whose senior leaders left the country in the last year, protested the move in what amounted to the latest example of the split among Sunni Arabs between those aligned with and opposed to U.S. forces.
November 10, 2007 | Richard Winton, and Teresa Watanabe and Greg Krikorian, Times Staff Writers
The LAPD's plan to map Muslim communities in an effort to identify potential hotbeds of extremism departs from the way law enforcement has dealt with local anti-terrorism since 9/11 and prompted widespread skepticism Friday. In a document reviewed Friday by The Times, the LAPD's Los Angeles Police Department's counter-terrorism bureau proposed using U.S.
November 7, 2007 | Maria De Cristofaro and Jeffrey Fleishman, Times Staff Writers
Pope Benedict XVI met with King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia on Tuesday at a time of strained relations between Islam and Christianity over global terrorism, the Iraq war and the lack of religious freedoms for nearly 1 million Roman Catholic migrant workers living in the Persian Gulf state. It was the first meeting between a Saudi monarch, who also oversees Islam's holiest shrine at Mecca, and the head of the Catholic Church.
November 3, 2007 | From Times Wire Reports
Representatives from the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh voted to approve constitutional amendments that are the first step in leaving the national church in a widening rift over homosexuality and interpretation of Scripture. Pittsburgh joined dioceses in San Joaquin, Calif., and Quincy, Ill., in granting preliminary approval to separating from the national church. The dioceses contend the national church has abandoned Scriptural authority and teachings on truth and salvation.
October 27, 2007 | Christian Berthelsen, Times Staff Writer
A departing major general who oversaw the U.S. military operation in northern Iraq delivered blunt criticism Friday of the ministry that manages Iraqi police forces, accusing it of "foot dragging" in hiring desperately needed officers because of sectarian bias. The comments put in stark terms the sectarian divisions in Iraq's Shiite-led Interior Ministry, which has been beset by allegations of infiltration by Shiite Muslim militiamen and human rights violations, including torture. U.S.
October 20, 2007 | K. Connie Kang, Times Staff Writer
Speaking with mutual respect and sensitivity, prominent Christian, Jewish and Muslim scholars and clergy from around the country met in Los Angeles this week to "wrestle" with what one rabbi described as the "dark side" of the three faith traditions. Experts cited "problematic" passages from the Hebrew Scripture, the New Testament and the Koran that assert the superiority of one belief system over others. As an example, the Rt. Rev.
October 17, 2007 | From the Associated Press
Protestants in Northern Ireland's power-sharing government Tuesday vetoed a Catholic plan to introduce a bill promoting Gaelic. The little-spoken language is promoted by Northern Ireland's Catholics to emphasize their Irish identity on this overwhelmingly English-speaking island.
October 14, 2007 | Alexandra Zavis, Times Staff Writer
The Shiite heir apparent to a key U.S. political ally added his voice Saturday to calls for the division of Iraq into semiautonomous regions based on sect and ethnicity, throwing down a gauntlet on an issue that has stirred fierce emotions in Iraq. Ammar Hakim's appeal before hundreds of supporters gathered for prayers marking the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan came just weeks after passage of a nonbinding U.S.
September 23, 2007 | Maggie Farley, Times Staff Writer
The U.N. is ready to expand its role in Iraq to mediate between rival sects, help build political participation and increase humanitarian help, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Saturday. "The U.N. stands ready to broaden its activity in support of the people and government of Iraq," he said in a meeting co-chaired by Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Maliki and attended by senior officials from Iraq, the United States, Britain and many of Iraq's neighbors.
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