Sects – Sekt Info Fri, 18 Jun 2021 20:06:26 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Sects – Sekt Info 32 32 Child Deaths in Norwood Suspicion of ‘Passionate’ Believer of Cult Teachings | Local News Fri, 18 Jun 2021 18:30:00 +0000

Reinforcing earlier testimony, trial witnesses said Thursday that defendant Ika Eden was the primary caregiver for two young girls who died in Norwood nearly four years ago.

Ika Eden, described by her daughter as a passionate believer in the end times message of sect leader Madani Ceus, was almost always in charge of sisters Makayla Roberts and Hannah Marshall, a constant stream of people who came into contact with the group. testified.

But his observed interactions with the girls were strongly at odds with the charges that brought witnesses to a Grand Junction courtroom: two counts of fatal child abuse, one each, for 8-year-old Hannah. and Makayla, 10 years old.

The children died on the Norwood property of the convert to the sect, Frederick “Alec” Blair. As sweltering heat scorched the air outside the courthouse, jurors heard of another scorching summer, 2017, when the girls died of hunger, thirst and likely overheating, in the car in which Ceus had banned them for perceived “impurities”.

Ika Eden – who uses both names and is representing herself after being restored to legal jurisdiction – is the latest of five people to be prosecuted over the deaths.

But before she and other cult members met Blair at a Grand Junction truck stop in May 2017, and before moving to his farm, there was North Carolina.

Ika Eden had frantically sold her belongings and packed her children at Ceus’ request to move there, the accused’s daughter, Hannah Joy Sutherland, testified. Prior to this move, her mother had been a practicing observer and evangelizer of the Ceus movement – called The Family – and was in frequent telephone contact with her, as well as cult member Ashford Archer.

“She was a believer. She was very passionate about what they preached, ”Sutherland said.

So when Ceus told Ika Eden to get off to North Carolina, she took action, according to the testimony: she was “a little scared, panicked” as she got ready. Preparations included destruction of identification documents; Ika Eden and others would change their names to pseudonyms, Sutherland’s testimony said. “The world was coming to an end and we had to go,” she said.

Ika Eden, Sutherland and one of her brothers moved into an apartment in North Carolina with Ceus, her two young children, Archer and Nashika Bramble, who had two little daughters – Makayla and Hannah – along with a few others.

When they arrived, everyone had to shave their heads and burn their clothes because they “had evil spirits on them,” Sutherland said. They changed into dresses.

The group members spent their days meditating, singing and worshiping. “We didn’t have to stay, but if we left we wouldn’t be allowed to go back,” she said.

Those who did leave would go through trials and tribulations on the “red moon date,” like the rest of the corrupt world, the group was told. If they stayed, they would “disappear” in a higher spiritual form and be spared.

Although Sutherland doubted it and reminded his mother of Matthew 24:36 (“But from this day and this hour no man knows, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only”), Ika Eden “did not want ‘hear’, the witness testified.

Sutherland said the cult members subsisted on a purifying diet of coconuts, dates, almonds and water, which at first were in sufficient quantity. Over time, food was reduced and Sutherland, along with Ika Eden and others, ate less so the children could have more.

“We had no more food. You can’t go out, so we just drank water after that, ”Sutherland said.

But another member of the group left and she told Sutherland’s father where Sutherland was. The man and one of Sutherland’s brothers arrived, knocking on the door; became “a little hysterical” when they saw her condition and dragged her out of the apartment because of her mother’s protests.

During a phone call a few months later, Ika Eden attempted to persuade Sutherland to join the group on his travels; She said no. “I felt like the hold they had over my mother – I couldn’t persuade her otherwise,” the witness said.

Sutherland said she had spoken to her mother since the arrests in 2017: “She was heartbroken. I think she cried. She told me it would be the last time we would speak.

During a brief cross-examination, Ika Eden asked if the name changes were made with intent to deceive and if her daughter remembered that according to the Bible, a good name is better than gold. . (This was an apparent reference to Proverbs 22, which says, “A good name should be chosen over great riches, and loving favor over silver and gold.”) The witness said said there was no intention to cheat, and that she did. remember the Scripture.

Ika Eden also got a “yes” from Sutherland when she asked, “Is it possible that judgment will ensue even if it takes longer? “

When it comes to Ika Eden’s interactions with the children in the apartment, she was “motherly” to them, Sutherland said during the redirect.

‘They were beautiful’Other witnesses said that Ika Eden seemed to adore and take care of children. Although by the time the cult appeared in Norwood, neither Blair nor another man who worked on the property knew about Hannah, Thursday’s witnesses said they saw her with Ika Eden, as well as the girls. of Makayla and Ceus.

Illinois Minister Laura Tanner said she met the group and knew Ika Eden as Sandalphon; she also used the pseudonym Kara Sandalphon.

Ika Eden looked after the four children “whenever I saw them,” Tanner said. “… She seemed very educated. Very kind. Very dedicated.

The jurors were shown a photo of a parking lot and an ordinary tree. Tanner said the original photo was from a cell phone and there appeared to be a reflection in the tree. This, she said, Ika Eden showed to Makayla and told her that spirits or angels were watching over them.

But when she asked who the children belonged to, Tanner learned that Ceus – also known as “Ama” – was the mother of all children. When Tanner asked Ika Eden for information about her own family, the woman said they called her “crazy”.

“She gave it all up to follow this,” Tanner said.

Tanner kept in touch with the group through phone calls – for money, arranged through “Sandalphon” and amounting to about $ 1,200 in total. The reason for the money? “Food,” Tanner said.

As the theological discussions on the phone began to baffle her, Tanner felt less comfortable with Ceus, but, she said, “I never felt uncomfortable with him. ‘accused.”

The children were well cared for, especially since they lived on the road, Tanner said, attributing this to Ceus’ attention.

The last time Tanner saw the kids, Makayla didn’t want to leave – and Tanner didn’t want to either. They both cried. “She was very gentle, very obedient. Clever. Love it, ”Tanner said.

During cross-examination, Ika Eden asked Tanner about the Biblical Patriarch Abraham and if he had been told to “take all he had” and go. Tanner said yes, as well as whether she was aware of Moses and the prophet Elijah, or crying in the streets. Tanner again replied in the affirmative.

“No further questions,” said Ika Eden.

Tanner’s friend Lisa Bloome also said that Ika Eden is looking after Hannah, Makayla and the other two children.

Bloome also spoke about the beliefs of the group, saying that holiness and purity “are strongly imposed on us.” The focus on purity extended to food, as the group learned that genetically modified foods alter human DNA, Bloome said.

“The Lord will not recognize you if you have different DNA,” she said, recounting the group’s apparent belief.

Another teaching held that McDonald’s made “food from human parts,” Bloome said. Ika Eden didn’t seem to disagree with the teachings, she said.

The Ceus Cult was in Colorado in May 2017. Blair, who was taking a friend to Denver, met the group at a Grand Junction truck stop and quickly invited them to move into his Norwood property.

But Blair wasn’t the only person in Colorado to meet Ceus and the others. Peggy Murphy, a resident of the Whitewater area, testified that she met the members of the group when they asked for help replacing the tires on one of their vehicles.

Murphy’s husband gave them tires he had at home and invited them to have the tires fitted to the vehicle.

When they arrived, Ika Eden was the only one braving the wind and standing alongside Makayla, Hannah and Ceus’ eldest daughter as they played on a tricycle, Murphy said.

“I thought that as an educator, this is the kind of woman I want to hire. … I assumed it was his position to watch these kids, ”Murphy said.

As for the children: “They were beautiful.

Despite the cold, Ika Eden had to ask permission from “Ama” before she could accept a quilt to wrap her shoulders, the witness also said.

Four years later, Murphy seemed to be having trouble correctly identifying from photos some of the people she had met that day. During cross-examination, Ika Eden only asked if Murphy was sure she heard her name given as “Ika” and not “Kara” (Sandalphon).

San Miguel County Sheriff’s Sgt. Dan Covault was last at the helm on Thursday. His testimony was to continue today.

Katharhynn Heidelberg is Associate Editor-in-Chief and Senior Editor of Montrose Daily Press. Follow her on Twitter, @kathMDP

Katharhynn Heidelberg is Associate Editor-in-Chief and Senior Editor of Montrose Daily Press. Follow her on Twitter, @kathMDP.

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Adams, Yang step up GOTV effort for Orthodox vote – The Forward Thu, 17 Jun 2021 22:52:54 +0000

Eric Adams and Andrew Yang, two of New York’s top mayoral candidates, have stepped up efforts to secure the vote in the Brooklyn Orthodox community as early voting in the June 22 Democratic primary is underway.

Both campaigns tout their commitment to working with the community, protecting their rights and improving their security in colorful advertisements in weekly newspapers, on posters in local synagogues, in personalized text messages sent to voters and during visits to influential rabbis.

Experts estimate New York’s 1.1 million Jews make up about 20 percent of the Democratic primary electorate, who most often decide who wins in the heavily Democratic city. There are roughly 80,000 voters in Brooklyn’s Haredi communities, where the dictates of rabbinical leaders about candidates can lead to a reliable block of votes. A recent poll showed Adams with a solid 11 point lead among all voters, and Yang in second place with 15% support.

Yang, entrepreneur and former presidential candidate, is supported by major Hasidic sects in Borough Park and Williamsburg, including the Bobov community and part of the Satmar community led by Rabbi Zalman Leib Teitelbaum. Adams, president of the Brooklyn Borough, garnered support from the other Satmar faction led by Rabbi Aaron Teitelbaum of Kiryas Joel, the Flatbush Jewish Community Coalition, the Crown Heights Jewish Community, the Far Rockaway Jewish Alliance and a coalition of Jewish activists from Bukhara in Queens, among others.

Both candidates try to leverage their endorsements with emotional appeals that each hope will give them an edge over the other.

During Wednesday’s last televised debate, Yang described a recent shiva appeal to a member of the Brooklyn Orthodox community as his worst moment on the election campaign. “Comforting a parent who has lost their son,” Yang said when moderators asked him to share his worst experience. A campaign aide to Yang confirmed he was referring to a call from shiva he paid to the Knoblowitz family who lost their son, Pinchas Menachem, in the Mount Meron tragedy on April 30. “I’m a father of two boys and imagined myself in his shoes,” Yang said. “Comforting him was like a blessing, but it was a very difficult experience.”

Adams has promised to be a staunch fighter against anti-Semitism. He fended off critics who noted his praise of Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan in the early 1990s, pointing to Jewish support. “I don’t support any anti-Semitism,” Adams said an activist after the debate on Wednesday evening, citing a number of groups that support him. “They know my job, I’m a tough guy.”

Former Assembly member Dov Hikind said in a video posted Thursday that he recently met Adams and that the candidate admitted his past defense of Farrakhan was a mistake. “But I would like him to share it with the general public because there are people who are worried,” Hikind said.

Adams and Yang both visited Rabbi Aaron Teitelbaum of Satmar Tuesday for a blessing. Adams, who is supported by faction leaders in Williamsburg, told the rebbe, “Your community is my family and friends. He also said he was impressed with the yeshiva education system and said he hoped that standards in public schools will become substantially equivalent to secular studies in yeshivots, according to two sources present.

A recent survey conducted by JP News, a new Orthodox online site, and shared with The Forward, showed Yang a significant lead over Adams for the top pick. The poll of 1,132 registered voters – conducted by phone and online – found that Yang had 47% support among voters who identified as Orthodox or Hasidic, while Adams got 31%; and 11% remained undecided.

Hikind, who also met Yang, said Yang and Adams were both reassuring about fighting the rise in anti-Semitism and that both would be seen as allies if elected.

Meanwhile, a poll of 876 likely voters in the Democratic primary, conducted by the Marist Poll, showed that Jews in New York were evenly split among the top five candidates, with Kathryn Garcia, former New York sanitation commissioner, leading the pack with 26 percent support. Adams is in second place with 18%, followed by Maya Wiley, whose partner, Harlan Mandel, is Jewish, at 15%.

In 2013, de Blasio narrowly avoided a run-off by winning more Jewish voters than his rivals.

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Can we have appointed Choeluk MPs? .:. Tibetan Sun Wed, 16 Jun 2021 13:20:55 +0000

Norbu Tsering

By Norbu Tsering

TORONTO, Canada, June 16, 2021

Since that momentous day ten years ago when His Holiness the Dalai Lama handed over his political authority, “happily and voluntarily” ending nearly four centuries of Gaden Phodrang’s rule, to a leader elected directly by the people , it has always been necessary to rethink whether it is appropriate to continue to have Choeluk MPs. The monks would have preferred the life of spirituality to the tumultuous life of the layman. Throwing them into the messy affairs of parliamentary politics can do the Buddha a disservice. They can easily fall victim to the strange attraction of ambition and self-aggrandizement that feeds the ego.

This is what we find out that happened to our deputy monks. Because of the way they have sought to hold our democracy hostage, much of our population is disillusioned.

Questions have been raised as to whether it is good for society to let clergy get caught up in the whirlwind of politics. We should actually think seriously about keeping the monasteries out of the hustle and bustle of politics. It can dishonor both the community of monks and the prestige of the Tibetan Dharma Buddha when the deputy monks, chosen only by the monks, behave so ignominiously and recklessly in Parliament. We shudder when a member of Parliament rises to address Parliament. We wriggle to guess what anger statements he will make and who he will target.

Of all the deputies, he is a monk who denigrates the Tibetan State Oracle during a parliamentary session broadcast live to the world. He ridicules the Oracle, wondering who understood the babbling coming out of his strangled neck. And what we remember is that His Holiness tells us that if there is anyone who knows the Oracle of Nechung best, it is him. He consulted him on many important issues.

Of all the deputies, there is another monk who declares to the world in Parliament that he neither believes in the Middle Way, that he has no hope of it, and that he does not want to talk about it. Anyone can guess who they are thinking of when they say this. Okay, it’s his right to speak freely in Parliament on any political issue he considers important. But, the anger with which he condemned the Middle Way does not belong to him as someone who has vowed to walk the path of the Buddha.

The bill to remove the three judges was sponsored by the Standing Committee of Parliament, which is dominated by monks. Once again, we see all the Choeluk MPs in the group of MPs who refused to take the oath of office to the interim president. The pitiful state of our current, breathless Parliament is the result of the vengeful and unlawful way in which judges were removed by Parliament, led by monk deputies.

After the handover ceremony from the outgoing Sikyong to the new one, chaired by the Supreme Commissioner for Justice and blessed by the online presence of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, most people expected a smooth transition from the 16th in the 17th Parliament. . What we have assumed is that former Sikyong Dr Lobsang Sangay would have no problem handing over the reins of power to the new Sikyong, in a ceremony chaired by the Chief Justice Commissioner. But once again, all Choeluk MPs are on the side of MPs who have chosen not to bother with the normal and Charter-mandated practice of the interim president swearing in new MPs. In no democracy do we find that the new representatives of the people have the choice to take the oath to whom they see fit.

The image in our minds of the monk as a calm, humble, soft-spoken, considerate, kind and forgiving person has been shattered by the more secular than secular behavior of our deputy monks. It is regrettable that the young deputy Dorje Tsetan, from whom we expect so much, allowed himself to be used as a spokesperson for the never satisfied monk deputies who only care about the politics of Cholkha. SFT does not have a history of a leader with a partial Cholkha sentiment streak. It won’t do his political career any good.

Because he shocked that large segment of people who just don’t associate SFT with Cholkha’s politics even from afar, Dorje Tseten volunteered to lead the group of MPs who refused to take the oath of law. prescribed by the Charter has given others the opportunity to raise questions about its integrity. Lhagyari Namgyal Dolker gets votes from her constituency, but doesn’t care about their hopes in her. Young people in our society see them as future leaders across Tibet. But they seem in a hurry to climb the ladder of power. There is a revealing English worldly wisdom which says: Haste is worrying and haste is wasteful.

If we are to have representatives of monks in Parliament because of our nostalgia for the ancient times when thousands of monasteries were the center of Tibetan cultural life, and also because monks form a large part of the population in exile, let us have a only Choeluk Deputy of each sect, appointed by the sect’s leader Lama. Of course, the various Kagyud sub-sects will have to discuss how they will proceed with the nomination of their deputy. It can become a constant reminder to them that they are indeed Choeluk MPs. This can dissuade them from making irresponsible anger remarks in Parliament. What we normally reject as’Dra-pai Aur-tom‘(the reckless habit of the monk) can trigger disturbances in society in general. It happens.

It can therefore be expected that the member for Choeluk, in addition to participating in general parliamentary affairs, will speak of the support that many monasteries might need from the CTA. It can be a help to improve health care for the monastic community or it can be facilities to improve monastic educational facilities or it can be a help to organize language courses for the clergy community or it can be a help to organize Tibetan history lessons. And, if monks so desire, CTA can help monasteries organize conferences by specialists on different spiritual traditions around the world. We have seldom seen Choeluk MPs so far raise issues in parliament concerning the interests of monasteries.

For those monks with political ambitions, the right to stand for election as a deputy candidate for Cholkha or even as a candidate for Sikyong should be enshrined in the Charter. Of course, monasteries have the power to prohibit their monks from standing for election. It’s very different to have MP monks who represent their religious sects in terms of how people react to what they say or do. If a monk thinks he has the potential to be another Samdhong Rinpoche, he should be given the opportunity not by being elected by a small section of society that is supposed to have no control over the pulse of the political life of society as a whole, but by being elected by the whole of society.

The problem with the current system of having Choeluk MPs is threefold: there are ten too many; second, they are elected only by monks, whose lives we expect to be apolitical; and third and most importantly, they have an inappropriate sense of arrogance that stems from their inflated smugness of elected MPs who don’t have to worry about what his sect’s chief Lama will think of their adventures in Parliament.

If at all we are not prepared to separate church from state, let’s at least lift our eyes from our Choeluk deputies and have them nominated by the cult leader. It will surely have a calming effect.

If somehow the oath of office taken by deputies in front of the photo of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the book of the Charter is found to be valid, it may also imply that their argument that the oath of the provisional chairman of the commissioner also be considered valid. This will ensure us some heated parliamentary sessions over the next five years. It will be the mother of political intrigue. Whenever the Sikyong rises to speak in parliament, a section of deputies, most likely headed by deputy monks, comes out shouting that they do not recognize a Sikyong sworn in by a chief justice commissioner who s’ unconstitutionally hangs on his work. Oh! how China is going to lap it all up. God forbid, the current impasse in the constitution of the 17th Parliament comes to this. We must prevent democracy – our proud response to China’s autocratic rule in Tibet – from becoming a laughing stock.

About the Author

Norbu Tsering worked at the Central Institute of Buddhist Studies, Leh, Ladakh, as an English lecturer, then at TCV School, Ladakh, as a school principal. He currently lives in Toronto, Canada.

After articles by Norbu Tsering on the Tibetan Sun.

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The Christian schools in Lebanon are full of Muslims, and they …… | News and reports Tue, 15 Jun 2021 15:21:55 +0000

The 2021 class of the National Evangelical School of Nabatieh (NESN) is entirely Shia Muslim.

While this is certainly not the image of a typical Christian school in the United States, it is hardly an exception in Lebanon, where 35 evangelical schools have an average of two-thirds Muslim students.

Located 35 miles south of Beirut, Nabatieh originally had a Christian population of 10% when American Presbyterian missionary Lewis Loe founded the school in 1925. Based in the city’s Christian quarter, NESN attracted students of all sects until the civil war separated the formerly integrated communities. . From 1978 to 1982, the Israeli occupation forced the school to close completely.

When the city was attacked again during the 2006 war, the school’s air raid shelter provided refuge for frightened children. Relative peace since then has allowed the shelter to become a storage room, but fewer than 40 Christian families remain in the city. However, NESN draws on surrounding villages to maintain a 10 percent Christian share among its 100 or so teachers.

But the new crisis that Lebanon is going through is financial. End of the year inflation for 2020 was 145 percent, while food prices rose more than 400 percent. The World Bank judge the economic collapse as one of the three worst in the world in the past 150 years.

Teachers’ salaries have lost almost 90 percent of their value.

Three years ago, NESN’s 100-foot Christmas tree was the tallest in Lebanon. This year, with debt equaling the entire operating budget minus teachers’ salaries, the school couldn’t even afford the Charlie Brown version.

A highlight of the school calendar, the Christian elements are welcomed by the local Shiite population, including its large number of Hezbollah-affiliated families, principal Shadi El-Hajjar said.

Since he took over as director in 2013, the student body of 1,400 has more than doubled.

“We teach compassion, forgiveness and love of enemies,” Hajjar said, “but as a culture and practice, not as a religion.

“It makes us unique and attracts people to school. “

It hasn’t always been that way.

Decades of appreciative tolerance, including a handful of converts to Christianity, turned into tensions during the civil war, said Mohamed Abdullah, general supervisor of NESN. The sectarian climate prompted Muslim leaders to oppose the school’s Christian education and, for four years, they forced Islamic classes to be held instead.

When the war ended in 1990, then director Munzer Anton stood firm.

“’If we teach Islam, we will also teach Christianity,” Abdullah recalled, telling Anton. “So they agreed to stop both.”

Johnny Awwad, Executive Secretary for Education at the National Evangelical Synod of Syria and Lebanon (NESSL), oversees the seven Presbyterian schools in Lebanon. The war forced this change in mentality in most of the predominantly Muslim areas, and Bible lessons have instead become ethics. This fits better with the Lebanese concept of diversity, he said, where neither sect seeks to convert the other.

But Awwad’s educational emphasis is to “live Christ” in front of his neighbor while defying the Lebanese temptation towards sectarianism and public religiosity.

For example, Muslim schools in Nabatieh require the hijab.

“We want to encourage an alternative society where the other is accepted,” Awwad said. “We did not betray our missionary heritage, but transformed it into an oriental context.

The legacy dates back to 1835, when the first missionaries established their first school in Beirut. The focus on women’s education, unique for the time, eventually transformed into the now co-ed Lebanese American University (LAU). And in 1866, this fusion of the gospel and universal education founded the Syrian Protestant College, now the American University of Beirut (AUB).

Today, AUB is completely secular, although LAU maintains a connection with the Presbyterian Church of the United States and NESSL, which became independent in 1959.

But the backing comes from the US government, which last year donated $ 44 million to LAU for scholarships. And the university is asking for more, having lost $ 100 million from its endowment.

“Such campuses are the place where the battle for the hearts and minds of young people in the Middle East is won, irreversibly and for life,” said Michel Mawad, President of LAU.

“They represent the biggest comeback, [and] on a modest investment.

But while universities have largely separated from the church, said Joseph Kassab, chairman of the Supreme Council of the Evangelical Community in Syria and Lebanon, schools have not and remain an essential part of Christian ministry.

What is also social, at the service of Lebanon.

“Democracy, freedom of speech and freedom of conscience all come from our faith,” he said. “By keeping a gracious presence among Muslims, our values ​​are gradually absorbed. “

In times of prosperity, evangelical schools brought scholars. The graduates led the 19th century Arab Renaissance, which included the now standard Arabic Bible.

And in times of crisis, they saved Lebanese lives. During the Great Famine of 1915, starving villagers could send their children to the Evangelical Boarding School in Sidon while missionaries rode donkeys for easy transportation.

“We hope God has used us,” Kassab said, “and we still have a mission.”

But unlike AUB and LAU, evangelical schools receive little outside help. The investment required is, however, even more modest. The depreciating Lebanese pound means that an annual tuition fee of $ 4,000 before the crisis now only costs around $ 450 per student, if “fresh dollars” can be found. Last year Lebanon defaulted on its debt and a life of savings was lost in what many now call a government-run Ponzi scheme.

The appeal for funds is also launched by Catholics in Lebanon.

“Our schools don’t need direct help; they need students to pay teachers’ salaries, “said Raymond Abdo, head of the Carmelite order,” and thus preserve our mission among the poor.

Located in northern Lebanon, the Carmelites were forced to close two of their five schools due to financial difficulties. In those that remain open, teachers continue to serve their 2,500 students, despite accepting a 50% pay cut.

In Tripoli, 95% of students belong to the Sunni sect.

“Many Muslim families tell me, ‘Father, we want our children to have your values,’” he said.

“We give them the freedom to bring up their children in a Christian setting.

But in Kobayat and Zgharta, the Carmelites are desperately trying to keep farming families in their historic Christian villages. The attraction is towards the cities, where education is stronger. Many dream of leaving Lebanon completely.

“We need to strengthen the Christian community,” Abdo said. “But if we don’t get help, we’ll have to keep closing schools, one by one.”

In total, Catholic institutions provide education to around half of the students in private schools and to one-third of all Lebanese. Up to 80% of them could stop, reportedVatican News.

France provided $ 18 million to support francophone schools (including secular ones) last summer. The Vatican provided $ 200,000 for scholarships.

Nabil Costa asks for missionary teachers.

The head of the Association of Evangelical Schools of Lebanon (AESL) said its 35 schools serve 20,000 students. With 700,000 private school students in total, evangelicals serve well beyond their 1% share of the Lebanese population.

“We share the good news about Jesus and how he loves everyone,” Costa said.

“But they will only hear that if we provide a first class academic education.”

Evangelical schools consistently rank in the top 5% in national exams, he said. And they pioneer the concept of inclusive education for students with special needs (such as autism), helping public and non-Christian schools to implement it.

However, the Baptist school in Beirut (BBS) is hemorrhaging teachers in the midst of the economic crisis. Twelve of the 164 resigned, emigrating in search of better opportunities abroad. The Lebanese Evangelical School for Boys and Girls (LESBG) lost 12 out of 200, more than in the past 10 years combined.

Costa suspects an attrition rate of at least 10% in his association.

BBS and LESBG, however, continue to educate students about the Christian religion. And the parents, over 80% Muslim, are delighted to know that the school respects all faiths.

Steve White, the director of LESBG, adopted the old AUB mantra:

This school is aimed at all conditions and classes of men and women without distinction of color, nationality, race or religion … [who may] come out believing in one God, in many gods or in no God. But it will be impossible for anyone to continue with us for long without knowing what we believe to be the truth and the reasons for that belief.

However, less than a third of evangelical schools are so deliberate. Costa encourages AESL members to keep their heritage, as the Lebanese respect transparency. And while it is clear that the goal is education, both secular and religious, they “allow the Holy Spirit to work”.

And in common grace the Spirit does it, forming citizens for Lebanon.

Ali Jaber, a Shiite Muslim who graduated from BBS, is a volunteer lawyer at the Beirut Bar.

“I went to church and learned all the values,” he said. “It made me different from others who weren’t raised with the same openness.”

But with Lebanon in free fall, can the evangelical school system continue to cultivate such students? Does NESN have a future in Nabatieh?

“If the crisis continues,” Hajjar said, “we will be in trouble. “

Meanwhile, her boss at the synod is looking beyond the balance sheet.

“The good Lord who planted us here will not leave us,” Awwad said.

“We are no accident of history.”

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Communist Party of Turkey mobilizes to denounce government involvement with mafia boss – Liberation News Mon, 14 Jun 2021 22:02:56 +0000

Photo: TKP rally in defiance of government ban

Communists in Turkey called a mass rally in Istanbul to denounce the collaboration between the ruling conservative AKP party, political sects, bosses and the Mafia.

The district governor tried to illegally ban the Communist Party (TKP) from organizing the protest, but the organizers went ahead and issued their press release and call to action: “The reason for the ban is the content of the press release. In other words, it makes them uncomfortable that we are against the sects and the Mafia. Our meeting was banned because we want an order without sects, mafia, or bosses. We declare here, sects will be banned and we will establish a country without exploitation.

Who is Sedat Beijing?

The protest follows a series of Youtube video statements released by mafia boss Sedat Peker, denouncing the wrongdoing by AKP members and their families.

Previously, Beijing was a long-time ally of Turkish President Erdoğan until 2018, when he fell out of favor with some groups within the AKP and fled to the United Arab Emirates. So far, Peker has posted nine videos – most of them around an hour long – detailing the criminal acts of different government officials.

Numerous accusations target Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu, including “state-organized drug trafficking killings”. Charges against other AKP members include covering up the rape and murder of a female journalist, mafia raids on newspaper offices, illegal surveillance of other party members, the use of blackmail and the acceptance of bribes, and even more murder.

From the 1990s, Peker himself was also charged and arrested for murder and other crimes, and served over ten years in prison. After his release in 2014, he immediately began forging alliances with the ruling AKP, organizing rallies and even personally meeting with President Erdoğan. He has become something of a celebrity – he even received “the award for the most benevolent businessman” from the company-owned daily Milliyet.

He publicly threatened academics who signed a petition to end government assaults in Kurdish provinces, saying that “their blood will flow and we will bathe in their blood.” In 2019, he encouraged AKP supporters to take up arms if the opposition wins in the election.

What happens now

These videos naturally provoked the outrage of the Turkish working class, which is going through a serious economic crisis. The TKP published in a statement:

“The country is going through a very hard economic crisis, which manifests itself in a huge external debt in foreign currencies, instability, a decline in production capacity and negative reserves in its treasury. The impact of this crisis was doubled when the pandemic set in, in 2020. Unemployment exceeded 25%, contrary to official figures manipulated, corresponding to one in three people under 35 (some of whom have lived all their life under AKP rule)… We should add to this image that the government has demonstrated one of the worst examples of mismanagement of the pandemic and implemented irrational measures, aimed only at saving the class capitalist.

The Party for Socialism and Liberation stands in solidarity with the TKP and all the progressives who organize and mobilize against the oppressive ruling party in Turkey and its brutal and corrupt methods of retaining power.
As a result of this rally, the TKP plans to organize mass meetings and launch new organizational initiatives in popular neighborhoods, workplaces and schools. They will fight for the release of some of the executives who were arrested for distributing leaflets or taking pictures. The TKP is also calling for a follow-up mass protest on June 19 in the capital Ankara.

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AAP to Challenge 2022 Gujarat Polls, Kejriwal Announces | Latest India News Mon, 14 Jun 2021 07:06:04 +0000

  • This is Kejriwal’s second visit to Gujarat after his party won 27 of 120 seats in the Surat Municipal Corporation (SMC) election in 2021.

Through | Written by Susmita Pakrasi, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

UPDATE JUNE 14, 2021 12:37 PM IST

Party leader Aam Aadmi (AAP) and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said on Monday that the party will compete for all seats in the 2022 elections to the Gujarat legislature. He was addressing a press conference in Ahmedabad.

Earlier today, senior Gujarat journalist Isudan Gadhvi joined the AAP in the presence of Kejriwal.

Kejriwal reached Gujarat on Monday for a day-long visit to the state. “Havey badlashe Gujarat. Kaley hun Gujarat aavi rahyo chhu, Gujarat na bhai-behno ney malish (the state will transform now, I come to Gujarat tomorrow and meet the people of the state), ”Kejriwal tweeted in Gujarati before his visit on Sunday.

This is Kejriwal’s second visit to Gujarat after his party won 27 of 120 seats in the Surat Municipal Company (SMC) elections in 2021. The party led by Kejriwal had fielded candidates in all local bodies such as municipal corporations, municipalities, taluka districts and panchayats.

He will also inaugurate the party’s new state office located on Ashram Road. Kejriwal will leave for Delhi the same day, according to party spokesman Tuli Banerjee.

Kejriwal’s visit comes a day after two sects distant from the Patidar (Patel) community – Kadva Patel and Leuva Patel – came to a common platform to praise the AAP at an event in Kagwad of Rajkot.

To close

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Mizoram man, who led world’s largest family with 39 wives and 94 children, dies at 76 – The New Indian Express Sun, 13 Jun 2021 12:50:00 +0000

Through Express news service

GUWAHATI: Ziona Chana from Mizoram, who led the world’s largest family with 39 wives and 94 children, died on Sunday.

He was 76 and breathed his last at Trinity Hospital in Aizawl, the state capital, shortly after being admitted there. He had health problems, including high blood pressure and diabetes.

Ziona had been ill since June 7 and could not eat anything. He has been unconscious since June 11. Some doctors from Aizawl had visited him at his residence in remote Baktawng and found that he needed a certain amount of blood. He was subsequently transfused.

Since he was unconscious, doctors suggested that he be admitted to a hospital and placed in an intensive care unit. An ambulance sent from Aizawl brought him to Trinity Hospital at 2:50 p.m. Sunday but he died a few minutes later.

Ziona was the leader of a Christian sect, called Chana Ratchet, which allowed its male members to be polygamous. Some 400 families are said to be its members.

Ziona also had 14 daughters-in-law, 33 grandchildren and a great-grandchild. All family members live in a 100-room, four-story house set in the middle of the hills. Ziona was featured in the top 11 Weirdest Stories of “Ripley’s Believe It or Not” in 2011.

Chief Minister Zoramthanga was among those in mourning.

“With a heavy heart, #Mizoram bade farewell to Mr. Zion-a (76), who is said to be the head of the largest family in the world. Mizoram and its village of Baktawng Tlangnuam have become a major tourist attraction in the state because of the family. Rest in peace sir! Zoramthanga tweeted sharing a photo of the family.

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If a business degree and Ax body spray had a baby – Opinion Sat, 12 Jun 2021 15:38:20 +0000


Hi, Zack Snyder fans- well, it’s on the “bros” side of the fanbase. I know you are there, so you can release the tension of anger in your jaws that you are holding on to anyone who criticizes your cult leader, your “lord and savior”. I mean the dude treats Superman like a Jesus figure who can’t even be beaten by Wonder Woman, something obvious at many times in many comics. The man can’t seem to roll with an ounce of criticism without imploding in quotes on his fandom that looks like a selfish maniac with the maturity of a five-year-old having a fit in a grocery store. When I heard about the series inspired by the Norse myth of Snyder twilight of the gods and the recent casting during Netflix‘s Geeked Week, it was upsetting for a number of reasons. I quickly went through the list of actors, the excitement in my mind as someone with a connection to Norse paganism and a love of stories that could be explored, to be heartbroken. I looked for Freyja, a Norse goddess whose strength and energy would be thrilling to see on the small screen even if through animation… but the name wasn’t there. Odin, Loki, Hel (luckily she’s included), Thor, Ulfr, and the list of names continued.

Source: Warner Bros.

But I shouldn’t be surprised that female voices, those of great importance to me, or a whole cultural sect in global society are being glossed over like nothing. Freyja, Frigg, Skald, and more absent from Snyder’s Project, just like his female characters, have a power or potential that doesn’t start with trauma or sexual assault. And then there’s Snyder’s “hype team”. The number of death threats that people working in studios, not even attached to a Snyder project, have received is deplorable and disgusting. But what turns me off the most is that Snyder has the power to hammer down a lot of things but doesn’t – or does it in such a lukewarm way that he feels like he is. more concerned with how many Souls he needs to keep him alive via Horcrux. Someone gave Snyder a little compliment early on and it sparked his narcissistic brain like Griswold’s house from National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.

To Snyder and his “brothers”? The world and the studios owe you nothing. Stop treating your fans like an army that you can cowardly send to bid behind their screens. You are bold and get on the defensive when someone asks you how you handle anything and everything. I’m partly glad I didn’t see the name of the Norse fertility goddess because you would ruin her. You would take an embodiment of feminine power, inner strength, and a cornerstone of Asgardian myth, and reduce it to nothing but a side quest in the larger story. I’m still mad at how you might treat Hel- will she get another notch in the history of the gods around her? Can the reverence and care that many Norse gods have for Freyja and other goddesses fit into the mind of someone too many consider to be the “all great and genius of man” ? Researching a topic, a story, the general context of something important to people is something that has been MIA in the past – or it has been thrown in the trash with your respect for many in the industry. entertainment.

Zack Snyder
Image: Netflix

I always wondered if the “brother” side of Snyder’s fandom kept looking for “Zaddy” (makes me throw up in my mouth) to pat them on the head and tell them what a good job they’ve done with threats and spam. Oh, I bet they do. I hate being the one telling you this… actually, I take it back, I love doing that. Your idol doesn’t really care about you, at least not at the level that you think he has or desperately needs him. Remember that there are creators and people in the industry who love their fans and try an atmosphere of discussion and will to grow and their followers do the same, but not Snyder. Snyder does a good job of telling you what to do, as a decent cult leader would, and getting his followers to obey him – but always keeping just enough distance of “plausible deniability” from the little part. deep from the fan pool to always be able to hold onto her pearls and fan themselves when the bad things turn out. You fight for this man like he doesn’t have an ounce of power in the industry, like he’s an independent creator just trying to make it to Hollywood. You made digital images of man as a divine figure – someone please make it make sense. And don’t tell me it’s done “ironically” – one or two are ironic. Thousands? It is a serious problem. Anyone who does not see the products he offers as a glorious masterpiece is either submissive or kicked out of the internet. It is not difficult to see why the “toxic” label is constantly placed on all of you.

Media, from movies to TV, needs more than Snyder to make it work, but some people treat it all like it does. There are credits in a show or movie because a guy is multitasking to do it. I feel bad for everyone, from editing to production, who had to work with Snyder on previous projects because the “brothers” would have you believe that Snyder does everything from writing to directing to catering and costumes. It’s pathetic, upsetting and yet funny how annoying his fandom has become. I have watched films lasting several hours (some in Swedish … don’t ask me why) in old theaters, and I prefer to do that rather than watch “The Snyder Cut” by Justice League. And you know what? This is more than correct. What if that doesn’t suit you? Well, that’s what we call a “you problem” and it’s up to you to take care of it. Asking Snyder to do whatever he wants and have his fan-bros support him is nothing new, but my God, it has become tiring. Leave the Norse mythology and culture to someone who cares to do the research or someone who cares about women beyond trauma to take advantage of it.

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Posted in: HBO, Movies, Netflix, Opinion, TV, TV | Tagged: films, netflix, norse mythology, opinion, Release the Snyder Cut !, snyder bros, streaming, tv, zack snyder

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UCLA Welcomes Black Lives Matter Co-Founder for Keynote Address After Calling for “End” of Israel Sat, 12 Jun 2021 00:50:19 +0000

Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Cullors was due to deliver a virtual keynote address for UCLA’s Luskin School of Public Affairs as scheduled on Friday despite reviewing her past critical remarks regarding Israel, the dean confirmed from school.

Cullors called for the end of the State of Israel while attending a 2015 panel at Harvard Law School. His words have resurfaced in recent days following intense clashes between the IDF and Hamas militants in Gaza.

“Palestine is the South Africa of our generation,” Cullors said at the event. “If we do not mobilize boldly and courageously to put an end to the imperialist project called Israel, we are doomed.”

Several prominent Jewish groups have questioned UCLA’s decision to host Cullors as a keynote speaker amid a recent wave of anti-Semitic attacks. UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs Dean Gary Segura defended the decision in a statement to the Jewish newspaper.


“Respect for a diversity of opinions on matters of public interest is a key tenet of the educational philosophy of UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs, and it is important to remember that an invitation to speak does not represent an invitation to speak. approval of all past or future statements by a given speaker, ”Segura said in a statement. “We do not tolerate racism, sexism, anti-Semitism or any form of bias.”

“Patrisse Cullors’ pre-recorded opening message is a message of unity, tolerance and forgiveness,” added Segura. “She suggests that a spirit of cooperation can help heal old wounds and come up with new solutions. I am confident our graduate students will appreciate her perspective and find inspiration in her call to look to the future without judgment in search of a happier and more equitable society. “

Prominent critics of the UCLA decision included Judea Pearl, professor of computer science at UCLA and founder of the Daniel Pearl Foundation. Daniel Pearl, a Wall Street Journal reporter, was kidnapped and killed in 2002 while investigating militant groups in Pakistan.

Judea Pearl has asked UCLA to demand a retraction from Cullors before allowing him to give the opening speech.

“To the thousands of Jewish students and faculty at UCLA, the Cullors represent a fanatical sect of the BLM movement that criminalizes the core of our collective existence and calls for its destruction,” Pearl said in a statement. “Inviting her as the keynote speaker without retracting or explicitly addressing this fanatical part of her ideology is to mainstream that bigotry and, by implication, to exclude Jewish students and professors from equal membership in the Bruins tent of” l ‘equity, diversity and inclusion’.

Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean and director of the global social action program at the Simon Wiesenthal Center, also criticized the decision.


“UCLA has a moral obligation to ask its speaker if it is still seeking to destroy the Jewish state, but lacks the courage to do so. UCLA graduates know what she has said publicly in the past: to support the destruction of Israel, ”says Cooper.

Cullors recently stepped down as executive director of the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation. She announced her exit amid scrutiny of her finances after the New York Post reported she had bought four homes for $ 3.2 million.

Cullors called the claims that she made money from donations to Black Lives Matter “categorically false.”

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Why some Orthodox Jewish women won’t get vaccinated Fri, 11 Jun 2021 17:01:49 +0000

New York City will spend up to $ 60 million, according to an estimate from health officials, on a vaccination program aimed at tackling hesitation and access issues. But in many Orthodox neighborhoods, the messages of respected rabbis resonate more.

In Israel, where restrictions on coronaviruses have ended now that the majority of the population has been vaccinated, state officials have faced similar difficulties with the ultra-Orthodox community. However, community representatives carried out an effective campaign of counter messages.

But these messages did not have as much success in New York.

In Brooklyn’s Borough Park zip code, which has a large Orthodox community, 28.5% of the population is fully vaccinated, compared to 45.7% for all city residents. In the South Williamsburg zip code, where several major Hasidic sects are concentrated, 35% of the population is fully vaccinated. In East Crown Heights, where the Chabad-Lubavitch Hasidic sect is located, that number is 30.5%.

Patrick Gallahue, a spokesperson for the city’s health ministry, said the agency ran ads in local Orthodox media, worked with community organizations to host pop-up supplemental vaccination sites and partnered with trusted organizations like Hatzalah, an orthodox ambulance corps run by volunteers, to educate community members.

Other organizations in the region have made similar efforts.

John Lyon, spokesperson for the Rockland County Health Department, said fertility was the main concern of ultra-Orthodox residents when it came to receiving the coronavirus vaccine. Rockland County, home to 90,000 ultra-Orthodox Jews, was particularly affected by the virus last year.

Mr Lyon said the department “works through the delicate and personal process” of responding to fertility-related questions by partnering with local health providers and sending envoys to community rabbis, who have the best chance. affect the results of the community.

In April, the Jewish Orthodox Women’s Medical Association hosted three live coronavirus vaccine webinars for Orthodox women, doulas, prenuptial counselors, and attendants in ritual baths or mikvah, involving a total of nearly 5,000 participants.

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