October 26, 2009

Witch School relocating to Salem, Mass.

Witch School, which is a school offering courses on Wicca and other forms of Paganism recently announced that it will be relocating to Salem, Massachusetts. Witch School opened its doors in Roseville, Illinois in 2003 boasting a student enrollment of over 120,000 and now is the most trafficked Pagan website in the world.

According to the Witch School press release regarding the upcoming move, "Witch School settled from Chicago to Central Illinois in 2003, and became the center of protest by many of the Christian Churches in the area. A well-documented spiritual battle has been waged for the last six years, with open hostilities and long quiet truces by various Christian factions. Simply put, this has not allowed Witch School the staff and resources needed to keep up with their growth. On Halloween, Witch School Rossville will close permanently, and Witch School will be moving its HQ to ‘The Witch City’, Salem Mass."

Ed Hubbard, founder and CEO of Witch School said of the move, "The Churches are not the cause, they are a symptom of the problems in rural areas, and that is the lack of useful educational resources......The Churches believing that they were ‘protecting’ the community, have rejected and blocked several attempts by Witch School to improve Internet Service in the area. So it has become necessary to find a place where we can get the online access and staff we need to continue our growth."

October 13, 2009

Israel to attack Iran if further sanctions not in place by Christmas

YNetNews reported a few days ago that Israel's former Deputy Defense Minister, Ephraim Sneh, made a strong and clear statement regarding a nuclear armed Iran.

According to the YNetNews piece, Sneh said
if Iran were not further sanctioned by this Christmas Israel would attack the Islamic republic and that if Israel had to attack Iran on its own it would do so.

Rev. Moon turns over control of church to his sons

Wales Online reports that Rev. Sun Myung Moon has relinquished control of his Unification Church, -now known as Holy Spirit Association for the Unification of World Christianity- to his three sons.

According to the Wales Online piece,

"The youngest, 30-year-old Rev Moon Hyung-jin, was tipped last year to take over as the church’s religious leader. Moon Kook-jin, 39, is in charge of business ventures in South Korea, while 40-year-old Moon Hyun-jin oversees international operations. The church said all the brothers had Harvard degrees.

Since founding the church in Seoul, South Korea, in 1954, the elder Moon has built a business empire with hundreds of ventures in more than a half-dozen countries, from hospitals and universities to newspapers and even a professional football team and ballet troupe.

These include the Washington Times newspaper and the New Yorker Hotel in Manhattan, as well as an ad agency and ski resort in South Korea, and a seafood distribution firm that supplies sushi to Japanese restaurants across the US."

October 8, 2009

Nearly 25% of the world's population is Muslim

According to a recent comprehensive Pew Research study, the worldwide Muslim population comprises nearly 25% of the world's population. The Pew Research study notes, "A comprehensive demographic study of more than 200 countries finds that there are 1.57 billion Muslims of all ages living in the world today, representing 23% of an estimated 2009 world population of 6.8 billion."

October 3, 2009

Televangelist Benny Hinn not permitted into the UK

Religion News Blog ran an interesting story on October 3 from the UK's Times Online which also appeared on the Times' Articles of Faith blog. According to the Times, televangelist Benny Hinn was not allowed in to the UK to conduct his October 1-3 crusade.

The Times stated that Hinn was not allowed in the UK because, "
Mr Hinn has visited before without any problem but the Home Office has changed the rules for ministers of religion. He fell foul of tier five of the new points-based system for all visitors to Britain, which came into effect last November. One of the aims of the new rules was to combat extremism and prevent teachers of religious hate entering the country."