Put the glass down

July 25, 2013 by  
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Carrying the GlassA professor began his class by holding up a glass with some water in it. He held it up for all to see & asked the students,’ How much do you think this glass weighs?’

‘550 gms’ …. ‘100 gms!’ ……’125gms’ ……the students answered.

‘I really don’t know unless I weigh it,’ said the professor, ‘but, my question is: What would happen if I held it up like this for a few minutes?’

‘Nothing’ the students said.

Put the Glass down‘Ok what would happen if I held it up like this for an hour?’ the professor asked.

Your arm would begin to ache’ said one of the students.

‘You’re right, now what would happen if I held it for a day?’

‘Your arm could go numb, you might have severe muscle stress & paralysis & have to go to hospital for sure!’ ventured another student & all the students laughed.

‘Very good. But during all this, did the weight of the glass change?’ asked the professor.

‘No’

‘Then what caused the arm ache & the muscle stress?’ The students were puzzled.

Put the Glass down‘Put the glass down!’ said one of the students.

‘Exactly!’ said the professor.‘ Life’s problems are something like this. Hold it for a few minutes in your head & they seem OK. Think of them for along time & they begin to ache. Hold it even longer & they begin to paralyze you. You will not be able to do anything.

Remember, life gives you many glasses to hold at different times…different shapes, different sizes…different weights…If you wouldn’t like to enjoy physical and mental paralysis don’t forget to ‘PUT THE GLASS DOWN TODAY! ‘

– fwd: reuben tellis

Have You?Load

ACLU attacks Student-Led prayer at football games

July 25, 2013 by  
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High School footballUSA, July 17, 2013: Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) sent a Michigan school district a legal letter Friday after the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) formally complained about prayers at the conclusion of football games that school officials found to be voluntary and student-led.

“There’s no legitimate basis for public school officials to shut down students’ private religious speech,” says litigation counsel Rory Gray. “Students who express their faith before, during or after the school day are exercising their constitutional freedoms. Atheist groups are attempting to browbeat schools into believing otherwise.”

After the ACLU sent Bloomfield Hills Schools a letter incorrectly suggesting that a Lahser High School football coach was leading students in prayer after the conclusion of games, the district cited a speech policy banning “prayer or references of any religious nature … at school-sponsored events such as banquets, commencement, assemblies and programs” and attempted to prohibit the football team’s longstanding practice of voluntary, student-led prayer.

The school district has since verbally agreed to allow students to voluntarily pray after football games but has taken no steps to revise its policies to comply with the First Amendment.

The ADF letter explains that the Supreme Court affirms students are “free to ‘express [their opinions] even on controversial subjects,’ not only in ‘the classroom,’ but also ‘in the cafeteria, or on the playing field, or [elsewhere] on the campus during authorized hours.’”

The letter also explains that “nothing in the Constitution … prohibits any public school student from voluntarily praying at any time before, during, or after the schoolday.”

“The Constitution should be the only permission slip students need to exercise their freedom of speech,” adds senior legal counsel Jeremy Tedesco. “We commend the school for not caving to the ACLU’s unwarranted demands but urge them to amend their outdated policies so that this does not happen in the future and students’ religious speech is protected.”

– charismanews

Bishop of Jaffna tells military to return land to the Tamil

July 25, 2013 by  
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In the Northern Province, the army continues a policy of forced evictions, unmoved by protests from the local population. Bishop Thomas Savundaranayagam files a petition with the country’s Court of Appeal of the country.

Bishop of Jaffna tells military to return land to the TamilSri lanka, July 22, 2013: Mgr Thomas Savundaranayagam, bishop of the Diocese of Jaffna, has filed a petition with the Court of Appeal of Sri Lanka against land expropriations carried out by the military in the Jaffna Peninsula, Northern Province. The land seized by the army belongs to the Tamil community, which is the majority ethnic group in the area. For quite some time, Tamils have complained of harassment by soldiers and police.

The bishop’s move follows an earlier appeal by 2,176 Tamils ​​living in the area. Faced with silence on the part of the authorities, the bishop went to court himself on 18 July.

While waiting for the Court to rule, another Tamil community complained about abuses committed by the military and police.

In Bharathipuram near Vavuniya (Northern Province), police and army expelled dozens of families from land owned by the Forestry Department, accusing them of illegal occupation. However, all of these people have lived in the area for almost 40 years, employed in the nearby plantations.

Since the Northern Province and the Eastern Province have a Tamil majority, they were the most affected by the country’s civil war (1983-2009), which left a long trail of blood for almost 30 years across the country.

Tamil Tigers rebels (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam or LTTE) sought to establish an independent state as the conflict turned into an ethnic confrontation between Tamils and majority Sinhalese that ended only in the government’s victory after heavy losses.

– asianews

Grim new report on Pakistan’s religious violence

July 25, 2013 by  
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Intolerance towards minorities is on the rise.

Asianet PakistanVatican, July 22, 2013: A newly-released US report has painted a grim picture of the deteriorating conditions of religious minorities in Pakistan.

It shows that while Christians and other groups are increasingly being targeted, it is mostly Shia Muslims who bear the brunt of violence and suicide attacks, mostly from religious militants and terrorist organizations.

The report, compiled by the US Commission on International Religious Freedom, tracked 18 months of public information on attacks against religious communities in Pakistan.

During the January 2012-June 2013 period, there were 203 publicly reported incidents of sectarian violence resulting in more than 1,800 casualties, including over 700 deaths.

The majority of those, 77, were leveled against Shias, leading to 635 deaths; virtually the whole of the total of fatalities. Ahmadis are the second most targeted group, with 54 attacks, followed by Christians with 37.

But attacks against those two groups were much less deadly, leading to 22 and 11 deaths respectively.

While Shias and Ahmadis are mostly victims of suicide bombings and targeted shootings, rape seems to be a growing method of violence against smaller minority groups such as Christians and Hindus.

In June, 15 “Community Protection Groups” – composed of pastors, lawyers and doctors – were formed by Christians of different denominations throughout Pakistan, to control sectarian violence and acts of discrimination.

A recent meeting of Christian human rights advocates in Lahore denounced the “deteriorating situation of Christians and the growing threats from Muslim extremists towards minorities,” according to the Vatican’s Fides News Agency.

According to the report, the findings “paint a grim and challenging picture for the new government of Prime Minister Newaz Sharif.

“To stem the rising tide of violent religious extremism, groups and individuals responsible for attacks on religious communities must be punished,” it said.

While there are mostly militant groups or private citizens behind the attacks, “government actors are not blameless,” with police officers turning a blind eye to mob attacks or pressuring victims not to file claims when they belong to religious minorities.

“The climate of impunity threatening all Pakistanis, regardless of their faith,” the text concludes, “is also exacerbated by the much-abused blasphemy and anti-Ahmadi laws.”

– ucanews

Anti-Alzheimer Exercise – It’s Fascinating

July 25, 2013 by  
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To keep a sharp mind! Very Fascinating!

Tree

CAN YOU SEE 10 FACES IN THIS TREE?

Faces

THERE’S A FACE IN HERE. CAN YOU SEE IT?

A Face

CAN YOU SEE THE BABY?

Baby

CAN YOU SEE THE KISSING COUPLE?

Kissing Couple

CAN YOU SEE THE THREE WOMEN?

Can you tell the difference between a horse and a frog?
Watch closely…

Frog Horse

The shortest distance between a problem and a solution is the distance between your knees and the floor The one who kneels to the GOD can stand up to anything 🙂

– fwd: hazel remedios

Frustrated Orissa victims abandon cases

July 25, 2013 by  
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High legal cost, delay in the process and witnesses turning hostile are major reasons for dropping the cases.

Remains of violence in Orissa, collected with a plan to make them part of a museum

Remains of violence in Orissa, collected with a plan to make them part of a museum

Odisha, July 23, 2013: Five years after a devastating wave of anti-Christian violence rocked the eastern state of Orissa, victims are beginning to give up the pursuit of justice through the legal system.

The seven-week rampage by Hindu extremists, centered around Orissa’s Kandhamal district, took place in 2008. As many as 100 Christians were killed and many women were raped, including a Catholic nun. Hundreds of houses were burnt down, as were 95 churches and several orphanages.

Since then, little has been done to fulfill assurances from both state and federal governments that the perpetrators would be caught and punished. More than 3,200 complaints were filed but the police only registered 828 of them, finally referring 327 cases to two ‘fast track’ courts. These courts were closed down in March this year with cases still unheard.

From the victims’ point of view, the conviction rate has also been disappointing. A total of 86 cases have ended in a guilty verdict, but most have resulted only in minor jail terms.

“The courts also acquitted 1,597 suspects and police failed to arrest thousands, helping them to escape trial,” said Father Ajay Kumar Singh, a rights activist who works on the victims’ behalf.

As well as the lengthy delays, the threat of hostility to witnesses has been cited as a prime reason for dropping cases.

“I want to live, so I dropped it,” Father Edward Sequeira told ucanews.com. He avoided death when his center in Khutpali village was burnt down in the riots, but was badly beaten. A woman who cared for children at the hostel attached to his center was raped and burnt alive. Her murder case has also been abandoned.

Father Thomas Chellan was beaten and paraded half naked in the street during the violence. He is another priest who has dropped his case, but for different reasons.

“He has no interest in the case because he believes the real culprits are not the villagers who did it but the fanatics who engineered it,” said Father Dibakar Parichha, who leads the team of advocates dealing with the cases.

Perhaps the main reason for abandoning cases is simply the cost. Officials at Cuttuck-Bhubaneswar archdiocese, which covers the affected area, point out that the legal process entails financial and human resources which few people have. Prosecuting a murder case costs up to $US 30,000, including lawyers’ fees and witness counseling. If a case goes to India’s Supreme Court, a top lawyer may charge $US 20,000 for just one appearance.

“We also need to make extra arrangements for the support and protection of witnesses until the cases end, which may be years and will cost us millions of rupees,” Fr Parichha said. “We don’t have that kind of money.”

The high profile case of the nun who was raped has been deadlocked in the Supreme Court for the past year.

“How long should I wait, and for what?” the nun asked. “I cannot have my normal life. I’ve been asked to take a false identity and I cannot introduce myself to anyone with my real name. I just want it to end, somehow,” she said.

“Technically, all cases of murder and other violations are government cases, and government lawyers are supposed to appear for the victims. But in our lax system, the case will move strongly only if we appoint private lawyers,” said Fr Ajay Kumar Singh.

“You can imagine, if this is the situation for senior priests and high profile cases, what will be the state of poor and uneducated people?” he added.

“It is a sad situation. Many may never get justice.”

– ucanews

Sikhs ban civil ceremonies to avoid same-sex marriages

July 25, 2013 by  
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Other faiths may follow.

Avoid same-sex marriagesUnited Kingdom, July 22, 2013: Sikh temples have been advised to halt all civil marriage ceremonies on their premises to protect them from possible legal challenges for refusing to conduct same-sex weddings.

It is the first example of a religious group altering its marriage practices to avoid potential litigation based on equalities or human rights law.

Other groups, including the Church of England, the Roman Catholic Church and the orthodox Jewish organisation United Synagogue, also resisted the legislation, but they have not indicated that they will go as far as to surrender their marriage licences.

The Government has given repeated assurances that legal provisions should prevent anyone being forced to act against their religious teachings.

The warning comes in a letter to Sikh places of worship, known as gurdwaras, from Sikhs In England, a specialist advisory body.

– telegraph

Petrol bomb thrown at a mosque in Coimbatore

July 25, 2013 by  
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Coimbatore masjidTamil Nadu, July 22, 2013: A masjid has been reportedly attacked by petrol bomb in Coimbatore earlier this morning by unidentified men.

It happened on a day when the state unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) called bandh against the recent killing of its general secretary auditor Ramesh in Salem.

The attacked masjid is located in the Muslim Sunnat Jama’at in NGGO colony, a suburb of Coimbatore. The bomb was thrown by unidentified persons at 4 AM this morning. Masjid’s vice Imam Mr. Naseerullah who was in mosque, was having his sehri (an early morning eating in the holy month of Ramadan). No one has injured in this attack.

Hearing this incident, the United Jama’at functionaries of Coimbatore district led by its president Basheer Ahamed, general secretary CTC Abdul Jabbar, M. Amir Althaf, A. Ayyoob had visited the spot and registered complaint in nearby Thudiyalur police station to nab the culprits forthwith.

The city police has tightened the security in and around of the place. The investigation is on, but so far there has been no breakthrough.

– tcn

N. Nigeria: Girls abducted & forced to renounce faith

July 22, 2013 by  
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Christian girls in Northern Nigeria are being abducted, kept in the homes of Muslim leaders and forced to renounce their faith.

Christian girls are increasingly vulnerable in Northern Nigeria

Christian girls are increasingly vulnerable in Northern Nigeria

Nigeria, July 22, 2013: Professor Daniel Babayi, secretary of the Northern Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), said that the issue was getting worse and that they are currently pursuing five cases. He said:

Christian girls below the age of 18 are forcefully abducted and made to denounce their faith… They have been kept in the houses of emirs or imams. When we report to the police, they tell you there is nothing they can do. The police have become very helpless. In some instances, they are part of the conspiracy.

Christians in Northern Nigeria are being targeted on a number of fronts as Islamist militant group Boko Haram wages its deadly campaign to establish an Islamic state. Churches have frequently been attacked and individual Christians murdered.Last year, Boko Haram said it was going to kidnap Christian women as part of “new efforts to strike fear into the Christians of the power of Islam”, forcing them to leave the North.
The group is waging its war against various perceived enemies, attacking military and government targets, and recently provoking outrage by killing school students.Over 40 people, mostly students, were killed in an attack on a boarding school in Yobe state on 6 July. A dormitory was set alight while the children were sleeping; those trying to escape the fire were gunned down.

Last month, 16 students were shot dead in attacks on a secondary school in Yobe and another school in Borno.

Boko Haram means “Western education is sin”, and its leader Abubakar Shekau has called for more attacks against schools. He said:

Teachers who teach western education? We will kill them! We will kill them in front of their students, and tell the students to henceforth study the Quran.

The recent targeting of schools is said to be part of a two-pronged strategy, firstly to destroy Western institutions, and secondly to provide new recruits for the campaign as parents pull their youngsters out of school, fearing for their safety. Boko Haram is recruiting unschooled and unemployed children, sometimes by force.

The Nigerian authorities have been carrying out their biggest offensive to date against the insurgents. A state of emergency has been in force for two months in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa, where the militants pose the greatest threat.

– barnabas team

Pak: US Commission – 7 Hindus & 5 Christians raped

July 22, 2013 by  
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persecution in pakistanUSA, July 19, 2013: In the past 18 months, five incidents of Christian girls and seven Hindu girls being raped were reported, says the study by the US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF).

Christians, the second biggest religious community in Pakistan, were attacked 37 times in which 11 people were killed and 36 injured. Five Christian girls were raped.Two Hindus were killed and four injured in 16 attacks in Pakistan. Besides this, three Hindus were killed in targeted attacks, the Daily Times cited the report as saying.

There were three cases of attacks on Sikhs in Pakistan, leading to the death of one person.

In the last 18 months, 203 incidents of sectarian violence resulted in 1,800 casualties including 717 deaths. Of these, 635 were Shia Muslims.

The report said sectarian and religious violence in Pakistan was on the rise, and between January 2012 and June 2013 the Shia community had been the worst victim.

The factsheet prepared under the “Pakistan Religious Violence Project” took into account publicly reported attacks against religious communities.

The report said the already poor religious freedom environment for Hindus, Christians and Ahmadiyas continued to deteriorate.

There were 77 attacks on Shias, leaving 635 dead and 834 injured. They also suffered 18 bomb blasts and 46 targeted shootings.

– press reports

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