International Institute for the Study of Religions

Religious Information Research Center

Religious Articles Select 5 (Jan 2007 - Mar 2007)

About these articles

"Religious Articles Select 5" is the contents that introduce the Religious News Digest in Japan. All articles are picked up by Prof. Nobutaka Inoue who is the chief of RIRC, and selceted from the last "RIRC REPORT"; the publication for our members by the seasons.

Articles of the Past

From Specialized News Sources

February 1
Watanabe Eshin retired as Head Abbot of Enryaku Temple (the head temple of the Tendai Buddhist sect), and Handa Kōjun replaced him. Handa has preached on Buddhist pacifism, and has called for the abolition of nuclear weapons.

February 3
Keisen Jogakuen University held an opening ceremony for its newly established "Christian Culture Research Center."

February 10
In commemoration of the 80th anniversary of its founding, Taishō University held an academic symposium on the theme of "Thinking of Education as 'Life Education.'" In the morning session there were presentations on "'Life Education' and Spirituality," and in the afternoon session there were presentations on religious instruction in public education in foreign countries.

February 19
Miyamoto Keishi, Director of Myōchikai Kyōdan, was selected for the vacant position of General Director for the Japanese Council of the World Council of Religious for Peace.

March 24
The short-wave broadcast "Voice of the Pacific," which delivered "The love of God and the Gospel of the Bible" for 30 years came to an end.

From Domestic News Sources

January 6
The "Arthur S. DeMoss Foundation," which is based in Florida, U.S.A., began a nationwide commercial and advertisement campaign for its free book "Power For Living." The commercials were noted for their use of celebrities.

January 11
3 members of Fuji Taisekiji Kenshōkai were arrested for abducting a college student they met at a game center in Atsugi City, taking the student to Odawara City and extracting the student's name and address, forcing the student to undergo a 2-hour intercessory prayer (kitō) and insisting that the student join the group. Aside from the arrests, a section of the Kanagawa Prefectural Police and the Atsugi Police used a 120-person team to search the headquarters of the group and a total of 8 places including members' homes.

February 22
The Ministry of Health and Labor gave its approval to the city of Kumamoto regarding the December 2006 request to the city by the Catholic Seishikai Jie Hospital regarding the establishment of the first "Baby Mailbox" in Japan, saying that it "is not illegal."

February 23
"Churches and Christian Sites in Nagasaki" was placed on the "Tentative List" of UNESCO's domestic candidates as a World Cultural Heritage site.

February 26
In a lawsuit in which a female seminar participant sued "Home of Heart" for 21,000,000 yen in compensation because she was "mind controlled and had money stolen," the Tokyo District Court decided largely in the plaintiff's favor, and ordered the acting representatives of the group to pay about 15,000,000 yen in damages.

In the "Questionnaire Regarding Life" distributed to nearly 1700 elementary and middle school students and conducted by the Board of Education in Tamano City, Okayama Prefecture, 12.1% of students (208 people) responded positively to the question "Do you think that the dead can come back to life?"

From Foreign News Sources

January 25
Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung made the first visit as Vietnamese Prime Minister to the Vatican and had a meeting with Pope Benedict the 16th.

February 7
For the first time in the history of the United States, CCT (Christian Churches Together), which includes denominations from Catholics to Pentecostals, was inaugurated, and an inauguration ceremony and worship service was conducted at the Presbyterian Church in Pasadena, California.

February 27
The 24th Niwano Peace Prize was awarded to Master Cheng Yen, a nun who founded the Taiwanese Tzu Chi (Buddhist Compassionate Relief) Foundation.

March 13
Russian President Putin visited the Vatican, had his first audience with Pope Benedict 16, and conferred about various regions' conflicts under the theme "Extremism and Intolerance Threatening International Coexistence."

March 22
The French National Space Center began noting public Unidentified Flying Object (UFO) sightings on its home page. It is the first time worldwide that a public organization has publicized UFO-related information.

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