Friday, December 08, 2006


1. Orissa High Court Rules for Dalits
ORISSA, INDIA, December 7, 2006: In a development that could well be a defining factor in the Keredagada Jagannath temple issue where upper castes have denied entry to Dalits, the Orissa High Court on Tuesday directed that every Hindu, irrespective of his caste, can go to the temple and offer Seva puja. Meanwhile, another PIL (public interest litigation) has been filed by Mr. Prabir Kumar Das seeking a direction to the State Government to educate people on constitutional provisions such as the right of entry to temple under the Civil Rights Protection Act.
2.U.S. Congress Passes Law Allowing Bankrupt to Make Charitable Contributions
Religion News Service
WASHINGTON, D.C., September 7, 2006: Congress approved a bill Wednesday (Dec. 6) that allows people who have filed for bankruptcy to continue to tithe and to make charitable contributions. Earlier this year, a New York court ruled that debtors above the median income must pay off their debts before giving to charity or tithing. The Religious Liberty and Charitable Donation Clarification Act of 2006 responds to that ruling by tweaking bankruptcy rules passed by Congress last year. It ensures "that all individuals in bankruptcy, no matter their income, would be able to continue giving to charity and their church," according to a statement from the office of one of the bill's sponsors, Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill. It is unclear whether President Bush will sign the bill. A White House spokesperson did not return requests for comment. "Congress has a long history of protecting our religious freedom to tithe," said another bill sponsor, Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah. "That was our intent when we enacted bankruptcy reform last year, and this bill clarifies the law so that those who tithe can continue to live their faith while in bankruptcy." More than 2 million Americans filed for bankruptcy protection in 2005 and hundreds of thousands are expected to do the same by the end of 2006, according to the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys. Debtors and religious groups had feared that the New York ruling might lead credit-card companies to demand similar rulings in other states. Nationwide enforcement would have had an adverse affect on religious bodies that expect members to donate 10 percent of their income to their church, synagogue, mosque or temple.

3. Interfaith Awareness Week Declared by Wisconsin Governor
MADISON, WISCONSIN, U.S.A., December 6, 2006: The Governor of Wisconsin has declared the week of December 10-16 as "Interfaith Awareness Week," with the main purpose of the celebration to develop awareness and establish mutual understanding and respect among religions. The American Hindu Association, along with other faith groups, is participating. The inaugurating events will be on Tuesday, December 12 from 12:00 to 1:00 p.m. in the Rotunda of the State Capital. Wisconsin's Governor, the County Executive and the Mayor of Madison will send their proclamation on the inauguration day. Exhibits from all faiths, including the Hindu Association, will be on display. In addition, AHA will present a brief introduction of Hinduism. Readers may contact "source" above for additional information.


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