September 24, 2010
Monday was "Everybody Pray for Hitchens Day," when believers prayed for Christopher Hitchens, 61, the writer and author of books, including "God is Not Great. " Hitchens was diagnosed recently with cancer of the esophagus. However, in his cancer-stricken state, Hitchens, an unapologetic atheist, appears to be holding firmly to his godlessness. He declined an invitation to participate in the day of prayer for himself. "I don't mean to be churlish about any kind intentions, but when September 20 comes, please do not trouble deaf heaven with your bootless cries," Hitchens wrote in Vanity Fair.
September 9, 2010
COSTA MESA — Newport-Mesa Muslims on Friday will join worldwide celebrations of what is known as Eid al-Fitr , which marks the end of Ramadan, Islam's holy month. The celebration began Thursday night after the last prayer with a chant embracing and thanking God, and will continue Friday morning with prayers, gift exchanges and visitations with friends and family. For Muslims, celebrating Eid is about thanking God for allowing them another chance to exercise discipline, test their self-restraint and generosity . "Eid is the celebration of God's forgiveness," said Imam Sayed Moustafa Al-Qazwini of the Islamic Educational Center of Orange County in Costa Mesa.
August 13, 2010
According to a news report this week on National Public Radio, many inhabitants of the world's second most populous country, India, who are afflicted with depression, psychosis and other mental health problems rely on faith healers and doctors at their local temples, instead of traditional medicine, to treat their problems. NPR reported that only 37 mental health institutions operate in that country of 1.2 billion people, where there is only one psychiatrist per 400,000 people. In your view, can religion be a substitute for medicine in the treatment of mental health problems, or would you advocate medicine over religion, or a combination of the two?
May 6, 2010
Community members gathered at the footsteps of the Costa Mesa City Hall on Thursday to join in the National Day of Prayer. Eloise Ott of Praise Jam, a local musical group, played patriotic songs and encouraged everyone to sing along. “We invite people to bring their beach towels, their food and whatever they want to come here and enjoy this gorgeous day ...,” she said before the midday event. Most of those who gathered to pray for their country were Christian.
April 30, 2010
The Newport Mesa Irvine Interfaith Council is scheduled to host a National Day of Prayer breakfast at 7 a.m. Thursday at the Costa Mesa Country Club, 1701 Golf Course Drive, according to a news release from the organization. Local government and religious officials plan to attend the breakfast, where David Levinson, the founder and executive director of “BIG SUNDAY,” is scheduled to give the keynote speech, according to the release. The cost for the event is $20 per person or $160 for a table of eight.
February 12, 2010
Doctors say Alexander Fedortchev has about a 50-50 chance of surviving. And that’s the good news. The bad news is that he needs aggressive treatment for non-Hodgkin lymphoma, which he was diagnosed with a little over a month ago. If he doesn’t get the treatment — and soon — his chances of survival decrease each day. But to get the treatment, he’ll need about $1 million. That sort of money doesn’t come easy to anybody, let alone an uninsured Russian immigrant whose monetary mainstay usually revolves around performing acrobatic acts for a variety of circuses, which has included Cirque du Soleil.
November 25, 2009
Muslims in Orange County and throughout the world will mark the end of the yearly pilgrimage to Mecca, or Hajj, with communal prayers and the celebration of “Eid ul-Adha,” or “festival of sacrifice” on Friday. The holiday commemorates Prophet Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son Ishmael at God’s command and it is celebrated with prayers, gifts to children, distribution of meat to the needy and social gatherings. The communal prayer will be held Friday morning at local mosques.