The Hays Daily News from Hays, Kansas on June 23, 2006 · Page 5
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The Hays Daily News from Hays, Kansas · Page 5

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FRIDAY, JUNE 23,2006 FAITH THE HAYS DAILY NEWS A5 Bahais' straggle reveals a less tolerant face of Egypt By MARIAM FAM ASSOCIATED PRESS CAIRO, Egypt (AP) —Tucked away in Labib Iskandar's pocket is a neatly folded slip of paper with fraying edges that tells the story of a community fighting for recognition. It's a receipt Iskandar got when he applied for the computer-based identification card Egypt had just then begun issuing — more than five years ago. These undated file photos show Abdul Baha, one of the sons of Persian nobleman Baha'u'llah, who Bahais believe is a prophet. Iskandar is a Bahai, a member of a religious community that regards a 19th-century Persian nobleman, Baha'u'llah, as a prophet — a challenge to the Muslim belief that Muhammad is the last prophet. Given the pivotal role of Islam in Egyptian life, the government will not issue an ID card to a Bahai, but only to Muslims, Christians or Jews. The issue broke into the news in April when a court ruled members of Egypt's little-known Bahai community had the right to have their faith listed on official documents, sparking an outcry. The Interior Ministry quickly filed an appeal, and last month another court froze the case. It's still a controversy, however. Some Muslim cleric? openly declare the Bahai faith is a heresy, and civil rights advocates complain this heavy-handed approach threatens to set off clashes like those that erupted recently between Muslims and minority Christians in the northern city of Alexandria. While the dispute directly affects only the country's Bahais — perhaps 2,000 of the 72 million Egyptians — it provides a glimpse into how a once cosmopolitan society has sunk into a culture where fanaticism outweighs theoretical protections of religious freedom. "Before, everything was sim- pler and everyone knew I was a Bahai and had no problem with that," said Iskandar, a 59-year-old engineering professor. "There were no biases. Fanaticism started to surface only now." The family whose suit led to the court ruling on the Bahai faith has refused to speak with reporters. But the Bahais' experience in Egypt can be seen through Iskandar and his family. His birth certificate and original government ID card list him as a Bahai. His sons have similar birth certificates. But when his oldest son, Ragi, 24, applied for his ID card, officials would only agree to drawing a line — to indicate a blank — in the religion section. Later when 19-year-old Hady applied for an ID, he was told he must identify himself as a follower of one of the three officially recognized religions and never got his papers, Iskandar said. "We worry sick about them when they stay out late, especially the youngest son, since he has no ID, which could land him in trouble," said Iskandar. "Because they're young, they get upset and may say let's leave Egypt'" — an option the elder Iskandar rejects. "I am an Egyptian. I was born in Egypt... and I won't leave Egypt," he said. The elder Iskandar was allowed to apply for the new computerized ID but never got one. His two sons' applications for the new documents were not even accepted. At the end of the year, Egypt will not recognize the old paper IDs, replacing them with the computerized ones. Iskandar recalled attending Bahai activities until a 1960 presidential decree dissolved Bahai assemblies. Last October, he said, his sister died and the family couldn't obtain a death certificate because of her faith. "They don't want to recognize the Bahai faith. Fine, no problem. But as an Egyptian citizen, is it my right or not to have a birth certificate and an ID card?" he asked. "Why do you want me to change my religion? Why do you want me to be a hypocrite? I refuse to lie." Abdel Moeti Bayoumi, a Muslim scholar, said the Bahais' demand for recognition on official documents would cement a sectarian system that could fracture the country. "Believe in whatever you want to believe in, you and your children, as long as you do so at home behind closed doors," he said. "Do not undermine the public order." Bayoumi is a member of the This is a copy of Egyptian Lablb Iskandar's ID card. Iskandar is an Egyptian Bahai member of a community that follows a 19th century Persian nobleman, Ba- ha'u'llah, who Bahais believe is a prophet. AP Azhar Center of Islamic Research, a leading institution of Sunni Muslim learning. Like many Muslim scholars, he believes Bahaism is a splinter of Islam and not a religion in its own right. He said the Bahais' beliefs and practices — including considering Baha'u'llah as a prophet — offend Muslims. He added Bahais were lucky the Interior Ministry appealed the April verdict because otherwise extremists could have attacked them. Youthful church ministers needed AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — As the daughter and granddaughter of Presbyterian preachers, Laura Elly Hudson knew plenty about the ministry growing up — mostly that she didn't want any part of it. The low pay was one reason. And the long hours. Not to mention she was terrified of having to answer the most vexing spiritual questions at the toughest tunes in people's lives. Experts say those and other concertos are discouraging' young adults from pursuing careers in church ministry and have led to a 20-year decline among mainline denominations in the number of clergy under 35. Churches, denominations and religious organizations are now trying to reverse that trend to ensure a new generation of pastors are ready to replace the many Baby Boomer ministers preparing to retire. About 150 college and seminary students are gathering in Austin through Sunday to explore what it means to be a pastor in a church — and what it doesn't. They're participating in a conference sponsored by the Fund for Theological Education, an ecumenical group that tries to recruit and support young ministers. In Hudson's mind, being a pastor used to mean boring administrative tasks and tangled congregational relationships. Until she attended last year's conference, she said she never realized the ministry could let her blend a love of nature and envi- ronmental activism with a passion for songwriting. Or that putting on a play could help a pastor open people's hearts to Jesus. While the average age of students at American seminaries is going down, graduates are less likely to say they plan to become a church minister, according to the Association of Theological Schools, which accredits Protestant, Roman Catholic and Orthodox graduate schools of theology. tfust half of the men and 40 percent of the women who earned Master of Divinity degrees last year said their first choice after seminary was being a pastor in a church, a survey conducted by the association found. That's down from 60 percent and 56 percent respectively in 2000. At the same time, research shows mainline denominations, such as the United Methodist Church, are experiencing staggering drops in the number of ministers under 35. A study released this year by the Lewis Center for Church Leadership at the Methodist-affiliated Wesley Theological Seminary found less than 5 percent of fully ordained Methodist pastors were under 35, down from 15 percent two decades ago. About the same percentage of American Baptist and Episcopal ministers are in their 20s and early 30s, according to data gath- PUBLIC NQTICKS As twpwar* und cltlwiw, VM h»v» * right to mow about dteltton* »mt • Public no|lc«« «r« frilly raquhw! publication! of cwtaln Important gowrrmwnt raconte and of M wf proewKHnm and notification;, Find wiWw notlctf onlln* at puoiicriotlcw.hdnawi.ixt. ered by the researchers. The problem's cause and effect can be seen in many mainline congregations, where the average worshipper is a woman in her 50s, said Melissa Wiginton, the Fund for Theological Education's vice president of ministry programs and planning. As fewer young people attend church regularly, fewer consider becoming church pastors, Wiginton said. With fewer young faces in the pulpit, fewer young adults feel connected to church'life. "If we don't have young leaders, it's going to be a loss for all of us," she said. Congregations and denominations are tackling the problem in a variety of ways, from having tiny clerical robes made to fit American Girl dolls to offering semesters at seminary programs that give college students a peek at graduate school life. At this week's conference, Wiginton and Austin Seminary President Theodore J. Wardlaw hope to show Neely and other participants that churches can change the world behind the leadership of gifted pastors. "You don't just have to be in the midst of some global hotspot to make a difference," Wardlaw said. "You can also be a part of a parish in which your ministry touches people and you can have an impact on people in ways you can't even calculate." ROBBEN Insurance, Inc. Long Term Care Insurance 416 Main Street* P.O. Box 85 Victoria KS 67671 Phone 785-735-9304 Fax 785-735-9306 1-800-597-5208 Susan Robben-Karlln Res. 785-625-0019 (First published in The Hays Daily News June 23, 2006) IN THE DISTRICT COURT OF ELLIS COUNTY, KANSAS NORBERT F. ROBBEN, Plaintiff Vs. Case No. 06-CV-45 DORIS ROBBEN and LOUISE ROBBEN, Defendants. NOTICE Qf 1 ?h gHIFF ' SSALE NOTICE IS HEREBY .given that under and by virtue of an Order of Sale issued by the District court of Ellis, Kansas in the above captioned case, that the undersigned, Sheriff of Ellis County has been directed and will offer for sale at public auction and sell to the highest bidder on cash, the following described real estate, to-wit: Surface Rights Only In and to: The Norwest Quarter (NW/4) of Section Thirty-five (35), Township Fourteen (14) South, Range Sixteen (16) West of the 6th P.M., Ellis County, Kansas The'same will be sold on the second floor of the Ellis County Courthouse, 1204 Fort Street, Hays, Kansas 67601 on the 18th day of July. 2006 at 10:00 o'clock a.m. Said sale to be without right of redemption and no bid will be received for less than two-thirds (2/3rds) of the appraised value thereof as fixed by the commissioners In partition, plus costs. I9l ED HARBIN ELLIS COUNTY SHERIFF SUBMITTED BY: DON C. STAAB, #5596 1301 Oak Street Hays, KS 67601 Telephone: (785)628-8517 Facsimile: (765) 628-2243 Attorney for Plaintiff (Last published In The Hays Dally News July 7,2006) Take ADVANTAGE of the savings! If you are a Hays Daily Mews subscriber paid-in-advance for at least three months, you are entitled to an Advantage shopping and dining discount card. To obtain your card, simply notify the office, and your Advantage card will be delivered with your newspaper within seven days. Call: 628-1081 or 1-800-657-6017 E-mail: circulatibn@dallynews.net Web site request: www.hdnews.net Claim your card...and the savlngsl Briefs Kansas to get new pastors Poland cardinal apologizes Beginning July 1, 65 United Methodist Churches in the western two-thirds of Kansas will have new pastors. These churches include: • Almena-Norcatur-Clayton: Ray Gilstrap from Courtland- Scandia; • Hays: Byoung Lee from Wichita Zion (associate); • Oakley-Winona: Sheryl Johnson from Hays First (associate); • Rush County Parish: David Bolz from Salina Univer- '•"• • Rush County Parish: Linda' Bolz from Salina Trinity (associate). WARSAW, Poland (AP) — The former personal secretary of Pope John Paul II apologized for actions of Roman Catholic priests who allegedly collaborated with Poland's dreaded communist-era secret security agency, and urged Poles not to lose faith in the church. "I apologize to those who think that they have been hurt by the attitude of some priests," Poland's PAP news agency quoted Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz . of Krakow as telling some 15,000 people at a> Corpus Christi cele-« ' bfattoit; j ''"' '"•'•' I Dziwisz referred to resurfaced files that indicate some priests collaborated with security forces that monitored Poles' daily lives under the Communists, who were ousted in 1989. He called for the full truth to be publicly revealed before judgment is passed. Those named include the Rev. Stanislaw Hejmo, who aided Polish pilgrims who traveled to Rome to meet John Paul, and the Rev. Michal Czajkowski, a priest who co-chaired the Polish Council of Christians and Jews. Remember It's an excellent time to fertilize your Kansas lawns. • Apply Fertilome Pro-Green on Buffalo & Bermuda • Weed-Out Plus Lawn Fertilizer on Fescue & Bluegrass • Apply Merit Grub Control now thru mid-August / West Hwy.40 I'miric Acres . 7HS-62H-2K77 tlBHDHflLuwii & Guillen Headquarter. For her hand in marriage DIAMOND JBWUU* I»MH<U Do»Uwm Hit* News Hotline HDN (436) Got News to Report? Call: 628-1081 1-800-657-6017 *HDN (436) on your Nex-Tech Wireless phone Help us stay on top of the latest news and weather. Now you also can dial M36 on your Nex-Tech Wireless phone when you see news or weather events happening, Each time you report news from your wireless phone you'll be entered to win a free t-shirt from Nex-Tech Wireless. Also, visit the Nex-Tech Wireless website at www.nex-techwireless.com to register for a year's subscription to the Hays Daily News wireless lUmMroIU* Sprint' Jf BuralAlUuoi . THE VOICE OF THE HIGH PLAINS- Partnering together to keep the community informed! Today is Friday, June 23, the 174th day of 2006. There are 191 days left in the year. obstruct the FBI's Watergate investigation. (Revelation of the tape recording of this conversation led to Nixon's resignation in 1974.) In 1985, all 329 people aboard an Air-India Boeing 747 were killed when the plane crashed into the Atlantic Ocean near Ireland, apparently because of a bomb. Ten years ago: Congressional Democrats unveiled a "families first" legislative package aimed at winning middle class voters and retaking Capitol Hill. Five years ago: Pope John Paul 11 arrived in Ukraine, seeking to reconcile divisions between Catholics and the Orthodox Church. One year ago: Former Ku Klux Klansman Edgar Ray Killen was sentenced to 60 years in prison for the 1964 Mississippi slayings of three civil rights workers. Today's Birthdays: Musical conductor James Levine is 63. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas is 58. "American Idol" judge Randy Jackson is 50. Actress Selina Blair is 34. Thought for Today: "It is not the fact of liberty but the way in which liberty is exercised that ultimately determines whether libeily itself survives." - Dorothy Thompson, American journalist (1894-1961). Newspapers in Education Sponsored By: Today in History By The Associated Press Today's Highlight in History: Fifty years ago, on June 23,1956, Oamal Abdel Nasser was elected president of Egypt. On this date: In 1836, Congress approved the Deposit Act, which contained a provision for turning over surplus federal revenue to the states. In 1868, Christopher Latham Sholes received a patent for his "Type-Writer." In 1892, the Democratic national convention in Chicago nominated former President Cleveland on the first ballot. In 1931, aviators Wiley Post and Harold Catty took off from New York on the first round-the-world flight in a single-engine plane. In 1938, the Civil Aeronautics Authority was established. In 1947, the Senate joined the House in overriding President Truman's veto of the Taft-Harlley Act. In 1967, President Johnson and Soviet Premier Alexei Kosygin held the first of two meetings in Glassboro, N.J. In 1969, Warren E. Burger was sworn in us chief U.S. justice by the man he was succeeding, Earl Warren. In 1972, President Nixon and White House chief of staff H.R. Haldeman discussed a plan to use (he CIA to Newspaper Activity June is Dairy Month. Clip a newspaper recipe tor a favorite dish featuring a milk product and prepare for your family. ' CICPHONE

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