E Bemidji The event

E. Bemidji The event is sponsored by Northwoods Christian Women an interdenominational group formed two years ago to put on women’s retreats Gutschick has mounted her one-woman show across the United States Registration cost which includes lunch is $15 before Sept 17; $20 at the door Call Jonette Anderson at (218) 766-3823; online at wwwnorthwoodschristianwomenwebofficelivecomInterfaith activity up since 9/11America’s houses of worship have increased their interfaith outreach since 9/11 a new survey has found Still about three-quarters of US congregations have no interreligious activities The study of more than 11000 congregations was part of the Faith Communities Today surveys which have tracked trends since 2000 The latest findings were released this week by Hartford (Conn) SeminaryResearchers found that nearly 14 percent of congregations share worship with other faith traditions up from just less than 7 percent since 2000 About 20 percent of houses of worship participated in interfaith community service projects compared with 77 percent a decade earlierBut 73 percent of the congregations were not involved in any of the four interfaith activities measured by the survey’s authors: joint worship celebrations educational activities and community serviceWhile evangelical involvement in interfaith outreach remains low researchers did find an increase in interfaith worship among Christian conservative congregations — from 4 percent in 2000 to 12 percent in 2010 — and a jump in evangelical congregations that conducted community service work with other faith traditionsStill old line Protestant congregations with more liberal theology were more likely by a nearly 2-to-1 margin than conservative Christian churches to engage in interfaith worshipGay marriage splits Dems black clergy Several Democratic lawmakers and black clergy in North Carolina took opposing viewpoints this week on a state constitutional amendment that would ban gay marriage a sign that the proposed ballot question still divides racial partisan and religious groups days before the Legislature meets to consider itKey members of the House Democratic Caucus held a news conference to oppose the amendment which if approved likely would be on the statewide ballot in 2012 Lawmakers brought along executives of North Carolina businesses who said such an amendment would discourage new growing companies from calling the state home because of a perception its leaders don’t like gays and lesbiansSupporters of the amendment counter that states that already have prohibitions of same-sex marriage in their constitutions aren’t seeing businesses leave for other states because of that issueSeveral African-American clergy who spoke at a later news conference said same-sex relationships violate Bible teaching and called on the Legislature to let the public vote on the issueThe Rev Johnny Hunter of Cliffdale Community Church in Fayetteville said gay rights activists have offended black people by equating the efforts to support gay marriage with the 1960s civil rights movementBut the Rev William Barber president of the state chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People said the sponsors of the amendment bill who are overwhelmingly Republican are actually trying to take civil rights backward with the amendment"No matter our color or faith traditions those who stand for love and justice are not about to fall for this amendment mess" Barber said in a statement released by the gay rights group Equality North CarolinaThe Federal High Court sitting in Ado Ekiti on Monday admitted the contentious statement allegedly made by an accused person Ayan Olubunmi in police custody as exhibit that would be relevant to his trial There has been controversy surrounding the admissibility of a statement allegedly signed by the accused person in police custody while being interrogated on alleged publication of damaging video and photographs on Facebook against one Asari Monica The case with charge number FHC/AD/17C/2017 involving the Attorney General of the Federation Inspector General of police VS Ayan Olubunmi began 31st of May in Aisegba Ekiti in Gbonyin local government area of Ekiti State The offence according to the prosecution was contrary to Section 24 of the Cybercrime prohibition Act 2015 Following complaint to the police by the claimant (Monica) that her reputation was damaged through offensive publication the accused person was arrested and taken to Ode Ekiti Divisional Police Station where he made a statement he later said was written under duress and should not be admitted in evidence His counsel RO Agbaje had urged the trial Judge Justice Taiwo Taiwo to allow for a trial-within-trial to test the admissibility of the statement which he obliged But the prosecution counsel DO Oyewole urged the court to admit the statement saying the defence had shown no cause to vitiate the statement The Judge said he decided to accede to the foregoing request (trial-within-trial) because as it is trite in law that it remains the last and best option anytime a defence claimed that a statement was not voluntarily made The prosecution paraded three witnesses: Asari Monica(PW1) Rashidi Babatunde (PW2) and Jimoh Ariyo(PW3 ALSO a police officer) while the defendant was the only witness for himself in the case Delivering his ruling after the trial-within –trial the Judge averred that the accused person failed vehemently to prove that he was actually coerced to consent to the contents of the statement Justice Taiwo said three elements are always common in forcing a suspect to make a statement under duress: they are: Oppression Threat and Torture saying the accused person failed to establish any of the three in a way that could vitiate the statement “It is no doubt that the accused person can read and write and he had never denied the signature appended on the statements he made on the 12th January and 30th January 2017 at the police station “Again he failed to corroborate his assertion that he was tortured while forcing him to sign the statement by the police and sustained injuries “He didn’t call a witness or showed medical report or asked any prison official to testify that there were injuries on his bodies when he was in their custody I found this difficult to believe “The defendant didn’t controvert the fact that the statement was written in a daylight and I found his claim that the police(they) beat him up while also owning up later that it was only one Corporal Osobu that was present when the statement was being written contradictory and afterthought “Let me say that I am satisfied with the prosecution on his claim that the defence agreed with the contents of the letter duly signed by him with date appended “The statement seems admissible and is hereby admitted as exhibit A” Justice Taiwo ruled The judge adjourned the case to April 18 for commencement of trial Write to Victor Luckerson at [email protected]

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