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2006 Idomeneo controversy

On September 26, 2006, the Deutsche Oper Berlin announced the cancellation of four performances of Mozarts opera Idomeneo, re di Creta, planned for November 2006, citing concerns that the productions depictions of the severed head of the Islamic prophet Muhammad raised an "incalculable security risk." "To avoid endangering its audience and employees, the management has decided against repeating Idomeneo in November 2006," the opera house said in a press release. The Idomeneo production, directed by Hans Neuenfels, shows King Idomeneo staggering on stage carrying a bag of the severed heads of Neptune, Jesus, Buddha and Muhammad and placing each on chairs; a departure from the libretto, in which the action is set in the aftermath of the Trojan War. Only Neptune features in the plot, and his power is never destroyed. The scene was intended to symbolize the peoples release into freedom without gods or idols. According to the BBC, the German press agency DPA said Berlin police have so far recorded no direct threat to the opera house. However, The New York Times reported that there was an anonymous threat in August against the theatre. The cancellation sparked a great deal of debate in Europe on the issue of self-censorship and the nature of free speech in a multicultural community that includes potentially violent Muslims. On September 27, 2006, Germanys Chancellor Angela Merkel stated: "I think the cancellation was a mistake. I think self-censorship does not help us against people who want to practise violence in the name of Islam. It makes no sense to retreat." Interior Minister Wolfgang Schauble, after a government-sponsored conference with Muslim representatives held independently of the incident, told reporters that "o send a signal, we could all go to the performance together," and the Muslim representatives agreed that the performance should not be cancelled. On December 18, 2006, the Berlin Opera staged Mozarts work with the newly added controversial ending scene amid mixed reactions, but no incidents with a small security force and large foreign media contingent. Demonstrators were present outside, as well, including supporters of religious tolerance and Christian protesters presumably relating to the inclusion of the severed head of Jesus. Various members of German government attended with German Muslim groups, with the notable exception of the central Muslim Councils general secretary, Iman Mazyek, who was quoted by Al Jazeera English as saying, "Its part of the concept of freedom of opinion and thought that you also have the right to say you are not going.". Kirsten Harms, director of the Deutsche Opera, said that the publics reaction to the scene was "very civilized".

                                               

Claudy bombing

The Claudy bombing occurred on 31 July 1972, when three car bombs exploded mid-morning on the Main Street of Claudy in County Londonderry, Northern Ireland. The attack killed nine civilians, and became known as "Bloody Monday". Those who planted the bombs had attempted to send a warning before the explosions took place. The warning was delayed, however, because the telephones were out of order due to an earlier bomb attack. The Provisional Irish Republican Army issued an immediate denial of responsibility, and later claimed that "an internal court of inquiry" had found that its local unit did not carry out the attack. On 24 August 2010, following an eight-year investigation, the Police Ombudsman for Northern Ireland published a report into the bombing, which stated that the Royal Ulster Constabulary believed in the early 1970s that Father James Chesney, a local Roman Catholic priest, was the IRAs quartermaster and Director of Operations of the South Derry Brigade. The report found that the possibility of his involvement in activities including the Claudy bombing was covered up by senior police officers, government ministers and the Roman Catholic hierarchy. On the 40th anniversary of the bombing, former Provisional IRA leader Martin McGuinness described the events of that day as "appalling and indefensible" and "inflicted on totally innocent people"

                                               

Foreign Office papal visit memo

The Foreign Office papal visit memo was an incident that occurred in the United Kingdom in April 2010, after it was revealed that two Foreign Office civil servants working on preparing the State Visit of Pope Benedict XVI in 2010 had sent out an internal memo containing remarks that could be considered insults to the Pope. The incident received wide media coverage and speculation that the Pope might cancel the state visit. The Vatican subsequently confirmed that it will be going ahead with the planned visit. The memo suggested that Pope Benedict XVI, during his visit, could launch a range of branded condoms, visit an abortion clinic, bless a gay marriage and apologise for the Spanish Armada. The cover note to the memo read "Please protect; these should not be shared externally. The ideal visit paper in particular was the product of a brainstorm which took into account even the most far-fetched of ideas." The civil servants alleged to be responsible for sending the memo were identified as Steven Mulvain, 23, the memos main author, and Anjoum Noorani, 31, who authorised its circulation. It is thought that others were part of the team who drew up this memo. According to The Times, Steven Mulvain once described his hobby as "drinking a lot". The Foreign Secretary, David Miliband, stated that he was "appalled" by the memo, and the British government apologised to the Pope and the Catholic Church, stating that the memo writer has been told orally and in writing that this was a serious error of judgment, adding that "this is clearly a foolish document that does not in any way reflect UK government or Foreign Office policy or views. Many of the ideas in the document are clearly ill-judged, naïve and disrespectful" and that "the Foreign Office very much regrets this incident and is deeply sorry for the offence which it has caused". Scottish Secretary Jim Murphy added: "These memos are vile, theyre insulting, theyre an embarrassment and, on behalf of, I think, the whole of the United Kingdom, I want to apologise to His Holiness the Pope." The British ambassador to the Vatican, Francis Campbell, met senior officials of the Holy See to express regret on behalf of the government The Foreign Office employees responsible for the memo were disciplined; Anjoum Noorani was suspended and was later given a final warning, exceptionally valid for five years instead of the usual one year, because of the severity of his actions. He was also banned from overseas postings for a duration of five years.

                                               

Greater Grace World Outreach

Greater Grace World Outreach is an affiliation of nondenominational. evangelical Christian churches that emphasize grace, the finished work, and missions. The headquarters of Greater Grace World Outreach is currently located at its megachurch in Baltimore, Maryland. The church has a weekly attendance of 1500+ and services are live-streamed on YouTube and Facebook. GGWO was founded by Carl H. Stevens Jr. who was succeeded by Pastor Thomas Schaller as Presiding Elder and Overseeing Pastor of Greater Grace World Outreach in Baltimore in April 2005. There are 567 Greater Grace churches in 70 countries. Most of these churches are located in North America, Europe and Africa, with larger congregations in Hungary, Azerbaijan and Ghana. Most of the pastors attended affiliated Maryland Bible College & Seminary in Baltimore, however there are many other affiliated Bible colleges around the world. The ministries of Greater Grace also include the radio program Grace Hour, Greater Grace Christian Academy, Christian Sports Clubs, along with other internal ministries.

                                               

Greater Ministries International

Greater Ministries International was an Evangelical Christian ministry that ran a Ponzi scheme taking nearly 500 million dollars from 18.000 people. Headed by Gerald Payne in Tampa, Florida, the ministry bribed church leaders around the United States. Payne and other church elders promised the church members double their money back in 17 months or fewer, citing Biblical scripture. However, nearly all the money was lost and hidden away. Church leaders received prison sentences ranging from twelve and half years to 27 years. The group had ties to Stayton, Oregon-based Embassy of Heaven, run by Glen Stoll, which was later closed by the Justice Department. Their group founded a newspaper, the "Greater Bible College" in Tampa, a line of "Greater Live" herbal remedies, cancer treatments "We actually pull the cancer right out of your stomach", Payne claimed., a supplement called "Beta 1, 3rd Glucan" to survive "end-times plagues", and plans for "Greater Lands", an independent country an "Ecclesiastical Domain. similar to the Vatican" where other governments would have no jurisdiction.

                                               

Hyles–Anderson College

Hyles–Anderson College is an unaccredited Independent Baptist college in unincorporated Crown Point, Lake County, Indiana. As a ministry of the First Baptist Church of Hammond, it focuses on training pastors, missionaries and Christian teachers to work in Independent Baptist schools.

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