Force Failure. In 2001, .37 percent of Australians and 1.5 percent of New Zealanders told census-takers they were following the Star Wars-based "Jedi" faith. Numbers are dropping, though, with the recent film Star Wars: Attack of the Clones, which introduces previously unknown Jedi disciplines, such as the renouncing of worldly attachments, chastity, and neo-Franciscan poverty.
Civil Defense. Indonesia's increased interreligious violence has prompted the Jakarta Christian Communication Forummade up of Catholics, Protestants, Salvation Army members, and Orthodoxto send peace teams whenever a church, temple, or mosque is threatened. Muslims make up about 88 percent of the population.
Gray Days. California's Gov. Gray Davis is not likely to spare Crips gang-leader-turned-peace-activist Stanley "Tookie" Williams from lethal injection, even though the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals said that the Nobel Peace Prize nominee was a "worthy candidate" to have his death sentence commuted to life without parole.
Snip, Snip. Three Catholic Dominican sisters were arrested in Greeley, Colorado, for destruction of U.S. property when they entered a nuclear missile site to symbolically disarm the weapons with hammers. They wore toxic clean-up suits that said "Disarmament Specialists" on the front and "Citizen Weapons Inspection Team" on the back.
Solidarity Forever. Anthony Mazzocchi, 76, union activist, founder of the Labor Party, and champion of nuclear power whistle-blower Karen Silkwood, died in October at his home in Washington, D.C.
Zero Down. More than one million peoplemany of them Christians motivated by Bill McKibben's "Hundred Dollar Holiday" programprotested over-consumption by supporting International Buy Nothing Day in November, according to organizers.
Country Justice. Musician Willie Nelson teamed up with the United Church of Christ and the National Council of Churches to produce the made-for-television documentary Strong Roots, Fragile Farms, which explores the impact of globalization on farm families in the United States, the Philippines, and Mexico.
Hippo Hop. French actor Gerard Depardieu announced that, at the pope's request, he would recite from the Confessions of St. Augustine of Hippo in squares and churches around the world as a way of enriching the faithful worldwide.
Liberty Balance. The State Department has listed Burma, China, Iran, Iraq, Sudan, and North Korea as the countries with the worst track record on religious freedom. The government-appointed Commission on International Religious Freedom argues that the list should also include U.S. allies Saudi Arabia and Turkmenistan.