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POSTED: Saturday, June 20, 2009

HAWAII

3 generations of Siu family featured

The Father's Day services tomorrow at Moanalua Gardens Missionary Church will feature three generations of the local musical Siu family.

Koa Siu, son of Hawaii music duo Leon and Malia, will be the headliner at the 8:30 and 11 a.m. services at 1401 Mahiole St. His father and his 4-year-old son Kekoa will join him.

Koa Siu, who won a 2008 Hoku award for best rock album for his religious-rock production “;Where You Are,”; is on the staff of Hillsong Church in Sydney, Australia.

Leon Siu, an award winning composer and performer, heads the Christian Voice ministry and is producer of “;Christian Heritage in Hawaii”; lecture series.

 

WORLD

Cardinal says get tough with China

VATICAN CITY » The Vatican's top envoy for China says the time has come for the Holy See to get tough with Beijing and not compromise over religious freedom.

Cardinal Joseph Zen says relations are taking a “;worrisome slide”; and that a new phase in relations was necessary. Zen says the Vatican shouldn't give too much importance to re-establishing diplomatic relations with Beijing because such a move could trick people into thinking there is religious freedom in China when there isn't.

Pope Benedict XVI has been reaching out to Beijing in hopes of reconciling the official, state-sanctioned church with the underground church that is loyal to Rome.

Zen spoke in an interview Tuesday with the Vatican-affiliated missionary news agency AsiaNews.

 

NATION

Hindu says son forced to eat beef

CINCINNATI » A Hindu father from Ohio has filed a complaint with the Justice Department claiming his son was forced to eat a beef taco in the school cafeteria.

Ashish Gandhi says the boy ate the taco at the Academy of World Languages, a public magnet school in Cincinnati. Hindus consider eating beef a sacrilege.

Cincinnati Public Schools attorney Gary Winters told investigators the boy chose the taco himself, and the employee who gave it to him was unaware of his dietary restrictions.

Gandhi, who moved to the U.S. from India in 2007, calls the taco meal an “;intentional act of religious bigotry.”; He filed a separate complaint claiming the school has refused to offer his son services for students who don't speak English.

 

Churches fight teen prostitution

ATLANTA » Members of the North Avenue Presbyterian Church in Atlanta learned in 2005 that teenage prostitutes had begun working within a few steps of the church's doors.

In the four years since then, the church has helped build a wide-ranging coalition with the goal of eradicating child prostitution from the streets of Atlanta.

Included in the fight are Presbyterians, Roman Catholics, conservative Christians, feminists, Jews, Muslims and others. They have formed “;Street Grace,”; an acronym for Galvanizing Resources Against Child Exploitation.

“;When you talk to a girl who is 15 and has been prostituted, it doesn't matter anymore if you are pro-life or pro-choice,”; said state Sen. Renee Unterman, who has become active in the campaign. “;You just want to help.”;

The coalition sent hundreds of volunteers this year to lobby at the Capitol for anti-trafficking legislation. Members also are paying for safehouses for child prostitutes.