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A guy who was after Seela, perhaps? Might he play a role in HE2? Eddie is working on an epic poem about the trip. Add a diagram of the Flatland ER wormhole model. It was near midsummer in the north now, so the hole was lit with bluish light—seemingly from the open sky. The water around the hole glowed blue-green with light as well. The North Hole was a vast maelstrom!

I strained my eyes, trying to make out if one really could see clear through. With the hole wide open, our trip would have been easier had we taken our balloon north instead of south…were we willing to endure the terror of floating down the wind-torn throat of such a vortex.

Original Ending of HE1. March 2, Note that, as necessary, I will in fact make some slight changes to the old ending and to the two old afterwords. Seela and I are almost white enough to pass now, except for the fact that all the people who know us are used to thinking of us as Negroes. We have a cabin for two, and Arf will come with us. Coale at the bookstore. I first saw the manuscript there on March 7, It consists of pages of parchment, handwritten in black ink. I have edited The Hollow Earth from a notarized Xerox copy of the manuscript.

The simple fact is: Every word of The Hollow Earth is true, and we must all question our beliefs about the planet we live on. The March 6, , issue of The Baltimore Sun reports that the Purple Whale did indeed set out for San Francisco on March 5, but the June 10 edition of the same paper reveals that, tragically enough, the Purple Whale never made it around the Horn of South America and was presumed lost with all hands in a gale off Tierra del Fuego.

Grim news—but somehow I find it impossible to believe that Mason, Seela, and Arf could have died so simply. Surely, in the grand scheme of things. Would not the Great Old Ones, who know all, have preserved them? I am presently continuing my investigations and would greatly appreciate information about any post manuscripts that mention, or could possibly be attributed to Mason Algiers Reynolds of Hardware, Virginia, born February 2, In going over the text for the second edition, I was able to correct a number of misprints.

I had hoped the publication might bring in some leads regarding the reality of the Hollow Earth. But, until quite recently, only one really substantial bit of new information came my way, this being an original drawing that somehow ended up bound into a much-repaired copy of Augustus A. Sherman The volume is to be found in the Wilkes Exploring Expedition collection at the Bancroft Library of the University of California at Berkeley, filed as catalog item xfQ I owe thanks to my eccentric and difficult friend Frank Shook for pointing this out to me.

The creatures within the Hollow Earth are not drawn to scale. A black god riding a lightstreamer. A ballula or giant shellsquid. A second ocean gap, in the vicinity of the Bermuda triangle. A flowerperson Seela? A harpy bird above the inner jungle. The South Hole. A second lightstreamer. A pair of koladull or shrigs.

A third lightstreamer, which leads in towards the center where it meets the fan of a woomo or giant sea cucumber. The center also depicts six Umpteen Seas, another woomo, and the sphere of the Central Anomaly, with MirrorSeas visible within. I am quite certain that this drawing could only have come from the hand of Mason Algiers Reynolds of Virginia.

The reader will appreciate that I was immensely relieved to find the drawing, whose dating indicates that Mason survived the wreck of the Purple Whale. For certain peculiar reasons not to be disclosed at this time, getting my hands on the second Reynolds manuscript may prove a labor of Hercules. But I have some small hopes of success. I set off soon for a trip to the Astrolabe Reef of Fiji.

If all goes well, I will present new findings before another full twenty years have elapsed. And if I come up blank—as is all too likely—no matter. The main thing today is that The Hollow Earth will be out in a fine new edition. Eddie now revealed the elegance of his plan, and we cheered. No one bothered us.

The plant stuff was tough, but slowly we made progress. Great quantities of sap oozed forth, lubricating our cut. In the distance, the air battle raged on with screams and savage yells. We sawed like possessed souls. The flower turned more and then, with a great, leisurely rending, tore free.

Slowly, slowly, it began drifting away from the vine and inward towards the core! But, yet, it could be that Mason shows up and meets Rudy in , in which case something like this passage would be relevant. I take it back! I do understand a little bit.

We walked the rest of the way to our camp, ate some noodles, crawled into our tents, and went to sleep. I was lying there on the bare ground of our campsite in my sleeping-bag, with my glasses, clothes and water-bottle on the dirt at my side. The money from my wallet, some three hundred dollars, was gone. Oh well. The vision had been worth it. I have no idea where — or when — he is.

Perhaps Finland? Maelstrom Scene from Hylozoic The thin air thrilled steadily with a high-pitched vibration. This made the gray band along the horizon loom that much higher, like a gigantic cataract rolling into the sea, ranging to both sides as far as Chu could see. Crosswise currents had begun ripping the sea to clotted foam. With an effort Chu understood: they were dots at the edge of a maelstrom that was hundreds of miles across. He felt the sickening sweep of descent—but then the sense of falling ceased.

Looking around, he saw that the rotational forces had taken over; he was circling around an immense funnel, unfathomable in depth, with glassy sides that spun with bewildering rapidity, bearing him along. It was a scene of terrible grandeur. Round and round the six companions swept—not with any uniform movement—but in dizzying swings and jerks that sent them sometimes only a few hundred yards, sometimes several miles, and sometimes through a full circuit of the kingdom-sized whirl.

And so the six coasted on, roughly grouped. The high, chiming sound within the immense spindle had taken on the quality of heraldic music. Chu formed a mental image of the whirlpool as the bell of an otherworldly trumpet whose mouthpiece lay in an infinitely distant land below. And now, within his mind, the music segued into speech. A momentary wobble in the wall gave Chu a glimpse of the full length of the tube. At the last instant, he …he became a lanky, green, three-eyed hillbilly.

So now it was just Chu and the maelstrom. He was doomed. But all the while, the whirlpool was changing. The sides of the vast funnel became less steep, the gyrations of the whirl less violent. The bottom of the gulf rose and, for a wonder, the maelstrom flattened out…A moment passed. A last fat bubble burbled from the depths, bearing within it—a glistening crow. He cawed, rose into the air, and circled Chu. O January 4, , I pasted into my HE2l doc and then revised it in there to recreate the effect in different words.

Though the air of the Hollow Earth is speckled with life, and cloudy in spots, we could discern a great deal. At the edges of the sea were two huge continents, and beyond these continents another ocean. Though we were falling more slowly than before, the center seemed to grow faster than ever, swollen by some miragelike trick of space and light The blue dots near the center could now be seen to be immense floating waterglobs, jiggling irregularly, about fifteen of them.

Otha dubbed them the Umpteen Seas. The seas were arranged as if upon a sphere around the center, a zone in which gravitational equilibrium apparently obtained. The region beyond the Umpteen Seas remained visually indecipherable. It was brightly lit, with some stable dark objects and a curious lensing effect about the center, as if a spherical mirror were located there.

This was the region whence the continual pink light-tendrils emanated. Something in the tight wrapping of the space near here made me think of a skittles spindle. Whichever way I looked, save directly outward, I saw nothing but the jiggling seas, the blotched inner region, and the rubbish around us. They escape and, after various difficulties, they make their way back to the surface of our Earth. While Mason and Seela were within the Anomaly, two centuries flew by. Mason details the unfamiliar features of this future version of our Earth.

Paramount among these is that, due to global warming, the Southern Hole beneath our Antarctica is now open, and the great maelstrom at the North pole is in full swing. And then Mason learns, and reveals, the true plans of the great woomo for our future, not to mention the schemes of the krakens—who hail from the Sun.

And then Mason saves the day—we hope. Although Mason finishes writing his second journal in , he gets the woomo to pass the book back through time to me, Rudy Rucker, the purported editor of these two narratives in I copied this passage out of my Ver 3 revision of HE1, and then edited it down so I can paste it into my HE2 manuscript as a starting point. I could glance back and see the Umpteen Seas spread out like a flock of blobby sheep.

I could clearly distinguish scores or of the Great Old Ones upon the seeming plane, perhaps even a hundred of them. The woomo were pouring light energy onto Fwopsy, and she was basking in it, but greedy for more. We were drifting deeper into the Central anomaly. Above us, the Umpteen Seas were jouncing around like balls on a billiard table, merging and splitting at furious rate, like giant drops of rain in a storm.

Beneath us was a woomo as big as sprawling town of San Francisco herself, and very nearly as hilly, what with the great warty mesa on her primeval integument. She was our friend Uxa from the last trip. She was channeling energy into Fwopsy.

The high-speed jiggling of the Umpteen Seas was hideous to behold. Fwopsy the fried egg sped away under her own power. Out past her and the rushing Umpteen Seas, I could see the distant Rind of MirrorEarth, steadily turning, with the seasonal light pulsing on and off in the water-filled North Hole. Whole years were passing…dozens of them, and scores.

The mountainous bodies of the divine woomo were on every side of us, great warty barrel shapes bedizened with suckers, puckers, and subbranching fans. They lay in the plane between the two worlds, half here and half there, each of them slowly and steadily rolling over and over, like basking whales, and with their tendrils moving from one side to the other.

We passed through the Gate at the center of the Hollow Earth, and we were blinded by Light. Uxa was ripe with rumbies, the seeds for scores of more woomo, ready for the next iteration of the cosmic spawning that they called woomo blooming. Once again I saw the secrets of the Great Old Ones. Most planets are solid. Only a very few are hollow. It is only the hollow planets that have mirror counterparts. Each mirrored pair of hollow planets is umbilically connected, navel to navel, by a Gate at their shared cores.

The mature woomo ride among the stars within linked pairs of hollow worlds like Earth and MirrorEarth. Moreover, while on their great journey toward that inconceivably vast space spindle afar, the Great Old Ones would periodically cause their planetary craft to bloom, that is, they would send out seeds for fresh colonies of humans and woomo.

And these seeds take the form of fried egg craft, each of them containing a man, a woman, and two woomo. And here came the fried egg craft to pick us up again, Fwopsy. He motion was slowing as she approached. We crawled inside. Historical Info Cape Horn in R. One is east to west in November, the second set is west to east in June. Note that in the listing below, there are gaps between some of the quoted paragraphs.

In a few minutes a heavier sea was raised than I had ever seen, and as it was directly ahead, the little brig, which was no better than a bathing-machine, plunged into it, and all the forward part of her was under water; the sea pouring in through the bow-ports and hawse-holes and over the knight-heads, threatening to wash everything overboard. In the lee scuppers it was up to a man's waist.

Throughout the night it stormed violently,— rain, hail, snow, and sleet beating upon the vessel,— the wind continuing ahead, and the sea running high. At daybreak about three A. Towards morning the wind went down, and during the whole forenoon we lay tossing about in a dead calm, and in the midst of a thick fog. The calms here are unlike those in most parts of the world, for here there is generally so high a sea running, with periods of calm so short that it has no time to go down; and vessels, being under no command of sails or rudder, lie like logs upon the water.

A true specimen of Cape Horn was coming upon us. A great cloud of a dark slate-color was driving on us from the southwest. The hail and sleet were harder than I had yet felt them; seeming almost to pin us down to the rigging. We were longer taking in sail than ever before; for the sails were stiff and wet, the ropes and rigging covered with snow and sleet, and we ourselves cold and nearly blinded with the violence of the storm. By the time we had got down upon deck again, the little brig was plunging madly into a tremendous head sea, which at every drive rushed in through the bow-ports and over the bows, and buried all the forward part of the vessel.

For some time we could do nothing but hold on, and the vessel, diving into two huge seas, one after the other, plunged us twice into the water up to our chins. We hardly knew whether we were on or off; when, the boom lifting us up dripping from the water, we were raised high into the air and then plunged below again. John thought the boom would go every moment, and called out to the mate to keep the vessel off, and haul down the staysail; For several days we continued driving on, under close-reefed sails, with a heavy sea, a strong gale, and frequent squalls of hail and snow.

Our clothes were all wet through, and the only change was from wet to more wet. Sea biscuit and cold salt beef, made a meal. Yet even this meal was attended with some uncertainty. We had to go ourselves to the galley and take our kid of beef and tin pots of tea, We were now well to the westward of the Cape, and were changing our course to northward as much as we dared, since the strong southwest winds, which prevailed then, carried us in towards Patagonia.

At two P. Albatrosses were our companions a great part of the time off the Cape. I had been interested in the bird from descriptions, and Coleridge's poem, and was not at all disappointed. We caught and ate one or two with baited hooks which we floated astern upon a shingle. Their long, flapping wings, long legs, and large, staring eyes, give them a very peculiar appearance. They look well on the wing; but one of the finest sights that I have ever seen was an albatross asleep upon the water, during a calm off Cape Horn, when a heavy sea was running.

There being no breeze, the surface of the water was unbroken, but a long, heavy swell was rolling, and we saw the fellow, all white, directly ahead of us, asleep upon the waves, with his head under his wing; now rising on the top of one of the big billows, and then falling slowly until he was lost in the hollow between. He was undisturbed for some time, until the noise of our bows, gradually approaching, roused him, when, lifting his head, he stared upon us for a moment, and then spread his wide wings and took his flight.

Still, however, we had a fine, strong breeze, and kept on our way under as much sail as our ship would bear. Toward the middle of the week, the wind hauled to the southward, which brought us upon a taut bowline, made the ship meet, nearly head-on, the heavy swell which rolled from that quarter; and there was something not at all encouraging in the manner in which she met it. Every now and then, when an unusually large sea met her fairly upon the bows, she struck it with a sound as dead and heavy as that with which a sledge-hammer falls upon the pile, and took the whole of it in upon the forecastle, and, rising, carried it aft in the scuppers, The waves were rolling high, as far as the eye could reach, their tops white with foam, and the body of them of a deep indigo blue, reflecting the bright rays of the sun.

Our ship rose slowly over a few of the largest of them, until one immense fellow came rolling on, threatening to cover her, and which I was sailor enough to know, by the feeling of her' under my feet, she would not rise over. I sprang upon the knight-heads, and, seizing hold of the fore-stay, drew myself up upon it. My feet were just off the stanchion when the bow struck fairly into the middle of the sea, and it washed the ship fore and aft, burying her in the water.

We were now nearly up to the latitude of Cape Horn, and having over forty degrees of easting to make, we squared away the yards before a strong westerly gale, shook a reef out of the fore topsail, and stood on our way, east-by-south, with the prospect of being up with the Cape in a week or ten days. And there lay, floating in the ocean, several miles off, an immense, irregular mass, its top and points covered with snow, and its centre of a deep indigo color.

This was an iceberg, and of the largest size, as one of our men said who had been in the Northern Ocean. The sea in every direction was of a deep blue color, the waves running high and fresh, and sparkling in the light, and in the midst lay this immense mountain-island, its cavities and valleys thrown into deep shade, and its points and pinnacles glittering in the sun.

All hands were soon on deck, looking at it, and admiring in various ways its beauty and grandeur. But no description can give any idea of the strangeness, splendor, and, really, the sublimity, of the sight. Its great size,— for it must have been from two to three miles in circumference, and several hundred feet in height,— its slow motion, as its base rose and sank in the water, and its high points nodded against the clouds; the dashing of the waves upon it, which, breaking high with foam, lined its base with a white crust; and the thundering sound of the cracking of the mass, and the breaking and tumbling down of huge pieces; together with its nearness and approach, which added a slight element of fear.

According to media reports, on September 6, unidentified individuals set fire to an Umbanda temple in the municipality of Nova Iguacu, in the Baixada Fluminense region of Rio de Janeiro State. Police concluded their investigation of a incident in which self-named Drug Traffickers for Jesus reportedly attacked a Candomble temple in the Parque Paulista neighborhood of Duque de Caxias, in the Baixada Fluminense region of Rio de Janeiro State. The individuals broke into the temple, forced the priestess to destroy sacred objects, and threatened to set fire to the building if the practitioners did not stop holding regular religious services.

Police identified who ordered the plot and who participated in the attack, and authorities pressed charges against seven individuals, including the alleged leader of the group, Alvaro Malaquias Santa Rosa. Media identified the vandals as employees of a packaging company. Representatives of the company denied all allegations, while stating they were in the midst of a land dispute with the terreiro, which the company claimed had illegally installed fences on the perimeter of its property.

Media reported incidents of evangelical Christian missionaries traveling to isolated and recently contacted indigenous communities to proselytize and spread their religion. According to media reports, on April 16, the Federal Court of Tabatinga banned three evangelical Christian missionaries and the Christian missionary organization New Tribes Mission of Brazil from entering indigenous communities in the Javari Valley region.

In his decision, Judge Fabiano Verli said that this was not a religious freedom issue and that Brazil, as a secular state, must prioritize protecting vulnerable populations from the spread of COVID From January to August, the Jewish Federation of Sao Paulo recorded incidents and allegations of anti-Semitism in the country in its annual anti-Semitism report. From January to August , the Federation recorded incidents.

The report was based on a range of sources, including traditional media, social media, and reports from other branch offices of the organization. The survey reported sightings of swastikas and other anti-Semitic graffiti. A global ADL survey, released in June, showed the percentage of Brazilians who harbor some anti-Jewish sentiment increased from 19 percent in to 26 percent in A survey from the Henry Sobel Human Rights Observatory found that acts of intolerance and anti-Semitic attitudes were increasingly common in social and political spheres.

The organization recorded 30 such acts during the first six months of the year, compared with 26 in all of According to anthropologist Adriana Magalhaes Dias at the State University of Campinas, there were active neo-Nazi organizations in the country. She said the largest concentrations were in Sao Paulo, with groups; Parana, with 74; and Santa Catarina, with Sinagoga Sem Fronteiras, an organization representing a network of Jewish communities, filed a complaint for incitement against da Hora Lores with federal police, who said they were investigating the case.

Neo-Nazi groups maintained an active presence online. In May, Safernet, an NGO that promotes human rights on social networks and monitors radical websites, reported the creation of new pages of neo-Nazi content in the country during the year, compared with 42 new pages in May , and 28 in May There were reports of private entities and individuals inciting violence against or engaging in verbal harassment of religious minorities on social media and in the press.

FIERJ reported 42 complaints of anti-Semitic incidents on social media, of which it determined that 12 constituted anti-Semitism. Media reported a group of men interrupted a virtual lesson at the College of Business Administration, Marketing, and Communication in Sorocaba, Sao Paulo, on August 20, to shout Nazi, racist, and sexist epithets at the teacher and students.

During the attack, they posted images of Adolf Hitler and his followers marching with the Nazi flag. Jews are wicked and think only of their well-being. According to FAMBRAS, there was an increase in anti-Muslim messages on the internet, mostly associating Islam with terrorism and spreading messages of hate against Muslim representatives and their religious symbols.

The organization said the videos were offensive and contained anti-Muslim sentiment. There were multiple reports of harassment of Afro-Brazilian religious practitioners on social media. In September, social media blogger Monique Elias posted online that she was a victim of religious intolerance. She said hate messages started in July, after she posted a video where she discussed her Candomble religion. On August 13, a television host from private news network Arapuan mocked Afro-Brazilian religions on air.

The host made a public apology on live television, but the network did not take action. Hindu religious leader Rajan Zed accused national fashion brand Jon Cotre of religious insensitivity and sacrilege for using the image of Lord Ganesh, a Hindu deity, in its line of shorts. Most of the reports involved discrimination but did not specify what kind.

According to the Bahia State Secretariat of Racial Equality, there were 10 instances of religious intolerance in the state between January and August, compared with 34 instances in the comparable period in The State Secretariat for Human Rights in Rio de Janeiro reported 31 instances of religious intolerance between January and June, compared with 42 instances during the same period in Afro-Brazilian religious groups experienced the greatest number of occurrences, with four cases involving practitioners of Candomble and 19 cases involving practitioners of Umbanda.

Candomble priest Mae Iara de Oxum organized the 11th annual event, which had the support of the Salvador municipal government and the Gregorio de Matos Foundation. In February, the Pew Research Center published findings on attitudes towards democratic principles, such as regular elections, free speech, and free civil society as well as religious freedom, in 34 countries, based on interviews it conducted in its Spring Global Attitudes Survey.

Section IV. Government Policy and Engagement In October, the Ambassador met with Minister of Women, Family, and Human Rights Damares Alves to raise concerns regarding reports of Christian missionaries attempting to contact isolated indigenous tribes with the aim of converting them to Christianity, noting concerns about their culture, health, and desire to remain isolated. The Ambassador stated the embassy and consulates were closely following threats to religious minorities in the country and underlined the importance of religious freedom.

A consulate representative also met with Ivanir dos Santos to learn about the challenges faced within the Candomble community due to the COVID pandemic, new cases of religious intolerance involving followers of Afro-Brazilian religions, and possible areas in which the United States could serve as a partner for promoting religious freedom. On July 29, embassy and consulate general officials held a virtual roundtable with representatives of Afro-Brazilian religions, Islam, Judaism, Catholicism, and evangelical Christianity to discuss the state of religious freedom, tolerance, and diversity in the country.

On August 14, the embassy and consulates general held a virtual roundtable with four speakers, including a representative of an Afro-Brazilian community known as a quilombo, who discussed the challenges for members of the community participating in religious events. On October 8, embassy representatives hosted a roundtable with representatives from three religious faiths and two interfaith organizations to discuss the state of religious freedom and raise concerns about attacks on religious minorities.

On December 18, the embassy and consulates general hosted a webinar with an associate professor of political science from a U. She discussed religion, politics, and environmentalism in the country. The embassy disseminated her presentation via embassy social media platforms. National law prohibits organizations or individuals from interfering with the state educational system for minors younger than the age of 18, effectively barring them from participating in most religious activities or receiving religious education.

The government continued to assert control over religion and restrict the activities and personal freedom of religious adherents that it perceived as threatening state or CCP interests, according to religious groups, nongovernmental organizations NGOs , and international media reports. The government recognizes five official religions: Buddhism, Taoism, Islam, Protestantism, and Catholicism.

There continued to be reports of deaths in custody and that the government tortured, physically abused, arrested, detained, sentenced to prison, subjected to forced indoctrination in CCP ideology, or harassed adherents of both registered and unregistered religious groups for activities related to their religious beliefs and practices.

According to Minghui, a Falun Gong publication, police arrested more than 6, Falun Gong practitioners during the year. According to the annual report of The Church of the Almighty God CAG , authorities arrested more than 7, of its members and subjected them to physical abuse, including beatings, sleep deprivation, and being forced into stress positions.

The CAG reported some individuals died in custody or as a result of police harassment. Bitter Winter, an online publication that tracks religious liberty and human rights abuses in the country, reported instances of individuals being held for extended periods of time in psychiatric hospitals for practicing their religious beliefs, where authorities beat them and forced them to take medication.

Authorities detained and arrested religious leaders trying to hold services online. From January to July, officials across the country shut down religious venues, including some that were affiliated with the authorized patriotic religious associations, in some but not all cases citing COVID restrictions. There were reports the government used the COVID pandemic as a pretext to increase the surveillance and arrest of religious practitioners, including members of state-sanctioned groups, and to curtail private worship among religious groups.

Authorities continued to restrict the printing and distribution of the Bible, Quran, and other religious literature, and penalized publishing and copying businesses that handled religious materials. Authorities censored online posts referencing Jesus or the Bible. There were numerous reports that authorities closed or destroyed Islamic, Christian, Buddhist, and Taoist houses of worship and destroyed public displays of religious symbols throughout the country. The government removed architectural features that identified churches and mosques as religious sites.

It altered textbooks to delete references to religious holidays. Officials routinely made public statements denigrating the Dalai Lama. In October, the Holy See extended for another two years its provisional agreement with the government concerning the appointment of bishops. Christians, Muslims, Tibetan Buddhists, and Falun Gong practitioners reported severe societal discrimination in employment, housing, and business opportunities.

In Xinjiang and Tibet, authorities continued to suppress Uyghur and Tibetan language and culture, while promoting ethnic Han individuals in political, economic, and cultural life. Anti-Muslim speech in social media remained widespread. In multiple public speeches, the U. Secretary of State criticized the government for curtailing religious freedom.

The Ambassador and other embassy and consulate general officials met with members of registered and unregistered religious groups, family members of religious prisoners, NGOs, and others to reinforce U. The embassy continued to amplify Department of State religious freedom initiatives directly to Chinese citizens through outreach programs and social media.

In July, the U. During the year, the U. The U. At the direction of the Secretary of State, U. On December 2, the Secretary of State redesignated China as a CPC and identified the following sanction that accompanied the designation: the existing ongoing restriction on exports to China of crime control and detection instruments and equipment, under the Foreign Relations Authorization Act of and Public Law , pursuant to section c 5 of the Act. An SCIO April white paper on religion in the country states there are approximately 5, religious groups.

Local and regional figures for the number of religious followers, including those belonging to the five officially recognized religions, are unclear. Local governments do not release these statistics, and even official religious organizations do not have accurate numbers. The Pew Research Center and other observers say the numbers of adherents of many religious groups often are underreported.

According to a February estimate by the U. Accurate estimates on the numbers of Catholics and Protestants as well as other faiths are difficult to calculate because many adherents practice exclusively at home or in churches that are not state sanctioned.

According to the SCIO white paper, there are 10 ethnic minority groups totaling more than 20 million persons for whom Islam is the majority religion. Other sources indicate almost all Muslims are Sunni. While there is no reliable government breakdown of the Buddhist population by branch, the vast majority of Buddhists are adherents of Mahayana Buddhism, according to the Pew Research Center. Falun Gong sources estimate tens of millions continue to practice privately, and Freedom House estimates there are seven to 20 million practitioners.

It says religion may not be used to disrupt public order, impair the health of citizens, or interfere with the educational system. The constitution provides for the right to hold or not to hold a religious belief. CCP members and members of the armed forces are required to be atheists and are forbidden from engaging in religious practice. Members found to belong to religious organizations are subject to expulsion, although these rules are not universally enforced. The vast majority of public office holders are CCP members, and membership is widely considered a prerequisite for success in a government career.

These restrictions on religious belief and practice also apply to retired CCP members. The law bans certain religious or spiritual groups. There are no published criteria for determining or procedures for challenging such a designation. A national security law also explicitly bans cult organizations.

The CCP maintains an extralegal, party-run security apparatus to eliminate the Falun Gong movement and other organizations. Regulations require religious organizations to register with the government.

Only religious groups belonging to one of the five state-sanctioned religious associations are permitted to register, and only these organizations may legally hold worship services. Other religious groups, such as Protestant groups unaffiliated with the official TSPM or Catholics professing loyalty to the Holy See, are not permitted to register as legal entities.

The law does not provide a mechanism for religious groups independent of the five official patriotic religious associations to obtain legal status. Registration information is only required once, but religious organizations must reregister if changes are made to the required documentation.

Previously, bank accounts and real estate holdings were commonly held in the name of individual staff members, making it difficult in some cases for authorities to separate the financial matters of members from those of the religious institution. Religious and other regulations permit official patriotic religious associations to engage in activities such as building places of worship, training religious leaders, publishing literature, and providing social services to local communities.

Government policy allows religious groups to engage in charitable work, but regulations specifically prohibit faith-based organizations from proselytizing while conducting charitable activities. Authorities require faith-based charities, like all other charitable groups, to register with the government. Once they are registered as official charities, authorities allow them to raise funds publicly and to receive tax benefits.

The government does not permit unregistered charitable groups to raise funds openly, hire employees, open bank accounts, or own property. According to several unregistered religious groups, the government requires faith-based charities to obtain official cosponsorship of their registration application by the local official religious affairs bureau.

Authorities often require these groups to affiliate with one of the five state-sanctioned religious associations. SARA regulations place restrictions on religious groups conducting business or making investments by stipulating the property and income of religious groups, schools, and venues must not be distributed and should be used for activities and charity befitting their purposes; any individual or organization that donates funds to build religious venues is prohibited from owning the venues.

The regulations impose a limit on foreign donations to religious groups, stating such donations must be used for activities that authorities deem appropriate for the group and the site. National laws allow each provincial administration to issue its own regulations concerning religious affairs, including penalties for violations. Many provinces updated their regulations after the national regulations came into effect. In addition to the five officially recognized religions, local governments, at their discretion, may permit followers of certain unregistered religions to carry out religious practices.

In Heilongjiang, Zhejiang, and Guangdong Provinces, for example, local governments allow members of Orthodox Christian communities to participate in unregistered religious activities. SARA states, in a policy posted on its website, that family and friends have the right to meet at home for worship, including prayer and Bible study, without registering with the government.

A provision states, however, that religious organizations should report the establishment of a religious site to the government for approval. By law, prison inmates have the right to believe in a religion and maintain their religious faith while in custody. However, the PRC defines the right to religious faith differently than the right to religious activities, such as prayer facilities and access to clergy. The law does not define what constitutes proselytizing.

The constitution states that no state unit, social organization, or individual may force a citizen to believe or not believe in a religion. Offenders are subject to administrative and criminal penalties. Religious texts published without authorization, including Bibles, Qurans, and Buddhist and Taoist texts, may be confiscated, and unauthorized publishing houses closed.

The government offers some subsidies for the construction of state-sanctioned places of worship and religious schools. To establish places of worship, religious organizations must first receive approval from the religious affairs department of the local government when the facility is proposed, and again before services are first held at that location. Religious organizations must submit dozens of documents to register during these approval processes, including detailed management plans of their religious activities, exhaustive financial records, and personal information on all staff members.

Religious communities not going through the formal registration process may not legally have a set facility or worship meeting space. Therefore, every time such groups want to reserve a space for worship, such as by renting a hotel room or an apartment, they must seek a separate approval from government authorities for that specific service.

Worshipping in a space without prior approval, gained either through the formal registration process or by seeking an approval for each service, is considered an illegal religious activity and is subject to criminal or administrative penalties.

If all parties agree to the demolition, the party conducting the demolition must agree to rebuild the structure or to provide compensation equal to its appraised market value. The Regulations on Religious Affairs include registration requirements for schools that allow only the five state-sanctioned religious associations or their affiliates to form religious schools. Children younger than the age of 18 are prohibited from participating in religious activities and receiving religious education, even in schools run by religious organizations.

Enforcement and implementation of these rules varied widely across and within regions. One regulation states that no individual may use religion to hinder the national education system and that no religious activities may be held in schools. The law mandates the teaching of atheism in schools, and a CCP directive provides guidance to universities on how to prevent foreign proselytizing of university students.

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