Posts in Religion
Pilgrimage to Ireland: The Book of Kells at Trinity College

Trinity College in Dublin, to be exact, holds many a wondrous treasure for the insatiable scholar and fewer curiosities for the vaguely obligated tourist. For me, it held one of the crown jewels of literature, The Book of Kells.

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The Life And Death of Peru's Alan Garcia Perez

The suicide of former Peruvian President Alan García Pérez marks an unprecedented event in the country’s political history. García shot himself inside of his home when police arrived to arrest him for reports that he was the recipient of bribes in a corruption case known as “Lavajato.”

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Meet the real-life pastor portrayed in the Easter film ‘Breakthrough’

The faith-based film, starring Chrissy Metz of ‘This Is Us’ fame, opens nationwide April 17. It’s the story of a teen who slips into an icy lake and has no pulse — until his mother prays.

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Can Pete Buttigieg rally the religious left?

(COMMENTARY) Mayor Buttigieg of South Bend, Indiana - an openly gay man - has soared from obscurity to a talking point about whether the religious left can unite like the religious right did around Ronald Reagan.

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Why Rebuilding Notre Dame could cost billions and take over a decade

As investigators continue to sift through the damage — which includes three massive holes in its vaulted ceiling — in an effort to pinpoint the cause of the inferno, French officials and architects are working on trying to determine how much money and time it will take to restore Notre Dame to its former glory.

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8 Takeaways from the Notre Dame fire and its aftermath

(NEWS ANALYSIS) In the wake of the devastating fire at the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, insightful reporting of the event and reflections of its significance could be found across Twitter a day after the catastrophic blaze. Here are eight perspectives that stood out to us.

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Indonesian presidential candidates duel over who’s a better Muslim

(NEWS ANALYSIS) The country’s incumbent president Jokowi, seen as a liberal “metalhead of state”, chose conservative Muslim cleric Ma’ruf Amin as his running mate to win votes from an increasingly conservative Indonesia. Meanwhile, Jokowi’s challenger Subianto has been wooing radical Islamist groups.

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Notre Dame fire follows wave of vandalism at French churches

(COMMENTARY) Before Monday’s fire in Paris, a string of arson cases and other acts of desecration took place inside Catholic churches in France during Lent. In a country with a recent history of terrorism, these incidents somehow didn’t warrant any kind of attention from American news organizations. Even major outlets with a presence in Paris failed to adequately do so.

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Passover 2019: Prayer notes cleared from Jerusalem's Western Wall

Every six months, before Passover in April and the Jewish New Year Rosh Hashanah in September, thousands of written prayers are picked out from the crevices of the wall to make way for new ones. The old notes are buried.

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Disruption to U.S. religious retail brings many story leads

(COMMENTARY) The closing of the Southern Baptist Convention’s LIfeWay Christian Resources is just one example of how religious stores are grappling with what products they can or should sell and how to compete with online retailers.

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'Mary Magdalene' film renews interest in her Israeli hometown

A Mexican Catholic order is creating a $100 million pilgrimage retreat in Israel for Mary Magdalene devotees, with a special emphasis on feminism in the church. A biopic film on Jesus’s female follower will be released April 12 in the U.S.

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Pope Benedict and Cardinal Sarah provide leadership in the age of Francis

(COMMENTARY) Again, it was conservative Catholic media that proved to be the preferred mouthpiece for Cardinal Robert Sarah and Pope Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI over the past week. Both men — with help from right-leaning news organizations — have been very vocal about the problems plaguing the church.

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Christian and Muslim leaders ask Indians to 'vote wisely' as Modi eyes re-election

(NEWS ANALYSIS) India’s general election opens polls April 11 to May 19, with the final count expected May 23. Leaders of India’s minority faith communities are telling their flocks to elect candidates committed to pluralism and respect for everybody’s faiths amidst growing intolerance blamed on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu nationalist party.

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'Mayor Pete,' the Democratic primary and rise of 'alt-Catholics'

(COMMENTARY) While many Christians of various denominations have had to reconcile church teachings with that of who they prefer at the ballot box, the issue has not been fully explored in the mainstream press. At a time when pandering to one side is better for the bottom line, such journalistic discoveries of this grey zone are left underreported. Is covering both sides fueling political polarization?

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A Jewish-Muslim legal duo is turning heads in New York City

Judge Noach Dear, an Orthodox Jew, and his court attorney Deema Azizi, a Syrian Muslim refugee, prefer to wear their religious garb - a yarmulke and hijab respectively. Their shared expressions for their faiths unites rather than divides them.

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Pilgrimage to Poland: Temple of Divine Providence is 227 years in the making

The Catholic church - as much a symbol of nationalism as religious struggle and freedom - is a mix of history and modernity, with LED-lit pillars and tombs for saints and fallen government officials. A museum dedicated to Poland’s most famous Catholics, Pope John Paul II and Blessed Cardinal Stefan Wyszynski, is set to open next month.

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Pam Mark Hall: the Christian music singer ostracized by divorce is back at it in her 60s

Hall’s divorce came before her contemporaries Amy Grant and Sandi Patty, whose careers didn’t suffer the same way. Now, Hall hopes to inspire others in her generation who feel anxious about reaching the end of their lives and accomplishments.

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Searching for Catholic symbolism in 'The Godfather'

(COMMENTARY) Amid all the immorality, crime, violence and ultimately Michael Corleone’s final despair (for anyone who could sit through The Godfather III), this isn’t just a series of mob movies. The Godfather book and movie trilogy is loaded with religious symbolism.

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After mosque attacks, Christian persecution remains controversial

(COMMENTARY) Much violence and discrimination against Christians globally goes unnoticed in newspapers. This could be seen with US Vice President Mike Pence’s recent remarks - hardly reported - condemning religious persecution of both Muslims and Christians.

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Muslim leader Yahya Cholil Staquf: Need to address 'problematic elements of Islamic orthodoxy' after Christchurch attack

There has been little real learning from the New Zealand mosque attack that could shape what we do in the future. However, on Mar. 24, there was a remarkable article in the U.K.’s Daily Telegraph that suggests at least one way forward.

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