Posts in Religion News
Can French politicians make Notre Dame great again?

Rebuilding Notre Dame will be a painstaking task. Estimated to cost in the billions, the cathedral has also become a political pawn in a broader fight between traditionalists and secularists. In a country divided politically — the recent European election was another reminder of this — the fate of Notre Dame very much rests in the hands of the country’s warring lawmakers.

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Is the Vatican playing a game of 'wag the dog' with the American press?

(COMMENTARY) Pope Francis is a great example of an international leader whose handlers like to control the message. Not too different from the White House press office, where access can often be very limited. That makes the papal news conference, the one that takes place aboard the pope’s flight on the way to Rome at the end of very trip, very important.

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American anti-Semitism is growing from new, surprising sources

A recent poll found that only 80% of Americans believe that 6 million Jews died in the Holocaust.

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The real story of America's bloody struggle for religious freedom

We talked with Steven Waldman, founder of BeliefNet and author of the new book Sacred Liberty, about America’s battles for religious freedom— how the notion that the US was founded with religious liberty in mind is wrong— our current challenges for preserving it, and much more.

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The bell that saved abandoned babies in the Middle Ages

(COMMENTARY) Foundling wheels or baby hatches were safe spaces for women to leave unwanted babies anonymously for the church to adopt and care for. The same principle could be replicated today.

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A Closer Look at North Korea’s Deadly Regime

(COMMENTARY) When we think of North Korean armed forces, most of us envision a formidable parade of clean-cut, perfectly uniformed soldiers marching in lock-step. However, like the “Potemkin Villages” a few tourists manage to see, those tidy uniforms are nothing more than window dressing for the bankrupt regime.

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Digital church is missing the point (even with VR)

(COMMENTARY) In a very consumeristic fashion, Americans are consuming from churches and not participating in the life of the church or giving back in return. The rise of Internet-based congregations is only making the problem worse.

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17th century paintings show sexuality and purity of Hindu gods

(ART REVIEW) The exhibition shows the interactions of humans with Hindu gods like Shiva and the mischievous side of Krishna, with his lover Radha and stealing butter and the clothes of women bathing outside.

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Lag b'Omer: the Jewish holiday of faith and folklore

The annual pilgrimage is the 33rd day of Judaism's somber seven-week "counting" between Passover and Pentecost and marks the ceasing of a plague that killed 24,000 disciples of Rabbi Akiva ( c. 50–135 CE), a sage martyred by the Romans during the genocidal persecution of the Emperor Hadrian. 

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Modi's second term likely to keep choking philanthropy, especially from Christians

(NEWS ANALYSIS) India’s Hindu nationalist and populist Bharatiya Janata Party won reelection Thursday in a sweeping parliamentary majority. Here’s what that means for religious minorities, other marginalized groups and the organizations working for their welfare.

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Why Kashmir’s small Sikh community boycotted Indian elections

The region has long been plagued by atrocities against Kashmiri Muslims, some of whom advocate for separating from India, and ethnic Kashmiri Hindus, who support India’s military occupation and takeover. Caught in the conflict is a tiny minority of Sikhs, who say their voices are not being heard.

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A Reporter's Notebook: the Israelis wishing a generous Ramadan to Palestinians

“I think we have arrived at the days of the Messiah,” Jewish community spokesman Naom Arnon said at an iftar dinner that marks the end of the day’s Ramadan fast, hosted by the Judea and Samaria Chamber of Commerce and Industry, a joint Israeli-Palestinian group to promote business ties and economic cooperation in the West Bank.

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Viral tweets highlight the question: should women be pastors?

(COMMENTARY) Echoing papal pronouncements, a position paper and then a columnist of the Southern Baptist Convention’s seminary said that Jesus Christ appointed only male apostles. Evangelical author Beth Moore was one among many voices to push back on Twitter.

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Mainstream press continues to ignore French church vandalism incidents

(COMMENTARY) A month after the Notre Dame blaze, there continues to be little to no coverage when it comes to the rash of suspicious fires and vandalism that plagued French churches in the weeks before the Paris incident, which was quickly deemed unintentional by Parisian authorities.

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In India, a controversial candidate is testing religious divisions

Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur, a Hindu in Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party accused of aiding a terrorist attack against Muslims, is contesting for a seat in parliament in a region crucial to the BJP’s victory.

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‘Why I’m Not a Terrorist’: Victim of Extreme Hate in Sri Lanka

“I had all the reasons and justifications to join a terrorist group because of what has happened to me,” said Raghu Balachandran, a Christian who witnessed the murder of his father and brother in Sri Lanka’s decades-long civil war between Tamil Hindus and Sinhalese Buddhists.

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'Death is a part of life' Christian author Rachel Held Evans wrote before passing

Evans, known for her progressive take on the faith, was only 37 when an infection quickly turned fatal. Her last blog post, about Lent and before she announced any illness, was a reminder that we will all return to dust.

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