Posts in Religion
Looking to C.S. Lewis for what it means to be a good Christian

(COMMENTARY) Christians cannot earn their way into God’s good graces by voting for a certain political party. Christians are freely granted God’s grace purely through their faith. If one believes that the only way to be a “good Christian” is to vote for a specific party, he or she is missing the big picture of Christianity.

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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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5 inspiring commencement speeches that focused on faith

There can’t be talk of the future without God and faith. Depending on the speaker (or the college/university), God can often be the focal point of a commencement address. This spring has been highlighted by a few notable speeches, including Vice President Mike Pence’s at Liberty University and Peggy Noonan at Notre Dame.

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Jerusalem teen wins International Bible Quiz

The annual quiz was held last week in Jerusalem in the presence of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other prominent Israeli leaders. The outgoing education minister Naftali Bennett spoke about the current challenges Israel is facing in losing its people to the Diaspora.

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Nationalism and Catholicism collide in run-up to the European elections

(NEWS ANALYSIS) Matteo Salvini, who leads the League party, could take his anti-immigration stances to Brussels if opinion polls prove correct. His hardline stance on the issue has put him at odds with the Catholic church in Italy as well as with Pope Francis, who has repeatedly spoken in favor of refugees seeking asylum in Western Europe.

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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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'Lords of Chaos' film tells origins of Norwegian black metal

(NEWS ANALYSIS) The genre became infamous in the early 90s for suicide, arson, murder and more. Were those metal heads and their successors devil worshippers? Or just creative, dark rock musicians?

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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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'Tolkien' biopic shows author's inspirations for Lord of the Rings

The film premiered at New Jersey’s Montclair Film Festival this week, with Catholic late night host Stephen Colbert sitting down with the Finnish director Dome Karukoski.

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