Religion : Government hostility to religion spiked under Obama, new report finds

Government hostility to religion spiked under Obama, new report finds

  Religion : Government hostility to religion spiked under Obama, new report finds Religion : It’s hard to believe American teenagers could be arrested for delivering a prayer, but that’s the kind of nation we live in – a nation that was fundamentally transformed by the previous presidential administration. In 2011, the class president at Hampton High School in Tennessee wanted to deliver a pray at graduation. The principal issued an edict that any child who attempted to pray would be stopped, escorted from the building by police and arrested. That incident…

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Mixed reaction to court’s ruling against single-religion schools

Mixed reaction to court’s ruling against single-religion schools

Mixed reaction to court’s ruling against single-religion schools   Religion schools : There has been mixed reaction following a judgment on Wednesday that no public school may promote that it subscribes to only a single particular religion to the exclusion of others. The Organisasie vir Godsdinte-Onderrig en Demokrasie (Organisation for Religious Education and Democracy)‚ which brought the application before the high court in Johannesburg‚ welcomed the judgment. Its chairman‚ Hans Pietersen‚ said the judgment meant a public school may not promote a specific religion and exclude others. “Our case was…

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Australians ditch religion at rapid rate, becoming more diverse

Australians ditch religion at rapid rate, becoming more diverse

Australians ditch religion at rapid rate, becoming more diverse Australians : Australia is becoming older and more diverse — both culturally and religiously — according to new datafrom the country’s census. While the first census in 1911 found the average Australian was a 24-year-old man, last year the typical Aussie was a married 38-year-old woman, who lives in a three-bedroom house, with two kids and two cars. The census, which is conducted every five years, found that Asians now make up the largest percentage of the overseas-born population, jumping from in 2011 — 32.9%…

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Pope Francis shakes up Vatican bioethics board

Pope Francis shakes up Vatican bioethics board

Pope Francis shakes up Vatican bioethics board (RNS) Prominent U.S. ethicists are among a number of international experts chosen by Pope Francis for his bioethics advisory board —  a move that might temper the group’s conservative views on sexual morality and life issues. John Haas, president of the National Catholic Bioethics Center in Philadelphia, and Ignatius John Keown, professor of Christian ethics at Washington’s Georgetown University, are among 45 members appointed by the pope to the Pontifical Academy for Life. Dr. Kathleen M. Foley, a neurologist in pain and palliative care at…

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India court affirms priests’ right to property despite poverty oath

India court affirms priests’ right to property despite poverty oath

KOCHI, India (Thomson Reuters Foundation) A high court in southern India has ruled that Christian priests and nuns are entitled to their right to property despite their vows of poverty, signaling an end to a centuries-old tradition that has left many in the clergy destitute. In its order last week in favor of a priest whose relatives cut him out of his share of ancestral property, the court in Kerala state said a priest can give up his property if he wishes to, but there can be no “automatic deprivation”…

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Muslims : The ’Splainer: What is Laylat al-Qadr, Muslims’ ‘Night of Destiny’?

Muslims

Muslims : The ’Splainer: What is Laylat al-Qadr, Muslims’ ‘Night of Destiny’? (RNS) The ’Splainer (as in “You’ve got some ’splaining to do”) is an occasional feature in which the RNS staff gives you everything you need to know about current events to hold your own at the water cooler. The attack early Monday (June 19) at a mosque overflowing with worshippers in London, which injured 11 people — and which British Prime Minister Theresa May called a “sickening” terrorist attack — occurred during the last 10 days of Ramadan, the…

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A 3-D digital scan throws a Buddha statue’s carvings into sharp relief

A 3-D digital scan throws a Buddha statue’s carvings into sharp relief

A 3-D digital scan throws a Buddha statue’s carvings into sharp relief WASHINGTON (RNS) For nearly nine decades, the Cosmic Buddha statue stood alone at the Smithsonian’s Freer Gallery of Art. Museum-goers would pass by the headless, handless statue, a relic of sixth-century China, without a second glance. Few came close enough to even notice the intricate scenes covering the entire stone surface whose paint had worn off. When exhibit curator Keith Wilson first arrived at the museum 10 years ago, he understood why the statue didn’t catch everyone’s eye.…

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Fact-Check: Has Buhari Removed Christian Religious Studies From Secondary School Curriculum?

Nicholas-Okoh

Fact-Check: Has Buhari Removed Christian Religious Studies From Secondary School Curriculum? Discussions about the “removal” of Christian Religious Studies (CRS) from Nigeria’s secondary school curriculum have been ongoing since June 14 when a delegation of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) paid a courtesy call on Acting President Yemi Osinbajo at the State House. Nigerian secondary school studentsICIR NigeriaDuring the visit, Samson Ayokunle, the CAN president, pointed out that whereas the new curriculum stipulates that CRS – also referred to as Christian Religious Knowledge (CRK) – will no longer exist as…

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Pope tells Merkel to keep pressing for international cooperation

Pope tells Merkel to keep pressing for international cooperation

Pope tells Merkel to keep pressing for international cooperation to keep fighting for the Paris climate change deal and to ‘tear down walls’ that inhibit international cooperation, Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Saturday (June 17), offering a stark contrast between her agenda and U.S. policy. U.S. President Donald Trump announced this month that he would withdraw from the landmark 2015 global agreement to fight climate change, drawing anger from world leaders. “The pope encouraged me to continue and fight for international agreements, including the Paris agreement,” Merkel told reporters after an…

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Married gay Mormons try to stay LDS (part 1)

Married gay Mormons try to stay LDS (part 1)

Married gay Mormons try to stay LDS (part 1) What happens to Mormons who are gay and still have a strong testimony of LDS beliefs? Can they remain active in a church that claims to welcome them but whose policies have been—and continue to be—damaging? In this guest post, journalism MFA student Kristin Lowe follows a same-sex couple over the course of four months as they move from Hawaii to Washington and learn that “bishop roulette” is very real in the LDS Church. Because of length, I’m putting up the…

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Richard Dawkins slams Islam as ‘most evil religion,’ then Trump for travel ban rhetoric

Richard Dawkins slams Islam as a most evil religion,a then Trump for travel ban rhetoric

Richard Dawkins slams Islam as ‘most evil religion,’ then Trump for travel ban rhetoric Author: ‘Individual Muslims suffer more from Islam than anyone else’ Author Richard Dawkins told an audience last week that Islam is the “most evil” religion in the world while scolding President Donald Trump for his anti-terror rhetoric. Attendees at this year’s Cheltenham Science Festival in Gloucestershire, England, received more than a lecture on evolution during Mr. Dawkins’ prepared remarks. The biologist, on hand Sunday for the June 6-11 event, said it would be a mistake to…

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Trump ‘It’s time to put a stop to attacks on religion’

Trump ‘It’s time to put a stop to attacks on religion’

Trump ‘It’s time to put a stop to attacks on religion’ WASHINGTON (RNS) President Trump told his political base of evangelical Christians that he would continue to restore the religious liberty many of them feel they’ve lost. “It is time to put a stop to the attacks on religion,” Trump said in a speech Thursday (June 8) to the Faith and Freedom Coalition that began shortly after former FBI Director James Comey questioned the president’s integrity at a Capitol Hill hearing. “We will end the discrimination against people of faith. Our…

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Real Freedom Of Religion

Real Freedom Of Religion

Real Freedom Of Religion Religion is our strength — and weakness. Religion serves as a beacon of light when it helps to make us better human beings. For that, religion has to be rational, and our practise of it, reasonable. Every religion, in its origin, was refreshingly rational. It is when class and group interests hijacked religious beliefs that dogma gained the upper hand. Look at the religious issues uppermost in our national concerns now — cow vigilantism and strident orthodoxy that pretends the discriminatory custom of triple talaq is a…

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Christian harassment is on the rise. Can you do anything to stop it?

Christian harassment is on the rise. Can you do anything to stop it?

Christian harassment is on the rise. Can you do anything to stop it? Christians are the most persecuted faith group in the world today, targeted by Islamic terror groups like Boko Haram and ISIS, as well as secular governments and even competing Christian sects. They endure physical harassment and social discrimination in more than 125 countries, nearly twice the number of countries (74) where Jews are harassed, according to Pew Research Center. Last week in Egypt, almost 30 Coptic Christians were murdered as they made their way to a monastery.…

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Why religious compatibility matters in relationships

Why religious compatibility matters in relationships

Why religious compatibility matters in relationships   Religious : Imagine a new couple out on a Valentine’s Day date. The young man and woman are both nervous, but the candlelit restaurant has created a calm, romantic mood. Orders placed with the waiter, they each take a deep breath, ready to dive into a new line of conversation. “How often do you go to church?” the man says, as the woman’s eyes widen. If this scenario seems unlikely, it’s because it is. Even during the contentious 2016 presidential election, people preferred…

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Religious ritual 1, chickens 0

Religious ritual 1, chickens 0

Religious ritual 1, chickens 0 People participate in the Jewish religious holiday of Kaporos in the Brooklyn borough of New York City, on Oct. 9, 2016. Photo courtesy of Reuters/Stephanie Keith A group seeking to end the ritual slaughter of thousands of chickens in New York City’s Brooklyn borough has suffered a legal setback. The Alliance to End Chickens as Kaporos asked the New York state courts to order local police to enforce public nuisance, safety and health codes to prevent Orthodox Jews from engaging in “kaporot,” the annual ritual…

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Mormon ‘gospel art’: Kitsch or classic?

Mormon ‘gospel art’: Kitsch or classic

Mormon ‘gospel art’: Kitsch or classic? At the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ visitors center in Salt Lake City,  “The Baptism of Jesus” by Harry Anderson presents John baptizing Jesus as though it happened between two mountain men in the valleys of the American West, reinforcing the early church’s idea of its history as a very American story. Religion News Service photo by Kimberly Winston SALT LAKE CITY (RNS) Enter the North Visitors’ Center in Temple Square here, home of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,…

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To escape abusive marriages, many Christians in Pakistan convert to Islam

To escape abusive marriages, many Christians in Pakistan convert to Islam

To escape abusive marriages, many Christians in Pakistan convert to Islam Christians : LAHORE, Pakistan (RNS) For a Pakistani Christian like Shameela Masih, divorcing her abusive husband meant two choices — both nearly as bad as staying in the marriage. “I have to prove adultery allegations against him,” said Masih, a 34-year-old mother of two. “The other option I have is to convert to Islam.” Masih recently filed for divorce from a husband she said “frequently beats me up” and a mother-in-law who she said burned her leg with coal.…

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Accommodating religion in the workplace

Accommodating religion in the workplace

Accommodating religion in the workplace In March, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) generated controversy (and confusion) when it ruled that a workplace ban on wearing the Islamic headscarf did not necessarily constitute direct discrimination. Employers could not single out Muslim employees, the ECJ found, but they could enforce general policies restricting religious dress so long as they applied equally to all. This issue has played out differently in the US In a 2015 decision, for example, the US Supreme Court found that the retail clothing company, Abercrombie & Fitch,…

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At the centre of all moral inquiry is the Crucifixion of Jesus

At the centre of all moral inquiry is the Crucifixion of Jesus

At the centre of all moral inquiry is the Crucifixion of Jesus   Centre : It’s a long walk from the confessional back to the office. The moment you step out of the box, you’re sin-free. But, oh, there are so many opportunities to screw up between then and now. Passed a homeless guy, didn’t give him anything. Pushed past an old lady on the escalator, didn’t say sorry. Got stuck in a queue, resented everyone in it. By the time I made it back to my desk, I felt…

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The Secrets of Rav Chaim’s Exclusive Shavuot Prayer List

The Secrets of Rav Chaim's Exclusive Shavuot Prayer List

The Secrets of Rav Chaim’s Exclusive Shavuot Prayer List   Secrets : For 72 Hours only from Kupat Ha’ir: Receive a special blessing from the Gadol Hatorah on Shavuot “Supporters of the Torah: Be blessed by the Gadol HaTorah, at the time of the Giving of the Torah!” Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky, the distinguished Torah scholar, promised to pray for the health, success, zivug and parnassah of a select few when he is called up to the Torah on Shavuot morning. The group that will be prayed for are those who…

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‘Why bring children to a church on the eve of Shavuot?’

'Why bring children to a church on the eve of Shavuot?'

‘Why bring children to a church on the eve of Shavuot?’ Children : Yad L’Achim demands change in Education Ministry policy after 5th grade class taken to church to learn story of Ruth the Moabite. The Yad L’Achim organization appealed to Education Minister Naftali Bennett to prohibit the education system from holding meetings between Jewish children and children of other religions. The appeal was made against the backdrop of the publication of the documentation of the a class of fifth graders who were hosted in honor of Shavuot in a…

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‘Religion and tradition are ruining the IDF’

Religion and tradition are ruining the IDF'

‘Religion and tradition are ruining the IDF’ Religion : Former IDF Chief Education Officer responds to Arutz Sheva exposé on IDF prohibition against teaching that Jerusalem was ‘liberated.’ General in the Reserves Nehemia Dagan, who formerly served as the head officer of the IDF’s education corps, responded this morning to Arutz Sheva’s exposé that the education corps forbids IDF commanders from teaching soldiers that Jerusalem was “liberated” after the Six-Day War, only allowing that it was “unified.” In an interview on the Kalman Liebskind radio program on Kan Bet, Dagan…

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The ebb and flow of religious power in the Irish republic

The ebb and flow of religious power in the Irish republic

The ebb and flow of religious power in the Irish republic Religious : NEWS that Ireland is about to have a young, openly gay, half-Indian taoiseach (prime minister) came as more of a surprise to the rest of the world than it did to people who live on the island and experience its fast-changing social reality. But as outsiders try to make sense of Leo Varadkar’s elevation (see article), many will see it as one more sign of Ireland’s dash towards secularism. A country where organised Christianity was once exceptionally…

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This Vatican adviser is moving Catholics toward LGBT inclusion

This Vatican adviser is moving Catholics toward LGBT inclusion

This Vatican adviser is moving Catholics toward LGBT inclusion Vatican  : In 1992, the Vatican under Pope John Paul II published the Catechism of the Catholic Church, which stated, among many other things, that “homosexual tendencies” are “objectively disordered.” One of the principal theologians who shaped the document was Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, who would succeed John Paul II as Pope Benedict XVI. He too would take a hard-line stance against homosexuality. Two decades later, Pope Francis has signaled what many believe to be a softening on the matter. In 2013, when asked about gay priests, he famously…

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Before Ramadan, food shortages challenge East African Muslims

Ramadan

Before Ramadan, food shortages challenge East African Muslims Activity around the Jamia Mosque in Nairobi, Kenya, on May 5, 2015. Photo courtesy of Creative Commons/Rusliko Ramadan : NAIROBI, Kenya (RNS) The usual excitement that builds toward Ramadan has been tempered this year as food shortages and skyrocketing prices threaten to mar observance of the holy month for many East African Muslims.Religious leaders fear the sharp rise in the prices of grains, cereals and other staple food is burdening people to the point that it may weaken their commitment to fasting.“We have shortages of…

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Top 10 Organized Religions and their Core Beliefs

Top 10 Organized Religions and their Core Beliefs

Top 10 Organized Religions and their Core Beliefs This list is Sourced from the Encylopaedia Britannica, Wikipedia, Beliefnet, and Adherents.com (a collection of 43,870 adherent statistics and religious geography citations). The list is based on number of members. For a complete list (which also includes atheism and agnosticism, see the Wikipedia article or the Encylopaedia Britannica chart). 1. Christianity [Abrahamic, 27 AD] 2.1 billion adherents [Wikipedia | Britannica | Beliefnet] Christianity is a monotheistic religion which is based on the teachings of the Old Testament and Jesus of Nazareth. Christians…

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Hinduism and Religious Tolerance: Part One

Hinduism and Religious Tolerance: Part One

Hinduism and Religious Tolerance: Part One Hinduism Among all religions of the world, Hindu religion is considered as an ancient religion that is recognized as foundation of civilization. Hindu Dharma is a righteous way of life based on accumulated wisdom of great sages, Vedas, Upanishads and Agamas. Various basic concepts like Dharma, Karma, Ahimsa, Rebirth, Moksha (Nirvana) are inherited by various dharmic traditions like Jainism, Buddhism, and Sikhism from Hinduism. Sri Chinmoy said I am a Hindu. I love being a Hindu. I am proud to be a Hindu. Why? Why?…

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Another African-American church in South Carolina caught fire

Another African-American church in South Carolina caught fire

Another African-American church in South Carolina caught fire Another : An African-American church in South Carolina that was burned down by the Ku Klux Klan in 1995 caught fire again Tuesday night, though authorities said it was too soon to say what caused the latest blaze, which broke out on a night of frequent storms. No one was believed to be inside at the time. The fire at the Mount Zion African Methodist Episcopal church in Greeleyville broke out at a time when federal authorities are investigating conflagrations at several other predominantly black…

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Cloistered nuns on Facebook: What’s not to like?

Cloistered nuns on Facebook: What’s not to like?

Cloistered nuns on Facebook: What’s not to like? and silence. They spent their lives as nuns in silent prayer, cut off from the world at a convent inspired by St. Clare on the island of Sardinia. Now the 10 remaining nuns who live behind the high walls of the convent in Oristano are breaking their silence and turning their back on tradition. With their own website, Facebook page and even a cellphone, the nuns are embracing the internet and social media and raising their profile as part of an effort…

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A brief history of racism in the United States

A brief history of racism in the United States

A brief history of racism in the United States Racism is the belief that one’s race, skin color, or more generally, one’s group, be it of religious, national or ethnic identity, is superior to others in humanity.14 It has been part of the American landscape primarily since the European colonization of North America beginning in the 17th century. Various groups have bore the brunt of it, manifested in discriminatory laws, social practices, and  criminal behavior directed toward a target group. The following are a list of just a few and…

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The Age of Main Street Banking

The Age of Main Street Banking

The Age of Main Street Banking In the late 19th and early 20th Centuries, nearly all Nebraska communities had at least one bank. It was a necessity in an era much less mobile than our own. In order to convince the public of their stability and trustworthiness, these financial institutions turned to architecture to convey this notion. The result: substantial, well-built, ornate structures. While the Depression and rural demographic shifts brought an end to many of these banks, the buildings themselves often remain a downtown fixture; a reminder of the…

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The worst countries for religious freedom

The worst countries for religious freedom

The worst countries for religious freedom   At its core, freedom of religion or belief requires freedom of expression. Both fundamental rights are protected in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, yet nearly half of all countries penalize blasphemy, apostasy or defamation of religion. In 13 countries, atheists can be put to death for their lack of belief. The U.S. State Department names and shames eight “Countries of Particular Concern” that severely violate religious freedom rights within their borders. These countries not only suppress religious expression, they systematically torture and…

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Should people keep their religious beliefs private?

Should people keep their religious beliefs private?

Should people keep their religious beliefs private? According to Eurobarometer, 77% of EU citizens consider themselves to be religious. Catholics are by far the largest religious group in the EU, accounting for 48% of all Europeans, while Protestants make up 12% and Eastern Orthodox Christians make up 8%. Taken together, agnostics and atheists account for 23%, while Muslims (the largest non-Christian religious group) represent 2% of the EU population. Can all these different religions and beliefs get along together peacefully? How can we ensure that religious diversity in Europe is…

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Persecution of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia intensifies and targets children

Persecution of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia intensifies and targets children

Persecution of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia intensifies and targets children A house where Jehovah’s Witnesses prayed in Zheshart, in northwest Russia, was destroyed by arson. The Witnesses say a Molotov cocktail was found at the site. Photo courtesy of Jehovah’s Witnesses Persecution : Teachers have humiliated Jehovah’s Witness children in front of their classmates. Arsonists have burned Witnesses’ homes. Security forces have raided their meeting halls. Since the Russian Supreme Court on April 20 declared the Jehovah’s Witnesses an extremist group, its members have faced increasing harassment from both authorities and suspicious…

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This Is Where Intolerance Is Highest on Religion, Culture, Race

This Is Where Intolerance Is Highest on Religion, Culture, Race

This Is Where Intolerance Is Highest on Religion, Culture, Race At a time when media headlines point to a spike in global intolerance, here’s some good news: most people around the world don’t say they believe any single race, religion or culture is better than another. That was the finding of a multi-nation WIN/Gallup International poll conducted at the end of last year and published this week. The majority of people and more than half of the 66 countries surveyed say there’s no such thing as racial, religious or cultural superiority.…

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Trump and Francis: Détente not armistice

Trump and Francis: Détente, not armistice

Trump and Francis: Détente not armistice Trump : ROME (RNS) No matter what their theological inclinations are, Donald Trump’s supporters should be happy with the modern reforms in the Vatican: Until a few decades ago a pope would have never received in an audience a twice-divorced, thrice-married head of state accompanied by a daughter who converted to Judaism. Fortunately, this was not a problem for the Trump family accompanying the president in his state visit this week. The only real news, in fact, was that the passage of the American…

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Vatican scraps plan for Pope to go to South Sudan this year

Vatican scraps plan for Pope to go to South Sudan this year

Vatican scraps plan for Pope to go to South Sudan this year Pope Francis waves at the end of his “Urbi et Orbi” (to the city and the world) message from the balcony overlooking St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican on April 16, 2017. Photo courtesy of Reuters/Stefano Rellandini VATICAN CITY (Reuters) The Vatican said  it had scrapped tentative plans for Pope Francis to make a visit this year to South Sudan, which has been hit by civil war, famine and a refugee crisis.Vatican spokesman Greg Burke said Tuesday (May…

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White House Acts to Roll Back Birth-Control Mandate for Religious Employers

White House Acts to Roll Back Birth-Control Mandate for Religious Employers

White House Acts to Roll Back Birth-Control Mandate for Religious Employers    that many religious employers provide birth control coverage in health insurance plans. The mandate for free contraceptive coverage was one of the most hotly contested Obama administration policies adopted under the Affordable Care Act, and it generated scores of lawsuits by employers that had religious objections to it. On its website, the White House Office of Management and Budget said it is reviewing an “interim final rule” to relax the requirement, a step that would all but ensure…

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Hindus And Sikhs In This Punjab Village Join Hands To Build A Mosque As A Ramzan Gift

Hindus And Sikhs In This Punjab Village Join Hands To Build A Mosque As A Ramzan Gift

Hindus And Sikhs In This Punjab Village Join Hands To Build A Mosque As A Ramzan Gift It’s an ideal present that members of the Muslim community could hope to get, ahead of the holy month of Ramzan in their village. They will no longer have to travel to nearby villages to offer ‘namaz’. Setting an example of communal harmony, the villagers of Ghalib Ran Singh Waal — which has a majority of Sikhs and Hindus — have constructed a mosque in the village. TOI The mosque was formally inaugurated…

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Easter: Quarter of UK Christians do not believe in the resurrection of Jesus Christ, survey reveals

Easter: Quarter of UK Christians do not believe in the resurrection of Jesus Christ, survey reveals

Easter: Quarter of UK Christians do not believe in the resurrection of Jesus Christ, survey reveals   Christians : And more than a tenth of ‘active’ believers say they do not think there is life after death Nearly a quarter of UK Christians do not believe Jesus Christ was resurrected from the dead, a survey has claimed. While 44 per cent of the population overall believes Christ returned from death according to the Bible story, the figure rises to just 72 per cent among Christians—despite the event being a central…

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Religious countries likely to perform worse in science and maths, study finds

Religious countries likely to perform worse in science and maths, study finds

Religious countries likely to perform worse in science and maths, study finds Research also finds women generally more religious than men Students in religious countries are likely to perform worse in science and maths than their more agnostic or atheist counterparts, new research has found. “Countries that are more religious score lower in educational performance,” the study’s co-author, Professor Gijsbert Stoet, told The Independent. As a result he advised that “governments that might be able to raise educational standards and so standards of living by keeping religion out of schools and out of educational policy-making.”…

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Ramadan 2017: Five ways to show solidarity and respect to people observing the Islamic holy month

Ramadan 2017: Five ways to show solidarity and respect to people observing the Islamic holy monthmosque.jpg

Ramadan 2017: Five ways to show solidarity and respect to people observing the Islamic holy month Ramadan : The month is of huge importance across the Islamic world as a chance to show reverence to Allah and escape from the pace of everyday life Ramadan is a special month in the Islamic calendar when practising Muslims show their respect for the time in which Allah revealed his teachings to the Prophet Mohammad. Since the words heard by the Prophet are believed to make up the Islamic holy text, the Qur’an, the month is…

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Coptic Christians accuse Egyptian government of failing to protect them

Coptic Christians accuse Egyptian government of failing to protect them

Coptic Christians accuse Egyptian government of failing to protect them  Relatives of people killed in attack on bus convoy say state of emergency in country has been undermined Egypt’s Coptic Christians have accused the government of failing to protect them in the wake of an attack claimed by Islamic State on a bus convoy that killed at least 29 people and injured about 20 more. Relatives of some of those killed said the attack, which occurred after a group of gunmen stopped a convoy headed for the Saint Samuel monastery…

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Furious China BANS Christian church for ‘collaborating with South Korea’

Furious China BANS Christian church for ‘collaborating with South Korea’

Furious China BANS Christian church for ‘collaborating with South Korea’ Furious : CHINA has banned a church and accused religious leaders of collaborating with South Korea as the communist regime’s crackdown on Christianity continues. China has banned a church and accused religious leaders of collaborating with South Korea Authorities have accused the River of Life Berea Church and the Berea’s Research Institute of Theology in the coastal Fujian province of having a connection with South Korea.Tensions have escalated between China and its near neighbour amid a row over South Korea…

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Ramadan 2017: What is Ramadan? When does it start and end, why do Muslims fast?

Ramadan 2017: What is Ramadan? When does it start and end, why do Muslims fast?

Ramadan 2017: What is Ramadan? When does it start and end, why do Muslims fast? RAMADAN is the holiest month of the Islamic calendar and a period of fasting for any of the world’s 1.6 billion Muslims. Here is everything you need to know about Ramadan 2017 dates, fasting and more. What is Ramadan? Ramadan is the holiest month of the year for the 1.6 billion Muslims living around the world. The Prophet Mohammed explained: “When the month of Ramadan starts, the gates of heaven are opened and the gates…

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Pope Francis gives President Trump some homework at their first meeting

Francis

Pope Francis gives President Trump some homework at their first meeting Francis : VATICAN CITY (RNS) Donald Trump is known as a climate change skeptic with a short attention span who has said he doesn’t have time to read books. But Pope Francis is a man of faith who lives in hope, and during the first, highly anticipated meeting between these two world leaders with sharply contrasting visions the pontiff gave the president three lengthy documents, including his landmark encyclical underscoring the perils of global warming. “I will be reading…

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Former herder reveals perils of being a shaman in atheist China

Former herder reveals perils of being a shaman in atheist China

Former herder reveals perils of being a shaman in atheist China  Erdemt, a Mongolian shaman, tells of his life and work in the mining boom-town of Xi Wuqi The shaman of Xi Wuqi city wakes before sunrise on a Wednesday morning in June, piles his family into his silver Peugeot, and drives out beyond the city’s boxy mid-rises, past miles of strip-mines and coal refineries, and to the foot of a broad kelly-green hillside on the grasslands. He hikes to the top, removes his trainers and button-down shirt, and dons…

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Russia’s Crackdown on Religious Minorities: Religious Liberty for All God’s Children

Russia's Crackdown on Religious Minorities: Religious Liberty for All God's Children

Russia’s Crackdown on Religious Minorities: Religious Liberty for All God’s Children   Crackdown  : After eight years of seeming neglect, it appears that protecting religious liberty is back on the nation’s agenda. Now folks can debate the strengths and weaknesses of President Trump’s new executive order, but at long last America’s first freedom is getting some long overdue recognition from the White House. During a May 5th ceremony in the Rose Garden, where I was actually privileged to be to witness it, Mr. Trump signed an executive order “promoting free speech…

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Reader voices: No matter the religion, peacemakers are children of God

Reader voices: No matter the religion, peacemakers are children of God

Reader voices: No matter the religion, peacemakers are children of God Reader : Growing up as a Chinese Buddhist in Taipei, Taiwan, my mother took me to the Buddhist temple regularly to worship and pray. As a young boy learning the teachings of the Buddhist faith, I understood that we needed to have high morals and strive to live an honorable life. Years later, when I was introduced to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, these values that are also tenets to Latter-day Saint faith echoed with me:…

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