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|Archived Since:||March 24, 2014|
AFTER nearly 17 years on the road, the Interfaith Amigos are a trio (an imam, a rabbi and a Christian pastor, to be precise) well versed in America’s religious scene. Based in Seattle, they have given hundreds of presentations to audiences across the country, and a few in Canada, Japan and the Middle East.
ACROSS most of Europe, a majority of people declare some loose attachment to Christianity, while a much smaller percentage actively follow that faith. As a result, churches and their adherents have some influence over European affai...
RELIGIOUS Americans often have mixed feelings about Russia. In recent times, many have waxed indignant at the way Russia curbs most forms of religious practice and preaching, apart from the ones that enjoy an official stamp of approval: Russian Orthodoxy and established forms of Islam, Judaism and Buddhism.
NOT ENOUGH people want to teach the subject, and there are plenty of pupils, tax-payers and even head teachers who are highly sceptical about its benefits. And yet there are good grounds for saying that knowledge of this sort is more vital than ever for the health and normal functioning of society.
TOUGH public arguments, including some colourful name-calling, are going on between influential figures in the Catholic church. Not, this time, about the status of divorcees who remarry, or any other pastoral or theological conundrum, but about China. For decades, two separate structures have practised Catholicism in China.
SAINT AGATHA has an important place in the history of the Christian church. She is believed to have been a young woman of noble birth who was martyred, after terrible tortures, under the Roman emperor Decius in 251AD. Apart from her native Sicily, she is revered in the Basque country, Germany’s Black Forest and Malta.
THIS week the European Court of Human Rights handed down a verdict which law-and-religion pundits will be pondering for years to come. It vindicated Sekmadienis, a company selling the work of Robert Kalinkin, a Lithuanian fashion designer.
YESTERDAY was World Hijab Day, an annual event set up by a Bangladeshi-born woman who migrated to New York, Nazma Khan. Ms Khan’s aim is to “foster religious tolerance and understanding” by encouraging women who don’t normally cover their heads (non-Muslims or non-hijabi Muslim women) to try wearing the garment for just one day.
OVER the next few days, many Tamils will take part in an annual Hindu ceremony that involves amazing endurance. The keenest participants in the Thaipusam festival prepare with days of fasting, prayer and austere living.
ARE religious leaders convincing their followers to care more about the fate of the earth? Catholic, mainstream Protestant and Orthodox Christian shepherds are trying hard to interest believers in environmental questions.
LAST year, as Europe marked the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, thousands of words were penned by people trying to figure out that grim era when the continent found itself plunged into bloody conflict between the Catholic and Protestant versions of Christianity.
GEORGE BELL, who died in 1958, was long regarded as one of the most brilliant and morally courageous representatives of the Anglican Church in the 20th century. Alone among English bishops, he opposed the indiscriminate bombing of German cities during the second world war.
IN human and logistical terms alone, the pope’s visit to Latin America this week involves a punishing itinerary. Over six days, a man in his 82nd year, with only one intact lung, will travel over 22,000 miles, spanning the length and breadth of a continent, including some of its remote extremes.
AS ONE might expect, the definitions of freedom offered by the liberal secular West and by the current leadership of the Russian Orthodox church are sharply at odds.
THE Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, better known as the Mormon faith, has recently had attention from the secular press for two reasons. One is the death of the faith’s nonagenarian leader; the other is a flare-up over a Mormon practice that complicates relations with Judaism.
ALICE WEIDEL, champion of the Eurosceptic German right, claims that her Alternative for Germany (AfD) party is the only really Christian political group in the country. The much larger Christian Democratic Union has betrayed its own name by failing to defend the nation’s religious and cultural heritage, in her impassioned view.
THE Christmas story concerns the birth, in very unusual circumstances, of a member of the species homo sapiens, one who was destined to transform the history of the world. But what about other animals? Is their rightful place in this ancient narrative essential, secondary or even non-existent?
THE argument over whether multiculturalism and modernity are eroding the Christian character of Christmas is a cherished annual ritual.
TO ALL appearances, this was a final disentangling of the disreputable connections between the church in southern Italy and organised crime. When a Sicilian mobster known as the “boss of bosses” died in prison last month, a spokesman for the Italian conference of bishops said it would be “unthinkable” to give him a public funeral.
AS IS reported by The Economist in this week’s print edition, almost everybody can agree that there are acute difficulties at the interface between Islamic family law and the liberal West. Especially for married Muslim women, living in a kind of limbo between the Islamic world and the secular world can be exceptionally tough.