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|Archived Since:||March 24, 2014|
As President Donald Trump engages in his own, idiosyncratic kind of religious and cultural diplomacy in Saudi Arabia and Israel, back in the United States efforts by faith groups to understand each other better seem to be gathering pace.
THERE are some religious-freedom arguments where even the time-honoured principle of “live and let live” fails to provide democracies with any easy answers. One such dispute concerns animal slaughter.
Especially observed from afar, Europe is often viewed as a continent where traditional forms of Christianity are dwindling fast, and the only kinds of faith which flourish are those brought by recent arrivals, ranging from Pakistani or Turkish Islam to Nigerian Pentecostalism.
America’s founding fathers, influenced by the French enlightenment, were determined not to let European-style religious wars tear their young republic apart.
Justin Trudeau, Canada’s prime minister, made much of appointing four Sikhs to his 30-person cabinet in 2015, boasting he had more than his Indian counterpart Narenda Modi.
Many of today’s hottest arguments about religious freedom involve idiosyncratic micro-communities which impose on themselves (and on their children) norms of life which the rest of society finds bizarre or worse.
RUSSIA has been added to the list of egregious violators of religious freedom by an American agency that is mandated by law to monitor liberty of belief around the world, and denounce persecutors.
HOW far does Theresa May resemble Margaret Thatcher?
TODAY the monks of Mount Sinai devoted even longer than usual to their morning prayers, which always start in the middle of the Egyptian night and continue well beyond daybreak.
FOR anybody in the information business, Pope Francis would be a dream, and a nightmare, to work for. He is a natural communicator, whose openness and vulnerability somehow come across the airwaves.
THESE are confusing times for any student of global religion and geopolitics. This weekend around 2bn Christians mark the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. This happens to be a year when the Christian West and the Christian East celebrate Easter on the same date.
IN ANY country where secular courts and religious ones compete to adjudicate people’s lives, tricky situations can arise. The two systems invariably get entangled.
JUST over three years ago, a Dutch Jesuit was assassinated in the besieged, hungry city of Homs. He had lived in the area for 50 years, offering succour to people of all beliefs, especially the young and the disabled.
ON THE face of things, Birmingham is one of the most challenging places in Europe for people whose mission is to build better relations between ethnic and religious.groups. Parts of the city are acutely deprived.
IN THEORY, this year should have been a time when the fortunes of Iraq’s Christian community, one of world’s most beleaguered religious minorities, at last changed for the better. Instead, say members of the community and people supporting them, it is proving to be a time of agonising dilemmas.
OVER the centuries, the Abrahamic faiths have found many things to fight over, and many modes of co-existence. The Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, where a $4m conservation project was formally unveiled this week, exemplifies both points. It is, so to speak, an interface between the monotheisms.
WITH statesmen like Tony Blair and Bill Clinton looking on, ancient supplications for the dead were offered on March 23rd over the coffin of Martin McGuinness, the Northern Irish paramilitary turned politician. In the annals of a city with a rich and chequered religious history, this was a most unusual Catholic funeral.
THERE IS no consensus among America’s faith leaders over how the country should help poorer parts of the world. The question pits religious conservatives against religious liberals, just as it divides the non-religious.
EMPLOYERS are entitled to forbid their staff from wearing Muslim headscarves as long as it is part of a consistent practice of banning the display of religious or ideological symbols, and not a one-off action aimed at satisfying the demands of a particular client.
SOME 65 years have passed since President Dwight Eisenhower used the word “Judeo-Christian” to describe the religious and cultural heritage of the United States, implying a new degree of amity and interconnection between two monotheistic faiths.