Archives for Religion - Page 181

Lupita’s Oscars * Russia’s battle * Ken Ham’s ark: Monday’s roundup

By Sarah Pulliam Bailey Lupita Nyong’o notes the joy she has is thanks to someone else’s pain. Russia has moved into Ukraine. Ken Ham is finally able to build his ark–or the theme park version of one. The post Lupita’s Oscars * Russia’s battle * Ken Ham’s ark: Monday’s roundup appeared first on Religion News Service. …read more Source: Religion news Service...
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Religion

Indian Hindu nationalist Modi visits Lucknow to woo Muslim voters

By Frank Jack Daniel (Vistors to Lucknow’s 1784 Bara Imambara, or tomb of a Shi’ite Muslimholy man, March 10, 2002. REUTERS/Jason Reed) Narendra Modi, the Hindu nationalist leader tipped as India’s next prime minister, appealed to Muslim voters on Sunday and hit out at rivals accusing him of bias against the country’s largest religious minority. Addressing hundreds of thousands of mainly Hindu supporters at a rally in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, Modi said his economic policies meant Muslims were better off in Gujarat, the western state he governs, than other parts of India. The rally in the state capital Lucknow, where a third of the population is Muslim, was attended by a sea of people clad in orange, the color associated with Hinduism. The ground, which can hold some 400,000, was not totally full. Modi, 63, has a strong lead in opinion polls ahead of the regionally phased general election voting due in April and May, but the surveys suggest he may still struggle to gather enough seats to form a government. Muslim votes could help. (A supporter of India’s main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) with his body painted with Hindu symbols attends a rally addressed by Hindu nationalist Narendra Modi in Lucknow March 2, …read more Source: Reuters Faithword...
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Ultra-Orthodox Jews stage mass Jerusalem protest against Israeli draft law

By Crispian Balmer (Ultra-Orthodox Jews take part in a mass prayer in Jerusalem March 2, 2014. REUTERS/Darren Whiteside) Hundreds of thousands of ultra-Orthodox Jews held a mass prayer in Jerusalem on Sunday in protest at a bill that would cut their community’s military exemptions and end a tradition upheld since Israel’s foundation. Ultra-Orthodox leaders had called on their men, women and children to attend the protest against new legislation ending the wholesale army exemptions granted to seminary students, which is expected to pass in the coming weeks, The issue is at the heart of an emotional national debate. Most Israeli Jewish men and women are called up for military service when they turn 18, but most ultra-Orthodox Jews, or “Haredim”, a Hebrew term meaning ‘those who tremble before God’, are excused from army service. Police said hundreds of thousands took part in the prayer. Israeli media estimated that between 250,000 to 400,000 attended. The ultra-Orthodox demonstration paralyzed parts of Jerusalem, blocked the main entrance to the city and halted public transport as the streets around swelled with streams of men in black hats and coats, the traditional Haredi garb. (An ultra-Orthodox Jewish youth holds a sign during a mass protest in Jerusalem March 2, 2014. REUTERS/Nir Elias ) Rabbis …read more Source: Reuters Faithword...
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Thai Buddhist monk fights on even as anti-government protesters scale back

By Reuters Staff (Buddhist monk and anti-government protest leader Luang Pu Buddha Issara addresses his supporters from the stage at a protest site north of Bangkok March 1, 2014. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj) A young Thai man and woman are on their knees, their palms pressed in supplication to the saffron-robed Buddhist monk, an anti-government protest leader, looming before them. Accused of being pro-government spies they have been brought before the monk at a protest site in north of Bangkok by burly guards donning tinted sunglasses. A 15-minute interrogation fails to convince the monk, Luang Pu Buddha Issara, of their innocence and he orders protest guards to keep them under close watch before striding on stage to tell supporters to fight against the “black-hearted” government of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra. The monk’s role in political protests that have gripped Thailand – a predominantly Buddhist country – for months, has divided Thais as much as the protest itself. He faces disciplinary action by the National Office of Buddhism, the organisation in charge of overseeing monks’ behaviour, for inappropriate conduct while the Buddhist Association of Thailand has threatened to disrobe him. That doesn’t seem to faze the 58-year-old senior monk. Last month he led protesters to block polling stations ahead of a February …read more Source: Reuters Faithword...
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Religion

Tunisia purges Islamist state governors with consent of Islamist party

By Reuters Staff (Tunisian President Moncef Marzouki holds a copy of the country’s new constitution after signing it in Tunis January 27, 2014. REUTERS/Anis Mili ) Tunisia’s prime minister replaced most state governors on Friday, bowing to a demand from secular parties to purge Islamists from key jobs before elections this year. After a political crisis brought on by the killing of two opposition leaders last year, the ruling Islamist party stepped down to allow a caretaker government to take over until elections later this year under a new constitution. The secular opposition accused the Ennahda Islamist party of placing party officials in senior state jobs just before it quit power, and had asked that the appointments be reviewed. “Prime Minister Mehdi Jomaa decided to change 18 out of 24 governors to overhaul the administration,” Interior Minister Lotfi Ben Jeddou said on the outcome of that review. Ennahda leaders said they did not object to any review of their appointments but insisted the individuals should be judged by their performance, not party membership. Under the agreement reached between Islamists and secularists, elections will be held during 2014, supervised by an independent body elected by parliament. A successful election will be seen as proof Tunisia is managing its transition to democracy …read more Source: Reuters Faithword...
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Google loses bid to keep anti-Islamic video on YouTube during court order appeal

By Reuters Staff (Cindy Lee Garcia (L), an actress in the “Innocence of Muslims”, and her lawyer M. Cris Armenta hold a news conference after a court hearing in Los Angeles, California September 20, 2012. REUTERS/Bret Hartman ) Google Inc on Friday lost its bid to keep an anti-Islamic film on its YouTube video sharing website while it appealed a federal appeals court order that the company said would have “devastating effects” if allowed to stand. Earlier this week, a panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals voted 2-1 to reject Google’s assertion that the removal of the film “Innocence of Muslims,” which sparked protests across the Muslim world, amounted to a prior restraint of speech that violated the U.S. Constitution. In a court filing on Thursday, Google argued that the video should remain accessible to the public while it asks that a larger, 11-judge 9th Circuit panel review the issue. Google called this week’s opinion “unprecedented” and “sweeping.” However, the 9th Circuit on Friday rejected Google’s request in a brief order. Google representatives could not immediately be reached for comment. The plaintiff, Cindy Lee Garcia, had objected to the film after learning that it incorporated a clip she had made for a different movie, which …read more Source: Reuters Faithword...
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Extra funds help float Noah’s Ark replica in Kentucky

By Mary Wisniewski (Another replica of Noah’s Ark, this one built by Dutchman Johan Huibers, under construction in Schagen, the Netherlands March 31, 2006. REUTERS/STR) A Christian ministry that plans to build a Noah’s Ark replica in Kentucky has raised enough money to go ahead with the $150 million project – and is thanking an adversary for boosting its support. Creation Museum founder Ken Ham announced this week that a municipal bond offering has brought in enough money to begin the long-delayed “Ark Encounter,” a theme park featuring a 510-foot-long model of Noah’s Ark near the Kentucky-Ohio border. Ham credited the funding bump to Bill Nye “the Science Guy,” a popular commentator on science issues who faced off against him in a widely publicized February 4 debate over evolution. Ham said the media attention surrounding the debate prompted supporters who had registered for bonds to follow through with complex paperwork needed to complete the funding. “We praise our Creator God for His blessings and for the incredible support we just witnessed from our generous supporters around the country,” Ham said in a statement on Thursday. Ham rejects the theory of evolution and preaches what the Bible says about six days of creation and the earth being about 6,000 years …read more Source: Reuters Faithword...
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Religion

The dangers of oversimplifying the Central African Republic conflict

By Reuters Staff (Anti-balaka fighters from the town of Bossembele patrol in the Boeing district of Bangui, Central African Republic, February 24, 2014. REUTERS/Camille Lepage) When violence spiralled in Central African Republic’s capital last December, the country’s most senior Muslim cleric sought shelter with the Catholic archbishop of Bangui. And that month no one was attacked in Lakounga, one of the oldest parts of the capital, where Christian and Muslim leaders worked together to protect the community. Posters were plastered on every street corner with the message: “Christians and Muslims, the same blood, the same life, the same country”. “Their message is that we are one and we have been living together … for many decades,” Nyeko Caesar Poblicks, East and Central Africa projects manager at the London-based NGO Conciliation Resources, and a frequent visitor to CAR, told me in a recent interview. Elsewhere in the capital, mosques, shops and houses owned by Muslims were attacked by angry groups who saw Muslims as collaborators of the mainly Muslim Seleka movement. A thousand people were killed in December alone, and hundreds of thousands were displaced. Seleka fighters carried out many serious abuses after they took power in March 2013, killing, raping, looting and burning entire villages. Although they have …read more Source: Reuters Faithword...
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Targeted Islamic outreach to Hispanics achieving results

By Ken Chitwood PEARLAND, Texas (RNS) “My conversion was a shock for my family, they thought I rejected Jesus, Mary, my culture,” said Imam Isa Parada, one of the leaders of Islam In Spanish. “My dad thought I was going to be a terrorist.” The post Targeted Islamic outreach to Hispanics achieving results appeared first on Religion News Service. …read more Source: Religion news Service...
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Student reverses course on secular club, citing threats

By Kimberly Winston (RNS) A North Carolina high school student who sought to establish a school club for nonbelievers has reversed course after what she and her family have described as harassment and threats. The post Student reverses course on secular club, citing threats appeared first on Religion News Service. …read more Source: Religion news Service...
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A married man is ordained a Maronite Catholic priest

By Lilly Fowler ST. LOUIS, Mo. (RNS) The pews were packed Thursday (Feb. 27) as the first married man in the Maronite Catholic Church was ordained into the priesthood in the United States with the blessing of the pope. The post A married man is ordained a Maronite Catholic priest appeared first on Religion News Service. …read more Source: Religion news Service...
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Black clergy seek to bridge ‘green’ gap

By Adelle M. Banks (RNS) Although often reluctant to get on board, African-American churches are being encouraged to be more involved in environmental issues from conservation to advocacy. The post Black clergy seek to bridge ‘green’ gap appeared first on Religion News Service. …read more Source: Religion news Service...
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Quote of the Day: Law Professor Douglas Laycock

By Yonat Shimron “The debate has been captured by utterly intolerant people on both sides. Everybody wants religious liberty for me, and my opponent ground into the dust.” –University of Virginia law professor Douglas Laycock, quoted by The Washington Post about how the current controversy over gay rights and religious freedom in several U.S. states is “creating a The post Quote of the Day: Law Professor Douglas Laycock appeared first on Religion News Service. …read more Source: Religion news Service...
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REVIEW: Well-intentioned ‘Son of God’ doesn’t go too deep

By Claudia Puig (RNS) “Son of God,” which opens Friday (Feb. 28), takes no real chances, opting for a moderately involving re-telling of an oft-told story. The post REVIEW: Well-intentioned ‘Son of God’ doesn’t go too deep appeared first on Religion News Service. …read more Source: Religion news Service...
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Religious liberty vs. civil rights: A balancing act

By Richard Wolf (RNS) While religious liberty remains a “core value” in Arizona, Gov. Jan Brewer said Wednesday, “so is non-discrimination.” And therein lies the balancing act that’s at the root of several other disputes. The post Religious liberty vs. civil rights: A balancing act appeared first on Religion News Service. …read more Source: Religion news Service...
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Good for business * Good for love * Good luck: Friday’s roundup

By Cathy Lynn Grossman Today’s top stories and blogs are all about love, change and luck — and politics, abuse and more. The post Good for business * Good for love * Good luck: Friday’s roundup appeared first on Religion News Service. …read more Source: Religion news Service...
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Islamists demand levy in gold from Christians in Syrian city they control

By Reuters Staff (Residents search under rubble at a site hit by what activists say was a Scud missile from forces loyal to Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad in Raqqa, eastern Syria November 28, 2013. REUTERS/Nour Fourat ) An al Qaeda splinter group has demanded that Christians in a Syrian city it controls pay a levy in gold and curb displays of their faith in return for protection, according to a statement posted online on Wednesday. The Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), mainly composed of foreign fighters, is widely considered the most radical of the groups fighting President Bashar al-Assad, and is also engaged in a violent struggle with rival Islamist rebels. Its directive to Christians in the eastern city of Raqqa is the latest evidence of the group’s ambition to establish a state in Syria founded on radical Islamist principles, a prospect that concerns Western and Arab backers of other rebel groups fighting Assad. ISIL said it would ensure Christians’ safety in exchange for the levy and their adherence to restrictions on their faith, citing the Islamic legal precept of ‘dhimma’. It said Christians must not make renovations to churches or other religious buildings, display religious insignia outside of churches, ring church bells or pray …read more Source: Reuters Faithword...
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Indian ministry to discuss developing Islamic endowments for large Muslim minority

By Reuters Staff (Muslims pray at the Jama Masjid (Grand Mosque) during Eid al-Fitr, in the old quarter of Delhi August 31, 2011. REUTERS/Vijay Mathur ) India’s Ministry of Minority Affairs has enlisted a Kuala Lumpur-based body to help develop Islamic endowments, or awqaf, aiming to mobilise a large pool of assets in a country that is home to one of the biggest Muslim populations in the world. The World Islamic Economic Forum Foundation, which organises conferences and workshops on Muslim business around the world, will hold a roundtable later this year to discuss ways to improve management of India’s estimated 490,000 waqf properties. Institutions such as the Jeddah-based Islamic Development Bank, Malaysia’s Hajj Pilgrim Fund and its largest state-owned fund manager Permodalan Nasional Bhd will attend the event, the WIEFF says. Awqaf exist around the world, receiving donations from Muslims to operate social projects such as mosques, schools and welfare schemes. They have amassed huge holdings of real estate, commercial enterprises, cash, equities and other assets. But in many cases the management of these assets remains primitive; money is often tied up in property or bank deposits that earn miniscule or even zero returns, imposing economic costs on local economies. India, with an estimated 177 million Muslims, has …read more Source: Reuters Faithword...
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Religion

Indian ministry to discuss developing Islamic endowments for large Muslim minority

By Reuters Staff (Muslims pray at the Jama Masjid (Grand Mosque) during Eid al-Fitr, in the old quarter of Delhi August 31, 2011. REUTERS/Vijay Mathur ) India’s Ministry of Minority Affairs has enlisted a Kuala Lumpur-based body to help develop Islamic endowments, or awqaf, aiming to mobilise a large pool of assets in a country that is home to one of the biggest Muslim populations in the world. The World Islamic Economic Forum Foundation, which organises conferences and workshops on Muslim business around the world, will hold a roundtable later this year to discuss ways to improve management of India’s estimated 490,000 waqf properties. Institutions such as the Jeddah-based Islamic Development Bank, Malaysia’s Hajj Pilgrim Fund and its largest state-owned fund manager Permodalan Nasional Bhd will attend the event, the WIEFF says. Awqaf exist around the world, receiving donations from Muslims to operate social projects such as mosques, schools and welfare schemes. They have amassed huge holdings of real estate, commercial enterprises, cash, equities and other assets. But in many cases the management of these assets remains primitive; money is often tied up in property or bank deposits that earn miniscule or even zero returns, imposing economic costs on local economies. India, with an estimated 177 million Muslims, has …read more Source: Reuters Faithword...
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Kid gloves treatment seen softening Israeli crackdown on pro-settler vandals

By Dan Wilchins (Israeli soldiers stand near the damaged door of a mosque in the West Bank village of Orif, near Nablus November 19, 2012. REUTERS/Abed Omar Qusini ) Last March, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu launched a crackdown on crimes that elsewhere might be shrugged off as ugly but sufferable mischief – racist graffiti, slashed tires, hacked orchards and small-scale arson. Such vandalism takes on a whole different meaning when it is perpetrated by ultranationalist Jews against Palestinian property, risking renewed violence in the occupied West Bank and east Jerusalem, disrupting U.S.-mediated peace talks and further sapping Israel’s image abroad. Israeli officials, including Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon, have likened the incidents – dubbed “price tagging” in a reference to making the government “pay” for curbs on Jewish settlement of Palestinian land – to terrorism. Yet despite dozens of arrests, there have been few convictions, and the vandalism continues to occur almost weekly. Churches, peace activists and even the Israeli army have also been targets. (A monk stands next to graffiti sprayed on a wall at the entrance to the Latrun Monastery near Jerusalem September 4, 2012.REUTERS/Baz Ratner ) “In every incident, we go for the maximum possible charges, but in the end we tend to run up …read more Source: Reuters Faithword...
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