Archives for Religion - Page 182

Religion

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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Religion

Generations on, Christians fleeing Syria return to Turkish homeland they once fled

By Ayla Jean Yackley (Syriac Christians from Turkey and Syria attend a mass at the Mort Shmuni Syriac Orthodox Church in the town of Midyat, in Mardin province of southeast Turkey February 2, 2014. REUTERS/Umit Bektas) When Louis Bandak fled the violence in Syria, he sought refuge in the country his grandfather was forced to abandon exactly 90 years ago this week. Bandak, his wife and two daughters are part of a small but growing trickle of Christians arriving in Turkey after three years of civil war in Syria killed more than 140,000 people. “Although I had never been here before, it does not feel strange. This too is my homeland,” says Bandak, sitting in warm winter sun outside the 5th Century Mor Abrohom Monastery in Midyat, 30 miles north of the border. While most Christian refugees are in Lebanon or Jordan, countries with which they share linguistic or cultural ties, several thousand have come to Turkey. For many it is a reversal of their ancestors’ flight around a century ago, when World War One and the subsequent building of the post-Ottoman Turkish state made Turkey a hostile land for millions of Christians. The sectarian strife that has rent apart Syria’s delicate multi-ethnic fabric has spawned a severe humanitarian …read more Source: Reuters Faithword...
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Religion

Generations on, Christians fleeing Syria return to Turkish homeland they once fled

By Ayla Jean Yackley (Syriac Christians from Turkey and Syria attend a mass at the Mort Shmuni Syriac Orthodox Church in the town of Midyat, in Mardin province of southeast Turkey February 2, 2014. REUTERS/Umit Bektas) When Louis Bandak fled the violence in Syria, he sought refuge in the country his grandfather was forced to abandon exactly 90 years ago this week. Bandak, his wife and two daughters are part of a small but growing trickle of Christians arriving in Turkey after three years of civil war in Syria killed more than 140,000 people. “Although I had never been here before, it does not feel strange. This too is my homeland,” says Bandak, sitting in warm winter sun outside the 5th Century Mor Abrohom Monastery in Midyat, 30 miles north of the border. While most Christian refugees are in Lebanon or Jordan, countries with which they share linguistic or cultural ties, several thousand have come to Turkey. For many it is a reversal of their ancestors’ flight around a century ago, when World War One and the subsequent building of the post-Ottoman Turkish state made Turkey a hostile land for millions of Christians. The sectarian strife that has rent apart Syria’s delicate multi-ethnic fabric has spawned a severe humanitarian …read more Source: Reuters Faithword...
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Religion

Pakistani Taliban see no peace unless Islamabad government enforces sharia law

By Reuters Staff (The Pakistani Taliban negotiating team at peace talks with the government that soon broke down, at a news conference in Islamabad February 4, 2014. REUTERS/Mian Khursheed ) The Pakistani Taliban has told the Islamabad government there was no chance of peace in the country unless Pakistan changed its political and legal system and officially embraced Islamic law. The government of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif wants to find a negotiated settlement to years of fighting with the militants but talks broke down this month after a string of attacks. In a rare face-to-face meeting with journalists last week in an undisclosed location in Waziristan, a lawless region on the Afghan border, main Taliban spokesman Shahidullah Shahid said there was still hope negotiations might resume. “Despite recent bombings in North Waziristan and killing of our 74 men by the security forces during the peace talks, we are still serious about the talks,” he said, wearing an AK-47 bandolier across his chest. “If talks are to be held it would be only under sharia (Islamic law). We have made this clear to the government committee. We are fighting for the enforcement of sharia and we are holding talks for the same purpose.” Read the full story by …read more Source: Reuters Faithword...
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Religion

Pakistani Taliban see no peace unless Islamabad government enforces sharia law

By Reuters Staff (The Pakistani Taliban negotiating team at peace talks with the government that soon broke down, at a news conference in Islamabad February 4, 2014. REUTERS/Mian Khursheed ) The Pakistani Taliban has told the Islamabad government there was no chance of peace in the country unless Pakistan changed its political and legal system and officially embraced Islamic law. The government of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif wants to find a negotiated settlement to years of fighting with the militants but talks broke down this month after a string of attacks. In a rare face-to-face meeting with journalists last week in an undisclosed location in Waziristan, a lawless region on the Afghan border, main Taliban spokesman Shahidullah Shahid said there was still hope negotiations might resume. “Despite recent bombings in North Waziristan and killing of our 74 men by the security forces during the peace talks, we are still serious about the talks,” he said, wearing an AK-47 bandolier across his chest. “If talks are to be held it would be only under sharia (Islamic law). We have made this clear to the government committee. We are fighting for the enforcement of sharia and we are holding talks for the same purpose.” Read the full story by …read more Source: Reuters Faithword...
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Conservative leader Bill Gothard on leave following abuse allegations

By Sarah Pulliam Bailey (RNS) Bill Gothard’s Institute in Basic Life Principles was once a popular gathering spot for thousands of Christian families, including the Duggar family from TLC’s “19 Kids and Counting.” The post Conservative leader Bill Gothard on leave following abuse allegations appeared first on Religion News Service. …read more Source: Religion news Service...
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Judge rejects California city’s religious war memorial

By Kimberly Winston (RNS) On Thursday (Feb. 27), a U.S. district judge ruled that a granite monument depicting a soldier kneeling in prayer before a cross lacked “a secular purpose” and has “the unconstitutional effect” of endorsing religion over nonreligion. The post Judge rejects California city’s religious war memorial appeared first on Religion News Service. …read more Source: Religion news Service...
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New documentary recounts story of heroic Muslim spy

By Omar Sacirbey (RNS) The filmmakers knew they wanted to tell a story about a Muslim who did something heroic during World War II, because so few stories are known. Noor Inayat Khan’s story was the most alluring because of her deep spirituality. The post New documentary recounts story of heroic Muslim spy appeared first on Religion News Service. …read more Source: Religion news Service...
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Pope Francis: The church needs better bishops; go find them

By David Gibson (RNS) The pope has blasted hierarchical “careerism” as “a form of cancer” and derided bishops who strut about in church finery as “peacocks.” The post Pope Francis: The church needs better bishops; go find them appeared first on Religion News Service. …read more Source: Religion news Service...
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Imprisoned in England, Islamists vow to continue their fight

By Trevor Grundy CANTERBURY, England (RNS) Two-thirds of imprisoned Islamists in England have told police and prison authorities that they will never change their violent ways. The post Imprisoned in England, Islamists vow to continue their fight appeared first on Religion News Service. …read more Source: Religion news Service...
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Up ahead? Massive social change, experts say

By Sharon Jayson (RNS) Experts say societal changes will accelerate on issues such as same-sex marriage, interracial marriage, legalization of marijuana and childbearing among the unwed. One reason? Younger people are more liberal and less conventional. The post Up ahead? Massive social change, experts say appeared first on Religion News Service. …read more Source: Religion news Service...
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Religion

Afghan refugees – Seeking sanctuary

By Francois Lenoir It was a cold, wet morning when I passed through the doors of the Church of Saint John the Baptist at the Beguinage, a grand 17th century building in the center of Brussels. Inside, children were playing and shouting in the large, dark hall, which was lined with rows and rows of tents. I had not just entered a church – I was inside people’s homes. The building had become a very private space. Saint John the Baptist’s is occupied by a group of Afghan migrants, who have been living there for more than three months. Their first asylum request was refused by the authorities and they were told to leave Belgium, but some ended up travelling around the county aimlessly and were left squatting in unoccupied buildings. That was before Daniel Alliet, the priest at Saint John the Baptist’s, opened its doors to them. When I went to visit the church at the beginning of the year, more than 200 migrants were living there, although that number has since dropped as many have found shelter in asylum centers. <img title="Sikh …read more Source: Reuters Faithword...
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Religion

Afghan refugees – Seeking sanctuary

By Francois Lenoir It was a cold, wet morning when I passed through the doors of the Church of Saint John the Baptist at the Beguinage, a grand 17th century building in the center of Brussels. Inside, children were playing and shouting in the large, dark hall, which was lined with rows and rows of tents. I had not just entered a church – I was inside people’s homes. The building had become a very private space. Saint John the Baptist’s is occupied by a group of Afghan migrants, who have been living there for more than three months. Their first asylum request was refused by the authorities and they were told to leave Belgium, but some ended up travelling around the county aimlessly and were left squatting in unoccupied buildings. That was before Daniel Alliet, the priest at Saint John the Baptist’s, opened its doors to them. When I went to visit the church at the beginning of the year, more than 200 migrants were living there, although that number has since dropped as many have found shelter in asylum centers. <img title="Sikh …read more Source: Reuters Faithword...
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