Religion

Israeli Ambassador’s ‘Bible Speech’ at U.N. goes rival

A video of Ambassador Danny Danon holding the Bible and asserting the Jewish people’s right to Israel has been translated into multiple languages including Turkish. JPost Israeli Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon’s speech several weeks ago has taken on a new life on social media and YouTube as translations into different languages have propelled the “biblical speech” well beyond the walls of the United Nations building. Wearing a kippah and reading from the Bible, Danon defended Israel’s right to ... Read More »

Christians seek refuge after deadly Burkina attacks

KAYA, Burkina Faso (Reuters) – Concerned about a rise in violence against Christians in Burkina Faso, Pastor Jacques Ouedraogo changed the time of his Sunday service as a precaution. He believes this is what saved his life. Thiam Ndiaga Reuters Later, his church was one of two targeted by gunmen on May 12 in the town of Dablo in a series of deadly attacks on churches and a religious procession in the last two weeks in Burkina’s formerly peaceful Central ... Read More »

Ramadan: how a new generation of British Muslims are becoming more green

Muslims worldwide are about to enter the second half of Ramadan, a month widely known to the public as one for fasting. William Barylo The Conversation However, growing concerns around the environmental crisis and social struggles across the globe have lead Muslims to consider its deeper meaning. For an increasing number of Muslims, Ramadan is interpreted as a time when they distance themselves from material needs, reconnect with nature and spirituality, acknowledge the suffering on the planet and challenge destructive ... Read More »

Austrian parliament adopts controversial headscarf ban in elementary schools

Austrian lawmakers have approved controversial plans to ban girls in elementary schools from wearing headscarves, a move that would add to existing restrictions on veils. Daily Sabah Compliled From Wire Services The Austria Press Agency reported that lawmakers from the governing coalition of Chancellor Sebastian Kurz’s conservative People’s Party (ÖVP) and the anti-migration Freedom Party (FPÖ) supported the… Kurz’s party conceded that the new headscarf ban is likely to face challenges at Austria’s Constitutional Court, either on grounds of religious ... Read More »

Why are so few hate crimes prosecuted in Australia?

Imam Wadood Janud was just wrapping-up a vigil for the victims of the Christchurch shootings — a day after the massacre — when a ute smashed into the gate of his mosque in South Brisbane. Background Briefing By Hagar Cohen, Meryem Aydogan and Scott Mitchell, ABC “He shouted profanity and abuse,” Imam Janud told Background Briefing. “Then he rammed his ute twice at the gate.” Children, who had gathered on the lawn outside the Baitul Masroor Mosque, ran in every ... Read More »

Synagogue gunman ‘inspired by NZ attacks’

The young man accused of carrying out a deadly shooting at a Southern California synagogue is said to have been inspired by the Australian who allegedly committed the Christchurch mosque attacks. Australian Associated Press The Canberra Times The gunman walked into the suburban San Diego synagogue late on Saturday morning, the last day of the week-long Jewish holiday of Passover, and opened fire with an assault-style rifle, killing… He gave himself up to police shortly after the shooting, authorities say. ... Read More »

‘No Future for Jews in Germany’, says German Jewish Teenager

German Jews explain why they are relocating to Israel. Benjamin Weinthal JPost The large German broadsheet newspaper Die Welt titled online on Saturday: “Why young Jews are leaving Germany.” According to the Die Welt (The World) article, 50 young German Jews left Germany in 2018 to enroll in the Israeli government-sponsored Naale program. Young Diaspora Jews can apply to be accepted into a… The 15-year-old Golda Maertens, who has been accepted to Naale, told Welt reporter Philip Kuhn “I also think that there is ... Read More »

‘Love in the face of bigotry’: woman takes smiling stand against Islamophobic protesters

Shaymaa Ismaa’eel says she wanted demonstrators in Washington to see ‘how happy I was to be me’ Kari Paul The Guardian While attending an Islamic conference in Washington DC on Sunday, Shaymaa Ismaa’eel, a 24-year-old Muslim woman, passed by a group of angry protesters holding signs against Islam and shouting that she and her friends were going to hell. In response, she crouched in front of them and flashed a… The resulting photo, posted on Instagram, has prompted an outpouring of support ... Read More »

Turkey’s Killing Fields

“The Thirty-Year Genocide” Turkey’s Destruction of Its Christian Minorities, 1894-1924 By Benny Morris and Dror Ze’evi By Bruce Clark The New York Times Using the word “genocide” to describe an episode of mass killing has consequences. If the horrors are unfolding now, it invites other countries to intervene and punish the perpetrators. If the unspeakable events are in the past, the word’s use can affect the way they are discussed, by historians or ordinary people. Once the term “genocide” has ... Read More »

Sri Lanka’s Easter Bombings: Peaceful Coexistence Under Attack

The lethal Easter bombings in Sri Lanka have stunned a country still recovering from decades of internal war. Alan Keenan ICG Political and religious leaders alike should reject the rhetoric of collective blame and reaffirm the island’s strained but living tradition of intercommunal amity. Sri Lankans from all ethnic and religious groups – Sinhalese and Tamil, Muslim, Buddhist, Christian and Hindu – lived through terrible violence during the decades of war and terrorism that ended ten years ago. Still, no ... Read More »

‘There was utter chaos’: Sri Lanka left reeling after wave of bombings

Nearly 300 dead and hundreds more wounded as churches and luxury hotels targeted in series of attacks Jason Burke – The Guardian Sri Lanka bombings: stay up to date on our live blog At a glance: what we know so far Set back from a strip of golden sand and the shimmering sea, beyond the groves of palm trees heavy with coconuts, the… Then on Sunday morning, St Sebastian’s became a place of chaos, pain and death. At about 8.45am, ... Read More »

Polish Judas ritual ‘anti-Semitic’ – Jewish congress

The World Jewish Congress (WJC) has voiced outrage over a Polish town’s ritual beating of a Judas effigy which looks like a caricature Orthodox Jew. BBC The Good Friday ritual in Pruchnik, south-eastern Poland, was filmed and posted by a Polish news website. “Jews are deeply disturbed by this ghastly revival of medieval anti-Semitism that led to unimaginable violence and suffering,” the WJC said. More than three million Polish Jews were murdered during World War Two. In total, Nazi Germany murdered about… ... Read More »

God, Guns, and Country: The Evangelical Fight Over Firearms

On the afternoon of Good Friday in April, 2010, Shane Claiborne, a thirty-five-year-old evangelical activist sporting dreadlocks and homemade pants, followed a group of teen-agers carrying an… Eliza Griswold The New Yorker They marched to a gun store in Kensington called the Shooter Shop, which was notorious for allowing straw buyers to purchase guns illegally. Philadelphia has been hit hard by the heroin epidemic and its associated gun violence. In 2010, some two hundred and fifty people were killed with ... Read More »

Passion play: the often fraught history of the theatre and Christianity

During Holy Week – the run-up to Easter – theatrical versions of religious narratives abound. Authors: The Conversation Across the world, countless church groups present Easter plays, people join processions and stage tableaux – and since 2010, and come rain or shine, a troupe called the Wintershall Players have enacted the… Led by professional actor James Burke-Dunsmore, this otherwise amateur company performs in a marked-off area with the audience on all four sides, while the action is relayed in close-up ... Read More »

New study finds family violence is often poorly understood in faith communities

We learned this month that Prime Minister Scott Morrison has pledged A$10 million in the federal budget for couples counselling and mediation for families impacted by domestic violence. Authors: The Conversation But the proposed policy runs counter to expert advice and evidence, which indicates that encouraging women to stay in relationships with an abuser exposes them to higher risk of harm. The announcement was swiftly condemned by family and domestic violence (FDV) advocates. Commentators have noted that an emphasis on ... Read More »

Mythbusting with the Grand Mufti: Australia’s Muslim leader answers your questions

You asked, he answered. The Grand Mufti of Australia and New Zealand Ibrahim Abu Mohamed answers some of the most commonly asked questions about Islam, including views on homosexuality and Jihad. Fares Hassan SBS Reporter Fares Hassan sat down with the Grand Mufti to address what he calls “misconceptions” associated with the religion of Islam. The questions were some of the most commonly asked by commenters on the… Q: You are the Mufti of Australia, why don’t you speak English? ... Read More »