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World Religions

(RNS) A resolution combating the “vilification of religions” was adopted Tuesday (Nov. 23) by a United Nations committee, but religious freedom advocates who oppose the measure say support for it continues to diminish. The resolution by Islamic countries is scheduled to be considered by the U.N. General Assembly in December. The vote—76 yes, 64 no, […] Read More

JERUSALEM (RNS) The Western Wall, the holiest site in Judaism, is actually a Muslim shrine, according to an official report published Monday (Nov. 22) by the Palestinian Authority’s Ministry of Information. The document, which was written by Al-Mutawakei Tahad, a senior ministry official and respected writer, states that the Wall—long considered the sole surviving piece […] Read More

WASHINGTON (RNS) A Department of Justice inspector concluded that the FBI improperly targeted U.S. advocacy organizations for surveillance, including the Thomas Merton Center, an interfaith group focused on nonviolence. “We found that the FBI’s investigations related to the Merton Center and its statements describing the basis for that investigation raised the most troubling issues in […] Read More

NAIROBI (RNS/ENInews) Faith leaders in Kenya hope to collect 1 million signatures to petition President Mwai Kibaki to rescind a new law legalizing traditional brews that have left hundreds dead. Christian, Hindu and Muslim leaders are concerned the law will lead to increased alcohol abuse in Kenya. “We are opposed to the legalization of alcohol […] Read More

WASHINGTON (RNS) Three dozen faith leaders Tuesday (Sept. 7) issued a declaration denouncing anti-Muslim bigotry as the nation prepares to mark the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks at a time of inflamed religious tensions. Ingrid Mattson, president of the Islamic Society of North America, was joined by Christian and Jewish leaders in responding to the […] Read More

(RNS) Robert Aitken Roshi, a prolific author, social justice activist and pioneer in bringing Zen Buddhism to the West, died last Thursday (Aug. 5) at age 93. Born in Philadelphia, Aitken was introduced to Buddhism while imprisoned in a Japanese internment camp during World War II. Aitken had been working as a civilian in Guam […] Read More

NAIROBI, Kenya (RNS/ENInews) Kenyan church leaders have rejected calls for an apology after they campaigned against a new constitution that was overwhelmingly supported by voters in a referendum. There is no need to apologize. The voice of the church is the voice of prophecy and we did nothing wrong in taking a stand over this […] Read More

NEW DELHI (RNS) Tensions between Christians and Muslims in India’s Kerala state have reached the boiling point over allegations of widespread coerced conversions to Islam. Kerala’s communist Chief Minister, V.S. Achuthanandan, accused an Islamist opposition party of conspiring to turn Kerala into a Muslim-dominated state. Youngsters are being given money and are being lured to […] Read More

Washington, D.C. (BWA) — Several church leaders in the United States have written to U.S. President George W. Bush to protest the outbreak of violence against Christians in India, urging him “to hold the Indian government accountable to its own constitution, which guarantees freedom of religion and religious expression for all its citizens.” The signatories, […] Read More

Jews have lived in India since the time of the Buddha, some 2,500 years ago. While this link does nothing to explain the popularity of Buddhism among Jews (the Buddha lived in northern India, the Jews, of course, preferred to live in the south), it does make it all the more sad that the Jewish […] Read More