Religious Diversity News

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Former Lawyer Becomes First Black Female Episcopal Bishop In The South 

The Episcopal Church has ordained an African American woman to serve as a bishop in the South for the very first time. The Rev. Phoebe Roaf, 55, was officially consecrated as bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of West Tennessee on Saturday. She is the fifth black female bishop in the history of the Episcopal Church. Born in Arkansas, Roaf is a fourth-generation Episcopalian. Her brother is former New Orleans Saints player Willie Roaf. The bishop told HuffPost that growing up, she never saw anyone who looked

Source: Former Lawyer Becomes First Black Female Episcopal Bishop In The South | HuffPost

Muslims greet holy month of Ramadan fasting at first City Hall iftar dinner

For the first time in St. Louis’ history, City Hall was host to Muslims across the region breaking their fast during the holy month of Ramadan. The official recognition of the celebration meant a lot to St. Louis Muslims, said Donnel Malik Sims, a member of the Islamic Foundation of Greater St. Louis and one of about 100 people in attendance, including elected officials and representatives of more than 16 mosques in the St. Louis area. “It means we’re welcome,” Sims said. “St. Louis is a place where we ca

Source: Muslims greet holy month of Ramadan fasting at first City Hall iftar dinner | Faith & Values | stltoday.com

Zoroastrian ‘fire temple’ opens in Houston 

On a typical-looking stretch of southwest Houston — down the street from Kwik Kar Lube and Storage Choice, across from a privacy fence hiding cookie-cutter McMansions — a Zoroastrian fire temple opened last week: a brand-new, sparkling-white place where priests from one of the world’s oldest religions tend a holy flame.

Source: Zoroastrian ‘fire temple’ opens in Houston – HoustonChronicle.com

A Hopping Hotline Brings the Amish and Mennonites Together 

THE VOICE ON THE OPENING recording is so cheerful it could be a representative from the tourism board of some perpetually sunny Caribbean island.“Welcome to the Amish and Mennonite Conference Line! Use it for God’s glory!”The Line is a conference room-via-phone for speakers of Pennsylvania Dutch, a dialect of German brought to the United States by European immigrants beginning in the late 17th century and preserved today almost entirely by the Amish and Mennonites in the United States and Ontario, Canad

Source: A Hopping Hotline Brings the Amish and Mennonites Together – Atlas Obscura

Satanic Temple’s IRS Recognition Rekindles Fierce Debate Over What Is ‘Really Real’ Church

Last week, The Satanic Temple (TST) revealed that they have received recognition as a church from the IRS, complete with tax-exempt status. There were mixed reactions. LifeSiteNews, an anti-choice news site that has long opposed TST, responded immediately with an online petition demanding that the IRS reverse this “horrible decision” that “runs counter to everything America stands for.” Amber Saurus Rex of TST’s National Council wrote, “On days like today, when we learn we’ve been officially recognized as

Source: Satanic Temple’s IRS Recognition Rekindles Fierce Debate Over What Is ‘Really Real’ Church – Rewire.News – Religion Dispatches

Reaching out for Ramadan

Metro area Muslims hope to share the traditions surrounding Ramadan through a series of community events planned for the coming weeks. Ramadan, the Islamic holy month of fasting, will begin for many Muslims at sunset on Sunday and end at sunset June 3, followed by the annual end-of-Ramadan Eid ul-Fitr festival on June 4. The Council on American-Islamic Relations-Oklahoma (CAIR-OK), Islamic Society of Greater Oklahoma City and the Dialogue Institute of Oklahoma City have partnered with several community or

Source: Reaching out for Ramadan

Anti-Semitic attacks spike, killing most Jews in decades

Israeli researchers reported Wednesday that violent attacks against Jews spiked significantly last year, with the largest reported number of Jews killed in anti-Semitic acts in decades, leading to an “increasing sense of emergency” among Jewish communities worldwide.Capped by the deadly shooting that killed 11 worshippers at Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life synagogue on Oct. 27, assaults targeting Jews rose 13% in 2018, according to Tel Aviv University researchers. They recorded nearly 400 cases worldwide, with

Source: Anti-Semitic attacks spike, killing most Jews in decades

New law requires professors in Washington to accommodate religious holidays 

A new state law makes it easier for college students to take time off for religious holidays. Gov. Jay Inslee signed Senate Bill 5166 into law on Monday (April 29), making Washington the first state requiring that institutions of higher education provide academic accommodations to students who need them for religious observances. This includes rescheduling exams and permitting absences, as long as the student notifies the professor of the needed accommodation within the first two weeks of class. College p

Source: New law requires professors in Washington to accommodate religious holidays – SpokaneFāVS

In The Wake Of Recent Attacks, Boston’s Jewish And Muslim Communities Connect In Solidarity

On Massachusetts’ third annual Open Mosque Day on Sunday, 18 mosques across the commonwealth opened their doors to the larger public as members answered questions and gave their neighbors a chance to get to know their local Muslim community. After prayer and a video presentation, Kashif Syed, who represents the outreach team at the Islamic Society of Boston in Cambridge, opened the floor for questions. One woman raised her hand to ask about oppression: “How does your community deal with that?” “We put ou

Source: In The Wake Of Recent Attacks, Boston’s Jewish And Muslim Communities Connect In Solidarity

The Satanic Temple Receives Tax-Exempt Status from IRS 

The Satanic Temple is now a full-fledged religion in the eyes of the IRS. This big decision means TST can enjoy the same benefits other religious organizations do, including protection from discrimination and exemption from paying taxes. The tax-exempt status gives TST several other legal protections which other religions have, like unfettered access to all […]

Source: The Satanic Temple Receives Tax-Exempt Status from IRS – World Religion News