Religious Diversity News

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How Hind Makki is changing the conversation around women’s inclusion in mosques 

When Hind Makki leads workshops on inclusive mosques, she asks attendees what they do when they’re praying at the mosque and something goes wrong. What happens, for example, when the imam’s mic inevitably suddenly stops working? For men, the answer is usually simple. The imam speaks a bit louder, and those who still can’t hear the imam take their cues on when to stand, bend and bow from the row in front of them. “But for the women, they’re like, ‘It’s pandemonium,’” said Makki, a Chicago-based interfaith

Source: How Hind Makki is changing the conversation around women’s inclusion in mosques – Religion News Service

An interfaith clergy panel models civil discourse in public conversations about tough topics 

The Rev. Darrick McGhee was seething. He and four other clergy were gathered at one of their regular public meetings to talk about tough issues, and that day they were trying to make sense of the latest shooting of a young black man.As the hour dragged on, McGhee silently rocked back and forth on his stool. His fellow panel members talked about gun control, the right to bear arms — anything but race, the real issue at hand, he thought.When he could no longer remain silent, McGhee, the only black member

Source: An interfaith clergy panel models civil discourse in public conversations about tough topics | Faith and Leadership

Texas Bans Chaplains From Execution Chamber Following Supreme Court Decision 

Texas has decided to bar all prison chaplains from its execution chamber after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled the state violated an inmate’s rights by denying his request for a Buddhist chaplain to be by his side at the time of his scheduled death. “In response to a recent ruling from the Supreme Court of the United States, the Texas Department of Criminal Justice has made a change to its execution protocol to only allow TDCJ security personnel in the execution chamber,” Jeremy Desel, a department spokesman,

Source: Texas Bans Chaplains From Execution Chamber Following Supreme Court Decision | HuffPost

Pope Makes History By Tapping First African American Bishop To Lead Washington, D.C. 

Pope Francis named the first African-American to the Catholic Church’s most senior U.S. position on Thursday, seeking to end a period of upheaval in a job whose previous two occupants were caught in sexual abuse scandals. Former Atlanta archbishop Wilton Gregory, 71, was made new head of the Church in the U.S. capital Washington, D.C., and is also likely to become a cardinal eligible to vote in a conclave to elect the next pope after Francis. He would be the first African-American to hold the rank of card

Source: Pope Makes History By Tapping First African American Bishop To Lead Washington, D.C. | HuffPost

West African religions like Ifa and Vodou are on the rise in Maryland, as practitioners connect with roots 

hey gathered in a clearing by a stream in Baltimore County one chilly early-spring day, some in the colorful African head ties known as geles, others wearing bracelets trimmed in shells or carved in wood.One by one, they stepped forward to toss offerings into the Gwynns Falls – a pineapple, four oranges, a bouquet of tulips.And when the lead priestess of these African-American women dropped a handful of shells to the ground and scrutinized their pattern, a message came through: Their celebration of the

Source: West African religions like Ifa and Vodou are on the rise in Maryland, as practitioners connect with roots – Baltimore Sun

Supreme Court Stays Execution of Buddhist Inmate 

The Supreme Court on Thursday stayed the execution of a Buddhist inmate in Texas whose request that his spiritual adviser be present in the execution chamber had been denied. In a brief, unsigned order, the court said that Texas may not execute the inmate, Patrick H. Murphy, “unless the state permits Murphy’s Buddhist spiritual adviser or another Buddhist reverend of the state’s choosing to accompany Murphy in the execution chamber during the execution.” Justices Clarence Thomas and Neil M. Gorsuch said t

Source: Supreme Court Stays Execution of Buddhist Inmate – The New York Times

How new role models are inspiring young Muslim women to reimagine their lives 

When 23-year-old Rabia Khan was a student at Princeton University, she felt safe within the confines of its ivy-covered walls. That changed when she graduated. “I am hyperaware of whether someone will attack me or say racist things to me because I am hijabi,” Khan said. She is right to be concerned. A 2017 survey found that more than half of Muslim women living in the U.S. say they had experienced at least one incident of anti-Muslim discrimination in the last year. Women like Khan are watching closely as

Source: How new role models are inspiring young Muslim women to reimagine their lives – Religion News Service

How not to pray in a statehouse 

A small viral tempest blew up this past week after a Pennsylvania state representative opened the legislative session with a prayer that was, shall we say, far from the usual exercise in spiritual inclusion. First-term Rep. Stephanie Borowicz (R- Centre/Clinton) invoked Jesus’ name 13 times in a way that seemed designed to send a message to Movita Johnson-Harrell, who after a special election in Philadelphia was about to be sworn in as the first Muslim woman to serve in the Pennsylvania legislature. Johnso

Source: How not to pray in a statehouse – Religion News Service

Building Bridges at Passover

A new initiative called 2 for Seder has a catchy slogan: “Pushing back on anti-Semitism with love and matzah.” The premise: Invite two people who’ve never been to a Seder—non-Jews in particular—to come to yours, “with the intent of building bridges and creating understanding about our Jewish values,” in the words of its creator, Marnie Fienberg. Our texts and tradition are passionate about welcoming the stranger. “You shall love the stranger as yourself, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt,” Leviti

Source: Building Bridges at Passover – Tablet Magazine