Religious Diversity News

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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

‘Hail Satan?’ Examines the Rise of The Satanic Temple 

A recent movement in the United States has begun championing Satan and all that he stands for. Satanic iconography and imagery have for long been associated with the dark arts. Conservative Christians and evangelical organizations use Satan as a tool to channel believers onto the path of righteousness. But a recent movement in the United […]

Source: ‘Hail Satan?’ Examines the Rise of The Satanic Temple – World Religion News

 North American Indigenous chafe at restrictions along U.S.-Canada border

As plans for a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border are raising fears that the ancestral lands of Native Americans in the south will be divided, indigenous people in the north are calling attention to their own border problems.The United States and Canada share the largest undefended border in the world, but free passage across it for indigenous tribes is easier in one direction than the other, tribal leaders and immigration lawyers said at the Arctic Encounter Symposium this week.A tribal member born in Canada can come to the United States to work or live without the paperwork usually required by immigration law thanks to a 200-year-old treaty.Canada, not a party to the treaty, has different rules.“We should be allowed to travel freely within our own territory and create economic opportunity for our people in what has always been our homeland,” Ed Alexander, a Gwitchin tribal member in Fairbanks, Alaska, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.The Gwitchin, an indigenous tribe that populates both sides of the U.S.-Canada border along the Yukon River, need teachers on the Canadian side but members of the tribe born in the United States, like Alexander, cannot easily make the move.Alexander, himself a teacher and co-chair of the Gwitchin International Council, said that Canada’s refusal to recognize the treaty has created obstacles for the Gwitchin in Alaska.They cannot follow caribou herds across the border for subsistence hunting, he said, and U.S. resident Gwitchin without passports or with criminal records for infractions like drunk driving cannot enter Canada.They also can not visit Tl’oo Kat, a sacred place for the Gwitchin for generations where the Niintsyaa ceremonial gathering for political decision making and traditional dance takes place.Immigration lawyer Greg Boos pointed to a case wending its way through Canada’s legal system as particularly egregious.In it, a U.S. citizen member of the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Nation crossed into British Columbia to hunt elk and was charged with a hunting violation.Prosecuting a case against someone whose ancestors have hunted in the same geographic area for thousands of years is the unwelcome byproduct of border enforcement, said former Yukon Premier Tony Pickett.“The border has created a kind of fiction in the sense they drew a line across these traditional territories,” he said.Over 750,000 Native Americans live in U.S. states that border Canada, according to census figures.Indigenous Canadians make up about 5 percent of Canada’s 36 million people.A 2017 report by the Canadian government recommended ratifying the treaty to adhere to the free movement across borders enshrined in the U.N. Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People, but it has not done so.The Canadian government did not respond to requests for comment.

Source: NetNewsLedger – North American Indigenous chafe at restrictions along U.S.-Canada border

For millennials, mysticism shows a path to their home faiths 

Anthony Graffagnino describes himself spiritually as both frustrated and curious. A Pentecostal turned Unitarian, the 28-year-old Graffagnino said he’s had his fill with “stale and dead expressions of faith that I saw really doing nothing to better the people around me or the world around me.” Discovering the Christian mystical tradition through the work of Franciscan friar Richard Rohr helped change that. “Father Richard’s work allowed an entryway into Christianity when I didn’t think there was any,” sa

Source: For millennials, mysticism shows a path to their home faiths – Religion News Service

In D.C., a call for restaurants to give fasting Muslims an alternative to IHOP in Ramadan

When it comes time for Muslims to break their Ramadan fast at sundown during Islam’s holy month, they traditionally start with a few dried dates. For their last full meal before a full day of fasting, many American Muslim families down a plate of pancakes at IHOP. It’s not because Muslims like pancakes more than other Americans. It’s because the 24-hour pancake house chain is often the only local restaurant open at suhoor, the meal eaten just before the ritual fast begins at daybreak. A new initiative cal

Source: In D.C., a call for restaurants to give fasting Muslims an alternative to IHOP in Ramadan – Religion News Service