Religious Diversity News

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Judge blocks deal to bar LGBT discrimination in adoptions

Religious-based adoption agencies that contract with the state of Michigan will be allowed to refuse to place children in LGBT homes under a preliminary injunction issued by a federal judge Thursday.

District Judge Robert Jonker in Grand Rapids blocked Democratic state Attorney General Dana Nessel, Michigan’s first openly gay statewide officeholder, from barring the faith-based agencies from excluding LGBT couples from services.

Source: Judge blocks deal to bar LGBT discrimination in adoptions

For synagogues, High Holidays welcome is complicated by security needs

On a Friday night not long after 11 people were killed by a gunman at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh last October, Edmund Case was standing in the entryway of Temple Shalom in Newton, Massachusetts, having volunteered to act as an usher for that night’s services.

A man Case didn’t know, and whose look struck Case as “off,” entered the building and asked, “Could I look around?”

Internally, Case felt a zing of alarm. “Why would someone come on a Friday night and want to look around?” he thought.

The man turned out to be new to town and looking for a synagogue to join. For Case, the experience revealed how, in an age of heightened awareness of threats at synagogues, remaining warm and welcoming can be complicated.

Source: For synagogues, High Holidays welcome is complicated by security needs – Religion News Service

Trump admin could pull funding for Duke-UNC program over alleged pro-Islam bias

The Trump administration has threatened to withdraw federal funding to a joint Duke University-University of North Carolina Middle East studies program over concerns it has misused federal funding and displayed a pro-Islam bias.

The Department of Education sent a letter late last month warning the Duke-UNC Consortium for Middle East studies that it appears to be failing to meet requirements for a National Resource Center grant for foreign language and culture programs.

Source: Trump admin could pull funding for Duke-UNC program over alleged pro-Islam bias – The Christian Post

Virginia woman sues, says prayer break request cost her job

A northern Virginia woman is suing a company that she says refused to hire her after she requested two five-minute breaks to pray during her work shift.

Shahin Indorewala, 26, of Woodbridge says her job interview with Falls Church-based Fast Trak Management was going well until she asked if she could take the prayer breaks in exchange for a shorter lunch break to accommodate her practices as an observant Muslim.

Source: Virginia woman sues, says prayer break request cost her job – Religion News Service

‘Howdy, Modi!’ Rally With Trump Divides Indian Diaspora – The Atlantic

The morning twilight was still shifting to daylight as throngs of Indians and Indian Americans assembled in a giant parking lot in Sugar Land, Texas, yesterday. A line of 14 buses was waiting to charter them free of charge to Houston’s NRG Stadium, where they would soon catch sight of both Narendra Modi and Donald Trump at “Howdy, Modi!,” the Indian prime minister’s latest address to his supporters in the United States.

Source: ‘Howdy, Modi!’ Rally With Trump Divides Indian Diaspora – The Atlantic

Trump announces religious freedom initiatives during UN speech – CNNPolitics

New York (CNN)President Donald Trump announced new initiatives as part of a global call for protecting religious freedom at the United Nations General Assembly on Monday, which his aides have characterized as the centerpiece of his visit to the conference of world leaders.

Source: Trump announces religious freedom initiatives during UN speech – CNNPolitics

Growing the religious left by confessing our sins against nature to plants – Religion News Service

(RNS) — It might have been a scene out of “Little Shop of Horrors”: A group of people of all ages and races sat on the floor of a church, apologizing to a group of plants. According to a tweet by the host of the event, New York’s Union Theological Seminary, however, it was part of a spiritual experience.

Source: Growing the religious left by confessing our sins against nature to plants – Religion News Service