Religious Diversity News

Showing all news articles.

‘Muslims in my house’: A tribute to a beloved centenarian

In 2002, our 4-year-old, 50-student school was homeless. We had been renting rooms in an office building in Herndon, Virginia, and our lease was up. I had started the school with my teacher friend and fellow parent Pervin Divleli to be a place where we could be creative and innovative in our teaching while building an environment in which our students could seamlessly be both American and Muslim.

Waiting lists were long, and we were adding a grade a year with what we called an “organic” expansion plan. With renovations planned in the building, however, our preschool-through-first-grade classes had to find a new home. So just months after Sept. 11, 2001, we began an intensive search for the perfect place for our fledgling school.

Source: ‘Muslims in my house’: A tribute to a beloved centenarian – Religion News Service

‘Seeing our common humanity’: New Yorkers march against anti-Semitism

Aaron Steinberg is standing in the middle of Manhattan’s Foley Square, holding up a handmade sign that, for him, most clearly states the fundamental reason he and his family have come to stand shoulder to shoulder with around 25,000 others this Sunday morning.

“All humans were made in the image of God,” his sign’s taped-on words proclaim, a reference to the first chapter of Bereshit, or Genesis, in the first book of the Torah, which expresses both a bedrock theological principle in his faith as well as a basis for his civic ideals.

Source: ‘Seeing our common humanity’: New Yorkers march against anti-Semitism – CSMonitor.com

Latino atheists gather as a secular group, rejecting religion

Once a month, a very particular Sunday service unfolds on a patio outside a Starbucks in El Monte. When jets fly overhead, members of the congregation have to shout across the table at one another.

Some days, there’s a small crowd, and the conversation lasts for hours. On other days, Arlene Rios waits alone.

It’s not easy being an atheist raised in a devoutly Catholic culture. But here in the San Gabriel Valley, you don’t have to doubt God’s existence all alone. You can head to the monthly meetup of secular Latinos and share a latte with Rios.

Source: Latino atheists gather as a secular group, rejecting religion – Los Angeles Times

State sets aside $1m for grants to help keep houses of worship safe

After a national wave of anti-Semitic incidents in recent years, including a stabbing at a Hanukkah celebration in New York last month and the murder of 11 people at a synagogue in Pittsburgh in 2018, Governor Charlie Baker pledged Monday to protect the ability of people in Massachusetts to worship without fear.

Baker said state government leaders “have the backs of those who are here to practice their faith, to live their lives without worrying about being assaulted or, in some cases, severely injured or even maimed or killed because of those beliefs. And we’re going to stand strong and stand tall — period, end of discussion, case closed.”

Source: State sets aside $1m for grants to help keep houses of worship safe – The Boston Globe

At Gallaudet University, deaf culture and faith mix

When a student stood to read from the Bible during a Catholic service at Gallaudet University earlier this year, she conveyed the sacred words in a language the group would understand: American Sign Language. The psalm — often chanted or sung — was signed as well.

And when the priest addressed the worshippers, he signed: “The Lord be with you.”

A flurry of hands signed back: “And with your spirit.”

Source: At Gallaudet University, deaf culture and faith mix | National News | journalstar.com

When Disasters Hit California, Sikh Temples Provide Meals and Refuge

ON A CLEAR FALL MORNING earlier last year, Kashmir Shahi received an urgent call from the Salvation Army. The organization wanted to know if he would be able to provide food for over 700 people at a Santa Rosa shelter who had been displaced due to the Kincade Fire burning through California’s Sonoma County.

“They called me at 11 a.m.,” Shahi remembers. “They needed the food at 4 p.m. I live in Union City, and Santa Rosa is an hour and a half drive from there. They asked if it was possible and I said, ‘We will make it happen.’”

Source: When Disasters Hit California, Sikh Temples Provide Meals and Refuge – Gastro Obscura

As Jewish enclaves spring up around NYC, so does intolerance

For years, ultra-Orthodox Jewish families priced out of increasingly expensive Brooklyn neighborhoods have been turning to the suburbs, where they have taken advantage of open space and cheaper housing to establish modern-day versions of the European shtetls where their ancestors lived for centuries before the Holocaust.

The expansion of Hasidic communities in New York’s Hudson Valley, the Catskills and northern New Jersey been accompanied by flare-ups of rhetoric aimed at new development that some say is cloaked anti-Semitism.

Now, a pair of violent attacks on such communities, just weeks apart, worry many that intolerance is boiling over.

Source: As Jewish enclaves spring up around NYC, so does intolerance – The Washington Post

Rose Parade 2020: Sikhs roll out a float to sow seeds of hope, generosity and harmony

Miles Lhotka has performed in at least four musicals and knows how to capture attention with dramatic movements. But this was the 12-year old’s first time on a float at the Rose Parade, and it was a much different beast.

To begin with, Lhotka had to sit for over two hours on a slowly moving object, waving at people more interested in the design of the float than the people atop it. To get their attention, he needed to wave. But “you can’t just move your wrist. You have to move your entire arm,” the La Cañada resident said. “Waving normally is not going to cut it.”

Source: Rose Parade 2020: Sikhs roll out a float to sow seeds of hope, generosity and harmony – Los Angeles Times

Sheridan VA employs sweat ceremonies in holistic health program

From the sacred circle on the outskirts of the Sheridan VA campus, the historic brick buildings that were once known as Fort Mackenzie are obscured by trees covered in blooms of hoar frost.

A light snow materializes and mingles with floating specks of ash.

The ash comes from a large fire banked against cinder blocks and covered in a layer of igneous rocks. Five-gallon buckets of water sit nearby, some with bundles of grass soaking inside. Others line the edge of a small domed structure covered in blankets: the sweat lodge.

Source: Sheridan VA employs sweat ceremonies in holistic health program | News | laramieboomerang.com

Thousands receive good luck Shinto blessing for new year 

About 5,000 people headed to a Nuuanu Shinto shrine on New Year’s Day for a popular cultural tradition. They had a priest gives them blessings for the new year, and they could also buy good luck charms to keep that luck going through the year.

Organizers say the crowd was bigger than usual at the Daijingu Temple of Hawaii. Our Diane Ako volunteers there as a priestess or “miko” and spent part of the morning blessing visitors. It’s an ancient Japanese tradition that is based in the Shinto religion but welcomes all faiths.

Source: Thousands receive good luck Shinto blessing for new year – Honolulu, Hawaii news, sports & weather – KITV Channel 4