Religious Diversity News

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Midway ISD offers to settle religious rights suit stating Cherokee student forced to remove eagle feather graduation cap

The Midway Independent School District has offered to settle a lawsuit alleging it violated the religious rights of a student who is a citizen of the Cherokee Nation.

During last year’s commencement ceremony, an assistant principal required the student to remove a graduation cap bedecked with traditional Cherokee beads and a sacred eagle feather, according to the lawsuit, which remains pending in 414th District Court.

Source: Midway ISD offers to settle religious rights suit stating Cherokee student forced to remove eagle feather graduation cap | Education | wacotrib.com

Resolutions introduced in US Congress to recognize Sikhs’ contributions in America

Marking 550th birth anniversary of Sikhism founder Guru Nanak, resolutions have been introduced in the US Congress to recognize the contributions and sacrifices made by Sikhs in the United States and the discrimination they have faced in the country and around the world.

One of the resolution introduced by Senators Todd Young and Ben Cardin on Thursday recognizes the historical, cultural, and religious significance of the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak on November 12.

Source: Resolutions introduced in US Congress to recognize Sikhs’ contributions in America – Times of India

Can an app teach Buddhist tenets? 

In August of 2019, scholars of Buddhism who specialize in social media research searched on Apple’s App Store and Google Play and found over 500 apps associated with Buddhism. The majority of the apps centered on the practice of mindfulness.

Source: Can an app teach Buddhist tenets? | Faith and Values | herald-review.com

Mike Pompeo’s State Department approves Christian faith group for employees

All year, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has made news for efforts that critics worry are crossing church-state separation lines. In July, he launched a Commission on Unalienable Rights, created by religious conservatives who have bemoaned growing LGBTQ equality. Then in October, a private Pompeo speech, “Being a Christian Leader,” was advertised across the top of the State Department homepage.

Less noticed was the creation of the State Department’s first-ever faith-based affinity group.

Source: Mike Pompeo’s State Department approves Christian faith group for employees – The Washington Post

Lawsuit: Muslim boy questioned at Ohio school about religion

The parents of a 10-year-old Muslim boy who said he was questioned by an Ohio student teacher about his patriotism and religious beliefs and was told to undress to determine if he had been physically abused at home have filed a federal lawsuit claiming the boy’s civil rights were violated last November.

The lawsuit filed last week names the Lakeview Local School District, a teacher, the student teacher and a school nurse as defendants. The district is based in Cortland, roughly 65 miles (105 kilometers) southeast of Cleveland.

Source: Lawsuit: Muslim boy questioned at Ohio school about religion | Religion | phillytrib.com

Cuban Fusion Pioneers Sintesís On Queen, Santería And Prog Rock

Just when you think you know a lot about Cuban music, along comes a pair of musicians who tell me one that of the major influences on their pioneering jazz/rock/santeria band was Queen.

Yes, that Queen.

In 1976, Carlos Alsonso and his wife Ele Valdés started Síntesis as a prog- and jazz-rock outfit in Havana, Cuba. After participating in a festival that featured santería — the Yoruba spiritual tradition that developed in Cuba among West African descendants — they were enthralled and determined to incorporate this sacred music into their own.

Source: Cuban Fusion Pioneers Sintesís On Queen, Santería And Prog Rock : Alt.Latino : NPR

As witchcraft mainstreams, it’s Halloween every day

Nearly 25 years ago this October, I attended my first full moon ritual. There, surrounded by people eager to harness the power of the celestial body, a Wiccan high priestess told me that a witch’s day begins at dusk. I understood her point — the night promises mystery — but I couldn’t relate to it.

After all, my maternal grandmother’s kitchen in the Bronx bubbled with magic at nearly every hour. While the stovetop brewed hearty pots of tomato sauce, minestrone and pig’s feet, the counter held only a small bowl filled with water. To the untrained eye it was nothing special; in fact, the bowl looked like any other culinary accessory.

Source: As witchcraft mainstreams, it’s Halloween every day – The Washington Post

Chattanooga area Baha’is celebrate 200th anniversary of Báb, remember people who founded faith

Seated in the wooden pews of their Hixson building, dozens of Chattanooga’s faithful in the Baha’i community joined with millions of believers around the world celebrating the 200th anniversary of the Birth of the Báb this week.

The Tuesday evening service recognizing one of the faith’s central figures included music, time for reflection and performances by members of the community telling the stories of some of the faith’s first followers.

Source: Chattanooga area Baha’is celebrate 200th anniversary of Báb, remember people who founded faith | Chattanooga Times Free Press

New England art exhibition shows another side of American Muslims

Next week, the Massachusetts State House in Boston will house a collection of artwork by 24 Muslim artists from the Midwest to Massachusetts.

The artwork is part of the annual art series “More Than My Religion,” now in its fifth year, a project organized by New England Muslim artists to reflect American Muslims’ multifaceted identities beyond their religious practice.

“We’re focusing on American Muslims because their narrative has been the most hijacked,” said organizer Irum Haque, a pastel artist in Westford, Massachusetts. “We want to reclaim who we are and tell our own real stories. And every art piece that hangs in the exhibition is the story of a human life as American Muslim citizens.”

Source: New England art exhibition shows another side of American Muslims – Religion News Service

Thousands celebrate Diwali in Edison’s new temple

Step into Edison’s BAPS Shri Swaminarayan temple on Sunday, and the first thing you notice is the thousands of people gathering for a Diwali celebration.

The second thing you notice is the colors.

Hundreds of blue and yellow sweets — an offering to god — are stacked high on red risers. Pink and orange sand creates swirling patterns on the floor. Women in purple, green and gold saris serve food to visitors.

Source: Thousands celebrate Diwali in Edison’s new temple – nj.com

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