Religious Diversity News

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Yoga, veg food at UK”s second Hindu-run school – MSN India

Yoga, veg food at UK”s second Hindu-run schoolMSN IndiaKrishna Avanti Primary School, to open in September in the east Midlands town of Leicester, which has a large population of Indian-origin people, is the second such British institution after the first state-funded Hindu school opened in the London …

Yogathon: Stretching Bodies, Stretching Minds Across America

Author: Dipka Bhambhani

Source: The Washington Post

One small yoga stretch in Washington became one large Yogathon across America.

While society seems largely secular these days, there is a sign that religion and even interfaith activity is making a comeback–the yoga mat.

Only the people that schlep their rolled up rubber mats to gyms and studios all over town may not know their downward dog or cobra poses are subtle movements toward the divine.

That’s why Anju Bhargava, the White House Faith Based and Neighborhood Partnerships Council’s first Hindu member, launched the country’s first Yogathon on Sunday.

Yogi Divine Society Buys Healing Waters Cathedral

Source: The Columbus Dispatch

On February 7, 2003 The Columbus Dispatch reported that “a Hindu temple yesterday closed its deal to buy evangelist Leroy Jenkins’
Healing Waters Cathedral for $1.3 million… The purchase will give the Yogi Divine Society, based in New Jersey, room for
up to 800 followers in central Ohio and adjacent states… The deal includes 9 acres on S. Sandusky Street on Delaware’s south side that
has been owned by the Leroy Jenkins Evangelical Association for 33 years, said
Gloria Rose, a real-estate agent with the Gilbert Group, a Columbus agency that
handled the sale. The tract includes the main auditorium used by Jenkins’
ministry, as well as his private residence and a small cottage.”

Yogic Curriculum Draws Criticism

Source: The New York Times

On February 8, 2003 The New York Times reported that “last fall, officials with Aspen Elementary School, a public school with
about 500 students in kindergarten through fourth grade, and the Aspen Country
Day School, a private school with about 180 students in kindergarten through
ninth grade, invited yoga instructors to conduct classes as part of a pilot
program… But some
parents and religious leaders here are objecting, saying that teaching yoga in
school violates the separation of church and state… Opposition was initially directed at the curriculum — prepared by two yoga
practitioners from Los Angeles, where the curriculum is also used in some
schools — which has since been altered to eliminate any language that might be
construed as religious. A lawyer for the public school advised that the revised
curriculum did not violate the Constitution.”

Yokota Airmen Shoulder Shrine Through Streets

Author: Bryce S. Dubee

Source: Stars and Stripes

YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan — Shuffling slowly through crowded Fussa streets in 90-degree heat while shouldering a several-hundred-pound shrine on your shoulders may not seem like much fun. But for a group of Yokota servicemembers, it was the chance of a lifetime.

“I have no idea how long we’ve been going, but I’m having a blast,” said Senior Master Sgt. Kevin Swenson, one of 32 Yokota airmen who participated in the 57th annual tanabata festival in nearby Fussa.

The festival honors the one day a year that two lovers from an ancient folk story can meet when the stars align.

Tanabata festivals are held throughout Japan, with towns decorating their streets in colorful streamers and hosting parades and fireworks shows.

During this year’s festival in Fussa, which continues through Sunday, the airmen carried one of five mikoshi — portable, yet extremely heavy, Shinto shrines — through the streets at a snail-like pace while being cheered on by the large crowd of onlookers lining the sidewalks.

York Buddhist Centre Delight At Holiday Lodge Refusal

Author: Staff Writer

Source: BBC News

A Buddhist community in East Yorkshire have won their fight for peace and quiet after planning permission was refused for new holiday lodges.

Kevin Thomson, of the Buddhist centre, said the community was delighted the “unspoiled” area was being protected.

The Kilnwick Percy Golf Club wanted to build 23 lodges near the Yorkshire Wolds adding to 20 built two years ago.

You Can’t Name Your Restaurant ‘Fat Buddha’ Because it Offends Buddhists Says Council

Author: Andrew Chapman

Source: Daily Mail

In China he is a symbol of health and happiness. But tell that to the politically correct council officer who objected to a restaurant being called Fat Buddha… because it might offend Buddhists

A Buddhist businessman who wants to call his Chinese restaurant Fat Buddha has angered council chiefs – who claim the name will upset Buddhists.

Eddie Fung’s £1.3million restaurant will open in Durham next month, creating 60 jobs.

But the restaurateur was astonished when Tracey Ingle, the city council’s head of cultural services, demanded he change the name because it was ‘provocative’.

You Gotta Have Faith at the UN

Author: Azza Karam and Matthew Weiner

Source: International Herald Tribune

The United Nations lacks a comprehensive strategy for understanding and engaging religion. While the world’s largest multilateral organization is secular and should remain so, it is unrealistic that at a time of global upheaval, religious representatives are not included as a fundamental part of international civil society.

The issue is not whether religion should be important, but rather that because it is, it should be engaged. As long as the United Nations continues to work primarily with secular civil society, multireligious collaboration will remain a largely untapped resource.

The United Nations and its agencies deal with a comprehensive range of issues affecting global communities, including human rights, population, food, agriculture, health, trade and children. For each of these issues, religion often plays a powerful complementary moral, social, economic and political role for disenfranchised communities.

Every religious tradition has leaders and networks providing food distribution, heath care, education and conflict mediation. Religious social service networks, which preceded the UN and governmental entities, reach more people and are more deeply entrenched than any other organization.

You Might Want to Pray Thursday

Author: Brian Bethel

Source: Reporter News

The National Day of Prayer is Thursday, and once again Abilene residents will have two noontime choices — as well as one all-day venue — to offer up prayers of thanks and consolation.

Since 1775, when the first call to prayer was enacted by the Continental Congress asking the colonies to pray for wisdom in forming a nation, calls to prayer have been issued at critical times throughout our history, said Dr. Ron Smith, a retired Hardin-Simmons University theology professor, who will head the Abilene Interfaith Council’s multifaith prayer service in Minter Park downtown.

Examples include President Lincoln’s 1863 proclamation of a day of “humiliation, fasting, and prayer” and President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s radio prayers during World War II asking God’s protection of Americans in battle, he said.