Religious Diversity News

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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

Philly’s Muslim cabbies’ ingenuity and community build a mosque at the airport 

The words of the adhan, the Islamic call to prayer, are identical wherever it is sung, in every country where Muslims worship. “Hayya ‘alas salah” is sung around the globe five times a day, including outside a construction trailer parked in a remote lot at Philadelphia International Airport by a city taxi driver, Sylla Salif. “Hayya ‘alas salah.” “Come to prayer. Come to prayer.” As Salif sang recently, men washed their hands in streams of water from spigots, as is the Muslim custom to prepare for prayer

Source: Philly’s Muslim cabbies’ ingenuity and community build a mosque at the airport | Lexington Herald Leader

The Sikh mayor of Hoboken visits Houston to share his story 

Mayor Ravinder Bhalla of Hoboken, N.J., did not let his turban and beard — which are central to his Sikh faith — stand in the way of serving his community. In fact, the way Bhalla has held true to the tenants of his religion, even in the face of bias, while rising up to take the keys of his city, can serve as an inspiration to all, Houstonian Bobby Singh said. Singh is an active member of the local Sikh community and, for the past 25 years, has worked with the Houston Police Department and the Federal Bur

Source: The Sikh mayor of Hoboken visits Houston to share his story – HoustonChronicle.com

Prepackaged for Passover 

Talk about abundance! Come Passover, contemporary American Jews have no shortage of kosher-le-Pesach foodstuffs with which to fill their stomachs and sate their appetites. Their immigrant forebears, in contrast, had to make do with limited fare. Stories of deprivation, of subsisting on matzo and butter, or bananas and sour cream, once made the rounds: In my family, they were as much a part of the holiday lore as tales of the biblical Exodus. During the eight days of the festival, no one has to go hungry. K

Source: Prepackaged for Passover – Tablet Magazine

Interfaith coalition building tiny houses for homeless youth

“I’m 19 years old. I’ve been struggling with poverty my whole life,” said Jordan Foster to a group assembled at Berkeley’s Congregation Beth El on April 14. “Ever since I’ve been 16 years old, I’ve been homeless and in and out of transitional housing.”Foster came to the synagogue representing Youth Spirit Artworks, an Oakland-based nonprofit job training organization that is in the process of building a village of “tiny houses” for homeless youth ages 18 to 25, assisted by an interfaith coalition that inc

Source: Interfaith coalition building tiny houses for homeless youth – J.

Rabbis: ‘Not kosher’ to buy at grocery store during strike 

As thousands of Stop & Shop workers remain on strike in New England, some Jewish families are preparing for Passover without the region’s largest supermarket chain, which has deep roots in the local Jewish community.A number of rabbis in Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island have been advising their congregations not to cross picket lines to buy Jewish holiday essentials at the store that one analyst says has the highest sales of kosher products among New England grocery stores. More than 30,000 Sto

Source: Rabbis: ‘Not kosher’ to buy at grocery store during strike – The Washington Post