Hinduism

Yoga in Boston area grows more diverse, but studios want to further increase access

April 4, 2022

When Linda Wells began her yoga journey a decade ago, she got lucky.

“I started practicing yoga with a Black teacher,” she said. “It was the first time that I had seen a Black woman teaching yoga, having her own wellness business and being someone that was standing in a place of her authentic self. And I was like, I want some of that.”

Today, Wells is one of the yoga teachers in Boston welcoming more people of color to the physical and spiritual discipline. Black Americans may feel unwelcome at white-dominated studios, and some have been unreceptive to the practice...

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South Asian Americans face a complicated relationship with the swastika

March 25, 2022

During Nikhil Mandalaparthy's senior year of high school in 2015, the local Hindu temple in his hometown was vandalized. Spray-painted in red on the outside of the Bothell, Washington, worship and cultural center were the words “Get Out” — alongside a symbol that was almost familiar to the temple’s patrons: a swastika. 

But the mark used to terrorize Mandalaparthy’s community was different than the swastikas he had grown up seeing in religious contexts. It was sharp and at a 45-degree angle, what he recognized immediately as a mark of Nazism and white supremacy. ...

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Prayers for peace in Ukraine

March 14, 2022

A variety of religious traditions assembled Sunday evening to pray for one thing: peace in Ukraine.

The meeting at North Presbyterian Church was assembled by the Williamsville Interfaith Clergy Association and was led by two Ukrainian clerics, one Catholic and one Orthodox. Joining them were Presbyterians, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, Baha'i, Sikh and Unitarian Universalists.

North Presbyterian Pastor Bill Hennessy said the array of clergy was deliberate.

Source:...

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Christian nationalism has deep roots in America, faith leaders say

January 6, 2022

Shannon Rivers believes that Indigenous people are the moral compass of this country.

A member of the Native American Akimel O’otham, or River People, of the southwestern United States, Rivers points to historical accounts of the northeastern Wampanoag, who in the 1600s taught the Pilgrims how to grow crops and weather harsh winters.

“We were the ones who had that initial moral understanding of how you take care of one another, and we still maintain that today, despite every wrong...

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What's your religion? In US, a common reply is now 'None'

December 14, 2021

Nathalie Charles, even in her mid-teens, felt unwelcome in her Baptist congregation, with its conservative views on immigration, gender and sexuality. So she left.

“I just don’t feel like that gelled with my view of what God is and what God can be,” said Charles, an 18-year-old of Haitian descent who identifies as queer and is now a freshman at Princeton University.

“It wasn’t a very loving or nurturing environment for someone’s faith.”

Source:...

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Feds prompt Michigan to revise religious practice restrictions on prisoners

November 4, 2021

The U.S. Department of Justice announced Thursday it has reached a settlement with the Michigan Department of Corrections to change the state's policy limiting worship and religious activities for prisoners, as well as the kosher diet fed to Jewish inmates.

Under the agreement, Michigan corrections officials agreed to eliminate its policy that required a minimum of five people for religious services or activities. It will also remove a prohibition on group religious practices for Hindus, Yorubas, Hebrew Israelites and Thelema practitioners, unless there's...

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Indian American lawmaker puts Hindu Heritage Month Into Congressional Record

October 7, 2021

Illinois Democratic Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi  submitted a statement in the House of Representatives Sept. 30, 2021, on recognizing October as Hindu Heritage Month. The statement is now part of the U.S. Congressional Record, the official daily record of proceedings in Congress. (His statement can be found in the Congressional Record Vol. 167, No. 172 of Oct. 1.)

A Hindu himself, Rep. Krishnamoorthi, said he joins the many Hindu faithful in the United States in recognizing October as Hindu Heritage Month. Several Hindu organizations in the U.S., including Vishwa...

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American Girl releases doll outfits for Eid, Diwali, Hanukkah celebrations

October 5, 2021

This holiday season, American Girl characters Samantha, Addy and Josefina can celebrate the Christian holiday of Christmas, the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah or Diwali, the festival of lights observed by Hindus, Jains, Buddhists and Sikhs.

Next year, they’ll be ready for the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Fitr, too.

The religious holidays are part of a capsule collection of doll clothes and accessories for six cultural celebrations and were released last week by American Girl, the popular line of dolls and books telling the stories of American girls throughout history to the...

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How Hindu chaplains went from anomaly to necessity

September 24, 2021

When Vineet Chander accepted his job as the Hindu chaplain at Princeton University in 2008, his Hindu community was baffled by his profession.

“It was incomprehensible to them,” said Chander. “I’d have people look at me like, what do you do? This is a full-time job?”

Their puzzlement was understandable: Chander, a former prosecutor, was not just the only full-time Hindu chaplain at any place of higher learning at the time; he was the first Hindu in the United States ever to fill the role. In part, Chander said, that’s because there have only been “notable” numbers...

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