New Religious Movements

Satanic Temple sues company that rejected group’s billboards

October 2, 2020

A lawsuit filed by the Satanic Temple alleges that an advertising company unfairly refused to display some billboards promoting a ritual offered by the group to help people bypass abortion rules in some states.

The group, based in Salem, Massachusetts, announced Wednesday that it has sued Lamar Advertising in Arkansas state court. The suit accuses the Louisiana-based company of religious discrimination.

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Yoga’s 'father in the West' still defining our spirituality and celebrity 100 years later

September 17, 2020

One hundred years ago on Sept. 19, the Indian yogi and guru Paramahansa Yogananda arrived in Boston as the Indian delegate for the Unitarian Conference of Religious Liberals. Yogananda’s arrival, along with an earlier visit by another Indian teacher, Swami Vivekananda, began yoga’s rise on these shores into a major industry, as well as one of the most significant examples of syncretism — a religious and cultural mashup — in the history of the West.

Yogananda’s contribution to the growing diversity of America’s...

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Black Girl Magic: How Tarot Is Helping Women of Color Connect

August 7, 2020

Once taboo, tarot reading is considered spooky, and even wicked by some. But the form of divination that uses cards dates back to the 15th century—and has become the latest spiritual trend. Decks are sold at almost any store, and hundreds of thousands of Instagram and Facebook pages are dedicated to the art of divination. But some practitioners in the United States have been using the cards for decades as a tool in their spiritual practices as they turn away from Western religions for traditional African-centered and Indigenous spiritualities.

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Faith in protest as young people find fervor on the street

July 29, 2020

“I can’t breathe!’” the crowd chanted, invoking the dying words spoken by George Floyd as a white police officer pressed a knee into his neck.

Kianna Ruff yelled it over and over along with hundreds of fellow protesters as they marched for hours through New York City, a kind of collective mantra that touched someplace deep inside those present.

“I just started choking and I broke down,” the 28-year-old activist and minister said. “And I do feel like that that was also a spiritual experience that I’ve never experienced before.”...

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More black millennials are turning away from traditional religion to find their spirituality

March 11, 2020

Religion is known to form the foundation of the black community, especially in the South, which is known as the "Bible Belt." 

Here, church isn't just a place, it's a lifestyle. That's exactly how R.S. Cole grew up. 

"My aunt was a pastor, my grandmother was on the usher board," Cole said. "They had me in debutantes, things of that nature, but they kept me in a Christian faith."

A recent Pew study shows eight in 10 African Americans self-identify as Christians, but now, more and more younger African Americans say they're not affiliate with just...

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Is the rise of the nones slowing? Scholars say maybe

February 12, 2020

For the past 25 years, the number of Americans claiming no religion has steadily ballooned as more and more people quit church, synagogue or mosque and openly acknowledged being a  “none.”

The reality is particularly stark when looked at from a generational perspective. If 10% of people from the silent generation (born 1928-1945) consider themselves religiously unaffiliated, a whopping 40% of millennials (born 1981-1996) say they have no religion, according to ...

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Contemplating the growth of spiritual tourism at a peaceful, if sometimes odd, Santa Fe resort

January 21, 2020

Before flying to my Santa Fe, N.M., resort, I received a list of at least 20 activities available during my stay. Yoga Nidra. Zen Qi Flow. Sound Healing Journey. Meditation in Motion. Temazcal Sweat Lodge. Petroglyph Art Hike. Awakening the Elements Within. Chicken Chats.

I circled the boxes for hiking, chi gong, visual arts — and put a question mark next to chicken chats. I was laying the groundwork for my first foray into spiritual tourism, to explore what is one of the fast-growing segments of the travel industry — and maybe return more rested and centered.

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The age of nones may favor churches that welcome doubters

January 15, 2020

The media have paid a lot of attention to the rise of the religiously unaffiliated in recent years, and for good reason. In 1990, just 1 in 20 adult Americans were not connected to a religious faith. Today, it’s closer to 1 in 4. The ripples of such a shift are still being sorted out by observers of American religion.

One of the most visible effects is that the pews are much emptier today than they were just 30 years ago. What does that decline look like, in the simplest terms?

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At Gallaudet University, deaf culture and faith mix

January 3, 2020
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.”
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Can Religion Still Speak to Younger Americans?

November 14, 2019
The fastest-growing population on the American religious landscape today is “Nones”—people who don’t identify with any religion. Recent data from the American Family Survey indicates that their numbers increased from 16% in 2007 to 35% in 2018. Over the same period, there has been a dramatic decline in the share of the population who identify as Christian, from 78% of Americans in 2007 to 65% in 2018-19, according to a report by the Pew Research Center released this month. The rise of Nones is even more dramatic among younger people: 44% of Americans aged 18 to 29 are Nones. Source: ... Read more about Can Religion Still Speak to Younger Americans?