News

Faith in herbal remedies fuels growth of Latino botanicas. Coronavirus accelerates it.

June 5, 2020

 

Owners of the Latino remedy shops known as botanicas are careful to note that nothing they sell can be construed as a cure for the coronavirus.

In a health advisory, a federal agency agrees.

“Some of these purported remedies include herbal therapies, teas, essential oils, tinctures, and silver products such as colloidal silver,” according to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. “There is no scientific evidence that any of these alternative remedies can prevent or cure COVID-19. In fact, some of them may not be safe to...

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Quarantining while Buddhist: ‘It’s more important to be kind than to be right’

June 5, 2020

 

When I heard about a bunch of Buddhists quarantining together in a house near Cheesman Park, I was prepared to feel inadequate upon meeting them.

Surely they had figured out this interpersonal-relationships-under-glass thing and would be irritatingly calm as they described the smooth running of their household during the pandemic.

It turns out, though, that they’re just like the rest of us. The artist, the grandfather, the former telephone lineman and other residents of the house owned by Kadampa...

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Facebook, Instagram unblock #Sikh hashtag amid 1984 massacre remembrance

June 5, 2020

 

After nearly three months, Facebook and Instagram have unblocked the #Sikh hashtag, saying the block occurred “mistakenly” after a user reported the hashtag in March.

“We became aware that these hashtags were blocked today following feedback we received from the community, and quickly moved to unblock them,” Instagram, which is owned by Facebook, said in a series of tweets. “Our processes fell down here, and we’re sorry.”

After the...

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Near Boston, a Friendly’s-turned-Hindu temple serves holy offerings to go

June 4, 2020

 

When Keshav Kishor Sharan’s Hindu community bought a retired Friendly’s restaurant for the community’s new temple, the group renovated the building completely, replacing every fixture and window.

Every window, that is, except for the ice cream takeout window.

Sharan’s fellow Hindus in Holbrook, Massachussets, south of Boston, ended up preserving the pass-through as a piece of the building’s past life, an outpost of New England’s iconic burger-and-a-sundae chain. Plus, Sharan said, “we thought it looked cute, having that little ice cream window.”...

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How Muslims Are Mourning Without Proper Death Care Rituals

June 4, 2020

 

In April, my family received news that my mother’s friend passed away from COVID-19. We were overcome with grief—especially because we were still grieving another recent death. Our last memory of her is watching the EMTs carry her to the ambulance outside of her house as we waved goodbye. We all feared the worst but were hopeful that that goodbye wave would eventually turn into a welcome back gesture. It didn’t. 

In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, loss and grief are two themes that transcend age, race, religion, and location. The U.S. alone has...

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Amid protests, US faith leaders engage racism and politics

June 4, 2020

 

As days of anti-racism protests sparked by police killings push Americans toward a national reckoning, religious leaders are stepping more directly into the politics surrounding discrimination, entering into a dialogue that cuts across lines of faith and color.

Groups from multiple denominations across Christian, Jewish and Muslim faiths have publicly called for action against racism, aligning with peaceful demonstrators’ goals following the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Even beyond those statements, the amount and diversity of religious involvement...

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Glen Rock Sikh temple handing out hundreds of meals during coronavirus pandemic

June 4, 2020

 

Volunteers at a Sikh temple in Glen Rock are following a tradition at the root of the religion, preparing meals in their community kitchen just as they did before the pandemic. Only now the meals are to go, given to senior citizens, families in need and anyone else who wants them.

Hundreds of free vegetarian meals are handed out each week to people who come to a drive-through pickup at the temple, known as a gurdwaran. The meals are available Fridays and Sundays, when services were held before the pandemic lock down.

Preparing meals and...

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Trump Does Not Speak for These Christians

June 3, 2020

 

President Donald Trump has spent the past 24 hours trying to send a message: He is the law-and-order president, and he has the support of American Christians. First came his waltz last night through the White House gates and across Lafayette Square, where protesters had just been dispersed with tear gas and rubber bullets. Trump posed, stone-faced while clutching a Bible, in front of St. John’s Episcopal Church, which was set on fire during protests on Sunday night. This morning he visited the Saint John Paul II National Shrine, solemnly holding hands with the...

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In Minneapolis, rabbis among hundreds in silent marches

June 3, 2020

 

Over the course of seven blocks on Tuesday afternoon, nearly 1,000 clergy members of all faiths made the slow — and silent — walk from the Sabatini Community Center, along East 38th Street to the site where George Floyd died. Among that group were at least 10 Twin Cities rabbis and cantors who came to pay their respects.

“It was exactly what you would expect: Somber, respectful, and a powerful cry that until there is justice for George Floyd and other blacks in the state, peace is not possible,” said Shir Tikvah Rabbi Michael Latz.

After the march...

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Religious freedom bill proposed in Pennsylvania as churches navigate reopening

June 3, 2020

 

State Rep. Eric Nelson, R-Westmoreland, said religious leaders have been confused about whether churches are affected by state-mandated coronavirus shutdowns.

“Our religious community is very confused. They don’t want to violate a law, but they’re also extremely frustrated,” he said.

Nelson and Rep. Clint Owlett, R-Tioga, introduced House...

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