News

As Covid-19 tears through Navajo Nation, young people step up to protect their elders

May 26, 2020

 

Michelle Tom stared into the screen. The Navajo doctor had just finished a grueling shift at the Winslow Indian Health Care Center urgent care facility in Winslow, Ariz., caring for Covid-19 patients. Now, she was spending her Friday night speaking via livestream to Native American youth about the pandemic.

“I’ve seen it hit everyone,” she said of the coronavirus. “But I have the strength of my ancestors, the strength of my prayers, and the strength of all of you. We have to keep talking about it, especially to our young people.”

In recent weeks,...

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Shabbat online? Conservative synagogues get OK, but some were already doing it

May 26, 2020

For Orthodox synagogues, it was an easy choice: Pandemic or no, a Shabbat service cannot be streamed online. For many liberal synagogues, it was similarly easy: Meet the needs of the moment, and start streaming Shabbat services.

But for Conservative synagogues, it was a matter for serious deliberation: To stream or not to stream?

On May 13, the Conservative movement’s Committee on Jewish Law and Standards provided official guidance: Despite longstanding prohibitions against using electricity and computers on Shabbat and major Jewish holidays, prayer services could...

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From Illinois to Puerto Rico, Latino Muslims navigate faith and quarantine among their non-Muslim families

May 26, 2020

 

As someone new to Islam, Ritchie Jaimes has found quarantine restrictions particularly challenging.

Jaimes, who was raised Catholic, converted to Islam just five months ago and has experienced his first Ramadan amid a pandemic that has shut down mosques and churches and mandated stay-at-home orders that bar in-person gatherings.

He breaks fast on his own during weekends at home when he’s not working the late shift Monday through Friday. It has also been more than a month since he last saw his mentor, who was helping him learn about hadiths,...

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Despite Green Light, Many Mass. Houses Of Worship Won't Convene In-Person

May 26, 2020

 

Episcopalians in Massachusetts are saying no church before July 1.

The United Church of Christ in the state is saying nothing before the end of summer.

The Unitarians want to wait until next year.

The Catholic Archdiocese of Boston expects less than 20% of its 280 churches to be open this weekend.

And the Baptists are still trying to figure out how to safely do baptisms in the age of the...

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New Pagan radio station seeks to improve underserved market

May 25, 2020
Music aficionados who are looking for Pagan and Pagan-themed music have a new listening destination waiting to be discovered.
 
PaganRadio.org is a licensed online radio station operating out of Vancouver, British Columbia. The station was founded by Ian Adler in March of 2020.
 
“The mission of the station is to provide Pagan and folk music from Pagan artists,” explained Adler, who has several years of previous experience as a disc jockey for clubs on the popular user-created virtual platform Second Life.
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How mosques around America will celebrate Eid during a pandemic

May 25, 2020
With most mosques across the country still closed due to the coronavirus, Muslim communities are finding creative ways to celebrate this weekend’s Eid al-Fitr, the festival that marks the end of Ramadan, while abiding by social distancing guidelines.
 
In Michigan, where a popular Ramadan lights competition will end just before Eid, Muslims have organized a televised Eid service and celebration that they expect tens of thousands to tune in for. The celebratory programming, set to air Sunday morning (May 24) on local cable news and stream on social...
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Muslim generosity in Ramadan is more than a feel-good story

May 25, 2020
Most Americans who know about Ramadan at all know it as the holy month in which Muslims abstain from eating. What many of us don’t realize is that Muslims also consider this to be the month of giving.
 
Oral traditions trace the practice of giving during Ramadan back to the Prophet Muhammad, who, according to hadith, was already “the most generous of all people” and, during the month of Ramadan, “used to be more generous than the fast wind.”
 
This year, Ramadan was met by the coronavirus pandemic. Mosques were...
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Washington Bishops Continue To Suspend Masses Out Of ‘Respect For Human Life’

May 25, 2020
All five Catholic bishops in Washington state have issued a statement in response to comments by President Donald Trump which explains that public masses were suspended “out of our deepest respect for human life and health” amid the COVID-19 crisis.
 
The statement was a stunning rejoinder to Trump’s demand Friday that all houses of worship be reopened “right now” for religious services, which he has deemed “essential.” He called it an “injustice” that churches, synagogues and mosques aren’t open.
 
Trump vowed to “...
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Drive-Thrus And Drive-Ins: Muslim Americans Celebrate Eid Amid The Coronavirus Pandemic

May 25, 2020
Every year, Zarinah El-Amin’s mother, Cheryl, and fellow Muslim women in Detroit pooled their money to purchase toys for children on Eid, the annual festival that marks the end of Ramadan. They wanted to make sure every Muslim child who came to the mosque for Eid prayers could walk out with a toy ― a special way to mark the holiday and give back to the community.
 
So after her mother died last year, she took over the toy drive. But then the coronavirus pandemic halted gatherings and closing mosques in its wake ― and it forced her and the community to...
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When Quakers Become Takers

May 20, 2020
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin was not mad; he was disappointed. Several of the nation’s wealthy private schools—including St. Andrew’s Episcopal in Maryland, where President Donald Trump sends his youngest son, and Brentwood School in Los Angeles, which at least two of Mnuchin’s children attend—had received loans earmarked for small businesses to keep paying their employees during the coronavirus crisis. On Twitter, Mnuchin softly chided the schools; they did not have to return the funds, he suggested, but they should.
 
In response, these...
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