Hinduism

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.”

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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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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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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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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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Ornamental Hindu temple proposed for site off Hwy. 109 in Wildwood

September 16, 2021

A nearly 15,000-square-foot ornamental temple has been proposed at 1431 Hwy. 109, near its juncture with Old Eatherton Road and Babler Park Drive on a 5.72-acre site owned by the Geeta Ramayan Group of St. Louis. The facility is to be known as the Durga Temple of St. Louis.

According to its website, “the Geeta Ramayan Group of St. Louis is an all-volunteer, non-political, tax-deductible charitable organization registered in Missouri. Its founding members first met in the late 1960s when the Indian population of St. Louis consisted of only a group of...

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US Sikhs seek White House intervention in evacuation of Afghanistan Sikhs, Hindus

August 26, 2021

US Sikhs have met with White House representative over the issue of evacuation of Afghanistan Sikhs and Hindus.

Dr Rajwant Singh, co-founder of the National Sikh Campaign (NSC) and chairman of the Sikh Council on Religion and Education, along with Gurwin Singh Ahuja, co-founder of the NSC, apprised key White House officials of the Sikh community’s concerns about the fallout of the US withdrawal from Afghanistan.

“We conveyed that the Sikh community will be ready to assist the Biden administration if the Sikhs and Hindus are evacuated to the US. We are thankful to...

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Why this Fairhaven luxury handbag brand is under fire from a Hindu statesman

June 11, 2021

FAIRHAVEN — Hindu statesman Rajan Zed of Nevada is requesting luxury handbag brand Brahmin to change its name.

Headquartered in Fairhaven, the company produces luxury handbags made of cow leather. In a press release on Wednesday, Zed stated that the cow was sacred and had long been venerated in Hinduism, and that inscribing the brand's name on a bag created from the animal was "quite out-of-line and was painful to the Hindu sentiments."

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Hindu group holds healing ceremony at Hanover County plantation before selling

July 1, 2021

A Hindu group that had hoped to build a temple on a former plantation in Hanover County held a ceremony last week to honor and bless the enslaved who had worked there and to heal the land that they now are selling.

Dominique Gay, who lives at Quietude plantation with her partner and Hindu priest, Gananathamritananda Swamiji, said the group has put the property up for sale after five years of dealing with obstacles and opposition in the county.

“It is because of discrimination and ignorance of the Hindu faith that we were not able to obtain a permit to have public...

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At landmark US Hindu temple, a timely rite of rejuvenation

June 28, 2021

PENN HILLS, Pa. (AP) — When throngs gathered to rededicate the oldest major Hindu temple in the United States, there was poignance -- prayers for continued recovery from the pandemic that struck many loved ones in India -- and the elation of coming together after more than a year of restrictions.

And there was joy.

Shouts of the divine name “Govinda!” rose Sunday from the crowd of worshippers at the Sri Venkateswara Temple, atop a steep hill just east of Pittsburgh. Dressed in festive saris and other traditional clothing, they gazed up toward a gopuram — an...

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Human Trafficking Allegations Thrust Caste Into Spotlight For American Hindus

June 3, 2021

Software engineers and stone masons might not have much in common professionally, but both kinds of workers can face discrimination, if they're members of the Dalit caste in Hindu society — whether in South Asia or the United States.

So say leading advocates for the rights of Dalits, who were once known as "untouchables."

A class action lawsuit recently filed in federal court in New Jersey alleges that a massive Hindu temple in the city of Robbinsville brought some 200 workers to the U.S. on R-1 visas as religious volunteers.

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Minnesota Hindu temple marks 15 years along with the growth of Twin Cities' once tiny Hindu community

June 7, 2021

Fifteen years ago, the Twin Cities Hindu community built an elegant temple in the cornfields outside Maple Grove, a $9.5 million architectural gem that it hoped would attract the state's small but growing Hindu faithful.

Since then, the Hindu Society of Minnesota temple has become a religious, social and cultural center for the state's 50,000 Hindus, as well as a popular destination for student groups, tourists and ordinary Minnesotans who want to learn more about one of the state's least-known faiths.

A three-day celebration to mark the temple's 15th anniversary is...

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Boston Indians celebrate Hindu Heritage Month

May 27, 2021

BOSTON: The 24th Annual Virtual Hindu Heritage Day (HHD) was organized by the volunteers of Vishwa Hindu Parishad /World Hindu Council of America (VHPA), Boston & Merrimack Valley Chapters, on Saturday May 22, 2021 with utmost joy and zest.

Hundreds of people from Greater Boston Area enjoyed Indian music, songs, dances, and the new Story-telling segment. A large number of participants from four years old to young adults showcased their talents and made the celebration more animated and amusing.

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Alabama Lifts Its Ban on Yoga in Schools

May 20, 2021

For the first time in nearly three decades, Alabama will allow yoga to be taught in its public schools, but the ancient practice will be missing some of its hallmarks: Teachers will be barred from saying the traditional salutation “namaste” and using Sanskrit names for poses.

Chanting is forbidden. And the sound of “om,” one of the most popular mantras associated with the practice, which combines breathing exercises and stretches, is a no-no.

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