Multifaith

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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Catholic, Protestant groups support commission on US Indian boarding school policy

October 4, 2021

A number of Catholic groups and Protestant denominations are calling for the United States to establish a Truth and Healing Commission to reckon with the country’s history of boarding schools that separated thousands of Indigenous children from their families and cultures during the 19th and 20th centuries.

Their support comes as the Catholic Church and a number of Protestant denominations are ...

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Sailors, Marines seek religious accommodation to wear beards

October 1, 2021

Shave or be Shaved. Aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt, sailor Edmund Di Liscia faced a stark choice. According to his lawyers, he was told to either shave his beard voluntarily or be held down by his bunk mate and forcibly shaved. For Di Liscia, a practicing Hasidic Jew who had not shaved for more than two years, it was a choice between his loyalty to the U.S. Navy and his religious faith.

Di Liscia is one of several sailors and marines who are seeking religious accommodation to wear beards while in uniform.  

Earlier this year, Di Liscia, along with three...

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Illinois law will allow athletes to modify uniforms for cultural, religious reasons

September 27, 2021

Illinois is the first state to adopt a new law providing students flexibility to modify their sports uniforms.

The Inclusive Athletic Attire Act allows student athletes, male or female, the freedom to modify sports uniforms according to their cultural, religious, physical comfort and modesty preferences without the need for a waiver or a penalty.

"I started running cross country in my freshman year of high school. That was the year I started wearing hijab (Islamic head covering)," said Ayah Aldadah, 21, a student athlete...

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Religions find Facebook an important tool

September 11, 2021

There are 2.4 billion Christians in the world today, according to most estimates.

Then again, nearly 3 billion people have Facebook accounts. Nearly 70% of U.S. adults use this social media platform, which recently passed $1 trillion in market capitalization.

“I will use Facebook to reach people, because you almost have to do that,” said Father A. Stephen Damick, chief content officer for Ancient Faith Ministries, a 24-hour source for online radio channels, podcasts, blogs, forums and more. The ministry was born in 2004 and is now part of the North American...

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Houses of Worship Struggle Back, and Tread Lightly on Vaccines

August 25, 2021

The weekly rhythms of Catholic life have started to return at Our Lady of Lourdes in Harlem. The pews are packed on Sunday mornings, prayer groups meet after work and the collection plate is almost as full as it was before the coronavirus pandemic began.

But parishioners are starting to worry about the virus again.

“For a little while everyone felt more free, not using masks and things like that,” said the Rev. Gilberto Ángel-Neri, the pastor. “But now that we hear all the news about the Delta variant, everyone is using masks again.”

Source:...

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How Intel and other top companies make room for religion in the office

August 21, 2021

Intel has been a star in the technology world for nearly half a century. One secret to its success is a little more spiritual than you might have guessed, according to CEO Pat Gelsinger.

In a recorded message that will play during an international conference on business and religion this week, Gelsinger highlights the competitive advantage that comes from building a culture that celebrates personal faith alongside other employee traits. At Intel, workers are...

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Gen Z doubles down on spirituality, combining tarot and traditional faith

August 18, 2021

A new survey released by Springtide Research Institute confirms what metaphysical store owners and veteran tarot readers have known since the term Gen Z was invented: Younger Americans, known for fashioning their own spirituality the way they curate their social media feeds, are doing so using well-established alternative practices.

“There is such little ownership over a religious belief system that you’re just told all the right...

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Legislation Offers Relief To Delaware Students Observing Religious Holidays

August 2, 2021

A few days before the holy month of Ramadan, when most Muslims observe daytime fasting, Rep. Madinah Wilson-Anton received a phone call from one of her constituents asking her about the school’s attendance policies for religious holidays. 

“I was like, that is a good question, let me ask,” she said. 

After several phone calls to various departments, Wilson-Anton discovered that there was no universal policy for students regarding religious holidays. 

Source: ...

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Facebook’s Next Target: The Religious Experience

July 25, 2021

Months before the megachurch Hillsong opened its new outpost in Atlanta, its pastor sought advice on how to build a church in a pandemic.

From Facebook.

The social media giant had a proposition, Sam Collier, the pastor, recalled in an interview: to use the church as a case study to explore how churches can “go further farther on Facebook.”

Source: Facebook’s Next Target: The Religious...

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The Religious Leaders on the Front Lines of Mental Health

July 22, 2021

The Rev. Edward Cardoza estimates that the volume of calls, messages and texts from members of his St. Mark’s Episcopal Church increased 20-fold over the past year. Most read something like this: “I’m sure you’re really busy and don’t have time, but if you do, would you have time for a conversation?”

People who had been sober for 10 or 15 years worried they might start drinking again. Some mentioned suicide. Couples who rarely argued were yelling at each other.

Source: ...

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Denominations have begun creating special prayers for fatal mass shootings

July 16, 2021

When there are mass shootings, like this week in Chicago, or the previous week in Toledo — or, really, any week in this country — Episcopal Bishop Scott Hayashi thinks of that split second in a Tacoma record store decades ago. The beat when he turned toward a man with a gun to ask, “What did you say?” and saw his own 19-year-old face in the man’s mirrored shades before his body hit the floor.

Hayashi spent two months in the ICU and almost died after being shot in the stomach during the robbery. He now advocates with a group of other U.S. Episcopal bishops on the issue of gun...

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Seattle council approves density bonus for religious organizations that build affordable housing

June 29, 2021

Seattle will allow extra density for housing built on sites owned or controlled by religious institutions, while requiring the housing to charge below-market rents, according to legislation passed Monday by the City Council.

The legislation will allow affordable projects on religious properties to rise one to six stories higher than the city’s zoning rules would normally allow, depending on location. Where only single-family houses are allowed, such projects will be allowed to cover more ground than normal.

Mayor Jenny Durkan’s administration developed the...

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Religious institutions step up to help after Surfside tragedy, special mass to be held Friday

June 25, 2021

SURFSIDE, Fla. – The South Florida community is eager to help the victims of Thursday’s condominium collapse in Surfside, including religious institutions.

Local 10 News has learned that many people who lived in the Chaplain Towers South building regularly attended temple at The Shul of Bal Harbour.

And just four blocks away from the collapse, donations are pouring in to The Shul Jewish Community cCCenter.

Source: ...

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