Multifaith

An experiment in unity: Jews, Christians and Muslims mingle on shared campus

October 21, 2020

 

At a time when the nation feels more divided than ever, one unlikely group in Omaha, Nebraska, is trying to bring people together.

The Tri-Faith Initiative is a unique experiment in unity, sprawling across 38 acres on the edge of the city, almost smack in the center of America. There's a synagogue, a mosque and a church — and on Saturday, Tri-Faith introduced a new interfaith center, the final piece of a plan that was...

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Proposed Prince William Co. school calendar adds Jewish, Hindu, Muslim holidays

October 13, 2020

 

Prince William County school officials added Jewish, Hindu, and Muslim holidays to a tentative 2021-2022 calendar for the Virginia school system, and are asking parents to weigh in.

The proposed calendar would include the following:

  • Jewish new year of Rosh Hashanah;
  • Jewish day of atonement Yom Kippur;
  • Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights;
  • Eid al-Fitr, which marks breaking...
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Keeping the faith: how Miami students are practicing religion and faith during COVID-19

October 8, 2020

 

A lot of people turn to their religious communities for support through tough times. That sense of connection is different as people are navigating through the unprecedented time of 2020, but it’s not lost.

Emily Garforth, president of the Association of Jewish Students at Hillel, has felt the challenges of getting students involved in the organization this semester. She mentioned that less people are showing up to weekly Shabbat services because the dinner portion was pulled. 

Garforth herself had to miss Hillel’s big Purim celebration due to...

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Minnesota sex offenders sue over religious restrictions during pandemic

October 6, 2020

 

More than a dozen men in Minnesota's Sex Offender Program are suing the state's human services department, alleging the agency has banned the practice of religious gatherings for more than six months in the wake of COVID-19.

Attorney Erick Kaardal, who filed the federal lawsuit on behalf of 15 clients, said the restrictions inside the Moose Lake facility continued even after a June executive order from Gov. Tim Walz that allowed places of worship to reopen at 50 percent capacity.

"If our spiritual practices were banned through September, we'd...

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In varying degrees, LDS conference cuts swath through Utah's religious community

October 5, 2020

 

Saturday is the first full day of Sukkot, the Jewish celebration of the Feast of the Tabernacles remembering when the children of Israel began their wandering for 40 years in the desert.

For one week, the Sukkot traditionally has Jewish families pitching a tent/booth with doors open to the tabernacle as a symbol of looking to God and remembering his protection in the wilderness.

On Saturday, members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will figuratively gather in their tents/homes and turn their eyes and hearts to God and their leader...

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How COVID affects religious organizations at UM

September 23, 2020

 

As the University of Miami continues to respond to pandemic, Father Philip Tran the university’s full-time chaplain at St. Augustine Parish says UM’s religious organizations are also concerned about the spiritual health of the student body.

He, along with the rest of the religious organizations at UM, say they are trying to adapt in order to make sure their members can still be a part of their religious communities.

While there have been many setbacks for this upcoming semester, Tran says he believes that UCatholic has been successful. They have...

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For hospital chaplains, navigating patient needs during the pandemic takes a toll

September 22, 2020

 

When the Rev. Tenku Ruff, a Soto Zen Buddhist priest, took over as the pastoral care director at Phelps Hospital Northwell Health in Sleepy Hollow in June, she knew she was entering uncharted territory: She was taking on the hospital-based position in the middle of a pandemic.

As she spoke to doctors and other staff, she heard about Chaplain Cyril Owambo, who early in the pandemic, was asked to counsel a family whose loved one had just died of COVID-19.

“The family really wanted him to come in and offer a prayer. He was so...

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Buddhists in Hawai‘i Lead Bell-ringing for International Day of Peace

September 22, 2020

Buddhists from the Honpa Hongwanji Mission of Hawai‘i led a virtual global bell-ringing yesterday in celebration of Peace Day, a state holiday in Hawai‘i that coincides each year with the United Nations International Day of Peace.

Described as the first-ever International “Ring Your Bell for Peace” event, the occasion was live-streamed on the KTUH Honolulu Facebook page. The broadcast, coordinated through Zoom, featured bell-ringing from Buddhists, Christians, and people of other faith backgrounds. Most of those taking part were from Hawai‘i, but...

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UW dental students find ways to follow COVID-19 regulations while maintaining religious values

September 18, 2020

Rules and regulations around coronavirus and its impact on school and work have been challenging to accommodate ever-changing data and cases. 

Some have said that these rules and regulations have interfered with their religious freedoms. 

Dr. Karan Singh and Dr. Omri Margalit are University of Washington School of Dentistry students who have had to find alternative ways to finish up their degrees while staying true to their faith.

 

Singh practices the Sikh faith and Margalit practices Judaism. Both faiths require men to have...

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Staying spiritual, safe: Campus religious groups adapt to social distancing

September 9, 2020

 

The Hillel Jewish Student Union used to pack hundreds of students into its Forbes Avenue building almost every Friday evening. Although students can no longer gather in crowded rooms, they’re still spending their Fridays with a few friends and a whole lot of challah.

From socially distant Shabbat to virtual Bible studies to international pen pal programs, students of various religions are solidifying their faith and their communities while following public health...

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Interfaith program for middle-schoolers moves online this year

September 8, 2020

 

As the new school year begins with several drastic changes and some confusion, change is also knocking on the door of the InterFaith Leadership Council of Metropolitan Detroit’s Religious Diversity Journeys program. 

The six-month program starting in November is designed to bridge the gap between different faith groups for seventh-graders inMacomb, Oakland and Wayne counties.

Since the 2002-2003 school year, thousands of middle school students have had the opportunity to learn about different religions and cultures in a hands-on program that...

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Amid virus lockdowns, prison ministry groups had to adapt

August 31, 2020

 

Normally Teresa Stanfield spends her days in prisons talking with inmates about how she changed the course of her troubled life, and how they can do the same. But the coronavirus has locked her on the outside.

“When COVID came and shut down programming, I was extremely disappointed,” said Stanfield, Oklahoma field director with Virginia-based Prison Fellowship. “But I also knew that God had a plan and we were going to do everything we could to continue to encourage our returning citizens and keep our volunteers connected.”

For Stanfield, the answer...

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Worship during COVID-19: How Cheez-Its, ZOOM and blue tape are the new norms in faith

August 14, 2020

 

Each Sunday, Ray Smith and his family go to their living room for church, which they've watched online since the coronavirus pandemic caused most places of worship to close earlier this year.

His wife knew how to prepare unleavened bread from her time at a small church while growing up and soon she was providing the bread for their home communion. 

“It was really cool when all this started because she didn’t miss a beat,” Smith said. “We went out and got grape juice and she made the bread. In a pinch one week, we used Cheez-Its...

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Harris brings Baptist, interfaith roots to Democratic ticket

August 12, 2020

 

Kamala Harris, tapped on Tuesday as Joe Biden’s running mate, attended services at both a Black Baptist church and a Hindu temple growing up – an interfaith background that reflects her historic status as the first Black woman and woman of South Asian descent on a major-party presidential ticket.

The 55-year-old first-term Democratic senator, whose name means “lotus” in the Sanskrit language, identifies as a Baptist as an adult and brought another faith into her life in 2014 when she married Douglas Emhoff, a Jewish attorney. Their wedding featured the...

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Phoenix area religious communities return to worship as COVID-19 data stabilizes in Arizona

August 10, 2020

 

Though places of worship are largely exempt from coronavirus restrictions, much of the Valley's religious community transitioned to virtual worship as infection rates skyrocketed in the state in the late spring and summer.

Major holidays such as Easter were celebrated in living rooms instead of sanctuaries. Ramadan fasts were not broken in a large community celebration. The trial-to-triumph story of Passover came to life.

Gov. Doug Ducey in April called the state's religious leaders "incredibly responsible" and said he was "grateful for their...

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