Multifaith

Most Colleges Do Not Offer Campus Organizations for Buddhist, Hindu, Jewish, or Muslim Students

August 16, 2022

A recent study by researchers at Pennsylvania State University and Oklahoma State University has revealed that the majority of U.S. colleges and universities do not offer campus clubs or groups for Buddhist, Hindu, Jewish, or Muslim students. 

The researchers assessed religious organizations at 1,953 four-year, not-for-profit colleges and universities. They found that 66 percent have no minority religious student group of any type. Buddhist and Hindu student groups each exist at only 5 percent of campuses. One-quarter of the schools have Jewish student organizations, and...

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The Future of Religion in the Metaverse

August 9, 2022

Tech companies are investing in the metaverse and increasingly recognizing that religious communities, some which have already been meeting in virtual reality, will play a key role in the digital future. Many questions remain, however, as to whether that relationship will be good for the religious communities themselves or merely prioritize profits through engagement at any cost.

The metaverse is an immersive virtual world where people can...

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'This is an issue of equality': Maryland law to allow religious garments in college sports

July 20, 2022

Executive Director for the Aspen Institute's Religion & Society Program, who studies religion, racism and justice — recalls his own experience of fighting for inclusion as a turbaned Sikh athlete.

Growing up in Texas, he says he and his brothers were often denied the right to play school and college sports because of their turbans, a religious head covering worn by men of the Sikh religion.

His is one of the voices welcoming the US state of Maryland's Inclusive Athletic...

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Attitudes about transgender issues vary widely among Christians, religious 'nones' in U.S.

July 7, 2022

Growing shares of Americans believe that a person’s gender is determined by their sex assigned at birth, according to a new Pew Research Center survey, which finds major differences by religion on this question and others about transgender issues.

For example, a majority of White evangelical Protestants say society has gone too far in accepting people who are transgender, while religiously unaffiliated Americans are far more likely to say...

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Members of minority faith, belief communities have mixed responses to Supreme Court ruling in favor of football coach praying on field

July 8, 2022

Members of minority faith and belief communities had mixed reactions after the recent Supreme Court ruling that said the Constitution protected a high school football coach in Washington who prayed on the field after games.

Some worried the high court’s ruling isn’t necessarily...

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Jewish, Islamic faith leaders say religion drives their abortion access views

July 7, 2022

When the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, some religious leaders celebrated the decision. Others denounced it. 

"It's just horrifying and frustrating and angering, and that feeling hasn't gone away and isn't going to go away," Rabbi Bonnie Margulis said. 

Margulis is the chair of the Wisconsin Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice. She said she...

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Boise High grad brings community together to counter local Baptist pastor

June 28, 2022

Lizzy Duke-Moe, a Boise High School graduate who is attending Brown University in the fall, was spurred into action last week to counter a local Baptist pastor who called for the death of all gay people.

Duke-Moe said in an email that her mom, Keely Duke, and stepmom, Sarah Seidl are married — “they got married in Idaho,” Duke-Moe said, and her mother had shown her an article about the pastor’s sermons. “And...

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LGBTQ youth of faith retell their stories to inspire others

June 27, 2022

Sabrina Hodak grew up in a Modern Jewish Orthodox family but only truly embraced Judaism at age 16, around the same time she understood she was bisexual.

It was an upsetting and confusing time, because the same religious mentors who helped her strengthen her beliefs kept saying her sexuality would conflict with her faith.

“That was very frustrating, because I also knew that a lot of other religious people believed that,” said Hodak, now a 19-year-old psychology major at Florida International University. In her journal, she kept asking, “Can I please just find...

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How to make a thousand witches with one Supreme Court decision

June 6, 2022

“No wonder this stuff’s getting so damn popular,” exclaims Shirley to her friend Joan at the start of George Romero’s 1972 film “Hungry Wives.” Joan and Shirley, two neglected middle-age suburban housewives, are on their way to a tarot reading.

What’s getting “so damn popular” is witchcraft.

“The religion offers a retreat” for repressed women, Shirley notes, adding, “Christ, what other kind of women are there?”

Source:...

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How race and religion have always played a role in who gets refuge in US

April 28, 2022

In the weeks since Russia invaded Ukraine, millions of Ukrainians have fled the country as refugees. Hundreds of those refugees have now arrived at the southern border of the United States seeking asylum, after flying to Mexico on tourist visas.

At the border, Ukrainians, alongside thousands of other asylum seekers, must navigate two policies meant to keep...

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Jewish, Muslim groups voice concerns over Musk Twitter takeover

April 28, 2022

Muslim and Jewish organizations are expressing concern about billionaire Elon Musk’s impending ownership of Twitter, warning that the aerospace tycoon could roll back moderation policies and unleash a new wave of harassment against religious minorities often targeted on the platform.

“It strikes me as deeply troubling and potentially dangerous that two people — Musk and (Facebook co-founder) Mark Zuckerberg — essentially control the public square,” Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO of the Anti-Defamation League, said in a statement. “That seems like a sad day for democracy.”

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Sikhs Sue Marine Corps Over Restrictions on Beards

April 11, 2022

A Marine artillery captain named Sukhbir Singh Toor has been on a mission over the past year to become the first Sikh in the United States Marine Corps allowed to openly practice his religion while in uniform.

During that time he has won a string of victories against the strict dress standards of the Marine Corps, and he can now wear the beard, long hair and turban required of a faithful Sikh while on duty. But recently, the Marine Corps dug in, refusing to allow him or any other Sikh to wear a beard on a combat deployment or during boot camp, saying that beards would hinder...

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Across US, faith groups mobilize to aid Ukrainian refugees

April 4, 2022

As U.S. refugee resettlement agencies and nonprofits nationwide gear up to help Ukrainians fleeing the Russian invasion and war that has raged for nearly six weeks, members of faith communities have been leading the charge to welcome the displaced.

In Southern California, pastors and lay individuals are stationing themselves at the Mexico border waving Ukrainian flags and offering food, water and prayer. Around the country, other religious groups are getting ready to provide longer-term support for refugees who will have to find housing, work, health care and schooling....

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South Asian Americans face a complicated relationship with the swastika

March 25, 2022

During Nikhil Mandalaparthy's senior year of high school in 2015, the local Hindu temple in his hometown was vandalized. Spray-painted in red on the outside of the Bothell, Washington, worship and cultural center were the words “Get Out” — alongside a symbol that was almost familiar to the temple’s patrons: a swastika. 

But the mark used to terrorize Mandalaparthy’s community was different than the swastikas he had grown up seeing in religious contexts. It was sharp and at a 45-degree angle, what he recognized immediately as a mark of Nazism and white supremacy. ...

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