Multifaith

Spiritual Houstonians embrace the metaphysical during COVID-19

June 29, 2020

People seek Robert Garza when they need answers, healing and hope.

And during the coronavirus pandemic, he said he is more in demand than ever before. At Garza’s store in west Houston, the masses are flocking to buy his herbal remedies and to seek his guidance in spiritual card readings.

“It’s been crazy,” said Garza, owner of Yerberia La Santa Fe.

Source:...

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Faith leaders make an appeal to Utahns: Wear a mask to protect your neighbor

June 25, 2020

A day after the state’s health care leaders begged Utahns to wear masks with COVID-19 infections surging, an interfaith group of 28 religious leaders issued a joint appeal to people of faith to use face coverings.

Latter-day Saint, evangelical, Catholic, Jewish, Islamic and other faith leaders asked Utahns to sacrifice “a small measure of comfort for the sake of saving lives.”

“...

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Religious leaders call on Mandalay Bay to remove Hindu, Jain statues from cocktail lounge

June 24, 2020

Las Vegas leaders from various religious faiths called on Las Vegas Strip resort Mandalay Bay to remove statues of various Hindu and Jain deities from the Foundation Room night club.

The leaders, including Greek Orthodox Christian Priest Stephen Karcher, Buddhist Priest Matthew Fisher and Jewish Rabbu ElizaBeth Beyer, are calling the statues inappropriate and disrespectful.

Source:...

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Survey: Most Americans aren’t comfortable going back to religious services

June 24, 2020

A new study examining Americans’ response to COVID-19 shows that with the exception of white evangelicals, a majority of Americans are not comfortable returning to in-person religious services.

The results of the survey suggest that despite political pressure to reopen houses of worship — from President Donald Trump as well as leading conservative Christians and religious liberty advocates — Americans aren’t quite...

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Poor People's Campaign stages massive online demonstration

June 22, 2020

With COVID-19 restrictions preventing an intended in-person rally in Washington D.C., at least a million supporters of the Poor People's Campaign reportedly tuned in Saturday (June 20) to watch a mix of live speeches and pre-recorded clips of liberal religious leaders calling for a "moral revolution" and the enactment of a sweeping policy agenda focused on the poor.

“We are gathered today to call for a radical redistribution of political and economic power, a revolution of moral values to demonstrate the power of poor and impacted people banding together, demanding that this...

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Milwaukee faith leaders reconsider every element of the religious experience as they make plans to reopen facilities

June 16, 2020

 

Replacing prayer rugs with disposable paper placemats. Holding Sunday services on church lawns. Buying a carriage to transport caskets in place of pallbearers.

Milwaukee’s faith leaders have had to reconsider every element of the religious experience as they make cautious plans to reopen facilities. While state and local restrictions on gatherings are easing, the ongoing coronavirus pandemic means it’s not back to business-as-usual right away.

And while each religious organization needs to find creative solutions to their unique faith traditions,...

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Patriots’ Ben Watson joins religious groups calling for justice on Boston Common

June 15, 2020

Hundreds of people, brought together by religious groups, gathered at Boston Common on Sunday to call for justice after the death of George Floyd and other black people in police custody, saying everyone needs to work for change.

“We have to do this together, you have to find a common way forward together  — It’s not going to be just black voices white allies, it’s everyone, every shade, every creed coming together,”  said attendee Regina Robinson. “Prayer is essential of anything happening, we can’t do this on our own.”

Organizers brought Christians from...

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As coronavirus restrictions loosen, congregations grapple with including older adults

June 12, 2020

Each Sunday, Larry Little and his wife, Mary, get ready for church. They dress casually, fill two tumblers with water, climb into their golf cart and drive two miles to The Grove, a grassy field next to their church.

There they find a parking place, turn off the engine and settle in for a live service in front of a Jumbotron and a stage.

The Littles, who live in a retirement community called The Villages, about an hour’s drive northwest of Orlando, Florida, are among the lucky few.

Since mid-March, when state shutdowns forced churches, synagogues and...

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Ohio Senate unanimously passes student religious expression bill

June 11, 2020

 

Despite concerns about separation of church and state, the Ohio Senate passed a bill that would allow public school students to pray, attend religious clubs and “See You at the Pole” gatherings, distribute religious material, wear religious clothing and turn in work expressing their faith beliefs.

House Bill 164 passed the Senate 32...

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Amid protests, US faith leaders engage racism and politics

June 4, 2020

 

As days of anti-racism protests sparked by police killings push Americans toward a national reckoning, religious leaders are stepping more directly into the politics surrounding discrimination, entering into a dialogue that cuts across lines of faith and color.

Groups from multiple denominations across Christian, Jewish and Muslim faiths have publicly called for action against racism, aligning with peaceful demonstrators’ goals following the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Even beyond those statements, the amount and diversity of religious involvement...

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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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A 24-hour online vigil will name some of the people who have died of COVID-19

May 20, 2020
Ahead of Memorial Day, which honors the nation’s wartime dead, a coalition of activists from across the country will hold a 24-hour online vigil naming some of the people who have died of COVID-19.
 
The #NamingTheLost vigil will begin Wednesday (May 20) at 2 p.m. Eastern on Facebook and end at 2 p.m. Thursday.
 
“By taking 24 hours to read the names of those we have lost, we seek to humanize and honor each person — and those whose names we do not know — at a time when we must be physically apart,” the website for...
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Four young people of different faiths move into a home together, then a pandemic happens

May 20, 2020
Hadar Cohen, Ala’ Khan, Maya Mansour and Jonathan Simcosky arrived as strangers, ready to embark on a new interfaith journey.
 
The four roommates moved into a five-bedroom, five-bath house in Los Angeles’ Koreatown neighborhood earlier this year. They come from different faiths: Baha’i, Christianity, Islam and Judaism. Cohen came from Jerusalem but had already lived in the Bay Area for a few years. Simcosky made the trek from Salem, Massachusetts, to L.A. Khan and Mansour were already in Southern California.
 
They...
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Spiritual counselors adapt to serve faithful in pandemic

April 24, 2020

 

Esther Roman wasn’t even in the room when she witnessed what she describes as “probably the holiest thing I’ve ever seen.”

A doctor whose patient was suffering from COVID-19 had used an iPad to connect with Roman, a 38-year-old staff chaplain at Manhattan’s Mount Sinai Morningside hospital, and members of the patient’s family. As the patient’s family told him that if they could, they would be in the room to comfort him, Roman saw – in the digital frame – the doctor reach out and stroke his hair.

“I don’t think that image will ever leave me,” Roman...

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Easter, Passover, Vaisakhi, Ramadan: Milwaukee celebrates major religious holidays during a pandemic

April 13, 2020

 

Religious holidays this month are being celebrated using social distancing, but faith leaders say that doesn't mean people of faith have to be spiritually distant.

Many places of worship around the state are getting creative in how they celebrate. Many have moved their services online. Others are offering drive-up services.

At Faith Builders Church, they held a virtual service on Easter Sunday and invited congregation members to a drive-up blessing after the service was over. Senior Pastor Jeff Pruitt prayed over each family as they drove up...

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