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the rise of the irreligious may change our politics


this article originally appeared on the conver ion. a recent survey of the religious profile of the 115th congress revealed that despite the increase in the number of americans who claim no religious affiliation, members of congress are overwhelmingly religious, with only one member identifying as having no religion. yet, despite whom they vote for, americans are…






chinese communist party officials harden rhetoric on islam


beijing — china's ruling communist party is hardening its rhetoric about islam, with top officials making repeated warnings this past week about the specter of global religious extremism seeping into the country.shaerheti ahan, a top political and legal affairs party official in xinjiang, became the latest official from a predominantly muslim region to warn political leaders gathered in beijing about china becoming destabilized by the "international anti-terror situation."over the past year, president xi jinping has directed the party to "sinicize" the country's ethnic and religious minorities, while regional leaders in xinjiang, home to the uighur (wee-gur) ethnic minority, have ramped up policing amid an uptick in violence.the government's hardening rhetoric has coincided with new securi






chinese communist party officials harden rhetoric on islam


beijing (ap) — china’s ruling communist party is hardening its rhetoric about islam, with top officials making repeated warnings this past week about the specter of global religious extremism seeping into the country.shaerheti ahan, a top political and legal affairs party official in xinjiang, became the latest official from a predominantly muslim region to warn political leaders gathered in beijing about china becoming destabilized by the “international anti-terror situation.”over the past year, president xi jinping has directed the party to “sinicize” the country’s ethnic and religious minorities, while regional leaders in xinjiang, home to the uighur (wee-gur) ethnic minority, have ramped up policing amid an uptick in violence.the government’s hardening rhetoric has coincided with new s






the latest: cypriot religious leaders make joint pledge


philadelphia — the latest on international women's day events (all times local):6:15 a.m.the leaders of cyprus' christian and muslim faithful are pledging to work with authorities and help end violence against women and girls on the ethnically divided island.the heads of cyprus' muslim, orthodox, armenian and maronite christian communities, issued a first-ever joint statement on international women's day wednesday to condemn violence targeting women and girls.stating that christianity and islam condemn violence against women, the leaders said it is their religious duty to stand united against it. they also rejected the "misuse of religion to vindicate" violence against women and girls.they expressed concern that violence continues to be "one of the most pervasive manifestations of discrimi






employers in eu can ban visible religious symbols like islamic headscarves


closeskip in skipxembedxshare the european union's top court ruled that companies may bar staff from wearing islamic headscarves and other visible religious symbols under certain conditions, igniting a wave of complaints from rights groups and religious leaders. usa todayin this saturday, march 4, 2017 photo, rosary beads are displayed for selling next to a mannequin wearing a headscarf in a market stall at the hague, the netherlands.(photo: emilio morenatti, ap) 16 connectlinkedinemailmoreemployers in european union countries can ban employees from wearing of visible symbols of religion such as islamic headscarves and christian crosses, a top european court ruled tuesday.the european court of justice (ecj) made the decision after two muslim women in belgium and france were fired for refus






employers in eu can ban visible religious symbols like islamic headscarves


closeskip in skipxembedxshare the european union's top court ruled that companies may bar staff from wearing islamic headscarves and other visible religious symbols under certain conditions, igniting a wave of complaints from rights groups and religious leaders. usa todayin this saturday, march 4, 2017 photo, rosary beads are displayed for selling next to a mannequin wearing a headscarf in a market stall at the hague, the netherlands.(photo: emilio morenatti, ap) 20 connectlinkedinemailmoreemployers in european union countries can ban employees from wearing visible symbols of religion such as islamic headscarves and christian crosses, a top european court ruled tuesday.the european court of justice (ecj) made the decision after two muslim women in belgium and france were fired for refusing






china's communist party hardens rhetoric on islam | china news


china's ruling communist party has hardened its rhetoric on islam, with top officials making repeated warnings about the specter of global religious "extremism" seeping into the country, and the need to protect traditional chinese identity.shaerheti ahan, a top party official in xinjiang, on sunday became the latest official from a predominantly muslim region to warn political leaders gathered in beijing that the "international anti-terror situation" is destabilising china. officials from ningxia hui autonomous region, which has an ethnic hui population that is predominantly muslim, warned similarly this past week about the perils of "islamic extremism". read more: is china changing its policy towards uighur muslims? speaking at a regional meeting open to the media, ningxia communist party






china's communist party hardens rhetoric on islam | china news


china's ruling communist party has hardened its rhetoric on islam, with top officials making repeated warnings about the spectre of global religious "extremism" seeping into the country, and the need to protect traditional chinese identity.shaerheti ahan, a top party official in xinjiang, on sunday became the latest official from a predominantly muslim region to warn political leaders gathered in beijing that the "international anti-terror situation" is destabilising china. officials from ningxia hui autonomous region, which has an ethnic hui population that is predominantly muslim, warned similarly this past week about the perils of "islamic extremism". read more: is china changing its policy towards uighur muslims? speaking at a regional meeting open to the media, ningxia communist party






myanmar nationalist monks protest thai crackdown on sect


yangon, myanmar (ap) — a buddhist nationalist group that has been accused of stirring up religious tensions in myanmar has demonstrated outside thailand’s embassy in myanmar to protest the thai government’s siege of the temple headquarters of a controversial buddhist sect.friday’s protest by more than 100 monks and supporters was organized by the association of the protection of race and religion — also known as ma ba tha — a group that has been criticized for pushing an anti-muslim agenda in mostly buddhist myanmar.thai authorities are seeking to arrest the monk who heads the dhammakaya sect in thailand because he allegedly accepted millions of dollars of embezzled money as a donation.last year, the dhammakaya temple hosted one of ma ba tha’s top leaders, the monk wirathu, for a religious






trump vows to overturn ban on political activity by churches


president trump speaks during the national prayer breakfast on feb. 2, 2017, in washington.(p o: evan vucci, ap)washington — president trump promised faith leaders thursday that he would "totally destroy" the law that prohibits churches from engaging in political activity, a move that would upend 63 years of settled tax law.in an appearance at the annual national prayer breakfast, trump said he would make good on his promise to overturn the so-called johnson amendment, which bans public charities — including churches — from paigning for or against a candidate for for elected office. those who do risk losing their tax exemption."among those freedoms is the right to worship according to our own beliefs. that is why i will get rid of and totally destroy the johnson amendment and allow our rep






triggering article 50 | | al jazeera


jakarta's governor talks indonesian crossroads, between a multi-religious state or a nation ruled by islamic principles.indonesia, religion, human rights






the big picture : the people vs. america |


jakarta's governor talks indonesian crossroads, between a multi-religious state or a nation ruled by islamic principles.indonesia, religion, human rights






roma evictions in france | france


jakarta's governor talks indonesian crossroads, between a multi-religious state or a nation ruled by islamic principles.indonesia, religion, human rights






myanmar army: charges of abusing rohingya unsubstantiated


naypyitaw, myanmar (ap) — myanmar’s military, under international pressure over alleged abuse against members of the muslim rohingya minority, has said official investigations failed to substantiate most allegations.military spokesman maj. gen. myat tun oo at a news conference tuesday said the increasing population of rohingya in rakhine state in western myanmar, along with an increase in the number of religious leaders and mosques, disproved general charges of genocide and religious persecution.he said official investigations failed to find convincing evidence that widespread rape or other atrocities directed against civilians had taken place, but allegations that the army burned down thousands of homes were still under investigation.the government has barred independent media access to t






black history month: an american story you weren't told | 2017


jakarta's governor talks indonesian crossroads, between a multi-religious state or a nation ruled by islamic principles.indonesia, religion, human rights






merkel visits egypt, tunisia to talk about migration


berlin — german chancellor angela merkel will visit egypt and tunisia this week with migration at the top of her agenda as she meets her counterparts in the north african nations.merkel's spokesman steffen seibert said wednesday germany is interested in helping egypt strengthen its coastguard and clamp down on illegal trafficking across the mediterranean, which leads to thousands of deaths each year.germany also intends to work together more closely with the two countries to curtail overall migration from africa to europe.the german government will also talk about both egypt and tunisia taking back asylum-seekers who have been rejected in germany.merkel will visit egypt on thursday and tunisia on friday. beyond meeting the two countries' leaders, she will talk to religious leaders and memb






mcconnell: we don't have religious tests in this country


european leaders oppose trump travel ban; far right applaudstribune news servicesthe leaders of britain and germany joined other american allies sunday in criticizing president donald trump's u.s. entry ban for people from some muslim-majority countries, even as far-right politicians on the continent celebrated the move. a spokesman for theresa may said the british prime minister...the leaders of britain and germany joined other american allies sunday in criticizing president donald trump's u.s. entry ban for people from some muslim-majority countries, even as far-right politicians on the continent celebrated the move. a spokesman for theresa may said the british prime minister... (tribune news services)






pentagon rejects accusation that deadly airstrike targeted mosque


the syrian observatory for human rights said 49 people had been killed in what the group described as a “massacre” of civilians who were undergoing religious instruction.washington — the pentagon released an aerial photo friday of a pulverized building in syria in an unusual defense of a u.s. airstrike that officials said killed dozens of al-qaida operatives at a meeting place — and not civilians at a mosque, as activists and local residents maintained.far from settling the debate, however, the photo prompted fresh challenges from local activists who argued that the building was part of a religious complex. some of them distributed their own photos of the devastation, fueling the dueling narratives.the pentagon has not said which al-qaida leaders it believes were killed in the strike but s






cuomo set for israel visit in support of jewish community


albany, n.y. — new york gov. andrew cuomo is traveling to israel in a gesture of solidarity spurred by acts of anti-semitism at jewish cemeteries, college campuses and community centers across the nation.cuomo announced the trip wednesday during a speech to orthodox jewish students, parents and teachers advocating at the capitol for increased funding for religious schools."i want to say to the people of israel and i want to say to the jewish community, 'in new york, you are not alone, and every person in the state of new york with any decency and understanding of what it means to be a new yorker stands with you at this moment,'" cuomo said.cuomo denounced local and national incidents of vandalism and threats as "repugnant," echoing a speech he gave earlier wednesday at the sidney albert al






texas’ next religious liberty fight could be over foster care


you can’t talk about religious liberty in texas without mentioning lester roloff.in the 1970s, roloff, a baptist preacher, was known for his homes for teenagers in corpus christi. a 1973 legislative report on child care in the state said members heard testimony from children previously in roloff’s rebekah home for girls about irregular meals and whippings. roloff told lawmakers his homes should be exempted from state interference due to his religious roots.“we spanked them because god loves them, and we love them,” roloff told the committee.those hearings led to the legislature passing senate bill 965 in 1975, which established child care licensing laws in the state.now, 42 years later, texas legislators are considering sharpening religious protections for faith-based groups the state hire






watch live: neil gorsuch confirmation hearings for supreme court, day 2


tuesday marks day two of neil gorsuch’s confirmation hearings for supreme court justice. after the first day’s opening statements, senators are expected to question gorsusch all day tuesday. wednesday will include testimony from outside witnesses. the confirmation hearings are expected to last three or four days.  11:40 a.m. leahy asked how gorsuch would have ruled in the shelby county case regarding the voting rights act. gorsuch said again, he couldn’t reveal what he would do, but that the ruling left room for congress to legislate. 11:25 a.m. leahy asked gorsuch if a blanket religious test is constitutional. gorsuch said that the constitution guarantees free exercise of religion and religious liberties. he said that he will apply the law faithfully and fearlessly without regard to perso






heightened religiosity, epilepsy linked: study


epilepsy, a neurological disorder characterized by unpredictable seizures, has been historically linked with intense religious experiences — although these connections have been tenuous, at best. a new study has now attempted to shed light on the relationship between the human brain and spiritual, or religious, experiences. in the recently published study, researchers from university of missouri,…






ashes to go puts a speedy twist on ash wednesday for the time crunched


the rev. matt sipe began his ash wednesday at a coffee shop in delano, offering ashes to folks sipping their morning brew.the rev. christine bellefeuille started the morning in the parking lot of her stillwater church, smudging ashes on the foreheads of a few folks who pulled in before work.the lunch hour crowd headed to a maple grove lutheran church church where the rev. christine chiles offered prayers, pamphlets and ashes to drivers stopping by the church entrance on this first day of lent.dubbed ashes to go, it's part of a recent trend to bring this religious ritual out of the church and into the streets. it's been unfolding in bus stops, downtown centers and church parking lots across the nation.while some critics call it "ash wednesday lite," local religious leaders say it's an impor






after outcry, quebec hospital restores crucifix taken down in interest of ‘relig


montreal — after a patient complained last month about the presence of a large crucifix on the wall of the publicly funded saint-sacrament hospital in quebec city, management determined that in the interest of the “religious neutrality of the state,” it should come down.it seemed a reasonable response in a province where religious symbols are frequently seen as an affront to secularism. a bill now before the national assembly would prohibit muslim women who wear the face-covering niqab from receiving government services in the interest of “fostering adherence to state religious neutrality.”but when it comes to religious symbols in quebec, some are more equal than others.after being confronted with a violent threat, a scolding from government ministers and a petition signed by more than 13,






employers allowed to ban headscarves, eu court says


employers are permitted to ban staff from wearing visible religious symbols, the european union’s top court ruled on tuesday – its first decision on the issue of women wearing headscarves at work. “an internal rule of an undertaking which prohibits the visible wearing of any political, philosophical or religious sign does not constitute direct discrimination,” the…






pope francis urges eu unity after greek row


rome—pope francis told european union leaders to work together and withstand the temptation of “centrifugal forces,” just after last-minute demands by greece risked spoiling the bloc’s 60th anniversary.in an unprecedented move, the pope received the leaders of all eu countries except the u.k. on the eve of celebrations marking 60 years since the signature of the bloc’s founding treaty. apart from papal funerals, there has never been such a large number of european leaders at the vatican at the same time. the leaders were...






no time for church? ashes to go offers speedy ash wednesday option


the rev. matt sipe began his ash wednesday at a coffee shop in delano, offering ashes to folks sipping their morning brew.the rev. christine bellefeuille started the morning in the parking lot of her stillwater church, blessing folks who pulled in before work.the lunch hour crowd headed to a maple grove church where the minister rubbed ashes on the foreheads of drivers pausing in the parking lot, and handed out religious pamphlets about the holy day marking the first day of lent.how do you reach busy minnesotans who may not have time to attend church on ash wednesday? you offer "ashes to go."these unlikely ministries are part of a growing trend around the country, bringing a new forum to an ancient christian tradition. while new to minnesota, it's been unfolding in bus stops, downtown cent






no time for church? ashes to go offers speedy ash wednesday option


the rev. matt sipe began his ash wednesday at a coffee shop in delano, offering ashes to folks sipping their morning brew.the rev. christine bellefeuille started the morning in the parking lot of her stillwater church, blessing folks who pulled in before work.the lunch hour crowd headed to a maple grove church where the minister rubbed ashes on the foreheads of drivers pausing in the parking lot, and handed out religious pamphlets about the holy day marking the first day of lent.how do you reach busy minnesotans who may not have time to attend church on ash wednesday? you offer “ashes to go.”these unlikely ministries are part of a growing trend around the country, bringing a new forum to an ancient christian tradition. while new to minnesota, it’s been unfolding in bus stops, downtown cent






first scorecard on international religious freedom rates members of congress


pope francis addresses a joint session of congress on sept. 24, 2014 in washington.(photo: paul j. richards, afp/getty images) 7 connectlinkedinemailmoresen. marco rubio, r-fla., and rep. chris smith, r-n.j., earned the highest scores on a first-of-its kind report card for federal lawmakers on international religious freedom issues.the scorecard rated senators on 14 legislative votes and representatives on 25 in the legislative session that began in january 2015 and ended in december 2016, and then factored in caucus work on the issue during that period.the ranking was released by the 21st century wilberforce initiative, a nonprofit group that advocates for religious freedom. its website says it does that “from a distinctly christian perspective while working on behalf of all individuals r






first scorecard on international religious freedom rates members of congress


pope francis addresses a joint session of congress on sept. 24, 2014 in washington.(photo: paul j. richards, afp/getty images) 8 connectlinkedinemailmoresen. marco rubio, r-fla., and rep. chris smith, r-n.j., earned the highest scores on a first-of-its kind report card for federal lawmakers on international religious freedom issues.the scorecard rated senators on 14 legislative votes and representatives on 25 in the legislative session that began in january 2015 and ended in december 2016, and then factored in caucus work on the issue during that period.the ranking was released by the 21st century wilberforce initiative, a nonprofit group that advocates for religious freedom. its website says it does that “from a distinctly christian perspective while working on behalf of all individuals r






first scorecard on international religious freedom rates members of congress


pope francis addresses a joint session of congress on sept. 24, 2014 in washington.(photo: paul j. richards, afp/getty images) 9 connectlinkedinemailmoresen. marco rubio, r-fla., and rep. chris smith, r-n.j., earned the highest scores on a first-of-its kind report card for federal lawmakers on international religious freedom issues.the scorecard rated senators on 14 legislative votes and representatives on 25 in the legislative session that began in january 2015 and ended in december 2016, and then factored in caucus work on the issue during that period.the ranking was released by the 21st century wilberforce initiative, a nonprofit group that advocates for religious freedom. its website says it does that “from a distinctly christian perspective while working on behalf of all individuals r






hawaiian mythology download


download download hawaiian religion encompasses the indigenous religious beliefs and practices of the native hawaiians. it is polytheistic and animistic, with a belief in many deities and spirits, including the belief that spirits are found in non-human beings and objects such as animals, the waves, and the sky. hawaiian religion originated among the tahitians and other pacific islanders who landed in hawai. i between 500 and 1300 ad. today, hawaiian religious practices are protected by the american indian religious freedom act. traditional hawaiian religion is unrelated to the modern new age practice known as "huna. "available in languages: english, portuguese, spanish, chinese, korean, hindi.






blogger goes on trial for playing 'pokemon go' in a church


moscow — a trial for the blogger who is accused of inciting religious hatred for playing "pokemon go" in a church has begun in the russian city of yekaterinburg.ruslan sokolovsky has been in pre-trial detention since october when a court reversed his house arrest.investigators have charged the 22-year-old video blogger with inciting religious hatred, the same offense that sent two women from the pussy riot punk collective to prison for two years in 2012, and insulting the feelings of religious believers.sokolovsky posted a video on his blog last year showing him playing the smartphone game in a church built on the supposed spot where the family of the last russian tsar, nicholas ii, was killed.he faces a possible sentence of 7 ½ years in prison if convicted.






saudi king leads hundreds of princes, clerics, military officials on asia trip


the saudi king is leading an up to 1,500-person entourage through asia for a monthlong tour in a bid to strengthen ties with a region the kingdom sees as an increasingly valuable economic partner and a hedge against an unpredictable u.s. government.the monarch, accompanied by senior princes, religious leaders, ministers and military officials, began his trip in malaysia, where on monday he agreed to invest $7 billion in a malaysian...






detroit suburb will allow mosque to settle lawsuits


sterling heights, mich. — a detroit suburb that had denied a religious organization's proposal for a mosque in a residential neighborhood will allow construction to move forward to settle two lawsuits that alleged religious discrimination, u.s. authorities said wednesday.the sterling heights city council voted late tuesday to accept the settlements, including one in a lawsuit brought in december by the u.s. attorney's office and one filed by the mosque last summer. the settlements still must be approved by a judge.the 20,500-square-foot mosque was denied in 2015 when the sterling heights planning commission voted against a special land agreement sought by the american islamic community center. the city had said the application was denied because of concerns about parking, traffic, and the






religious right looking to trump for protections


washington — religious conservatives whose overwhelming support propelled donald trump to the white house are watching closely for him to deliver on promised protections for religious objectors to gay marriage and abortion.on thursday, trump speaks at the national prayer breakfast, a high-profile event bringing together faith leaders, politicians and dignitaries. he has not indicated how he'll act on the provisions sought by religious conservatives, which critics say could sanction discrimination against gays.the annual breakfast offers an opportunity for a pause in the rhetoric of the day. it also provides a political spotlight, as it did in 2013 for ben carson, who drew national attention as a republican presidential candidate for railing against the modern welfare state.earlier this wee






gop leaders boost pressure as health bill crunch time nears


president donald trump and house leaders are revving up pressure on balky conservatives and other republican lawmakers as crunch time approaches on the party's health care overhaul bill, a drive gop leaders concede they can't afford to lose.






cuomo: boost security at religious schools after threats


advertisement | advertise on newsdaygov. andrew m. cuomo speaks during a cabinet meeting in the red room at the capitol in albany on tuesday, feb. 28, 2017. (credit: ap) albany — gov. andrew m. cuomo on wednesday proposed that the state spend $25 million more for security and safety measures at religious schools in the face of what he called hate, ignorance and cowardice directed at jewish institutions on long island and across the state.“there is a rash of anti-semitic activity that is going on, not just in new york but all across the nation and also in...






hijab at work: eu court is authorising discrimination |


on march 14, the european court of justice ruled that when it comes to the workplace, the ban on the wearing of "any political, philosophical or religious sign" such as headscarves need not constitute direct discrimination. but it can only be enforced if there are existing company rules requiring all employees to "dress neutrally". it cannot be based on the wishes of a customer, it added. or, to put it in practical terms, it paves the way for a de facto prevention of muslim women who wear the hijab from enjoying fully the activities and benefits of the workplace. the ruling comes against the backdrop of rising anti-muslim hatred across europe, a rising amount of anti-muslim violence, and elections in the netherlands and germany in which far-right voices are promoting a belligerent stance a