- The Number of Religious Facilities Unable to Pay Their Mortgage Is Surging: Just as homeowners borrowed too much or built too big during boom times, many churches did the same and now are struggling as their congregations shrink and collections fall owing to rising unemployment and a weak economy.
- Temecula City Council votes 4-0 to uphold decision approving mosque
- Samuel Ruiz, Mexican priest who sought rights for Maya Indians, dies at 86: For 40 years as a bishop in Mexico’s impoverished Chiapas state, the Rev. Samuel Ruiz championed the rights of the long-suffering Maya Indians who dominate the lush region. Father Ruiz, who learned the Mayan languages and adopted their customs into Roman Catholic practice, died Jan. 17 in Mexico City at age 86. At Religion Dispatches: Bishops Ruiz’s death marks the passing of yet another priest who embodied the grassroots Christian action at the heart of liberation theology.
- Bearded man can’t be prison guard, Calif. says: California’s attorney general says religious beliefs — in this case those of a Sikh — aren’t enough to trump a corrections department ban on prison guards wearing beards — a stance that drew protests Tuesday from civil rights organizations.
- School hijab ban divides Muslim Azerbaijan: hundreds of villagers recently took to the streets in protest against a controversial decision to stop girls wearing the Islamic headscarf in schools. “We’d rather die than give up the hijab!”
- Poll: Christian marginalisation on the rise, say UK church-goers: According to the poll, conducted by ComRes on behalf of Premier Christian Media, 81 per cent of church-goers think the marginalisation of Christians is happening more and more in the media and press. While 77 per cent thought it was growing in the public realm, two thirds said they believed it was increasing in the workplace. And more than half said it was on the rise in Government.
- German Jesuits offer payment to sex-abuse victims: Germany’s Jesuit order of Catholic priests is offering to pay 1 million euros (1.36 million dollars) in compensation to some 200 victims of sex abuse.
- Muslim father ‘was spitting at another woman when he ran down too Westernised daughter in alleged honour killing’ : Faleh Almaleki allegedly killed his daughter in a so-called ‘honour killing‘ – a barbaric practice in which Muslims (for the most part) savagely murder family members whose lifestyle choices they disagree with based on their interpretation of Islam.
Analysis, Commentary, Opinion
- The Lazy Slander of Pro-Lifers: Do pro-lifers care only for life inside the womb?
- Bans on the Wearing of the Full Face Veil in Public: What Is the Impact on Human Rights? Part 1. Based on Bans on the Full Face Veil and Human Rights, A Freedom of Expression Perspective — a report by human rights organization Article 19. See also: Hijab: why Muslim women wear the veil
- ‘The Rite’: Hollywood’s Obsession With Exorcism Continues
- The New Atheists’ Narrow Worldview: With tongues in cheeks, Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, Sam Harris, and Daniel Dennett are embracing their reputation as the “Four Horsemen.” Lampooning the anxieties of evangelicals, these best-selling atheists are embracing their “dangerous” status and daring believers to match their formidable philosophical acumen. According to these soldiers of reason, the time for religion is over. It clings like a bad gene replicating in the population, but its usefulness is played out. Sam Harris’s most recent book, The Moral Landscape (Free Press, 2010), is the latest in the continuing battle. As an agnostic, I find much of the horsemen’s critiques to be healthy. But most friends and even enemies of the new atheism have not yet noticed the provincialism of the current debate. If the horsemen left their world of books, conferences, classrooms, and computers to travel more in the developing world for a year, they would find some unfamiliar religious arenas.
- City of gods: The tortuous past of Jerusalem, endlessly fought over by Jews, Christians and Muslims, is brilliantly revealed in Simon Sebag Montefiore’s Jerusalem: The Biography [Kindle edition]
- Recovering From Religious Abuse: Millions have experienced religious abuse — whether it’s a well-publicized event like what happened to Elizabeth Smart or to Catholic Altar boys molested by pedophile priests — but it’s most common in Christian churches and para-church organizations, which are run by ambitious leaders. When the leader has a narcissistic streak, which is frequent, religious abuse is always present. That’s why Recovering from Religious Abuse [Kindle edition | Buy a Kindle] has just been released by Simon & Schuster. Until now, there has been nothing that addresses the problem, while also offering a solution that helps the victims. Using an 11-step method, wounded Christians — those who have been used, abused, and discarded by self-righteous religious leaders — can reconnect with God in a healing, transforming way.
- Photographer reveals how Muslims saved Jews from the Nazis
- Poll: Churches are fans of Facebook, social media: Churches are turning increasingly to social networking tools as ministry aids and Facebook is by far the most popular tool, according to a new study by LifeWay Research.
- Giving to God by direct debit: The tradition of passing the church plate might become a relic of the past, as a majority of Americans pay bills electronically and move away from using cash or writing cheques. Despite concerns about commercialising something so personal, electronic giving to churches is growing.
Today in History
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