Belly dancing as a vehicle for spiritual exploration

c. 2007 Religion News Service AKRON, Ohio _ Middle Eastern music plays softly as the dancers gracefully raise their hands from their sides and lift them high, ending with their palms together above their heads. The movements of the women, short and tall, young and old, thin and not-so-thin, have a meditative quality. Their expressions […]

COMMENTARY: My top 10 religion stories of the year

c. 2007 Religion News Service (UNDATED) My choices for the top 10 religion stories in 2007 are: 1. Even as Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, investigated possible wrongdoing within six prominent evangelical megachurches, the mixture of religion and politics in the United States intensified. Mike Huckabee’s surge in the polls, Mitt Romney’s need to speak about […]

Infamous Irish Priest Faces New Sex Charge

Oliver O’Grady, the Irish-born priests whose rape of children in California was documented in the Oscar-nominated film “Deliver Us From Evil,” now faces a new legal challenge, according to the Stockton Record. Says the Record: A new lawsuit against the Catholic Diocese of Stockton alleges that former priest sexually abused another child while serving in […]

Muslim Car Talk

According to Catholic World News, an Iranian company is making a new vehicle specifically for Muslims. The car will be adorned with Islamic symbols and have a compass pointing toward the Muslim holy city of Mecca. There’s probably a good joke in there somewhere but I’ll let you make it. Read the brief here.

Hajj-Choo!

Muslim officials brace for Hajj health risks RNS’ Omar Sacirbey looks at the health issues that Saudi Arabia deals with during the Hajj, the annual Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca, in this week’s full-text article, linked above. Quote: The Hajj, which this year begins Dec. 18, is a health-care challenge by any stretch. Some 2 million […]

10 Minutes with … Jody Myers

c. 2007 Religion News Service (UNDATED) The international Kabbalah Centre has drawn high-profile praise and ire. Pop stars like Madonna have darkened the center’s doors in Los Angeles, but some traditional Jews say the center peddles New Age snake oil. “Kabbalah and the Spiritual Quest,” by Jody Myers, a professor of religion at California State […]

In Muslim America, a punk scene arises

c. 2007 Religion News Service ROSEMONT, Ill. _ It had the elements of a classic punk rock show: screaming singers, thrashing guitars and police breaking up the concert. The venue, however, wasn’t a beer-soaked basement dive. It was the ballroom of the Hyatt in Rosemont, Ill., where the Islamic Society of North America was sponsoring […]

RNS Daily Digest

c. 2007 Religion News Service Mayors’ report says cities are seeing more emergency food requests (RNS) A majority of U.S. cities participating in a recent survey have seen an increase in the number of requests for emergency food assistance, the U.S. Conference of Mayors reports. The Washington-based conference issued its annual Hunger and Homelessness Survey […]

French filmmakers look at faith through eyes of religious leaders

c. 2007 Religion News Service NEW YORK _ Those accustomed to viewing only the public face of the world’s religious leaders will see a welcome surprise in a new documentary to be broadcast Sunday (Dec. 23) on CBS. “In God’s Name” includes the sight of Pope Benedict XVI watching television in his private quarters like […]