Dalai Lama taps American to bridge East and West at Tibetan monastery

NEW YORK (RNS) The Dalai Lama has given Nicholas Vreeland, director of The Tibet Center in New York, a daunting new assignment. On July 6, Vreeland will be enthroned as the new abbot of Rato Monastery in Southern India, one of the most important monasteries in Tibetan Buddhism. He will be the first Westerner to hold such a position. By Kim Lawton.

COMMENTARY: Ain’t no mountain high enough

(RNS) The horrendous ugliness of this year's political campaigns is a last-ditch effort to install hatred on the throne — all of it egged on by wealthy bigots whose goal, inevitably, is gaining more wealth. But it's last-ditch because times are changing. By Tom Ehrich.

Pool of American imams too small to meet the demand

SHARON, Mass. (RNS) It will be at least 5 to 10 years before the pool of American imams becomes large enough to meet demand from mosques. In the meantime, Muslim communities will continue to depend on imams from abroad — and that creates challenges for a community that increasingly wants to assimilate. By Omar Sacirbey.