Beijing eyes Buddhist resurgence

Calum MacLeod |

SERTHAR, China (RNS) Breathless but beaming, Sheng Zisu sounds confident after five months in a maze-like Buddhist encampment high on the eastern Tibetan plateau, nearly 400 miles from the nearest city. “Look around. They could never find me here,” Sheng, 27, said of parents so anxious about their only child’s turn to Tibetan Buddhism that […]

A popular analogy that doesn’t always work

David Gibson |

(RNS) Is legalized abortion akin to the Nazi Holocaust? The analogy is a standard talking point among abortion opponents, and a new half-hour video by a prominent Christian apologist has gone viral by making the comparison more explicit and graphic than any anti-abortion sound bite on the evening news. But the success of the video […]

Girl’s death prompts moral soul-searching in China

Calum MacLeod |

BEIJING (RNS) Road inspector Guo Mingyi donates his modest salary to the needy and has given blood 79 times. He’s worked five years’ worth of overtime during the past 16 years and arrives two hours early to his job at a state-owned mining firm. Guo says his “Good Samaritan” approach to life reflects the attitude […]

Thursday’s Religion News Roundup

Tired of hearing talk of a “shariah creep,” Muslim-American leaders have issued a fatwa declaring that there is no “contradiction between being faithful Muslims committed to God (Allah) and being loyal American citizens.” The Fiqh Council of North America’s ruling, a “Resolution On Being Faithful Muslims and Loyal Americans,” responds to what its authors call […]

Report says tithing, church spending hit record low

Piet Levy |

(RNS) Tithing to U.S. Protestant churches as a percentage of income is at its lowest level in at least 41 years, according to a new report, and churches are keeping a greater share of those donations for their own needs. Parishioners gave about 2.38 percent of their income to their church, according to “The State […]

Wednesday’s Religion News Roundup

Another Jewish holiday! Tonight begins the seven-day Festival of Sukkot, where Jews give thanks for the harvest. So get yourself an etrog (it’s like a lemon) and, as the Torah instructs, shake your lulav. (Don’t get too excited – it’s the closed frond of a date palm tree.) Israel and Hamas struck a deal to […]

Muslim superhero comics gain followers—and controversy

Omar Sacirbey |

(RNS) After a drunk driver killed his parents and left him paralyzed, the fictional character John Weller was a bitter 22-year-old in St. Louis who sat in his wheelchair and watched television. That all changed on a rainy night when he met two other characters from a new animated feature film, “The 99: Unbound.” Dana […]

New Calif. law prohibits circumcision bans

Nicole Neroulias |

(RNS) Jews, Muslims and their allies cheered Sunday (Oct. 2) as California Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill prohibiting all local bans on circumcision, making it illegal for local authorities to restrict the medical or religious practice. Anti-circumcision activists had gathered enough signatures to place the issue on the ballot in San Francisco. Voters would […]

COMMENTARY: 10 lessons we’ve learned in the 10 years since 9/11

Tom Ehrich |

NEW YORK (RNS) It’s been 10 years since 9/11, and of the countless lessons we’ve learned since then, here are 10 of the most important: First, an open society invites attack. Not only do we present an abundance of targets that we cannot possibly defend, but America’s openness is offensive to the repressive, the insular, […]

`King Arthur’ fights the law, and the law wins

Al Webb |

LONDON (RNS) A self-styled druid who likens himself to a king in ancient Britain has lost his bid to rebury a set of prehistoric human remains at a sacred pagan burial site. John Timothy Rothwell — who changed his name to King Arthur Pendragon in court documents — lost his court battle to win custody […]