India throws rings of protection around divisive candidate Modi

Sanjeev Miglani (Reuters, November 3, 2013)
New Delhi – Indian security forces are preparing for one of their most challenging assignments in decades, protecting prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi in a country with a grim history of political as…

Read the original article at WorldWide Religious News  2013-11-05 »

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Bolz-Weber’s liberal, foulmouthed articulation of Christianity speaks to fed-up believers

Michelle Boorstein (“The Washington Post,” November 3, 2013)
AUSTIN — Nadia Bolz-Weber bounds into the University United Methodist Church sanctuary like a superhero from Planet Alternative Christian. Her 6-foot-1 frame is plastered with tattoos, her arms are sculpted by competitive weightlifting and, to show it all off, this pastor is wearing a tight tank top and jeans.

Read the original article at WorldWide Religious News  2013-11-05 »

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Top 2 Candidates Vow to Make City Hall More Faith-Friendly

Javier C. Hernandez (“The New York Times,” November 3, 2013)
Muslims want to add holidays to the school calendar. Christians are pressing to use school gyms and auditoriums for worship. Ultra-Orthodox Jews are demanding that the city stop regulating an ancient circumcision rite.

After 12 years of a mayor who has resisted making concessions to religious groups, New York City is in for a change.

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Central African Republic: Religious tinderbox

(“BBC News,” November 4, 2013)
Concern is growing that the Central African Republic is sliding into religious conflict following the overthrow of President Francois Bozize in a rebellion in March, as the BBC’s Laeila Adjovi and Abdourahmane Dia report.

Bossangoa, the birthplace of the deposed president, looks like a ghost town, with abandoned buildings, deserted streets and empty markets.

Read the original article at WorldWide Religious News  2013-11-05 »

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In Brief: Supreme Court Revisits Legislative Prayer in Town of Greece v. Galloway

David Masci (“Pew Research Center,” November 4, 2013)
The U.S. Supreme Court will revisit the issue of legislative prayer when it hears oral arguments on Nov. 6 in a case involving a challenge to a municipality’s practice of beginning each town board meeting with an invocation. The last time the high court weighed in on this issue was in its 1983 decision in Marsh v.

Read the original article at WorldWide Religious News  2013-11-05 »

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‘Beer Churches’ Bubbling Up Across U.S.

For many, church time is a sobering time. But for a growing number of American Christians, it’s the best time to crack open a beer.

Just ask the so-called “Church-in-a-pub” gathering in Fort Worth, Texas, which worships at the Zio Carlo brewpub and t…

Read the original article at Religion News on The Huffington Post  2013-11-05 »

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Mepkin Abbey Retreat Center Offers Trappist Monastic Contemplation To Visitors On Donation Basis

MONCKS CORNER, S.C. — MONCKS CORNER, S.C. (AP) — The daily cycle of work, worship and contemplation at Mepkin Abbey still follows the simple pattern that Trappist monks have observed for a thousand years. But in recent months there have been some changes at the South Carolina monastery near Charleston.

A new retreat center and chapel were dedicated in late August. Also in the summer, the first phase of Mepkin’s columbarium, where ashes are interred, was completed. The community of 15 monks, following the monastic tradition, has always welcomed visitors. But before the completion of the St. Francis Retreat Center, those visitors stayed in worn cottages and a mobile home.

The new retreat center — with its minimalist rooms, constructed only of wood, glass, concrete and steel — has 16 rooms for visitors. It hosts about 1,500 a year, many seeking to experience something of the contemplative life or simply find peace and quiet to reflect.

“It’s a place to listen to your heart, to listen to God,” Abbot Stan Gumula said.

The abbey, founded in 1949, sits on a tree-lined bluff overlooking the Cooper River about 35 miles from Charleston. It’s just outside Moncks Corner — although the town name has nothing to do with the abbey. The town was founded by a man named Thomas Monck in 1728.

The retreat center rooms include a bed, a couple of chairs, a reading light, a desk with a Bible, bare walls and a bathroom. There are no TVs or radios and no cellphone reception inside thanks to the steel roof.

“It’s unlike other retreat facility because it’s very stark. It’s beautiful. It’s cut to the essentials,” the abbot said.

There’s no cost, although most of those who come for visits leave a donation. There is a requirement that during a stay, visitors remain at the abbey. That helps prevent from staying and then driving off to visit Charleston or the beach.

“It’s not a tourist destination,” Gumula said.

The simple architecture is echoed in the Father Francis Kline Memorial Chapel that stands at one end of the retreat center. No services are held in the chapel named for a former abbot; it is simply for prayer.

Those on retreat are welcome to join the monks in their daily worship at the main abbey church nearby, but there no requirements to do so. Indeed, there’s no requirement that visitors be Catholic, or of any religion. Gumula estimates that only about 40 percent of those who stay for retreats at the abbey are Catholic.

Recently, Martin Mullis of Campobello, S.C., was reading in a common room in the retreat center. An ordained Pentecostal minister, he has visited the abbey once a year for a decade.

He’s used to the high-energy, praising environment of Pentecostal worship, “but there’s not one kind of prayer or worship that’s out there,” he said. “And the contemplative brings a refreshing renewal of spirit you can’t get from high-energy.”

“God will talk to you though a lot of noise,” he said. But sometimes by getting away to the quiet and praying and reading the Bible, “answers start happening,” he added.

The columbarium is in a low wall along a gracefully winding path in one corner of the abbey grounds. Already 165 niches have been sold to people who want their ashes interred at the abbey. Again, there is no requirement they be Catholic.

The columbarium was suggested as another way to augment the income of the monks after they gave up their egg operation.

Nearly seven years ago, the group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals complained that the monks were operating a factory farm. The abbey later got out of the egg business and began growing mushrooms.

Gumula said that while most of those who have bought niches are local, they have been sold to people from as far away as Oregon, Ohio and Indiana. He said people may find it comforting to have their loved ones interred at the abbey.

“It’s a place where there is a praying community,” he said. “That draws people.”

___

If You Go…

MEPKIN ABBEY: In Moncks Corner, S.C., http://mepkinabbey.org/ . About 30 miles from Charleston. Click “Visit” for details on hours and dates for visiting the grounds, gardens and church; arranging a retreat; or seeing crèches on display at the annual Creche Festival.

Read the original article at Religion News on The Huffington Post  2013-11-05 »

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Chabad Conference Draws 4,000 Rabbis To New York For Annual Gathering In Brooklyn (PHOTOS)

A lot of rabbis had a meeting this weekend.

And we mean A LOT.

rabbis

Over 4,500 rabbis gathered in Brooklyn this weekend for the Annual International Conference of Chabad-Lubavitch Emissaries, or Kinus Hashluchim. They came from over 80 nations in order to attend the conference, themed “Through Darkness A Shining Light.”

They took a ‘class photo:’
big class picture
Thousands of rabbis pose for a group photo in front of Chabad-Lubavitch world headquarters in the Brooklyn borough of New York, Sunday, Nov. 3, 2013. They are among nearly 4,000 rabbis from around the world who are in New York for the International Conference of Chabad-Lubavitch Emissaries, an annual event aimed at reviving Jewish awareness and practice around the world.

As part of the conference, the rabbis visited the gravesite of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson in Queens. The seventh leader in the Chabad-Lubavitch dynasty, he is considered to be one of the most dynamic Jewish leaders in modern times. Next year will mark 20 years since his death in 1994.

praying
A Chabad-Lubavitch rabbi prays in a synagogue adjacent to the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson’s gravesite in the Queens borough of New York, November 1, 2013.

The South Brooklyn Marine Terminal was the location for their gala banquet on Sunday evening, which is considered to be the largest sit-down dinner in New York City.

Keynote speakers included U.S. Senator Joseph I. Lieberman (I-Conn.), and Rabbi Dov Greenberg, co-director of the Rohr Chabad House-Jewish Student Center at Stanford University.

The emissaries hope to share their message with other Jews, a sentiment voiced by Rabbi Shmuel Kaplan, director of Chabad-Lubavitch of Maryland.

“It is in our hands,” Kaplan said on Thursday to a general gathering. “When the Rebbe spoke about reaching every single Jew in the 1950s and ’60s, there were a handful of Chabad emissaries sprinkled around the world. It didn’t seem plausible. Today, we are positioned to bring the light of Torah to every single Jewish man, woman and child.”

book

Read the original article at Religion News on The Huffington Post  2013-11-05 »

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Bob Jones: Did you hear the one about the bishop … ?

Recently, to much mirth, the capital’s new Anglican Bishop despoiled his lovely cathedral’s entrance by residing there in a wooden crate – mocked up as a prison cell – for a week’s baying at the sky.This, apparently, was to urge…

Read the original article at nzherald.co.nz - Religion and Beliefs  2013-11-05 »

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The Atheist Churches Are Coming!

The Sunday Assembly, an atheist church service dreamed up by British comedians Sanderson Jones and Pippa Evans as a “godless congregation that celebrates life” hits U.S. shores today with an appearance in Manhattan. And there’s more to come: their Indigogo campaign plans to raise £500,000 to bring about a global godless revolution. While the media […]

Read the original article at Killing the Buddha  2013-11-05 »

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eBay Issues Apology For Holocaust Items Listed On Site

LONDON (AP) — Online auction site eBay has apologized after a newspaper found apparent Holocaust memorabilia, including the clothes of concentration camp victims, being offered for sale.

Britain’s Mail on Sunday newspaper said items included shoes an…

Read the original article at Religion News on The Huffington Post  2013-11-05 »

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1 Killed, Several Injured In Indiana Church Van Crash

INDIANAPOLIS — INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Police and fire officials say one person has been killed and several others injured after a crash involving a church van filled with passengers.

Police Lt. Christopher Bailey says the driver of the van was pronounced dead at the scene Sunday night. Bailey says 11 passengers sustained minor injuries requiring hospital treatment. He says a 7-year-old girl was transported in serious condition, but her injuries do not appear life-threatening.

He says the van carrying 18 people was heading back to the Jesus House of Prayer Temple shortly before 8 p.m. when it traveled westbound through a green light at an intersection. He says a northbound car did not stop and hit the van.

Bailey says the car driver fled on foot, but was caught a few blocks away.

Read the original article at Religion News on The Huffington Post  2013-11-05 »

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Marathon Jesus In New York City Runs Barefoot For Our Sins And For Boston Victims (PHOTOS)

If you were watching the New York Marathon yesterday, you might have seen the holiest participant of all– “Marathon Jesus.”

Barefoot, bearded, and carrying a cross on his back, runner 55970 was caught on camera by many, as people posted tweets and In…

Read the original article at Religion News on The Huffington Post  2013-11-05 »

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Rob Bell Says Faith And Doubt Go Hand In Hand (VIDEO)

In Pastor Rob Bell’s 2011 book, Love Wins, he pondered questions that are often considered taboo in traditional Christianity: What if heaven is open to all, rather than a select few? What if hell doesn’t exist at all? Though the book became a New York …

Read the original article at Religion News on The Huffington Post  2013-11-05 »

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West Australia Face Veil Law Mandates Women To Remove Veil To Authorities

West Australia passed a new law on Thursday mandating women wearing face-covering veils to remove them if asked by authorities.

The law originally also applied to head coverings and hijabs. However, after talks with Muslim and Sikh communities, the l…

Read the original article at Religion News on The Huffington Post  2013-11-05 »

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