ReligionWatch Archives

For ReligionWatch archives prior to February 2016, CLICK HERE or please contact Richard Cimino at relwatch1@msn.com

Religion in 2021: different key but same melody as 2020

Although religion in 2021 was eventful on several fronts, last year’s trends also reflected shifts that were vividly on display in 2020: a continuation of the pandemic and its wide-ranging effects on religious institutions, the religio-political tensions and polarization leading to the January 6 riots, and the battles over teaching gender and race. But there […]

Venture capitalists bullish on religious apps

Religious apps are seeing not only a growing number of customers but also increased venture- capital funding, largely due to the dislocation and anxieties caused by the pandemic, reports Isaac Taylor in the Wall Street Journal (December 21). Startup founders and investors find that the apps are drawing more funding and customers from among those […]

Congregations striking truce on worship wars?

As mixed-use congregations become more common, the longstanding “worship wars” between evangelical congregations favoring traditional services and those using contemporary music and worship are simmering down, writes Thomas Kidd of Baylor University in a blog on the Christian Coalition website (December 13). Kidd reviews a new book by Melanie Ross, who argues that the fading […]

Hindus veering toward the GOP?

The recent Republican upset in Virginia’s gubernatorial race suggests an emerging shift of political views and affiliations among Hindu Indian Americans, writes Maggie Phillips in The Tablet (December 15). She notes that the demographics of Loudoun County, which was important in the victory of Governor-elect Glenn Youngkin, were largely overlooked by reporters. Asians are the […]

Upcoming generation of jihadists taking notes from alt-right

Young jihadists “are piecing together a new online aesthetic inspired by the world’s most notorious trolls” to sustain their militancy, even as they keep a critical distance from self- appointed leaders and others in their religious community, writes Moustafa Ayad in Wired magazine (December 8). Ayad writes that this generation of young jihadists seems “outwardly […]

CURRENT RESEARCH

Affiliation with Christianity and other forms of organized religion continues to decline in the U.S., according to a new poll from the Pew Research Center. The survey found the religiously unaffiliated share of the public to be 6 percentage points higher than it was five years ago and 10 points higher than a decade ago. […]

Hindu identity on the march in Nepal

Nepalis are eager to assert their own identity in relation to their large neighbor, but the influence of Hindu nationalism is increasingly felt in the Himalayan country, with calls for the restoration of a Hindu state also linked to local developments, writes Santosh Sharma Poudel (Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu) in an analysis published in The Diplomat […]

Significant changes yet uneven progress toward gender equity in Buddhism

Respected female monastics, lay persons and academics have blazed a path of progress in recent decades for Buddhist women, but they say more needs to be accomplished so women can have equal opportunities, writes Luis Andres Henao in AP News (December 9). The article is part of a series published in December by Associated Press […]

Findings & Footnotes

Readers are by now probably as exhausted in keeping up with articles on Covid and its impact on religious communities as with the virus itself—not only because of the vast accumulation of material on the subject but also because the pandemic is ongoing and changing, making its effects unpredictable. However, the Finnish journal Approaching Religion […]

On/File: A Continuing Record of Groups, Movements, People, and Events Impacting Contemporary Religion

1) The Skull Mask is a far-right religio-political network that has migrated from online to offline activism and acts of violence. The network’s ideology is a hybrid based on the work of the philosopher Julius Evola, who combined fascism with “Traditionalism,” a syncretic 20th century religious movement mixing occultism with the Hindu doctrine of cyclical […]