Archive for the ‘General Articles’ Category

Coptic Orthodox search for ways to accommodate American converts

While the influx of new migrants from the home country tends to intensify Egyptian cultural influence in the life of Coptic Orthodox parishes in the U.S., the church is attempting to create spaces where converts and second- and third-generation people who are fully integrated into the American way of life can feel comfortable, reports Shira […]

Canadian Sikhs invest political capital in controversial cause

Sikhs in Canada, particularly in the province of British Columbia, have political influence beyond their numbers, but their activism has also become a source of recent conflict in Canadian politics. In the Vancouver Sun (March 10), Douglas Todd writes that Sikhs, who number about 500,000 in Canada, have long had a disproportionate role in Canadian […]

The new way of the pilgrim—non-believers included

While the contemporary interest in the practice of pilgrimage started later in England than in other parts of Europe, it is now attracting a growing number of people there, though with a variety of motivations going beyond the classical Christian model, reports Markus M. Haefliger in the Swiss daily Neue Zürcher Zeitung (March 29). When […]

Completing the work of reconciliation in Northern Ireland and the Balkans

Although Northern Ireland and the Balkans signed peace agreements at around the same time, these countries’ efforts at religious reconciliation have had mixed and sometimes diverging outcomes, according to two reports. Two decades after the “Good Friday” peace accord in Northern Ireland, reconciliation efforts between Catholics and Protestants have been sustained, although generational changes and […]

Political Islam takes center stage in Indonesia and Malaysia

Since the beginning of this decade, conservative and often Islamist groups have amassed power in Indonesia and Malaysia. While they have done so by organizing within democratic politics, they are recently more aggressively seeking to implement laws based on sharia and rolling back protections for religious minorities, writes Joshua Kurlantzick in the Council on Foreign […]

Buddhist movements feeling pressure over sexual abuse cases

Following the crisis around Sogyal Rinpoche, the leader of the Buddhist group Rigpa International who had to retire in August 2017 after being confronted with massive allegations of abuse, and the impact of the #MeToo movement, another Buddhist group, Shambhala International, has admitted to several abuse cases. The group recently announced that “There have been […]

Biomedical research buttresses and changes Buddhism

Buddhism has been the focus of recent biomedical and neurological research suggesting that the practice of meditation is psychologically and physically healthy, but Buddhist organizations have also been both changed and challenged by these insights, writes Jeff Wilson in the journal Zygon (March). Wilson finds that few Buddhist groups have discounted the findings about the […]

Orthodox Churches in need of a multilateral institution

The close association between contemporary Orthodox Churches and nation-states has often been highlighted by Orthodox scholars, but Rev. Nicolas Kazarian, an Orthodox priest as well as academic expert in the field of religion and geopolitics, has put the issue in a new light by drawing attention to a crisis for multilateralism in contemporary Orthodoxy. In […]

Hillsong Church-a model for Catholics too?

As a contemporary Pentecostal church, Hillsong (launched in Sydney in 1983) has gained international fame, especially through its music, and it seems to have become a source of inspiration for some European Catholics eager to revitalize their church as well. In France, according to an article by Youna Rivallain in the French Catholic weekly La […]

Hong Kong connection to mainland China’s Christians threatened but not likely cut

Hong Kong, long a stepping-off point for evangelization and Christian education efforts in China, is becoming a special target of Communist Party efforts to stem the growth of Christianity in the country, Time magazine (March 5) reports. China’s President Xi Jingping has recently kicked off a new effort to bring Christianity under control by instituting […]