Posts Tagged ‘Volume 31 No. 8’

Religious minorities under Islamic State eye prospects after ‘genocide’ declaration

Alienation among the younger generation from their homelands and dealing with trauma among survivors of kidnapping and sex trafficking are only two of the issues facing religious minorities in their struggle against the Islamic State (IS), according to activists and foreign affairs specialists speaking at a recent conference. The May conference at Fordham University in New York, attended by RW, sought to address the prospects for religious minorities in Iraq and Syria, particularly after the U.S. State Department recently declared the Islamic State as genocidal. The March declaration was the first political statement to include all the “stakeholders” in the conflict—Christians, Muslims, and Yazidis, a syncretistic and mystical religion. The speakers stressed the growing generation gap among these groups about their future in their homelands. Haider Elias, president of Yazda, an international Yazidi advocacy group, said that younger Yazidis “don’t want to go back [to Iraq and Syria]. Most want to go to Europe or the U.S., because they say this is not the first time and it won’t be the last [time that they have faced persecution]. It’s not just ISIS; they’ve lost trust in the government and the surrounding community.” The Yazidi population, already less than one million throughout the world, has declined sharply in their home countries of Iraq and Syria, and 20 percent of them are in refugee camps.

Charismatic networks draw on Toronto Blessing while innovating

Recent expressions of the charismatic movement still find their inspiration in the Toronto Blessing movement of the 1990s, but they are more likely to stress supernatural miracles, the role of laypeople in healing, and ministry to the poor, writes Michael McClymond in the Pentecostal studies journal Pneuma (38). The Toronto Blessing, called the “laughing revival,” […]

Buddhist healing practices beyond meditation finding recognition

While Buddhist meditators have been prodded and probed by neuroscientists and medical researchers, a wider range of Buddhist practices and rituals have been hailed by practitioners for their healing benefits and are gaining new attention. In the Buddhist magazine Tricycle (Summer), C. Pierce Salguero writes that “Buddhist healing practices that one might think of as […]

Current Research: June 2016

A recent survey finds that admiration of Pope Francis has dropped sharply. In a survey by the British firm YouGov on the most admired men, the pope fell seven spots in 2016, from sixth down to 13th among the world’s men, the biggest drop for anyone on last year’s list, and is now no longer the world’s […]

Latin America’s ‘Emerging Jewish’ movement drawing on Catholic, Protestant disaffection

There is a small but growing wave of conversions to Judaism in Latin America, with many of these converts coming from evangelical backgrounds, according to journalist Gabriela Mochkofsky. In an interview on the Jewish magazine Moment’s website, she notes that this movement is distinct from the Latin Americans who discover their hidden Jewish ancestry (known […]

Swiss evangelicals perceived as minor but dynamic brand of Christianity

Media reports in Switzerland (and neighboring countries) tend to associate evangelicals with dynamism and growth, thus contrasting them with other, established branches of the Christian faith, according to RW associate editor Jean-François Mayer, who was speaking at the 10th anniversary of the Réseau Evangélique Suisse (Swiss Evangelical Network) in the town of Tavannes. Mayer was […]

Seventh-Day Adventists—between ecumenical opening and restoration

In recent decades, Seventh-Day Adventists (SDA) have managed to a large extent to discard their image of being a separate community aside from other Christians and have increasingly become part of local and regional mainstream ecumenical councils and working groups. But this reformist approach has led sections of the SDA church to become concerned about […]

French Catholic publishing houses restructuring

While the pope’s encyclicals or books inspired by him are selling well—already more than 50,000 copies of the French translation of The Name of God Is Mercy have been sold—Catholic French-speaking publishing houses are facing serious economic hurdles, writes religion journalist Claire Lesegretain in the French daily La Croix (May 3). Some challenges are shared […]

Quakers fall in the West and rise in Kenya

Following a pattern similar to many other older religious groups, the Society of Friends has been losing members in the United Kingdom and the United States (around 25 percent between 1972 and 2002). But the movement is growing in Kenya, reports Nathan Siegel in Roads & Kingdoms (May). The shift to the Global South in […]

Asian cities becoming more Muslim in numbers and culture

Muslim cities are not only likely to grow in numbers but also in Islamic identity and diversity in the near future, writes Nile Green in the journal History and Anthropology (May). A recent Pew Research Center study found the world’s Muslim population is expected to rise by 37 percent by 2030, with Green adding that […]