Archive for the ‘General Articles’ Category

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 […]

Young Shi’a Muslims launching their own independent organizations in Norway

Since 2009, young Twelver Shi’ites in Norway have started forming their own groups, independent from mosques, in an attempt to localize Islam and address current issues, writes Ingvild Flaskerud (University of Oslo) in the proceedings of a conference that took place last Spring in Rome, now published by OSMED (Observatory on the Mediterranean) under the […]

Widowhood as a vocation in northern Nigeria

Widows play an undervalued but vital role in the spread of Christianity in northern Nigeria, writes Sung Bauta in the International Bulletin of Mission Research (Vol. 45, No. 4). Northern Nigeria is predominantly Muslim, but there are Christian enclaves. Women constitute the largest segment of church members in Nigeria and widows are a significant proportion […]

Women gradually gaining leadership roles in Middle East’s churches

After facing a “stained glass ceiling of limitations” in Middle Eastern churches due to religious but also cultural restrictions, women are gradually ascending to the pulpit in the region, reports Mae Elise Cannon in Sojourner’s magazine (November). Even in churches that allow women’s ordination, such as the Presbyterian and Lutheran denominations, Middle Eastern congregations have […]

Korean religious groups show diverse response to, and slow recovery from, pandemic

Religious groups in Korea continue to face controversy and some fallout from the pandemic, even though there has been considerable diversity in how Korean religions have dealt with the virus, according to scholars speaking at a roundtable session of the recent conference of the American Academy of Religion in San Antonio, which RW attended. The […]

Covid-19 as a tool for anti-Muslim online polemics in Sri Lanka

The Covid-19 pandemic has influenced social and digital media consumption in Sri Lanka and given rise to a wave of hate speech and disinformation, with Muslims being the most targeted religious group, write Senel Wanniarachchi, Prihesh Ratnayake and Harindrini Corea in a chapter of the new book, Muslims in Post-War Sri Lanka. Anti-Muslim narratives have […]

El Salvador’s evangelicals carrying the flame for liberation theology?

While evangelicals in El Salvador, pandered to by the country’s conservative populist president, Nayib Bukele, have been met with growing suspicion by the left, this growing group of Christians has adopted many of the liberation theological views of Catholics, writes Claire Moll Namas in Religion and Global Society (October 25), a blog of the London […]

Hungary’s mainstream religious organizations find benefit in “Christian inspired” policies

Hungary’s prime minister, Viktor Orbán, who has become a hero for many conservative Christians in the West (see the New Yorker, September 13), seems also to be generally appreciated by mainstream churches in the country, writes Hungarian sociologist of religion Gergely Rosta in a background report published in German by Nachrichtendienst Östliche Kirchen (September 9). […]

Ireland’s Protestant and Catholic church leaders share new sense of unity

“Despite a history of sectarian strife, cooperation between the leaders of the Roman Catholic and Protestant churches in Ireland has deepened in recent years, with the churches increasingly speaking with one voice on important social and political issues,” writes Ger FitzGerald in the online magazine The Conversation (October 19). FitzGerald reports on the Church Leaders […]