Posts Tagged ‘Volume 38 No. 4’

New research shows digital religion’s down- and upsides during pandemic

Just as there is mounting concern about the effect of smartphones and social media on mental health, the pandemic has raised new questions about the impact of digital religious expressions on emotional and spiritual life. Both religious practitioners and leaders have had mixed views about online religious participation, praising its convenience and far reach while […]

Pandemic moves Jainism to greater social, interfaith involvement

The pandemic has led Jainism to engage in greater community and social involvement, resulting in a renewed connection to India but also helping the religion transcend traditional caste and sect identities, writes Brianne Donaldson in the journal Nova Religio (January/February). Jain teachings are non-theistic and emphasize nonviolence toward all living beings. Many Jains saw the […]


Latino Protestant growth in the U.S. is being fueled by new congregations that include people who are new to the country, a recent survey finds. The study, conducted by evangelical research firm Lifeway, found that less than nine percent of Hispanic congregations trace their history to before 1950, with the majority (54 percent) having been […]

Buddhists compete under “traditional religion” status in Russia’s religious economy

Even though Buddhism has been recognized as a “traditional religion” in Russia, Buddhist groups are increasingly divided, with an ethnic denomination that is highly loyal to Vladimir Putin appearing to have the brightest future in the country, writes J. Eugene Clay in the Journal of Church and State (online in February). As with other religions, […]

Iran’s repression discrediting Shiite Islam among the population

In a country where the regime uses religion to ensure its legitimacy, the repression of the protest movements in Iran that began last September, after the death of a 22-year-old student following her arrest by the religious police, has created negative impressions of Islam in the minds of a part of the population, said Cyrus […]

Mali’s religious leaders aspire to a stronger role for Islam

While Mali is a majority Muslim country that inherited the principle of a secular state from the French colonial period, some religious leaders are going as far as calling for an end to secularism and a transition to an Islamic state, write Boubacar Haidara (French Institute of Political Studies, Bordeaux) and Bokar Sangaré in an […]

New Apostolic Church’s embrace of women’s ordination leads to schism in Africa

Following the New Apostolic Church’s decision to accept the ordination of women, fervent protest movements have emerged in Africa, especially in Congo, where one of the 350 or so apostles, Christophe Kabongo Kantu, has placed himself at the head of a dissident church. Protestant theologian Kai Funkschmidt writes in the Zeitschrift für Religion und Weltanschauung […]

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

1) The United Arab Emirates’ (UAE) inauguration of the Abrahamic Family House (AFH) in Abu Dhabi in early February represents the first interfaith worship center in the Middle East. The center includes a church, mosque and synagogue, all within close proximity to each other to encourage religious dialogue and co-existence. The establishment of the Abrahamic […]