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Brian Pellot

Brian Pellot is based in Cape Town, South Africa.

All Stories by Brian Pellot

As Cape Town’s water crisis nears ‘Day Zero,’ faith groups spring into action

By Brian Pellot — February 7, 2018
CAPE TOWN, South Africa (RNS) — South Africa’s crown jewel is experiencing its worst drought ever. As government officials threaten apocalyptic comparisons to World War II and 9/11, faith groups offer hope and a way forward.

As Trump cites ‘honor killings’ in new travel ban, UK debates banning the phrase

By Brian Pellot — March 10, 2017
(RNS) President Trump has called for a report on the number of ‘honor killings’ by foreign nationals in the U.S. Meanwhile, a Muslim member of the U.K.'s Parliament has introduced a bill to prohibit use of the term in official publications.

Yemen’s Baha’is keep the faith amid conflict and crackdown

By Brian Pellot — November 29, 2016
(RNS) Two Baha’i men in Yemen were unexpectedly released from detention Sunday after months without charge. The men’s wives are still fighting for religious freedom.

Queer Muslims find solace and solidarity at South Africa retreat

By Brian Pellot — October 25, 2016
CAPE TOWN, South Africa (RNS) Queer Muslim activists and allies from around the world gathered here last week to build a movement encouraging inclusive interpretations of Islam that honor and respect their identities in full.

How #ThisFlag pastor Evan Mawarire used Facebook to shut down Zimbabwe

By Brian Pellot — July 21, 2016
BULAWAYO, Zimbabwe (RNS) What started as a social media campaign of flag selfies and hashtags has evolved into a full-fledged citizen movement with "Captain Zimbabwe" as its leader.

Bike lanes * Saint Barbie * So long: October’s Religious Freedom Recap

By Brian Pellot — November 2, 2015
Churches attack bike lanes for "burdening" their religious freedom as Saint Barbie leads a plastic revolution in Argentina. Savor every word of this last ever recap as I say “so long” to On Freedom.

Why Myanmar’s Nov. 8 election won’t be ‘free and fair’

By Brian Pellot — October 27, 2015
The military is harassing and arresting Facebook users, Rohingya Muslims can’t vote, and chief opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi remains barred from the presidency, even if her party wins.

South Africa’s ‘Great Big Challah Bakes’ kick off global Shabbos Project

By Brian Pellot — October 22, 2015
CAPE TOWN (RNS) This week's global Shabbos Project features yoga events and picnics in San Diego, a 3,000-person street dinner in downtown Los Angeles, and major events in 560 cities around the world.

Safe house in South Africa offers gays refuge, hope and ministry

By Brian Pellot — October 15, 2015
CAPE TOWN, South Africa (RNS) Inclusive and Affirming Ministries’ LGBTI safe house provides refuge for at-risk sexual minorities and a safe space to integrate “God’s gift of faith with God’s gift of sexuality.”

The UAE is so drunk right now I don’t even know where to begin

By Brian Pellot — October 9, 2015
A new anti-discrimination law is being abused to censor critics, but that doesn’t mean there’s a limit on freedom of expression, say officials who misrepresent the facts.

Kardashian pope * Kim Davis * Beef party : September’s Religious Freedom Recap

By Brian Pellot — October 2, 2015
Celebrity Pope Francis photobombed selfies on his U.S. album launch tour. Conservative “It Girl” Kim Davis sat in jail and won awards for not doing her job. And India threw a “beef party” to celebrate religious tolerance and protest new meat bans.

8 banned books to celebrate Blasphemy Rights Day

By Brian Pellot — September 30, 2015
(RNS) The Bible and "Fifty Shades of Grey" share more than a few raunchy sex scenes. For Banned Books Week and International Blasphemy Rights Day (Sept. 30), these eight titles are still too hot to handle.

8 ‘blasphemous’ books banned for offending believers

By Brian Pellot — September 29, 2015
The Bible and Fifty Shades of Grey share more than a few raunchy sex scenes. On Banned Books Week and International Blasphemy Rights Day, these eight titles are still too hot to handle.

Why Thailand’s demigod king and military junta are cracking down on ‘blasphemy’

By Brian Pellot — September 24, 2015
Thailand’s lèse majesté laws shield a deified king from criticism, an outdated monarchy from reform and a military junta from accountability.

‘We’re All Mexicans’ and ‘Je Suis Juif’ are terrible, nonsensical rallying calls

By Brian Pellot — September 11, 2015
“Black Lives Matter” works. “We’re All Mexicans” does not. Expressing solidarity and support shouldn’t require us to falsely claim identities that have already been claimed.
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