Mathew Schmalz is an author at Religion News Service.
All Stories by Mathew Schmalz
Who are Sri Lanka’s Christians?
By Mathew Schmalz — April 22, 2019
(The Conversation) — Sri Lanka’s 21 million Christians, the majority of them Roman Catholics, have a long history that reflects the dynamics of colonialism as well as present-day ethnic and religious tensions.
The belief behind weeping Virgin Mary statues
By Mathew Schmalz — July 23, 2018
(The Conversation) — In a Catholic parish in Hobbs, New Mexico, a statue of the Virgin Mary has been “weeping,” likely setting in motion an investigation by the local bishop and renewing questions about the meaning for the faithful about such phenomena.
Why religions of the world condemn suicide
By Mathew Schmalz — June 12, 2018
(The Conversation) — The ethics of self-inflicted death have historically been an important area of reflection for the world’s religions.
Why the label ‘cult’ gets in the way of understanding new religions
By Mathew Schmalz — April 10, 2018
(The Conversation) — Cults are usually associated with beliefs and practices considered to be "unhealthy." But what is seen as healthy in one culture may be seen as unhealthy in another.
Taxing the rich to help the poor? Here’s what the Bible says
By Mathew Schmalz — December 11, 2017
(The Conversation) — While the Bible is clear about aiding the poor, it does not provide easy answers about taxing the rich. But even so, over the centuries biblical principles have provided an understanding on how to help the needy.
The Hindu festival that celebrates the brother-sister bond
By Mathew Schmalz — August 6, 2017
On the day of Rakshabandhan, sisters tie a protective thread around the right wrist of their brothers to affirm their bond. This bond is not limited by faith or blood relationship.
Who becomes a saint in the Catholic Church, and is that changing?
By Mathew Schmalz — July 31, 2017
(The Conversation) The pope’s decision to create a new category for beatification raises the question: Is the Catholic understanding of sainthood changing?
What the Bible says about welcoming refugees
By Mathew Schmalz — January 30, 2017
For Christians, building a border wall or permitting immigrants and refugees into the United States involve profound questions about what it means to welcome the stranger.
What changes when Pope Francis grants priests the authority to forgive abortions?
By Mathew Schmalz — December 5, 2016
Francis’ decision in relation to abortion is part of an overall approach to Catholic teaching and practice that seeks to make it more humane, more merciful and more easily adaptable to the vicissitudes of everyday human life.
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