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Deepa Bharath

Deepa Bharath is an author at Religion News Service.

All Stories by Deepa Bharath

In India, deity decorating a calling for Hindu temple artist

By Deepa Bharath — January 18, 2023
CHENNAI, India (AP) — A computer science graduate, S. Goutham quit his job nearly a decade ago to pursue his calling. He has since followed in the footsteps of his ancestors as a fifth-generation decorator of temple deities.

India’s visa temples attract devotees aspiring to go abroad

By Deepa Bharath — December 19, 2022
CHENNAI, India (AP) — This 'visa temple' has surged in popularity among U.S. visa seekers over the past decade; they can be found in almost any Indian city with a U.S. consulate.

Asian faiths try to save swastika symbol corrupted by Hitler

By Deepa Bharath — November 28, 2022
(AP) — The symbol is a millennia-old sacred symbol in Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism that represents peace and good fortune, and was also used widely by Indigenous people worldwide in a similar vein.

New Saddleback pastor sees women clergy in church’s future

By Deepa Bharath — October 25, 2022
(AP) — He wants to ensure that on his watch, Saddleback “is empowered for men and women to lead.”

Religious polarization in India seeping into US diaspora

By Mariam Fam and Deepa Bharath — October 17, 2022
(AP) — Hindu nationalism has split the Indian expatriate community just as Donald Trump’s presidency polarized the U.S., according to one expert.

Lag in slavery reparations from US Jesuits irks descendants

By Deepa Bharath — August 16, 2022
(AP) – In a publicly released letter to the head of the U.S. branch of Jesuits, Jesuit leader Joseph Stewart expressed dissatisfaction with the progress made since last year's pledge to raise $100 million for a reconciliation initiative in partnership with descendants of people once enslaved by the Catholic order.

Columbia River’s salmon are at the core of ancient religion

By Deepa Bharath — August 16, 2022
ALONG THE COLUMBIA RIVER (AP) — For thousands of years, Native tribes in this area have relied on Nch’i-Wána, or 'the great river,' for its salmon and steelhead trout, and its surrounding areas for the fields bearing edible roots, medicinal herbs and berry bushes as well as the deer and elk whose meat and hides are used for food and ritual.

US houses of worship increase security after shootings

By Luis Andres Henao and Deepa Bharath — July 19, 2022
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Past attacks on houses of worship and other public spaces have prompted faith leaders to evaluate — sometimes for the first time — if there is more that can be done to keep their flocks safe.

In ‘Ms. Marvel’, Muslim fans see a reflection of their lives

By Deepa Bharath and Mariam Fam — July 12, 2022
LOS ANGELES (AP) — The show touches on issues from surveilling mosques to what wearing head scarves means for some.

Black Jewish leader works to boost community, inclusiveness

By Deepa Bharath — July 5, 2022
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Nate Looney believes he can channel his painful personal experiences into healing divisions and changing perceptions, and help make a trip to the synagogue a spiritual rather than a scarring encounter for Jews of color.

Clergy of color face unprecedented mental health challenges

By Deepa Bharath and Adelle M. Banks — June 2, 2022
(AP/RNS) — Exhausted faith leaders are left with serious questions about how to care for their own physical and mental well-being while helping congregants in a meaningful way.

Southern Baptist leaders release secret accused abuser list

By Holly Meyer and Deepa Bharath — May 27, 2022
(AP) — The 205-page database was made public late Thursday. It includes more than 700 entries from cases that largely span from 2000 to 2019.

Gunman targets Taiwanese faith with long pro-democracy link

By Deepa Bharath — May 19, 2022
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Investigators said they obtained Chou's handwritten notes documenting his hatred of Taiwan.

Authorities: Hate against Taiwanese led to church attack

By Deepa Bharath, Ken Ritter, and Amy Taxin — May 16, 2022
(AP) — David Chou, 68, of Las Vegas has been booked on investigation of one count of murder and five counts of attempted murder, the Orange County Sheriff’s Department tweeted.

Activist’s self-immolation stirs questions on faith, protest

By Deepa Bharath and Colleen Slevin — April 26, 2022
(AP) — Bruce’s act was reminiscent of Thich Quang Duc, a Vietnamese monk who burned himself to death in 1963 in protest of the persecution of Buddhists by the South Vietnamese government.
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