Luis Andres Henao

Luis Andres Henao is an author at Religion News Service.

All Stories by Luis Andres Henao

Afro-Cuban drums, Muslim prayers, Buddhist mantras: Religious diversity blooms in once-atheist Cuba

By Luis Andres Henao — May 17, 2024
HAVANA (AP) — Today, diverse beliefs can be found mixed together on altars in homes, with the Virgin Mary sharing space with a ceramic Buddha and a warrior spirit from the Afro-Cuban faith.

Lama Rod describes himself as a Black Buddhist Southern Queen. He wants to free you from suffering

By Luis Andres Henao — April 22, 2024
ROME, Ga (AP) —Today, he is an influential voice in a new generation of Buddhist teachers, respected for his work focused on social change, identity and spiritual wellness.

LGBTQ-inclusive church in Cuba welcomes all in a country that once sent gay people to labor camps

By Luis Andres Henao — April 1, 2024
MATANZAS, Cuba (AP) — Cuba repressed gay people after its 1959 revolution led by Fidel Castro and sent many to labor camps. But in recent years, the communist-run island barred anti-gay discrimination.

In ‘Bob Marley: One Love’ film, what’s his faith? And why is marijuana deemed holy to the Rastafari?

By Luis Andres Henao — March 14, 2024
NEW YORK (AP) — The Rastafari message was spread across the world in the 1970s by Marley and Peter Tosh, another Jamaican reggae legend and globally known Rastafari.

Virgin of Charity unites all Cubans — Catholics, Santeria followers, exiled and back on the island

By Luis Andres Henao and Giovanna Dell'orto — March 14, 2024
EL COBRE, Cuba (AP) — The cult of the Virgin of Charity became part of Cuban nationalism in late 19th century.

No twerking. No drinking. No smoking. But it’s still a party at this Christian nightclub

By Jessie Wardarski and Luis Andres Henao — March 4, 2024
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The pop-up, 18-and-up Christian nightclub was launched last year by seven Black Christian men in their 20s who sought to build a thriving community and a welcoming space for young Christians outside houses of worship.

What is Bodhi Day? And when do Buddhists celebrate it?

By Luis Andres Henao — December 8, 2023
(AP) — Also called Buddha’s Enlightenment Day, it commemorates when Siddhartha Gautama attained awakening some 2,600 years ago, becoming the Buddha.

When is St. Nicholas Day? And how did this Christian saint inspire the Santa Claus legend?

By Luis Andres Henao — December 6, 2023
NEW YORK (AP) — The legends surrounding jolly old St. Nicholas — celebrated annually on Dec. 6 — go way beyond delivering candy and toys to children.

In US, some Muslim-Jewish interfaith initiatives are strained by Israel-Hamas war

By Mariam Fam and Luis Andres Henao — December 5, 2023
The war and its polarizing reverberations in America are testing and straining some interfaith relationships more than ever.

Bestselling spiritual author Marianne Williamson presses on with against-the-odds presidential run

By Luis Andres Henao — November 13, 2023
Born in Houston to a Jewish family, Judaism remains her core belief, and she also embraces universal spiritual themes, like loving one another.

In the pope’s homeland, more Argentines are seeking spiritual answers beyond the church

By Luis Andres Henao and Natacha Pisarenko — October 9, 2023
CAPILLA DEL MONTE, Argentina (AP) — More Argentines now seek spiritual answers beyond the church — in yoga, tarot, astrology and beliefs outside religion.

Native American group to digitize 20,000 archival pages linked to Quaker-run Indian boarding schools

By Luis Andres Henao — August 24, 2023
NEW YORK (AP) — For decades, documents related to Quaker-operated Indian boarding schools have been largely unstudied, as they exist in remote and dispersed collections with limited access.

Adidas is donating Yeezy sales to anti-hate groups. US Jews say it’s making best of bad situation

By Luis Andres Henao, Mariam Fam, and Tiffany Stanley — August 3, 2023
(AP) —Adidas is releasing more Yeezy sneakers this week via an online sale, the second such drop since the company cut ties with Ye in October after he made antisemitic and other offensive statements online and in interviews.

Meet the LGBTQ activist who challenged his Caribbean country’s anti-sodomy law and won

By Luis Andres Henao — June 12, 2023
ST. JOHN'S, Antigua (AP) — Such laws used to be common in former European colonies across the Caribbean but have been challenged in recent years.

The end of an era for the Sisters of Charity of New York

By Luis Andres Henao — May 9, 2023
NEW YORK (AP) — They will no longer accept new members, and are now on a 'path to completion.'
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