Vishal Arora

Vishal Arora is an author at Religion News Service.

All Stories by Vishal Arora

Buddhist monks to consider whether Dalai Lama should reincarnate

By Vishal Arora and Meagan Clark — November 28, 2018
DHARAMSHALA, India (RNS) — The aging Dalai Lama has said that perhaps he will not reincarnate and that succession through nomination, instead of reincarnation, could be a way to continue his office.

Tibetan Buddhist who self-immolated in India dies of his wounds

By Vishal Arora — March 4, 2016
NEW DELHI (RNS) The immolation took place days before the March 10 anniversary of the failed 1959 uprising by Tibetans against Chinese rule.

Amid Nepal’s shattered shrines and temples, a religious fatalism sets in

By Vishal Arora — April 30, 2015
KATHMANDU, Nepal (RNS) A 7.8-magnitude earthquake shattered many of Nepal's most famous religious sites but doesn't seem to have shaken the faith of its people.

Thailand looks to arrest Buddhist monk for insurrection

By Vishal Arora — February 5, 2014
(RNS) Authorities in Thailand are preparing to arrest and possibly defrock a senior Buddhist monk on charges of insurrection and breach of Buddhist discipline for leading anti-government protests.

Indonesian president says he believes in witchcraft

By Vishal Arora — January 21, 2014
(RNS) Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono may be the first Indonesian president to acknowledge publicly he believes in witchcraft. In a recently published memoir, he describes a “horror movie” style encounter with black magic at his residence.

Maldives president vetoes marital rape bill as ‘un-Islamic’

By Vishal Arora — January 16, 2014
(RNS) After its parliament voted to limit a husband’s right to have non-consensual sex with his wife, the president of the Maldives vetoed the bill calling it "un-Islamic."

Christian and Muslim Dalits beaten in New Delhi protest

By Vishal Arora — December 11, 2013
NEW DELHI (RNS) Organized jointly by confederations of churches and Muslim groups in India, the demonstrators demanded affirmative action for Dalits (formerly “untouchables”) who have converted to Christianity or Islam.

Is yoga religious? An Indian court mulls mandatory school exercises

By Vishal Arora — October 28, 2013
(RNS) India’s school policy considers yoga an integral component of physical education. But the court has expressed caution, and is considering arguments that yoga has a religious component.

Nun’s devotional songs take the Buddha’s message beyond Nepal

By Vishal Arora — October 9, 2013
(RNS) For Ani Choying Drolma, nicknamed the “rock star nun,” singing and performing with top musicians is a way to take the essence of Buddha’s teachings to the world and help people in need.

First Anglican woman bishop in India says critics have been silent

By Vishal Arora — October 2, 2013
(RNS) A Christian nun elected the first woman bishop of South Asia’s Anglican community said her appointment has so far silenced critics who believe only men can play leadership roles in the church.

Nepal battles misconceptions over Buddha’s birthplace

By Vishal Arora — September 11, 2013
(RNS) Next month, Nepal will circulate a new 100-rupee note with the imprint, “Lumbini: The Birthplace of Lord Buddha.” The note is part of the government’s most recent effort to correct the record.

Satan worship worries Christians in Northeast India

By Vishal Arora — July 8, 2013
(RNS) The Roman Catholic Church in Nagaland has said it is shocked to learn about the phenomenon of Satan worship among youth and is working with Protestant groups to counter it.

Worldly Buddhist monks rile Thailand’s faithful

By Vishal Arora — June 28, 2013
(RNS) Thailand’s National Office of Buddhism, which is mandated to maintain and promote Buddhist affairs, has publicly condemned the worldly indulgence of monks as “indecent,” but without following it up with action, as their conduct did not constitute “serious offenses.”

Bhutan’s Buddhist monks accused of sexually molesting boys

By Vishal Arora — June 20, 2013
(RNS) While rumors about child sexual abuse in monasteries have swirled around this tiny Buddhist nation for a while, this is the first time confirmed cases of underage monks molested by their seniors have come to the fore.

After failed self-immolation, Tibetan says ‘I won’t repeat it’

By Vishal Arora — April 18, 2013
DHARAMSALA, India (RNS) Dawa Dhondup drank kerosene and poured it all over his body at a March 10 procession to mark the anniversary of a failed 1959 Tibetan uprising against Chinese rule. As he was about to light a match, fellow Tibetans and police overpowered him.
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