Alternative Faiths

Over 100 members of persecuted religious minority held at Turkish border

By Kathryn Post — September 13, 2023
(RNS) — Members of the Ahmadi Religion of Peace and Light seeking asylum in the European Union have been detained in Turkey since May.
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How Sean Feucht helped bring the devil’s music to Indiana’s state capitol

By Heather Greene — July 31, 2023
(RNS) — After Christian musician Sean Feucht brought his God and Country concert to the Indiana Statehouse, Hoosier members of the Satanic Temple demanded access for a concert of their own.

Sinead O’Connor was once seen as a sacrilegious rebel, but her music and life were deeply infused with spiritual seeking

By Brenna Moore — July 28, 2023
(The Conversation) — A professor of modern Catholicism looks back at the ways the iconic Irish singer steeped herself in religion, even as she criticized its institutions.

Just about anybody in America can officiate a wedding, thanks to the internet – and one determined preacher

By Dusty Hoesly — July 27, 2023
(The Conversation) — A professor who has researched the Universal Life Church unpacks why many couples now prefer to hand-pick loved ones to perform their ceremonies.

From apps to labyrinths, walking gained as a spiritual tool in COVID-19 crisis

By Kathryn Post — July 26, 2023
(RNS) — How the creator of a new walking app, a co-founder of a decades-old walking group and a new generation of labyrinth enthusiasts turned to walking for spiritual renewal.

As witchcraft becomes a multibillion-dollar business, practitioners’ connection to the natural world is changing

By Helen A. Berger — July 26, 2023
(The Conversation) — Practitioners of Pagan religions no longer need to go into a forest to find an object for their altars. Commercialization has meant that sacred objects are available online.

In Brooklyn, Rastafarians celebrate Emperor Haile Selassie I’s 131st Birthday

By Fiona André — July 24, 2023
NEW YORK (RNS) — July 23 marks the 131st anniversary of the birth of Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie, whom the Rasta faith considers the incarnation of God.

Casper ter Kuile sees America’s religious decline as an opportunity

By Benjamin Spratt and Joshua Stanton — July 19, 2023
(RNS) — Casper ter Kuile’s spiritual entrepreneurship has compelled him to seek ways people can find belonging and community outside traditional houses of worship.

Drugs and religion have been a potent combination for millennia, from cannabis at ancient funerary sites to psychedelic retreats today

By Gary Laderman — July 17, 2023
(The Conversation) — A scholar of religion who is writing a book on sacred drugs explains how today’s ‘psychedelic renaissance’ reflects a millennia-long history of using intoxicants to seek insight and connection.

The Bhagavad Gita, the bomb and the dharma of Robert Oppenheimer

By Syama Allard — July 12, 2023
(RNS) — How did the atomic physicist’s fascination with the Gita influence his feelings about the making of the bomb? 

New museum remembers Scotland’s dark era of witch hysteria

By Sukhada Tatke — July 10, 2023
EDINBURGH, Scotland (RNS) — Just off of Royal Mile in Old Town Edinburgh, in a 17th-century stone building on Chalmers Close, is a new museum that, though dedicated to a part of history most Scots might like to forget, raises questions making headlines in the country today.

Summertime spirits: Village of Lily Dale reopens for believers and doubters alike

By Fiona André — July 3, 2023
(RNS) — The 140-year-old village, a mecca for spiritualism and mediumship, will draw regulars and curious first-timers to cross paths after a hiatus of three years.

Can Wicca’s two equal deities, once celebrated as revolutionary, make room for nonbinary believers?

By Heather Greene — June 29, 2023
(RNS) — A balanced but gendered theology has lately presented problems for Wiccans proud of the religion’s progressive framework.
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