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Alternative Faiths

Across the US, Native Americans are fighting to preserve sacred land

By Alejandra Molina and Emily McFarlan Miller — November 29, 2022
(RNS) — ‘It’s important that we unify, and we work together, and share the teachings to protect our sacred areas because once God, once our sacred and holy places are gone, we will no longer exist. Our religion will be gone forever,’ said one Native American activist.

In ‘Stealing My Religion,’ Liz Bucar takes on murky forms of appropriation

By Kathryn Post — November 18, 2022
(RNS) — Bucar invites readers to 'interrogate the stance that we are entitled to take religious practices from others for our own needs.'

RNS holiday gift guide 2022: Ideas for the kids, adults and Pastafarians on your list

By Emily McFarlan Miller — November 18, 2022
(RNS) — Because not everybody celebrates a religious holiday in December, but everybody loves presents.

From atheist churches to finding healing in the ‘sacred flower of cannabis,’ spiritual but not religious Americans are finding new ways of pursuing meaning

By Morgan Shipley — November 10, 2022
(The Conversation) — America’s religious landscape is getting more diverse as people find new ways of expressing spirituality.

Anime is packed with spirituality and gaining popularity among Gen Z

By Josh Packard and Kaitlyn Ugoretz — October 31, 2022
(RNS) — Anime, filled with Japanese spirituality, is part of a massive boom in the popularity of East Asian media.

A modern witch celebrates the cycle of life and death at the confluence of cultures

By Heather Greene — October 28, 2022
(RNS) — This time of year, a bruja, or witch, practices central Mexican Indigenous rituals and modern pagan ones, both honoring the Earth and “us as individuals as part of nature.” But the holidays of the Day of the Dead and Samhain are not the same.

No, they do not worship the devil, and other myths dispelled in new book on satanism

By Heather Greene — October 21, 2022
(RNS) — Satanism appeals to people who feel marginalized in some way, said La Carmina, whose "Little Book of Satanism" attempts to curb some of the misinformation on satanists and their organizations.

When it comes to Halloween, pastors have opinions, according to new survey

By Emily McFarlan Miller — October 18, 2022
(RNS) — More than 90% of pastors encourage their congregations to observe Oct. 31 in a particular way, but that ranges from avoiding Halloween completely to inviting people to Halloween-adjacent events at their churches.

‘Animism’ recognizes how animals, places and plants have power over humans – and it’s finding renewed interest around the world

By Justine Buck Quijada — October 17, 2022
(The Conversation) — Animism describes religions in which humans are connected to the landscape around them but do not dominate it.

The Satanic Temple takes aim at Idaho, Indiana abortion bans

By Rebecca Boone — October 6, 2022
BOISE, Idaho (AP) — The Salem, Massachusetts-based group contends that the abortion bans infringe on the rights of members who may want to practice the temple's 'abortion ritual.'

In ‘Hocus Pocus 2,’ Disney takes the panic out of witchcraft

By Heather Greene — October 5, 2022
(RNS) — Witches, and Americans, have come a long way since the days of satanic panic.

In sacred Brazil dunes, critics see evangelical encroachment

By David Biller — September 29, 2022
(AP) — Afro Brazilian religious groups see a public works project at the Abaete dunes as an attempt to Christianize yet another public space, part of evangelicals’ rising influence in the country’s halls of power.

Ojibwe author Patty Krawec writes about Indigenous peoples, Christians ‘Becoming Kin’

By Emily McFarlan Miller — September 27, 2022
(RNS) — Patty Krawec on why rethinking — or ‘unforgetting,’ as she calls it — history is important.

Terrifying dragons have long been a part of many religions, and there is a reason for their appeal

By Emily Zarka — September 23, 2022
(The Conversation) — Enormous, scaly, fire-breathing dragons have fascinated civilizations for centuries. A scholar who studies monsters explains their power and appeal.

As pagans celebrate autumn equinox, some question why Mabon is its symbolic deity

By Heather Greene — September 22, 2022
(RNS) — While the Mabon, like the other seven sabbats on the Wheel, is informed by older agricultural practices, its name is not so old.
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