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Alternative Faiths

With ‘Villains’ tarot deck, Disney pushes the mystical practice further into mainstream

By Heather Greene — November 15, 2021
(RNS) — Maleficent from 'Sleeping Beauty' and Scar from 'Lion King' make their appearance on a new deck.

A new aspect of the Tarot boom: Diversity in the deck

By Heather Greene — November 12, 2021
(RNS) — Black, Indigenous and Latino American people are leading the rise in tarot's popularity, a new study shows.

RNS holiday gift guide 2021: Treat yourself to cozy socks or a self-care box

By Emily McFarlan Miller — November 8, 2021
(RNS) — Our holiday gift guide is full of ideas for all the people of faith — or no faith — on your list.

Witchcraft isn’t just for Halloween anymore

By Heather Greene — October 29, 2021
(RNS) — Halloween's commercialized kitsch and other hocus pocus can be, well, dispiriting.

Witches remember those lost to COVID-19 among the dead at Samhain

By Emily McFarlan Miller — October 28, 2021
(RNS) — A solemn occasion with Celtic roots, Samhain takes place at a time when many religions and cultures believe the veil between the living and the dead is thinnest.

How some ‘Jewitches’ are embracing both Judaism and witchcraft

By Heather Greene and Emily McFarlan Miller — October 25, 2021
(RNS) — Rabbis and witches alike are bringing together magic — often called witchcraft — and Jewish ritual.

COVID-19 takes a bite out of Burkina Faso’s cult of sacred crocodiles

By Joseph Hammond — October 22, 2021
(RNS) — The local cult of the crocodile dates to sometime in the 1500s, when, during a period of severe drought, locals believe, a crocodile appeared and led local women to a source of fresh water.

Haiti’s diverse faiths bolster it against waves of tragedy

By Eric J. Lyman — October 6, 2021
(RNS) — ‘The most important thing in a disaster can be human contact,’ said the Rev. Clement Joseph, head of the state-founded Social Mission of the Haitian Churches and secretary-general for Religions for Peace-Haiti.  

Russia confines Siberian shaman to mental hospital for challenging Putin

By David I. Klein — October 5, 2021
(RNS) — The sentence comes in response to Aleksandr Gabyshev’s 2019 attempt to march from Siberia to Moscow, where, he claimed, he would use his self-proclaimed shamanic powers to ‘purge’ Vladimir Putin from power.

Catholic, Protestant groups support commission on US Indian boarding school policy

By Emily McFarlan Miller — October 4, 2021
(RNS) — US Senator Elizabeth Warren and the co-chairs of the Congressional Native American Caucus reintroduced the Truth and Healing Commission on Indian Boarding School Policies in the United States Act on Sept. 30, which many observed as a National Day of Remembrance for US Boarding Schools.

‘We’re all interconnected’: Pagan, Christian clergy urge interfaith understanding

By Emily McFarlan Miller — October 1, 2021
(RNS) — The Rev. Ethan Stark and the Rev. Andy Behrendt hosted “A Pagan and a Pastor: A Necessary Conversation” to address some frequently asked questions about their faiths and misperceptions each tradition has about the other.

Russia declares groups linked to Church of Scientology as ‘undesirable’

By Alejandra Molina — September 27, 2021
(RNS) — The Prosecutor General’s Office on Friday (Sept. 24) said the World Institute of Scientology Enterprises International and the Church of Spiritual Technology "pose a threat to the security of the Russian Federation.”

Former US presidents, religious leaders launch organization to aid Afghan evacuees

By Emily McFarlan Miller — September 14, 2021
(RNS) — Welcome.US provides a single point of entry for Americans to donate to frontline organizations, host arriving families through Airbnb and find other ways to help Afghans as they rebuild their lives in the United States after fleeing the Taliban.

Harvard’s ‘atheist chaplain’ is no contradiction. It’s a chance to grow as a nation.

By Mary Ellen Giess — September 2, 2021
(RNS) — The school’s new president of chaplains lives up to the promise of American pluralism.

Indigenous communities in Louisiana’s Delta overwhelmed by damage from Ida

By Emily McFarlan Miller — September 1, 2021
(RNS) — Monique Verdin, a member of the United Houma Nation, is afraid Louisiana’s Indigenous communities will be forgotten as faith-based disaster relief groups and other aid streams to New Orleans.
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