Tep Vong, the leader of Cambodia’s Buddhist community, dies at 93

By Associated Press — February 27, 2024
PHNOM PENH, Cambodia (AP) — Cambodia's Ministry of Cult and Religion said Tep Vong died Monday after an extended illness.
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A small Spanish city’s bid to build Europe’s biggest Buddha

By Hanna Vioque — January 5, 2024
(RNS) — The 6,000-ton white jade Buddha statue will overlook a sprawling group of temples and monasteries just kilometers from the city center. But suspicions of the project abound.

The Lotus Sutra − an ancient Buddhist scripture from the 3rd century − continues to have relevance today

By Megan Bryson — January 5, 2024
(The Conversation) — For many Buddhists today, both in East Asia and across the world, the Lotus Sutra offers religious support for various gender identities.

RNS reporters look ahead to the big religion stories they expect in 2024

By RNS staff — December 30, 2023
(RNS) — From papal reforms to psychedelics to presidential elections, here are the big religion stories RNS reporters anticipate this coming year.

Faith leaders, influencers who died in 2023: Preachers, protesters, writers, singers

By Adelle M. Banks — December 26, 2023
(RNS) — We also bid farewell to some celebrities and influencers whose time on stages sometimes represented public faith or whose lives were strengthened by their personal faith.

Revitalization of India’s ancient sacred city of Varanasi leaves some longtime visitors cold

By Richa Karmarkar — December 22, 2023
VARANASI, India (RNS) — Prime Minister Narendra Modi's efforts to revitalize the city's historic sacred sites have increased domestic religious tourism, but for some foreign spiritual seekers, the shiny new hotels, landmarks and tourist-centered rituals have made the experience of visiting a hollow one.

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.

How sacred images in many Asian cultures incorporate divine presence and make them come ‘alive’

By Michael Naparstek — December 6, 2023
(The Conversation) — Through the power of rituals, inanimate objects can be understood to transform into agents who can see, hear, taste and respond to the concerns of those who worship them.

Daisaku Ikeda, head of global Japanese Buddhist organization Soka Gakkai, dies at 95

By Yuri Kageyama — November 21, 2023
TOKYO (AP) — Ikeda is credited with reviving Nichiren Buddhism in the modern age, making it more accessible for present-day practitioners.

UNESCO is criticized after Cambodia evicts thousands around World Heritage site Angkor Wat

By Grant Peck — November 16, 2023
BANGKOK (AP) — Amnesty International accused UNESCO of disregarding U.N. guidelines and failing in its obligation to intervene and promote the human right to housing.

Pope Francis to join other clergy at first ‘Faith Pavilion’ at climate summit

By Adelle M. Banks — November 9, 2023
(RNS) — ‘This demonstrates the significance of the interfaith movement in helping to tackle the climate emergency,’ said one faith leader about the pavilion.

From India and Taiwan to Tibet, the living assist the dead in their passage

By Liz Wilson — October 31, 2023
(The Conversation) — Across cultures, death rituals give mourners a chance to grieve. But they also offer one last opportunity to help the deceased as they transition to the next stage of existence.

Documentary on Black millennials depicts wide range of religion, rebellion

By Adelle M. Banks — October 24, 2023
(RNS) — ‘We show the pluralistic nature of the African American religious experience,’ said creator Teddy Reeves, ‘from those who are of some formal faith tradition to those who are not.’
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