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Lending hope in a pandemic year, Octavia Butler’s ‘Parable of the Sower’ makes a comeback

By Kathryn Post — September 25, 2020
(RNS) — The book hit bestseller lists this year 30 years after its publication, not only for its gritty, prophetic portrait of our times but because of its faith in humans to deal with difficult days.

600 faith leaders sign letter urging California governor to stop transfer of incarcerated people to ICE

By Alejandra Molina — September 2, 2020
LOS ANGELES (RNS) — Interfaith Movement for Human Integrity said Gov. Gavin Newsom can stop the transfers of detainees from state prisons to immigration detention facilities by issuing an executive order.

Buddhist monks have reversed roles in Thailand – now they are the ones donating goods to others

By Brooke Schedneck — August 7, 2020
(RNS) — As a result of the pandemic, Buddhist monks in Thailand are increasingly providing material goods, such as hot meals and nonperishable items, for laypeople – thereby reversing roles within this moral economy.

Buddhist teacher Lama Surya Das admits sleeping with adult students in past, says it was wrong

By Joshua Eaton — July 30, 2020
(RNS) — Lama Surya Das said it was inappropriate for him to have sexual relationships with participants in his retreats. Five women have accused Das, the famed Buddhist leader, with past misconduct.

My spiritual path through the COVID-19 darkness

By Kalpana Jain — July 21, 2020
(RNS) — The medical system had done all that it could for me. Now I had to listen to my body and have faith in its wisdom.

Breath, the divine metaphor, becomes a hallmark of America’s twin crises

By Holly Lebowitz Rossi — July 8, 2020
(RNS) — The normally simple, normally unconscious act of drawing breath has come to define the United States’ most pressing problems. What the world’s faith traditions have to say about the meaning of our first act as humans.

As Dalai Lama turns 85, his lineage’s future is as uncertain as Tibet’s

By Ira Rifkin — July 6, 2020
(RNS) — As the Tibetan Buddhist leader ages, a confrontation with China over the legitimacy of his successor looms.

Interfaith group: No Buddhist or Hindu statues in nightclubs

By William Kole — July 2, 2020
BOSTON (AP) — An interfaith coalition is launching a campaign to stop what organizers call the ‘disrespectful’ use of sacred Buddhist and Hindu statues as decor in nightclubs.

Chicago celebrates Juneteenth with interfaith march through iconic Grant Park

By Emily McFarlan Miller — June 19, 2020
CHICAGO (RNS) — Thousands of people came out for a faith community-led march celebrating Juneteenth on Friday afternoon (June 19) through downtown Chicago’s Grant Park, home to some of the city’s most iconic landmarks and attractions.

Young Japan priests try to breathe life into fading Buddhism

By Malcolm Foster — June 12, 2020
TOKYO (AP) — Buddhist leaders say a third of the country’s 75,000 temples are barely functioning, but a younger generation of priests is working to reverse the faith’s downward spiral.

The Dalai Lama to release 1st album in July

By Mesfin Fekadu — June 9, 2020
NEW YORK (AP) — ‘Inner World,’ an album featuring teachings and mantras by the Dalai Lama set to music, will be released on July 6, his 85th birthday.

China says boy picked by Dalai Lama now a college graduate

By Associated Press — May 19, 2020
BEIJING (AP) — A boy who disappeared 25 years ago after being picked by the Dalai Lama as Tibetan Buddhism’s second-highest figure is now working at an undetermined job.

How do Buddhists handle coronavirus? The answer is not just meditation

By Pierce Salguero — May 15, 2020
(The Conversation) — For millions worldwide, Buddhist talismans, prayers and protective rituals offer a meaningful way to confront the anxieties of the global coronavirus pandemic.

A new book on Tara explores a portal to the divine in a female form

By Yonat Shimron — May 14, 2020
RALEIGH, N.C. (RNS) — Author Rachael Wooten hopes Tara’s different emanations can help people overcome suffering and cultivate compassion, even if they never embrace Buddhism.

Malaysian Buddhists celebrate Vesak from home during pandemic

By Alexandra Radu — May 7, 2020
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (RNS) — With all temples in Malaysia closed to the public in an effort to curb the coronavirus outbreak, the country’s 5.4 million Buddhists — the second largest faith group in the mostly Muslim nation — observed Vesak, or Buddha Day, from home this year.
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