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Devotees stand behind barricades as they wait for Naga Sadhu or Naked Hindu holy men to arrive for Shahi snan or a Royal bath during Kumbh mela, in Haridwar in the Indian state of Uttarakhand, Monday, April 12, 2021.  (AP Photo/Karma Sonam)

Huge gatherings at India’s Hindu festival as virus surges

By Neha Mehrotra, Sheikh Saaliq — April 12, 2021

NEW DELHI (AP) — The Kumbh Mela, or pitcher festival, is one of the most sacred pilgrimages in Hinduism.

In a number of religions including Hinduism, the swastika is a symbol of prosperity and good fortune. Image courtesy of Nidhi Srivastava via Flickr/Creative Commons

The swastika and the 4 H’s

By Khyati Y. Joshi — March 24, 2021
Alexandre Tannous plays the singing bowls. Photo courtesy of Elyaou Bialobos
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Students work on yoga postures during “mindful studies” class at Wilson High School in Portland, Oregon, on Oct. 1, 2014.(AP Photo/Gosia Wozniacka)

Alabama lifts ban on yoga in schools. Sort of.

By Mat McDermott — March 18, 2021

(RNS) — Alabama avoids constitutional entanglements but falls squarely into the mouth of cultural appropriation.

Yoga classes are becoming more prevalent in America’s schools. Africa Studio via

Alabama House votes to end yoga ban, but don’t say ‘namaste’

By Kim Chandler — March 13, 2021

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — The Alabama Board of Education voted in 1993 to prohibit yoga, hypnosis and meditation in public school classrooms.

Indian farmers participate in a tractor rally in a protest against new farm laws at Ghaziabad, on the outskirts of New Delhi, on Jan. 7, 2021. India’s top court temporarily put on hold the implementation of new agricultural laws and ordered the formation of an independent committee of experts to negotiate with farmers who have been protesting against the legislation. (AP Photo/Altaf Qadri, File)

Why Hindu nationalists are attacking Sikhs in Australia

By Simran Jeet Singh — March 11, 2021

(RNS) — Hindu nationalists outside India are now terrorizing Sikhs in response to the historic farmer protests.

Photo by Pexels/Creative Commons

Intention can turn any lockdown walk into pilgrimage, urges British Pilgrimage Trust

By Emily McFarlan Miller — March 9, 2021

(RNS) — Pilgrimage is about traveling, about being a stranger in a strange land, according to the director. The pandemic flips that on its head.

The Association for Chaplaincy and Spiritual Life in Higher Education. Courtesy image

Facing changing spirituality on campus, historic chaplain groups merge

By Paul Brandeis Raushenbush — March 3, 2021

(RNS) — The merger is a response to increasing diversification of spiritual life at American schools, with students, faculty and staff pursuing not only a wider range of faiths but also no faith at all.

Rihanna talks to media backstage after Savage x Fenty fashions were shown in a performance at the Brooklyn Navy Yard at the end of Fashion Week, Wednesday Sept. 12, 2018, in the Brooklyn borough of New York. (AP Photo/Diane Bondareff)

Rihanna’s Instagram pose with Ganesh earns criticism from Hindus

By Paul O'Donnell — February 19, 2021

(RNS) — Rihanna’s topless Instagram portrait featuring a pendant depicting a Hindu deity drew calls of blasphemy — and payback for her recent comments on India’s farm crisis.

Indian farmers hold a protest on the outskirts of Amritsar in the northern state of Punjab, Feb. 6, 2021. (Photo by Narinder Nanu/AFP via Getty Images)

Why Indian farmers’ protests are being called a ‘satyagraha’ – which means ’embracing the truth’

By Sumit Ganguly — February 18, 2021

(The Conversation) — It evokes a long political history that goes back to the Indian nationalist movement against British rule.

In this April 11, 2020, file photo, a person films pastor Nicolas Sanchez, center left, celebrating Easter Vigil Mass at his church, decorated with candles and pictures sent by his parishioners attached to their pews, at St. Patrick Church in North Hollywood, California. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

California legislator wants religious services deemed essential during state of emergency

By Alejandra Molina — February 15, 2021

(RNS) — Sen. Brian Jones, a Republican in San Diego County, introduced a piece of legislation on Friday (Feb. 12) that would allow a religious organization to file a claim for relief if it has been subjected to ‘government overreach.’

In this Oct. 3, 2018, file photo, the Cisco logo appears on a screen at the Nasdaq MarketSite in New York’s Times Square. California regulators sued Cisco Systems for discriminating against an engineer at the company’s headquarters because he is a Dalit Indian. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)

Under guise of protecting workers, California defines (and demonizes) Hinduism

By Kavita Pallod Sekhsaria — February 2, 2021

(RNS) — In defining caste as we know it as a Hindu concept, the state paints a major world faith as inherently discriminatory.

Activists protest against ‘love jihad’ laws being proposed, in Bangalore, India, on Dec. 1, 2020. (Photo by Manjunath Kiran/AFP via Getty Images)

The problem with India’s ‘love jihad’ laws

By Sumit Ganguly — January 27, 2021

(The Conversation) — The Hindu nationalist-led government is reviving opposition to religious conversion that goes back to British India.

Kamala Harris is sworn in as vice president by Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor as her husband, Doug Emhoff, holds the Bible during the 59th Presidential Inauguration at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Jan. 20, 2021. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, Pool)

Kamala Harris can show Americans how we share our faiths

By Khyati Y. Joshi — January 21, 2021

(RNS) — In Harris’ America, people can be steadfast in their own faith and part of their own religious community and still engage with other traditions.

In this image from video, Vice President Kamala Harris swears in Sen. Raphael Warnock, D-Georgia, from left; Sen. Alex Padilla, D-California; and Sen. Jon Ossoff, D-Georgia, on the floor of the Senate, Jan. 6, 2021, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (Senate Television via AP)

The Rev. Raphael Warnock sworn in with two others as new senator

By Adelle M. Banks — January 20, 2021

(RNS) — Warnock was sworn in with Georgia’s second new senator, Jon Ossoff, who is the state’s first Jewish senator, and Alex Padilla, California’s first Latino senator.

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