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Health & Lifestyle

How Ohio’s Indigenous sacred sites became a religious flashpoint

By Diana Kruzman — December 21, 2021
COLUMBUS, Ohio (RNS) — A battle for access to sacred sites is taking place, from mountains in Arizona to rivers in North Dakota, aimed at fending off developers or government agencies to preserve the physical integrity directly linked to their spiritual value. 

Americans support a high bar for religious exemptions to vaccines

By Robert P. Jones and Eboo Patel — December 20, 2021
(RNS) — For most, the legitimacy of religious objections to COVID-19 vaccination mandates rests on how consistent the current claim is with a person’s previous actions.

Across US, houses of worship struggle to rebuild attendance

By David Crary — December 20, 2021
When Westminster United Methodist Church in Houston resumed in-person services late last year, after a seven-month halt due to COVID-19, there were Sundays when only three worshippers showed up, according to the pastor, Meredith Mills. Since then, attendance has inched back up, but it’s still only about half the pre-pandemic turnout of 160 or 170, […]

A Persian festival, Yalda, celebrates the triumph of light over darkness, with pomegranates, poetry and sacred rituals

By Pardis Mahdavi — December 20, 2021
(The Conversation) — People stay up all night, telling stories and eating dried fruits, in addition to watermelon and pomegranate, to celebrate the sunrise soon after the longest night of the year.

I cannot see your face on Facebook

By Jeffrey Salkin — December 17, 2021
(RNS) — I am not having this argument. Except, if it is over a cup of coffee. Then, maybe.

Childless at Christmas

By Karen Swallow Prior — December 16, 2021
(RNS) — Some holiday traditions offer particular challenges to those who aren’t part of a nuclear family at Christmas, challenges the rest of us might not even imagine.

The spiritual gift of growing older (yes, really)

By Jana Riess — December 16, 2021
(RNS) — Author Alice Fryling says aging is an opportunity to jettison the false self and finally discover spiritual freedom.

Americans are furious about vaccinations. It’s not helping.

By Paul Brandeis Raushenbush and Mary Ellen Giess — December 13, 2021
(RNS) — Listening, not anger, will help us get to where we need to go.

It’s the most ‘angry’ time of the year?

By Robert P. Jones — December 11, 2021
(RNS) — A new survey highlights just how angry vaccinated and unvaccinated Americans are with each other today.

Rastafari want more legal marijuana for freedom of worship

By Luis Andres Henao and Kwasi Gyamfi Asiedu — December 10, 2021
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — For Rastafari, the ritualistic smoking of marijuana brings them closer to the divine. But for decades, many have been incarcerated because of their use of cannabis.

Court won’t stop Texas abortion ban, but lets clinics sue

By Mark Sherman — December 10, 2021
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court on Friday left in place Texas’ ban on most abortions, offering only a glimmer of daylight for clinics in the state to challenge the nation’s most restrictive abortion law. The decision, little more than a week after the court signaled it would roll back abortion rights and possibly overturn […]

Residents fear sale of Monastery of the Angels, beloved Hollywood home to cloistered nuns

By Alejandra Molina — December 10, 2021
HOLLYWOOD (RNS) — Los Angeles residents say the monastery is 'loved by people of all faiths' and represents 'kindness in an ocean of distraction, indifference and preoccupation.'

This is an all-hands-on-deck moment for refugee resettlement in this country

By Mark Hetfield, Richard L. Santos, and Krish O’Mara Vignarajah — December 9, 2021
(RNS) — Refugee resettlement has always been a public-private partnership, relying on the generosity of American communities who come together and welcome newcomers.

Court lifts block, allowing San Diego schools’ vaccine mandate to go forward

By Alejandra Molina — December 6, 2021
(RNS) — 'The 9th Circuit agreed San Diego Unified is acting in the best interest of students, as opposed to discriminating on the basis of religion, as the plaintiffs had claimed,' the district said in a statement.

African faith leaders combat misleading theologies that promise cures for COVID-19

By Fredrick Nzwili — December 6, 2021
(RNS) — A series of symposiums aims to educate clergy and unify their churches against faith healing and other practices.
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