Afro-Cuban drums, Muslim prayers, Buddhist mantras: Religious diversity blooms in once-atheist Cuba

By Luis Andres Henao — May 17, 2024
HAVANA (AP) — Today, diverse beliefs can be found mixed together on altars in homes, with the Virgin Mary sharing space with a ceramic Buddha and a warrior spirit from the Afro-Cuban faith.
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A Palestinian converted to Judaism. An Israeli soldier saw him as a threat and opened fire

By Jack Jeffery — May 16, 2024
JERUSALEM (AP) — In his final moments, David Ben-Avraham was once again viewed as a Palestinian who was in the wrong place, at a time of widespread anger and suspicion.

India’s parliament has fewer Muslims as strength of Modi’s party grows

By Sheikh Saaliq and Krutika Pathi — May 15, 2024
MALAPPURAM, India (AP) — Ever since the BJP began its rise as a political force in the mid-1980s, the proportion of Muslim lawmakers in parliament and state legislatures has shrunk.

How the anime Demon Slayer films are driving ‘pop religion’ in Japan

By Bruce Winkelman — May 14, 2024
(Sightings) — The recent anime film both draws inspiration from Japanese religions and functions as a source of inspiration for religious practices.

Vatican conference on ‘climate resilience’ is the latest in a long line of environment initiatives by Pope Francis and the Catholic Church – 5 essential reads

By Molly Jackson — May 14, 2024
(The Conversation) — Pope Francis and other Catholic leaders committed to raising awareness of environmental issues draw on centuries of tradition.

Far-right Christians blame Madonna’s ‘satanic’ concert for floods in southern Brazil

By Eduardo Campos Lima — May 13, 2024
SÃO PAULO, Brazil (RNS) — Christian pastors and social media influencers have connected the concert's sexual content with unprecedented floods that have devastated cities in Rio Grande do Sul state and killed 116 people.

Buddha’s birthday: When is it and how is it celebrated in different countries?

By Deepa Bharath — May 13, 2024
(AP) – This is a holy occasion for all Buddhists, but is celebrated on different dates depending on the school of Buddhism or country to which one belongs.

Vatican Museums staff challenge the pope with a legal bid for better terms and treatment

By Nicole Winfield — May 13, 2024
ROME (AP) — The 49 employees, museum staffers, cited the social teaching of the Catholic Church and Francis’ own appeals for employers to respect the dignity of workers in demanding better treatment.

Thousands replaster Mali’s Great Mosque of Djenne, which is threatened by conflict

By Associated Press — May 13, 2024
DJENNE, Mali (AP) — Djenne’s mosque requires a new layer of mud each year before the start of the rainy season in June, or the building will fall into disrepair.

After Hagia Sophia, Turkey converts a second ancient Byzantine church into a mosque

By David I. Klein — May 10, 2024
ISTANBUL (RNS) — Muslim worshippers at the mosque on Friday said they viewed Chora Church's rededication as an Islamic site to be a national win for Turkey.

India says Canada has shared no evidence of its involvement in killing of a Sikh separatist leader

By Ashok Sharma — May 10, 2024
NEW DELHI (AP) — Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had set off a diplomatic spat with India last September when he cited “credible allegations” of India’s involvement in the slaying of the Sikh separatist.

Shunned for centuries, Vodou grows powerful as Haitians seek solace from unrelenting gang violence

By DÁnica Coto — May 10, 2024
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) — Shunned publicly by politicians and intellectuals for centuries, Vodou is transforming into a more powerful and accepted religion across Haiti, where its believers were once persecuted.

Haitian aid workers worry American Christian donors could worsen crisis

By Fiona André — May 9, 2024
(RNS) — A network led by seven humanitarian organizations is working to convince American faith-based donors to shift their support away from funding for orphanages to focus on family-strengthening initiatives.
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