RNS Morning Report: Malaysian Buddhist Vesak; NJ Man Accused of Assault; Army Chaplain Controversy

Buddhist monks praying on Vesak Day are streamed on social media by a volunteer at the Buddhist Maha Vihara temple in Kuala Lumpur on May 7, 2020. RNS photo by Alexandra Radu

Need to know: Friday, May 8, 2020

Private Celebrations

Malaysian Buddhists celebrate Vesak from home during pandemic

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. More from Religion News Service

Racist Threats

New Jersey man accused of ramming Muslim woman’s car

Michael Morrison is in jail after allegedly ramming his SUV twice into a Muslim woman’s car and threatening to kill her and her son. More from Religion News Service

'Coronavirus and Christ'

Watchdog seeks discipline for Army chaplain who shared John Piper coronavirus book

The Military Religious Freedom Foundation is representing 22 chaplains who objected to an email with the book that ties the coronavirus to God’s judgment. More from Religion News Service

Return to Worship

With caution and concern, Catholic Masses scheduled to resume in Italy

For the first time since March 9, when the Italian government enacted a nationwide lockdown to limit the spread of the pandemic, Catholic faithful will be able to attend Mass with priests in places of worship starting May 18. More from Religion News Service

Opinion

How churches can reframe social justice now and after COVID-19

The church can leverage its social mission to advocate for just policies, offer to open its spaces and look out for the most vulnerable during this crisis, writes Barbara Williams-Skinner. More from Religion News Service

Desecrations Revealed

Prague revamp reveals Jewish gravestones used to pave streets

Find confirms speculation communist regime raided synagogues for building materials. More from The Guardian