Religious Diversity News

Showing all news articles in metro area Boston.

‘We are reclaiming Holi’: College students protest Hindu nationalism with a blackout Holi

Around the world, Holi is known as Hinduism’s festival of colors, a joyful celebration of spring in which people dress in white and take to the streets to shower one another in colorful powders.

But on Thursday evening (March 5) in Harvard Yard, when students arrived at the steps of Memorial Church to mark the festival, they were dressed in black, shouting “Azaadi!” — freedom — while holding slogans such as “No one is illegal,” “Boycott NRC,” and “Stop genocide in India!”

The event is part of a nationwide campaign called Holi Against Hindutva, held in solidarity with anti-government protesters in India and organized at 21 U.S. university campuses including Yale, Columbia, Cornell, Princeton, Wellesley, Michigan State, Duke and Rutgers.

Source: ‘We are reclaiming Holi’: College students protest Hindu nationalism with a blackout Holi – Religion News Service

‘We’re going beyond identity’: Shiite students head to Harvard for first national conference

Laila Tauqeer has only been president of the Harvard Islamic Society for three months, but she has been busy.

This weekend, she’s hosting the country’s first national conference for Shiite Muslim college students around the country.

On Friday (Feb. 28), more than 270 Shiite undergraduates, graduate students and recent alumni will gather at Harvard’s student organization center to discuss spirituality, sectarianism, geopolitics and faith-based activism at the sold-out Ma’rifa Conference.

Source: ‘We’re going beyond identity’: Shiite students head to Harvard for first national conference – Religion News Service

Some Massachusetts Police Departments Slow to Train Civil Rights Officers

Rabbi Keith Stern still remembers his first encounter with anti-Semitism.

Stern was playing on the swings at his elementary school when a classmate told him a joke about Jewish people.

He never told his father, a Holocaust survivor, fearing he would be furious about what his son had experienced.

Source: Some Massachusetts Police Departments Slow to Train Civil Rights Officers – NBC Boston

Reggie Wilson’s Fist and Heel Performance Group finds inspiration in Black Shakers

For choreographer Reggie Wilson, who has dedicated decades to researching and illuminating the spiritual and cultural traditions of the African diaspora, Shakers would seem an unusual source of obsession. But when his investigations led to the discovery of a community of Black Shakers in the middle 1800s, he was all in. He’d always felt there was nothing “any whiter than a New England Shaker,” he admits with a chuckle. “Finding such a thing as a Black Shaker didn’t fit easily into my model of reality. I wanted to understand … how that existed and what that might have looked like.” That curiosity led Wilson to create his latest full-evening dance work, “POWER,” which he and his 31-year-old company Fist and Heel Performance Group present at the Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston this weekend.

Source: Reggie Wilson’s Fist and Heel Performance Group finds inspiration in Black Shakers – The Boston Globe

Judge rules in favor of Boston in flag-raising fight with Christian group

Boston doesn’t have to raise a Christian flag in place of the city’s flag at City Hall Plaza, a judge ruled Tuesday in a federal suit brought by a religious group claiming discrimination by the city’s initial rejection.

An order by U.S. District Court Judge Denise Casper denied a summary judgment for Harold Shurtleff and his Camp Constitution organization, who filed a federal suit in 2018 after the city denied their request to fly the Christian flag on a City Hall flagpole in 2017.

Source: Judge rules in favor of Boston in flag-raising fight with Christian group

Citing religious beliefs, electrician sues SEIU, Boston College over mandatory union dues

A religious discrimination lawsuit filed last month in federal court against a local union and Boston College is being hailed by anti-union groups for upholding individual workers’ rights — and railed against by union advocates who say it’s an attempt to weaken organized labor.

The plaintiff, a Muslim electrician and member of Service Employees International Union 32BJ District 615, informed the school and the union last fall that his religious beliefs conflicted with being part of the union. He requested that his dues be diverted to charity, and when no action had been taken a year later, according to the complaint, he sued.

Source: Citing religious beliefs, electrician sues SEIU, Boston College over mandatory union dues – The Boston Globe

New England art exhibition shows another side of American Muslims

Next week, the Massachusetts State House in Boston will house a collection of artwork by 24 Muslim artists from the Midwest to Massachusetts.

The artwork is part of the annual art series “More Than My Religion,” now in its fifth year, a project organized by New England Muslim artists to reflect American Muslims’ multifaceted identities beyond their religious practice.

“We’re focusing on American Muslims because their narrative has been the most hijacked,” said organizer Irum Haque, a pastel artist in Westford, Massachusetts. “We want to reclaim who we are and tell our own real stories. And every art piece that hangs in the exhibition is the story of a human life as American Muslim citizens.”

Source: New England art exhibition shows another side of American Muslims – Religion News Service

Massachusetts “bodywork” bill could impact some spiritual practices

Bill S. 168 that is currently being considered with the objective of deterring human trafficking and providing more safety to the public when seeking the services of a massage therapist or “bodyworker” contains some potentially problematic language and definitions.

Practices like Reiki, and Qi Gong, frequently involve little, if any, actual physical touching between an instructor/practitioner in practice, and in many cases are part of a defined spiritual practice.

Source: Massachusetts “bodywork” bill could impact some spiritual practices | The Wild Hunt

Buddhist life release – The Martha’s Vineyard Times

Bodhi Path MV presents the fifth annual lobster release ceremony at the Memorial Wharf in Edgartown on Sunday, July 28, from 3 to 4 pm. Bodhi Path will purchase lobsters, and Trinlay Rinpoche will lead a short ceremony and blessing, then the lobsters will be released into the water. Life release is a traditional practice […]

Source: Buddhist life release – The Martha’s Vineyard Times