Religious Diversity News

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2012 Wisconsin Sikh temple shooting survivor dies of wounds

A man who survived being shot in the face during a white supremacist’s deadly 2012 attack on a Sikh temple near Milwaukee has died of complications stemming from his injuries.
Baba Punjab Singh died Monday, bringing the victim death toll in the temple attack to seven and making it the worst mass shooting in Wisconsin since 2005.

Source: 2012 Wisconsin Sikh temple shooting survivor dies of wounds – Religion News Service

Faith before basketball for Yeshiva University champions

Each of the mighty Maccabees has his role on the men’s basketball team. Gabriel Leifer sinks three-pointers; Daniel Katz is the defense wizard; Simcha Halpert makes the perfect alley-oop passes to Ryan Turell who soars for dunks.

Kids pretend to be them in pickup games. The home crowd sings in Hebrew and roars when they score. But before tipoff, the team always gathers around Tyler Hod, a senior guard and their unofficial rabbi.

Source: Faith before basketball for Yeshiva University champions – The Washington Post

‘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

Jehovah’s Witnesses complete entire Bible in American Sign Language

When Howard Mallory first saw the Gospel of Matthew rendered in American Sign Language nearly 15 years ago, he said he was able to understand it more easily than when reading it in English.

“Seeing it in sign language, it was amazing,” said Mallory, a deaf Jehovah’s Witness from Northfield, New Hampshire. “Of course, we wanted more. Only one book was done.”

Source: Jehovah’s Witnesses complete entire Bible in American Sign Language – Religion News Service

Pittsburgh tragedy helped build deep interfaith cooperation

“The Quran tells us red and yellow are the most distracting colors, the ones that should not ever be used for a prayer rug,” the imam tells us, looking down at the red and yellow rug beneath our feet in the mosque. He adds, “It was a donation, there was nothing I could do about the improper coloring.”

“Why don’t people know what the Quran has to say about these things?” my teenage daughter asks.

“Well,” he explains, “there is a lot to know: 6,000 sutras, 20,000 hadiths and 100,000 stories about the life of Muhammad.”

Source: Pittsburgh tragedy helped build deep interfaith cooperation | Commentaries | stljewishlight.com

School Faces Backlash Over Event Encouraging Girls To ‘Cover’ Their Heads With Hijabs – Opposing Views

Mason High School principal Mindy McCarty-Stewart canceled “A Covered Girl Challenge,” an event aimed at celebrating religious “diversity.” Students who wished to participate would get to wear a headscarf on the day of to celebrate Islamic culture.

McCarty-Stewart sent an apology to parents, writing that the event was aimed at challenging stereotypes faced by students wearing the head scarves, but “as the event spread beyond our school community, however, we received many strong messages that made me reconsider the event’s ability to meet its objectives.”

Source: School Faces Backlash Over Event Encouraging Girls To ‘Cover’ Their Heads With Hijabs – Opposing Views

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

Pa. prison puts inmates in solitary confinement for dreadlocks, despite religious beliefs on uncut hair

The Lebanon County Correctional Facility’s handbook says no inmate can have long hair unless it is worn in a ponytail or a bun. But for many black inmates, that rule doesn’t apply. Instead, they are placed in solitary confinement if they refuse to cut their hair.

One inmate currently in segregated housing says that policy violates his religious rights. Eric McGill, who is Black, wears his hair in dreadlocks. A practicing Rastafarian, McGill has refused to cut his hair since he was taken into custody more than a year ago. (Rastafarians do not cut their hair, ascribing to a strict reading of the Old Testament that forbids it.)

Source: Pa. prison puts inmates in solitary confinement for dreadlocks, despite religious beliefs on uncut hair – pennlive.com

W.Va. House passes bill on Bible scripture elective in public high schools

The West Virginia House of Delegates passed a bill Tuesday allowing county boards of education to offer elective courses of instruction on the Bible.

The bill was passed on a 73-26 vote

A similar bill made it out of the Senate Judiciary Committee. It would allow county boards to offer the elective on any sacred text or comparative religion, not just the Bible. The Senate’s version of the bill will be up for a final reading Wednesday.

Source: W.Va. House passes bill on Bible scripture elective in public high schools | News | bdtonline.com

Should Catholic women give up fasting for Lent?

When Lent arrives each year, I find myself in conversations about fasting with other Catholic women. We exchange plans for our seasonal food abstinence — small meals and no meat on Fridays, often accompanied by a fast from sweets, or alcohol, or snacking between meals.

Then, inevitably, someone voices what many of us have privately considered: “Hopefully this will help me lose another few pounds.”

Source: Should Catholic women give up fasting for Lent? | National Catholic Reporter