Death is the great leveller. But the tragedy following it in the case of grieving Hindus and Sikhs families, certainly, is not experienced by all in Muslim-dominated Pakistan. “In Lahore alone, there were about 12 cremation grounds before Independence. But not even a single facility exists at present. After Independence, there were 1,200 Hindu families living in Lahore which now has come down to six families,” Amritsar-based Sikh historian Surinder Kochhar said.
— India Today
Pope Francis announces plan to visit Holy Land to boost relations with Orthodox Christians
Pope Francis says his upcoming trip to the Holy Land aims to boost relations with Orthodox Christians. But the three-day visit in May also underscores Francis’ close ties to the Jewish community, his outreach to Muslims and the Vatican’s longstanding call for peace between Israel and the Palestinians.
— National Post
Could Buddhism Help Your Business?
It’s not a connection that many people automatically consider — profit-making and spiritual practice, but introducing Buddhist precepts into your business can have positive effects on your employees and on your bottom line.
— Huffington Post
Ramdev hits out at Congress, calls Nehru ‘maut ka maha saudagar’
Yoga guru Ramdev on Sunday hit out at the Congress for targeting BJP prime ministerial candidate and Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi and calling him ‘maut ka saudagar’. Ramdev said if Modi is branded ‘maut ka saudagar’, then Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru was a bigger mass murderer.
— IBN Live
Freedom of Religion vs. Freedom of Worship
The phrase ‘freedom of worship’ was first brandished about by Barrack Obama and Hillary Clinton in prominent speeches, replacing the constitutional guaranteed ‘freedom of religion’ but what are the implications in this seeming change in terminology.
— News 24
Are We Hard-Wired for Religion?
When we look at how the brain works it looks like the brain is able to very easily engage in religious and spiritual practices, ideas and experiences. All the brain scan studies that we’ve done show that there are multiple parts of the brain that seem to get involved.
— Big Think
Educate, but don’t convert: Dalai Lama
Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama on Sunday lauded the work of Christian missionaries in the area of education and health in the remotest corners of the world, but advised them to desist from conversion.
— The Hindu
Christians Fear Libya’s Islamic Laws
Minority Christians in Libya have begun the New Year with concern after parliament voted to make sharia, or Islamic law, the source of all legislation. Apostasy, or abandoning Islam, potentially carries the death penalty in several countries, though it was not immediately clear if and when this would be imposed in Libya. Sharia law is among several key issues facing Libya. The status of women and minorities, such as Christians, will have to be addressed in Libya’s future constitution, analysts say.
Don’t ditch the devil, he’s done great service to Christianity
The devil has been with us for millennia, serving a vital purpose. Whether you see him (I still think of the anti-Christ as a “him”) as a horned fellow with a pitchfork and goatee, or, Minotaur-like, as half-man half-beast, the devil personifies the intangible and unmentionable wickedness in the world. It may be childish to hanker for a solid figure of fear and loathing, but I suspect it is a good thing for human beings to share a basic, even primitive, sense of evil.
— The Telegraph
Is Islam compatible with democracy?
One thing Osama bin Laden succeeded in doing was destroying whatever small progress various Muslim polities had made toward modern popular government. It may have been that all he had to do was stick one in the eye of the dominating western paradigm to give new heart to the suppressed feelings we call salafist, but whatever the mechanism was, the status of Muslim governments has deteriorated steadily in the past dozen years. At the beginning of that period, perhaps 5% of Muslim-majority societies were failed or failing states. Now the proportion is much, much higher.
— The Maui News
Buddhist metal band Chock Ma augment their sound with ancient instruments
That’s evident in tracks like No Escape, which has poetic lines like “When the rivers and lakes are barren and dry/ when the tallest mountains seem lifeless and bare/ when the sky is filled with dust and terror” lines that sound like they are preaching environmentalism. But to the band, it’s actually all about karma. “We have done so much harm to the earth. I am not teaching the audience to do anything. Rather, I hope they realise that whatever we do today will make us suffer in the future,” says the vocalist, who penned the lyrics.
— South China Morning Post
Music is my religion: What do One Direction and Jesus Christ have in common?
Religion is characterized as an organized system of beliefs from which the faithful derive moral guidance and self-purpose by adhering to the doctrine of sacred texts and deities. By this definition, I’m going to propose something blasphemous: Music is a religion. Let me tell you why.
— The Varsity