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Hindus on the run, temples destroyed as BNP-Jamaat unleash targetted violence

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Activists of main Opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) and its key-ally fundamentalist Jamaat-e-Islami attacked Hindu households in western Jessore and northwestern Dinajpur, local media reports said. The threat of life has forced hundreds of minority Hindus to leave home in panic as post-poll terror strikes have gained momentum in several districts of Bangladesh even as the 48-hour hartal has entered second day on Tuesday.
Niti Central

Seven arrested for attacks on Hindus in Bangladesh, Hasina vows action
Two Jamaat activists were arrested yesterday while five Bangladesh Nationalist Party supporters were arrested today for attacks on Hindus in Jessore and Dinajpur. A senior police office in Dinajpur said they were arrested after victims named those responsible for the attacks.
Zee News

Uphold 10-point solution, council of five religions tells Malaysian Govt
Malaysian Consultative Council of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism and Taoism president Sardar Jagir Singh said the only way to resolve the issue was to honour the 10-point solution. “All places of worship should be off-limits to the interference of other (non-related) religions. “There are places to hold demonstrations, it must never be done at a place of worship,” he said yesterday.
The Star Online

Doctors embark on annual journey of faith and spirituality to Shirdi
Every year doctors and support staff from Lakshdeep Hospital in Vashi and Sai Snehdeep Hospital in Koparkhairane undertake a pilgrimage on foot to Shirdi, as a token of thanksgiving. The journey lasts four days, with around 12 hours of brisk walking everyday, and nights being spent in temples, ashrams, villages and sometimes even in open spaces.
The Times of India

Will Faith At Work Be A Good Thing When Your Job Is On The Line?
Picture this:  The economy has given the company you work at a pretty hard hit. Sales are down, competition is fierce, vendors and customers are all struggling and your job is on the line. You have 3 kids to feed, a mortgage, car payment and are still paying off the college debt you accumulated to get this amazing career started. Your boss is doing all they can to keep you employed.
A Real Change

16 Scientifically-Backed Ways To Boost Your Happiness Almost Instantly
An infographic.
Huffington Post

A battle for the soul of Islam
The mess is entirely of Muslims’ own making. It is the “Great Satan” within who is wreaking the damage. Islam is at war with itself, which is raging, simultaneously, at several levels — between moderates and extremists; between Shias and Sunnis; and between pro-West (Saudi Arabia and its Gulf allies) and anti-West (Iran, Lebanon, Syria) Muslim powers.
The Hindu

We Must Teach about Religion in High Schools
Despite being such a religiously diverse nation, America has levels of religious literacy that are abysmal. In a 2010 survey, the Pew Forum asked more than 3,000 Americans some simple questions about the world’s religions. Most respondents could answer only half of them correctly. In a 2005 study conducted for the Bible Literacy Project, only 10 percent of American teenagers could even name the five world religions covered in the Hendersonville world religions unit. This does not bode well. Religious literacy is necessary to the health of a democratic, pluralistic society. Religion is not a discrete and ahistorical phenomenon; instead, it is embedded in the very fabric of human history and culture. Without some understanding the world’s religious traditions, students are ill equipped to understand literature, history, art, or the current political landscape.
Religion and Politics

What is the truth about Islam: A religion of Peace or War?
Throughout the world it is commonly asserted that Islam is a religion of violence, misogyny, and a host of other negative attributes. Such attitudes have been held for centuries, but never entered the mainstream until the September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon. However, the idea that every single Muslim in the entire world promotes or admires violence is false. The idea that most Muslims are in favor of violence or hatred is equally false, and not proven by any measure or statistic ever conducted.
Washington Times

Nineteenth Joint Postgraduate Conference on Religion and Theology
This year I am helping in the organization of the University of Bristol’s postgraduate conference on religion and theology. Please help spread the word and if you are in the UK or can make it here in March, please submit an abstract.

Religion and youth
Father Michael Psaromatis, parish priest at Saint Andrew Noarlunga, in South Australia tells Neos Kosmos that one third of his parish attending services is made up of youths and young families. He says his church is in an area that is predominately resided by young families forming their own community around the church, and this trend is opposed to what he sees occurring in Greek Orthodox churches situated in the CBD of Adelaide.

Books discuss link between religion, violence from varied viewpoints
Like it or not, religion has always taken a central place in the world’s violence. While William Abraham’s “Shaking Hands with the Devil” and John Allen’s “The Global War on Christians” discuss very different issues, the authors share the same aim of reducing the stereotyping about religion and the religious that seems a constant in our secularized world.
Catholic San Francisco


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