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Articles on Religion and society

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Apostle Paul and his followers collected aid, likely for early Christians. Giovanni Paolo Panini /Hermitage Museum via Wikimedia Commons

What early Christian communities tell us about giving financial aid at a time of crises

In the late second century, some Christian groups in Rome began directing financial aid toward people living in another city, who were going through a crisis. That act of giving has lessons for today.
People wear a protective mask as they attend a Hindu ritual, known as Melasti, in Bali, Indonesia, on March 22. Agoes Rudianto/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Why people need rituals, especially in times of uncertainty

As the coronavirus spreads and life comes to a standstill, people are coming up with a host of rituals to maintain a sense of order and human connection.
An Uighur woman rests near a barricaded structure and heavily armed Chinese policemen in Urumqi. Ng Han Guan/AP Photo

I was in China doing research when I saw my Uighur friends disappear

A scholar who spent 24 months in the Uighur-dominated regions of China recalls when the Chinese crackdown on Uighurs started in 2017 – people were picked up and never returned.
The Satanic Temple unveils a statue of Baphomet, a winged-goat creature, at a rally for the First Amendment in Little Rock, Arkansas, in August 2018. AP Photo/Hannah Grabenstein

What The Satanic Temple is and why it’s opening a debate about religion

A group known as The Satanic Temple was started with the political goal of advocating for the value of church-state separation. This group is now challenging the traditional definition of religion.
For many evangelicals, faith is a central part of their lives, but there is wide variation in how it is practiced. Leonard Ortiz/MediaNews Group/Orange County Register via Getty Images

Evangelicals downplay religious expression when working with secular groups

Many Americans imagine evangelicals as a monolithic group that supports conservative policies and always talks about their faith. Three experts found in a study that the picture is far more complex.
US President Donald Trump, first lady Melania Trump and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi at a cricket stadium, in Ahmedabad, India. AP Photo/Alex Brandon

How India came to love cricket, favored sport of its colonial British rulers

During a recent visit to India, Trump spoke at the world's largest cricket stadium. Cricket came to India in the 18th century through British sailors and is a revered cultural institution in India.
Women in Delhi’s Shaheen Bagh neighborhood are protesting a new Indian citizenship law that they say will discriminate against Muslims, women – and, particularly, Muslim women. Burhaan Kinu/Hindustan Times via Getty Images

Indian women protest new citizenship laws, joining a global ‘fourth wave’ feminist movement

A round-the-clock strike of Muslim women in a working-class neighborhood of Delhi is India's most enduring pocket of resistance to religious discrimination, inequality and gender violence.
US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad and Taliban co-founder Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar sign an agreement ending the US’s 18-year war in Afghanistan, Doha, Feb. 29, 2020. GIUSEPPE CACACE/AFP via Getty Images

After US and Taliban sign accord, Afghanistan must prepare for peace

A peace deal with the Taliban has been signed. But rebuilding Afghanistan after three decades of conflict will take much more than an accord, says a scholar of peacebuilding.
Pakistani Islamists march to protest the Supreme Court lenient treatment of Asia Bibi, a Christian Pakistani woman accused of blasphemy, in Karachi, Feb. 1, 2019. ASIF HASSAN/AFP via Getty Images

Execution for a Facebook post? Why blasphemy is a capital offense in some Muslim countries

Pakistan, Iran and Saudi Arabia all punish blasphemy harshly – even with death. Such laws have political as well as religious motives, says a scholar on Islamism: They're a tool for crushing dissent.

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