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Articles on Religion and society

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Ultra-Orthodox Jews gather at the gravesite of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai at Mount Meron in northern Israel on April 29, 2021, as they celebrate the Jewish holiday of Lag BaOmer. Jalaa Marey/AFP via Getty Images

What is the Lag BaOmer pilgrimage?

A scholar of Jewish history explains why the annual Lag BaOmer pilgrimage to Mount Meron in Israel has such power and meaning.
Most of us love chocolates, but child labor has been found involved in some of the production. Jupiterimages/ The Image Bank via Getty Images

Some chocolate has a dark side to it – child labor

An anthropologist writes that despite best efforts, there is no guarantee that children may not have been exploited in the production process of chocolate.
The Washington National Cathedral hosted a public vaccination event in March 2021 to help demonstrate trust by faith leaders of all denominations in the COVID-19 vaccines. Alex Wong/Getty Images

For some people, religious leaders might be most effective at communicating the importance of COVID-19 vaccination

Two political scientists in their study in South Dakota found people trusted medical professionals the least when it came to public health messages.
Russian Orthodox Church Patriarch Kirill, center, and Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, right, at the consecration of the Cathedral of Russian Armed Forces outside Moscow, June 14, 2020. Oleg Varov, Russian Orthodox Church Press Service via AP

What a cathedral and a massive military parade show about Putin’s Russia

World War II has a central place in Russian nationalism. Its importance is written all over a new cathedral dedicated to the armed forces.
Sri Lankan students march during a protest over the economic crisis outside the residence of prime minister Mahinda Rajapaksa in Colombo, April 24, 2022. AP Photo/Eranga Jayawardena

Sri Lanka’s protests show a fragile unity – for now

The country has a long history of ethnic and religious conflict, but the worst economic crisis in decades has brought protesters together.
The temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints along the Capital Beltway in Kensington, Md. Carol M. Highsmith/Buyenlarge/Getty Images

What is a Latter-day Saint temple?

Temples are often open to the public for a period after construction or renovation, but only church members may enter once religious ceremonies begin.
Ukrainian refugees wait near the U.S. border in Tijuana, Mexico. AP Photo/Gregory Bull

How race and religion have always played a role in who gets refuge in the US

Four scholars of race, religion and immigration explain how US refugee and asylum policy has long been racially and religiously discriminatory in practice.
A man identified only as Viktor shows his neighbor’s grave in Bucha, Ukraine. It was too dangerous to go to the cemetery. Jana Cavojska/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

How burying the dead keeps the living human

Ukrainian families’ anguish at not being able to bury their loved ones underscores a deep human need, an anthropologist writes.
Nuns from a group of Dalit Christians, or India’s lowest caste who converted to Christianity, protest in New Delhi. AP Photo/Gurinder Osan

Caste doesn’t just exist in India or in Hinduism – it is pervasive across many religions in South Asia and the diaspora

Several US universities now recognize caste as part of nondiscrimination policies. Two scholars of South Asian studies explain how caste-based violence isn’t limited to Hinduism, or to India.

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