The Sikh-American community is building resilience as hate crimes rise
Plus the shallow religious criticism of "Under the Banner of Heaven"
Hi ReligionUnplugged readers,
During one week in April, three Sikh men were assaulted in Queens, New York — their turbans were forcibly removed and their beards pulled. These targeted attacks came near to the one-year anniversary of the Indianapolis FedEx shooting.
These graphic examples illustrate national data that says hate crimes against Sikh Americans are on the rise. In the midst of it all, the Sikh-American community is reflecting on the past and hoping to move forward with ways to keep their communities safe. Contributor Manmeet Sahni reports.
Last week, the first two episodes of Hulu’s “Under the Banner of Heaven” premiered. The series is based on a book of the same title, and is meant to offer a thorough deconstruction of the LDS church through a thrilling murder mystery. Contributor Joseph Holmes says the show doesn’t offer any new critiques of organized religion and is therefore a little shallow. Read why he says it’s “like ‘God’s Not Dead’ for the non-religious and those disappointed by Christianity.”
See you next week! If you like what you read, share this with your family and friends.
(REVIEW) “Under The Banner of Heaven”wants to be both a thrilling true crime drama and a faith-shaking takedown of the religious right, but so far its treatment of the topic is too shallow and too un-self-aware to challenge anyone who doesn’t already agree with it.
(REVIEW) Deepfakes, the satanic panic and the influential power of media are all explored in the Museum of the Moving Image’s newest exhibition and film series.
(ANALYSIS) Something akin to a Catholic “Trial of the Century” has gotten underway in Rome and there’s plenty of palace intrigue to go around. The trial involving corruption, bad real estate deals and financial wrongdoing has placed Pope Francis in the center of a controversy that for the first time doesn’t involve doctrine or theology.
Bill Hwang was hailed as part of a new evangelical donor-class for donating nearly $80 million to dozens of evangelical ministries. But his fortune — which, it turned out, was based on lies, heavy borrowing and risky stock bets — blew up in March 2021, when he was unable to pay creditors. Hwang was arrested April 27, 2022.
The Satanic Temple has filed a civil lawsuit against a Pennsylvania elementary school after the school turned down a request to form an after-school Satan Club. The proposed club for Northern Elementary School in York, Pennsylvania, was voted down 8-1 at an April 19 school board meeting.
Lori Windham teaches children’s Bible classes the Fairfax Church of Christ in Virginia and argues cases in the nation’s highest courts for Becket, a law firm specializing in religious liberty cases for people of all faiths.
For Popular Belize Resort Destination Islam Is A Family Affair by Joseph Hammond
On tropical Ambergis Caye in Belize, Islam is a family affair. The island's largest town, San Pedro, has a population of just over 13,000, of whom some 200 are Muslims. This small yet vibrant Muslim community was launched by a single adventurous Lebanese family — the Harmouches.
Megachurch head pastor Stovall Weems has resigned from Celebration Church in Jacksonville, Florida, as he continues to pursue a lawsuit alleging he was illegally suspended from his position by the church’s governing board earlier this year.
Virginia Church Helps Afghan Refugee Family With Housing, Food, Supplies by Bobby Ross Jr.
A Virginia church collaborated with a grassroots volunteer organization known as NoVa RAFT, which stands for Northern Virginia Resettling Afghan Families Together. That group has helped set up nearly 200 Afghan refugee homes with furniture, beds, kitchenware, linens and other household items.
The investigation of alleged mishandling of sexual abuse has cost the Southern Baptist Convention more than $1.7 million so far, a number that exceeds the original estimate made last fall. A 2019 investigation by the Houston Chronicle reported hundreds of abuse cases in Southern Baptist churches spanning decades.
In Friday’s Weekend Plug-In column, Bobby Ross Jr. highlights the arguments in the case of a high school football coach who wants to pray at the 50-yard line after his team’s games. Plus, as always, catch up on all the best reads and top headlines in the world of faith.
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Dr. Philip Jenkins of Baylor University shares about his research into the correlation between trends of institutional religious practice and trends of fertility. Dr. Jenkins discusses how religious participation particularly among young couples are a factor in driving fertility rates around the globe, and how this kind of statistical analysis can potentially predict global trends. Emceed by The Media Project Senior Programs Manager, Melissa Tamplin Harrison. Find it on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify or listen directly on our website.
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(ANALYSIS) While Pope Francis was presiding over a ceremony at the Vatican to consecrate Ukraine and Russia, a group of high-ranking American bishops met in Chicago. The gathering, entitled “Pope Francis, Vatican II and the Way Forward,” aimed to create a dialogue between theologians and bishops.
Brian Houston has resigned as Hillsong global senior pastor after an internal investigation found he acted inappropriately toward two women.
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