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My Take: 7 Ways religious diversity played in the election
November 9th, 2012
05:00 AM ET

My Take: 7 Ways religious diversity played in the election

Editor's Note: Stephen Prothero, a Boston University religion scholar and author of "The American Bible: How Our Words Unite, Divide, and Define a Nation," is a regular CNN Belief Blog contributor.

By Stephen Prothero, Special to CNN

“It’s demography, stupid!” is the new mantra for analyzing the 2012 election, in which African Americans, Asian Americans and Latinos cast their votes in overwhelming numbers for President Obama.

But religious diversity was another key theme. How so? Let me count the ways.

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog contributor

Filed under: 2012 Election • Atheism • Barack Obama • Buddhism • Church and state • Hinduism • Judaism • Mitt Romney • Politics • Polls • Uncategorized • United States

Fresh violence in Myanmar leaves mosque, monastery burned
Myanmar refugees from the Rohingya community, a predominantly Muslim sect, take refuge on a street, in this photo taken in May.
October 23rd, 2012
05:42 AM ET

Fresh violence in Myanmar leaves mosque, monastery burned

By Kocha Olarn, CNN

(CNN) - Fresh sectarian clashes in Myanmar's western state of Rakhine killed three people and left more than 400 houses, a monastery and a mosque burned to the ground, authorities said Tuesday.

The clashes began Sunday night and spread to four townships, said state Attorney General Hla Thein.

Rakhine is home to the Rohingya, an ethnic Muslim minority who say they have been persecuted by the Myanmar military during its decades of authoritarian rule.

FULL STORY
- A. Hawkins

Filed under: Buddhism • Crime • Islam • Myanmar • Religious violence

Bangladesh Muslims torch Buddhist shrines, police say
Rioters torched Buddhist temples and homes in Bangladesh over a Facebook photo deemed offensive to Islam.
October 1st, 2012
04:49 AM ET

Bangladesh Muslims torch Buddhist shrines, police say

By Farid Ahmed, CNN

(CNN) - Crowds of angry Muslims attacked Buddhist shrines and homes, torching some of them Sunday in Bangladesh to protest after a photo of a partially burned Quran was posted on Facebook, police said.

The protesters chanted anti-Buddhist slogans, blaming the burning of the Muslim holy book on a Buddhist boy, district police superintendent Saleem Jahangir said.

FULL STORY
- A. Hawkins

Filed under: Buddhism • Islam • Quran

My Take: Why the Dalai Lama cannot condemn Tibetan self-immolations
July 18th, 2012
07:34 AM ET

My Take: Why the Dalai Lama cannot condemn Tibetan self-immolations

Editor's Note: Tenzin Dorjee is executive director of Students for a Free Tibet, a global grassroots network of students and activists working for Tibetan independence. A writer and an activist, he is a spokesperson for the global Tibetan youth movement.

By Tenzin Dorjee, Special to CNN

(CNN)–In a crass display of moral blindsight, Stephen Prothero's blog post on Tibetan self-immolations blames the victim instead of the bully.

Tibetans are stuck in one of the world's last remaining and most brutal colonial occupations. It is through this lens, more than anything else, that we must understand the self-immolations.

Since 2009, at least 44 Tibetans -– monks, nuns and lay people -– have set themselves on fire to protest China's rule; 39 self-immolations have occurred this year alone. Every one of these acts is a direct result of China's systematic assault on the Tibetan people's way of life, their movements, their speech, their religion, and their identity.

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Buddhism

July 16th, 2012
05:29 PM ET

Prothero: Dalai Lama should condemn immolations

(CNN)– Stephen Prothero tells CNN's Suzanne Malveaux that the Dalai Lama should condemn immolation by Tibetans.

Read more of Prothero's argument here: My Take: Dalai Lama should condemn Tibetan self-immolations

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Buddhism • TV-CNN Newsroom

My Take: Dalai Lama should condemn Tibetan self-immolations
Tibetans at a protest in Taipei in 2011 display portraits of people who killed themselves by self-immolation.
July 12th, 2012
09:28 AM ET

My Take: Dalai Lama should condemn Tibetan self-immolations

Editor's Note: Stephen Prothero, a Boston University religion scholar and author of "The American Bible: How Our Words Unite, Divide, and Define a Nation," is a regular CNN Belief Blog contributor.

By Stephen Prothero, Special to CNN

When the Vietnamese monk Thich Quang Duc immolated himself in Saigon in 1963 to protest the persecution of Buddhists by the South Vietnamese government of Ngo Dinh Diem, the world took notice. Malcolm Browne’s photograph of the monk becoming a martyr won the Pulitzer Prize, and Diem's Roman Catholic regime fell before the year’s end.

Today, Tibet is witnessing an epidemic of self-immolations. In fact, since March 16, 2011, more than 40 Tibetans have followed Thich Quang Duc’s lead, setting themselves on fire to protest the Chinese occupation of Tibet.

Westerners react with revulsion to sati, the Hindu practice of widow-burning outlawed by the British in 1829, and of course to Islamist suicide bombers. The New Atheists are right to protest all this killing in the name of God (or the Buddha) - the way believers both prompt violence and justify it in the name of some higher good.

So where are the protests against these Tibetan protesters?

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog contributor

Filed under: Asia • Buddhism • China • Dalai Lama • Death • Ethics • Opinion • Politics • Protest • Tibet • Tibet • Violence

My Take: Asian immigration is making U.S. less religious
A Pew report finds that there are now more Asian immigrants arriving in the U.S. each year than there are Latino immigrants.
June 20th, 2012
04:17 PM ET

My Take: Asian immigration is making U.S. less religious

Editor's Note: Stephen Prothero, a Boston University religion scholar and author of "The American Bible: How Our Words Unite, Divide, and Define a Nation," is a regular CNN Belief Blog contributor.

By Stephen Prothero, Special to CNN

When I first started studying Asian religions in the United States in graduate school, I assumed that the story of Asian immigration was a story of the arrival and adaptation of Hinduism, Buddhism and other Asian religions.

And so it is. But the broader story is much more complicated and intriguing.

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog contributor

Filed under: Asia • Atheism • Belief • Buddhism • Christianity • Hinduism • Immigration • Polls • United States

May 25th, 2012
12:11 PM ET

As Myanmar opens up, spiritual tourists journey in

By Paula Hancocks, CNN

Yangon, Myanmar (CNN) - How’s this for a vacation schedule? Get up at 3 a.m., put off sleep till 11 p.m., and spend almost the whole day alone, in silence.

It’s a typical day for a foreign tourist at the Mahasi meditation center here.

Founded by the late Venerable Mahasi Sayadaw, the center opens its doors not only to Burmese residents but also to foreign visitors wishing to learn Buddhist meditation techniques.

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Buddhism • Myanmar

Dalai Lama silent on monk self-immolations
May 14th, 2012
05:55 AM ET

Dalai Lama silent on monk self-immolations

By Richard Allen Greene

LONDON (CNN) - The Dalai Lama refused to answer a question Monday about whether Tibetan monks should stop setting themselves on fire to protest China's occupation of Tibet.

"No answer," he said, saying it was a sensitive political question and that he had retired from politics.

He handed over political leadership of the Tibetan community to an elected prime minister last year.

Self-immolation is becoming an increasingly common form of protest for Tibetans who want genuine autonomy from China and accuse Beijing of repression.

More than 30 of them took place in the last year in China, Tibetan advocacy groups say.

The Dalai Lama was speaking in London, where he is accepting the Templeton Prize, an award worth £1.1 million ($1.74 million) which honors "outstanding individuals who have devoted their talents to expanding our vision of human purpose and ultimate reality."

The Dalai Lama will give $1.5 million to the aid organization Save the Children, he said.

He is giving another $200,000 of the prize money to the Mind & Life Institute, and $75,000 to his own monastic community.

FULL STORY
- Newsdesk editor, The CNN Wire

Filed under: Buddhism • China • Dalai Lama • Tibet

April 26th, 2012
11:01 AM ET

Dalai Lama: World belongs to 'humanity,' not leaders

By Catherine Shoichet, CNN

(CNN)- The Dalai Lama says he supports the principles behind Arab Spring protests.

"The world belongs to humanity, not this leader, that leader, kings or religious leaders. The world belongs to humanity. Each country belongs essentially to their own people," he said in an interview Wednesday on CNN's "Piers Morgan Tonight."

Politicians at times forget that, even in democratic countries like the United States, he said.

"Sometimes they are short-sighted," he said. "They are mainly looking for the next vote."

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Buddhism • Church and state

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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.

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