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· January, 2009

Stories about Religion from January, 2009

Japan: Saint Young Men, Jesus and Buddha on Earth

  31 January 2009

What if one day Jesus and Buddha descended to Earth to spend their holidays? And what if they lived together in a cheap apartment in Tachikawa, in western Tokyo? This is what Hikaru Nakamura, a young Japanese manga author, was thinking of when he came up with Saint Oniisan, a manga published in the monthly magazine Morning 2 in 2007 that become a hit in the last few months after the publication of the first two episodes as single volumes last year.

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Indonesia: Fatwa against smoking, yoga, vasectomies….

  30 January 2009

Indonesian bloggers are reacting to the Fatwa issued by the Indonesian Ulema Council which included, among others, a ban on yoga that contain Hindu elements, a ban on vote abstention, a ban on smoking in public places, and a ban on vasectomy.

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Hong Kong: From Censorship Debate to Critique of Christian Right

  29 January 2009

The debate over censorship of indecency in Hong Kong sparkled by the consultation on the Control of Obscene and Indecent Article Ordinance (COIAO) has developed into a critique of religious /Christian Right politics as the conservative Christians openly demand the extension of COIAO for censoring “speech” or “article” that “instigates...

Hong Kong: Fortune Stick Reading

  28 January 2009

ESWN summarized local newspapers reports on fortune stick reading in Lunar new year. The unfavorable outcome stirred up a hot discussion about: who is the traitors inside home?

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Brunei after the floods: A time of loss and prayers

  27 January 2009

Two persons died in Brunei due to the recent flooding that swept the Asia-Pacific region. Brunei has experienced the worst flooding in the past few weeks. More Bruneians are using the power of prayers and reflections to survive in these troubled times.

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Indonesia: Chinese New Year Celebration

  26 January 2009

For more than three decades, the Indonesian Chinese have been forbidden to express their culture. Thanks to President Wahid in 2000 who annulled the discrimination against the Chinese and all the minority in general, the Indonesian Chinese now can express their culture openly.

Egypt: Bloggers Divided over Geert Wilders

  23 January 2009

Amsterdam Appeals Court decided that Geert Wilders, Dutch MP, will be put on trial for his views on Islam. Wilders, and his movie had caused a huge anger wave last year, with both sides denouncing each other. While Perwin Ali thought he deserves to be tried, An Egyptian is blogging for his release.

Jamaica, Barbados, U.S.A.: Bonne Chance!

  23 January 2009

Jamaican diaspora blogger Pamela Mordecai holds high hopes for the Obama administration and wishes the new President well, while Notes From A Small Rock [Barbados] sums up her sentiment like this: “Now we wait. We wait to see if the words match the deeds. We all want so much of...

Pakistan: Taliban ban music in buses

  22 January 2009

Deadpan thoughts reports that after banning shopping for women in the troubled North of Pakistan, the Taliban threatened to ban all music and videos shown in public buses in their held territories.

Haiti, U.S.A.: Retro Rhetoric?

  22 January 2009

The Haitian Blogger takes issue with some of the content of Barack Obama's inaugural speech, calling it “reminiscent of his predecessor”: “I wonder when the ‘West’ will accept some of the blame for the ill will that it has garnered for its actions in the global south and in the...

Trinidad & Tobago, Bahamas: Start at Home

  22 January 2009

While Alien in the Caribbean [Trinidad & Tobago] encourages those with dysfunctional families to finally break free, Doing Theology from the Caribbean [Bahamas] suggests that peacemaking begins at home.

Jamaica, U.S.A.: One Love?

  20 January 2009

Bob Marley's One Love was played at Barack Obama’s Opening Inaugural Celebration at the Lincoln Memorial, prompting Abeng New Magazine to say, despite the ironies: “We are proud that the USA can borrow from us at a critical moment when the president-elect sells the idea that ‘anything is possible in...

Turkey: Armenian “Martin Luther King Jr.” Commemorated

  20 January 2009

The second anniversary of a murdered journalist once again had the power to move mountains in strained relations between between Armenia and Turkey, two states separated by the biblical mount Ararat and an unholy history. Yesterday's commemoration might not have been on such a large scale, but newspaper articles, editorials, and reaction from bloggers show that the murder of a prominent member of Turkey’s dwindling Christian Armenian minority by a Turkish ultra-nationalist continues to shock the world.

Bolivia: Most Bolivians Practice Religious Syncretism

  20 January 2009

Despite the conflict between the national government and the Catholic Church, Bolivian President Evo Morales declares that he is Catholic. Mario Durán of Palabras Libres [es] adds that most Bolivians would classify themselves as practicing a type of “religious syncretism” with native beliefs.

Israel: Back to Books and Bible Lessons

  19 January 2009

Imshin from Israel notes that life is going back to its normal routine. He writes: “It’s nice to be back with books and things. Last night I finally made it to the third lesson of a series of Bible lessons I had been planning to go to. I was far...

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