Stories about Religion from March, 2012
Ugich Konitari at Gappa writes about the VIP pilgrims of the famous Hill Temple at Tirupati, who keep the ordinary pilgrims waiting for many hours for their chance to perform rituals. “Should money be the deciding factor in defining classes of worship?” the blogger asks.
A Kuwaiti Twitter user has been detained, pending investigation, over a tweet in which he allegedly insulted Prophet Mohammed. The issue is taking a sectarian twist in Kuwait as the Twitter user Hamad Al-Naqi denies the charges, claiming that his account was hacked, while others charge that it is a Shiite attack on Sunni Islam. Meanwhile, a protest was held calling for the Twitter user to be killed for his alleged blasphemy.
Again this week, the regional blogosphere was dominated by talk of Pope Benedict XVI's visit to Cuba. With reports of repression at an all-time high, Cuban bloggers were dismayed by the outcome of the trip.
A freedom march organized by one of the biggest Sindhi nationalist parties, has drawn a huge crowd in Karachi city. The news was either blocked or under-reported in most of the Pakistani mainstream Urdu media channels.
Pope Benedict XVI arrived in Santiago de Cuba on Monday, the second visit by a Supreme Pontiff of the Catholic Church to the island in 14 years. The web, especially Twitter, has become a battleground for dissidents and government supporters.
On the streets and via social networks, Mexicans celebrated as well as protested (even with nudity) the pastoral visit of the Pope of the Catholic Church, Benedict XVI, to Guanajuato from March 23 to 26, 2012.
Pope Benedict XVI's arrival at the western province Santiago de Cuba placed the Caribbean nation at the Twitter Trending Topics. Blogs and social media are raging with netizen's opinions on the Pope's visit to the island.
While the senate continues to postpone the debate over the legalization of therapeutic abortion, the exchanging of opinions has continued unabated in Chilean cyberspace, most noticeably following two televised debates on the subject.
Pope Benedict XVI is due to arrive today in Cuba, even as bloggers chronicle the “wave of arrests and threats” preceding the papal visit. But top of mind for most bloggers, particularly from the diaspora, is whether or not the pontiff will decide to meet with the Ladies in White and other members of the political opposition.
Zia Ur Rehman reports that an awareness campaign against the horrible atrocities by the religious group Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) has begun in Karachi. An NGO named Anjuman-e-Muhibban Pakistan (Organisation of Lovers of Pakistan) launched the campaign.
Moscow's growing Muslim population exemplifies the modern experience of Russia's ethnic and religious minorities amid the backdrop of historical events that have molded the Russian perception of outsiders and thus influence modern societal and governmental policies towards them.
On 21 March a Bangladesh court ordered concerned authorities to shut down five Facebook pages and a website for blaspheming the Prophet Mohammed, the Koran and other religious subjects. Netizens fear whether this ruling, if imposed, will be used as a precedence to curb freedom of speech in the future.
Activity in the Caribbean blogosphere this week has been predominantly coming from Cuba and its diaspora, as the country prepares for the arrival of Pope Benedict XVI amidst frustration about the human rights situation on the island and dissatisfaction over the pontiff declining to meet members of the Cuban opposition during his stay.
Pope Benedict XVI's upcoming trip to Cuba will be the first from the head of the Catholic church in more than a decade. As the pontiff's arrival draws ever closer, bloggers continue to be vocal about their opinions, even as human rights violations reportedly continue.
Earlier this week, certain areas of Kolkata in West Bengal, India, were brought to a grinding halt by protesters protesting against a certain tweet, allegedly posted by an Indian model, which was in turn published in a leading English daily. Netizens reported from the ground and also discussed the incident on social networks.
The Horizon reports that a religious party in Pakistan demanded in an anti-Ahmadiyya conference held in Lahore that “those considered apostate by the Muslims clerics should be put to sword, a view developed through the dark ages of the Muslim Ummah”.
Mário Pais de Oliveira, priest and writer, has "converted" to social networks to preach his subversive thoughts on the world. Today's general strike in Portugal brings back memories of the video Father Mário published in the aftermath of the last general strike, which took place at the end of 2011.
The performance of the new Egyptian Parliament continues to stir debate on social media sites. The new parliament was seen as a move towards to democracy. However, the parliament continues to discuss matters that seem irrelevant to the country’s most pressing needs. Now, MPs are discussing a request to strip women of their right to file for a divorce.
From Egypt, Zeinobia covers Pope Shenoda's funeral in Cairo in this blog post.
The Cuban Black Spring - a term that has come to describe the government crackdown on dissidents that took place in 2003 - marks its ninth anniversary this year. Cuban bloggers remember their history and wonder whether anything has fundamentally changed - especially in the context of the impending papal visit and the pontiff's inability to meet with opposition groups to discuss the country's human rights record.
Pope Benedict XVI's visit to Cuba has caused a great deal of controversy and debate in the Island. Blogs and social media have been a platform for an array of opinions. Elaine Díaz takes a look at some of these online conversations.