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Pagan News Beagle: Faithful Friday, November 20

A Hindu describes her experience with the Oprah Winfrey Network's Belief. Women's rights activists are threatened by religious extremists in Myanmar. And the rise of Islamophobia within Britain is evaluated. It's Faithful Friday, our weekly segment on faiths and religious communities from around the world. All this and more for the Pagan News Beagle!

The Oprah Winfrey Network recently ran a documentary called Belief, detailing the religious beliefs and practices of people from several faiths. At Patheos, Hindu writer Padma Kuppa shares her space with Reshma Thakkar, a Hindu who appeared on Oprah's program and who recounts her experience there.

It's an unfortunate fact that in many parts of the world the gatekeepers of traditional culture and religious authority hold the opinions and rights of women in low esteem. Such is the case in Myanmar, where Buddhist monks have threatened the lives of women's right activists working to improve sex education in the country. The Mary Sue has more on the story at their website.

What does it mean to be religiously literate? In most cases it means a level of knowledge and comprehension regarding the religious beliefs of others as well as your own faith. Over at The Wild Hunt, Heather Green describes the importance of religious literacy in the modern world, which can reduce conflict and improve interfaith relations.

Do you know much about Hinduism? Would you like to learn more? If so, you might be interested in this book list from The Huffington Post of several introductory books to India's largest religion.

In the wake of the attacks last week by Daesh on the people of Paris and Beirut, there's been an unfortunate rise in Islamophobic language in the public discourse. But the problem of Islamophobia precedes the attacks and as this article from The Guardian details, anti-Islamic language and violence has been a fact of life for many Muslims in the West for some time.

Top image by Nasir Khan Saikat

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Aryós Héngwis (or the more modest Héngwis for short) is a native of the Pontic-Caspian steppe, born some 5000 years ago, near the village of Dereivka. In his youth he stood out from the other snakes for his love of learning and culture, eventually coming into the service of the local reǵs before moving westward toward Europe. Most recently, Aryós Héngwis left his home to pursue a new life in America, where he has come under the employ of BBI Media as an internet watchdog (or watchsnake, if you will), ever poised to strike the unwary troll.


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