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Pagan News Beagle: Faithful Friday, October 30

Sacred objects swept away by a tsunami return to their original home. Sikhs celebrate their belief in absolute equality by serving lunch to thousands. And the likely impact of France's policies towards the Muslim community is explained. It's Faithful Friday, our weekly take on faiths and religious communities from around the world. All this and more for the Pagan News Beagle!

When Japan was hit by a devastating tsunami in 2011 over 15,000 people lost their lives and nearly a million buildings were damaged or destroyed. But some of what was washed out to sea has returned. NHK covers the recovery of two torii shrine gates which were recovered in Oregon and have now been returned to their original home in Okuki, Japan.

The Sikh religion teaches many things but one of its chief moral lessons is the absolute equality of all people regardless of race, sex, or religious background. To emphasize this belief, Sikhs at the Parliament of the World's Religions in Utah this month prepared and served free lunches to the event's many attendees, as detailed here at The Huffington Post.

Who's a religious extremist? While there's some people who undoubtedly meet the definition without question (such as ISIL or al-Qaeda) other qualifying groups and individuals are more subjective. A lot depends on one's perspective, as this article for The Guardian argues, which asks if Jesus of Nazareth would be considered an extremist today.

The refugee crisis in Europe has drawn a lot of attention and controversy since it began earlier this year. But while some are afraid of the economic impact the refugees might have (or irrationally afraid that the refugees are a cover for an Islamist invasion), others are working to help them make the crossing through the Mediterranean safely. One such person is the Nobel-nominated priest Mussie Zerai from Eritrea.

Headlines were made earlier this month when French officials stated they would no longer serve a pork-free option in school lunches, alienating both Muslims and Jews whose religions forbid them to consume pork. These and other policies have done much to increase tensions between North African immigrants in France and their government and probably do more to threaten French secularism than protect it, according to Sarabi N. Eventide.

Top image by Joel Friesen

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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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