Pope Francis visits Buddhist Temple, Sri Lanka


Pope Francis has become the second pontiff to visit a Buddhist temple, changing his schedule at the last minute to pay his respects at an important place of worship in Sri Lanka’s capital and to witness a key ritual for Buddhists: the opening of a casket containing relics of two important disciples of the Buddha.

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The Sunni – Shia Divide

An ancient religious divide is helping fuel a resurgence of conflicts in the Middle East and Muslim countries. Struggles between Sunni and Shia forces have fed a Syrian civil war that threatens to transform the map of the Middle East, spurred violence that is fracturing Iraq, and widened fissures in a number of tense Gulf countries. Growing sectarian clashes have also sparked a revival of transnational jihadi networks that poses a threat beyond the region. We present a video from the Council for Foreign Relations.

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China to list legal places of worship, ‘root out’ illegal activities

Gospel in Chinese Church

China is to publish online details of legal religious venues, the official Xinhua news agency reported today, apparently in an effort to identify unsanctioned groups as part of an effort to “root out illegal religious activities”. – See more at:

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China imposes harsh restrictions on Monks

Chinese authorities have launched a campaign to tighten restrictions on monastic life in a restive county in Tibet, ordering the destruction of recently built religious structures and demanding that younger monks be expelled from the monasteries and sent back to their family homes, according to sources

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