Ultra-Orthodox Jewish teens attend the funeral for Rabbi Mordechai Leifer in Ashdod, Israel, Oct. 5, 2020.

Sacred Nation

A construction crew works on Ram Mandir, a Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Ram in Ayodhya, India, Tuesday, Jan. 16, 2024.

'Religious triumphalism': A grand Hindu temple opens on a controversial site in India 

On Jan. 22, a temple of Lord Ram will open its doors in Ayodhya, in northern India. The temple stands where the Babri mosque once existed, before it was torn down by a Hindu mob. The occasion marks a victory for Hindus and a sorrowful reminder for Muslims of the ongoing tensions between the two groups in a Hindu-majority country.

'Religious triumphalism': A grand Hindu temple opens on a controversial site in India 
sanctuary

‘I just got completely blasted by love’: People in the UK attest to the ways that spirituality is evolving 

‘I just got completely blasted by love’: People in the UK attest to the ways that spirituality is evolving 
The exterior of the Ancient Church of the East in Baghdad, Iraq, Aug. 27, 2023.

A newly launched news channel in Iraq tries to preserve the ancient Syriac language

A newly launched news channel in Iraq tries to preserve the ancient Syriac language
A couple embrace during a protest in Trafalgar Square, London, Sunday, Oct. 22, 2023. They are demanding the release of all hostages allegedly taken by the militant group Hamas.

'A link with my ancestors': Britons reconnect with Jewish roots for EU passports

'A link with my ancestors': Britons reconnect with Jewish roots for EU passports
Women in a small group holding signs with text written in Spanish

This tiny country is home to Europe’s toughest abortion ban

This tiny country is home to Europe’s toughest abortion ban
Hundreds gather at a rally outside New Scotland Yard demanding police to do more to protect London's Jewish citizens.

Jewish London on edge amid spike in antisemitic attacks

Police in London report that antisemitic attacks increased by more than 1,350% in the first two weeks of October, amid war between Israel and Hamas. The country's small, close-knit Jewish community is saying the British government isn't doing enough to protect them.

Jewish London on edge amid spike in antisemitic attacks
Pope Francis arrives for leading a prayer for peace inside St. Peter's Basilica, at The Vatican, Friday, Oct. 27, 2023. 

Roman Catholic Church remains inconclusive about reforms for women, LGBTQ after monthlong meeting wraps

More than 450 church leaders from around the world came to the Vatican in early October to debate this and other questions during the latest synod, a monthlong meeting to discuss the church’s future. Their conclusion: more research is needed.

Roman Catholic Church remains inconclusive about reforms for women, LGBTQ after monthlong meeting wraps
Intricate carvings adorn the marble pillars inside a Jain temple in Ahmedabad, western India. Jainism is an ancient religion whose followers often renounce the world to lead a life of extreme austerity. Most of them are women, some as young as 8.

‘Happiness is in your hands’: Young Jain women continue to renounce the world

The Jain religious community in India makes up less than than 1% of the population. A steady number of them — even children — are renouncing the material world to join Jain monasteries.

‘Happiness is in your hands’: Young Jain women continue to renounce the world
Two young Panamanians view the solar eclipse.

'The cosmovision of our ancestors': Panama witnesses first solar eclipse in 25 years

Saturday’s solar eclipse cut across the western United States, dipping down into parts of Mexico, Central America, Colombia, and Brazil. It was Panama’s first eclipse in 25 years and it came at an auspicious time when scientists are promoting an interest in astronomy. 

'The cosmovision of our ancestors': Panama witnesses first solar eclipse in 25 years
sanctuary

Costa Rica is Catholic by law, but the president is courting evangelicals

​​​​​​​Costa Rica is the only country in the Western Hemisphere with a state religion. The religion is Catholicism. But what happens when a president is elected promising to lift evangelical voices to the fore?

Costa Rica is Catholic by law, but the president is courting evangelicals
During a recent morning mass, Saints Peter and Paul Garrison Church, in Lviv, Ukraine, is packed.

Ukrainian Greek Catholics lament lack of support by Vatican amid war with Russia

Pope Francis recently praised Russian historical figures in a speech to Russian youth. To members of Ukraine’s Greek Catholic community, these comments were deemed "painful" amid the ongoing war with Russia, and put a spotlight on their needs and concerns.

Ukrainian Greek Catholics lament lack of support by Vatican amid war with Russia
Traveling monks work on a sand mandala at Lake Street Church in Evanston, Illinois.

Tibetan monks on tour in US as China continues to restrict religion in Tibet

A group of Tibetan Buddhist monks, living in exile in India, are doing a “sacred arts tour” this month in the US. They’re demonstrating an ancient artistic and spiritual practice, creating big, colorful sand mandalas. They say Buddhist traditions like this are under threat because of Chinese government policies in their historic homeland of Tibet.

Tibetan monks on tour in US as China continues to restrict religion in Tibet
The shrines of Imam Husayn and his brother Aba Fadl Abbas in Karbala, Iraq, 2022.

'I can get close to God': Millions from around the globe participate in religious Arbaeen walk in Iraq

The walk culminates in the city of Karbala to remember the legacy of the Prophet Muhammad's grandson, Husayn.

'I can get close to God': Millions from around the globe participate in religious Arbaeen walk in Iraq

Nicaragua seizes Jesuit university in latest clash between president and Catholic Church

In Nicaragua, last week, a judge ordered the seizure of the country’s most-important Jesuit university, the 63-year-old Central American University. It’s the latest in an ongoing government crackdown on the Catholic Church and church-affiliated institutions inside Nicaragua.

Nicaragua seizes Jesuit university in latest clash between president and Catholic Church
podium

World’s faith leaders convene to ‘fight against authoritarianism’

​​​​​​​People of faith gathered in Chicago this week to talk about something that doesn’t sound very religious. And that’s authoritarianism. It wasn’t a traditional political rally for a specific candidate. They’re taking part in the Parliament of the World’s Religions, an interfaith convening that first took place in the late 1800s. People from many different religious traditions took part. 

World’s faith leaders convene to ‘fight against authoritarianism’