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      ‘Not even water?’: Ramadan radio show demystifies Dutch Muslim life

      news.movim.eu / TheGuardian · Tuesday, 2 April - 04:00

    All-female lineup of presenters hope to break harmful Islamic stereotypes after Geert Wilders’ election victory

    An hour before dawn in a nondescript building in Hilversum, a sleepy town half an hour south of Amsterdam, Nora Akachar grabs the microphone. There is nothing unique about a radio host summoning the nation out of its slumber. But this is, in her own words, “a big deal”.

    The Dutch Moroccan actor turned radio host is live on air presenting Suhoor Stories, a talk radio show presented by seven Dutch Muslim women, inviting Muslim guests to demystify Ramadan for the wider public. The programme is believed to be Europe’s only daily Ramadan radio and television show aired by a national public broadcaster.

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      Senator Raphael Warnock: ‘The Bible doesn’t need Trump’s endorsement’

      news.movim.eu / TheGuardian · Monday, 1 April - 10:00

    Ex-president’s decision to sell Bibles branded with his name is ‘risky business’, says Warnock, pastor of historic Atlanta church

    Donald Trump ’s decision to sell Bibles branded under his name is “risky business”, Democratic US senator Raphael Warnock said Sunday, as the former president stands accused of having few moral scruples in four separate criminal indictments pending against him.

    “The Bible does not need Donald Trump’s endorsement,” Warnock, the pastor of Atlanta’s historic Ebenezer Baptist church, said to CNN’s State of the Union on Sunday. Speaking on Easter, one of Christianity’s holiest celebration, Warnock added: “It’s a risky bet because the folks who buy those Bibles might actually open them up, where it says things like thou shalt not lie, thou shalt not bear false witness, where it warns about wolves dressed up in sheep’s clothing.

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      Rain in Spain dampens Easter penitents’ fervour – in pictures

      news.movim.eu / TheGuardian · Monday, 1 April - 06:00


    Torrential rain forced the cancellation of Good Friday processions through Seville and other holy week parades, from Cádiz in the south-west to Zaragoza in the north

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      The Guardian view on Labour doing God: faith communities can play a part in national renewal | Editorial

      news.movim.eu / TheGuardian · Sunday, 31 March - 17:25 · 1 minute

    Sir Keir Starmer is not a believer, but he is right to recognise the value of religious organisations’ commitment to the common good

    Alastair Campbell never intended his famous assertion, “We don’t do God” to be taken as gospel for the Labour party. Though his intervention during a 2003 interview with Tony Blair has often been interpreted as a kind of secular edict, Mr Campbell has expressed personal sympathy for a “pro-faith atheist” position. As he seeks potential allies and partners to carry out his missions for national renewal, Sir Keir Starmer seems to be staking out a similar kind of territory.

    Sir Keir, who has described himself as “loosely” from an Anglican background, is not religious. But he is rightly alive to what faith groups can offer to a future government committed to a different, more community-based way of doing politics. In a speech on civil society earlier this year, he pledged that Labour would work closely with faith leaders, praising their role in countering the “‘in it for yourself’ culture of the Conservatives”. Twenty Labour MPs have been appointed as “faith champions”, tasked with building on relationships between local authorities and religious groups which were forged during the pandemic and the cost of living crisis. Plans are also in train to link up government departments with faith and civil society leaders if Labour wins power.

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      If life is one giant computer simulation, God is a rubbish player | Dominik Diamond

      news.movim.eu / TheGuardian · Friday, 29 March - 09:00 · 1 minute

    While religion doesn’t feature much in video games, I find the theory that we are all characters in a huge sim ever more believable – and appealing

    It’s Easter weekend, when Catholics like me spend hours in church listening to the extended editor’s cut of a story whose ending we already know. Sitting there for the millionth performance of the Passion recently, I got to thinking about how few religious video game characters I’ve ever encountered. It’s interesting that in a world where so many people’s lives are dictated by religious beliefs, there is such a scarcity of religion in games. I mean, you could argue that all games are Jesus homages, with their respawns and extra lives, but even I admit that’s a stretch.

    The Peggies in Far Cry 5 are a mind-controlling violent cult; those Founders in BioShock Infinite use religion to elevate and justify hatred of foreigners; and you have those wackadoodles in Fallout worshipping atomic bombs. Religion is almost exclusively used as means for leaders to get minions to do bad things. (Admittedly, they may be on to something here.) I guess that when so many video games are structured so as to set you up as a lone protagonist, up against a huge force, religion is a fairly obvious go-to villain.

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      Heresy by Catherine Nixey review – book of revelations

      news.movim.eu / TheGuardian · Friday, 29 March - 07:30 · 1 minute

    From Herod as the Messiah to a virginity test for Mary – the Christian story, but not as you know it

    As far as variant versions of the nativity story go, the one from the second-century Gospel of James is hard to beat. It starts off rather beautifully by telling how, at the moment of Jesus’s birth, the world suddenly stops turning: birds hang in the air, a shepherd’s arm is frozen and the stars stand still. A few minutes later, a woman arrives and, sceptical about whether Mary can really be a virgin, insists on shoving her finger up the new mother’s vagina, whereupon her hand is immediately burned off. “Woe,” says the woman. Mary’s reaction is unrecorded, perhaps because she felt that she had made her point.

    This is just one of the hundreds – thousands, probably – of alternative versions of Christianity that teemed in the centuries following Jesus’s life and death. Take the Ophites, who believed that Christ had appeared on Earth in the form of a serpent. They celebrated mass by encouraging a snake to crawl over the altar on which loaves had been placed, consecrating them in the process. Another sect from the first century AD believed that King Herod rather than Jesus was the Messiah they had been waiting for. In Ethiopia, meanwhile, Pontius Pilate was looked on as far more than a Roman middle manager with a tendency to dither. He is revered there as a saint to this day.

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      Taliban edict to resume stoning women to death met with horror

      news.movim.eu / TheGuardian · Thursday, 28 March - 18:02

    Afghan regime’s return to public stoning and flogging is because there is ‘no one to hold them accountable’ for abuses, say activists

    The Taliban’s announcement that it is resuming publicly stoning women to death has been enabled by the international community’s silence, human rights groups have said.

    Safia Arefi, a lawyer and head of the Afghan human rights organisation Women’s Window of Hope, said the announcement had condemned Afghan women to return to the darkest days of Taliban rule in the 1990s.

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      ‘You can see it as a revenge fantasy’: The new book arguing that enslaved people co-authored the Bible

      news.movim.eu / TheGuardian · Thursday, 28 March - 16:07

    God’s Ghostwriters by Candida Moss aims to shine a light on the contributions to Christianity by imprisoned workers

    Enslaved people wrote the Bible, carried the messages of the apostles and spread the word of Jesus around the Roman empire, according to a shocking new book by the theology professor Candida Moss. God’s Ghostwriters: Enslaved Christians and the Making of the Bible argues that apostles and early Christians used enslaved scribes, secretaries and messengers to write the New Testament and shape the very foundations of Christianity.

    “The overwhelming literary and archeological evidence shows that this kind of work was done by enslaved or formerly enslaved people,” says Moss, the Edward Cadbury professor of theology at the University of Birmingham. Scholars think only about 5-10% of Romans were literate: the very wealthy – and the people they enslaved.

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      ‘A collective failure’: uproar in France after school head quits in row over Muslim veil

      news.movim.eu / TheGuardian · Wednesday, 27 March - 17:05


    Anger from politicians across the spectrum as Paris principal resigns following online death threats

    French politicians from across the spectrum have expressed dismay over the resignation of a Paris school principal who had received death threats after asking a student to remove her Muslim veil on the premises.

    In a show of support, prime minister Gabriel Attal, a former education minister, was set to receive the principal late on Wednesday, his office said.

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