Author Archives: Jillian O'Connor

Pope Calls Out “Bad Shepherds” as Conservatives Prepare to Fight Change

Just a day before gay marriage in the U.S. received a significant boost from the Supreme Court, the much-anticipated Extraordinary Synod on the Family opened in Rome yesterday with Pope Francis pointedly criticizing “bad shepherds” who seek money and power and “lay intolerable burdens … Continue reading

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Al Qaeda hopes to exploit the plight of Myanmar’s embattled Muslims

BANGKOK, Thailand — Myanmar’s Rohingya people have been hacked to death, driven from their homes and quarantined in grubby camps. Many are shrunken from malnutrition and disease. But while most see their condition as a tragedy, Al Qaeda sees opportunity. From obscurity, … Continue reading

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China imposes intrusive rules on Uighurs in Xinjiang

Forget privacy. Chinese authorities here want to know what you eat and when you eat it. How you style your hair, how you dress, and what songs are on your iPad or smartphone. Stung by a string of terrorist attacks … Continue reading

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Cambodia: The Way of the Monk

  Nature was born to rescue humanity, just as people were born to protect nature. Without nature we cannot survive.” – Venerable But Buntenh After journeying seven hours on a bus from the capital city of Phnom Penh, Venerable But … Continue reading

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Iraqi Christians are caught in the middle and hitting the road

KHAZIR CHECKPOINT, Iraq — Lilian stood by the side of the road at this dusty checkpoint along the Erbil-Mosul highway. In skinny jeans and a polka-dot blouse, she looked a bit out of place. Most of the other Iraqis on the road … Continue reading

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Spain decides to make up for its persecution of Jews, but won’t do the same for Muslims

MADRID, Spain — Half a millennium ago, Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand presented Jews living here with a stark choice: leave, convert or face burning at the stake. Some 50,000 Jews would eventually flee after passage of the Edict of Expulsion in … Continue reading

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U.S. agency urges Myanmar to scrap proposed religion laws.

Draft laws in Myanmar aimed at protecting the country’s majority Buddhist identity by regulating religious conversions and marriages between people of different faiths have “no place in the 21st century” and should be withdrawn, a U.S. government agency said on Wednesday. The … Continue reading

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After US sex abuse scandals, an accused priest rises again in Paraguay

CIUDAD DEL ESTE, Paraguay — A hush falls across the church, broken only by the rhythmic swish of the censer as it bestows acrid incense across the faces of the congregation. A gaggle of monks in brown habits, their heads … Continue reading

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Myanmar seeks views on religious conversion bill

  YANGON, Myanmar (AP) – Myanmar’s government is trying to measure public support for a religious conversion bill put forward by nationalist Buddhist monks that would require anyone who wants to convert to another faith to get permission from local … Continue reading

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It’s a landslide for Hindu nationalism in India’s election

The Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), led by 63-year-old Narendra Modi, will take a commanding majority in India’s parliament, cementing a meteoric rise at the expense of the incumbent Indian National Congress and leaders Sonia and Rahul Gandhi. As … Continue reading

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