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France: Religion in a Secular State

Image: www.jusoorpost.com Earlier this week France’s Education Minister Gabriel Affal announced a ban on abayas – the long, flowing dresses worn by some Muslim women – in public schools.  Secularism is a key concept in France’s Constitution, and religious markers considered conspicuous or “ostentatious”, including Islamic headscarves, large Christian crosses, and Jewish yarmulkes (skullcaps) have… Read More

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Religion and Spirituality

When the Taoiseach, Micheāl Martin spoke to the nation on Tuesday evening, at one point he commented that the government did not want to interfere with the spiritual life of people.  This was in response to a reporter’s question with regard to people going to Mass. His response was interesting because going to Mass is… Read More

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From Anti-Semitism to Auschwitz

On January 27, 1945 the notorious Nazi death camp at Auschwitz was liberated by Soviet forces.  On Monday this week, hundreds of Holocaust survivors joined delegates from world governments, (including our own President Michael D. Higgins) at the site where more than one million people were murdered when the Nazis occupied Poland during World War… Read More

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Christian Persecution – Still Going On

Christian Persecution – Still Going On I was at a Mass recently where the Priest talked about how Christians are the most persecuted religion in the world today. I had heard about this before; back in 2012 the German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the same thing to a gathering of the Lutheran Church. It was… Read More

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Christianity and Buddhism

This Sunday sees the celebration of the birthday of Buddha according to the Gregorian calendar.  The only thing I knew about the Buddhist religion was their respect for all forms of life so I decided to compare it with Christianity and learn a bit more in the process! Buddhism originated in North-East India sometime between… Read More