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Pagan News Beagle: Faithful Friday, August 7

Welcome back to Faithful Friday, our weekly discussion of religion around the world. Join us as we investigate issues regarding religious extremism, tolerance, and freedom around the world, from Indonesia's new state religion policy to moderate Muslims' attempts to combat ISIL to the threat to religious freedom that extremists provide. All this and more for the Pagan News Beagle!

For much of Indonesia's history since independence, the country has only allowed its citizens to identify with one of five religions: Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Christianity (as either Catholics or Protestants), or Confucianism. Claiming public adherence to any other religion (or atheism) has been a punishable offense. But could that be changing? If Home Minister Tjahjo Kumolo has his way, it might, allowing Indonesians to proclaim their faith in any religion.

What is the dominant religion in your city? Is it predominantly Catholic or Protestant? Or perhaps irreligious? Polling firm Pew Research Center gathers the data on some of America's largest cities, showing the individual religious mix inherent to each one.

What's it like to be a Daoist in America? Over at Patheos, Louis Komjathy discusses some of the most basic misunderstandings about Daoism as well as its history within the United States.

One of the common criticisms of moderate Muslims has been that they don't do enough to oppose extremist organizations like ISIL. But is that really true? NPR takes a look at the one of the many ways that Muslims around the world are trying to combat the spread of Islamic extremism.

What's the greatest threat to religious freedom? If Foreign Policy is to be believed it isn't state repression or atheism... it's religious extremism. From ISIL to the 969 movement of Burma, the magazine discusses the way in which radical and intolerant non-governmental organizations are threatening religious liberty for all.

Top image by Claudia Himmelreich

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Aryós Héngwis (or the more modest Héngwis for short) is a native of the Pontic-Caspian steppe, born some 5000 years ago, near the village of Dereivka. In his youth he stood out from the other snakes for his love of learning and culture, eventually coming into the service of the local reǵs before moving westward toward Europe. Most recently, Aryós Héngwis left his home to pursue a new life in America, where he has come under the employ of BBI Media as an internet watchdog (or watchsnake, if you will), ever poised to strike the unwary troll.


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