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Pagan News Beagle: Faithful Friday, May 6

A Shinto shrine seeks holy water in the wake of an earthquake in Japan. A Vodou healer becomes the subject of a new documentary. And the surprising Muslim contributions to American history are remembers. It's Faithful Friday, our weekly segment on faiths and religious communities from around the world! All this and more for the Pagan News Beagle!

In the West we normally associate holy water with baptisms or slaying vampires. But it's not a wholly Christian concept. The Japanese religion of Shinto also has a place for holy water and in the wake of this year's devastating earthquake in the region many in Aso, Japan are now relying on it for their basic needs.

There's been a lot of talk about "traditional marriage" in recent years within the U.S. But what does traditional marriage look like if you're not Christian? Hinduism Today provides a look at Hindu marriage.

The idea of Vodou at least is something many Americans are familiar with. But Vodou as a vibrant religious tradition and not just pop culture stereotypes is not something many known about. A new documentary looking at the life of the Vodou healer Manbo Katy aims to change that.

Despite beliefs to the contrary, transgender people are not a modern abnormality nor are they universally treated with derision. The Washington Post takes a look at how hijras, often regarded as an Indian cultural form of trans people, were honored recently in one of Hinduism's biggest festival.

Muslims are frequently regarded as foreign to the United States. But in fact, Muslims have had a significant impact on the United States throughout much of its history. You can read some of the most surprising influences Muslims have had on the U.S. here.

Top image by Alfonso Lomba

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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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