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Pagan News Beagle: Faithful Friday, December 18

The Jewish mystical tradition of Kabbalah gains popularity in Britain. Filipinos prepare to celebrate Christmas. And a Muslim woman speaks on how she maintains her faith during times of tragedy. It's Faithful Friday, our weekly segment on news about faiths and religious communities around the world. All this and more for the Pagan News Beagle!

One of the most influential magical traditions in the Western world is neither Pagan nor witchcraft... it's Kabbalah, the centuries-old tradition of Jewish mysticism cemented during the Middle Ages. Now, as people look to New Age traditions for inspiration, many are finding Kabbalah attractive. The Guardian has more on the story here.

As Christmas swiftly approaches, Christians all over the world are preparing in their own ways to celebrate. In the deeply Catholic Asian state of the Philippines, these celebrations can take a very colorful display. Japan's NHK news network has more details.

As a millennia-old religion, Judaism has undergone considerable changes and evolution over history. But some of the developments long thought to be relatively modern may be more ancient than formerly realized. A new find in Magdala, Israel suggests that synagogues, thought to have been established in the wake of the Temple of Jerusalem's destruction, may have existed before it was razed.

Although Iran is a predominantly Muslim country that doesn't mean other religious groups can't be found there. Alongside Jews, Christians, and Iran's native Zoroastrians, Sikhs are another religious group that can be found in the country once known as Persia. And, oddly enough, they live a fairly tolerable life within a theocratic regime that is often unfriendly to non-Muslims.

It's often said that it's easy to maintain faith in good times. But what happens when tragedy strikes? African-American and Muslim writer Sajdah Nubee talks about having her faith challenged by tragedies like the San Bernadino shooting and how she reconciles violence and hatred with the inspiration her religion gives her.

Top image by Ali Imran

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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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