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Pagan News Beagle: Faithful Friday, September 18

A former Pagan tries to revitalized America's churches. Nepal's Hindus celebrate dogs. And a practitioner of China's discriminated Falun Dafa minority seeks the Miss World crown. It's Faithful Friday, our weekly summary of news about religion from around the world. All this and more for the Pagan News Beagle!

Not everyone sticks with Paganism but hopefully they always take something from their experience. Apparently Nadia Bolz Weber, who converted to Christianity, did. Active in Denver, Colorado, Weber is now the pastor of the House for All Sinners and Saints, which hopes to reach those put off by the traditional church experience or feel they don't fit in.

Diwali is one of the most widely celebrated Hindu festivals in the world. In Nepal, however, it takes on a special significance for humanity's best friend. In the Nepalese variant of Diwali, known as Tihar, dogs are honored on the second day as messengers of Yama, the Hindu god of death.

Should you study Buddhism? American Buddhist writer Justin Whitaker believes you should, even if you aren't Buddhist. Over at Patheos he provides a list of the five best reasons to study Buddhism.

It's often thought that Islam and feminism are two ideologies that don't go together. But that's not so, according to many Muslim women. That being said, they're tired of Muslim men dominating the spotlight and want to be more public about both their own religious beliefs in a culture that doesn't respect them and assertive of their rights in a religion where many of the leading voice are men.

One of the most persecuted faiths in the world is Falun Dafa, also known as Falun Gong, which has been brutally repressed by the Chinese Communist Party for well over a decade. But despite the government's efforts, many followers of Falun Dafa persist, both at home and abroad, including Canadian-Chinese model and activist Anastasia Lin, whose competition for the Miss World cup may meet opposition from China due to her beliefs and opposition to the communist regime.

Top image by Philafrenzy

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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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