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Pagan News Beagle: Faithful Friday, September 2

Afro-Caribbean faiths experience problems at the Rio Olympics. A look at how Hindus in the Midwestern United States. And a discussion of what Buddhism is and isn't. 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!

Brazil may be a Catholic-majority country but that doesn't mean other religions aren't present. In particular, Brazil is one of the largest centers of so-called "Afro-Caribbean" religions (aka "African diaspora" religions) which are a syncretic blend of various West African faiths with elements from Christianity and indigenous American beliefs. But those beliefs aren't always given the treatment they deserve. RNS covers the attempt to exclude Brazil's Afro-Caribbean practitioners from participating in interfaith ceremonies for the Rio Olympics.

What's the Hungry Ghost Festival (aka Yu Lan Jie)? If you've ever learned about China's popular summer/autumnal celebration, rooted in a mix of Buddhism and Chinese folk tradition, you can learn more about it at here The Star.

Hinduism is concentrated primarily in India, where it originated millennia ago. But thanks to the Indian diaspora as well as proselytization the faith has spread to other countries as well. The Illinois Times takes a look at one unlikely home for the polytheistic faith: the American Midwest.

Does religious pluralism correlate to a decline in overall religiosity? The data, as FiveThirtyEight describes here, would seem to indicate it does. But as always be careful: correlation doesn't necessarily indicate causation.

Is Buddhism a religion? Most scholars of religion would say, yes, it is. But not everyone agrees (which may have as much to do with the controversial nature of the word "religion" in Western society as anything else). At Buddhist magazine Lion's Roar a multitude of different views on the subject are discussed.

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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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