Asia Religion & Spirituality
Ex-Grand Imam: Thank you Malaysia - Nation
How state govts sponsor pilgrims to Haridwar, Ajmer or Jerusalem
Haj Subsidy Withdrawn, Government Says Muslims Didn't Benefit From It
Six Rohingya minors apprehended from railway station in Tripura
Postal Dept. to bring out stamp to mark church’s dedication
Bangladesh court upholds Myanmar Rohingya marriage ban
Sabarimala pilgrimage ends today
2018-01-19 07:26:29 The Neyyabhishekom ritual at the Ayyappa temple at Sabarimala concluded with the Kalabhabhishekom on Thursday. Chief priest (Tantri) Kandararu Maheswararu Mohanararu, assisted by Melsanthi Unnikrishnan Namboodiri, performed the Kalabhapuja at the Namaskara Mandapam of the temple in the forenoon. The golden vessel carrying the Brahmakalasom was taken out in a procession to the sanctum sanctorum, with the accompaniments of Marappani and other traditional temple percussion, prior to the Utchapuja   Read More ...
God’s grace behind second Paryaya, says seer
2018-01-19 07:20:32 Vidyadheesha Tirtha Swami of Paryaya Palimar Mutt said on Thursday that it was his good fortune that “Lord Krishna had blessed him” to conduct the Paryaya for a second time. He was speaking at the Paryaya Durbar function after ascending the ‘Paryaya Peetha’ at the 800-year-old Sri Krishna Mutt/Temple here. The Palimar seer has a plan of constructing a gold cover for the sanctum sanctorum of the temple and performing ‘Laksha Tulsi Archane’ daily to the deity   Read More ...
Congress workers stage protest against Haj subsidy withdrawal
2018-01-18 12:32:08 A large group of Congress workers staged a demonstration here today protesting the withdrawal of subsidy for Haj pilgrims, by the Centre. Over 100 workers led by veteran Congress leader Kumari Anandan raised slogans against the BJP-led government at the Centre over the move. Kumari Anandan said the subsidy for Haj pilgrims was introduced during the Congress regime and by its withdrawal, BJP was trying to ‘divide’ the people of India on religious basis   Read More ...
Church razed, shops gutted in Jammu
2018-01-18 02:10:58 A church, two shops and a tractor belonging to the minority Christian community were set ablaze by a mob at Sial village in Rajouri district on Tuesday evening after a Hindu family alleged foul play in the death of their daughter who, they said, was being pressured by her husband to convert to Christianity. Seema Devi (25) died on Monday in Jalandhar   Read More ...
Madrasas remark: Muslim cleric body files complaint against Rizvi
2018-01-18 02:10:36 A complaint, alleging that statements made by Wasim Rizvi of the Shia Central Waqf Board were aimed to disrupt communal harmony and were part of a “conspiracy” to spread “animosity” between people of different religions and sects, was lodged by the Majlis-e-Ulama-e-Hind (MUH), a national body of clerics. On January 9, Rizvi said, “How many madrasas have produced engineers, doctors, IAS officers? Yes but some madrasas have produced terrorists   Read More ...
Muslim Bodies Demand Competitive Bidding Among Airlines For Haj Pilgrims
2018-01-18 01:08:49 New Delhi: A day after the Narendra Modi government announced withdrawal of the Haj subsidy, prominent Muslim organisations, including Jamat-e-Islami Hind (JIH), All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) and Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind, on Wednesday reiterated their demand for competitive bidding among airlines to ferry Haj pilgrims between Delhi and Jeddah. The Muslim bodies unanimously said that the money in the name of Haj subsidy, which amounted to around Rs 200 crore last year, went to Air India only and that Muslim pilgrims did not get any direct benefit from it   Read More ...
Ex-Grand Imam: Thank you Malaysia - Nation
2018-01-18 00:48:26 KUALA LUMPUR: The former Grand Imam of Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem, Sheikh Ekrima Said Sabri, has expressed his appreciation to Malaysia for the stand it has taken on Jerusalem and the plight of Palestinians. This was conveyed by Malaysia’s Federal Territory Mufti, Datuk Dr Zulkifli Mohamad Al-Bakri, on his official Facebook account yesterday. Dr Zulkifli, who is representing Malaysia at the ongoing World Conference To Support The Cause of Jerusalem in Egypt, had unofficially met up with Sheikh Ekrima on the sidelines of the conference   Read More ...
How state govts sponsor pilgrims to Haridwar, Ajmer or Jerusalem
2018-01-18 00:11:22 A number of states subsidise pilgrimages to sites of various religions, with many also providing free travel and other facilities to their senior citizens. At a time when the Centre has stopped subsidising Haj from this year, a look at pilgrimage subsidies run by various state governments: Madhya Pradesh: Early scheme. In 2012, MP introduced the Mukhya Mantri Teertha Darshan Yojana, among the first of its kind   Read More ...
No financial assistance from State government for Haj since 2016
2018-01-17 20:37:01 The removal of the Haj subsidy is unlikely to affect the pilgrims travelling from Telangana. While the Supreme Court gave the order in 2012 to remove the subsidy for Haj travel, the financial assistance for those from the state ended in 2016. In fact, in 2017 pilrgims had to pay approximately ₹ 2,000 more airfare. A glance at figures which the Telangana State Haj Committee (TSHC) provided indicates that while the airfare was ₹ 60,023, pilgrims paid ₹ 62,055   Read More ...
Shia, Sunni clerics file FIR against Uttar Pradesh Shia Waqf Board chief
2018-01-17 14:37:50 Shia and Sunni clerics on Wednesday unitedly filed an FIR against the Uttar Pradesh Shia Waqf Board chief for allegedly spreading hatred against the Muslim community and its educational institutions. At a press conference at New Delhi, they lashed out at Wasim Rizvi for stating that madrassas are breeding grounds for terrorists. “The remarks of Rizvi are patently false and have been deliberately and dishonestly made as part of a conspiracy   Read More ...
Haj subsidy scrapped: What about funds given for Hindu pilgrimages, asks Owaisi
2018-01-17 07:30:37 Attacking the BJP for calling Haj subsidy a form of Muslim appeasement and vote bank politics, AIMIM president Asaduddin Owaisi today claimed the party’s government in Uttar Pradesh gave funds for pilgrimages and wanted to know if that would be stopped. Funds are also given for the Kumbh Mela, while the Congress government in Karnataka gives grants to those who undertake ‘Chardham ’, Owaisi claimed, adding he himself had demanded the withdrawal of the Haj subsidy long ago   Read More ...
‘End fleecing of pilgrims by airlines’
2018-01-17 07:15:48 Kerala State Haj Committee chairman Thodiyoor Muhammed Kunju Moulavi has said that the Muslim community generally has no objection to the decision to scrap Haj subsidy. “But it should be noted that the subsidy was a concession offered for the air ticket. This was introduced from the days of India’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, upholding the spirit of secularism. As such, the subsidy is offered to pilgrimages of all religions,” he told The Hindu on Tuesday   Read More ...
No more Haj subsidy: Move to empower minorities, says Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi
2018-01-17 06:02:12 The government Tuesday announced that there will not be any subsidy for Haj pilgrimage from this year. Minority Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said the move, in line with an apex court order of 2012, was part of the government’s efforts to “empower minorities” without appeasement. “There will be no subsidy on Haj now,” Naqvi said. A record 1.75 lakh Muslims will undertake the pilgrimage this year from India, he told reporters   Read More ...
Asaduddin Owaisi now challenges Modi govt to lift subsidy for Hindu pilgrims too
2018-01-17 06:00:59 Hyderabad: Attacking the BJP for calling Haj subsidy a form of Muslim appeasement and vote bank politics, AIMIM president Asaduddin Owaisi on Tuesday claimed the party's government in Uttar Pradesh gave funds for pilgrimages and wanted to know if that would be stopped. Funds are also given for the Kumbh Mela, while the Congress government in Karnataka gives grants to those who undertake 'Chardham Yatra', Owaisi claimed, adding he himself had demanded the withdrawal of the Haj subsidy long ago   Read More ...
Haj subsidy cancelled: All you need to know about the 85-year-old policy
2018-01-16 14:26:10 The government on Tuesday abolished the subsidy being given to Haj pilgrims every year. The government said it will use the subsidy funds to empower the minorities. The policy to support Muslims in making the pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia, can be traced back to 1932, when the British enacted the Port Haj Committees Act. In the ensuing decades, the Act has undergone numerous changes   Read More ...
Govt Ends Haj Subsidy To Muslim Pilgrims, Here Are A Few Quick Facts About The Controversial Policy
2018-01-16 14:09:53 New Delhi: In a big move, the central government on Tuesday withdrew the subsidy given to Muslims going for Haj pilgrimage. Union minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said the decision is aimed at government’s agenda to empower minorities without appeasement. The government would also save Rs 700 crore by ending the subsidy. Despite the withdrawal, Naqvi said 1.75 lakh Muslims, highest ever number, will go on Haj this year   Read More ...
Govt ends Haj subsidy, says decision taken to empower minorities
2018-01-16 13:18:01 There will be no subsidy for Haj pilgrims from this year, minority affairs minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said Tuesday. Naqvi told reporters that despite the subsidy withdrawal, a record number of 1.75 lakh Muslims will undertake the pilgrimage this year from India. Naqvi also said the Saudi Arabian government has in principle agreed to allow Haj journey from India by ships and officials of the two countries will sit together to finalise the modalities   Read More ...
Haj Subsidy Withdrawn, Government Says Muslims Didn't Benefit From It
2018-01-16 12:12:25 New Delhi: Subsidy for Haj pilgrims will be scrapped this year, the government said today. "We believe in empowerment without appeasement," said Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, who is Minister for Minority Affairs. The minister said 1,75,000 pilgrims, the highest ever, would go on Haj this year. "Muslims didn't benefit from it. Development with dignity is what we believe in. The subsidy will be used for educating girls," Mr Naqvi said   Read More ...
Modi govt ends Haj subsidy, says will use funds to empower minorities
2018-01-16 12:12:02 In a big move, the government on Tuesday abolished subsidy for Haj pilgrims. Minority Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi made this announcement. Naqvi also told reporters that despite the subsidy withdrawal, a record number of 1.75 lakh Muslims will undertake the pilgrimage this year. The minister added that “Haj subsidy funds will be used for educational empowerment of girls and women of minority community   Read More ...
Pakistan's Muslim clerics unite to issue fatwa against suicide bombings
2018-01-16 09:04:19 than 1,800 Pakistani Muslim clerics have issued an Islamic directive, or fatwa, forbidding suicide bombings, a book due to be unveiled by the government on Tuesday says. The South Asian nation has for years been plagued by violence by Islamist militants who often use suicide bombers and preach that their struggle is a holy war to impose Islamic rule. Suicide attacks are frequently condemned as fanatical and immoral, especially when civilians are killed, but insurgents view the tactic as their most effective weapon   Read More ...
IIUI still using Faisal Mosque’s premises, NA told
2018-01-16 06:11:53 ISLAMABAD: The National Assembly was informed on Monday that the International Islamic University Islamabad (IIUI) was still using the premises of Faisal Masjid even though it had been allotted the entire sector of H-10 (700 acres). During the question hour, Minister of State for Capital Administration and Development Division (CADD) Dr Tariq Fazal Chaudhry in a written reply to a question said 51,000 square metres covered and other area of Faisal Masjid was under the use of the IIUI   Read More ...
Christianity’s arrival in PH – boon or bane?
2018-01-15 20:27:36 Any historical review would illustrate the seismic shifts the Philippine Catholic Church has been undergoing, including the earth-shaking scandals into which she has been dragged repeatedly. Does it matter to me that the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) has declared 2018 as the “Year of the Clergy and the Religious” as part of the nine-year preparation for the 5th centennial, or 500 longs years of the Christianization of the Philippines? The predecessors of the Filipino clergy and consecrated persons today are the Spanish friars of old   Read More ...
Six Rohingya minors apprehended from railway station in Tripura
2018-01-15 10:13:08 Railway police apprehended six minor Rohingya Muslims, three boys and three girls, from Dharmanagar railway station in North Tripura district on Saturday night. They were forwarded to Juvenile Justice Board on Sunday and sent to a juvenile home. They will be produced before the board again on January 24. Police said the six entered India through Sonamura border in Sepahijala district on Saturday and then reached Dharmanagar by bus   Read More ...
BMC wants to end illegal hawking near places of worship
2018-01-15 02:08:27 The stretches near places of worship might be free from illegal hawkers in future, with the civic body saying that it plans to allow only authorised shops sell religious paraphernalia to devotees. The corporation has invited objections and suggestions from citizens on proposed hawkers pitches across the city including near religious places. Nidhi Choudhary, deputy municipal commissioner (special) said that the removal of encroachments (RE) department will now shift its focus to spots around places of worship and education institutions to make them free from illegal hawking   Read More ...
Roque: Duterte ready for dialogue with Church
2018-01-15 00:10:41 CEBU CITY — Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque on Saturday echoed the willingness of President Duterte to dialogue with Catholic Church leaders, who had been critical of the killings linked to Mr. Duterte’s war on drugs. “Communication lines are open,” he had said in an interview with CBCP News. Mr. Duterte had called Church leaders criticizing his bloody war on drugs “hypocrites   Read More ...
Marawi bishop returns to damaged church
2018-01-14 04:09:17 For the first time since the end of the war in Marawi City, Marawi Bishop Edwin dela Peña returned to the damaged St. Mary’s Cathedral, the seat of the Prelature of Marawi. Dela Peña was with some officials of the Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) Philippines and the Order of Malta Philippines when he visited the remnants of the cathedral on Thursday   Read More ...
‘We’re not seeking reform in Islam, Shariat, but there must be reform of evil social practices,’ says Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi
2018-01-13 20:18:28 Union Minister for Minority Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi calls the Congress’s argument against triple talaq “confused”, dismisses appeasement allegations, claims that the government did not want to take credit for relaxing Haj rules, and says that the issue of SC judges criticising the CJI must be resolved internally. Why Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi? The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, which seeks to criminalise instant triple talaq, has been passed by the Lok Sabha and now awaits the Rajya Sabha’s approval   Read More ...
DMK won’t criticise individual religious beliefs, says Stalin
2018-01-13 19:16:43 DMK working president M.K. Stalin has reiterated that his party does not believe in criticising individual religious beliefs. ing about lyricist Vairamuthu’s comments on Andal, Mr. Stalin said, “The DMK doesn’t believe in criticising the private beliefs of people — be it Hinduism or any other religion. Despite Mr. Vairamuthu expressing his regret, it is condemnable that he has been threatened with violence   Read More ...
Pilgrims throng Sabarimala to worship Makarajyoti
2018-01-13 19:16:27 There was heavy rush at the Sabarimala Sannidhanam on Saturday with thousands of Ayyappa devotees camping there to worship the Makarajyoti on Sunday. The faithful have also occupied the nearby forests to witness the celestial star Makarajyoti that appears on the eastern horizon of the holy hillock and to worship the deeparadhana to be performed at Ponnambalamedu, a hillock facing the Ayyappa temple, in the twilight hours of the Makarasankranti day on Sunday   Read More ...
Bishop visits Marawi, saddened by destruction, desecration
2018-01-13 18:18:57 MANILA, Philippines — Months after government troops liberated Marawi City from the Maute terrorist group, Bishop Edwin dela Peña finally set foot inside St. Mary’s Cathedral. What greeted Dela Peña and a delegation from Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) was a desecrated cathedral. The bishop knelt before the altar where he had been celebrating mass for the last 17 years   Read More ...
Sunni Seminary Slaps Rs 20 Cr Defamation Suit On Shia Board Chief Rizvi
2018-01-13 06:35:45 This comes after the Shia Board Waqf Waseem Rizvi made comments suggesting that madrasas are hubs of terrorism and should be shut down. ___ About Channel: In   Read More ...
Sunni Seminary Sues Shia Board Over 'Madrasas Are Terror Hubs' Jibe
2018-01-13 06:35:27 After India Today's sting operation 'Operation Madrasa', the Sunni seminary has sent the UP Shia Board Waqf Waseem Rizvi a legal notice for suggesting that m   Read More ...
Haj pilgrims selection
2018-01-13 06:15:42 The Andhra Pradesh State Haj Committee will select pilgrims going to Mecca through a draw of lots from among the applications received from 13 districts at the Sub-Collector’s office here at 2 p.m. on Jan. 17. A total of 2,736 applications were received against the combined quota of 2,637 applications. With 533 applications, Kurnool district stood on top of the list (its quota is 489) and Srikakulam has the least number at five (quota 7   Read More ...
Japan to provide $3 million to Myanmar for Rohingya return
2018-01-13 06:09:08 Japanese's foreign minister on Friday urged Myanmar's civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi to guarantee the safe and voluntary return of Rohingya Muslims who have fled violence in troubled Rakhine state. While Foreign Minister Taro Kono is visiting Myanmar, the Japanese government announced a grant of $3 million to Myanmar's government to help facilitate the repatriation of the Rohingya. Myanmar and Bangladesh signed an agreement on the repatriation of Rohingya refugees on Nov   Read More ...
Peter Shao Zhumin: Detained Chinese Catholic bishop freed
2018-01-13 05:05:04 A Chinese Catholic bishop who was detained for seven months has been freed, the Vatican says. The Church had expressed grave concern for Peter Shao Zhumin, who was removed from his diocese last May. His friends said they feared that he was being pressured by the authorities to pledge his allegiance to the Chinese Communist Party instead of the Church. His disappearance led to a public row between China and the Vatican   Read More ...
Stop distribution of 'Selangorkini' in mosques, says S'gor Umno
2018-01-12 13:00:49 TANJONG KARANG: Selangor Umno today urged the Selangor Islamic Affairs Department (JAIS) to stop the distribution of the 'Selangorkini' official newspaper of the state government in mosques in the state. Selangor Umno Liaison Committee chairman Tan Sri Noh Omar said the free newspaper carried more news and information on politics than development, which ran contrary to a royal decree prohibiting mosques from being used for political campaigns   Read More ...
Smells like good karma: the ‘Giving’ perfume
2018-01-12 09:14:45 Meera Gandhi was only 16 when she first visited Mother Teresa’s Asha Dan in Byculla, Mumbai, and she continued to visit the ashram every Saturday to take care of differently-abled children. “I would bathe them, change their clothes and sometimes even hold their hands while they went to sleep,” she says. Today, Gandhi lives in New York and is the founder and CEO of The Giving Back Foundation launched in 2010   Read More ...
Postal Dept. to bring out stamp to mark church’s dedication
2018-01-11 20:31:19 The Postal Department will bring out a special cover and ‘My Stamp’ to mark the dedication and proclamation of St. Lawrence Minor Basilica of Attur near Karkala on January 18. According to a press release issued by the Udupi Catholic Diocese here on Thursday, M.K. Krishnayya, a retired bank officer, philatelist, curator and guide of Corporation Heritage Museum, Udupi, took the initiative to bring out the special cover and stamp   Read More ...
Petta Thullal held at Erumeli
2018-01-11 15:18:11 The pilgrim season at Sabarimala entered its last phase on Thursday with the frenzied spiritual dancing taken up by the teams from Ambalappuzha and Alangad representing the paternal and maternal lineages of Lord Ayyapppa, at Erumeli. Erumeli, according legends, was the scene of a fight between Ayyappa and Mahishi, the demon princess, denoting the struggle between the good and the evil   Read More ...
Bishops’ panel meets council on land sale issue
2018-01-10 21:22:01 The five-member Bishops’ committee, appointed by the Syro Malabar Church Synod in the wake of the land sale scandal under the Ernakulam-Angamaly Archdiocese, met members of the Presbyteral Council on Wednesday. Discussions were held on the findings of the six-member expert committee appointed by the archdiocese to study the land deal. The report was submitted last week. The Bishops’ committee will submit a report to the Synod based on the interactions with the members of the Presbyteral Council   Read More ...