A New Era of Religion


1 – Caught in the Middle Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation has, over the last five years, seen its Jewish population surge to an estimated 10,000 people. And yet, the community now finds itself caught in a battle between Nigerian security agencies and a revived secessionist movement — the Indigenous People of Biafra — that has gained support from the community. Why is that so? The leader of IPOB — which seeks the creation of Biafra, which existed briefly as a separate nation in the 1960s — is a British-Nigerian political activist who is Jewish and many of his followers and peaceful protesters are Jewish as well. In response, there have been targeted attacks by Nigerian agencies, including raids on synagogues, although government officials insist they are fighting a terrorist organization, not engaging in religious persecution.
2 – Future of IslamThe Islamic State’s dreams of establishing a caliphate in Syria and Iraq might remain just that — a dream. But another Islamic strand, which also believes in a caliphate, is rapidly growing — and it has nothing to do with and could not be more different from the extremist ISIS. The Ahmadiyya sect, which follows a model of international proselytism focused on charitable work, condemns extremist views and subordinates itself to local governments, is expanding faster than Shia and Sunni communities that have dominated the religion for centuries. Could the Ahmadiyyas be the future of Islam?
3 – For Happiness’s SakeIndia is where the Buddha gained enlightenment — in turn giving birth to Buddhism. And yet the religion has gained little momentum and traction in a country dominated by Hinduism. In fact, of the 8 million Buddhists in India, most are kin of lower-caste Hindus who converted as recently as the 1950s. But now the religion is staging a comeback — all thanks to Japan. A new wave of Buddhism that’s based on the philosophy of Nichiren Daishonin, a 13th century Japanese monk, is pulling in tens of thousands of people across India with its promise of happiness and a peaceful world. The number of adherents is estimated to have crossed 200,000, and Bharat Soka Gakkai — the Indian arm of the Japanese tradition — has groups in more than 300 Indian cities and towns that meet for regular group chanting sessions.
4 – Catholic Fan ClubIt may sound unreal but a 2015 study by the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate at Georgetown University revealed that the number of Catholics in Africa has grown by 238% since 2018. Meanwhile, in Europe, there has only been a 6% rise. And that’s not all. The number of priests in Africa (and Asia) has grown too — it’s more than doubled in the same period. That compares with less than a 3% growth in the Americas and a 23% decline in Europe, which translates to 56,830 fewer priests. We can conclude that the global Catholic population remains surprisingly stable — all thanks to Africa.

SOURCE and more … https://www.ozy.com/pg/newsletter/the-daily-dose/443969/

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