Factbox-U.S. cites repression of religious freedom around the world

November 17, 2010

The United States on Wednesday unveiled its annual survey of religious freedom, citing countries ranging from North Korea to Eritrea as repressing religious liberties.

Indonesian court orders Jakarta Buddha Bar shut after blasphemy complaint

September 1, 2010

buddha bar (Photo: Buddha Bar Restaurant in Jakarta, December 4, 2008/Beawiharta)

The Indonesian branch of the Buddha Bar, an international chain of upmarket bars, has been ordered to close because its name caused distress to Buddhists, local media reported on Wednesday.

Taiwan Buddhist charity Tzu Chi sets up shop in atheist China

August 20, 2010

charity 1China’s ruling Communist Party has a testy and often bitter relationship with religion.  During the chaos of the 1966-76 Cultural Revolution, temples and churches were shut, statues smashed, scriptures burned, and monks and nuns forced to return to secular life, often after receiving a good beating or even jail.

Afghan archaeologists find Buddhist site as war rages

By Reuters Staff
August 17, 2010

bamyanArchaeologists in Afghanistan, where Taliban Islamists are fighting the Western-backed government, have uncovered Buddhist-era remains in an area south of Kabul, an official said on Tuesday.  “There is a temple, stupas, beautiful rooms, big and small statues, two with the length of seven and nine meters, colorful frescos ornamented with gold and some coins,” said Mohammad Nader Rasouli, head of the Afghan Archaeological Department.

Report from Tibet: “We believe in Buddhism, Chinese believe in nothing”

July 9, 2010

lhasaTibet is richer and more developed than it has ever been, its people healthier, more literate, and better dressed and fed.  But the bulging supermarkets, snappy new airports and gleaming restored temples of this remote and mountainous region cannot hide broad contradictions and a deep sense of unhappiness among many Tibetans that China is sweeping away their culture.

A week after riots, Thai capital prays for peace

By Reuters Staff
May 26, 2010
bangkok

Buddhist monks receive alms in Bangkok on May 26, 2010 during a gathering for peace prayers/Yannis Behrakis

Religion-themed films take top prizes at Cannes Film Festival

By Reuters Staff
May 24, 2010
cannes 1

Apichatpong Weerasethakul (in white) and cast member Wallapa Mongkolprasert at the screening of ''Lung Boonmee Raluek Chat'' (Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall his Past Lives) in Cannes on May 21, 2010/Yves Herman

Lasers and iPods for a Singapore funeral of a lifetime

By Reuters Staff
May 17, 2010
columbarium 2

An Ipod Touch can control the lighting, sound and smoke machines used in the funeral ceremony at the columbarium, May 15, 2010/Edgar Su

Burmese monks who fled to the U.S. are a vanishing breed

May 13, 2010
buddhist burma

Monks sit in protest as riot policemen and troops block access to Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon on 26 Sept 2007/Adrees Latif

Can saffron be red in Thailand?

May 1, 2010
THAILAND

(A monk walks along a red shirt barricade in Bangkok's business district on April 25/Sukree Sukplang)