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Religion in the News

As the one who compiles the “Interfaith News Roundup” (the stories of note found in TIO’s monthly aggregation), my sense is that mid-year 2015 is actually a relief, better than we have any right to expect. Bad news still abounds, particularly religiously related conflict and severely constricted religious freedom for millions. But a new cascade of nightmare stories didn’t show up again this month. The tragic exception was the terrible murder of nine people attending Bible study at Charleston’s Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, casting the shadow of racist terrorism across the year. A silver lining was how it evoked one of Barrack Obama’s most powerful speeches, one that will go down in American history. (You’ll find text and video links in the Roundup.)

Charleston – Standing Together in Solidarity

In the wake of the shooting at Charleston, South Carolina, a question resurfaces in my mind. It is the same question that unfortunately arises time and again, whether it is the shooting at a Sikh Gurdwara in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, the shooting at a synagogue in West Jerusalem, or the attack on a mosque in Kuwait City. If Mr. Dylann Roof were in surgery, and the only blood available to save his life came from Rev. Clementa Pinckney or another member of his church – the blood that Mr. Roof has shed with deliberate planning – would he accept the blood or choose instead to die on the altar of his hate.