Religion News

Will ISIS Infect Bangladesh?

Aug 04, 2015
"Thanks to increased counterterrorism efforts spearheaded by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, IS has few allies that can help it tap into Bangladesh’s large Muslim population. Pro-IS sentiment, simply put, is very weak in Bangladesh," write Atif Jalal Ahmad and Michael Kugelman.
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Luther’s Fortress: Martin Luther and His Reformation Under Siege

Jul 31, 2015
Prolific author, acclaimed historian, and Wilson Center Senior Scholar, James Reston’s latest book draws on primary source correspondence, notes, and other writings to provide a gripping portrait of what may be the most productive months of Martin Luther’s life. Luther’s Fortress: Martin Luther and His Reformation Under Siege, chronicles a critical but little-known episode in Luther’s life, revealing its pivotal role in the history of Christianity. That’s the focus of this edition of Wilson Center NOW.

Orthodoxy and the Future of Secularism After the Maidan

Jun 12, 2015
In many ways the undeclared war between Russia and Ukraine has triggered seismic shifts in the religious landscape in the two countries. Although united by a common Eastern Christian faith tradition, Russia and Ukraine are increasingly separated by the same. After more than twenty years of an independent Ukrainian state that has adopted its own legislative policies toward religious institutions and the means of regulating the exchange of peoples, goods and ideas, a growing number of differences in terms of cultural values and political orientations are now manifest between the two countries.

The Power of Japan’s Religious Party

Dec 04, 2014
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s victory in the upcoming December 14 general elections is expected. But the extent of the political foothold of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) will be dependent once again on the support of the Soka Gakkai, the massive Buddhism-based organization that dominates Japan’s religious landscape.

ISIS Says the Quran Allows Enslaving Women. Will Clerical Leaders Respond?

Oct 14, 2014
"Islamic State militants crossed a last possible boundary of decency by citing the Quran as authority for the barbarism they have been practicing against women. Equally disturbing, Arab leaders and the ulama, the clerical leaders of Islam, have been silent in the face of this effrontery," writes Haleh Esfandiari.

The Iranian Sphere of Influence Expands Into Yemen

Oct 09, 2014
"The implications of events in Yemen extend beyond its borders. If the Houthis secured Bab Al Mandab and the sea in Al Hudaydah governorate, another strategic waterway, they would control the traffic from the Suez Canal and the Persian Gulf, a sobering prospect for those worried about increased Iranian influence in the region,"

Why Kobani Matters

Oct 09, 2014
"Thundering air power can be daunting, but sometimes the effect is more psychological than physical. Big costly bombs fired by big costly warplanes have been knocking a fair number of “armed vehicles,” which may be little more than a pick-up truck with a weapon mounted on the back. But they have not yet set back the ISIS campaign in Syria," writes Robin Wright.

Iran’s Dinner Diplomacy

Sep 30, 2014
"It’s crunch time for diplomacy on Iran’s controversial nuclear program." Last year, President Rouhani answered Obama's question of possible coöperation on other matters with a "Persian proverb: 'Let’s raise the baby we just gave birth to before we have another.' This year, given the success of ISIS, the Iranians seem to be in a bit more of a hurry to get that process started" says Robin Wright.

Sexual Violence Under ISIS Control

Sep 25, 2014
"You should focus on 50% of the population, which is women, and see what is happening to them. You should mention them, you should have the courage to say 'yes this is done to our women; this is done to our sisters, daughters, wives...'" said Haleh Esfandiari.

Ironies in Obama’s U.N. Address

Sep 25, 2014
"As Washington teams up with autocratic regimes–some of which notoriously use the cover of their faith to justify unfair policies–the United States may have credibility problems among the very people it hopes to help," writes Robin Wright.

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