religious rites

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Ancient Ritual Blends Faith, Technology

Muslim holy month starts on sighting of crescent moon

(Newser) - Telescopes are tilted skyward throughout the Muslim world tonight, hunting for the first glimpse of a crescent moon that signals the start of Ramadan. In an age-old mix of science and religion, astronomers and clerics gather each year to monitor the moon and announce the beginning of Islam’s holiest... More »

Greenies Fight Religious Custom in Taiwan

Concern about global warming prompts attempt to change money-burning ritual

(Newser) - Taiwanese environmentalists are working to douse the flames of "Ghost Month," during which Taoists and Buddhists burn ritual paper money to honor ancestors. Setting one ton of money ablaze releases at least an equal amount carbon dioxide, the AFP reports; temples and households can now turn over their... More »

Did Isaac Hayes Go to Heaven?

Slate explains where Hubbard's flock go when they die

(Newser) - The death of legendary soul singer Isaac Hayes on Sunday is no cause to mourn: He’ll apparently be back. Hayes was a dedicated Scientologist, and as Nina Shen Rastogi explains in Slate, this means eternal life. Church founder L Ron Hubbard describes the Scientology experience as "simply living... More »

Moses Got High on Mt. Sinai, Study Says

Mind-altering drugs may have sparked religious visions

(Newser) - Moses was high on mind-altering drugs when he heard God’s word on Mount Sinai, an Israeli researcher said this week. He contends that hallucinogenics were key to Jewish ceremonies and explain Moses' reception of the Ten Commandments and his vision of the burning bush. Benny Shanon, who teaches at... More »

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