Top 5 News stories 5/23

Taiwan leads Asia in spiritual care to alleviate fear of death    The Japan Times

Special rooms for religious chants to console the dead are increasing at hospitals in Taiwan because the number of people dying in hospitals rather than at home has been increasing, as in Japan.

Multi-faith prayer room offers peace and solace at Widnes Market    Runcorn and Widnes World

A NEW multi-faith prayer room has opened in Widnes Market Churches representing various denominations have united to create The Sanctuary, a place where shoppers and traders can seek solace and comfort. “All the groups, hindus, muslims, buddhists, and christians have shown interest so we know we’ve got support. This has brought us all closer together.”

COMMENTARY: How Brown v. Board of Education still shapes our religious life    The Washington Post

Church leaders wonder why “millennials are leaving the church” and what magical mixture of doctrine and Sunday worship would draw them back. Reality is that congregations can’t “lose” younger cohorts they never had. It has been 50 years since a young-adult generation found urban mainline congregations appealing.

In Tunisia an ancient Jewish pilgrimage controversy- and hope    The Christian Science Monitor

On May 9, legislators at a raucous parliamentary hearing cited support for the Palestinian cause, opposition to Israel, and Israeli attacks on PLO figures in Tunisia in the 1980’s as grounds for removing two government ministers and reversing a recent decision to formalize procedures for Israelis visiting Tunisia, which does not have diplomatic relations with Israel. The government says the move will boost Tunisia’s struggling tourism industry by projecting a message of openness.

Humanist Foundation Reaches Out to Religious Groups, Testing a Divide    The New York Times

Six months after starting a humanist charity in 2010, Dale McGowan unveiled a philanthropist’s version of a beta test. He already offered donors to his organization, the Foundation Beyond Belief, the opportunity to designate their gifts for groups that worked in fields like refugee aid and environmentalism. Then, in an contrarian brainstorm, he decided to try adding a category for progressive religious bodies.