Top news stories you need to know.


WHO via Images from the History of Medicine (NLM)

Here are the top stories about religion that you need to know from June 21-June 27, 2014:

Religion and resumes: The bigger pictureAnti-Vaccination Movement Strikes Out in Bible Belt StatesApostasy woman Meriam Ibrahim: US ambassador summoned by Sudan government after Christian convert detained trying to flee country • A nonbeliever, curating religious art at the Morgan • 5 religious theme parks you have to see to believeAtheists Face Discrimination On A Shocking Level (INFOGRAPHIC)

Religion and Resumes: The bigger picture
Two new studies by University of Connecticut sociologists have found that college graduates from religious schools may need to change their resumes to avoid discrimination. Field experiments examined the relationship between hiring discrimination and religious affiliation.

Researchers explained that “Overt religious expression in the workplace — regardless of the specific religion — may be perceived as potentially offensive to coworkers, clients or customers”. As the researchers predicted, employers responded to applicants at lower rates whose resumes mentioned religion.

“But what some employers don’t understand,” explained Joyce Dubensky, “is that religion isn’t always the primary focus of a religious employee’s day.” Dubensky is executive vice president and CEO of the Tanenbaum Center for Interreligious Understanding. Dubensky continued, “If it’s a regular day, I may not be focused on my Judaism. I could be focused on being the only woman in an office of guys.”

Anti-Vaccination Movement Strikes Out in Bible Belt States
In May 2014, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced that 288 cases of measles had been identified in the United States. Declared eliminated in 2000 within the U.S.,  identified cases of measles have now reached a 20-year high.

Despite the recent increase in measles cases, two states have avoided outbreak, Mississippi (since 1992) and West Virginia (since 1994). Both states require children to receive all vaccinations prior to enrolling into kindergarten, regardless of parents’ religious, spiritual or personal beliefs. These requirements were instituted in both states during the late 1970s. In 1979, a Mississippi state Supreme Court Judge overturned a vaccination exemption and stated the following: “To the extent that [vaccines] may conflict with the religious belief of a parent, however sincerely entertained, the interests of the schoolchildren must prevail.”

Apostasy woman Meriam Ibrahim: US ambassador summoned by Sudan government after Christian convert detained trying to flee country
Meriam Ibrahim, the Christian woman from Sudan who was released from death row on Monday June 23, was rearrested at Khartoum airport in Sudan when trying to board a flight to the United States with her family. South Sudanese and U.S. ambassadors were summoned to Khartoum by Sudanese officials.

Sudan currently does not recognize Ibrahim as a citizen of South Sudan because her marriage to a Christian is forbidden under Islamic law. South Sudan gained independence from Sudan in 2011 following years of civil war.

A nonbeliever, curating religious art at the Morgan
Roger S. Wieck became a nonbeliever during his 20s, yet his enthusiasm for devotional artwork has never faded. Wieck’s newest exhibition, “Miracles in Miniature: The Art of the Master of Claude de France.” is on display at the Morgan Library Museum gallery. Miracles in Miniature includes 26 pieces, 11 from Wieck’s own personal collection. Included is a 2.75 x 2 inch prayer book, it is 500 years old and was designed for Queen Claude of France (1499-1524).

Photograph by

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5 Religious theme parks you have to see to believe
1. The Holy Land Experience in Orlando, Florida – The Holy Land website states that this theme park is “a living, biblical museum that takes you 7,000 miles away and 2,000 years back in time.”

2. Suoi Tien, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam – Named by Atlas Obscura at the world’s first water slide park, Suoi Tien includes sculptures of dragons, Buddhas, phoenixes, and tortoises. Perhaps even more marvelous is that there are employees dressed as golden monkeys who run around the park creating mischief. Other fantastic details include a few water slides that unconventionally emerge from the beards of large Buddhist sages.

3. Tierra Santa, Buenos Aires, Argentina – In Spanish, Tierra Santa translates to “Holy Land.” The focus is on the life of Jesus Christ and employees wear era-appropriate costumes.

4. The Ark Encounter, Williamstown, Kentucky – Construction has only just begun on The Ark Encounter, a life-size replica of Noah’s ark. Scheduled to open in the summer of 2016, the Encounter will include a petty zoo and the largest framed structure created from timber in the United States.

5. Haw Par Villa, Singapore – Built in 1937, Haw Par Villa is most famous for its 10 courts of hell depiction.

Atheists Face Discrimination On A Shocking Level (INFOGRAPHIC)
The American Humanist Association has created the following infographic to illustrate how atheists face discrimination on legal and social levels.

Created by the American Humanist Association

Created by the American Humanist Association