Week in Review 2 May 2013

Women of the Wall Pray At The Western Wall

Women of the Wall Pray At The Western Wall

Monday April 29th

– Jewish women are campaigning for greater access to the Wailing Wall. Currently, there are restrictions upon the use of the wall by women, restrictions that if broken carry prison sentences. The Women of the Wall group has recently challenged these structures, and is arguing for equal rights and access to the wall as men.

– Palestinian Christians have called on Pope Francis to speak out against the continued construction of a wall that currently divides  parts of Palestine. The Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres was due to arrive in Italy for a three-day visit, and the Palestinian Christians had hoped he would use this opportunity to express his opposition to the wall and its construction.

Tuesday April 30th

– A survey by Pew (the full report of which can be read here) found that the majority of Muslims around the world desire ‘shariah law’ to be recognised and influential in politics. The research also notes that many Muslims (irregardless of support for shariah) favour religious freedom for other faith traditions and consider such freedoms to be “a good thing”.

Wednesday 1st May

– 10 were hurt after a mosque was attacked in Myanmar. The attack is part of an on-going campaign of persecution against the Rohingya, a Muslim ethnic minority in Burma. The issue, despite on-going for nearly a year, is only recently being given mainstream news coverage. Our report on the issue from August 2012. More recently, the BBC examined what it perceived to be the causes behind the attacks.

–  9/11 Debris removed from near Park 51 .Park 51, the community centre and mosque, that became the centre of a major controversy last year is thrown once again into the limelight after a piece of wreckage from the 9/11 attacks is found near the building. Police officers have now received the debris.

Thursday 2nd May

A coalition of black churches in the UK have rejected Prime Minister’s calls for gay marriage. In a joint letter sent to The Telegraph they argue “the Government is forcing through fundamental changes to the nature of marriage and has failed to think through the consequences or consult properly”.

Pope Emeritus Benedict has returned to the Vatican to begin his retirement in earnest, the first time in six centuries there have two living Catholic Popes. Read our summary of what a retired Pope gets up to.

A round up of our favourite blogs…

Which religion is the most violent? Chris Ladd offers an interesting analysis of the way in which we perceive others and ourselves.

Can a moderate Jewish Rabbi transform the Israeli Rabbinate? Not Likely  Ben Sales discusses the role of the Chief Rabbi and whether there is hope to bridge the growing gap between reform and orthodox Judaism.

About Karen Willows

Karen Willows is a researcher and freelance journalist. She has a BA in Religion and Geography and an MA in Social Science Research.