Temples seek tighter community ties

Jun 27, 2013

Temples seek tighter community ties

A new generation of Buddhist priests is working closely with ordinary people to regenerate communities as population shrinkage threatens the future of their temples. On a Saturday night in May, a group of five men, mostly in their 30s, sat down at Saikoji Temple ...

Christian school trains farming leaders

May 28, 2013

Christian school trains farming leaders

A Christian academy in the countryside is seeking to improve the quality of life in poor farming villages in Asia and Africa by giving new generations of community leaders the latest agricultural skills and knowledge. Established in 1973, the Asian Rural Institute operates agricultural ...

Shinto trying to stay relevant in global, green era

Jan 15, 2013

Shinto trying to stay relevant in global, green era

One morning last fall, a group of around a dozen people of various nationalities and religious faiths visited Kanda Myojin Shrine in central Tokyo. The diplomats and their families from various countries in Europe, Latin America and Africa, including Luxembourg, Romania and Costa Rica, ...

Japanese Muslim blazes own trail

Dec 17, 2012

Japanese Muslim blazes own trail

Masashi Nagano is an unlikely believer in Islam. He is a 28-year-old Japanese, born and brought up in a society with predominantly Shinto and Buddhist undertones, who hated religion as a child. Nagano became a Muslim in 2008, when he was in graduate school. ...

Christians exploring new ways to spread the word

Nov 15, 2012

Christians exploring new ways to spread the word

At a bustling Tokyo flea market in late September, booths were filled with manga, self-published magazines, books, accessories and other goods. The crowds that gathered included women in “cosplay” outfits and men in animal costumes, while the poster promoting the event featured a manga-style ...