@dwnews: Katholikentag goes digital

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Abandoning Christianity: The young adults who are moving on

Young Christians are turning their backs on religion and finding different ways to practice values that they consider unchained from faith. But what is it that’s making them decide to move on?

Weltjugendtrag 2013 Rio de Janeiro Papst FranziskusYoung people attend the welcoming ceremony for Pope Francis on World Youth Day in Rio de Janeiro 2013. Unlike young believers in South America, young people in other regions are not as convinced of the Christian religion anymore.

Julia decided she didn’t want to be Christian anymore – after seeing what religion and the Church did to the attitudes of those around her, she decided she did not want to be part of it.

“It’s touching when I see my own grandmother, who is strictly religious, in church – she sings and really embraces the spirit of ‘love thy neighbor as thyself’,” she says. “But as soon as she steps out of the church, her intolerance in regard to homosexuals, girls who are not wearing enough, my ex-boyfriend and his different religion or people with another skin color, it knows no limits.” Continue reading

How we’re keeping the faith

“I am Christian, but…” is what many young Christians tend to say. We’ve spoken to three of them about their faith, values and the difficulties they have with the Church.

Young people lighting candles (Photo: Maja Hitij/dapd)

If Julia (25) wasn’t already a member of the Protestant Church she’d become one – even if it was only for one reason…

Are you a Christian?

Yes. I grew up in a Christian family and we celebrate Christmas. I do pray now and again, especially if I need some kind of support. And I do believe in the Ten Commandments and abide them. But it’s not like I don’t eat meat on Fridays, or rest on Sundays.

So if someone asks me what my religion is, I say: I’m a Christian, of course. But I don’t go to church. Continue reading

Hindus and Sikhs – homeless Afghan citizens

Waslat Hasrat-Nazimi

For hundreds of years, Hindus and Sikhs have lived in Afghanistan. But even after the fall of the Islamist Taliban regime, they face growing discrimination, forcing many to leave.

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Sometimes you can recognize them on the streets, usually because of their black or wine-red turbans and opulent beards. Others look no different from the rest of the pedestrians, aside from the fact that they may be homeless.

Hindus and Sikhs are a religious minority in Afghanistan. But, despite being there for centuries, they are discriminated against for their beliefs. The war years forced many people belonging to these two non-Muslim minorities to leave the country.

‘Brothers’

Some, however, returned after the Taliban were overthrown. Arandar Singh is one such person. The 50-year-old Sikh was born in Kunduz. He owns a shop and wears a black turban and a long, black beard. Other than that, he wears typical Afghan clothing. Singh sees himself as a part of Afghan society and calls the local residents his brothers. Continue reading