Study: U.S. churches exclude children with autism, ADD/ADHD

America’s religious communities are failing children with chronic health conditions such as autism, learning disabilities, depression and conduct disorders. And they have been doing it for a very long time, suggests a just-published national study following three waves of the National Survey of Children’s Health.

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It can't happen here: How houses of worship face challenge of preserving sacred space and protecting members

How do you celebrate the presence of a loving, divine protector while guarding against crime in your church, synagogue or mosque? Not always very well, according to research measuring the extent and nature of crimes against congregations, and the ways congregations address security concerns. The majority of congregations “do not have much of any security measures in place,” a national survey found.

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Science seeks humility's sweet spot between arrogance, servility

Can you have too much of a good thing when it comes to intellectual humility? The answer is yes, if it means becoming so obsessed with your shortcomings that you opt out of contentious conversations in the classroom, the workplace or the public arena, new studies suggest.

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GlobalPlus: Religion and fashion

Fashion is often viewed as frivolous. But the rise of modest fashion shows another side of the industry, the ability of a major social and economic engine to influence cultural change. Today, stylish women of many faiths that encourage modesty have embraced coverings or other relevant adaptions of dress and behavior as signs of fashion and faith. In so doing, this largely women-led movement is breaking down legal and social barriers to religious freedom. Movement luminaries also are engaging the world’s leading religions with the rights of women to interpret religious texts and religious practices in everyday life in ways informed by their own conscience and authority.

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GlobalPlus: Religion and humor

Humor can be offensive and divisive, especially jokes about sensitive issues, such as race and religion. But research is showing religious humor also can have a big upside, one that can help us move past religious stereotypes that divide communities, nations and regions. If humor works, then a key question becomes: Will we choose to laugh together?

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Three leading scholars in GlobalPlus dialogue on religion and science

Watch and listen as three of the top researchers in the field of religion and science offer a rare opportunity for an intellectually humble conversation on a controversial topic too often associated with division. Elaine Howard Ecklund, Christopher P. Scheitle and Jenny Trinitapoli discussed groundbreaking research offering new pathways to cooperative efforts on issues from evolution and climate change to eradicating disease. “A GlobalPlus Conversation: How religion and science can work together for the common good” can be accessed at this link.

GlobalPlus: Religion and politics in India

One of the most important test cases of religious and political nationalism is unfolding in India, where a political party has risen from obscurity to the center of government in large part by exploiting fears of minority religions. A leading Indian journalist provides an in-depth overview of the political rise of Hindu nationalism, and what it means for the world's largest democracy.

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GlobalPlus: Sharia

For hundreds of millions of Muslims, Sharia is a way or a path to divine understanding that enables human beings to reach their full potential. So why does so much public conversation about "sharia" or "sharia law" focus on extreme interpretations grounded in intolerance and ignorance? The answers are complex, involving historical, political, cultural, regional and religious factors that need to be understood in context. Yet complexity and reason are often dangerously absent amid the emotion and politics attached to Sharia.

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GlobalPlus: The nonreligious in the world today

Who are the nonreligious? Depending on how they are counted, the nonreligious today may be considered the world's third largest 'religion,' trailing only Christianity and Islam. They exercise an increasingly influential voice on issues from the immigration crisis in Europe to secular-religious tensions in Asia Pacific. Now a developing body of research is shedding critical light on the diversity and complexity of this group in an age when the makeup and balance of religious and nonreligious populations, along with their shared history, matters in ways both small and large.

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Ahead of the Trend columns, GlobalPlus reports and religion quizzes bring you the latest news in religion research from throughout the world. This is a collegial effort, enlisting the cooperation of researchers, universities, journal editors, institutes and associations of scholars to increase the impact and awareness of important findings in religion research.

About The Author
David Briggs, a former national writer for The Associated Press who holds a master's degree from Yale Divinity School, is consistently honored among the Top 10 secular religion writers and reporters in North America.