International Institute for the Study of Religions
Religious Information Research Center
"Religious Articles Select 5" is the contents that introduce the Religious News Digest in Japan. All articles are picked up by Prof. Nobutaka Inoue who is the chief of RIRC, and selceted from the last "RIRC REPORT"; the publication for our members by the seasons.
Shuchiin University (Kyoto) submitted a notification to the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology that it will change the name of its "Faculty of Buddhism" to the "Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences" beginning in April 2008.
Mr. Nishimiya Kazutami, former president of Kōgakkan University and theological advisor to the Association of Shintō Shrines has died. He was 81.
Myōchikai celebrated the 90th birthday (sotsuju) of the Reverend Miyamoto Takeyasu in the assembly hall of its main sanctuary in Tokyo. Rev. Miyamoto received the Palestinian Order of the Star of Jerusalem, in recognition of his many years of humanitarian work.
The Association of Shintō Culture (Shintō Bunka Kai) celebrates its sixtieth anniversary with a commemoration ceremony and memorial service for the spirits of deceased members at Tokyo Daijingŭ.
Mr. Miyagi Tainen was installed as the new head priest (monshu) of Shōgoin, head temple of the Honzan Shugen sect of Shugendō.
The prohibition issued by the prefectural governor of Hokkaidō concerning the Ainu folk festival Iyomante, also known as the Bear Festival, has been overturned. The prohibition, originally issued in 1955, stated that the Bear Festival was a "barbaric practice" that must be abolished.
As part of a publicity campaign for the anime film Fist of the North Star: Legend of the True Savior (Japanese title: Shin Kyŭseishu Densetsu: Hokuto no Ken), a funeral ceremony (sh#333konshiki) was held for the character Raō at Koyasan Tokyo Betsuin temple (Koyasan Shingon Sect). In the film, Raō was killed in a duel with the character Kenshir#333.
The group led by former Aleph spokesman J#333y#365 Fumihiro was formally launched as the new religious organization "Hikari no Wa" (Ring of Light). The group has fifty-seven live-in followers and 106 lay believers.
The Catholic Archdiocese of Nagasaki established the "Nagasaki Pilgrimage Center" within the Nagasaki City Catholic Center. The Nagasaki Pilgrimage Center will provide information and tours of the churches and related sites of historical significance within Nagasaki Prefecture.
Pope Benedict XVI has approved the beatification of 188 Japanese Christian martyrs from the early Edo Period. It has been 140 years since the last time that more than a hundred Japanese were beatified simultaneously.
In accordance with his last will, the ashes of actor James Doohan, best known for his role as Chief Engineer Scott of the Starship Enterprise in the television and movie series "Star Trek", were loaded into a rocket and launched into space. The capsule, which contained the ashes of Mr. Doohan and two hundred other people, was free from gravity as it passed through suborbital space before returning to Earth.
Jung Myung Seok, founder of the international religious group Setsuri (known also as Providence), was arrested in Beijing by Chinese authorities on suspicion of sexually assaulting large numbers of female adherents.
Patriarch Alexius II of the Russian Orthodox Church and Metropolitan Laurus, First Hierarch of the New York-based Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia (ROCOR), jointly signed the Act of Canonical Communion at the Cathedral of Christ the Savior, the seat of the Patriarchate of the Russian Orthodox Church in Moscow. It has been eighty years since the ROCOR separated from the Russian Orthodox Church.
The Church of England issued a protest to Sony over a game for its PlayStation 3 console that uses images of Manchester Cathedral as a setting for violent scenes without permission from the Church.
The Pakistan Ulima Council, the highest Islamic clerical body in the country, countered the English government's decision to award a knighthood to author Salman Rushdie by conferring the title of Saifullah ("Sword of Allah"), the highest rank of Islamic warrior, upon Al Qaida leader Osama bin Laden.