Hindustan Times: Onoterusaki Shrine in Japan offers solace to those at home amid coronavirus pandemic lockdown

Hindustan Times: Onoterusaki Shrine in Japan offers solace to those at home amid coronavirus pandemic lockdown. “Shinto shrines, a go-to place for many Japanese to pray for good health and safety, have largely shuttered during the coronavirus pandemic. But one Tokyo shrine went online for those seeking solace. Onoterusaki Shrine in downtown Tokyo was live-streaming prayers on Twitter during a May 1-10 holiday, allowing those stuck at home to join rituals.”

Washington Post: Faith activism amid pandemic spans causes and denominations

Washington Post: Faith activism amid pandemic spans causes and denominations. “One religious leader appeared with nursing home workers seeking safer conditions. Another broadcast a roundtable with colleagues in three states. Another talked about a campaign he helps lead that’s raised more than $1 million for masks and hand sanitizer. In one 24-hour period this week, three prominent people of faith from different denominations pushed for more aid to workers and areas most acutely affected by the coronavirus. All three are leaders in the black church –- underscoring the outsized pain the pandemic has exacted on communities of color -– but Christian advocacy on behalf of lower-income populations struggling with the virus is a diverse and nationwide cause.”

The Mennonite: MC USA Archives joins expanded Mennonite Archival Information Database

The Mennonite: MC USA Archives joins expanded Mennonite Archival Information Database. “Mennonite Church USA Archives is one of five new partners to join the recently expanded Mennonite Archival Information Database (MAID). The public database now represents 14 partners and features thousands of historic photos and a quickly growing number of entries, including one-of-a-kind letters, diaries, meeting minutes, travel documents, biographies, and audio and video recordings.”

Church Executive: Faithlife Offers Free Access to More than 700 Bible-based Resources During COVID-19

Church Executive: Faithlife Offers Free Access to More than 700 Bible-based Resources During COVID-19. “Church technology company and makers of Logos Bible Software, Faithlife, is offering free access through June 30 to its Digital Church Library containing more than 700 Bible-based resources to help church leaders and their congregations sustain spiritual growth throughout COVID-19 and beyond…. Faithlife’s Digital Church Library includes seminary-level courses from Logos Mobile Education, audio Bibles, Bible commentaries, dictionaries and encyclopedias from Lexham press, devotionals, Bible translators, books by theological source-experts, family-friendly Bible study sources from InterVarsity Press and much more.”

‘We’re ready if we are needed’: East London Mosque opens Covid-19 morgue (The Guardian)

The Guardian: ‘We’re ready if we are needed’: East London Mosque opens Covid-19 morgue. “The coffins contained the remains of two men of Moroccan descent who had died of coronavirus at St Mary’s hospital in Paddington. They had been brought to Whitechapel through the capital’s unusually quiet streets by Haji Taslim Funerals, London’s oldest Muslim funeral service, which is based at the mosque. In the spotless refrigerated room, the coffin lids were carefully removed to allow morgue attendants to perform a dry purification ritual, tayammum, using a special sandstone, on the shrouded bodies. The morgue has a section in which bodies can be washed with water in a more common ritual called ghusl, but the risk of contamination from Covid means tayammum is now being performed more often.”

Politico: Feds, Northam spar over Virginia stay-at-home order’s impact on churches

Politico: Feds, Northam spar over Virginia stay-at-home order’s impact on churches. “The Justice Department and Gov. Ralph Northam (D-Va.) are squaring off in court over whether Northam’s stay-at-home orders unfairly discriminate against churches and other religious institutions. Northam’s directives responding to the coronavirus pandemic have become a focus of a drive Attorney General William Barr announced last week to scrutinize the virus-related actions of state and local officials for unconstitutional intrusion on individual rights or federal prerogatives.”

Salon: Evangelical fundamentalists who openly defied social distancing guidelines are dying of COVID-19

Salon: Evangelical fundamentalists who openly defied social distancing guidelines are dying of COVID-19. “Countless non-fundamentalist churches in the United States, from Catholic to Lutheran and Episcopalian, have embraced social distancing during the coronavirus pandemic and temporarily moved their activities online. But many Christian fundamentalists and evangelicals have been irresponsibly downplaying the dangers of COVID-19 and doing so with deadly results: journalist Alex Woodward, in the U.K.-based Independent, reports that the pandemic has claimed the lives of more than 30 pastors in the Bible Belt.”