US call for commission on indigenous schools
THE Episcopal Church is among seven Churches and groups in the United States supporting the establishment of a truth and healing commission “to reckon with the country’s history of boarding schools that separated thousands of Indigenous children from their families and cultures during the 19th and 20th centuries”, the Religious News Service reports. On the day of the letter — 30 September — Senators reintroduced the Truth and Healing Commission on Indian Boarding School Policies in the United States to investigate, document, and acknowledge the past injustices of the country’s boarding-school policy. Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission published its final report in 2015 (News, 8 January 2016). The US is believed to have had twice as many boarding schools as Canada.
Research shows decline in violence against religious
“SOCIAL hostilities involving religion”, including violence and harassment against religious groups by private individuals and groups, declined in 2019, according to the Pew Research Center’s 12th annual study of global restrictions on religion, which examines 198 countries and territories. In 2019, it reports, 49 countries experienced religion-related terrorism (including deaths, physical abuse, displacement, detentions, destruction of property, and fund-raising and recruitment by terrorist groups): a record low for the study, which began in 2007. That was down from 64 countries in 2018, and from a record high of 82 countries in 2014. The study notes that, after 2014, Islamic State lost control of a large swath of territory in Iraq and Syria. Government restrictions involving religion remain at the highest point since the start of the study.