I just picked up on Google+ that Mazie Keiko Hirono has just become the first Buddhist elected to the US Senate.
Hirono is the U.S. Representative for Hawaii’s 2nd congressional district, serving since 2007. She is a member of the Democratic Party, and is currently Senator-elect for Hawaii filling the seat being vacated by Daniel Akaka.
She will be the first female senator from Hawaii, the first Asian-American woman elected to the Senate, the first senator born in Japan, and the nation’s first Buddhist senator. That’s quite a collection of firsts.
She considers herself a non-practicing Buddhist, but when sworn in she said
“I don’t have a book [to swear upon] … But I certainly … Read more »
A petition has been started in order to protect the rights of Buddhist Gypsies, or Roma, in Hungary.
This year a nationalist government was elected in Hungary. The new government rewrote the constitution and passed a law that deregisters all but a few mainstream Christian and Jewish religious organisations. These steps were taken with the aim of curbing tax abuses, but the blunderbuss policy “de-registers” all faith groups that count fewer than 1,000 members, or that have been in existence for less than 20 years.
Groups that manage to get established — and stay established for 20 years — and accumulate over 1000 members, cannot get official recognition without a parliamentary vote with a two-thirds … Read more »