Billy Graham 

  William Franklin Graham Jr. (1918 –2018) was an American Southern Baptist evangelist who held huge rallies, broadcasting sermons on radio and television from 1947 until his retirement in 2005. Graham repudiated racial segregation and emphasized the relationship...

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Partition of India

  The 1947  partition of India into Hindu and Muslim majorities divided three provinces: Assam, Bengal and the Punjab.     The division of >14 million people according to religious beliefs resulted in large-scale violence, with varying estimates between several...

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Dead Sea Scrolls

In 1947 the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered by a Bedouin at the caves of Qumran in Jordan. Although written before the Christian gospels, the scrolls contained many similarities, but also some differences from the traditional Masoretic text of the Hebrew Bible.  ...

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Hirohito’s Not the Sun God Anymore

As the Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers in Japan, General Douglas MacArthur ordered the Shinto religion disestablished and its concept that the Emperor Hirohito was descended from Japan's sun goddess to be disavowed. The Humanity Declaration was an imperial...

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Dietrich Bonhöffer Executed

Together with theologians Karl Barth and Martin Niemöller, the German pastor Dietrich Bonhöffer was a founding member of the German Bekennende Kirche ( Confessing Church), a Protestant movement that opposed Nazi attempts to unify all Protestant churches into a single...

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Easter in Nazi Germany

In a 1939 census of Nazi Germany (including annexed Austria), 54% of Germans considered themselves Protestant, 40% Catholic, 3.5% gottgläubig (non-sectarian believers in God) and 1.5% as non-religious. In the spring of 1936, Der Angriff, Berlin’s Nazi paper founded by...

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Patton’s Weather Prayer

Midst bad weather in the Battle of the Bulge, General George S. Patton commissioned his chaplain to write a prayer for good weather and victory. Almighty and most merciful Father, we humbly beseech Thee, of Thy great goodness, to restrain these immoderate rains with...

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Memorial Day

Now... for the second year of this great war, there are fresh graves on Guadalcanal, on New Guinea, in North Africa. In them are buried the hopes, the laughter, the enthusiasms of young men who were not weary of life. The sea is the deep grave of others whose burial...

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Dietrich Bonhöffer

Dietrich Bonhöffer (1906 –1945) was a German Lutheran theologian and founding member of the Confessing Church that arose in opposition to government-sponsored efforts to permeate German Protestant churches with Nazi doctrine. An outstanding academic theologian,...

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Japanese Demons and Spirits

Source: 10 Horrifying Demons and Spirits from Japanese Folklore | Mental Floss Oni(鬼) variously translated as demons, devils, ogres or trolls) are popular characters in Japanese art, literature and theater. Hairy, multi-colored humanoid creatures, dressed in tiger...

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Virulent Anti-Semitism Redux

The current eruption of virulent anti-semitism and violence against Jews in France, makes it imperative that we recall the progressive Nazi legislation from 1933-1945 that resulted in the institution of draconian measures against the Jewish community and ultimately...

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The Mask of Nippon

Racial stereotypes predominated in Allied propaganda about Imperial Japan. This rather heavy-handed propaganda film was part of the National Film Board of Canada's 1942 World in Action series. Modeled after the popular American March of Time newsreels it...

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Lübeck Martyrs

In 1934 Karl Friedrich Stellbrink was appointed to the Luther Church in Lübeck. Although an early member  of the National Socialist German Worker's Party (NSDAP), he became disenchanted with the party when it began to profess anti-Church attitudes.  In 1936 he  was...

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Christianity in Wartime Japan

Church of Christ gathering, Japan 1940; Wikimedia Commons When Roman Catholic missionaries arrived in the 16th century, thousands of Japanese converted from Shinto/Buddhism to Catholicism. In the 17th century, Christianity was banned - followers and missionaries who...

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Christmas in the Third Reich

  Worshiping a Jewish messiah at Christmas time was problematic for Nazi Aryan ideology. Yuletide celebration with emphasis on the observance of the Germanic pre-Christian Winter Solstice was the official government line. Unofficially, most Christians and churches in...

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American Antisemitism

In a 1938 public opinion poll, 60 percent of  American respondents held a low opinion of Jews, labeling them “greedy,” “dishonest,” and “pushy.” Right-wing demagogues linked the Great Depression, the New Deal, President Roosevelt and the threat of war in Europe to the...

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Bishamon – God of War

Bishamon (毘沙門), is one of the the seven gods of good fortune in Japanese mythology. Originally a Buddhist deity from India, this god of warfare and protector of the righteous was popular during the rise of Japanese militarism in the 1930s....

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Father Charles Edward Coughlin

With a rich mellifluous voice, Father James E. Coughlin, a Roman Catholic priest in Michigan, broadcast a weekly radio show that was followed by millions during the Depression.  Staunchly anti-Communist, he warned of the "Bolshevism of America." Although he supported...

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Sun Goddess Amaterasu

As described in the Kojiki (record of ancient matters), the  Sun Goddess Amaterasu  sent her grandson to pacify the islands of Japan. His great-grandson became the (mythical) first Emperor Jimmu. The Showa Emperor Hirohito was viewed as a direct descendant of...

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Shinto

Most Japanese practiced both indigenous Shinto and Buddhism (imported from Korea in the 6th Century). In the late 19th Century, an ultranationalistic form of Shinto was promulgated, proclaiming the Emperor to be a direct descendant of divine beings. Although a human...

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American Religion

William Ashley Sunday (Billy Sunday), a popular outfielder in the National League during the 1880s, became the most celebrated and influential American evangelist during the first two decades of the 20th century. In the 1929-1935 sociological studies of...

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The Monkey Trial

Although the fundamentalist orator William Jennings Bryan won the case for the state of Tennessee, the immense publicity of the trial swung much national opinion toward Clarence Darrow in defense of modernism. While legislation prohibiting the teaching of evolutionary...

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