The Huffington Post | By Shadee Ashtari
Young children who are exposed to religion have a hard time differentiating between fact and fiction, according to a new study published in the July issue of Cognitive Science.
Researchers presented 5- and 6-year-old children from both public and parochial schools with three different types of stories -- religious, fantastical and realistic –- in an effort to gauge how well they could identify narratives with impossible elements as fictional.
The study found that, of the 66 participants, children who went to church or were enrolled in a parochial school were significantly less able than secular children to identify supernatural elements, such as talking animals, as fictional.
Activists say the Al-Qaeda breakaway group stoned a woman to death for adultery in an incident shrouded in 'mystery'
According to aljazeera, fighters from Al-Qaeda-breakaway group the Islamic State have stoned a woman to death for adultery, in the first such execution of its kind in rebel-held northern Syria.
The stoning, first reported by the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and confirmed to Al Jazeera by two activists, took place in a public square Thursday evening in the town of Tabaqa, Raqqa province. Activists said the woman was tried in an Islamic sharia court, but that witnesses to her alleged offense were never identified and that the man involved was not charged with any crime.
“Mystery surrounds the whole thing,” said Abu Khalil, an activist in Raqqa who runs the anti-Islamic State group Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently, which obtained a cell phone photograph that purports to depict the incident.
According to VOA, a court in Pakistan has sentenced a man to death on blasphemy charges.
Lawyers say a judge in the eastern city of Lahore rejected Mohammad Zulfiqar's defense of mental illness and convicted him for violating the country's blasphemy laws of insulting the Prophet Muhammad.
Zulfiqar was arrested for reportedly writing derogatory language against the Prophet on the walls of a public park in the Islampura area of Lahore in April of 2008.
WRITTEN BY MICKEY KEENAN AND MARK KOLSEN, GUEST WRITERS OF AAI NEWS TEAM
In a country that suppresses all forms of religious discussion, “scientific” studies about religion in China are almost impossible to conduct. The internet does, however, permit some measurement of Chinese religious sentiment, though even on the net Chinese citizens may be reluctant to speak openly.
What follows is one recent non-scientific study conducted by a courageous Chinese citizen who also interviewed several local experts on the subject. Her findings seem consistent with available sources on the subject.