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Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly

A Look Ahead to the Year 2007/The Hajj (#1018)

Perspectives: "A Look Ahead to the Year 2007" - What religion stories are likely to make news in the New Year? E.J. Dionne, columnist for The Washington Post and a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, Jeffrey Goldberg, Washington correspondent for The New Yorker, and Rachel Zoll, religion writer for the Associated Press, join host Bob Abernethy for an annual discussion and analysis of the news stories predicted to make headlines in 2007. Among the topics discussed in this studio segment are: civil war in Iraq and the U.S. response; American intervention in re-establishing Israeli-Palestinian dialogue; the international and domestic policy agenda to be set by the new Democratic-controlled Congress; the shifting attitudes of evangelical Christians toward social and environmental issues; the threat of schism within the U.S. Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion's reaction to the Church's first female presiding bishop; the role of religion in the political process; Iran and Korea's nuclear programs; and Pope Benedict's efforts to restore the Catholic Church in Europe.
Belief and Practice: "The Hajj" - The Islamic ritual of "the Hajj," or spiritual journey to Mecca is underway in Saudi Arabia. Muslims who are physically and financially able to fulfill this obligation are expected to do so at least once in their lifetime. Over two million pilgrims are expected this year, including 30-40,000 from the United States, more than ever before. Preparations begin months in advance and special Hajj travel agencies offer package pricing including food, lodging and transportation. Imam Shaker Elsayed of Dar Al Hijrah Mosque in Falls Church, Virginia explains how Muslims prepare for this holy observance and the obligations of the "Fifth Pillar of Islam." [26 minutes] Closed Captioning

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Series Description: This series provides in-depth coverage of the top religion and ethics stories of the week as well as religious and ethical perspectives on domestic and foreign events and the arts. Hosted by veteran journalist Bob Abernethy, the series brings viewers breaking news through live and taped reports filed by a team of correspondents in the field and interviews with prominent newsmakers.

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