Tablet World

At the Platteklip Washhouse, Oranjezicht suburb in Cape Town an interfaith “Blessing of the Waters” ceremony will take place on 22 March, the World Water Day.

The re-emergence of the Russian Orthodox Church since the fall of the Soviet Union is well documented. But Bulgarian Christianity too has flourished since the demise of the Communist Party in December 1989, a month after the fall of the Berlin Wall.

The great student revolution happened in 1968. Or did it? If you are Paraguayan, the great student revolution happened in 2016. Asuncion’s top college Universidad Nacional was brought to a standstill for months last year by strikes and road blocks, as students demanded the sacking of corrupt officials who were bleeding the university of much-needed funds.

All the elements fuelling voter resentment across the Western world — and which Wilders surfs on — are present.

Vienna is not only synonymous with Strauss Waltzes and cosy cafés - where one can still sit all day with a single cup of coffee reading magazines and newspapers from all over the world. It is also a centre of international dialogue and espionage in the heart of Europe and an important information exchange hub.

Is it politically incorrect to delight in Japan? That may seem a strange question, but each time I have been to Tokyo the contradiction seems to loom that much larger between what you experience and see before you - the politeness, the spare elegance, the ingenuity- and what you know about the not so distant past.

Catholic cathedrals in Nairobi, the Kenyan capital, are thriving centres of religious beauty and faith. The East African metropolis has evolved as a melting pot of the religions with churches, temples or mosques standing near or next to one other.

I went to visit Pastor Patrick Mugadza in Harare Remand Prison this week. He bravely held up a placard at Victoria Falls in December 2015, which read: “Mr President your people are suffering!” They put him in jail for 17 nights for pointing that out to President Robert Mugabe and a group of visiting delegates as he arrived at a Zanu PF conference.

For a people with a reputation for being laid-back, Australians get in an awful twist about many of their public holidays - sometimes with good reason.

The tiny village of Antezana de Foronda in the green countryside of the Basque country has only 100 inhabitants but its sixteenth-century church St Michael the Archangel has made news headlines by undergoing a miraculous transformation from a dull neglected space into a palace illuminated from floor to ceiling with vibrant biblical and historical murals.


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