Monday, February 21, 2005

"The blessing of Lono"
Hawaiian prison inmates manage to follow traditional religion a long way from home. (New York Times, registration required.)

The incongruities are piled up, thick and mysterious: these inmates, many of them not particularly devoted to any faith, have found God - or gods, rather - in a medium-security private prison in the land of the Cheyenne and Arapaho after being locked up for robbery, drug dealing and other felonies. They have been helped not only by native religious teachers, community organizations and legal advocates back home, but also by volunteer ministers from the United Church of Christ, a denomination whose roots include the Congregationalist missionaries who tried so hard to destroy the Hawaiian religion two centuries ago.


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