We are all well aware that both India and China are rivals for supremacy in Asia and both are fishing for new strategies to tap to forge the alliances needed to strengthen that supremacy. If India and China nations that once put Buddhism aside for other priorities are now realizing that their answer for supremacy lies with Buddhism why has Sri Lanka’s policy makers not utilized this power which is under their very nose?

The official Facebook page of Israel’s embassy to Ireland this morning posted, and then abruptly deleted, a provocative message arguing that “hostile Palestinians” would “lynch” Jesus Christ and his mother, Mary, if they lived in today’s Bethlehem... The Facebook message, which begins “A thought for Christmas,” included an image of Jesus and Mary. It was live for about two hours before being deleted.

The India-China “battle for Buddha” has now reached Myanmar, with New Delhi sponsoring an International Conference on Buddhist Cultural Heritage in Yangon over the weekend, while Beijing has since last year been trying to leverage the legacy of “Shakya Muni” to connect with the religious majority in its south-western neighbour.

Nigeria has suspended all Hajj flights to Saudi Arabia after the authorities there deported more than 170 women who had arrived without a male escort... A Nigerian government delegation is going to Saudi Arabia to complain.

In his extensive dealings with Pyongyang, Moon revealed both the potential and the limitations of the hard-edged yet increasingly open policy towards North Korea that Japan, South Korea, and the United States embraced immediately after the Cold War.

“One often makes a remark and only later sees how true it is.” Ludwig Wittgenstein

In his review of Dennis R. Hoover and Douglas M. Johnston’s newly edited text Religion and Foreign Affairs, CPD Director Philip Seib notes the vital importance of an understanding of the role of faith in foreign affairs.

Particularly for practitioners of public diplomacy, understanding the role of religious faith in people’s lives is an essential part of crafting outreach efforts. In much of the world, secularism is viewed warily, seen as weakening the fabric of society, and so a respectful approach to religion is an essential element of diplomacy. Religion is not “mere sociology,” as the CIA reportedly referred to it prior to the 1979 Iranian revolution. Rather, it must be taken seriously as a foundation stone of international relations.