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Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly is a production of THIRTEEN for WNET. Visit www.pbs.org/religionandethics for additional information. Show #1638 is fed over PBS on Friday, May 24 at 5:00 p.m. (check local listings).

Decline of Buddhism – Thailand is 95% Buddhist, but it is estimated that in the last thirty years the number of monks has declined by more than half.  Lucky Severson reports that one reason is economic prosperity and consumerism; another is that while young boys at one time became monks to get free schooling at the temple, Thailand now offers twelve years of free education.

Bobby McFerrin – Ten-time Grammy Award-winning artist Bobby McFerrin has just released a new album, “spirityouall,” which includes his adaptions of traditional African-American spirituals and original devotional songs that he wrote.  McFerrin says the new project reflects his deeply-held Christian faith and talks with Kim Lawton about spirituality and the power of music.

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