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Among Christians, Anglicans are the most consistently authoritarian and conservative, while Catholics are more likely to be left-wing

Gere serves up a haven for vegetarians

Actor and Buddhist activist backs campaign to make Indian town a meat-free zone

Banned Buddhist monks on the run from police

Followers of a famous Buddhist monk have abandoned the temple in southern Vietnam where they had sought sanctuary and are on the run from police.

Independent Appeal: Sri Lanka's bitter enemies learn to live in harmony

After years of conflict, warring factions now come together in search of solutions, reports Andrew Buncombe from Polonnaruwa

On The Road: The hitch-hiker's guide to an elusive Spanish monastery

"Everybody hitchhikes in Orgiva," Sophia said matter-of-factly, before dropping me off. Not wanting to seem ungrateful to my Austrian host, I restrain my horror-movie imagination and put my faith in humanity for once.

British 'Indiana Jones' finds missing legs of 900-year-old Buddhist statue

It sounds like the plot of an Indiana Jones movie: an archaeology professor with little more to go on than a yellowing photograph discovers part of a 900-year-old statue deep in the Cambodian jungle, rewriting history in the process.

How the happy kingdom in the clouds lost its smile

Bhutan has made its people's happiness a national priority. But a spate of suicides suggests it is struggling to cope with the modern world

Historical general election looms in the east

If you want Japan to become a theocracy, launch a pre-emptive strike on North Korea, and rearm for war with China, then... Vote Happiness

A Fraction of the Whole, By Steve Toltz

Henry James described the novel as a loose, baggy monster – and they don't come much looser, baggier or more monstrous than this.

On The Road: Break for a Buddhist retreat in Beara

Today my mother and I find solace in enormous views of the Atlantic Ocean from the floor-to-ceiling windows of a cottage at Dzogchen Beara. This Tibetan Buddhist retreat is perched on magnificent cliffs on the Beara Peninsula, and our drive here around the lovely coastline from Bantry was continuously lit by sunshine. It calmed my mother, who was full of trepidation at her first visit to a Buddhist retreat. Now, we are struck by the vista, letting our conversations trail into nowhere as it catches our attention mid-sentence.

Buddha Da, By Anne Donovan

An engaging account of a Glasgow father's unpopular conversion to Buddhism, Buddha Da recalls the early stories of Roddy Doyle in its affectionate portrait of a normal family life running up against the ridiculous.

Being Emily, By Anne Donovan

In her mother's absence, an overwhelming weight hangs over the house where the sixth-former Fiona is charged with caring for her younger twin sisters and their depressed father. Fiona seeks comfort in fantasies about the life of her heroine, Emily Brontë, and there are many intriguing lines of reference between Wuthering Heights and Being Emily, from a dead mother to a devastating romance. Fiona develops a relationship with the pensive Jas, a Sikh boy who is also something of an outsider and knows about grief. But, on meeting Jas's elder brother, the enchanting musician Amrik, Fiona feels a splinter of ice in her heart toward Jas and a spark of attraction for Amrik.

The origins of Darwin's theory: It may have evolved in Tibet

Charles Darwin has been accused of many things – but never before of being a closet Tibetan Buddhist.

Monlam's colourful enlightenment

Taking place on the 4th-11th day of the first Tibetan Lunar month, Monlam, the Great Prayer Festival, is one of the most important festivals in Tibetan Buddhism. Pictures of this year's festival display the spectacular processions and colourful outfits of Tibet's Buddhist monks.

Tea and sympathy in the heart of Sri Lanka

On a journey to the heart of the troubled nation of Sri Lanka, Sophie Lam finds serenity amid ornate temples, ancient reservoirs and fields of emerald green
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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 15 May 2015
Greece debt crisis: EU 'family' needs to forgive rather than punish an impoverished state

EU 'family' needs to forgive rather than punish an impoverished state

An outbreak of malaria in Greece four years ago helps us understand the crisis, says Robert Fisk
Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge: The traumatised kibbutz on Israel's front line, still recovering from last summer's war with Hamas

Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge

The traumatised kibbutz on Israel's front line, still recovering from last summer's war with Hamas
How to survive electrical storms: What are the chances of being hit by lightning?

Heavy weather

What are the chances of being hit by lightning?
World Bodypainting Festival 2015: Bizarre and brilliant photos celebrate 'the body as art'

World Bodypainting Festival 2015

Bizarre and brilliant photos celebrate 'the body as art'
alt-j: A private jet, a Mercury Prize and Latitude headliners

Don't call us nerds

Craig Mclean meets alt-j - the math-folk act who are flying high
How to find gold: The Californian badlands, digging out crevasses and sifting sludge

How to find gold

Steve Boggan finds himself in the Californian badlands, digging out crevasses and sifting sludge
Singing accents: From Herman's Hermits and David Bowie to Alesha Dixon

Not born in the USA

Lay off Alesha Dixon: songs sound better in US accents, even our national anthem
10 best balsamic vinegars

10 best balsamic vinegars

Drizzle it over salad, enjoy it with ciabatta, marinate vegetables, or use it to add depth to a sauce - this versatile staple is a cook's best friend
Greece says 'No': A night of huge celebrations in Athens as voters decisively back Tsipras and his anti-austerity stance in historic referendum

Greece referendum

Greeks say 'No' to austerity and plunge Europe into crisis
Ten years after the 7/7 terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?

7/7 bombings anniversary

Ten years after the terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?
Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has created

Versace haute couture review

Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has ever created
No hope and no jobs, so Gaza's young risk their lives, climb the fence and run for it

No hope and no jobs in Gaza

So the young risk their lives and run for it
Fashion apps: Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers

Fashion apps

Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers
The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'