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Religious toys offer holy alternatives

UPI News Service, 12/22/2006 

A North Andover, Mass., woman is offering religion-friendly alternatives for parents who don't approve of secular toys.

Rebecca Sachs Norris, an assistant professor of religious studies at Merrimack College, said her line of religious toys includes Missionary Conquest, a Risk-like game geared towards Evangelicals; Fulla, an observant Muslim doll manufactured by the same Chinese subcontractor that makes Barbies; and Catholic-Opoly, a game that replaces the money-grubbing theme of Monopoly with goals of building churches and cathedrals to spread the gospel, the Boston Globe reported Friday.

"What's fascinating to me," said Norris, "is how global commerce and religion have come together around these games."

Norris said Fulla, who resembles a Barbie with darker hair and a less-exaggerated figure, has become a popular item among Muslims, selling more than one million dolls. The doll comes complete with a head covering, prayer beads and a prayer mat.

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Copyright 2006 by United Press International

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