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January 1970 Archives

Mormon-Affiliated University Lifts YouTube Ban

posted by akornfeld

Provo, Utah – Brigham Young University, the Mormon church school where students agree to live a chaste and virtuous life, has lifted its almost three-year policy of blocking access to YouTube. Administrators lifted the ban on Friday, citing an increasing […]

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Trial Opens in Infant’s Faith-Healing Death

posted by akornfeld

OREGON CITY, Ore. — Prosecution and defense attorneys differed sharply Monday (June 29) on what led to the death of 15-month-old Ava Worthington. Ava, malnourished and in obvious distress, “died a needless death” because her parents, Raylene and Carl Worthington, […]

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Pastor Quits Riverside Church After Only Two Months

posted by akornfeld

The Rev. Brad Braxton, senior minister of New York City’s famed Riverside Church, has resigned just two months after his installation after a nasty fight with his new flock landed the church in court. Braxton’s abrupt departure comes amidst congregational […]

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Holocaust Meeting Wants Better Care of Survivors

posted by nsymmonds

PRAGUE – An international conference assessing efforts to return property and possessions stolen by the Nazis to their rightful owners or heirs said Monday that caring for Holocaust survivors is a matter of the “utmost urgency.” The five-day meeting attended […]

Pope: Scientific Tests Confirm Ancient Remains Are St Paul’s

posted by nsymmonds

Rome (dpa) – In a surprise announcement Pope Benedict XVI has said scientific tests carried out on an ancient Roman tomb confirm the long-held Roman Catholic belief that it contains the remains of Saint Paul. Benedict on Sunday evening told […]

Designer Labels Give the Abaya a Makeover

posted by nsymmonds

PARIS – A redheaded horsewoman in a flowing, made-to-measure Islamic gown atop a snorting steed opened what can only be deemed Paris’ most unusual fashion show of late. The display, a sumptuous affair held Thursday at the French capital’s George […]

Holocaust Assets Conference Opens in Prague

posted by nsymmonds

PRAGUE – Holocaust survivors, Jewish groups and experts gathered in Prague on Friday to assess efforts to return property and possessions stolen by the Nazis to their rightful owners or heirs. The five-day conference, which brings together delegates from 49 […]

Questions and Answers on Celebrity Worship

posted by nsymmonds

When sex symbol Rudolph Valentino died at the age of 31 in 1926, riots broke out as tens of thousands of mourners tried to cram themselves into a public viewing in New York. It was, says Emory University’s Gary Laderman, […]

Lawyer Disbarred Over Missing Holocaust Victim Funds

posted by akornfeld

Trenton, N.J. – Only a few years ago, Edward Fagan was a world-renowned lawyer for the underdog, brash and audacious enough to take on Swiss banks and even whole countries to win judgments for Holocaust survivors and victims of South […]

Christian Publisher Still Plans Kate Gosselin Book

posted by akornfeld

Should a Christian publisher still release a $30 book from one of the namesake stars of “Jon & Kate Plus 8″ promising “an inside look at one of America’s most close-knit families” after the couple has filed for divorce amid […]

No Longer Episcopalians, Anglicans Launch Own Church

posted by akornfeld

Plano, Texas — Conservative Anglicans disenchanted with the liberal drift in their U.S. and Canadian churches say they are confident that a new church body launched this week will one day gain a seat in the worldwide Anglican Communion. The […]

France to Consider Banning Burqas

posted by nsymmonds

PARIS (RNS) Five years after France banned Muslim girls from wearing headscarves in public schools, the government has launched a probe into another Muslim garment — all-covering burqas or niqabs — that may lead to a similar injunction in public […]

Obama to Meet the Pope While in Italy for G-8

posted by nsymmonds

VATICAN CITY – Pope Benedict XVI and President Barack Obama will meet on July 10, a much-anticipated Vatican audience with a president under attack by some American bishops for his support of abortion rights. Vatican spokesman the Rev. Federico Lombardi […]

Evangelicals Tap New Top Lobbyist

posted by nsymmonds

WASHINGTON — The nation’s largest evangelical umbrella group has tapped a veteran expert on refugee settlement and international relief efforts as its new top lobbyist in the nation’s capital. Galen Carey was announced Wednesday (June 24) as director of government […]

‘Stoning’ Film Sends Message About Islam, But Which Message?

posted by akornfeld

While chaotic post-election demonstrations threaten to tarnish the image of Iran and its hard-line Islamic government, Hollywood filmmakers are releasing a drama they hope will send an opposite message about Islam itself. Centered around the stoning of a woman unjustly […]

Southern Baptists Meet to Combat Membership Malaise

posted by akornfeld

Southern Baptists opened their annual meeting Tuesday (June 23) with calls to turn around plummeting baptism rates, even as researchers warned that the nation’s largest Protestant body could lose half its size by mid-century. “I really do believe that we […]

Catholic Nun, Evangelical to Lead Presbyterian Seminaries

posted by akornfeld

Two seminaries in the Presbyterian Church (USA) have branched out to find new leaders, with one appointing a Catholic nun as dean and the other naming a prominent evangelical as president. When Sister Elizabeth Liebert takes over as dean of […]

Oregon Parents to Stand Trial in Daughter’s Faith-Healing Death

posted by nsymmonds

OREGON CITY, Ore. — Ava Worthington died surrounded by loved ones who believed their prayers would heal the young child. As the 15-month-old girl struggled to breathe, church members anointed her with oil and pleaded with God to provide a […]

New Mormon Library Will Preserve History of the Church

posted by nsymmonds

The Salt Lake Tribune – June 22, 2009 Jun. 22–Standing in the new LDS Church History Library behind a large wooden pulpit, LDS President Thomas S. Monson relived his past. “This pulpit, in part, tells the story of my own […]

Unitarians Say They’re ‘Standing on the Side of Love’

posted by nsymmonds

(RNS) Members of Unitarian Universalist churches are unveiling a campaign against hate crimes at their General Assembly this week (June 24-29), calling on their congregations and those of other faiths to advocate for equality and to curb violence. The Unitarian […]

U.S. Religious Freedom Panel Denied Visas to Visit India

posted by nsymmonds

WASHINGTON (RNS) Indian government officials have denied visas to commissioners of a U.S. religious freedom watchdog panel for the second time since 2001. Members of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) were forced to cancel their plans to […]

Revised Catholic Statement on Conversion Worries Jews

posted by nsymmonds

(UNDATED) U.S. Catholic bishops tried Thursday (June 18) to clarify the Catholic Church’s relationship with Judaism, saying Jews will not be targets of evangelism, but the church reserves the right to share its faith and welcome Jewish converts. The bishops […]

Obama Talks Immigration at Hispanic Prayer Breakfast

posted by nsymmonds

Religion News Service WASHINGTON — President Obama committed to comprehensive immigration reform Friday (June 19) at the National Hispanic Prayer Breakfast in a speech that was laden with religious language but short on policy specifics. “We know there is much […]

Faith-Based Beliefs About Modesty Create Challenges for Swimming Pools

posted by nsymmonds

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — When Zahra Khan arrived at Massachusetts Institute of Technology from her native Ottawa, Canada, in 2005, she looked for a swimming pool where she wouldn’t have to worry about showing too much skin. The only options were […]

Pope Deplores Priests’ Infidelities to Their Vows

posted by nsymmonds

VATICAN CITY – Pope Benedict XVI deplored priests who were unfaithful to their vows and called Thursday for a “frank and complete acknowledgment” of the Catholic Church’s weakness in a letter to priests around the globe. The letter was the […]

Conservatives Criticize Obama Move on Gay Federal Benefits

posted by nsymmonds

WASHINGTON (RNS) President Obama signed an executive order Wednesday (June 17) expanding benefits available to same-sex partners of federal employees, a move that was not unexpected but nonetheless criticized by social conservative groups. “Many of our government’s hard-working, dedicated, and […]

Annual Hindu Pilgrimage Begins in Indian Kashmir

posted by nsymmonds

SRINAGAR, India – Thousands of Hindu devotees began an annual pilgrimage Tuesday to an icy cave in Indian-controlled Kashmir amid tight security in the Muslim-majority region, officials said. At least half a million devotees are expected to make the pilgrimage […]

Israeli Company Launches Kosher Search Engine

posted by nsymmonds

JERUSALEM (RNS) A new Internet search engine is making it possible for ultra-Orthodox Jews who use computers to obtain information online– but not on the Sabbath, when the site shuts down. Dubbed Koogle (a cross between Google and kugel, the […]

Celebrity Priest Marries Former Girlfriend in Fla.

posted by nsymmonds

(RNS) A hugely popular Miami priest, who left the Catholic Church when he could no longer abide by his vow of celibacy and his romantic relationship became tabloid fodder, married his girlfriend of two years Tuesday (June 16). The Rev. […]

Report Says Terrorism Finance Laws Hurt Muslim Charities

posted by nsymmonds

DALLAS – Federal laws targeting the financing of terrorism are vague and have given the government unchecked power over American Muslim charities, the American Civil Liberties Union said in a new report. The rules have made American Muslims fearful that […]

Mormon Missionaries Go Online in Search of New Converts

posted by nsymmonds

c. 2009 Salt Lake Tribune PROVO, Utah — Tyson Boardman sits before the computer screen at the LDS Missionary Training Center, discussing Mormonism with Jason and Travis in two Internet conversations at the same time. Why do people say Mormons […]

Vatican China Envoy to Get Tough with Beijing

posted by nsymmonds

VATICAN CITY – The Vatican’s top envoy for China says the time has come for the Holy See to get tough with Beijing and not compromise over religious freedom, saying relations are taking a “worrisome slide” for the worse. Hong […]

Doctor Who Served Popes for Over 30 years, Retires

posted by nsymmonds

Deutsche Presse-Agentur (dpa) – June 15, 2009 Vatican City (dpa) – The Vatican announced Monday the retirement of long-time papal personal physician, Renato Buzzonetti, who assisted Pope John Paul II following the failed 1981 assassination attempt and at his deathbed […]

Prosecutor in French Scientology Trial Seeks Ban

posted by nsymmonds

PARIS – The prosecutor in a French trial involving the Church of Scientology has asked that the group be banned in France and handed a hefty fine if convicted on fraud and other charges. The persecutor’s office has asked that […]

Shy Bishop’s Career Buffeted by Abuse Scandal, Katrina

posted by nsymmonds

NEW ORLEANS — Conventional wisdom holds that history requires years to render judgment on leaders, but this much is sure of New Orleans Archbishop Alfred Hughes: The two greatest catastrophes ever to befall the Catholic Church in New Orleans both […]

Jehovah’s Witnesses More Likely to Die in Childbirth, Study Finds

posted by nsymmonds

(RNS) Pregnant women who are Jehovah’s Witnesses are six times more likely to die during childbirth and three times more likely to have serious complications than the general population, according to a new study by Dutch researchers. All of the […]

DOJ Moves to Dismiss First Fed Gay Marriage Case

posted by nsymmonds

LOS ANGELES – The U.S. Justice Department has moved to dismiss the first gay marriage case filed in federal court, saying it is not the right venue to tackle legal questions raised by a couple already married in California. The […]

Woman Defends Book on Friendship with John Paul II

posted by nsymmonds

WARSAW, Poland – To him, she was “My Dear Dusia” and he signed his letters “Br” – short for brother. She was one of a handful of people by his bedside when he died, and visited him in the hospital […]

Study: Megachurch Attenders Tend to Be Younger

posted by nsymmonds

Despite their reputation as symbols of baby-boomer America, Protestant megachurches attract a younger crowd and more singles than the average Protestant church, according to large-scale study released Tuesday. The survey also found distressing news for a movement that took off […]

Religious Charities Gain in a Down Year

posted by nsymmonds

(RNS) Religious organizations reported a 5.5 increase in donations last year, a marked contrast from the nationwide 2-percent decline in charitable giving, according to a study by Giving USA Foundation. Religious congregations, which accounted for 35 percent of the total […]

NIV Translator John Stek Dies at 84

posted by nsymmonds

(RNS) The Rev. John Stek considered Bible translation a never-ending work, once noting, “Even the most durable words take on different nuances as culture changes.” Stek attended diligently to those nuances, serving for nearly 45 years on the translation committee […]

Gunman Shoots, Kills, Guard at Holocaust Museum

posted by nsymmonds

WASHINGTON – An elderly gunman opened fire with a rifle inside the crowded U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum on Wednesday, killing a security guard before being shot. Authorities said they were investigating a white supremacist as the suspect. The 89-year-old assailant […]

Christian Leaders Push for Immigration Law

posted by nsymmonds

WASHINGTON (RNS) Christian leaders, including three members of President Obama’s faith advisory council, on Wednesday (June 10) pushed the president to make good on his promise of comprehensive immigration reform. The Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, Noel Castellanos, the Rev. Vashti McKenzie […]

Appeals Court Declares Ten Commandments Monument Unconstitutional

posted by nsymmonds

(RNS) A federal appeals court has declared the erection of a Ten Commandments monument unconstitutional, citing the “unusual” circumstances of its placement on the courthouse grounds in a small Oklahoma county. In its Monday (June 8) ruling, the 10th U.S. […]

‘Mindfulness’ Meditation Gaining Medical Acceptance

posted by nsymmonds

Challenges are landing fast and furious on Capitol Hill. So Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Ohio, feels he has to arrive at the top of his game every day. And Ryan says he has found a way to do that: He meditates […]

Study Finds No Similar Abortion Rates Among Religious Students

posted by nsymmonds

(RNS) Unwed young women who attend or have attended religious schools are more likely to have abortions than their public school peers, according to a new study. The study also found “no significant link” between abortion and personal religiosity — […]

ADL Reports Fourth Annual Decrease in Anti-Semitic Attacks

posted by nsymmonds

(RNS) The volume of physical assaults, vandalism and harassment against Jews decreased for the fourth consecutive year in 2008, according to a recent audit that tracks anti-Semitic incidents. The Anti-Defamation League (ADL), whose aim is to counteract prejudice against Jews, […]

Pope Meets with Irish Churchmen After Abuse Report

posted by nsymmonds

VATICAN CITY – Pope Benedict XVI expressed solidarity with victims abused by clergy in Ireland in a meeting with the country’s top churchmen Friday, following a report detailing decades of rapes, humiliation and beatings at church-run reform schools, the Vatican […]

At Death Camp, Obama Says Evil Must be Confronted

posted by nsymmonds

WEIMAR, Germany – President Barack Obama witnessed the Nazi ovens of the Buchenwald concentration camp Friday, its clock tower frozen at the time of liberation, and said the leaders of today must not rest against the spread of evil. The […]

Episcopal ‘Buddhist Bishop’ Appears Headed for Defeat

posted by nsymmonds

(RNS) The election of an Episcopal bishop in Michigan who has practiced Buddhist meditation and changed traditional church prayers appears headed for defeat, according to an unofficial tally kept by a newspaper reporter. The Rev. Kevin Thew Forrester was elected […]

Pastor: Kan. Church Begins Healing After Shooting

posted by akornfeld

Wichita, Kan. – The church where late-term abortion provider George Tiller was killed is bringing in counselors to help members and has received supportive messages from around the world, the senior pastor said. The Rev. Lowell Michelson of Reformation Lutheran […]

Obama, Once Fearful of Muslim Ties, Now Embraces Them

posted by akornfeld

Washington — Dogged by persistent but untrue rumors that he was a closet Muslim, Barack Obama’s presidential campaign carefully sidestepped questions about his Muslim ancestry and asked two Muslim women in headscarves to take seats away from the cameras. But […]

Gay Bishop Says Faith Groups Key to N.H. Gay Marriage Vote

posted by akornfeld

New Hampshire became the sixth state to legalize gay marriage on Wednesday (June 3) in part because faith leaders testified that the measure would not impinge on religious rights, according to V. Gene Robinson, the state’s openly gay Episcopal bishop. […]

Asra Nomani Promotes Moderate Islam

posted by nsymmonds

WASHINGTON — Not long after 9/11, Wall Street Journal reporter Asra Nomani was working in Pakistan when her friend and housemate, Daniel Pearl, was abducted and killed by Islamic extremists. His death — and the version of Islam that seemed […]

Eco-Theologian Thomas Berry Dies at 94

posted by nsymmonds

(RNS) The Rev. Thomas Berry, a Passionist monk who made it his life’s work to explore the connection between humans and the earth, died at a retirement community in his native Greensboro, N.C., on Monday (June 1). He was 94. […]

First Orthodox Rabbis Ordained in Germany Since Holocaust

posted by nsymmonds

(RNS) Germany saw the ordination of its own Orthodox rabbis on Tuesday (June 2), a first in the more than six decades since the Nazi Holocaust and World War II. Broadcast live on German television, the historic ordination of Zsolt […]

Church-Going ‘Martyr’ Changes Dynamics of Abortion Debate

posted by akornfeld

Dr. George Tiller’s murder on Sunday (May 31) morning in the lobby of his Lutheran church counters the secular image of a late-term abortion provider, pinning him more as a churchgoing “martyr” than a godless murderer. Shot and killed while […]

RCA to Consider Belhar Confession, More Talk on Gay Issues

posted by akornfeld

Holland, Mich. – For the first time in 390 years, the Reformed Church in America has a confession to make. The Belhar Confession, a declaration of human unity, justice and reconciliation that was drafted in 1982 by Reformed churches in […]

Religious Academics Award Religion Reporters

posted by akornfeld

Religion writers for The New York Times and the Waterbury (Conn.) Republican-American are among the top winners of the American Academy of Religion’s prizes for in-depth religion reporting. Laurie Goodstein of the Times won the 2009 contest for journalists at […]

With Abortion Doctor Dead, Do Conservatives Share Blame?

posted by nsymmonds

(UNDATED) With the murder Sunday (May 31) of Dr. George Tiller, one of the nation’s few late-term abortion doctors, supporters of abortion rights are questioning whether there is a connection between his death and the rhetoric of the anti-abortion movement. […]

Sotomayor Would Be 6th Catholic on Supreme Court

posted by nsymmonds

NEW YORK – If Judge Sonia Sotomayor is confirmed to the U.S. Supreme Court, she will be the sixth Roman Catholic of the nine justices. But far from forming any unified bloc, the justices would represent the vast diversity of […]

Wikipedia Bans Scientology from Editing Entries

posted by nsymmonds

(RNS) Wikipedia, the user-edited Internet encyclopedia, has banned the Church of Scientology from editing entries about the controversial religion. Internet addresses known to be “owned or operated by the Church of Scientology and its associates, broadly interpreted, are to be […]

Previous Posts

Former Muslim Wants to See Change
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=348P3ooQUPk   Author and former Muslim Ayaan Hirsi Ali spoke at the National Press Club on April 7th and said there needs to be five amendments to Islam. She said “individuals” within Islam today ...

posted 9:08:12am Apr. 10, 2015 | read full post »

Hispanics turning evangelical, Jews secular
Worship service attendance is up in New York City, but down among young adult Jews, according to recent studies. On the other hand, fewer Spanish-speaking teens are attending Catholic mass, but more are showing up at Evangelical ...

posted 3:10:30pm Nov. 05, 2013 | read full post »

Billy Graham: I know where I'm going
“Daddy thinks the Lord will allow him to live to 95,” said Franklin Graham recently. It was not a prophecy but a hope, Franklin explained, ...

posted 10:02:01am Oct. 24, 2013 | read full post »

Are All These Christians' Complaints of Persecution Just So Much Empty Whining?
The headlines are alarming: “Catholic-Owned Company Wins Religious Freedom Court Decision,” “Death Toll Rises to 65 in Boko Haram Attack on Students,” “Little Sisters Catholic Charity Victimized By Obamacare,” “Christians Sought ...

posted 2:41:26am Oct. 07, 2013 | read full post »

How can Christians defend themselves against today's random violence?
So, a crazed gunman opens fire and you’re caught in the middle. How can you survive? Heroes come in all sorts of packages. And they wield all sorts of defensive weapons. Such as guns and Jesus. Sometimes both at the same time. [caption ...

posted 2:53:48pm Sep. 27, 2013 | read full post »

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