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February 2011 Archives

Displaced New Zealand Churches Mourn Their Dead

posted by editor

CHRISTCHURCH, New Zealand (RNS/ENInews) Worshippers gathered outdoors on Sunday (Feb. 27) after an earthquake ravaged New Zealand’s second-largest city, meeting in unfamiliar churches and next to damaged buildings to reflect, pray, mourn and give thanks. The death toll from the […]

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Publisher Backs Off Warning Label for Evangelical Books

posted by editor

(RNS) Southern Baptist bookstores have quietly suspended a four-year-old program that warned customers to read with “discernment” books by several up-and-coming authors whose books “could be considered inconsistent with historical evangelical theology.” Chris Rodgers, the director of product standards and […]

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Age-Old Lent Gets a 21st-Century Makeover

posted by editor

(RNS) For Janis Galvin fasting for Lent has long meant saying no to candy for the 40 days before Easter. But when the season begins this year on March 9, it’s apt to mean something more: walking when she’d rather […]

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Alumni Defend Paddling at Catholic School

posted by editor

NEW ORLEANS (RNS) One by one, alumni of St. Augustine High School took the microphone on Thursday (Feb. 24), recalling one paddling at the hands of a St. Augustine teacher that turned them around and taught them a lesson. The […]

‘Thoroughly Radicalized’ Student Sentenced to Five Years

posted by editor

LONDON (RNS) A Muslim student described by a judge as “thoroughly radicalized” has been sentenced to five years in prison in Britain for creating terrorist movies and “inflammatory” videos he fed to the Internet. A jury in London’s Old Bailey […]

For Buddhist Master, You Are What (and How) You Eat

posted by editor

By NANCY HAUGHT c. 2011 Religion News Service CLATSKANIE, Ore. (RNS) It’s Friday night at Great Vow Zen Monastery. Supper’s over and Noble Silence, the quiet that stretches from bedtime through breakfast, is still two hours away. Two dozen people […]

Shattered Churches Yield Their Dead in New Zealand

posted by editor

CHRISTCHURCH, New Zealand (RNS/ENInews) Churches shattered by a 6.3-magnitude earthquake were yielding up their dead on Friday (Feb. 25) as clergy and parishioners grieved and searched for places to worship on Sunday. The overall death toll from the Feb. 22 […]

Jews Hope Vegas Will Draw Lost Members Back to the Fold

posted by editor

(RNS) A coalition of American Jewish groups are placing their bets on Las Vegas, a destination they hope will simultaneously lure back young adults and groom their next generation of leaders. More than 1,200 22- to 45-year-olds have signed up […]

Islam Dominated Religion Coverage in 2010

posted by editor

(RNS) Islam was the most frequent topic of religion news coverage in 2010, as the media doubled the amount of time and space devoted to religion compared to 2009. An analysis by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life […]

When Israel Was in Egypt’s Land…

posted by editor

(RNS) Egypt and Israel aren’t your typical neighbors with an occasional across-the-fence feud. The complex relationship between these two nations and peoples that began more than 3,200 years ago is one of the world’s oldest sagas. The Bible alone contains […]

If Obama Won’t Fight Gay Marriage, Conservatives Will

posted by editor

By ADELLE M. BANKS c. 2011 Religion News Service WASHINGTON (RNS) If President Obama and the U.S. Department of Justice no longer want to defend the Defense of Marriage Act from challenges by gay rights activists, who will? Leading conservative […]

Forgiveness Scholar Opens Up on Role of Faith

posted by editor

By FRANCIS X. ROCCA c. 2011 Religion News Service VATICAN CITY (RNS) For more than a quarter of a century, psychologist Robert D. Enright has been a pioneer in the scientific study of forgiveness — the kind of guy Time […]

U.S. Rabbis Blast Israel Over New Conversion Rules

posted by editor

By MICHELE CHABIN c. 2011 Religion News Service JERUSALEM (RNS) Nearly 100 American Orthodox rabbis have signed a letter demanding that the conversions they perform outside Israel be recognized — at least for immigration purposes — by Israel’s Interior Ministry. […]

Catholic Bishops Back Wis. Union Protesters

posted by editor

WASHINGTON (RNS) The U.S. Catholic bishops on Thursday (Feb. 24) threw their moral weight behind the pro-union protesters in Wisconsin, saying the rights of workers do not abate in difficult economic times. “The debates over worker representation and collective bargaining […]

Judge Rejects Christians’ Health Care Suit

posted by editor

(RNS) A federal judge on Tuesday (Feb. 22) dismissed a lawsuit filed by Christians who argue that President Obama’s health care overhaul violates their religious freedom. The Christians said they believe that God will heal them from disease and that […]

Sex Abuse Charges Put Catholic Prosecutor Front and Center

posted by editor

By ELIZABETH EVANS c. 2011 Religion News Service PHILADELPHIA (RNS) For Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams, leading the sex abuse prosecution that has roiled this city’s Catholic community is not an attack on the church in which he was raised, […]

Supreme Court Rejects 10 Commandments Case

posted by editor

WASHINGTON(RNS) The Supreme Court on Tuesday (Feb. 22) chose not to reexamine its decision to strike down displays of the Ten Commandments in two Kentucky courthouses. The high court ruled in 2005 that the Ten Commandments displays outside two county […]

Obama Drops Defense of Anti-Gay-Marriage Law

posted by editor

WASHINGTON (RNS) The Obama administration announced on Wednesday (Feb. 23) it will no longer defend the Defense of Marriage Act, a nearly 15-year-old law that defines marriage as heterosexual unions. In a letter to Congress, Attorney General Eric Holder said […]

Religious Voices Enter Wisconsin Union Debate

posted by editor

By NICOLE NEROULIAS c. 2011 Religion News Service (RNS) The pro-union rallies in Wisconsin have a retro feel to them — particularly for people of faith. Clergy and faith-based groups were historically on the front lines of the American labor […]

Muslims and ACLU Sue FBI Over Mosque Surveillance

posted by editor

(RNS) Is sending a secret informant into a mosque in search of terrorists proactive policing, or a violation of worshippers’ civil rights? That’s the question a federal judge will have to answer after the American Civil Liberties Union and the […]

Zondervan CEO Leaving Christian Publisher

posted by editor

CASCADE TOWNSHIP, Mich. (RNS) Zondervan CEO Maureen “Moe” Girkins will step down March 11, the Grand Rapids-area publisher has announced. A search for a new CEO will begin immediately, according to a statement released by the company. The company declined […]

Christian Movie Draws a (Political) Crowd

posted by editor

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.(RNS) Mixing science and religion seems a good recipe for on-screen fireworks. Add politics and things will erupt off the screen, too. “The Genesis Code,” a film about college students trying to reconcile creationism and evolution, has been […]

Number of Catholics Worldwide Edged Up, Vatican Says

posted by editor

VATICAN CITY (RNS) The number of Catholics in the world edged up 1 percent in 2009, the Vatican said, bringing to 1.18 billion the number of adherents of the world’s largest church. The statistics appear in the latest edition of […]

Oregon Bill Would End Protections for Faith Healers

posted by editor

PORTLAND, Ore. (RNS) Oregon prosecutors and lawmakers endorsed a bill Monday (Feb. 21) that would remove special legal protection for parents who treat seriously ill children with faith healing instead of providing medical treatment. Clackamas County District Attorney John Foote […]

Suit Accuses Televangelist of Breaking Moral Clause

posted by editor

(RNS) Christian publisher Strang Communications has sued evangelist Benny Hinn, claiming he violated a moral clause in a book agreement and owes the company more than $250,000. “Strang discovered that Mr. Hinn was engaged in a public, romantic and otherwise […]

Christians Concerned about Conscience Clause

posted by editor

By ADELLE M. BANKS c. 2011 Religion News Service WASHINGTON (RNS) Catholic bishops and Christian medical groups are “disappointed” that the Obama administration has rescinded Bush-era conscience clauses for health care workers The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services […]

Religious Groups Fight for Tax Deductions

posted by editor

By RICHARD YEAKLEY c. 2011 Religion News Service (RNS) For the third time in three years President Obama’s proposed budget will attempt to reduce tax deductions for high-end charitable donors, and for the third time nonprofits and religious organizations are […]

Budget Battles Disregard the Vulnerable

posted by editor

By TOM EHRICH c. 2011 Religion News Service INDIANAPOLIS (RNS) My sister and I stood in the assisted-living apartment set up for our 94-year-old father and realized the moment had passed. He needs to be in the health care unit […]

Marriage Seminar Sparks Chick-fil-A Boycott

posted by editor

By DIANA FISHLOCK c. 2011 Religion News Service HARRISBURG, Pa. (RNS) Amy Goropoulos’ stomach and her ethics do not agree on Chick-fil-A. She used to visit the restaurant with her husband and coworkers, but she recently quit the chicken cold […]

Jesuits Sued Over Sex Abuse Bankruptcy

posted by editor

By LYNNE TERRY c. 2011 Religion News Service PORTLAND, Ore. (RNS) Lawyers representing a group of people who accuse Jesuit priests of sexual abuse filed 37 lawsuits Thursday in bankruptcy court, asking for about $3 million. The lawsuits claim that […]

Boy Experiences Death, Says Heaven Is Real

posted by editor

The young Nebraskan boy who, after a near-death experience, believes he saw a vision of Jesus and Heaven is becoming an Internet sensation. Watch Colton Burpo’s story as reported by Fox affiliate KDVR in Denver.Click here to purchase Heaven is […]

Grassroots Group Pressure King on Muslim Hearings

posted by editor

WASHINGTON (RNS) House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Peter King is facing grassroots pressure to cancel his planned hearings on the “radicalization” of U.S. Muslims. “He is doing precisely what President George Washington promised would not happen: he is sanctioning bigotry […]

Quebec Mayor Vows to Fight Order to Remove Crucifix

posted by editor

TORONTO (RNS) The mayor of a Quebec town says he will appeal a decision by a human rights tribunal that bans prayer at city council and ordered him to remove a crucifix from the council’s chambers. Saguenay Mayor Jean Tremblay […]

Egypt’s Christians Keep Wary Eye on Muslim Brotherhood

posted by editor

By ALICE FORDHAM c. 2011 USA Today CAIRO (RNS) In Magdi Shnouda’s cafe in Cairo, pictures of Jesus and the saints hang on the shabby walls, and the men playing backgammon and dominoes are a mixture of Christians and Muslims. […]

National Debt Is New Hot Issue for Evangelicals

posted by editor

By DANIEL BURKE c. 2011 Religion News Service WASHINGTON (RNS) Many economists warn that the government’s huge national debt is a looming threat to long-term prosperity. But is it also immoral? According to a growing number of conservative Christians, the […]

Bill Would Codify ‘Mother’ and ‘Father’ on Documents

posted by editor

WASHINGTON (RNS) A proposed House bill will require the use of “mother” and “father” by all federal agencies and contractors when describing parents, pushing back on a move by the State Department to use “parent” instead. The Parental Title Protection […]

India Woos Sri Lanka with Buddha’s Bones

posted by editor

NEW DELHI (RNS) India plans to lend rare fragments of the Buddha’s bones to Sri Lanka for the 2600th anniversary of Buddha’s Enlightenment in May, and some see it as part of India’s strategy to gain a regional edge over […]

Vatican Allows Three Mass. Churches to Stay Open

posted by editor

By JEANETTE DeFORGE c. 2011 Religion News Service CHICOPEE, Mass. (RNS) In what one expert is calling a landmark decision, three closed Catholic churches in the Diocese of Springfield, Mass., have been given at least a partial reprieve. St. Patrick’s […]

Most Americans Support Congressional Probe on Muslims

posted by editor

By NICOLE NEROULIAS c. 2011 Religion News Service (RNS) Americans haven’t heard much about upcoming congressional hearings on the radicalization of U.S. Muslims, yet more than half think it’s a good idea, and nearly as many believe Muslims here haven’t […]

Living Leviticus: Who Could Do It? Who Would Want To?

posted by editor

By CATHLEEN FALSANI c. 2011 Religion News Service (RNS) It is entirely possible to be a churchgoing Christian for 40 years and never hear a sermon preached solely from the Old Testament book of Leviticus. Leviticus is the third book […]

Greek Church Sues for Right to Rebuild at Disputed Ground Zero Site

posted by editor

(RNS) Greek Orthodox officials on Monday (Feb. 14) filed suit against the agency charged with rebuilding Ground Zero over the disputed fate of tiny St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, which was destroyed by falling debris on 9/11. Negotiations between St. […]

Report: U.S. Churches Continue Growth, Decline Trends

posted by editor

(RNS) While mainline Protestant churches in the U.S. continue to experience decades-long decline, the memberships of Pentecostal traditions are on the rise, according to new figures compiled by the National Council of Churches. The Roman Catholic Church (No. 1) and […]

When Marriages Are Eternal, Mormon Singles Struggle

posted by editor

By PEGGY FLETCHER STACK c. 2011 Salt Lake Tribune SALT LAKE CITY (RNS) To many Americans, religious or not, chastity before marriage is a quaint tradition at best and emotionally damaging at worst. After all, more than 90 percent of […]

Let My People Go

posted by editor

By TOM EHRICH c. 2011 Religion News Service (RNS) At different points during his downfall, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak tried the diversionary tactics favored by autocrats. He blamed the Internet for bringing in dangerous outside influences, and blamed foreigners on […]

States Caught in Crossfire over Guns in Churches

posted by editor

By ADELLE M. BANKS c. 2011 Religion News Service (RNS) The way Rev. Jonathan Wilkins sees it, members of his Baptist church in Thomaston, Ga., should have the right to carry guns into worship services to protect the congregation. Wilkins’ […]

Top Church Official Indicted in Philly Abuse Probe

posted by editor

(RNS) Advocates for victims of clergy sexual abuse are hailing the indictment of a senior Roman Catholic official in the U.S. on charges of endangering the welfare of a child for failing to remove abusive priests from ministry. The accusations […]

For Muslim Nominee, An Unorthodox Path to N.J. Court

posted by editor

By SIMONE SEBASTIAN c. 2011 Religion News Service TRENTON, N.J. (RNS) Sohail Mohammed doesn’t work for a big-name law firm. He holds a GED diploma, and he practiced engineering for years before he thought about working in a courtroom. Mohammed, […]

Child in Faith-Healing Case Continues to Improve

posted by editor

OREGON CITY, Ore. (RNS) A 13-month-old child who faced blindness in one eye after her parents treated her with prayer instead of seeking medical care continues to improve, a state caseworker told a juvenile court. Doctors treating Alayna Wyland said […]

Report: Churches, Charities Not in Competition for Dollars

posted by editor

(RNS) Houses of worship and other charities often aren’t in competition for dollars but instead tend to reap donations from similar donors, a new study shows. Slightly more than 50 percent of people who financially supported congregations also gave to […]

At 102, George Beverly Shea to Receive Lifetime Grammy Award

posted by editor

(RNS) Prominent Gospel singer and longtime Billy Graham associate George Beverly Shea will receive a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 53rd annual Grammy Awards this weekend (Feb. 12) in Los Angeles. Shea will be honored along with several other Lifetime […]

In Soggy Netherlands, A Modern Noah Builds His Ark

posted by editor

UTRECHT, Netherlands (RNS/ENInews) If there was ever a country that understands floods, it is the Netherlands, where one-quarter of the land is below sea level, and it is here that a modern Noah is constructing an ark. Dutch building contractor […]

Towey Named President of Ave Maria University

posted by editor

(RNS) Domino’s Pizza magnate Tom Monaghan has stepped down from leading the conservative Catholic university he founded near Naples, Fla., and named the former director of the White House faith-based office as president. Monaghan’s Ave Maria University on the edge […]

Six Days, 26 Films and One Big Story

posted by editor

By DICK STAUB c. 2011 Religion News Service (RNS) At the 2011 Sundance Film Festival, I saw 26 films in six days. If this festival is about storytelling, this year’s big story is about our universal spiritual quest. Here are […]

Breaking News: President Mubarak Steps Down, Flees Egypt

posted by editor

Egypt’s Vice President Omar Suleiman announced today that Hosni Mubarak has stepped down as president of Egypt in the midst of protest and civil unrest that hit a fever pitch yesterday after his initial refusal to leave office. CNN reports […]

New Pipe in Israel Aims to Halt Worship Water Shortage

posted by editor

JERUSALEM (RNS) Israeli officials have installed an $11 million pipe to ease a weekly water shortage on Fridays as observant Jews prepare for the Sabbath and Muslims ritually wash themselves before weekly prayers. Until now, water pressure has been low […]

Quebec Bans Sikh Daggers from Capitol

posted by editor

TORONTO (RNS) Lawmakers in the province of Quebec voted unanimously on Wednesday (Feb. 9) to ban the kirpan, a Sikh ceremonial dagger, from the legislature building. The opposition Parti Quebecois said it was acting to underscore Quebec’s neutrality in dealing […]

Hosni Mubarak Addresses Egypt, Will Not Step Down

posted by editor

After weeks of protests and civil unrest, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak addressed the nation today. Contrary to early reports, Mubarak is not stepping down from his current position. He confirmed he will not seek re-election in September. He sympathized with […]

Catholics Spar with Federal Officials over Unions

posted by editor

By G. JEFFREY MacDONALD c. 2011 Religion News Service (RNS) A small Catholic college in Riverdale, N.Y., last month got some news that sent shivers across religious higher education: part-time faculty have a right to form a union on campus. […]

FBI Investigates Church of Scientology over Human Trafficking Claims

posted by editor

The Church of Scientology is under fire after a report in The New Yorker magazine alleges the religious organization was involved in human trafficking and the mistreatment of its workers. Read More: Church of Scientology Probed by FBI Over Human […]

Muslim TV Executive Found Guilty in Wife’s Beheading

posted by editor

(RNS) A former banking executive who helped launch the nation’s first Muslim television station faces 15 years to life in prison after a jury convicted him on Tuesday (Feb. 8) of murdering and decapitating his wife nearly two years ago. […]

Presbyterian Court Clears Minister in Gay Marriage Case

posted by editor

(RNS) The top court of the nation’s largest Presbyterian denomination has found a Boston minister not guilty of violating church rules against performing gay marriages in a narrow ruling that keeps the church-wide ban in place. The Permanent Judicial Commission […]

Vatican Says iPhone Apps Won’t Forgive Sins

posted by editor

VATICAN CITY (RNS) Just in case Catholics are wondering if a new iPhone app might be able to forgive their sins, the Vatican has issued a clarification: No. “One may not speak in any sense of confessing via iPhone,” the […]

There’s a Good Reason Why Benedict’s Not an Organ Donor

posted by editor

By FRANCIS X. ROCCA c. 2011 Religion News Service VATICAN CITY (RNS) When Vatican officials announced last week that Pope Benedict XVI’s 2005 election rendered his organ donor card null and void, they offered no specific reason for the change. […]

Video: Haroon Moghul On The Role Of The Muslim Brotherhood

posted by editor

Haroon Moghul, executive director of The Maydan Institute, says The Muslim Brotherhood, the largest opposition party in Egypt, has moved away from its “toxic image” and promotion of Sharia law and, in the unfolding revolution, appears more interested in creating […]

Court: Jehovah’s Witnesses Need Better Access to Homes

posted by editor

(RNS) A federal appeals court ruled Monday (Feb. 7) that a Puerto Rican law intended to keep neighborhoods safe from crime has been used unfairly to breach the free speech rights of Jehovah’s Witnesses. The law allows homeowners’ associations to […]

Baha’is Press Case of Imprisoned Relatives

posted by editor

WASHINGTON (RNS) A delegation of Baha’is is making the rounds in Washington in an effort to raise awareness of the treatment and imprisonment of more than 50 Baha’is in Iran, including seven top leaders of the Iranian Baha’i community. Iraj […]

Report Says Crime Up at U.S. Churches

posted by editor

(RNS) Each week brings an average of two arsons, seven thefts, and 19 burglaries at U.S. churches, according to Christian Security Network’s second annual year-end report of church crimes. The report, which uses news articles, police blogs, and verified personal […]

Is Justin Bieber a Christian?

posted by editor

On the eve of his new film, Never Say Never, teen pop sensation Justin Bieber shows the role his Christian faith plays in his life. How will his fans respond? Read the full story: Justin Bieber: Tween Evangelist

Reflections on Obama’s Faith From the National Prayer Breakfast

posted by editor

Speaking at the National Prayer Breakfast on Thursday (Feb. 3), President Obama made a compelling case for something terribly unusual: humble faith. Read the full story here.

Biggest Obstacle for Catholic Nuns Lies at Home

posted by editor

By DANIEL BURKE c. 2011 Religion News Service (RNS) If she had listened to her parents, Sister Jenn Graus might never have professed vows last month to join the Congregation of St. Joseph. Though lifelong Catholics, Graus’ parents had met […]

Consumer Protection Chief Seeks Allies in Faith Leaders

posted by editor

WASHIGNTON (RNS) The architect of the Obama administration’s new consumer protection bureau met with faith-based groups Tuesday (Feb. 8) in a bid to shape the agency’s work as a moral crusade. “The most recent financial crisis caused many to question […]

Canadian Bishops Urge Catholics to Live Chastely

posted by editor

TORONTO (RNS/ENInews) Decrying the “sex-saturated world of contemporary Western culture,” Canada’s Roman Catholic bishops are urging church members — married and single — to live chastely. In an eight-page pastoral letter released last month, the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops […]

Obama Names Second Round of Faith-Based Advisers

posted by editor

By ADELLE M. BANKS c. 2011 Religion News Service WASHINGTON (RNS) President Obama has named top U.S. church leaders to an advisory council on faith-based programs, but the list of appointments is also drawing questions about a lack of diversity […]

Colorado Years Shaped Islamic Militant’s View of U.S.

posted by editor

By OMAR SACIRBEY c. 2011 Religion News Service (RNS) Is the jazz standard “Baby It’s Cold Outside” a heart-warming ode to winter romance or the worst example of American hedonism? After hearing the song at a Colorado church dance in […]

Controversial N.Y. Mosque Loses Another Leader

posted by editor

(RNS) The proposed Park51 Islamic community center and mosque project near Ground Zero is again looking for a top imam after Sheik Abdallah Adhami resigned the post less than one month into the job. Adhami, 44, said in a statement […]

Ohio’s Catholic Bishops Urge End to Death Penalty

posted by editor

(RNS) The Catholic bishops of Ohio are calling on Gov. John Kasich and state lawmakers to abolish the state’s death penalty. The bishops said they concur with recent comments by Ohio Supreme Court Justice Paul Pfeifer, who charged the state’s […]

U.K. Catholics Caution Followers on ‘Dangers’ of Witchcraft

posted by editor

LONDON (RNS) The Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales, worried about the growing influence of Harry Potter and his team of young wizards, has published a guide aimed at helping teenagers deal with 21st century witchcraft. The British church’s […]

Mass. Man Denies Role in Church Arson

posted by editor

By STEPHANIE BARRY c. 2011 Religion News Service SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (RNS) A defendant accused in a racially motivated arson on Thursday (Feb. 3) took the witness stand and told a federal judge he had no role in the 2008 blaze […]

Obama Brushes Off Critics Who Question His Faith

posted by editor

By ADELLE M. BANKS c. 2011 Religion News Service WASHINGTON (RNS) President Obama spoke at length on Thursday (Feb. 3) about the daily contours of his Christian faith, brushing off the skeptics who question the authenticity of his beliefs. “My […]

Vatican to Draft Guidelines for Catholic Hospitals

posted by editor

By FRANCIS X. ROCCA c. 2011 Religion News Service VATICAN CITY (RNS) Controversies over bioethical standards at U.S. Catholic hospitals show the need for greater Catholic education for health care workers, Vatican officials said Thursday (Feb. 3). Church leaders said […]

Karmapa Lama Denies Charges of Spying for China

posted by editor

By VISHAL ARORA c. 2011 Religion News Service NEW DELHI (RNS) In an unprecedented probe of exiled Tibetan Buddhist monks, Indian officials want to know why top Buddhist leaders had $1.5 million in cash stashed away at their headquarters in […]

Court Rules Judge’s Ten Commandments Poster Unconstitutional

posted by editor

By ADELLE M. BANKS c. 2011 Religion News Service (RNS) An Ohio county court judge who argued that it was his First Amendment right to hang a poster about the Ten Commandments in his courtroom was overruled Wednesday (Feb. 2) […]

Congressman Says He’s Not ‘Anti-Islam’

posted by editor

WASHINGTON (RNS) A freshman congressman said he is “neither anti-Muslim nor anti-Islam” after religious leader criticized him for saying the first Muslim in Congress represents the “antithesis” of American values. Rep. Allen West, R-Fla., a prominent Tea Party freshman, on […]

U.N. Marks First Annual ‘Interfaith Harmony Week’

posted by editor

The United Nations kicked off the first “World Interfaith Harmony Week” on Tuesday (Feb. 1) to promote dialogue and civility among the world’s religions. The observances are meant to reaffirm that “mutual understanding and interreligious dialogue constitute important dimensions of […]

Archdiocese Posts Trove of Slave Records Online

posted by editor

The Archdiocese of New Orleans on Tuesday (Feb. 1) unveiled a new online database containing records of baptisms, marriages and deaths in colonial New Orleans, including those of African slaves. The first batch of five registers to go online contains […]

Critics Wary of New Smithsonian Review Policy

posted by editor

By RICHARD YEAKLEY c. 2011 Religion News Service WASHINGTON (RNS) Critics who raised objections to a video at a Smithsonian exhibit that showed ants crawling on a crucifix are unsatisfied with new policies intended to prevent future controversies. The Smithsonian […]

Critics Raise Concerns about House Hearings on Muslims

posted by editor

By DANIEL BURKE c. 2011 Religion News Service WASHINGTON (RNS) A coalition of more than 50 Muslim, human rights, and faith organizations is urging House leaders to raise concerns about planned hearings this month on the “radicalization” of American Muslims. […]

‘U.S. Marine for Christ’ Prompts Suit at Colo. Academy

posted by editor

By ADELLE M. BANKS c. 2011 Religion News Service WASHINGTON (RNS) Professors at the U.S. Air Force Academy have filed suit in a bid to stop a school prayer luncheon headlined by a motivational speaker who calls himself a “U.S. […]

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