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Billy Graham Returns Home After Brief Hospital Stay

posted by akornfeld

Evangelist Billy Graham is out of the hospital and resting at home after tripping over his dog. Graham spokesman A. Larry Ross said the 89-year-old evangelist spent Friday night (Oct. 10) at Mission Hospital in Asheville, N.C., in part because […]

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China Jails Tibetan Monks Convicted in Bomb Blast

posted by akornfeld

Beijing – Eight Buddhist monks convicted of bombing a government building in Tibet during an anti-government uprising in March have been sentenced to prison, two of them for life, a judge said Tuesday. The monks were sentenced at the People’s […]

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Study Suggests Zen Meditation Can Ease a Turbulent Mind

posted by akornfeld

Zen Buddhist meditation may help treat depression, attention deficit disorder and anxiety, among other maladies, according to a recent study by Emory University neuroscientists. Mental illness such as obsessive-compulsive disorder and depression are characterized in part by “excessive rumination” or […]

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50 Years On, Wartime Pope Overshadows Catholic-Jewish Talks

posted by akornfeld

Vatican City – On Thursday, Pope Benedict XVI will celebrate a special Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica to mark the 50th anniversary of the death of Pope Pius XII. The fact that Oct. 9 this year coincides with Yom Kippur, […]

Economy Peeling Some Evangelicals from GOP

posted by akornfeld

Nashville – The U.S. conservative evangelical Christian vote is still the Republican Party’s to lose, but the poor economy may be peeling some of them off, analysts say. Voters who value moral issues such as opposition to abortion and gay […]

Yeshiva Dispute Pits Jew Against Jew in N.J. Town

posted by akornfeld

New Jersey – Bert Ellentuck watched the adolescent boys with tzistzis and yarmulkes shooting hoops next door and sighed. “The people who settled this town were Jews; oh, they were socialists, communists and anti-religion, but they were Jews,” Ellentuck said. […]

Publisher Speeds Up Release of Book About Muhammad

posted by akornfeld

New York – With British publication in doubt for Sherry Jones’ “The Jewel of Medina,” the U.S. publisher of her controversial novel about the Prophet Muhammad has moved up the release date from Oct. 15 to Monday. “By speeding up […]

Midwest Methodists May Be ‘Sleeper’ Win for Obama

posted by akornfeld

When the Rev. John Edgar cast his ballot Tuesday (Sept. 30) as part of Ohio’s early voting program, he had two things in mind: his faith and the economy. He checked the box for Sen. Barack Obama. “Particularly with his […]

Don’t Overlook the Poor in Wall Street Bailout, Clerics Say

posted by akornfeld

New York – Religious leaders are warning that the global financial crisis threatens progress made against poverty and world hunger, and urged political leaders not to ignore the poor while debating how to solve the current international financial panic. “It’s […]

China Slams Dalai Lama in Government Report

posted by akornfeld

Beijing – China issued a government report Thursday praising its rule over Tibet and accusing the Dalai Lama of wanting to restore a backward feudal system in the Himalayan region. The white paper, published six months after riots and protests […]

Economy Top Issue for Religious Voters

posted by akornfeld

In Parma, Ohio, an organizer for Barack Obama arrived at a recent “Catholic house party,” a campaign-sponsored chat about values, prepared to answer questions about abortion. The conversation instead lurched into the battered state of the local economy – not […]

Presbyterians Launch Fast to Build Solidarity with Poor, Hungry

posted by akornfeld

Washington – The Presbyterian Church (USA) is inviting all Presbyterians to participate in a monthly church-wide fast for “repentance, reflection, and coordinated actions” to empathize with those suffering from hunger and famine around the world. Over the next year, the […]

Six Children in Ark. Custody After Raid on Compound

posted by akornfeld

Fouke, Ark. – Six minors have been temporarily placed in state custody as part of a child porn investigation after a raid on a ministry run by a man who says “consent is puberty” when it comes to sex, officials […]

Taxi Drivers Mark Ramadan with Iftar-on-the-Go Meals

posted by akornfeld

Chicago – Each evening at about 6:30 p.m., Idrees Muhammad sets out a modest feast in Shan Foods, a part-eatery, part-convenience store on the city’s north side. A fleet of taxi cabs pulls up to the strip mall soon after. […]

Rules on Fasting During Ramadan Different for Women

posted by akornfeld

Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News Belmont, California – The women broke their fast at sunset. Their legs curled beneath them, they gathered around a blue tarp to eat Tuesday night. They chewed dates, while some poured each other orange juice or […]

Ahmadinejad Says Israel Won’t Survive

posted by akornfeld

Associated Press Tehran, Iran – Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad lashed out at Israel on Thursday, saying the Jewish state would not survive, even if it gave up land for a Palestinian state. He also dismissed allegations that his country is […]

Study Finds Heaven’s Doors Opening a Bit Wider

posted by akornfeld

By Adelle M. Banks Religion News Service Washington – Heaven is no longer viewed as an exclusive place by many Americans, according to a new survey from Baylor University. When researchers polled U.S. adults about who (and how many) will […]

Church of England Apologizes to Darwin

posted by akornfeld

By Al Webb Religion News Service London – Some 126 years after Charles Darwin’s death, the Church of England has gone into 21st-century cyberspace to issue an official apology to the naturalist for its own 19th-century “misunderstanding” over his theory […]

Muslims Criticize Film Advertisement in U.S. Newspapers

posted by akornfeld

By David Harris Religion News Service Flint, Mich. – A movie being distributed as an advertising insert in more than 70 newspapers nationwide is drawing protests from Muslim groups who call it an attempt to stir up hate. The movie, […]

Faith Leaders Urge Long-Term Solutions for Gulf Coast

posted by akornfeld

By Ashley Gipson Religion News Service Washington – More than 100 religious leaders have urged the federal government and both major political parties to develop long-term solutions to address poverty and environmental concerns along the Gulf Coast. In an attempt […]

Catholic Church Publishes Quinceanera Blessing

posted by akornfeld

Associated Press Washington – The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops is publishing a ritual blessing for the Quinceanera, the coming-of-age celebration for Hispanic girls on their 15th birthday. The Rev. Allan Deck, head of the bishops’ cultural diversity office, said […]

Poll Shows Support for Torture Among Southern Evangelicals

posted by akornfeld

By Adelle M. Banks Religion News Service Washington – A new poll released Thursday (Sept. 11) finds that nearly six in 10 white Southern evangelicals believe torture is justified, but their views can shift when they consider the Christian principle […]

Jewish Civil Rights Group Condemns Evangelical Document

posted by akornfeld

Associated Press New York, NY – The Anti-Defamation League has called an evangelical move to promote evangelizing Jews in Europe an “affront to the Jewish people.” The Jewish civil rights group urged the World Evangelical Alliance to withdraw the statement […]

French Court to Try Church of Scientology

posted by akornfeld

Associated Press Paris – The Church of Scientology and seven of its top members are to stand trial in Paris on fraud charges after an investigation into allegations by a former member that the church swindled her out of more […]

Stolen Manuscript to Be Returned to Israel Library

posted by akornfeld

Associated Press Jerusalem – A 215-year-old Jewish manuscript stolen from a Tel Aviv library a decade ago will be returned by the German library where it surfaced, an Israeli official said Tuesday. Israeli Embassy officials are currently arranging the manuscript’s […]

Muslim Cabbies Lose Round in Court

posted by akornfeld

Associated Press St. Paul, Minnesota – Muslim cab drivers whose religious beliefs go against driving passengers who carry alcohol have lost another round in court. The Minnesota Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday against the cab drivers’ attempt to block penalties […]

Documents Held in Los Angeles Priest Abuse Cases

posted by akornfeld

Associated Press Los Angeles – The departure of a key figure in a record $660 million clergy sexual abuse settlement has endangered part of the deal that some plaintiffs consider more important than the money: the promise by the Roman […]

Pentecostalism Obscured in Palin Biography

posted by akornfeld

By Eric Gorski and Rachel Zoll Associated Press St. Paul, Minnesota – Sarah Palin often identifies herself simply as Christian. Yet John McCain’s running mate has deep roots in Pentecostalism, a spirit-filled Christian tradition that is one of the fastest […]

Terror Claims Against NJ Muslim Leader Rejected

posted by akornfeld

Associated Press Newark, N.J. – An influential New Jersey Muslim leader accused by some federal officials of having terrorist ties but praised by others as being an important ally won his fight to gain permanent U.S. residency Thursday. A federal […]

President’s Stalwart Supporters Often Share His Evangelical Faith

posted by akornfeld

Chicago Tribune Daniel Darling thinks George W. Bush is doing a good job as president, and that means roughly 70 percent of Americans think Darling is a nut. He is not. What he is, perhaps not surprisingly, is the pastor […]

Biden Risks Refusal of Holy Communion

posted by akornfeld

Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News Scranton native Sen. Joe Biden would likely feel at home any day of the week in Northeast Pennsylvania. Well, any day except possibly Sunday. The Most Rev. Joseph F. Martino, bishop of Scranton, has strongly supported […]

September Ramadan Means Long Days of Fasting

posted by akornfeld

By Jeff Diamant Religion News Service Newark, N.J. – Fasting from sunrise to sunset for 30 days, as Muslims begin doing early next week to mark the Islamic month of Ramadan, is never easy. But some years are harder than […]

Labor Day Is Time to Celebrate Link Between Faith and Work

posted by akornfeld

By Chris Herlinger Religion News Service American houses of worship should commemorate Labor Day weekend not as the last hurrah of the summer but as a time to celebrate the “sacred link between faith, work and justice,” according to a […]

Major Buddhist Monastery Reopens in Tibet

posted by akornfeld

Associated Press Beijing – A major Buddhist monastery in Tibet reopened this week five months after being shut by authorities during anti-government riots that rocked the region’s capital, a staff member said Friday. The Drepung Monastery, on the outskirts of […]

Even in Tough Times, Charitable Donations Stay Strong

posted by akornfeld

By Kristen Campbell Religion News Service Mobile, Ala. – When parishioners at All Saints Episcopal Church began distributing groceries to families in need a few years ago, they gave away about 100 boxes of food. Within the last year, the […]

Catholic Archbishop Charles Chaput Speaks Out on Politicians and Abortion

posted by akornfeld

By Daniel Burke Religion News Service Archbishop Charles Chaput of Denver refuses to be quiet — especially when it comes to Catholic politicians and abortion. The outspoken Franciscan has repeatedly told elected officials who support abortion rights they shouldn’t take […]

Advocates for Atheists, Agnostics in Billboard Campaign in Phoenix

posted by akornfeld

Associated Press Phoenix – Billboards touting freedom from religion and separation of church and state are going up around the downtown Phoenix area. The Freedom From Religion Foundation, based in Madison, Wis., paid advertising company CBS Outdoor to put up […]

Dalai Lama Admitted to Hospital in India for Tests

posted by akornfeld

Associated Press Mumbai, India – The Dalai Lama was admitted to a hospital in this western Indian city on Thursday to undergo tests for abdominal discomfort, his spokesman said. “Since tests haven’t begun yet, we don’t know what the ailment […]

Young Muslims Getting the Word Out About Faith

posted by akornfeld

By Charles Honey Religion News Service Grand Rapids, Mich. – From their cramped office behind a barber shop, four young men try to get the word out: This is who we are, this is what we believe. As Muslims in […]

Southern Baptists Lead Get-Out-the-Vote Prayer

posted by akornfeld

Associated Press New York – Southern Baptists are organizing a nationwide prayer campaign to accompany their values-voter registration drive, seeking spiritual renewal for families and churches, and God’s favor for public officials who are guided by the Bible. Surveys have […]

No Beauty Pageant for Nuns

posted by akornfeld

Associated Press Rome – An Italian priest said Tuesday he has backtracked regarding his idea to organize an online beauty pageant for nuns, saying he had been misunderstood and had incurred the protests of faithful and local religious authorities. The […]

US Doctors Can Refuse to Provide Abortions

posted by akornfeld

Associated Press Washington – The Bush administration Thursday proposed stronger job protections for U.S. doctors and other health care workers who refuse to participate in abortions because of religious or moral objections. Health and Human Services Secretary Michael Leavitt said […]

McCain’s Faith Journey Largely Unspoken

posted by akornfeld

By Adelle M. Banks Religion News Service Washington – Sen. John McCain has one story he tells again and again about his religious life. In a campaign ad, a family memoir, and most recently a televised interview with megachurch pastor […]

Foreign Missionaries Defy Ban During Olympics

posted by akornfeld

Associated Press Beijing – Christian groups who flouted a Chinese ban on foreign missionaries are calling their underground evangelizing during the Olympic Games a success. Drawn to a nation of 1.3 billion people under atheist rule, the groups prepared for […]

Calif. Court: Doctors Can’t Discriminate Based on Sex Orientation

posted by akornfeld

By Adelle M. Banks Religion News Service California’s Supreme Court ruled Monday (Aug. 18) that doctors cannot discriminate against gays and lesbians even if they believe their religious freedom will be violated during a course of treatment. The case involved […]

Many Think God’s Intervention Can Revive the Dying

posted by akornfeld

Associated Press Chicago – When it comes to saving lives, God trumps doctors for many Americans. An eye-opening survey reveals widespread belief that divine intervention can revive dying patients. And, researchers said, doctors “need to be prepared to deal with […]

Christian Parents Seek Out ‘Holistic Circumcisions’

posted by akornfeld

By Nicole Neroulias Religion News Service Mark Kushner pulled up to the Watson family’s suburban Philadelphia home a week after the birth of their first son, Colin. In the dining room, he unpacked the tools of his trade: sterilized surgical […]

HHS Secretary Says Access to Contraceptives Not Part of Plan

posted by akornfeld

By Adelle M. Banks Religion News Service Washington – Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt says draft proposals to protect the conscience-driven objections of health care providers do not and will not seek to curb access to contraceptives. “An […]

Texas Jury Rejects Lawsuit Against Osteen’s Wife

posted by akornfeld

Associated Press Houston – The wife of televangelist Joel Osteen did not assault a flight attendant during an angry tirade over a stain on her first-class seat, a jury ruled Thursday. Jurors rejected Continental Airlines flight attendant Sharon Brown’s claims […]

Military Increasingly Relying on Chaplains for Stresses of Combat

posted by akornfeld

Chicago Tribune Chicago – The Rev. Greg Moser keeps a stack of books on jihad in Asia next to a copy of the Bible in his office. He stores a “battle book” in a drawer at United in Faith Lutheran […]

Two Charged in Multimillion Fraud: U.S.: WexTrust Owners Duped Orthodox Jews

posted by akornfeld

McClatchy-Tribune Information Services The owners of a Chicago-based real estate investment firm were arrested Monday on federal fraud charges, and U.S. regulators accused them of conducting a quarter-billion-dollar Ponzi scheme going back as far as 2005. Steven Byers, 46, chief […]

Roman Temple Ruins Discovered in Israel

posted by akornfeld

United Press International Jerusalem – Israeli archeologists say they have uncovered the ruins of a second century Roman temple in the Zippori National Park in northern Israel. The archeologists, led by Professor Zeev Weiss of the Institute of Archeology at […]

Flight Attendant Claims Pastor’s Wife Attacked Her

posted by akornfeld

Associated Press Houston – A flight attendant suing the wife of megachurch evangelist Joel Osteen told a jury Tuesday she was simply doing her job when she was attacked without provocation. Continental Airlines flight attendant Sharon Brown testified that Victoria […]

Trial to Begin in Suit Against Joel Osteen’s Wife

posted by akornfeld

Associated Press Houston – She’s the wife of a renowned evangelical pastor and one of the leaders of a Houston megachurch, but Victoria Osteen is being accused of behavior that wasn’t very Christian. Opening arguments were set for Thursday in […]

Court Rejects Suit Opposing Religion in Vets Care

posted by akornfeld

Associated Press Madison, Wisconsin – Taxpayers cannot sue the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs for incorporating religion into its health care programs for the nation’s veterans, an appeals court has ruled. The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday the […]

Couples Marrying Friday to Clinch Lucky Triple 8s

posted by akornfeld

Associated Press It may not be as big as 7-7-7, but thousands of couples are heading down the aisle Friday, hoping the date Aug. 8, 2008, brings them luck and an easy to remember anniversary date. The number eight has […]

Man Who Stormed Popemobile Sentenced to Probation

posted by akornfeld

Francis X. Rocca Religion News Service Vatican City – A German court has ordered four years’ probation, psychotherapy and medication for a 28-year-old man who last year jumped a barricade and briefly touched a vehicle carrying Pope Benedict XVI. The […]

Young Jews Experience Sights (Not Sounds) of Holy Land

posted by akornfeld

By Michele Chabin Religion News Service Jerusalem – When Kyle Edenzon showed up for his first day of Hebrew school as a young boy, his parents asked the teacher to place their hard-of-hearing son in the front row to better […]

Unitarians Rededicate Church Where Gunman Killed Two

posted by akornfeld

By Tim Murphy Religion News Service Unitarian Univeralists in Knoxville, Tenn., reopened their doors on Sunday (Aug. 3), just one week after a gunman opened fire during a production of a church musical and left two people dead. “This sanctuary, […]

Anglican Bishops Find Unity in Cathedral’s Tortured Past

posted by akornfeld

By Daniel Burke Religion News Service Canterbury, England – For centuries, the cathedral at the heart of this city has drawn millions to its doors, from Chaucer’s rowdy pilgrims to throngs of Anglican bishops and clumps of camera-toting tourists. The […]

At Yale, A Call For Christians, Muslims to Be At Peace

posted by akornfeld

The Hartford Courant New Haven – The Rev. Robert H. Schuller, a California pastor and host of television’s “Hour of Power,” reaches 20 million Christian followers around the world. Sheik Al-Habib Ali Al-Jifri ranks among the 10 most popular Muslim […]

New Mass. Law Lets Out-of-State Gay Couples Marry

posted by akornfeld

Associated Press Boston – Massachusetts on Thursday began allowing any gay couple to get married there as Gov. Deval Patrick signed a bill repealing a 1913 law that had blocked most out-of-state same-sex couples from tying the knot. The old […]

Jewish Ritual Bath Integrates Religion into Private Life

posted by akornfeld

McClatchy-Tribune Information Services In the seclusion of nightfall just days before her wedding, Leah Kahn stepped into the soothing lukewarm waters of a mikvah, drew in a deep breath and plunged into her new life. After seven dunks in the […]

Anglicans Mull Ban on Gay Bishops

posted by akornfeld

United Press International Canterbury, England – A plan before the Lambeth Conference in England would ban consecration of gay bishops and blessings of same-sex relationships in the Anglican Communion. The proposal for a forum to be headed by Archbishop of […]

Mahony Says Immigration Must Be Top Priority

posted by akornfeld

By Tim Murphy Religion News Service Washington – Los Angeles Cardinal Roger Mahony, who heads the nation’s largest Catholic archdiocese, on Monday (July 28) urged presidential candidates Barack Obama and John McCain to make immigration reform a top-level priority. In […]

Student Apologizes for Swiping Obama’s Prayer

posted by akornfeld

Michele Chabin Religion News Service Jerusalem – An Israeli yeshiva student has apologized for removing a personal prayer that Sen. Barack Obama inserted into the Western Wall during a visit to Israel last week. “I’m sorry. It was a kind […]

Soldiers Coerced at Baptist Church, Watchdog Group Says

posted by akornfeld

Tim Murphy Religion News Service Washington – A church-state watchdog group has asked the Pentagon to investigate a Missouri Army base that sends trainees to a fundamentalist Baptist church on off days. Americans United for Separation of Church and State […]

Police: Man Left Letter Saying He Shot Churchgoers Over Liberal Views

posted by akornfeld

Associated Press Knoxville, Tennessee – An unemployed man accused of opening fire with a shotgun and killing two people at a Unitarian church apparently targeted the congregation out of hatred for its liberal social policies, police said Monday. Knoxville Police […]

Prof Whose ‘Last Lecture’ Became a Sensation Dies

posted by akornfeld

Associated Press Pittsburgh – Randy Pausch, the Carnegie Mellon University computer scientist whose “last lecture” about facing terminal cancer became an Internet sensation and a best-selling book, died Friday. He was 47. Pausch died at his home in Chesapeake, Va., […]

Israeli Paper Publishes Obama Western Wall Prayer

posted by akornfeld

Associated Press Jerusalem – A written prayer that Barack Obama left this week in the cracks of the Western Wall, Judaism’s holiest site, asks God to guide him and guard his family, an Israeli newspaper reported Friday. “Lord – Protect […]

Catholics to Pope: Lift the Birth Control Ban

posted by akornfeld

Associated Press Vatican City – More than 50 dissident Catholic groups from around the world have written an open letter asking Pope Benedict XVI to lift the church’s ban on birth control. Taking a half-page ad in the Italian daily […]

Obama Tells Israel He’s Committed to Its Security

posted by akornfeld

Associated Press Sderot, Israel – From the solemnity of a Holocaust museum to a dusty village battered by Hamas rockets, Democratic presidential contender Barack Obama on Wednesday professed “an unshakable commitment to the security” of Israel, whether the threat comes […]

McCain to Meet with the Dalai Lama

posted by akornfeld

Associated Press Washington – U.S. Republican presidential candidate John McCain is scheduled to meet with the Dalai Lama, the Tibetan spiritual leader, on Friday. The two will meet in Aspen, Colorado where the Dalai Lama plans to address a symposium […]

Anglican Bishops Lead ‘Poverty March’ Through London

posted by akornfeld

Deutsche Presse-Agentur London – Hundreds of Anglican bishops led a protest march through central London Thursday urging world governments to show the “political will” to fulfil pledges of eradicating global poverty by 2015. The colourful march, which turned the government […]

Heisman Winner Declines Spot in Playboy Lineup for Religious Reasons

posted by akornfeld

By Tim Murphy Religion News Service One year after winning college football’s highest honor, University of Florida star Tim Tebow was pulled from consideration for Playboy’s pre-season All-American team because the magazine conflicts with his Christian beliefs, a school official […]

Lieberman Affirms Hagee, Uses Religious Platform to Discuss Security

posted by akornfeld

The Hartford Courant Washington – On Tuesday night, Sen. Joseph Lieberman spoke again to Christians United for Israel — with the tone and biblical references of a sermon — telling Pastor John Hagee’s group, “We Americans have real enemies; we […]

Muslims Begin to Copy the Megachurch Multi-Site Model

posted by akornfeld

By Mallika Rao Religion News Service Washington – Mosques across the country are beginning to use a model similar to the one used by some suburban and downtown megachurches, operating multiple sites to serve a large and dispersed congregation. Many […]

Fourth-Century Bible to Go Online

posted by akornfeld

By Al Webb Religion News Service London – The Codex Sinaiticus, thought to be one of the world’s oldest Bibles, is going online this week in a project led by the British Library to reconnect all its 1,600-year-old parts that […]

Survey: Most U.S. Jews Don’t Support Hagee, Christian Zionists

posted by akornfeld

By Nicole Neroulias Religion News Service New York – As Texas megachurch pastor John Hagee convenes his annual Christians United for Israel summit in Washington this week (July 21-24), a new poll shows most U.S. Jews are leery of his […]

Senate Leader to Push Polygamy Victims Bill

posted by akornfeld

The Salt Lake Tribune Washington – Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid will introduce a measure Wednesday establishing a federal task force on polygamy and offering help to those trying to escape polygamous communities. The bill, if passed, would set the […]

ACLU Sues to Get Eagle Feathers of Native American Inmate

posted by akornfeld

Mallika Rao Religion News Service Washington – A Native American prisoner who was denied the eagle feathers he needed to practice his religious rites will be represented by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) in a suit against the Wyoming […]

Hagee’s Attorneys Succeed in Removing YouTube Videos

posted by akornfeld

Adelle M. Banks Religion News Service Texas megachurch pastor John Hagee has successfully worked with copyright lawyers to get more than 120 videos featuring him removed from YouTube. The development was reported by The Huffington Post, whose blogger Max Blumenthal […]

Gay Man Sues Publishers Over Bible Verses

posted by akornfeld

Grand Rapids Press Cascade Township, Mich. (RNS) – A gay man is suing two heavyweight Christian publishers, claiming their versions of the Bible that refer to homosexuality as a sin violate his constitutional rights and have caused him emotional pain […]

Philanthropist John Templeton, Who Promoted Science and Religion, Dies at 95

posted by akornfeld

Associated Press Nassau, Bahamas – John Templeton, an investor and mutual fund pioneer who dedicated much of his fortune to promoting religion and reconciling it with science, has died. He was 95. Templeton died Tuesday from pneumonia at Doctors Hospital […]

US Town Split After Teacher Fired for Introducing Christian Beliefs in Science Class

posted by akornfeld

Associated Press Mount Vernon, Ohio – The decision to fire a science teacher accused of preaching his Christian beliefs in the classroom and burning crosses on students’ arms has divided residents of this Ohio town and rekindled the debate over […]

England Church Backs Women Bishops, Risks Division

posted by akornfeld

Associated Press London, England – The Church of England’s ruling body voted its support Monday for women to become bishops, a move that risks further division because it lacked accommodation for traditionalists opposed to the idea. The decision after hours […]

Former Clinton Strategist Helps Democrats Bridge the ‘God Gap’

posted by akornfeld

By Daniel Burke Religion News Service Washington – Fresh off the campaign trail, where he headed Sen. Hillary Clinton’s religious outreach, Burns Strider has founded a new firm to help other Democrats bridge the so-called “God gap.” Few are as […]

Churches Get Creative in Helping Offset Gas Prices

posted by akornfeld

By Ashly McGlone Religion News Service At St. Stephen Baptist Church in Louisville, Ky., the 14,000-member congregation billed itself as a “seven-day-a-week” hub of activity, with choir practices, ministry meetings or small groups scheduled every night. Then Pastor Kevin Cosby […]

Maybe Indiana Jones Should Have Looked in Ethiopia…

posted by akornfeld

By Ron Csillag Religion News Service Axum, Ethiopia — “And they shall make an ark of acacia wood; two and a half cubits shall be its length, a cubit and a half its width, and a cubit and a half […]

Official: Taiwan Will Help Chinese Tourists Avoid Falun Gong Followers

posted by akornfeld

Associated Press Taipei, Taiwan – Chinese tourists arriving in Taiwan this week may meet face to face with followers of the spiritual group Falun Gong but tourism authorities will try to prevent any possible confrontations, an official said Tuesday. Tourism […]

Obama to Expand Bush’s Faith Based Programs

posted by akornfeld

Associated Press Zanesville, Ohio – Reaching out to religious voters, Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama called for expanding President Bush’s program steering federal social service dollars to religious groups and – in a move sure to cause controversy – supported […]

Nepal’s ‘Living Goddess’ Tradition in Limbo

posted by akornfeld

By Achal Narayanan Religion News Service Chennai, India – The appointment of a new “living goddess” in Nepal has been held up by the recent abolition of the Hindu monarchy in the Himalayan nation, according to Nepalese officials. Traditionally, the […]

Survey: Support Declines Among Some Churchgoers on Environmental Rules

posted by akornfeld

The Dallas Morning News Jun. 10–WASHINGTON — Environmental messages preached from the pulpit have yet to take hold in evangelical and Catholic pews, according to a recent survey on religion in public life. Just 43 percent of evangelical Protestants said […]

Evangelicals Are Wary of McCain’s Overtures

posted by akornfeld

International Herald Tribune Lori Viars, an evangelical activist in Warren County, Ohio, essentially put her life on hold in the autumn of 2004 to run a phone bank for President George W. Bush. Her efforts helped the president’s ambitious push […]

Families Battle Over Who Owns ‘Footprints in the Sand’ Poem

posted by akornfeld

By Adelle M. Banks Religion News Service “Author Unknown” once asked Jesus why there was only one set of footprints in the sand during life’s most perilous moments. Now a federal court on Long Island is trying to decide just […]

California Gay Couples Can Set the Date

posted by akornfeld

San Jose Mercury News, Calif. The wait is over for everyone from wedding planners to local clerks — and thousands of gay and lesbian couples across California. The California Supreme Court on Wednesday removed any lingering legal doubts about whether […]

For Bush and Benedict, a Personal and Political Bond

posted by akornfeld

By Francis X. Rocca Religion News Service Vatican City — When President Bush pays a visit to Pope Benedict XVI at the Vatican next Friday (June 13), it will be his sixth meeting with a pope, and his third meeting […]

UN Chief: Food Production Must Rise 50 Percent by 2030

posted by akornfeld

Associated Press Rome – World food production must rise by 50 percent by 2030 to meet increasing demand, U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon told world leaders Tuesday at a summit grappling with hunger and civil unrest caused by food price hikes. […]

Pope Benedict XVI Says Shroud of Turin Will Go on Rare Public Display in 2010

posted by akornfeld

Associated Press Vatican City – The Shroud of Turin – revered by many Christians as Jesus Christ’s burial cloth – will go on rare public display in 2010, Pope Benedict XVI announced Monday. The shroud last was shown to the […]

Hazards for Both Sides When Politicians Court Pastors

posted by akornfeld

By Adelle M. Banks and Daniel Burke Religion News Service Washington – Mitt Romney and his Mormon faith. Mike Huckabee and his “Christian leader” ads. John McCain and John Hagee. Hillary Clinton and her “prayer warriors.” Barack Obama and Jeremiah […]

Calif. Episcopal Church Agrees to Marry Gay Couples

posted by akornfeld

By Kevin Eckstrom Religion News Service A prominent liberal Episcopal church in Pasadena, Calif., says it will allow gay and lesbian couples to marry after the state’s Supreme Court opened civil marriage to same-sex couples starting next month. The move […]

Vatican Reopens Restored Pagan Tomb Under St. Peter’s Basilica

posted by akornfeld

Associated Press Vatican City – The Vatican has reopened the largest and most luxurious of the pagan tombs in the necropolis under St. Peter’s Basilica after nearly a year of restoration work. The Valeri Mausoleum, which was unveiled to media […]

Clinton Speaks of Faith in the Face of Setbacks

posted by akornfeld

Associated Press Hormigueros, Puerto Rico – Hillary Rodham Clinton on Sunday offered a spiritual defense for continuing her presidential campaign, as she sought to put to rest the uproar over her comments about the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy. Speaking […]

Gay Episcopal Bishop Plans Civil Union Ceremony

posted by akornfeld

By Kevin Eckstrom Religion News Service Five years ago, New Hampshire Bishop V. Gene Robinson made headlines by becoming the first openly gay bishop elected in the Episcopal Church or in the wider Anglican Communion. Robinson is making headlines again […]

Prehistoric Stonehenge Monument in Britain Attacked

posted by akornfeld

Deutsche Presse-Agentur (dpa) London (dpa) – British police are looking for suspected souvenir-hunters who used a hammer and a screwdriver to vandalize the world-famous stone circle of Stonehenge, south-west Britain. The incident, which occurred in the late evening of May […]

Jewish Bikers Ride Against Hatred

posted by akornfeld

Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News Ottumwa – Though one rider called the event a “show of unity,” the sound of 14 closely packed motorcycles was more like a “roar of unity.” The Jewish bikers said they don’t want others to forget […]

IRS Clears Pastor on Huckabee Endorsement

posted by akornfeld

By Adelle M. Banks Religion News Service Washington – The Internal Revenue Service has concluded that a Southern Baptist pastor’s endorsement of former presidential candidate Mike Huckabee was a personal one that does not jeopardize his church’s tax-exempt status. Pastor […]

Texas Megachurch Pastor Charged in Sex Sting

posted by akornfeld

By Adelle M. Banks Religion News Service A minister to married adults at Prestonwood Baptist Church, a prominent Dallas-area Southern Baptist megachurch, has resigned after being charged in an Internet sex sting. Joe Barron, 52, was charged Friday (May 16) […]

Canadian Lutherans Ordain Openly Gay Married Man

posted by akornfeld

By Ron Csillag Religion News Service Toronto – Despite stern warnings and threats of discipline, a Lutheran church north of Toronto on Friday (May 16) ordained an openly gay man who is legally married to another man. Lionel Ketola, 45, […]

Study Explores ‘Evangelical Intelligentsia’

posted by akornfeld

Associated Press Boston – For decades, Boston University sociologist Peter Berger says, American intellectuals have looked down on evangelicals. Educated people have the notion that evangelicals are “barefoot people of Tobacco Road who, I don’t know, sleep with their sisters […]

Muslim Nation Hosts Jewish and Christian Scholars for Interfaith Dialogue

posted by akornfeld

Associated Press Doha, Qatar – More than a dozen Jewish rabbis, including two from Israel, were in attendance this week as this conservative Muslim sheikdom opened one of the Gulf’s first scholarly centers dedicated to interfaith dialogue. The rare meeting […]

California’s Top Court Overturns Gay Marriage Ban

posted by akornfeld

Associated Press San Francisco – In a monumental victory for the gay rights movement, the California Supreme Court overturned a voter-approved ban on gay marriage Thursday in a ruling that would allow same-sex couples in the nation’s biggest state to […]

Hundreds Arrested in Iowa Raid at Kosher Plant

posted by akornfeld

Associated Press Postville, Iowa – Federal immigration agents in northeastern Iowa have arrested at least 300 people in a raid on the world’s largest kosher meatpacking plant. U.S. Attorney Matt M. Dummermuth says the raid on the Agriprocessors Inc. plant […]

Letter Up for Auction Reveals Einstein’s Views on ‘Childish’ Religion

posted by akornfeld

Associated Press London – Albert Einstein: arch rationalist or scientist with a spiritual core? A letter being auctioned in London this week adds more fuel to the long-simmering debate about the Nobel prize-winning physicist’s religious views. In the note, written […]

Buddhist Monks Help Cyclone Victims, Military Tries to Curb Their Efforts

posted by akornfeld

Associated Press Kyi Bui Khaw, Myanmar – The saffron-robed monks who spearheaded an uprising last fall against Myanmar’s military rulers are back on the front lines, this time providing food, shelter and spiritual solace to cyclone victims. The military regime […]

Dalai Lama’s Envoy Details Tibetan Proposals at China Talks

posted by akornfeld

Associated Press Dharmsala, India – The Dalai Lama’s envoys and Chinese officials disagreed more than they agreed at weekend talks on how to move beyond the unrest in Tibet, one of the Tibetan spiritual leader’s representatives said Thursday. Both sides […]

Pope’s Approval Ratings Rise After U.S. Visit

posted by akornfeld

By Daniel Burke Religion News Service After Pope Benedict XVI’s first papal visit to the U.S. last month, about 60 percent of Americans now report favorable views of the pontiff, a modest bump from pre-trip opinions, according to new polls. […]

Evangelicals Lament a Politicized Faith

posted by akornfeld

By Adelle M. Banks Religion News Service Washington — Evangelical Christians should be defined by their theology — and not their politics — to avoid becoming “useful idiots” of a political party, a group of leaders said Wednesday (May 7) […]

First Israeli-Funded Non-Orthodox Synagogue Dedicated

posted by akornfeld

Associated Press Modin, Israel – Israel’s Reform Jews have dedicated the first non-Orthodox synagogue to receive state funding, after a long court battle that highlighted the rift among the country’s different streams of Judaism. The Reform Yozma congregation dedicated the […]

Vatican to Bishops: Do Not Share Parish Information with Mormons

posted by akornfeld

By Francis X. Rocca Religion News Service Vatican City — Seeking to stop Mormons from posthumously baptizing Catholic ancestors, the Vatican has instructed bishops around the world not to share parish registers with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day […]

Methodists’ Conference Tackled a Number of Issues

posted by akornfeld

By Daniel Burke Religion News Service Debates on homosexuality and church structure may have captured the bulk of attention, but that’s not all United Methodists did at their General Conference in Fort Worth, Texas. They also heard addresses from the […]

Theological Center Calls for Greater Black Church Involvement on Darfur

posted by akornfeld

By Adelle M. Banks Religion News Service The Interdenominational Theological Center, a consortium of African-American theological schools in Atlanta, has urged black churches to take proactive steps to address the crisis in the Darfur region of Sudan. “In light of […]

Young Jews March at Auschwitz Site in Memory of Holocaust Victims

posted by akornfeld

Associated Press Oswiecim, Poland – Around 10,000 young Jews, Poles and World War II survivors took part in the March of the Living on Thursday, an annual event at the former Nazi death camp of Auschwitz-Birkenau that honors the memory […]

Methodists Vote to Retain Policies on Homosexuality

posted by akornfeld

By Daniel Burke Religion News Service Fort Worth, Texas — The United Methodist Church held to its traditional rules on homosexuality Wednesday (April 30), refusing to support or celebrate same-sex unions and maintaining language that calls homosexual activity “incompatible with […]

Obama Says He’s Outraged by Wright’s Comments

posted by akornfeld

Associated Press Winston-Salem, N.C. – Democrat Barack Obama said Tuesday he was outraged by the latest assertion by his former pastor that criticism of his fiery sermons is an attack on the black church. The presidential candidate is seeking to […]

NY Cardinal Criticizes Giuliani for Taking Communion

posted by akornfeld

Associated Press New York – Rudy Giuliani should not have received Holy Communion during the pope’s visit because the former presidential candidate supports abortion rights, New York Cardinal Edward Egan said Monday. Egan says he had “an understanding” with Giuliani […]

Parents Who Prayed as Diabetic Daughter Died Are Charged

posted by akornfeld

Associated Press Weston, Wis. – Two parents who prayed as their 11-year-old daughter died of untreated diabetes were charged Monday with second-degree reckless homicide. Family and friends had urged Dale and Leilani Neumann to get help for their daughter, but […]

Will the Pope’s Visit Lead to More Priests?

posted by akornfeld

Associated Press New York – The crowd of 25,000 Roman Catholics burst into cheers when Pope Benedict XVI took the stage for a youth rally during his U.S. visit last week. Chanting “Viva Papa!” they pressed against security barriers and […]

Judge: Gideon Bibles Don’t Belong in School

posted by akornfeld

Associated Press New Orleans – Tangipahoa Parish public schools must stop in-school Bible giveaways to students, a federal judge ruled. “Distribution of Bibles is a religious activity without a secular purpose” and amounts to school board promotion of Christianity, U.S. […]

Critics Say Day of Prayer ‘Hijacked’ by Evangelicals

posted by akornfeld

By Adelle M. Banks Religion News Service Washington – Is the upcoming National Day of Prayer a day for all Americans — or just evangelicals? That’s what some critics are charging in advance of the May 1 observances as they […]

Chaplains Minister to Ship Workers Far From Home

posted by akornfeld

By Bruce Nolan Religion News Service New Orleans – Catholic Deacon Pat Dempsey, a port chaplain, remembers the day he rode a launch out into the Mississippi River to visit a crew aboard an anchored vessel. In a backpack he […]

Dalai Lama Calls for US Help to Resolve Conflict with China

posted by akornfeld

Associated Press Ann Arbor, Mich. – The Tibetan people need the involvement of the U.S. government to help resolve recent conflicts between Chinese officials and anti-Beijing protesters in Tibet, the Dalai Lama said Monday. “At this moment, we need your […]

Texas Officials Try to Determine Polygamist Family Ties

posted by akornfeld

Associated Press San Angelo, Texas – Using cotton swabs and cameras, lab technicians began taking DNA samples Monday from hundreds of children and mothers – wearing long, pioneer-style dresses – in hopes of sorting out the tangled family relationships within […]

Passover Adapted to New Meanings of Liberation

posted by akornfeld

By Rachel Pomerance Religion News Service Atlanta – Moses may be a central character in the Jewish exodus from Egyptian slavery, but the old Negro spiritual “Go Down, Moses” isn’t exactly standard musical fare for a Passover Seder. Yet on […]

Carter Meets Hamas Chief Over Israeli, US Objections

posted by akornfeld

Associated Press Damascus, Syria – Former President Carter met Friday with the exiled leader of Hamas and the militant group’s deputy chief, men the U.S. government has labeled as global terrorists and Israel accuses of masterminding suicide bombings and kidnappings. […]

Pope: Respect for Human Rights Key to Solving Problems

posted by akornfeld

Associated Press United Nations – Pope Benedict XVI told diplomats at the United Nations on Friday that respect for human rights was the key to solving many of the world’s problems, while cautioning that international cooperation was threatened by “the […]

Pope Urges Church to Address ‘Pain and Harm’ of Abuse

posted by akornfeld

By Daniel Burke and Adelle M. Banks Religion News Service Washington – Pope Benedict XVI urged his American flock on Thursday (April 17) to foster unity within the Roman Catholic Church, and called on listeners to reach out to the […]

Hearing for Children at Polygamist Retreat Grinds to a Halt

posted by akornfeld

Associated Press San Angelo, Texas – A court hearing to decide the fates of hundreds of children seized from a polygamist retreat ground to a halt almost as soon as it began Thursday as hundreds of lawyers demanded to study […]

Methodists to Reopen Sexuality Debate

posted by akornfeld

By Adelle M. Banks Religion News Service The decades-old discussion of sexuality in the United Methodist Church will include a new wrinkle–transgender laypeople and clergy–when the nation’s second-largest Protestant denomination meets next week in Texas. Methodists will meet for their […]

Prepping for Passover at 35,000 Feet

posted by akornfeld

By Michele Chabin Religion News Service Tel Aviv, Israel – As religiously observant Jews know all too well, preparing for Passover can be backbreaking work. Every corner of the house, every toy box, sofa crevice and schoolbag must be scoured […]

Pope: ‘Ashamed’ of Clergy Abuse Scandal

posted by akornfeld

Associated Press Aboard the Papal Plane – Pope Benedict XVI said Tuesday he was “deeply ashamed” of the clergy sexual abuse scandal that stained the U.S. Catholic Church and pledged to work to make sure pedophiles do not become priests. […]

Hundreds Protest Dalai Lama in Seattle

posted by akornfeld

Associated Press Seattle – In a showing of pro-Chinese support, hundreds of demonstrators protested outside a college arena Monday as the Dalai Lama spoke to students on solving problems through dialogue. Thousands of people have flocked to Seattle to hear […]

World Evangelical Alliance Responds to Muslim Document

posted by akornfeld

By Adelle M. Banks Religion News Service The World Evangelical Alliance has responded to a Muslim overture for interfaith dialogue by saying its members want to “live in peace with Muslims” but disagree with their view of God. Last fall, […]

Court Tosses Christian Student’s School Speech Suit

posted by akornfeld

Associated Press Ashland, Ky. – A high school student won’t be allowed to proceed with a lawsuit against his school district for instituting a policy that barred him from expressing his opposition to homosexuality, a federal appeals court ruled Wednesday. […]

Dalai Lama Set to Begin 6-Day US Visit

posted by akornfeld

Associated Press Seattle – The Dalai Lama will mark his first visit to the United States since the recent turmoil in Tibet by anchoring an ambitious conference on compassion. Tibet’s exiled spiritual leader was expected to arrive here Thursday, a […]

Group Urges Pope to Address Priestly Abuse

posted by akornfeld

United Press International Boston — A Catholic lay group based in Boston called Wednesday on Pope Benedict XVI to address the issue of sexual abuse by priests while he is in the United States. Voice of the Faithful placed a […]

Kosher Conflict with Passover, Marathon

posted by akornfeld

Associated Press Boston – Jonah Pesner is looking ahead to his crucial carb-loading, fuel-up meal on the night before running his first Boston Marathon. On the menu: matzoh. It’s not the usual choice for marathoners loading up on carbohydrates to […]

Sect Married Girls at Puberty, Texas Officials Say

posted by akornfeld

Associated Press Eldorado, Texas – A polygamist compound with hundreds of children was rife with sexual abuse, with girls spiritually married to much older men as soon as they reached puberty and boys groomed to perpetuate the cycle, child welfare […]

Religious Freedom Panel Urges Bush to Boycott Beijing Games

posted by akornfeld

Kevin Eckstrom Religion News Service Washington – A federal religious freedom watchdog panel has urged President Bush to boycott the opening ceremonies of the Beijing Olympics unless “there is substantial improvement” in China’s treatment of Tibet. The U.S. Commission on […]

What’s Behind the Saudi Interfaith Summit?

posted by akornfeld

By Carlyle Murphy Religion News Service Riyadh, Saudi Arabia — A group of visiting Japanese scholars was making a routine courtesy call recently on King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz when the monarch raised a subject that, as he put it, […]

Benedict Relies on Words, Not John Paul’s Dramatic Images

posted by akornfeld

By Carol Ann Campbell Religion News Service Pope John Paul II would kneel to kiss the ground of foreign countries. He unleashed doves to signal peace. He placed a prayer of atonement in cracks of Jerusalem’s Western Wall. And the […]

Jewish Leader Calls Hagee an ‘Extremist’

posted by akornfeld

By Jonathan Rubin Religion News Service Washington – The head of the country’s largest Jewish movement called prominent Texas pastor John Hagee an “extremist” and urged fellow rabbis to shun his high-profile support of Israel. Rabbi Eric Yoffie, head of […]

Congress Honors Martin Luther King

posted by akornfeld

Associated Press Washington – Congress marked the 40th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s death Thursday with tributes by House and Senate leaders and words of remembrance by lawmakers who once worked alongside the civil rights leader. “Because of the […]

Pope Benedict to Visit New York Synagogue Led by Holocaust Survivor

posted by akornfeld

Associated Press New York – During his first papal trip to the United States, Pope Benedict XVI will visit a synagogue led by a rabbi who survived the Holocaust, U.S. bishops said Thursday. Benedict will make a brief stop April […]

Hope Fades for Obama’s Religious Appeal

posted by akornfeld

Associated Press Religion is supposed to be Barack Obama’s strength. Unlike many Democratic candidates before him, Obama speaks with ease about his faith. He attends Sunday worship and knows his Bible. His supporters believe he can pry some committed churchgoers […]

Tibet Monks Disrupt Tour by Journalists

posted by akornfeld

Associated Press Lhasa, China – A group of monks shouting there was no religious freedom disrupted a carefully orchestrated visit for foreign reporters to Tibet’s capital Thursday, an embarrassment for China as it tried to show Lhasa was calm following […]

Vatican: Convert Who Slammed Islam Doesn’t Express Pope’s Views

posted by akornfeld

Associated Press Vatican City – The convert from Islam who denounced what he called “inherent” violence in Islam a day after Pope Benedict XVI baptized him was not expressing the pope’s views, a Vatican spokesman said Thursday. Magdi Allam, an […]

Sikhs Reopen Temple Destroyed After 9/11 Attacks

posted by akornfeld

By Rohan Mascarenhas Religion News Service Palermo, N.Y. – Members of the Gobind Sadan USA temple hurried with last-minute chores last Saturday morning (March 22) as they prepared to dedicate their new temple. Adults readied musical instruments and food, while […]

Dalai Lama Says Violence Must Stop

posted by akornfeld

United Press International New Delhi – Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama said Tuesday he would resign if violent protests by Tibetans didn’t cease. “I have always made it clear that the expression of deep emotion should be in control. […]

Muslim Scholar Denounces Vatican Baptism

posted by akornfeld

Associated Press Vatican City – A Muslim scholar who participated in recent Vatican talks to improve Catholic-Muslim relations criticized Pope Benedict XVI’s Easter baptism of a prominent convert from Islam as a “provocative” act. Magdi Allam, an Egyptian-born TV and […]

10 Minutes with Dalia Mogahed, Author of ‘Who Speaks for Islam?’

posted by akornfeld

By Andrea Useem Religion News Service With Islam so much in the news today, experts and pundits are frequently called upon to explain the views of Muslims worldwide. But according to Dalia Mogahed, executive director of the Gallup Center for […]

Easter’s ‘Good Thief’ Has Small But Loyal Following

posted by akornfeld

By Daniel Burke Religion News Service When Deacon Ken Finn is counseling prisoners, he often tells the story of St. Dismas. “He was the guy crucified on the right side of Christ,” Finn says. “He never took a course in […]

Bin Laden: Pope Helps Anti-Islam Crusade

posted by akornfeld

Associated Press Cairo, Egypt – Osama bin Laden accused Pope Benedict XVI of helping in a “new Crusade” against Islam and warned of a “severe” reaction to European publications of cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad that insulted many Muslims. Bin […]

Merkel: Germans Ashamed Over Holocaust

posted by akornfeld

Associated Press Jerusalem – Germany’s chancellor told Israel’s parliament Tuesday that Germans are filled with shame over the Nazi Holocaust and that she bows before the victims. Chancellor Angela Merkel delivered the speech in German on the last day of […]

Obama Seeks to Defuse Uproar Over Pastor, Says U.S. Racial Problems Must Be Aired

posted by akornfeld

Associated Press Washington – Democratic Sen. Barack Obama waded into America’s troubled racial history Tuesday, seeking in his most revealing campaign remarks on race to stem accumulating political damage done by the words of his former pastor. Obama confronted what […]

Dalai Lama Says He Would Step Down if Tibetans’ Violence Spirals Out of Control

posted by akornfeld

Associated Press Dharmsala, India – The Dalai Lama threatened Tuesday to step down as leader of Tibet’s government in exile if violence committed by Tibetans in his homeland spirals out of control. The Tibetan spiritual leader also sharply rejected accusations […]

Tibetan Exiles Arrested for Protest March Begin Hunger Strike

posted by akornfeld

Associated Press Dehra, India – Police dragged away more than 100 Tibetan exiles in northern India on Thursday to prevent them from continuing a march to their homeland to protest China’s hosting of the Olympic Games. Clutching Tibetan flags and […]

Archbishop’s Body Found in Iraq

posted by akornfeld

Associated Press Baghdad – The body of a Christian archbishop kidnapped last month was found in northern Iraq Thursday while in Baghdad, a car bomb exploded and killed 18 people. Gunmen abducted Chaldean Catholic Archbishop Paulos Faraj Rahho and killed […]

Episcopal Leaders Oust Breakaway, Conservative Fresno Bishop

posted by akornfeld

Associated Press Fresno, California – Episcopal leaders have ousted a breakaway conservative bishop in a struggle for control of the Diocese of San Joaquin and its properties. The Episcopal House of Bishops, meeting in Texas, took the action Wednesday against […]

Poland Renews Citizenship for Jews Who Fled in 1968

posted by akornfeld

Ian Wilhelm Religion News Service Polish officials have announced that they will allow Jews who fled the country four decades ago to reclaim their Polish citizenship. After anti-communist protests erupted in Warsaw and other cities in 1968, the authorities blamed […]

Lahore Bombings Pressures Pakistan to Rethink Counter-Terror Strategy

posted by akornfeld

Associated Press Lahore, Pakistan – The spread of terrorism across Pakistan from its wild tribal regions to the cultural capital of Lahore on Tuesday adds to the pressure for a reconsideration of its U.S.-allied president’s approach to countering al-Qaida and […]

India Warns Canada of Sikh Terrorists

posted by akornfeld

United Press International Ottawa — The government of India has warned Canadian officials in Ottawa of the regrouping of violent Sikh separatists, the Vancouver Sun reported Tuesday. A senior official with the Indian High Commission told the Sun Monday the […]

Jerusalem Seminary Attacked, 7 Dead

posted by akornfeld

Associated Press Jerusalem – A gunman infiltrated a Jewish seminary in Jerusalem and opened fire in a library Thursday night, killing at least seven people, officials said. Rescue workers said at least 10 people were wounded. Government spokesman Daniel Seaman […]

St. Pat’s Day, Catholic Church March to Different Drummers

posted by akornfeld

USA TODAY Don the green and boil the cabbage: St. Patrick’s Day celebrations are starting early this year — at least for some Irish-Americans who don’t want to run afoul of the Roman Catholic Church. Festivities kick off this weekend […]

Atheist Soldier Says Army Punished Him

posted by akornfeld

Associated Press Topeka, Kan. – A soldier claimed Wednesday that his promotion was blocked because he had claimed in a lawsuit that the Army was violating his right to be an atheist. Attorneys for Spc. Jeremy Hall and the Military […]

Professor Says He Found Ark of the Covenant–Maybe

posted by akornfeld

By Brittani Hamm Religion News Service Brushing back a thick layer of dust, Tudor Parfitt revealed a distinctive interwoven pattern carved around the outside of the “terribly, terribly damaged” wooden artifact tucked away on the bottom shelf of a Zimbabwe […]

Abortion Clinic Avoids Kan. Indictment

posted by akornfeld

Associated Press Kansas City, Mo. – A Kansas grand jury that investigated a Planned Parenthood clinic has refused to issue an indictment on allegations that it violated restrictions on the procedure. The Johnson County, Kan., grand jury’s decision was announced […]

N.M. Town Split Over Immigrant’s Removal

posted by akornfeld

Associated Press Roswell, N.M. – Karina Acosta’s senior year at Roswell High came to an abrupt end after she was ticketed for blocking a fire lane outside a school and driving without a license. The officer who stopped her – […]

Bush Says Mideast Peace Still Possible

posted by akornfeld

Associated Press Washington – With only 10 months left in his term and Israeli-Palestinian talks collapsed over renewed violence, President Bush said Tuesday there is “plenty of time” to get a Mideast peace deal before he leaves. “This is a […]

Christian Group’s Study Links Subprime Crisis to Hunger

posted by akornfeld

Matthew Streib Religion News Service Washington – The poorest counties in the U.S. are among the hardest hit by the subprime mortgage crisis, according to a study released Wednesday (Feb. 27) by the Christian anti-hunger advocacy group Bread for the […]

Oregon Teens Suspended for Wearing Crucifixes

posted by akornfeld

Associated Press Albany, Ore. – A pair of Albany teenagers suspended for “gang-related behavior” because they were wearing crucifixes say they were only wearing gifts from their mothers. Jaime Salazar, 14, and his friend Marco Castro, 16, were suspended from […]

Obama Fights False Links to Islam, Denounces Views of Farrakhan

posted by akornfeld

Associated Press Washington – For Barack Obama, it is an ember that he has doused time and again, only to see it flicker anew: links to Islam fanned by false rumors, innuendo and association. The Democratic presidential front-runner and his […]

Catholics Lose More Faithful Than Any Other Group

posted by akornfeld

By Greg Trotter Religion News Service In the marketplace of American faith, Catholicism is the big loser. Catholics have lost more members to other faiths, or to no faith at all, than any other U.S. religion, according to the new […]

Polygamist Leader Warren Jeffs Is in Custody of Arizona Authorities to Face New Charges There

posted by akornfeld

Associated Press Phoenix – U.S. polygamist sect leader Warren Jeffs was handed over to Arizona authorities Tuesday to face charges that he arranged the marriages of two teenage girls to older men. He already has been convicted in Utah in […]

Senate Investigation of Ministries Continues

posted by akornfeld

Associated Press A senator’s investigation into spending and oversight at six “prosperity gospel” ministries has hit a roadblock with a minister intensifying his efforts to fight the inquiry, but made progress on Monday when another turned over documents. Flamboyant Texas-based […]

NFL Punts: Churches Can Show Super Bowl Telecast

posted by akornfeld

By Paul Walsh Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News After churches in Minnesota and elsewhere in the nation were warned by the NFL about showing the Super Bowl telecast to gatherings, the league has relented and will allow religious organizations to display […]

Change in Good Friday Prayer Prompts Mixed Reaction

posted by akornfeld

Associated Press New York – The Anti-Defamation League was “deeply troubled” by the prayer. Conservative Jewish rabbis said they were “dismayed and deeply disturbed” by its language. But some veteran interfaith leaders – Jewish and Roman Catholic – say there’s […]

Chinese Official in Washington to Deal with US Claims of Religious Intolerance Before Olympics

posted by akornfeld

Associated Press Washington – A senior Chinese official is trying to calm U.S. misgivings ahead of Beijing’s coming Olympic Games about what the Bush administration sees as religious intolerance in China. The director of China’s religious affairs bureau met in […]

Vatican to Tighten Rules on Making Saints

posted by akornfeld

By Francis X. Rocca Religion News Service Vatican City — In his 26-year reign, Pope John Paul II canonized a record 482 saints and beatified an additional 1,341 Catholics, more than all his predecessors combined since the late 16th century. […]

Uganda’s Anglicans Threaten to Secede from Global Church

posted by akornfeld

Associated Press Kampala, Uganda – Uganda’s Anglican church threatened Monday to secede from the rest of the 77-million member fellowship unless U.S. clergy condemn homosexuality. The announcement was the latest salvo in a fierce debate about homosexuality has overtaken the […]

Graham Home Following Surgery

posted by akornfeld

Associated Press Asheville, N.C. – Evangelist Billy Graham is back at his North Carolina home recovering from surgery to update a shunt that controls excess fluid to his brain. Mission Hospitals spokeswoman Merrell Gregory says Graham is recovering well and […]

Suits Challenge Pa. Rules on Clergy and Weddings

posted by akornfeld

By Daniel Burke Religion News Service The American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania filed lawsuits Thursday (Feb. 14) challenging a judge’s ruling that marriages performed by ministers without a congregation or place of worship are invalid. The 2007 ruling, by […]

Rabbis Upset Over Good Friday Prayers

posted by akornfeld

By Rachel Pomerance and Francis X. Rocca Religion News Service Conservative rabbis expressed their “dismay” this week over a traditional Good Friday prayer that calls for the conversion of Jews that Pope Benedict XVI revised but left largely intact. In […]

Vatican Reports Decline of Numbers in Religious Orders

posted by akornfeld

Associated Press Vatican City – The number of men and women belonging to Roman Catholic religious orders worldwide has continued to decline but there has been an increase in priests assigned to dioceses, the Vatican said Tuesday. The Vatican’s statistics […]

Businessman Rescues Oral Roberts U.

posted by akornfeld

Associated Press Oklahoma City – As a kid, Mart Green made 7 cents for every picture frame he glued together for his father’s arts and crafts business. But before he went out and bought baseball cards with his money, the […]

Kan. Court Blocks Abortion Grand Jury

posted by akornfeld

Associated Press Topeka, Kan. – The Kansas Supreme Court on Tuesday temporarily blocked a grand jury from obtaining patient records from a physician who is one of the nation’s few late-term abortion providers. The grand jury is investigating whether Dr. […]

Florida Baptist Edges Emperor Toward Sainthood

posted by akornfeld

Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News Feb. 1–The last ruler of the Austro-Hungarian Empire moved a little closer to Roman Catholic sainthood Thursday, thanks to a Baptist woman from Kissimmee who claims the monarch’s intercession saved her from metastatic breast cancer. Emperor […]

Analysis: Romney Opens Up About Mormons

posted by akornfeld

Associated Press San Diego – The death of Mormon church President Gordon B. Hinckley renews attention on Mitt Romney’s little-known religion – yet rather than being reluctant to discuss it, he’s making a public embrace that shows some shifting political […]

Carter Forges Peace Among a New Group: Baptists

posted by akornfeld

By Adelle M. Banks Religion News Service Atlanta – Since his days in the White House, former President Jimmy Carter has served as an elder statesman on global issues and garnered the Nobel Peace Prize for his humanitarian work along […]

New ‘Manga’ Bible Casts Jesus as Ultimate Superhero

posted by akornfeld

By Lilly Fowler Religion News Service Superman may have been able to leap tall buildings in a single bound, but for Christians, Jesus has always been the ultimate superhero. After all, they say, only Jesus was able to bring salvation […]

Previous Posts

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 churches. [caption id="attachment_12343" align="alignleft" width="48

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, that he would live to see the beginning of a Christian re

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 Out, Murdered in the Kenyan Mall Massacre,” “Judicial

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 id="attachment_12246" align="alignleft" width="480"] Ant

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

Does Sunday Morning Church Really Need All This Glitter, Showmanship and Gimmickry?
What’s wrong with church today? Are we in danger of turning worship into a flashy concert? Of watering down the message so nobody is offended? Of forgetting the simplicity of the Gospel? I grew up with a preacher’s kid. He was a fake following in the footsteps of his flimflamming father who d

posted 11:26:20am Sep. 20, 2013 | read full post »

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