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Vatican Says New Guidelines Will Combat Global Abuse Scandal

posted by aroan

VATICAN CITY (RNS) The Vatican announced on Friday (Nov. 19) that it is preparing international guidelines to prevent the sexual abuse of children by Roman Catholic clergy, a long-awaited response to a scandal that has seeped into countless corners of […]

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Clinton Details Religious Freedom, Nominee Faces Senators

posted by aroan

By Adelle M. Banks c. 2010 Religion News Service WASHINGTON (RNS) Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton on Wednesday (Nov. 17) called for continued vigilance to protect religious minorities as her department released its annual report on international religious freedom. […]

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Bishops, in Surprise Move, Elect New York’s Dolan As President

posted by aroan

By Daniel Burke c. 2010 Religion News Service BALTIMORE (RNS) In a dramatic break with tradition, U.S. Catholic bishops on Tuesday (Nov. 16) elected New York Archbishop Timothy Dolan as their next president, choosing a friendly but assertive leader over […]

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Coalition Seeks Moral Objection to War

posted by aroan

By Adelle M. Banks c. 2010 Religion News Service WASHINGTON (RNS) On the eve of Veterans Day, religious leaders and veterans called for a reconsideration of conscientious objection to war, saying military members should have the right to object to […]

Massive Pentecostal Meeting Means Big Bucks for City

posted by aroan

By Tim Townsend c. 2010 St. Louis Post-Dispatch ST. LOUIS (RNS) When is a church convention more than just another church convention? When 40,000 saints from the Church of God in Christ come marching in and relocate the year’s largest […]

Five Anglican Bishops Leave for Roman Catholic Church

posted by aroan

LONDON (RNS) Five bishops have decided to leave the Church of England and join the Roman Catholic Church under the Vatican’s new program to welcome disaffected Anglicans. The decision by three active and two retired bishops was reported Monday (Nov. […]

Pope, in Spain, Denounces Gay Marriage, Abortion

posted by aroan

By Francis X. Rocca c. 2010 Religion News Service VATICAN CITY (RNS) Pope Benedict XVI denounced abortion, same-sex marriage and the absence of religion in public life during a weekend (Nov. 6-7) visit to Spain, a country he called the […]

Controversial Gay Episcopal Bishop to Retire in 2013

posted by aroan

By KEVIN ECKSTROM c. 2010 Religion News Service (RNS) Openly gay Episcopal Bishop V. Gene Robinson, whose 2003 election caused a major schism within the Episcopal Church and the worldwide Anglican Communion, announced on Saturday (Nov. 6) that he will […]

Conservatives Send a Warning Shot in Ousting Iowa Judges

posted by aroan

By Whitney Jones c. 2010 Religion News Service (RNS) Three of the seven justices on the Iowa Supreme Court who voted to legalize same-sex marriage last year lost their jobs on Tuesday (Nov. 2), but conservative activists are warning they […]

Okla. Muslims Unsure of Status after Shariah Referendum

posted by aroan

By Omar Sacirbey c. 2010 Religion News Service (RNS) Born and raised in Oklahoma, Sarah Albahadily will wear her headscarf to a Brad Paisley concert and her cowboy boots to mosque. There are two things she says she never misses: […]

Faith Groups Press Geithner on Foreclosures

posted by aroan

WASHINGTON (RNS) A national network of faith-based organizations, homeowners and community organizers met with Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner on Wednesday (Nov. 3), urging him to tackle problems with fraudulent foreclosures. Organizers from the group People Improving Communities through Organizing (PICO) […]

Have Democrats Lost Faith in Faith-based Outreach?

posted by aroan

By Daniel Burke c. 2010 Religion News Service WASHINGTON (RNS) As Democrats conduct a grim postmortem on Tuesday’s (Nov. 2) elections, some liberal leaders say one diagnosis is already clear: the party’s outreach to religious voters was lifeless from the […]

Obama Meets, Prays with Church Leaders

posted by aroan

By Adelle M. Banks c. 2010 Religion News Service WASHINGTON (RNS) Twenty-one Christian leaders met and prayed with President Obama on Monday (Nov. 1), discussing joint concerns about poverty, U.S.-Cuban relations and peace in the Middle East. Leaders from the […]

Air Force Academy Cites Progress in Tackling Religious Intolerance

posted by aroan

WASHINGTON (RNS) A recent survey on the religious climate of the U.S. Air Force Academy showed that 41 percent of non-Christian cadets face unwanted proselytizing at least once during a year-long period. The Cadet and Permanent Party Climate Assessment Survey, […]

Exhibit Offers Peak Inside Vatican’s `Splendors’

posted by aroan

By Ann Rodgers c. 2010 Religion News Service Pittsburgh (RNS) The entrance to the Vatican Splendors exhibit evokes a part of St. Peter’s Basilica that few tourists ever see: the archaeological excavation beneath the altar, where the modest grave of […]

ACLU Questions Sunday Morning Voting at Churches

posted by aroan

WASHINGTON (RNS) The American Civil Liberties Union is criticizing plans by two Iowa churches to host early voting during worship services. “Combining polling places with religious services is an invitation to the abuse of both religion and the civic act […]

Obama May Skip Sikh Shrine

posted by aroan

International Herald Tribune – October 21, 2010 A plan for Mr. Obama to visit the Golden Temple in Amritsar appears to have foundered on the thorny question of how he would cover his head, as Sikh tradition requires. The Golden […]

Study: More Link Christian Faith to Being American

posted by aroan

(RNS) As the U.S. has grown more diverse, more Americans believe that being a Christian is a key aspect of being “truly American,” researchers say. Purdue University scholars found that between 1996 and 2004, Americans who saw Christian identity as […]

Pope Names Two Americans Among 24 New Cardinals

posted by aroan

By Francis X. Rocca c. 2010 Religion News Service VATICAN CITY (RNS) Two American archbishops, one serving in Rome and the other in Washington, D.C., will be granted a cardinal’s red hat in a ceremony at the Vatican next month, […]

Catholics, Orthodox Agree: Pope Remains a Sticking Point

posted by aroan

By Nicole Neroulias S c. 2010 Religion News Service (RNS) Visit a Roman Catholic and an Eastern Orthodox liturgy, and the differences are stark: Catholic statues vs. Orthodox icons, celibate vs. married priests, communion wafers vs. hunks of bread. Pay […]

Survey: Jewish Disapproval of Obama Rising

posted by aroan

(RNS) President Obama’s approval rating among U.S. Jews has dropped in the past year, while opinions of Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu have improved, according to a new survey released by the American Jewish Committee. The global advocacy organization pegged Jewish […]

Magazine: Most Think Sex Offenders Should Be in Pews

posted by aroan

(RNS) Nearly eight in 10 respondents who participated in a Christianity Today International survey said convicted sex offenders should be welcomed in church pews. The vast majority of survey participants — pastors, church leaders and staff members and active Christians […]

Courts Uphold Teen’s Piercing, Religious License Plates

posted by aroan

(RNS) Two federal courts have issued strong defenses of religious expression in two separate decisions, one involving a teenager’s nose piercing and the other a license plate. Ariana Iacono, a freshman at Clayton (N.C.) High School, was allowed to return […]

Muslims Say Free Speech Must Be Defended

posted by aroan

(RNS) More than 160 North American Muslims from the U.S. and Canada have issued a “Defense of Free Speech” statement that affirms free speech and condemns those who threaten violence against people who criticize or mock Islam. The statement follows […]

Vatican Perplexed by Nobel Awarded to IVF Creator

posted by aroan

VATICAN CITY (RNS) The Vatican’s top bioethics official expressed “perplexity” after the Nobel Prize in Medicine was awarded Monday (Oct. 4) to the inventor of in vitro fertilization (IVF). Bishop Ignazio Carrasco de Paula, president of the Pontifical Academy for […]

Ban on School Christmas Carols Upheld

posted by aroan

By Jeanette Rundquist c. 2010 Religion News Service (RNS) “Silent Night” and other religious songs will remain off the program at holiday concerts in one New Jersey school district — and possibly others across the country — after the U.S. […]

Pope, in Sicily, Denounces Mob

posted by aroan

VATICAN CITY (RNS) Pope Benedict XVI spent Sunday (Oct. 3) in the heartland of the Sicilian Mafia, denouncing organized crime and paying tribute to those slain in the long struggle against the mob. “Don’t give in to the temptations of […]

Druids Get Official OK in Britain

posted by aroan

LONDON (RNS) Druidry, the pagan worship that has been practiced on these shores for thousands of years, on Friday (Oct. 1) gained recognition by the British government as an official religion after a four-year legal battle. The Charity Commission, established […]

Abuse Charges Aren’t Long’s First Brush with Controversy

posted by aroan

By Adelle M. Banks c. 2010 Religion News Service (RNS) Bishop Eddie Long was once best known as an Atlanta-area megachurch leader and internationally known religious broadcaster. Now there’s another title: Accused sex offender. As the Lithonia, Ga., pastor faces […]

Buddhist Bhutan Bans Clergy from Voting in Elections

posted by aroan

(RNS) Officials in Buddhist-majority Bhutan have barred Hindu and Buddhist clergy from voting in upcoming elections in order to keep a clear distinction between religion and politics. The landlocked Himalayan nation considers Mahayana Buddhism the state religion and funds a […]

Buzz Builds Around New Unofficial Saint of Abuse Victims

posted by aroan

By Francis X. Rocca c. 2010 Religion News Service VATICAN CITY (RNS) Mother Mary MacKillop won’t be canonized until Oct. 17, but some Catholics already have an unofficial title for the 19th-century Australian nun: Patron Saint of Whistleblowers. MacKillop (1842-1909), […]

Poll Finds Unbelievers Know the Most About Belief

posted by aroan

By Adelle M. Banks c. 2010 Religion News Service Note: This story was updated to include a correction in the second paragraph. The word “not” was added. WASHINGTON (RNS) Who can best answer questions about religion in America? Based on […]

RNA Honors Top Religion Reporting

posted by aroan

DENVER (RNS) Religion reporters from The Washington Post and The New York Times won top honors Saturday (Sept. 25) at the 2010 Religion Newswriters Association’s annual awards competition. The RNA also honored former New York Times religion reporter Gustav Niebuhr […]

Long Vows to Fight Sexual Misconduct Charges

posted by aroan

(RNS) Bishop Eddie Long, the Atlanta-area preacher facing charges from four young men that he coerced them to have sex, told his congregation Sunday (Sept. 26) he is “under attack” and will fight the allegations against him. “I’ve been accused,” […]

Prominent Atlanta minister Named in Three Abuse Suits

posted by aroan

(RNS) Bishop Eddie Long, a prominent Atlanta-area megachurch leader, has been sued by three young men accusing him of sexual misconduct. Long, pastor of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in Lithonia, Ga., has denied claims of sexual abuse and gifts […]

Pope, in Typical British Form, Talks Frankly and Candidly

posted by aroan

By Francix X. Rocca c. 2010 Religion News Service LONDON (RNS) Seemingly unfazed by months of protests from secularist critics, Pope Benedict XVI deployed unusually forceful language on Friday (Sept. 17) to defend the “legitimate role of religion” in public […]

Skateboarder an Overnight Sensation After Rescuing Qur’an

posted by aroan

(RNS) At the end of a summer characterized by unprecedented levels of Islamophobia, Muslim Americans and their allies have found an expected reason to smile: Jake Isom, a skateboarder with a rat-tail from Amarillo, Texas. Last Saturday (Sept. 18), Isom, […]

Pope on UK Visit Admits Failures in Abuse Scandal

posted by aroan

Associated Press – September 16, 2010 EDINBURGH, Scotland – Pope Benedict XVI braved a chilly atmosphere Thursday in mostly secular Britain to issue his strongest comments yet on the sex abuse crisis, admitting that the Catholic Church had not acted […]

Black Muslims Hear Echoes of Jim Crow in Current Furor

posted by aroan

By Adelle M. Banks c. 2010 Religion News Service WASHINGTON (RNS) Imam Mahdi Bray is feeling a sense of deja vu these days, with threats and attacks on Muslims reviving memories of his younger days working and marching alongside civil […]

50,000 Hasidic Mark Jewish New Year in Ukraine

posted by aroan

Associated Press – September 9, 2010 KIEV, Ukraine – Tens of thousands of Hasidic Jews from around the world gathered in a small Ukrainian city Thursday to mark the Jewish New Year at the tomb of their spiritual leader – […]

Prominent Faith Leaders Denounce Islamophobia

posted by aroan

WASHINGTON (RNS) Three dozen faith leaders Tuesday (Sept. 7) issued a declaration denouncing anti-Muslim bigotry as the nation prepares to mark the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks at a time of inflamed religious tensions. Ingrid Mattson, president of the Islamic […]

Muslims Wary of Closeness Between Holiday and 9/11

posted by aroan

By Omar Sacirbey c. 2010 Religion News Service (RNS) For this year’s Eid al-Fitr, the Islamic holiday that concludes the holy month of Ramadan, Nakia Jackson received an unusual present from a Jewish friend: cab fare. “She doesn’t want me […]

As Ramadan Ends, Muslims Seek School Holiday

posted by aroan

By Nicole Neroulias c. 2010 Religion News Service NEW YORK (RNS) For Nikhat Choudhury, the Muslim holidays of Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha mean picking out new clothes, getting together with her cousins and feasting on homemade samosas and other […]

Mormons and Jews Reach Agreement on Baptism Dispute

posted by aroan

(RNS) Jewish and Mormon church leaders announced Wednesday (Sept. 1) that church policies preventing the posthumous baptizing of Holocaust victims have reduced tensions between them. Leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints said they now require church […]

Faith-healing Family Pleads Not Guilty to Manslaughter

posted by aroan

OREGON CITY, Ore. (RNS) Two members of an Oregon church that preaches faith-healing pleaded not guilty Monday (Aug. 30) to manslaughter charges for failing to provide medical care to their infant son, who died shortly after his premature birth. Attorneys […]

Beck Wants to Lead, but will Evangelicals Follow?

posted by aroan

y Adelle M. Banks c. 2010 Religion News Service WASHINGTON (RNS) Southern Baptist executive Richard Land was pleased at how religious Glenn Beck’s “Restoring Honor” rally turned out to be. Bishop Harry Jackson, a black evangelical leader, was pleasantly surprised […]

Five Years After Katrina, New Orleans Takes Stock

posted by aroan

By Bruce Nolan c. 2010 Religion News Service NEW ORLEANS (RNS) With prayers and the tolling of bells, but also with second-line parades and Mardi Gras Indians, New Orleanians on Sunday (Aug. 29)took stock of their rebuilt lives in the […]

Western Wall to Feature New One-way Partition Between Men, Women

posted by aroan

JERUSALEM (RNS) Jewish authorities at the Western Wall hope to replace the existing opaque partition that separates the men’s and women’s prayer areas with one that will enable female worshippers to see into the men’s section but not vice-versa. The […]

Poll: Majority Opposes Mosque near Ground Zero, Sees Site as `Sacred Ground’

posted by aroan

By Nicole Neroulias c. 2010 Religion News Service (RNS) The outcry over the proposed Islamic community center near Ground Zero should not be lumped together with protests against planned mosques in other parts of the country, a new poll suggests. […]

Presbyterian Minister Faces Church Trial on Gay Weddings

posted by aroan

By Daniel Burke c. 2010 Religion News Service (RNS) For the second time in two years, the Rev. Jane Spahr is on trial in the Presbyterian Church (USA) for performing same-sex weddings. A retired pastor and self-described “lesbian evangelist,” Spahr, […]

New Catholic Mass Approved for 2011 Roll-out

posted by aroan

WASHINGTON (RNS) The most sweeping changes to the Catholic Mass in 40 years will be rolled out in 2011, the U.S. bishops announced Friday (Aug. 20) after receiving formal approval from the Vatican. The new English-language translation of the Roman […]

Church Vows to Burn Qur’ans Without Fire Permit

posted by aroan

(RNS) Fire officials in Gainesville, Fla., have denied a permit to a church that wants to burn Qurans on Sept. 11, but church officials said they’ll go ahead with the protest that has garnered worldwide attention. Leaders of the Dove […]

Polls: One in Four Americans Thinks Obama’s a Muslim

posted by aroan

By Adelle M. Banks c. 2010 Religion News Service WASHINGTON (RNS) Two new polls say as many as one in four Americans mistakenly believe President Obama is a Muslim, presenting the White House with the unique challenge of defining a […]

Fight Over N.Y. Mosque Becomes a Partisan Wedge Issue

posted by aroan

By Adelle M. Banks c. 2010 Religion News Service WASHINGTON (RNS) What started as a local zoning debate about an Islamic center near Ground Zero, and then morphed into a fight over religious expression, has now turned into an election-year […]

Embattled Episcopal Bishop Seeks Allies Overseas

posted by aroan

By DANIEL BURKE c. 2010 Religion News Service (RNS) Contrary to what they say about Las Vegas, what happens in one branch of the worldwide Anglican Communion rarely stays there. And no one knows this more than the former Episcopal […]

Christian Leaders Praise Taize Community on 70th Anniversary

posted by aroan

GENEVA (RNS/ENInews) World Christian leaders are paying tribute to the ecumenical Taize community in eastern France, which is marking the 70th anniversary of its founding in 1940 by Brother Roger Schutz, who died in 2005. In a message in advance […]

Churches Come Up Short as Delegates’ Visas Denied

posted by aroan

By ALFREDO GARCIA c. 2010 Religion News Service WASHINGTON (RNS) When the Baptist World Alliance held its global conference in Hawaii earlier this month, it was missing about 1,000 attendees from around the world. In June, the inaugural meeting of […]

Calif. Judge Lifts Stay, Permits Gays to Marry Aug. 18

posted by aroan

(RNS) Same-sex couples can begin marrying in California again on Aug. 18 after a federal judge lifted a stay on his recent ruling that struck down California’s voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage. “Based on the trial record, which establishes that […]

SNAP Blasts Episcopalians On Reinstated Bishop

posted by aroan

(RNS) Advocates for victims of clergy sex abuse have blasted the Episcopal Church for reinstating the bishop of Philadelphia who had been charged with not investigating sex abuse allegations about his brother. A church appeals court ruled July 28 that […]

Plaintiffs Give Up Sex Abuse Case Against Vatican

posted by aroan

Associated Press – August 10, 2010 LOUISVILLE, Kentucky – Three men who sought to hold the Vatican liable in an American court for sexual abuses by Roman Catholic priests in a Kentucky diocese are abandoning the case. Lawyers looked to […]

Aid Group `Wants to Stay’ in Afghanistan Despite Killings

posted by aroan

(RNS/ENInews) The International Assistance Mission has rejected Taliban claims that 10 staffers from the Christian aid agency who were killed in Afghanistan had been trying to convert Muslims. “Our faith motivates and inspires us, but we do not proselytize. We […]

Baha’i Leaders Sentenced to 20 Years in Iran

posted by aroan

(RNS) Seven top leaders of the Baha’i faith who have been incarcerated in Iran since 2008 have each received jail sentences of 20 years after six months of court hearings that ended on June 14, according to the Baha’i World […]

Church of God Says Women Can Be Leaders But Not Bishops

posted by aroan

(RNS) The Church of God (Cleveland, Tenn.) has decided to permit women to serve on local church councils but has maintained its rule that they cannot be ordained as bishops. By a narrow vote during its recent General Assembly, the […]

After Public Family Feud, Another Schuller Steps In

posted by aroan

By Lilly Fowler c. 2010 Religion News Service GARDEN GROVE, Calif. (RNS) Christian author Carole Lewis stands at the front of the church sharing her tale of woe: bankruptcy, a daughter’s death, a husband’s prostate cancer, a home destroyed by […]

Religious Groups Press for CIA Torture Probe

posted by aroan

WASHINGTON (RNS) Twenty religious organizations are calling for Congress and President Obama to ensure a fair and thorough investigation into allegations of forced human experimentation by the CIA on detainees after 9/11. In June, the group Physicians for Human Rights […]

Jewish Activists Support Ground Zero Mosque

posted by aroan

Associated Press – August 5, 2010 NEW YORK – A group of Jewish activists and community leaders voiced their support for a planned mosque near ground zero and said opponents, including the nation’s leading Jewish civil rights group, are perpetuating […]

Catholic Charities Says BP Isn’t Filling Aid Request

posted by aroan

NEW ORLEANS (RNS) The social service arm of the local Catholic Church said Tuesday (Aug. 3) it’s nearly out of relief money for people damaged by the BP oil spill because the oil company has not approved a replenishment the […]

Appeals Court Sides with Prison in Headscarf Case

posted by aroan

WASHINGTON (RNS) A federal appeals court has sided with a prison system whose policy forbids Muslim women employees from wearing headscarves on the job. In a 2-1 decision issued Tuesday (Aug. 3), the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals called […]

Judge Overturns Calif. Gay Marriage Ban

posted by aroan

Associated Press – August 4, 2010 SAN FRANCISCO – A federal judge overturned California’s same-sex marriage ban Wednesday in a landmark case that could eventually land before the U.S. Supreme Court to decide if gays have a constitutional right to […]

Conservatives Will Appeal Go-ahead Vote for `Ground Zero Mosque’

posted by aroan

(RNS) A conservative religious law firm plans to appeal a decision that grants a green light for the construction of an Islamic community center two blocks from Ground Zero. The Washington-based American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) opposes the […]

Focus on the Family Announces More than 100 Job Cuts

posted by aroan

(RNS) Focus on the Family has announced 110 job cuts in the latest round of layoffs that the Colorado ministry attributes to the departure of founder James Dobson and the reduced financial support from donors. “This is not a happy […]

Evangelicals Condemn Planned Qur’an Burning

posted by aroan

(RNS) The National Association of Evangelicals has condemned plans by a Florida church to burn copies of the Quran on the anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. “The proposed burning of Qurans would be profoundly offensive to Muslims worldwide, just […]

Vatican Blasts FDA Over Stem Cell Ruling

posted by aroan

VATICAN CITY (RNS) A top Vatican official has criticized a decision by the Food and Drug Administration to allow the world’s first clinical trials using stem cells derived from human embryos. “Despite the efforts that are made to deny it, […]

Orthodox Jews Issue Statement in Support of Gays

posted by aroan

JERUSALEM (RNS) More than 100 modern-Orthodox rabbis, educators and mental-health professionals in Israel and the U.S. have signed a document that urges respect for homosexuals but stops short of condoning same-sex relationships. The “Statement of Principles,” released on the eve […]

Catholic Patriarch Blasts Israel for Allowing Gay Parade

posted by aroan

JERUSALEM (RNS) The Catholic Church’s highest official in the Holy Land sharply criticized Israeli authorities for permitting a gay pride march on Thursday (July 29) through the streets of Jerusalem. In a statement issued Friday following the city’s 8th Annual […]

Novelist Anne Rice says `I Quit Being a Christian’

posted by aroan

By Kevin Eckstrom c. 2010 Religion News Service (RNS) Vampire novelist Anne Rice says she’s leaving Christianity — again — because she no longer wants to be identified with such a “quarrelsome, hostile, disputatious, and deservedly infamous group.” Born and […]

Jewish Group Opposes Ground Zero Mosque

posted by aroan

Associated Press – July 30, 2010 NEW YORK – America’s leading Jewish civil rights group has come out against the planned mosque and Islamic community center near the World Trade Center’s ground zero site, saying the location is “counterproductive to […]

Religious Leaders Hail Cocaine-sentencing Bill

posted by aroan

WASHINGTON (RNS) U.S. religious leaders are applauding Congress’ approval of legislation that reduces the disparity of jail time between crack and powder cocaine offenses. After passing the Senate in March, the Fair Sentencing Act of 2010 was approved by the […]

News Feature: Mormons See Potential in Online Proselytizing

posted by aroan

By Peggy Fletcher Stack c. 2010 Salt Lake Tribune SALT LAKE CITY (RNS) Not so long ago, Mormon missionaries were prohibited from using the Internet, even to contact their families. The system then loosened a bit to allow weekly e-mails […]

Gospel Singer Doug Oldham Dead at Age 79

posted by aroan

(RNS) Doug Oldham, a prolific gospel singer and ministry partner of the late Rev. Jerry Falwell, died July 21 at the age of 79. Oldham, who was a soloist at Falwell’s Thomas Road Baptist Church and helped the evangelist raise […]

Senate Democrats Plead for Religious Support on Key Bills

posted by aroan

WASHINGTON (RNS) Top Senate Democrats said Wednesday (July 28) that Democrats need the help of religious groups in overcoming Republican opposition to key pieces of legislation. In a media roundtable hosted by Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., chairwoman of the Democrats’ […]

Muslims, ACLU Seek Data on FBI Profiling

posted by aroan

WASHINGTON (RNS) Muslim American groups and the American Civil Liberties Union are demanding the FBI turn over records relating to agency guidelines they say permit the FBI to collect and use racial and ethnic data. The groups allege that the […]

N.J. Supreme Court Declines to Take Gay Marriage Case

posted by aroan

TRENTON, N.J. (RNS) Supporters of gay marriage said they would press on with their fight despite the New Jersey Supreme Court’s decision not to hear a case in which six same-sex couples asked for the right to marry. “We … […]

Report: Anti-Jewish Incidents Remain `Sustained and Troubling’

posted by aroan

WASHINGTON (RNS): A Jewish group that tracks anti-Semitism has published its annual report of more than 1,200 incidents of assaults, vandalism and harassment against Jews in 2009, saying the level of incidents remained “sustained and troubling.” “America is not immune […]

Anglicans Reject Move to `Separate’ U.S. Church

posted by aroan

(RNS) Anglican leaders meeting in London have rejected a move to “separate” the Episcopal Church from the wider Anglican Communion, a proposal that officials called premature and “unhelpful.” The proposal was offered Saturday (July 24) by Dato Stanley Isaacs, a […]

Pope Grants Broad Powers to Legionaries Delegate

posted by aroan

Associated Press – July 24, 2010 VATICAN CITY – The pope has granted broad powers to the archbishop he selected to overhaul the Legionaries of Christ following revelations that the order’s founder led a double life. A decree approved by […]

Quietly, Another Mosque Operates in Shadow of Ground Zero

posted by aroan

By NICOLE NEROULIAS c. 2010 Religion News Service NEW YORK (RNS) Barely visible among the high-rise apartment buildings and cocktail lounges, a battered steel door in Manhattan’s trendy Tribeca neighborhood leads to a basement jammed with barefoot men praying on […]

Hospitals Revamp Chapels into Meditation Rooms

posted by aroan

By JOANNA CORMAN c. 2010 Religion News Service SACRAMENTO Calif. (RNS) When Connie Johnstone saw relatives of Muslim patients praying in a hospital parking lot, or laying out a plastic bag to create a clean spot on the lobby floor, […]

Spain Parliament Rejects Burqa Ban – For Now

posted by aroan

Associated Press – July 20, 2010 MADRID – Spain’s Parliament on Tuesday rejected a proposal to ban women from wearing in public places Islamic veils that reveal only the eyes. However, the Socialist government has said it favors including a […]

Vatican Rules for Bishops in Church-closure Cases

posted by aroan

CLEVELAND (RNS) A Catholic bishop, acting on what he believes to be good for his entire diocese, can close any parish, even if the parish is financially stable and has vibrant membership, the Vatican’s highest court has ruled. The decision […]

Methodists Study the Hallmarks of Healthy Churches

posted by aroan

By ALFREDO GARCIA c. 2010 Religion News Service (RNS) What is the key to a healthy church? United Methodists have paid big bucks to find out. As the sour economy and aging buildings wreak havoc on church budgets, United Methodists […]

Abortion Foes Win a Round in Health Overhaul

posted by aroan

Associated Press – July 19, 2010 WASHINGTON – Abortion foes have won a round in the first test of how President Barack Obama’s health care law will be applied to the politically charged issue. Meanwhile, traditional allies of the administration […]

Netanyahu Takes Dim View of Conversions Bill

posted by aroan

JERUSALEM (RNS) Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told his cabinet Sunday (July 18) that he opposes a proposed bill to give Orthodox rabbis control over conversions because it could alienate Jews in North America. “The bill could tear apart the […]

Foundation Donates $400K for Episcopal Gay Liturgies

posted by aroan

(RNS) A Michigan-based gay rights foundation has given more than $400,000 to a California seminary to help craft formal liturgies for the Episcopal Church to bless gay and lesbian relationships. The Episcopal Church still officially considers marriage between a man […]

Vatican Issues New Sex Abuse Guidelines After Crisis

posted by aroan

Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News – July 15, 2010 July 15–VATICAN CITY — The Vatican issued a revised set of in-house rules Thursday to respond to clerical sex abuse, targeting priests who molest the mentally disabled as well as children and […]

Muslims Launch Survey of American Mosques

posted by aroan

(RNS) Muslim-American organizations have launched what they say will be the most comprehensive survey of mosques in the United States in a decade. “This is the biggest mosque survey since 9/11,” said Ihsan Bagby, an Islamic Studies professor at the […]

U.S. Bishops Defend Women’s Ordination in New Abuse Laws

posted by aroan

By DANIEL BURKE and RICHARD ALLEN c. 2010 Religion News Service WASHINGTON (RNS) U.S. Catholic bishops on Thursday (July 15) defended the Vatican’s decision to include the ordination of women with the sexual abuse of children in a long-awaited revision […]

Ugandan Anglican Urges Citizens to Fight Terrorism, Condemns Blast

posted by aroan

NAIROBI (RNS/ENInews) A top church leader in Uganda, Anglican Archbishop Henry Luke Orombi, has appealed for calm after the “hideous crime” of a terrorist bombing at a World Cup watch party in Kampala that left more than 70 dead. “I […]

Conservatives Decry Court Ruling on Indecency

posted by aroan

WASHINGTON (RNS) Conservative groups blasted a federal court ruling that overturned a policy of the Federal Communications Commission intended to crack down on unscripted curse words and wardrobe malfunctions. Spurred on by celebrity slip-ups from Bono and Cher, the 2004 […]

Conservative Insurgency Topples Missouri Synod President

posted by aroan

By TIM TOWNSEND c. 2010 St. Louis Post-Dispatch HOUSTON (RNS) Delegates of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod on Tuesday (July 13) elected the denomination’s director of disaster response as president, a candidate backed by its more conservative members. The Rev. Matthew […]

French Parliament Approves Ban on Face Veils

posted by aroan

Associated Press – July 13, 2010 PARIS – France’s lower house of parliament overwhelmingly approved a ban on wearing burqa-style Islamic veils Tuesday, part of a determined effort to define and protect French values that has disconcerted many in the […]

Political Clash Grows Over Funding for Ground Zero Mosque

posted by aroan

(RNS) A major political clash is brewing in New York over a planned mosque near Ground Zero, with Republicans demanding an investigation into the mosque’s funding and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg calling such a probe “un-American.” Long Island […]

Church of England Gives Green Light for Women Bishops

posted by aroan

Church of England gives green light for women bishops LONDON (RNS) The Church of England will proceed with legislation to allow the ordination of women bishops, despite fierce opposition from Anglican traditionalists. After a marathon, 12-hour debate in York, the […]

Vatican Reports $5.2 million Deficit for 2009

posted by aroan

VATICAN CITY (RNS) The Vatican recorded a $5.2 million deficit for 2009 as investment in communication and building upgrades offset revenues from donations, according to new figures from the Holy See. The third consecutive deficit was also attributed to a […]

Tiny Shard Bears Oldest Script Found in Jerusalem

posted by aroan

Associated Press – July 12, 2010 JERUSALEM – Archaeologists say a newly discovered clay fragment from the 14th century B.C. is the oldest example of writing ever found in antiquity-rich Jerusalem. Dig director Eilat Mazar of Hebrew University says the […]

Belfast Police, Catholic Rioters Clash Over Parade

posted by aroan

Associated Press – July 12, 2010 BELFAST, Northern Ireland – Police battled Irish nationalists for control of a Belfast road Monday as a day dominated by peaceful Protestant parades across Northern Ireland turned violent when night fell. Riot police in […]

Pope Names New Leader of Legionaries of Christ

posted by aroan

VATICAN CITY (RNS) Pope Benedict XVI on Friday (July 9) appointed the Vatican’s chief financial auditor, Italian Archbishop Velasio De Paolis, to manage the powerful but scandal-scarred Legionaries of Christ order. The decision comes after an eight-month investigation of the […]

Presbyterians Continue To Be Divided Over Gays

posted by aroan

Associated Press – July 9, 2010 MINNEAPOLIS – A split decision from Presbyterian leaders on two gay-friendly measures guarantees even more debate among the U.S. church’s members on an issue they’ve been divided over for years. Delegates to the Presbyterian […]

Church Brokers Deal to Free 52 Cuban Dissidents

posted by aroan

VATICAN CITY (RNS) The Roman Catholic Church has brokered a historic deal to release 52 political prisoners in Cuba, following three-way talks between Cuban President Raul Castro, Spanish Foreign Secretary Miguel Angel Moratinos and Havana Cardinal Jaime Ortega. “Five prisoners […]

Church of England to Consider Women Bishops — Again

posted by aroan

LONDON (RNS/ENInews) The contentious issue of women bishops will once again be debated by the Church of England’s General Synod when delegates and bishops convene in York on Friday (July 9), years after the issue was first raised. Christina Rees, […]

Vatican to Issue Long-awaited Sex Abuse Document

posted by aroan

Associated Press – July 7, 2010 VATICAN CITY – Pope Benedict XVI will soon issue a document outlining the church’s procedures for handling clerical sex abuse cases that will gather the norms now in use and make them permanent and […]

A Gay Bishop for the Church of England?

posted by aroan

Associated Press – July 6, 2010 LONDON – The Church of England may be on the verge of promoting a gay priest to bishop, a step that would widen the split over sexuality in the global Anglican Communion. If that […]

Commuter Railroad Defends Company with Ties to Holocaust Trains

posted by aroan

WASHINGTON (RNS) A commuter rail line in suburban Washington is defending its decision to award a contract to a company partially owned by a French railway that was used by Nazi Germany to transport people to death camps. Mark Roeber, […]

Caterpillar Divestment Doesn’t Play Well with Peoria Presbyterians

posted by aroan

By DANIEL BURKE c. 2010 Religion News Service (RNS) Proposals to have the Presbyterian Church (USA) denounce or divest from Caterpillar Inc. because the company sells bulldozers to Israel are not playing well in Peoria. The central Illinois city is […]

Orthodox Woman Named Among 50 ‘Most Influential Rabbis’

posted by aroan

(RNS) An Orthodox Jewish woman is one of Newsweek’s 50 Most Influential Rabbis in America this year, reflecting a major shift in the magazine’s fourth-annual compilation of top Jewish leaders. Sara Hurwitz, who debuts at No. 36, made headlines when […]

48 Va. Inmates in Segregation Over Grooming Policy

posted by aroan

Associated Press – June 30, 2010 RICHMOND, Va. – Nearly 50 Virginia prisoners are being held in perpetual isolation because they refuse to cut their hair, several for religious reasons. The Associated Press reported in May that 10 Rastafarian inmates […]

Pakistan: Google Site to be Monitored for ‘Blasphemy’

posted by aroan

Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News June 26–(AKI) – Pakistan on Friday said it would monitor Google, Yahoo, and other popular websites to to weed out what the government considers material that could be offensive to Islam. The country in May blocked […]

Pope To Create New Office to Fight Secularization

posted by aroan

Associated Press – June 29, 2010 VATICAN CITY – Pope Benedict XVI is creating a new Vatican office to fight secularization and “re-evangelize” the West – a tacit acknowledgment that his attempts to reinvigorate Christianity in Europe haven’t succeeded and […]

Vatican Admonishes Austrian Cardinal for Comments

posted by aroan

Associated Press – June 28, 2010 VATICAN CITY – The Vatican on Monday issued an unprecedented rebuke of a top cardinal who had accused the retired Vatican No. 2 of blocking clerical sex abuse investigations, publicly dressing down a man […]

Caner Sacked as Seminary Dean After Probe into Background

posted by aroan

(RNS) After a seven-week probe into whether seminary dean Ergun Caner exaggerated his dramatic conversion from militant Islam to evangelical Christianity, Liberty University announced Caner will remain on faculty, but no longer as dean. The investigation, prompted by a growing […]

Supreme Court Rules Against Christian Legal Group

posted by aroan

By ADELLE M. BANKS c. 2010 Religion News Service WASHINGTON (RNS) The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Monday (June 28) that a Christian student group must accept gays and non-Christians as members if it wants to be officially recognized by a […]

Pope Begs Forgiveness, Promises Action on Abuse

posted by aroan

Associated Press – June 11, 2010 VATICAN CITY – Pope Benedict XVI begged forgiveness Friday from clerical abuse victims for the sins of priests and promised to “do everything possible” to ensure that prelates don’t rape or molest children ever […]

Mormon Church Agrees to Pay Fine Over Support for Prop. 8

posted by aroan

(RNS) The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will pay a $5,000 fine for not reporting non-monetary contributions in support of Proposition 8, which banned same-sex marriage in California. The California Fair Political Practices Commission concluded the church “failed […]

German Catholics Cope with Abuse Crisis

posted by aroan

In video interviews, a Wall Street Journal reporter explores how German Catholics are struggling to separate their faith from the institution that they believe has mishandled the crisis.Video courtesy of the Wall Street Journal.

Bishop: Fewer New Church Abuse Cases in Germany

posted by aroan

BERLIN – Two months after Germany’s Roman Catholic Church became embroiled in a sex abuse scandal, the flood of new cases, allegations and complaints has started to ebb, the church’s top investigator said Tuesday. Though the church has not tallied […]

Obamas Mark Passover with Private Seder

posted by aroan

WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama plans to mark the start of Passover with a private Seder in the executive mansion. Obama and first lady Michelle Obama invited friends and White House aides to mark the Jewish holiday with a meal […]

Church Reformers Have Second Thoughts on Pope

posted by aroan

(RNS) To many advocates of reform in the Catholic Church, the election of conservative Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger as pope in April 2005 was a blow to hopes the Vatican would change positions on gender, sexuality, divorce, and the church hierarchy. […]

S.C. Episcopal Diocese Declares Itself ‘Sovereign’

posted by aroan

(RNS) A South Carolina diocese has declared itself “sovereign” within the Episcopal Church, the latest salvo in a long-running skirmish between the conservative diocese and the denomination. The Diocese of South Carolina, which covers 47 parishes in the eastern and […]

Pope Blasts Irish Church, No Vatican Blame in Abuse

posted by aroan

Associated Press – March 20, 2010 VATICAN CITY – Pope Benedict XVI rebuked Irish bishops Saturday for “grave errors of judgment” in handling clerical sex abuse and ordered an investigation into the Irish church but did not mention any Vatican […]

Muslim Women to Mosque: Tear Down this Wall

posted by aroan

(RNS) The walls that segregate Muslim men from women inside many American mosques took a long time to go up, and it could be a long time before they come down. On Saturday (Feb. 20), Fatima Thompson will find out […]

Critics Pleased as Obama Meets with Dalai Lama

posted by aroan

WASHINGTON (RNS) President Obama met with the Dalai Lama on Thursday (Feb. 18), four months after critics questioned his commitment to human rights when Obama declined a one-on-one meeting with the exiled leader of Tibetan Buddhism. Religious freedom advocates hailed […]

Catholics Ask Pope to Suspend Sainthood for Pius XII

posted by aroan

VATICAN CITY (RNS) Catholic historians and theologians are urging Pope Benedict XVI to suspend the sainthood process for the controversial World War II pontiff, Pius XII, until further research clarifies Pius’ record during the Holocaust. “Holy Father, we implore you, […]

Trial Opens in Oregon Faith-healing Death

posted by aroan

OREGON CITY, Ore. (RNS) As Neil Beagley lay dying on his grandmother’s bed, his parents did not take him to a hospital or call 9-1-1 or make any lifesaving efforts, a prosecutor told jurors Tuesday (Jan. 19). “They did nothing […]

At Trial, Gay Man Says ‘Reversal’ Therapy Did Not Change Him

posted by aroan

Associated Press – January 20, 2010 SAN FRANCISCO – A gay man testified Wednesday in a federal same-sex marriage trial that the “reversal therapy” he underwent as a teenager to change his sexual orientation drove him to the brink of […]

Muslim Scholars Critical of US Policy Can Return

posted by aroan

Associated Press – January 20, 2010 NEW YORK – Two prominent Muslim scholars once accused of ties to terrorism are cleared to travel to the United States now that the State Department has concluded they pose no danger to the […]

Report: Near 70 percent of Nations Face Religious Restrictions

posted by aroan

WASHINGTON (RNS) About one-third of the countries in the world have high restrictions on religion, exposing almost 70 percent of the globe’s population to limitations on their faith, new research shows. The Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life based […]

Irish Bishop Resigns Over Sex Abuse Scandal

posted by aroan

VATICAN CITY (RNS) An Irish Catholic bishop criticized in a recent report on clerical sex abuse apologized to victims on Thursday (Dec.17), the same day the Vatican announced his resignation. “I humbly apologize once again to all who were abused […]

Survey: Two-thirds of Protestant pastors consider Islam ‘dangerous’

posted by aroan

(RNS) Two out of three Protestant pastors believe Islam is a “dangerous” religion, according to a new survey from a Southern Baptist-affiliated research group. The survey of more than 1,000 Protestant clergy by LifeWay Research, released Monday (Dec. 14) found […]

Richard Cizik Discusses His Work at Climate Summit

posted by aroan

Rev. Richard Cizik is attending the Climate Summit in Copenhagen. In an interview with Odyssey Networks, he describes what he hopes will come of his visit. Video courtesy of Odyssey Networks  

Archbishop Desmond Tutu Speaks at Climate Summit

posted by aroan

At the United Nation’s Climate Change Summit in Copenhagen, Archbishop Desmond Tutu spoke. During a press conference, he said what he would say to President Obama about global warming. Video courtesy of Odyssey Networks.

Texas Tycoon Uses Bible to Drill for Oil in Israel

posted by aroan

Founder of Zion Oil John Brown is a true believer. So much so that he has moved his oil rig to Israel to dig for oil where he says Biblical prophecy tells him to and is hoping to hit it […]

Scholars Debate Vatican Outreach to Anglicans

posted by aroan

The Vatican has offered Anglicans a chance to return to the Catholic church.  Simon Constable speaks with three eminent scholars about the offer to bury the hatchet after a half-millennium. Watch the video:   Video courtesy of our partners at […]

Outspoken Catholic Bishop Steps Down After Stormy Tenure

posted by aroan

RNS) A Pennsylvania Catholic bishop whose public scoldings of politicians — including Vice President Joe Biden — created a stir nationwide resigned on Monday (Aug. 31), citing stress and lack of confidence in his leadership. Bishop Joseph Martino was appointed […]

N.J. Pastor Named to Head Progressive National Baptists

posted by aroan

(RNS) A New Jersey pastor has been elected the next general secretary of the Progressive National Baptist Convention. The Rev. Walter Parrish III, senior pastor of Union Baptist Church in Montclair, N.J., was chosen for the position during the historically […]

New WCC Leader Sees Better Ties to Catholics, Muslims

posted by aroan

GENEVA (RNS/ENI) The new head of the World Council of Churches said the global church group offers a unique network that can forge better relations with the Roman Catholic Church, other Christian groups and Muslims. The Rev. Olav Fykse Tveit, […]

Conservatives Say Health Care System ‘Is Working’

posted by aroan

WASHINGTON (RNS) Conservative Christian groups on Wednesday (Aug. 26) ramped up opposition to health care reform, saying the current system “has problems” but “it is working.” Members of the newly formed Freedom Federation, comprised of some of the largest conservative […]

Pope Benedict to Cut Album of Songs and Prayers

posted by aroan

(RNS) Pope Benedict XVI has signed with a major record label to cut an album of songs and prayers to the Virgin Mary. Geffen Records, whose artists include Ashlee Simpson and Snoop Dogg, will release “Alma Mater,” featuring the pope’s […]

Rev. Ike, Early Proponent of Prosperity Gospel, Dies at Age 74

posted by aroan

(RNS) The Rev. Frederick J. Eikerenkoetter II, an early proponent of the prosperity gospel best known as “Rev. Ike,” died Tuesday (July 28). He was 74. Rev. Ike was among the first in the 1970s to harness the power of […]

Obama Awards Medal of Freedom to Religious Leaders

posted by aroan

(RNS) Retired Anglican Archbishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa and the Rev. Joseph Lowery, a longtime U.S. civil rights activist, have been named recipients of the 2009 Presidential Medal of Freedom. “Each has been an agent of change,” President Obama […]

Convicted Pastor Says He’s ‘One of the Prophets’

posted by aroan

TEXARKANA, Ark. – Tony Alamo, a one-time street preacher who built a multimillion-dollar ministry and became an outfitter of the stars, was convicted Friday of taking girls as young as 9 across state lines for sex. Alamo stood silently as […]

N.J. Corruption Probe Shines Unwelcome Spotlight on Syrian Jews

posted by aroan

DEAL, N.J. — This wealthy seaside town might not have a Syrian Jewish community at all if it hadn’t developed as a summer escape for Brooklyn’s Syrian Jews, more than 10,000 of whom visit each summer. Indeed, in the Syrian […]

Report: U.S. Funded Religious Programs in Africa, Iraq

posted by aroan

WASHINGTON (RNS) The federal government used taxpayer dollars to rebuild mosques in Iraq and teach Bible-based abstinence in Africa, violating a prohibition on funding “inherently religious activities,” according to a recent audit of the U.S. Agency of International Development (USAID). […]

Ore. Parents Acquitted in Daughter’s Faith-Healing Death

posted by aroan

OREGON CITY, Ore. — Jurors on Thursday (July 23) acquitted two parents accused in the faith-healing death of their infant daughter on all but one count, a stunning legal victory in a case that pitted religious freedom against parental responsibility. […]

Episcopal Church Takes Definitive Steps in Favor of Gay Rights

posted by aroan

(RNS) ANAHEIM, Calif. — The Episcopal Church on Tuesday (July 14) overwhelmingly voted to lift a three-year-old moratorium on consecrating gay and lesbian bishops, despite warnings that the ban was necessary to preserve unity in the wider Anglican Communion. A […]

Previous Posts

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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