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Obama Taps Campuses for Interfaith Service Projects

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WASHINGTON (RNS) The White House is hoping to recruit America’s college and seminary students in a nationwide interfaith service campaign that was launched Thursday (March 17). In the next month, the Obama administration will solicit plans submitted by colleges, universities, […]

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Court Rejects Mother’s Religious Home-School Arguments

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(RNS) The New Hampshire Supreme Court upheld a lower court ruling on Wednesday (March 16) that orders an 11-year-old girl to enroll in public school instead of being home-schooled by her mother. Although the girl’s mother, Brenda Kurowski, argued that […]

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One Nation Under Allah

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(RNS) It isn’t a crime to practice Islam in the United States of America. At least, not yet. On Monday (March 14), Missouri state Rep. Don Wells introduced a proposed constitutional amendment aimed at blocking Shariah — the Islamic legal […]

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Southwest Airlines Apologizes to Muslim Passenger

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(RNS) Southwest Airlines has apologized to a Muslim woman who claims she was removed from a flight from San Diego on Sunday (March 13) because of her Islamic headscarf and South Asian background. “We sincerely apologize for the customer’s inconvenience, […]

Schuller Says He Wouldn’t Have OK’d Church’s Gay Covenant

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(RNS) Crystal Cathedral founder Robert H. Schuller said Wednesday (March 16) he never would have approved a recent covenant that choir members were asked to sign urging them to be Christian and heterosexual. “I have a reputation worldwide of being […]

Priest Forced to Give Up 40 days of Muslim Lent

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FERGUSON, Mo. (RNS) The Rev. Steve Lawler should have just given up chocolate or television for Lent. Instead, Lawler, the part-time rector of St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, decided to adopt the rituals of Islam for 40 days to gain a […]

Adventists Grow As Other Churches Decline

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(RNS) Rest on the Sabbath. Heed Old Testament dietary codes. And be ready for Jesus to return at any moment. If these practices sound quaint or antiquated, think again. They’re hallmarks of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, the fastest-growing Christian denomination […]

Critics Heated Up by Bell’s Hell

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(RNS) Talk about hellfire! One of the nation’s rock-star-popular young pastors, Rob Bell, 40, has stuck a pitchfork in how Christians talk about damnation. Pastor Bell’s Love Wins: A Book About Heaven, Hell, and the Fate of Every Person Who […]

Justice Department Backs Sikh Inmate

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(RNS) The Justice Department has filed suit against California prison officials on behalf of a Sikh inmate who says his religious freedom was violated when officials punished him for not cutting his beard. Sukhjinder Basra, incarcerated at the California Men’s […]

Anglican Priest Arrested on Marriage Charges

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LONDON (RNS) A Church of England vicar has been arrested in Britain’s second major police investigation in as many years into bogus marriages staged to help immigrants win residents’ visas. The church immediately suspended the Rev. Canon Patrick Magumba amid […]

‘Book of Mormon’ Musical Called Surprisingly Sweet

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NEW YORK (RNS) A Ugandan villager in the new Broadway musical from the creators of South Park offers a plaintive love song about paradise — and the object of her yearning is none other than Utah’s capital. “Salvation has a […]

Japanese Look to Ancient Traditions for Strength

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(RNS) When uncounted thousands have died in a disaster such as last week’s earthquake and tsunami, where will the Japanese people find spiritual strength? Experts on Japanese culture say they’ll find it in the critical, comforting rituals of religion. They […]

Alaska Airlines Apologizes for Jewish Prayer Mix-Up

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SEATTLE (RNS) Alaska Airlines has issued an apology for misinterpreting the devotional behavior of three Orthodox Jewish men on a flight from Mexico City to Los Angeles on Sunday (March 13). The men had strapped on tefillin — black leather […]

Museum Restores Jefferson’s Unique Bible

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(RNS) A Smithsonian museum is restoring the Jefferson Bible, a unique volume the third president cut and pasted himself — omitting lots of theology — from portions of the New Testament. Thomas Jefferson assembled the book in 1820 when he […]

From Professorial Pope, A Lengthy Paper Trail

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VATICAN CITY (RNS) Any book with an initial printing of 1.2 million copies in eight languages qualifies as a global publishing event, regardless of its author. But the release last week (March 10) of Pope Benedict XVI’s latest tome was […]

Nearly 1,000 Anglicans Converting to Catholicism

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LONDON (RNS/ENInews) More than 900 Anglicans formally expressed a desire to convert to Catholicism at special services held at Westminster Cathedral — including the first Anglicans to join a new branch of the Catholic Church. The annual ceremonies held last […]

Religious Groups Mobilize to Aid Japan

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(RNS) As the extent of the death and destruction from the massive disaster in Japan comes into focus, religious relief organizations are sending and supporting teams to assess the damage. Groups such World Vision and Baptist World Aid have teams […]

Churches in Japan Devastated by Earthquake

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TOKYO (RNS/ENInews) Christians in Japan are looking for survivors and assessing damage to church buildings after Friday’s (March 11) devastating earthquake and tsunami. The National Police Agency announced that as of Monday about 1,800 people have died and 2,400 are […]

Christians Question Conventional Wisdom on Divorce Stats

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(RNS) It’s been proclaimed from pulpits and blogs for years — Christians divorce as much as everyone else in America. But some scholars and family activists are questioning the oft-cited statistics, saying Christians who attend church regularly are more likely […]

World and Web Come Together for Japan Disaster Relief

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According to a report from The Guardian, 91 countries are offering assistance to Japan in the wake of the nation’s deadliest earthquake last Friday. Those countries include the United States, China, Bolivia, Pakistan and more. Also, several international humanitarian organizations […]

Churches Press Obama to Reengage on Middle East

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(RNS/ENInews) Nearly two dozen Christian leaders are calling on the Obama administration to renew diplomatic efforts to settle the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. “With rapid change underway in the Arab world we believe that the time to act is now — before […]

Westboro Church Plans Protest of Funeral for Pa. Children

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HARRISBURG, Pa. (RNS) Westboro Baptist Church, the controversial group that just won a free speech Supreme Court case, said it plans to protest at a funeral for seven Pennsylvania children who died in a fire Tuesday (March 8) night. “I’m […]

Former Head of Pentecostal Denomination Dies

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(RNS) Bishop Chandler David Owens, a former presiding bishop of the Church of God in Christ known as an orator and international leader, died Sunday (March 6) at the age of 79. Owens served as leader of the nation’s largest […]

Fed Up with Hollywood, Churches Make Their Own Films

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YORBA LINDA, Calif. — This year’s Oscars may have been passed out, but for some churches across the country the major motion picture season is just getting started. Frustrated with the movies Hollywood has been releasing, more and more congregations […]

Red Cross Stands Ready after Massive Earthquake, Tsunami in Japan

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A massive earthquake registering at 8.9 magnitude hit Japan Friday, causing fires, tsunamis and massive flooding throughout the country. CNN reports that it is the most powerful earthquake in the nation’s last 100 years. Get breaking news on the aftermath […]

Pope Links Violence in God’s Name to Antichrist

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VATICAN CITY (RNS) Violence committed in the name of God or religion is a “favorite instrument of the Antichrist,” Pope Benedict XVI writes in a new book on the life and teachings of Jesus. “Violence does not build up the […]

Shepherds Lead, But Flocks Diverge on Death Penalty

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(RNS) On Ash Wednesday, Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn signed a law abolishing the death penalty in his state, adding the Land of Lincoln to the growing list of 16 states where capital punishment is no longer an option. “It is […]

With All Eyes on Capitol Hill, Muslims Watch Warily

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STERLING, Va. (RNS) They were moved when the first Muslim elected to Congress shed tears for a Muslim who died trying to save others on 9/11. They were irked by accusations from House members and annoyed when fellow Muslims maligned […]

Study Says Engagement Rises with Mosque Attendance

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WASHINGTON (RNS) As Congressional hearings on the radicalization of American Muslims get underway, a political science professor says research shows that affiliation with a mosque increases Muslims’ civic engagement. “The more religious American Muslims happen to be, the more they […]

Muslim Cops Put Faith, Lives on the Line

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(RNS) When Los Angeles County Sheriff Leroy Baca asked Sgt. Muawiya “Mike” Abdeen to set up a liaison unit to local Muslims in 2008, the idea was to build bridges to a community that is often fearful of, or unknown […]

Catholics Try to Lure Lapsed Sheep Back into the Fold

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MADISON, N.J. (RNS) A small bucket filled with bottles of cold beer sat on the floor, down the hall from the chapel, as about a dozen young adults lounged around on comfortable couches. They weren’t there to pray or preach […]

Book Exlores Lasting Impact of Vatican II on U.S. Church

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SALT LAKE CITY (RNS) Colleen McDannell knew the title of her new book, The Spirit of Vatican II: A History of Catholic Reform in America, would be provocative. Modernists talk of the Catholic Church not living up to “the spirit […]

A Political Spectacle that Perpetuates Prejudice

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(RNS) House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Peter King is intent on doing a foolish thing that even former President George W. Bush — himself no slouch in fighting terrorism — consistently refused to do. On Thursday (March 10), King will […]

Do You Want Your Jewish Mother Playing Matchmaker?

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(RNS) Denice Beckerman is heavily involved in her daughter Amanda’s life. She’s tried several times to set her up on dates and is connected with several of her daughter’s friends on Facebook. “My mom is the typical Long Island Jewish […]

For Second Time, Vatican Keeps Parishes Open

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(RNS) For the second time in recent months, the Vatican has overruled a U.S. bishop’s decision to close churches in his diocese, a rare reversal that Catholic activists hope heralds a new trend. The Vatican’s Congregation for the Clergy has […]

Former Counterterrorism Chief Says Muslims Cooperate

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(RNS) A former FBI counterterrorism director on Tuesday (March 8) rejected allegations by the chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee that Muslim Americans don’t cooperate with law enforcement in terror investigations. Rep. Peter King, a Long Island Republican, will […]

White House Praises Muslims Ahead of Hearing

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WASHINGTON (RNS) Days ahead of a controversial congressional hearing on Islamic extremism, the Obama administration is highlighting the role Muslim Americans play in combating radicalism in their communities. “I am here to talk to you about how our communities — […]

Muslims and Supporters Protest Congressional Hearings

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NEW YORK (RNS) When Anam Chaudhry, 17, sang the national anthem to several hundred protesters in Times Square on Sunday afternoon, she wore a Muslim headscarf, and around her shoulders, another garment: the American flag. “We love this country,” said […]

Christchurch Cathedral Search Reveals No Quake Victims

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WELLINGTON, New Zealand (RNS/ENInews) A complete search of an Anglican cathedral in Christchurch, New Zealand turned up no bodies buried in the rubble, despite widespread reports that 20 to 22 people had been trapped inside. ChristChurch Cathedral’s spire collapsed into […]

Being a Pastor is Hard, and Failure Is Easy

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(RNS) Sometimes being a pastor is a real pain. But few pastors want to admit it. J.R. Briggs in trying to change that. That’s why Briggs, a blogger and pastor of the Renew Community in Lansdale, Pa., is organizing the […]

Pakistani Churches Mourn Assassinated Christian minister

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BANGALORE, India (RNS/ENInews) Christian schools across Pakistan shut down on Thursday (March 3) for a three-day protest of the assassination of the country’s Minister for Religious Minorities. The call for the action came at an ecumenical meeting chaired by Archbishop […]

House Republicans Plan to Defend DOMA

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WASHINGTON (RNS) House Speaker John Boehner said on Friday (March 4) that he and fellow lawmakers will defend the Defense of Marriage Act after the Obama administration dropped its support for the law last month. “The constitutionality of this law […]

Bhutanese Protest Tobacco Charge against Buddhist Monk

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NEW DELHI (RNS) Protesters in Bhutan are denouncing the three-year prison sentence of a Buddhist monk charged with violating the small kingdom’s anti-tobacco law. The 23-year-old monk, Sonam Tshering, was the first victim of a ban rooted in the religious […]

Archbishop Wrestles with Doubts on School Paddling

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NEW ORLEANS (RNS) As a high-school student in the mid-1960s, Greg Aymond occasionally saw an angry teacher cuff a student. It never happened to him, nor does the memory of faculty discipline in those days particularly trouble the man who […]

‘Of Gods and Men’ Traces Murder and Martyrdom

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(RNS) The Rev. James Martin has seen a lot of religious movies in his life. But the Jesuit priest and author says a new film has sprung to the top of his list. Martin calls Of Gods and Men, a […]

Oregon Debates New Funeral-Protest Bill

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SALEM, Ore. (RNS) A day after the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the right of an anti-gay church to picket funerals, Oregon legislators discussed a bill that would put distance between protesters and mourners. On Wednesday (March 2), the Supreme Court […]

Would You Pay to See John the Baptist’s Tooth?

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BALTIMORE (RNS) Martina Bagnoli admits that the exhibit she helps curate here at The Walters Art Museum may gross some people out. After all, the display includes 2,000-year-old teeth, shards of bone and splinters from a first-century execution device. But […]

Evangelicals Push Back on Proposed Budget Cuts

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(RNS) Balancing the federal budget at the expense of the poor would be un-Christian, evangelical leaders warned Congress on Thursday (March 3) as they work to reject proposed spending cuts to domestic and foreign aid. “The Bible says that God […]

BYU Hoops Star Suspended for Premarital Sex

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PROVO, Utah (RNS) A Brigham Young University basketball star has been suspended from the nationally ranked team for the remainder of the season because he violated the Mormon-run school’s honor code that prohibits premarital sex. Brandon Davies, a 19-year-old sophomore, […]

Adventist Wins Fight Not to Join Union

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TORONTO (RNS) A labor relations board in Canada has granted an Adventist worker the right to not join a union because of her religious beliefs, raising questions about whether religion should trump labor laws. The Saskatchewan Labor Relations Board ruled […]

Israel Revokes Anglican Bishop’s Residency Permit

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JERUSALEM (RNS/ENInews) Israel has declined to renew a residency permit for Anglican Bishop Suheil Dawani of Jerusalem, according to the leader of the Jerusalem Inter-Church Center (ICC). The action took place several weeks ago but the bishop’s office was trying […]

German Bishops Offer Cash to Abuse Victims

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BERLIN (RNS) Germany’s Roman Catholic Church is offering cash payments of up to 5,000 euros ($6,925) to victims of child sexual abuse in a yet unknown number of cases, some dating back decades. The German Bishops’ Conference made the announcement […]

WWND: What Would Niebuhr Do?

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PRINCETON, N.J. (RNS) What happens when the contested legacy of America’s most famous 20th-century theologian meets the harsh political realities of the 21st? You end up with questions like whether Reinhold Niebuhr would support water-boarding. It’s impossible to know what […]

Bishops Strip the Bible of Its ‘Booty’

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(RNS) Catholic bishops have kicked the “booty” out of the Bible. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has ordered up a new translation of the Bible, one it says is more accurate, more accessible and more poetic. Now “booty,” a […]

Man Who Says God Told Him to Kill Girlfriend Gets New Trial

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(RNS) A New Jersey man who claimed God made him kill his pregnant girlfriend will get a new trial because jurors deciding his case should have been allowed to hear special instructions about an insanity defense, an appellate panel has […]

After Phelps Wins, Uncertainty about What Lies Ahead

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WASHINGTON (RNS) In an 8-1 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled Wednesday (March 2) that the “Thank God for Dead Soldiers” protesters from Westboro Baptist Church have First Amendment rights to protest military funerals. But does that mean more protests […]

Pastor Caught on Indecent Exposure Apologizes to Gays

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METAIRIE, La. (RNS) Though he admitted having his hands in his pants, Christian fundamentalist Grant Storms denied Tuesday (March 1) he was masturbating while watching children in a park before being arrested. Storms, a self-described “Christian patriot” who has protested […]

Pope Says Jews Not to Blame for Jesus’ Death

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VATICAN CITY (RNS) The Jewish people as a whole were not responsible for Jesus’ crucifixion, and their descendants have not inherited blame for his death, Pope Benedict XVI writes in a new book to be published on March 10. The […]

Ground Zero Imam Champions Church-State Separation

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WASHINGTON (RNS) The imam who has faced resistance for plans to build an Islamic community center near Ground Zero said Tuesday (March 1) that pro-democracy movements across the Arab world need to be open to all faiths. “Government’s coercive powers […]

Israeli Ambassador Prompts Debate over Campus Free Speech

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IRVINE, Calif. (RNS) “Michael Oren, propagating murder is not an expression of free speech!” And so began the protest of Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren’s lecture at the University of California, Irvine in February 2010, as the shouting student, Osama Ahmed […]

Anti-Gay Pastor Arrested for Indecent Exposure Around Kids

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METAIRIE, La. (RNS) A fundamentalist Christian pastor known for his bullhorn protests of the annual Southern Decadence gay pride festival was arrested on a charge of masturbating at a park on Friday (Feb. 25). The Rev. Grant Storms, 53, was […]

Christians Banned from Foster Care over Gay Views

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LONDON (RNS) Two senior judges have banned a Christian couple from any further foster care because they oppose homosexuality, a stance that the judges said has no place in the laws of a “largely secular” Britain. Owen and Eunice Johns, […]

Harvard Pastor, Theologian Peter Gomes Dies at 68

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(RNS) The Rev. Peter Gomes, the longtime minister of Harvard University’s Memorial Church who was hailed as one of the nation’s top preachers, died Monday (Feb. 28) at age 68. Gomes died from complications of a stroke he suffered in […]

On Evangelical Campuses, Rumblings of Gay Acceptance

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(RNS) Late last week, the provost of Belmont University in Nashville, Tenn., announced that the school officially had recognized its first gay student organization. The announcement came barely a month after the Christian school changed its anti-discrimination policy to include […]

Blacks Bristle at Notion of ‘Slave of Christ’

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(RNS) For evangelical author John MacArthur, the best way to explain a Christian’s relationship to Jesus is what appears to be a simple metaphor — one often used by the Apostle Paul himself. “To be a Christian is to be […]

Emergent Church Leader Stirs Controversy over Heaven, Hell and Who Goes Where

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Rob Bell’s new book is ruffling some religious feathers, and it hasn’t even hit bookstores yet.The Founding Pastor of Mars Hill Bible Church in Michigan and one of the foremost voices within the “Emergent” post-modern Church movement was vilified on […]

IHOP Offers Free Pancakes for Charity

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In honor of National Pancake Day, International House of Pancakes diners can get a complimentary short stack for a small donation to charities such as the Children’s Miracle Network Hospital. The dine-in special runs from 7 a.m. until 10 p.m. […]

Court Rules for Jewish Man in Shavuot Dispute

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(RNS) An Orthodox Jew has won a new trial after Maryland’s highest court ruled that a lower court erred when it denied his requests to suspend a trial so he could observe a religious holiday. Alexander Neustadter had argued he […]

Wisconsin Dispute Exposes Catholic Split on Unions

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(RNS) The fierce budget battle in Wisconsin that’s pitting unions against Republican Gov. Scott Walker has also pitted the state’s top Roman Catholic bishops against each other in a series of public exchanges over the church’s historic support for unions. […]

Displaced New Zealand Churches Mourn Their Dead

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

Publisher Backs Off Warning Label for Evangelical Books

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

Age-Old Lent Gets a 21st-Century Makeover

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

Alumni Defend Paddling at Catholic School

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

‘Thoroughly Radicalized’ Student Sentenced to Five Years

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

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

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

Shattered Churches Yield Their Dead in New Zealand

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

Jews Hope Vegas Will Draw Lost Members Back to the Fold

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

Islam Dominated Religion Coverage in 2010

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

When Israel Was in Egypt’s Land…

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

If Obama Won’t Fight Gay Marriage, Conservatives Will

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

Forgiveness Scholar Opens Up on Role of Faith

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

U.S. Rabbis Blast Israel Over New Conversion Rules

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

Catholic Bishops Back Wis. Union Protesters

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

Judge Rejects Christians’ Health Care Suit

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

Sex Abuse Charges Put Catholic Prosecutor Front and Center

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

Supreme Court Rejects 10 Commandments Case

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

Obama Drops Defense of Anti-Gay-Marriage Law

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

Religious Voices Enter Wisconsin Union Debate

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

Muslims and ACLU Sue FBI Over Mosque Surveillance

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

Zondervan CEO Leaving Christian Publisher

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

Christian Movie Draws a (Political) Crowd

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

Number of Catholics Worldwide Edged Up, Vatican Says

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

Oregon Bill Would End Protections for Faith Healers

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

Suit Accuses Televangelist of Breaking Moral Clause

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

Christians Concerned about Conscience Clause

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

Religious Groups Fight for Tax Deductions

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

Budget Battles Disregard the Vulnerable

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

Marriage Seminar Sparks Chick-fil-A Boycott

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

Jesuits Sued Over Sex Abuse Bankruptcy

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

Boy Experiences Death, Says Heaven Is Real

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

Grassroots Group Pressure King on Muslim Hearings

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

Quebec Mayor Vows to Fight Order to Remove Crucifix

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

Egypt’s Christians Keep Wary Eye on Muslim Brotherhood

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

National Debt Is New Hot Issue for Evangelicals

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

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

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

India Woos Sri Lanka with Buddha’s Bones

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

Vatican Allows Three Mass. Churches to Stay Open

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

Most Americans Support Congressional Probe on Muslims

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

When Marriages Are Eternal, Mormon Singles Struggle

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

Let My People Go

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

States Caught in Crossfire over Guns in Churches

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

Top Church Official Indicted in Philly Abuse Probe

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

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

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

Child in Faith-Healing Case Continues to Improve

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

Report: Churches, Charities Not in Competition for Dollars

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

At 102, George Beverly Shea to Receive Lifetime Grammy Award

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

In Soggy Netherlands, A Modern Noah Builds His Ark

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

Towey Named President of Ave Maria University

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

Six Days, 26 Films and One Big Story

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

Breaking News: President Mubarak Steps Down, Flees Egypt

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

New Pipe in Israel Aims to Halt Worship Water Shortage

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

Quebec Bans Sikh Daggers from Capitol

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

Hosni Mubarak Addresses Egypt, Will Not Step Down

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

Catholics Spar with Federal Officials over Unions

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

FBI Investigates Church of Scientology over Human Trafficking Claims

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

Muslim TV Executive Found Guilty in Wife’s Beheading

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

Presbyterian Court Clears Minister in Gay Marriage Case

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

Vatican Says iPhone Apps Won’t Forgive Sins

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

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

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

Video: Haroon Moghul On The Role Of The Muslim Brotherhood

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

Court: Jehovah’s Witnesses Need Better Access to Homes

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

Baha’is Press Case of Imprisoned Relatives

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

Report Says Crime Up at U.S. Churches

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

Is Justin Bieber a Christian?

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

Reflections on Obama’s Faith From the National Prayer Breakfast

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

Biggest Obstacle for Catholic Nuns Lies at Home

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

Consumer Protection Chief Seeks Allies in Faith Leaders

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

Canadian Bishops Urge Catholics to Live Chastely

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

Obama Names Second Round of Faith-Based Advisers

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

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

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

Controversial N.Y. Mosque Loses Another Leader

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

Ohio’s Catholic Bishops Urge End to Death Penalty

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

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

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

Mass. Man Denies Role in Church Arson

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

Obama Brushes Off Critics Who Question His Faith

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

Vatican to Draft Guidelines for Catholic Hospitals

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

Karmapa Lama Denies Charges of Spying for China

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

Court Rules Judge’s Ten Commandments Poster Unconstitutional

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

Congressman Says He’s Not ‘Anti-Islam’

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

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

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

Archdiocese Posts Trove of Slave Records Online

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

Critics Wary of New Smithsonian Review Policy

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

Critics Raise Concerns about House Hearings on Muslims

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

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

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

Catholic Hospitals, Bishops Reach Accord

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By DANIEL BURKE c. 2011 Religion News Service In the wake of public spats between the Catholic hierarchy and health care executives, the Catholic Health Association publicly acknowledged that bishops — not doctors or hospital ethicists — have the final […]

Vatican Affirms Talks with Muslim World

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By FRANCIS X. ROCCA c. 2011 Religion News Service VATICAN CITY (RNS) The Vatican has reaffirmed its commitment to dialogue with the Muslim world, despite an Egyptian university’s suspension of talks to protest statements by Pope Benedict XVI. Cardinal Jean-Louis […]

After Controversy, Christian University Changes Gay Policy

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A Christian university in Nashville, Tenn., has amended its nondiscrimination policy to include sexual orientation after a recent controversy involving a lesbian former soccer coach. “We are a Christian community that is welcoming, loving and inclusive of everyone,” said Belmont […]

Vatican to Launch Dialogue with Atheists

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VATICAN CITY (RNS) The Vatican announced a new initiative aimed at promoting dialogue between theists and atheists to be launched with a two-day event this March in Paris. The Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Culture will sponsor a series of seminars […]

U.S. Muslim Population to Double in 20 Years

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By OMAR SACIRBEY c. 2011 Religion News Service The U.S. Muslim population is expected to double over the next 20 years, fueled by immigration and higher-than-average fertility rates, according to a new report released Thursday (Jan. 27). The authors of […]

Rabbis Petition Murdoch to Crack Down on Fox’s Holocaust Language

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Hundreds of American rabbis used Holocaust Remembrance Day on Thursday (Jan. 27) to push media mogul Rupert Murdoch to “sanction” Glenn Beck and other Fox News personalities on the use of Nazi and Holocaust references. The “Sanction Glenn Beck” letter […]

Muslim Leaders Condemn Holocaust Denial on Remembrance Day

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Prominent Muslim leaders who toured Nazi concentration camps last summer marked International Holocaust Remembrance Day by decrying attempts to deny the Holocaust that killed six million Jews. “We condemn any attempts to deny this historical reality and declare such denials […]

Many Genocides to be Commemorated on Holocaust Memorial Day

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CANTERBURY, England (RNS/ENInews) After the Nazi slaughter of six million Jews during World War II, the world cried out “never again.” But one of Britain’s best-known young rabbis, Jonathan Romain, said the phrase has proved tragically wrong. “Genocide has happened […]

Judge Upholds Law Preventing Guns in Churches

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A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit by gun rights advocates who claimed a Georgia law prohibiting weapons in a house of worship was unconstitutional. GeorgiaCarry.org, an organization that supports gun owners’ rights, and two of its members filed suit […]

Faiths’ Ad Campaigns Chase after the Great ‘I Am’

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By PEGGY FLETCHER STACK c. 2011 Salt Lake Tribune To many viewers, the “I’m a Mormon” ad blitz from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints seemed hip, refreshing and original. The campaign, launched last year in nine U.S. […]

King’s Daughter Won’t Assume Helm of Father’s Civil Rights Group

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By ADELLE M. BANKS c. 2011 Religion News Service Fifteen months after being tapped to head the civil rights group founded by her famous father, the Rev. Bernice King has declined the post, citing a leadership clash and an inability […]

Israel Trips for Jewish Youths Expand, Including for Disabled Teens

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Jewish organizations are aiming to send more North American teens and young adults than ever to Israel this year, focusing on increasing current numbers and reaching out to new groups. Taglit-Birthright Israel, which takes 18- to 26-year-olds on its 10-day […]

Pope Warns Against False Online Profiles, Friendships

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By FRANCIS X. ROCCA c. 2011 Religion News Service VATICAN CITY – If you’re looking for the pope’s Twitter account, keep looking. There’s @Pope–Benedict, @popebenedictxvi, @Benedict XVI, @PopeBenedict XVI, @Benedict–XVI, @popebenedict–16, @JoeRatzinger and even @pope–benny–16, and none of them are […]

Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf Launches Multi-City Interfaith Tour: Muslims and The Mainstream

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Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf launches his multi-city Interfaith Tour in the Detroit suburb of Dearborn. The Imam shares his goals for the effort and his vision of interfaith understanding.video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player– Odyssey Networks

Catholic Media Empire Acquires National Catholic Register

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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — EWTN Global Catholic Network, the Alabama-based international media enterprise founded by Mother Angelica in 1981, has signed a letter of intent to acquire the National Catholic Register newspaper. “I am very pleased and excited that the Register […]

Court Says Religious Knowledge Test Improper in Asylum Case

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A Chinese Christian should be given another chance at asylum after an immigration judge thought the man couldn’t answer “basic questions” about Christianity, a federal appeals court has ruled. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said on Wednesday (Jan. […]

Ala. Governor Apologizes for ‘Brothers and Sisters’ Comment

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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley apologized to anyone who was offended with his inaugural day comments that non-Christians were not his “brothers and sisters.” Bentley met for an hour with members of Alabama’s Jewish community on Wednesday (Jan. […]

Muslim Seminary Ends Talks with Vatican over Pope’s Comments

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VATICAN CITY — The most prestigious religious university in the Sunni Muslim world has suspended dialogue with the Vatican to protest statements by Pope Benedict XVI denouncing violence against Christians in Egypt. The move, on Thursday (Jan. 20), came only […]

Update: Fla. Pastor Formally Banned from U.K.

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LONDON — A Florida pastor who sparked fury when he threatened to burn a pile of Qurans on the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks has been officially banned from Britain for preaching religious extremism. The British government announced Thursday (Jan. […]

Americans Give Poor Marks to the State of Our Moral Union

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By NICOLE NEROULIAS c. 2011 Religion News Service (RNS) As President Obama prepares to assess the state of the union, three out of four Americans grade the country’s moral climate at a “C” or below, according to a new poll […]

Ala. Governor Off to ‘Rocky Start’ with Jews, Muslims

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By GREG GARRISON c. 2011 Religion News Service Jewish and Muslim groups want to know if they have a place in Alabama after Gov. Robert Bentley, just hours into office, said people who have not accepted Jesus as their savior […]

Assassination Threatens Challenges to Blasphemy Law

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BANGALORE, India — Church officials in Pakistan say the assassination of Salman Taseer, an outspoken critic of Pakistan’s blasphemy law, is a “setback” for the campaign to overturn the law that makes illegal to speak against Islam. “This assassination has […]

Calif. War Memorial Cross Ruled Unconstitutional

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WASHINGTON — A federal appeals court ruled Jan. 4 that a veterans’ memorial featuring a 43-foot cross on California’s Mount Soledad is unconstitutional. “The use of such a distinctively Christian symbol to honor all veterans sends a strong message of […]

U.S. Muslims Worry About House ‘Radicalization’ Hearings

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By DANIEL BURKE c. 2011 Religion News Service WASHINGTON — Mass protests against planned mosques in New York City and Tennessee. An Oklahoma referendum to ban Islamic law. A media circus around a Florida pastor’s threat to burn Qurans. An […]

IHOP Restaurant Chain Drops Suit Against IHOP Church

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The International House of Pancakes has dropped its suit against the International House of Prayer after claiming the Missouri-based church had infringed on its trademarked IHOP acronym. Patrick Lenow, spokesman for IHOP Restaurants, said the suit was dismissed on Dec. […]

Nuns Hopeful on U.S. Prelate’s Role in Vatican Probe

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By MICHAEL O’MALLEY c. 2011 Religion News Service The recent appointment of an American archbishop to the Vatican office overseeing a wide-ranging investigation of U.S. nuns has the sisters and their supporters breathing a little easier. Archbishop Joseph Tobin has […]

Atheists’ Diversity Woes Have No Black-and-White Answers

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By G. JEFFREY MacDONALD c. 2011 Religion News Service Alix Jules is an atheist, but for years he felt uncomfortable at gatherings of nonbelievers. The reason: He’s black. “I got really tired of going back and forth to free thought […]

Pope Condemns Killings Outside Egyptian Church

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VATICAN CITY (RNS) Pope Benedict XVI denounced the “vile and murderous” New Year’s Day killing of 21 Egyptian Christians, and was rebuked by Egypt’s top Muslim cleric for an “unacceptable interference in Egypt’s affairs.” Benedict made his remarks on Jan. […]

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

Are All These Christians' Complaints of Persecution Just So Much Empty Whining?
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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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