SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (RNS) As a white man surrendered to federal marshals Friday (April 15), workers were rebuilding the pulpit of the Macedonia Church of God in Christ that he was convicted of burning down the night of President Obama’s election. Michael Jacques, 26, surrendered a day after a jury convicted him on civil rights and…

WASHINGTON (RNS) A New York minister will soon fill the Obama administration’s long-vacant position to oversee international religious freedom after the Senate voted to confirm the Rev. Suzan Johnson Cook for the post. Thursday’s (April 14) voice vote positions Cook to become the first female and the first African-American in the post after a lengthy…

WASHINGTON (RNS) The U.S. ambassador to Malta, who helped rally Catholic support for President Obama’s 2008 campaign, has spent “considerable time” writing on topics beyond the mission of his office, particularly about matters of faith, according to a new State Department investigation. The report from the department’s Office of Inspector General said Ambassador Douglas Kmiec’s…

WASHINGTON (RNS) President Obama and Afghan President Hamid Karzai blasted the recent burning of a Quran at a Florida church and the deadly riots that followed during a video teleconference meeting on Wednesday (April 6). Both leaders “deplored” the desecration of the Muslim holy book and condemned the subsequent April 1 attack on a U.N.…

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