Articles related to Alessandro Speciale, RNS, Catholic Church, Science


U.S. Majority Perceives Conflict between Religion, Science
U.S. Majority Perceives Conflict between Religion, Science

By: EthicsDaily Staff
Nearly six out of 10 U.S. adults, 59 percent, see a conflict between religion and science, a 4 percent increase from 2009. People who went to church more frequently were less likely to see a conflict.

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Do Christianity and Science Oppose Each Other?: Part 2
Do Christianity and Science Oppose Each Other?: Part 2

By: Roger Olson
While complicated tensions exist between religion and science, both Christian theology and science need to respect their boundaries and limits, the late theologian Emil Brunner said.

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Do Christianity and Science Oppose Each Other?: Part 1
Do Christianity and Science Oppose Each Other?: Part 1

By: Roger Olson
Many are convinced that modern science is Christianity's enemy, while many scientifically minded people are convinced Christianity is science's enemy. Evolution is often the flashpoint.

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Willing the World into Existence
Credo: It’s my belief the creation story in Genesis is a religious story rich in faith but not one meant to be understood in a scientific or literal way. I believe in science and so do you. The book of Genesis was written in an age before science was known or understood. To hold the Bible up as scientific writing is to do harm to its original intent or meaning.
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Knee-Jerk Reactions Against Science from Uninformed
Knee-Jerk Reactions Against Science from Uninformed
By: William Hooper
We should not try to prove science by the Bible or prove the Bible by science. Yet many so-called "defenders of God" automatically take offense when science seemingly contradicts the Bible.
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Why Science and Faith Don't Have To Be At Odds
Why Science and Faith Don't Have To Be At Odds
By: Colin Harris
Does scientific understanding represent an assault on the truth of the Bible? Rather than pit science and faith against each other, we can be religiously faithful and scientifically honest.
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Do Science and Religion Have to be At Odds?
Do Science and Religion Have to be At Odds?
Some people fear that modern science has issued orders that, if we complied with them, would shutter our churches. Science and religion, however, can work hand in hand.
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Evolution and Christians: 5 Questions Answered
Evolution and Christians: 5 Questions Answered
Some Christians have trouble reconciling their faith with evolution. But the answers to five common questions that Christians have show why they need not be troubled.
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Science and God: When The Impossible is Possible (Part 2)
Science and God: When The Impossible is Possible (Part 2)
Newton's physical laws and the science built upon them gave us a view of a predictable universe. Then quantum theory came along, and things became more fluid.
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Science and God: No Excuse for Ignorance (Part 1)
Science and God: No Excuse for Ignorance (Part 1)
If Christianity is to be relevant to a world of genome-mapping and large hadron colliders, Christians need to be scientifically literate. First, consider our finely tuned universe.
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Why Science Should Matter to Christians
Why Science Should Matter to Christians
A recent edition of New Scientist, titled "The God Issue," reminds us that the interface between science and faith is a hot topic – as they both purport to be seekers after truth, even ultimate truth.
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Are There Galileos to Challenge Today's Dogma?
Are There Galileos to Challenge Today's Dogma?
For proving the Earth revolved around the sun, Galileo was tried and found guilty of heresy. What ideas today – supported by the church – need a Galileo to challenge them?
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President Obama’s Five Most Personal Religious Statements
(RNS) In recent days, GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum has criticized President Obama for having a "phony theology" not based on the Bible.
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Rick Santorum Defends Views on Obama’s Theology
WASHINGTON (RNS) Republican presidential contender Rick Santorum is defending his views questioning prenatal testing and President Obama's "theology."
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Court Says Quebec Parents Can’t Pull Students Out of Religion Class
TORONTO (RNS) Canada's highest court has ruled that children in Quebec schools cannot opt out of a course on ethics and world religions.
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Grief Without God Is a Challenge for Nonbelievers
BERKELEY, Calif. (RNS) When Rebecca Hensler's infant son died in 2009, she received numerous condolences from friends, colleagues and even total strangers.
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British High Court Rules Against Prayer at Town Meetings
LONDON (RNS) A British High Court justice has triggered dismay with a recent decision that declares prayers at town hall meetings are against the law.
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Vatican Leaks Scandal Looms Large at Meeting to Elevate New Cardinals
VATICAN CITY (RNS) As leaders meet, looming in the background will be a recent string of Vatican leaks that reveal a bitter power struggle among the hierarchy.
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Nonprofit Groups Oppose Obama’s Change in Charitable Deductions
WASHINGTON (RNS) President Obama is proposing lower tax deductions for the wealthy on donations to churches and other nonprofit organizations.
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Gotham’s No Gomorrah, Says N.Y. Archbishop Timothy Dolan
VATICAN CITY (RNS) New York's Archbishop Timothy Dolan said he would like to change the caricature of his city as a modern-day Gomorrah.
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FBI, Muslims Report Progress over Training Materials
(RNS) FBI officials say they are willing to consider a proposal to establish a committee of experts to review materials used in FBI anti-terrorism training.
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Sparks Fly as House GOP Blasts Contraception Mandate
WASHINGTON (RNS) Exhibit A in the fight over President Obama's mandate for religious institutions to provide insurance coverage for contraception: a ham sandwich.
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Southern Baptists Mull Whether ‘Southern’ Still Fits
FAIRHOPE, Ala. (RNS) For the Rev. Jerry Henry, pastor of First Baptist Church of Fairhope, being Southern Baptist is a defining aspect of life.
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Why Do Mormons Baptize the Dead?
(RNS) The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has apologized for a Mormon who baptized the late parents of famed Nazi-hunter Simon Wiesenthal.
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Company Touts Medical Tourism to Israel for Sick pilgrims
JERUSALEM (RNS) Every year, thousands of Americans travel abroad for less-expensive fertility treatments, hip replacements and other medical procedures.
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French Mormons Find a Less Hospitable ‘Mormon Moment’
CHESNAY, FRANCE (RNS) Past clusters of houses and frozen fields in this Paris suburb, the Palace of Versailles sparkles in the evening sun.
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Poll Finds Americans Split on Contraception Mandate
WASHINGTON (RNS) Americans are split on a federal mandate requiring nearly all employers to provide insurance covering contraception.
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New York Knicks’ Jeremy Lin Dubbed the ‘Taiwanese Tebow’
(RNS) New York Knicks guard Jeremy Lin's underdog story and outspoken evangelical faith have some sportswriters dubbing him the "Taiwanese Tebow."
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Update: U.K. Innkeepers Fined for Turning Away Gay Couple
LONDON (RNS) Britain's Court of Appeal has ordered a pair of Christian innkeepers to pay 3,600 pounds ($5,800) in damages.
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No Pews, No Suits, No Problem
(RNS) Ron Williams is the pastor of Church at the GYM in Sanford, Fla. As the Baptist church's name implies, Williams' congregation meets, well, in a gym.
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Washington Becomes Seventh State to Legalize Gay Marriage
SPOKANE, Wash. (RNS) In an emotional ceremony, Gov. Chris Gregoire signed legislation that makes Washington the seventh state to legalize gay marriage.
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Attorney Drops Abuse Suit Against Vatican
VATICAN CITY (RNS) A lawyer has dropped a lawsuit that sought to hold Pope Benedict XVI and other church officials responsible for a clergy sexual abuse case.
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Book Shatters Stereotypes on Muslim Women, Sex and Love
(RNS) If you think good Muslim women wait for marriage to have sex, think again.
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Obama Exempts Religious Groups from Contraception Mandate
(RNS) President Obama unveiled an "accommodation'' in which health insurance companies will provide employees with contraception coverage.
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Church Seeks Line Between Interfaith and Intolerance
DES PERES, Mo. (RNS) More than 100 Lutherans streamed into the basement classroom for a Bible study called "Islam Through a Lutheran Lens."
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Anglican Breakaway Group Confronts New Power Struggle
NASHVILLE (RNS) The saga of the Anglican Mission in the Americas sounds like the words to an old country song: "Why have you left the one you left me for?"
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Egyptians Say Christian Party Is Not the Answer
WASHINGTON (RNS) A delegation of Egyptian Christian leaders said they do not support the development of a Christian political party.
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Lawmaker Angry over Loss of ‘God’ in Air Force Logo
(RNS) Dozens of members of Congress are upset that the Air Force has removed the Latin word for "God" from the logo of an Air Force acquisitions office.
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Report Calls Muslim Terrorism a ‘Minuscule Threat’
(RNS) The threat of homegrown Islamic terrorism is "tiny" and often exaggerated by government officials, a leading anti-terrorism expert said in a new report.
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Five Reasons Why Obama Is Losing the Contraception Fight
(RNS) The White House has surprised observers and disappointed some liberal allies by signaling that it is willing to compromise.
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White House Signals Backtrack on Contraception Rule
(RNS) Advisors are signaling a potential compromise on a controversial new mandate that requires institutions to cover contraception costs for employees.
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N.C. Muslims Rally Around Suspects in Beheading Plot
WILMINGTON, N.C. (RNS) As a Muslim woman waits in jail, her friends and family are using social media to rally support for her cause.
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Appeals Court Strikes Down California Ban on Same-sex Marriage
LOS ANGELES (RNS) The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals struck down California's Proposition 8 ballot measure that banned gay marriage.
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Chaplains Hear Call to Serve God While Serving Country
(RNS) Growing up in Kuwait, Asif Balbale thought he wanted to become a chemical engineer. He never imagined enlisting in the U.S. Navy, much less becoming an imam.
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Priest Fired for Refusing to Use New Catholic Prayers
ST. LOUIS (RNS) For 18 years, the Rev. William Rowe has done a little improvising while celebrating Mass on Sunday mornings at St. Mary's Catholic Church.
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British Group Can’t Tout Divine Healing in Ads, Website
LONDON (RNS) Britain's media advertising watchdog has banned a Christian group from claiming that God's cure-all powers can heal a string of medical ailments.
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Vatican to Host Global Summit on Sexual Abuse
VATICAN CITY (RNS) Catholic bishops from all over the world will meet next week at a Vatican summit aimed at preventing abuse and protecting children.
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Muslims Petition Attorney General for NYPD Probe
(RNS) Muslim and legal advocacy groups are urging Schneiderman to investigate the New York City Police Department after the second scandal in as many weeks.
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Pastor Poised to Be First Black to Lead Baptists
NEW ORLEANS (RNS) Rev. Fred Luter told his African-American congregation that he will seek to become the first black man to lead the SBC.
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Mainline Protestants Up for Grabs Heading into November
WASHINGTON (RNS) White mainline Protestants have a big thing going for them this election cycle: they are divided, and possibly persuadable.
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Obama Says Faith Mandates Him to Care for the Poor
WASHINGTON (RNS) President Obama connected his faith with his policies toward the poor at the National Prayer Breakfast.
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In Galileo’s Hometown, Vatican Promotes Science
VATICAN CITY (RNS) Nearly four centuries after the Church branded Galileo Galilei a heretic, the Vatican is co-hosting a major science exhibition in his hometown.
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Middle East Christians Keep Wary Eye on Arab Spring
CAIRO (RNS) From her home, Samia Ramsis holds a key chain bearing the face of the Virgin Mary.
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Christians Join Fight Against Cockfighting
(RNS/ENInews) Christian leaders are teaming with animal rights advocates to fight against cockfighting.
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Mormons Confront Epidemic of Online Misinformation
SALT LAKE CITY (RNS) A Mormon student surfs the Internet for a school assignment and discovers that Mormon founder Joseph Smith had multiple wives.
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On Eve of Darwin’s Birthday, States Take Steps to Limit Evolution
(RNS) On the eve of Charles Darwin's birthday, lawmakers in at least four states are taking steps to hinder the teaching of evolution.
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Is the Mormon Church’s Racial History a Problem for Mitt Romney?
(RNS) Marvin Perkins says God led him to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints -- but friends advised otherwise.
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Study Says U.S. Muslims Don’t Want Shariah Either
(RNS) North American Muslims are more than satisfied with the secular legal system and do not want a set of parallel courts for Islamic law.
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In Cleveland, a Battle over Unwanted Churches
CLEVELAND (RNS) The Euclid Avenue Church of God and the former Episcopal Church of the Transfiguration sit empty on this city's former Millionaires' Row.
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Woman Charged with Embezzling $1 million from NY Archdiocese
NEW YORK (RNS) A 67-year-old woman with a criminal record for theft has been charged with siphoning $1 million in donations.
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Catholics Rally Against Obama Contraception Mandate
NEW ORLEANS (RNS) Catholic churches denounced a new federal rule requiring faith-based employers to include reproductive services in health care coverage.
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Americans Intrigued but Wary Still of Mormon Beliefs
(RNS) When Mormons call themselves "a peculiar people," they mean it in the biblical sense -- set aside by God, chosen.
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Court Says Student’s Faith May Have Led to Expulsion
(RNS) A counseling student who declined to advise a gay client might have been expelled from her university because of her faith, a federal appeals court ruled.
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Hindus, Sikhs, Muslims Blast Rick Santorum on Equality Comment
(RNS) Muslims, Sikhs and Hindus are accusing Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum of bigotry and ignorance.
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Praying for New Orleans, One Block at a Time
NEW ORLEANS (RNS) Millie Campbell slipped the transmission into reverse. "Oh God," she said, "we thank you for the blood of Jesus."
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After Minor Turbulence, Alaska Airlines Suspends Prayer Cards
(RNS) After causing a bit of turbulence with some passengers, Alaska Airlines will no longer serve prayer cards with in-flight meals, the company announced.
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Muslims Call for NYPD Chief to Resign over Video
(RNS) Muslim American groups are calling for the resignation of New York City Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly.
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Top Catholic Bishop Feels Betrayed by Obama
NEW YORK (RNS) The administration's decision on health insurance had New York Archbishop Timothy Dolan feeling personally betrayed.
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After Angering Catholics, White House Honors Teachers
WASHINGTON (RNS) The White House heralded nine Catholic educators as "Champions of Catholic Education."
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Workers at Religious Institutions Fear Future of Pensions
NEW BRUNSWICK (RNS) Sue Fritz tended to the sick for more than two decades as a nurse at St. Peter's University Hospital.
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A Miniature Christian Bookstore in the Palm of Your Hand
(RNS) God may hold the whole world in his hand, but persecuted Christians can now hold an entire seminary library on a fingertip.
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Shhh! Pope Praises Value of Short Tweets, Silence
VATICAN CITY (RNS) Pope Benedict XVI praised new communications technologies like Twitter, saying that even "concise phrases can convey profound thoughts."
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Poll: Preachy Politicians Turn Off Many Voters
(RNS) If there's one thing the fractious Republican field agrees on, it's that personal religious devotion is central to their campaign message.
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Muslim Men Convicted of Advocating Death for Gays
LONDON (RNS) In the first case of its kind, a British court has convicted three Muslim men of openly advocating the execution of gays.
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Bodily Desecration Is Disturbing—but Why?
(RNS) The recent outrage over a video allegedly showing U.S. Marines urinating on dead Taliban fighters provided Americans with a disturbing reminder.
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Obama Holds Firm on Contraception Coverage
(RNS) The Obama administration said that it will not broaden the religious exemption in new rules that require employers to provide contraception coverage.
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Conservative Presbyterians Launch New Denomination
(RNS) Conservative Presbyterians launched a new denomination, saying that the Presbyterian Church (USA) cannot nurture healthy congregations.
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Catholics warn Gingrich, Santorum on race baiting
(RNS) Catholic leaders have issued an open letter to Catholic candidates Gingrich and Santorum, warning them “to stop perpetuating ugly racial stereotypes.”
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Pope Warns U.S. Bishops of ‘Radical Secularism’
(RNS) “Radical secularism” is gaining ground in American society and poses a “grave threat” to the Catholic Church’s freedom of expression in the public square.
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Are Mormons Christian? It’s Complicated
(RNS) Ask Mormons if they are Christian, and their answer often starts with a sigh.
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Rabbis Step In as Matchmakers on New Jewish Dating Sites
(RNS) Before you meet your match, you’ve got to meet your matchmaker.
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Flood of ‘De-baptisms’ Worries European Church Leaders
PARIS (RNS) A decade ago, Rene Lebouvier requested that his local Catholic church erase his name from the baptismal register.
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Christians Report Lowest Growth Rate in Israel
JERUSALEM (RNS/ENInews) Christians have the lowest growth rate among the Israeli population, according to a recent report.
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At 27, New Imam Represents a Homegrown American Islam
ST. LOUIS (RNS) At just 27 years old, Asif Umar is the new imam of Daar-ul-Islam mosque, the largest mosque in the metro area.
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Will Evangelical Endorsement Fuel Santorum Surge?
(RNS) The Iowa caucuses revived Rick Santorum’s underdog presidential campaign. Now an influential assortment of Christian conservatives has moved to consecrate it.
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Muslims Say Ron Paul is Their Kind of Republican
(RNS) Growing up in rural parts of the American West, Nadja Adolf’s libertarian streak developed early on.
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Survey: Half of Churchgoers’ Lives not Affected by Time in Pews
(RNS) Almost half of churchgoing Americans say their life has not changed a bit due to their time in the pews, a new survey shows.
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Judge Rules Against Prayer Banner in R.I. School
(RNS) A federal judge ruled in favor of a teenage atheist who sought the removal of a prayer banner from her Rhode Island high school.
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Unconventional Statue of John Paul II Gets a Makeover
VATICAN CITY (RNS) Just eight months after being unveiled, a controversial statue of Pope John Paul II in Rome is receiving a major makeover.
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Religious Leaders: Same-sex Marriage Threatens Religious Freedom
(RNS) A coalition of nearly 40 religious leaders has published an open letter that seeks to recast the battle against same-sex marriage as a fight for religious freedom.
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String of Synagogue Attacks Stirs Concern in New Jersey
RUTHERFORD, N.J. (RNS) An attack on a New Jersey synagogue is being investigated as an attempted murder and a bias crime.
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Judge Refuses to Free Leader of Amish Beard-cutting Sect
CLEVELAND (RNS) A federal judge refused to release the leader of an Amish splinter sect from jail on charges he orchestrated the cutting of beards.
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Supreme Court Sides with Churches in Employment Fights
WASHINGTON (RNS) The U.S. Supreme Court unanimously threw its support behind a church school that fired a teacher.
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Beloved Hymns Carried King Through Troubled Times

(RNS) At 87, the Rev. C.T. Vivian can still recall the moment, decades after the height of the civil rights movement.

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Va. Judge Rules Against Breakaway Episcopal Parishes
(RNS) Seven congregations that broke with the Episcopal Church in 2006 over its liberal policies on homosexuality are not entitled to keep parish property.
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Appeals Court Rules Oklahoma Shariah Ban Unconstitutional
(RNS) Oklahoma’s referendum against state judges considering Islamic law is unconstitutional, the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled.
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New White House Staffers Have Catholic, Jewish Ties
(RNS) President Obama named an immigration expert with longstanding ties to the Catholic Church as his top domestic policy official.
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New Saint’s Work Started Small, Left Big Legacy
(RNS) Barbara Koob moved from Utica, N.Y., to nearby Syracuse in the summer of 1862, when she was 24, to enter the convent of the Sisters of St. Francis.
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Rob Bell Says Goodbye to Michigan Megachurch
GRANDVILLE, Mich. (RNS) For years, Rob Bell closed his Sunday teachings at Mars Hill Bible Church with a simple statement: “Grace and peace be with you.”
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Pope Tells Diplomats that Economy Needs New Rules
VATICAN CITY (RNS) The world economy needs “new rules” to overcome the current financial crisis, Pope Benedict XVI told Vatican diplomats.
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Pope Benedict XVI’s Cardinals: More Roman, Less Catholic
(RNS) The big news was that Pope Benedict XVI had included New York Archbishop Timothy Dolan and former Baltimore Archbishop Edwin O’Brien.
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It’s 2012, Which Means Another Doomsday May Be upon Us
(RNS) On Dec. 21, 2012, the Mayan calendar reaches the end of its 5,126 epoch. That’s a cause of consternation among some end-times adherents.
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N.C. Man Has a Gentle Madness for Church Fans Collection
WILMINGTON (RNS) William McNeill remembers two things about sitting in the pew at Singletary United Methodist Church in Dublin, N.C. as a boy.
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Boston Cardinal Marks 10 Years Since Abuse Scandal
(RNS) Ten years after the sex abuse scandal erupted in the Archdiocese of Boston, Cardinal Sean O’Malley has written a contrite public letter.
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In Academia, Islam Remains a Risky Third Rail
(RNS) A recent spate of campus controversies involving professors who made provocative statements about Muslims shows how easy it is for academics to get into trouble.
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Victims’ Group Refuses to Turn over Names in Abuse Suit
ST. LOUIS (RNS) The director of a leading victims’ advocacy group refused to answer some questions or turn over documents in a deposition.
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L.A. Bishop Resigns After Fathering Children
(RNS) A Roman Catholic auxiliary bishop from Los Angeles has resigned after admitting he is the father of two children, both now teenagers.
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Romney’s Evangelical Problem Starts with Theology
(RNS) The good news for Mitt Romney: he won the Iowa caucuses. The bad news for Romney: evangelicals remain reluctant to support him.
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Vatican Launches Catholic Home for U.S. Episcopalians
(RNS) American Episcopalians upset with their denomination’s acceptance of gay and female clergy can now convert to the Roman Catholic Church.
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Catholic School Officially Ends Paddling
NEW ORLEANS (RNS) A Catholic high school that was the country’s last refuge of corporal punishment has ended a legal struggle over control of the school.
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Atheists Face Uphill Climb with New Political Party
(RNS) How viable is a political party with the word “atheist” in its name?
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2011: A Year of Taking It to the Streets
(RNS) 2011 was supposed to be the year the world ended. Twice.
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Pope Pins Financial Mess on Crisis of Faith
VATICAN CITY (RNS) Europe’s economic and financial crisis is the consequence of an “ethical crisis” and a “crisis of faith,” Pope Benedict XVI said.
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Christmas Banner Causes Big Spat in Small N.J. Town
PITMAN, N.J. (RNS) Located just 17 miles southeast of Philadelphia, Pitman, N.J., has the rural feel of fictional Bedford Falls in “It’s a Wonderful Life.”
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Tebow is Top Religion Author of 2011
(RNS) Critics have hammered Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow for everything from his throwing style to his trademark professions of evangelical faith.
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Poll: Nearly 80 Percent of Americans are Christian
(RNS) As Christmas nears, more than three-quarters of Americans identify themselves as Christian, Gallup reports.
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Man Sentenced for Burning Black Church
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (RNS) The second of three city men was sentenced to nearly 14 years in prison for burning a local black church after President Barack Obama was elected.
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Evangelicals Side with Catholics on Insurance Mandate
WASHINGTON (RNS) Catholics who have pushed back against a White House policy are getting a high-profile assist from dozens of evangelical leaders.
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German Jews Ride Renaissance Against Tide of Assimilation
LUEBECK, Germany (RNS) After years of celebrating behind drawn curtains, Paliy went to Luebeck’s historic synagogue and lit the candles in freedom for the first time.
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Feds Charge 12 in Amish Beard-cutting Attacks
CLEVELAND (RNS) Federal prosecutors have expanded their case against members of a breakaway Amish sect for their roles in shaving hair and beards.
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Atheists Aim to Change Image of Penny-pinching Scrooges
(RNS) If Dec. 10 had been an average day for Doctors Without Borders, its website would have logged 4,000 hits.
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U.S. Jumps to Top of Charity Index
WASHINGTON (RNS) Americans: the most generous people in the world. In this season of giving, that’s no idle gloat.
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Report Shows Christianity Shifting to Africa
(RNS) With 2.18 billion adherents, Christianity has become a truly global religion over the past century according to a new report.
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Muslims Caught in Reality Show Crossfire Struggle to Understand Controversy
DEARBORN, Mich. (RNS) When Fordson High School football coach Fouad Zaban was asked to be on a reality show about Muslim family life, his impulse was to decline.
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Pope Certifies Miracles for Two U.S. Saints
VATICAN CITY (RNS) A 17th-century Native American woman and a Catholic nun are on the verge of becoming the newest American saints.
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Muslim Push Lowe’s Boycott over Reality Series
LOS ANGELES (RNS) The controversy between Muslim Americans and the Lowe’s home improvement chain will spill into 2012 with a planned boycott of Lowe’s.
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Ten Commandments Scroll Goes on Display in New York
NEW YORK (RNS) It is an irony of history that the Ten Commandments are found in their purest form on a strip of ancient parchment.
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Obama Defends His Israel Policy at Jewish Conference
NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. (RNS) President Obama told a crowd of Reform Jews that no other administration “has done more in support of Israel’s security.”
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Christopher Hitchens’ Atheism Was a Gift to Believers
WASHINGTON (RNS) Christopher Hitchens will be remembered as many things: an acerbic essayist, connoisseur of Scotch and cigarettes and roguish writer.
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On Dec. 25, Atheists Celebrate a Different Birthday
(RNS) Deck those halls with boughs of apples and top that tree with a finger puppet of Sir Isaac Newton.
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New Reform Jewish Leader Promises Revitalization
WASHINGTON (RNS) Rabbi Richard Jacobs understands why so many Jews avoid synagogues.
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Clinton Hosts Summit on Religious Intolerance
WASHINGTON (RNS) Secretary of State Hillary Clinton wrapped up a summit of international leaders this week to explore specific steps to combat intolerance.
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Church Secretary Says Interracial Marriage Got Her Fired
FAYETTEVILLE, Tenn. (RNS) A white church secretary is suing her former employer, arguing that she was fired for marrying a black man.
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Muslim Reality Show, Under Fire, Denies Charges of Extremism
(RNS) The cast and producers of “All-American Muslim,” said they are helping change negative perceptions of Muslims.
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Bin Laden’s Death Rated Top Religion News Story
(RNS) The death of Osama bin Laden and the reactions it produced among people of faith was rated the No. 1 religion news story of 2011.
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Jefferson’s Bible Gets a second look
WASHINGTON (RNS) How would you feel about taking a razor blade to a Bible? Thomas Jefferson, apparently, didn’t have any qualms about it.
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Has Matisyahu Left Judaism?
(RNS) Matisyahu, the improbable but undeniable reggae star, announced on Twitter that he is shaving the beard that has long marked him as a Hasidic Jew.
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Conservatives Rate Naughty and Nice Christmas Retailers
(RNS) Don’t let the strains of “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas” over the store’s audio system fool you. Barnes & Noble is “against” Christmas.
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Buying the Crystal Cathedral: Great Deal or Big Gamble?
(RNS) Even by the depressed metrics of Southern California’s real estate market, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange negotiated a pretty sweet deal.
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Pope Benedict XVI to Visit Cuba, Mexico Next Year
VATICAN CITY (RNS) Pope Benedict XVI confirmed that he will travel to Cuba and Mexico next year.
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St. Louis Church Channels Anger over Pujols for Good
ST. LOUIS (RNS) As members of The Gathering began to hear of the gnashing of teeth and rending of garments, they decided to act.
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American Cardinal John Foley Dies at 76
(RNS) Cardinal John P. Foley, the longtime chief of communications for the Vatican, died just outside of his native Philadelphia. He was 76.
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Companies Pull Ads from Muslim Reality TV Show
(RNS) Lowe’s has pulled commercials from future episodes of “All-American Muslim,” a TLC reality-TV show, after protests by Christian groups.
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Religious Freedom Panel Prepares to Close
WASHINGTON (RNS) A federal watchdog panel that monitors religious freedom around the world is preparing to shut down unless Congress passes a last-minute measure.
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Why Do We Spend Money on Happiness We Can’t Afford?
(RNS) Roberts was watching a Nightline episode on basketball legend Shaquille O’Neal when he heard about the size of his Florida home: 70,000 square feet.
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Young Hip Jews Leading a Hanukkah Music Makeover
(RNS) Put on your boogie shoes—the new Hanukkah songs are here!
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GOP Candidates Make Pitch to Jewish Voters
WASHINGTON (RNS) Newt Gingrich ignited an audience of Republican Jewish activists by promising to move the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
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Poll Suggests Believers Can Be Swayed on Nukes, Environment
WASHINGTON (RNS) Most American believers see preventing climate change or the spread of nuclear weapons as important goals, according to a new poll.
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Israelis, Resentful of Orthodox Grip on Society, Fight Back
JERUSALEM (RNS) The Kolben Dance Company’s studio faces a busy downtown plaza, but few passers-by have ever glimpsed one of the troupe’s rehearsals inside.
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Billy Graham Released from Hospital
(RNS) Evangelist Billy Graham returned to his North Carolina home after a six-day stay in a nearby hospital where he was treated for pneumonia.
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Williams Said Jesus Would Be Siding with Occupy Movement
LONDON (RNS) Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams says Jesus would have joined protesters from the anti-corporate Occupy movement.
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Israel Inaugurates Gospel Trail to Follow Jesus’ Steps
GALILEE, Israel (RNS) Perched on Tel Kinrot, a hill above the Sea of Galilee, Winston Mah turned his face toward the warm sun.
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Supreme Court Upholds NYC Ban on Churches in Schools
NEW YORK (RNS) The U.S. Supreme Court let stand ruling that bars congregations from using space in New York City schools for worship services.
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As Church-based Civil Unions Kick In, Church of England Says No
LONDON (RNS) New laws that allow same-sex civil unions to be performed on religious premises took effect in England and Wales.
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Mainline Protestants Seek Internal Reforms, Stir Anger
(RNS) A list of the Episcopal Church’s 75 commissions, committees, agencies and boards spilled over eight PowerPoint slides during a recent presentation.
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Court Date Nears for American Muslim Wannabomber
PORTLAND, Ore. (RNS) A year ago, a tall, skinny teen named Mohamed Mohamud stepped out of an SUV just north of Portland’s Union Station.
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It’s the Most Wonderfully Holy Time of the Year
(RNS) A quick glimpse at a calendar is one way to see how religiously diverse the United States has become.
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Religious, Political Leaders Call for AIDS-free Generation
WASHINGTON (RNS) A star-studded array from President Obama to rock legend Bono to AIDS activist Kay Warren came together for World AIDS Day.
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One-third of Shelter Residents are Newly Homeless
WASHINGTON (RNS) Nearly one in five clients of Christian rescue missions said they were victims of physical violence within the past year.
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Update: Pope Won’t Face Charges for Not Buckling Up
BERLIN (RNS) Pope Benedict XVI can cross an outstanding charge of failing to use a seatbelt from his list of worries.
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D.C. Tosses Complaint Against Catholic University Dorms
WASHINGTON (RNS) The District has dismissed a complaint against the university that charged the school’s return to same-gender student housing discriminates against women.
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2012 Candidates Asked to Sign Religious Freedom Pledge
(RNS) An advocacy organization for persecuted Christians has asked the 2012 presidential candidates to sign a pledge stating they would make religious freedom a priority.
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Anti-Mormon Bias Persistent in Presidential Politics
(RNS) On June 27, 1844, vigilantes cornered a man who claimed to receive messages from God and gunned him down in an Illinois jail after his arrest.
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Pope: Others Should Be Held to Same Abuse Standards
VATICAN CITY (RNS) Pope Benedict XVI said that “all other institutions” should be held to the same “exacting standards” as the Roman Catholic Church.
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Tunisia a Test for Moderate Islam
TUNIS, Tunisia (RNS) The face of political Islam in this fledgling Muslim democracy is a 47-year-old mother of two who favors tailored suits and stiletto heels.
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Accused Janitor Says Priest Blackmailed, Abused Him
MORRISTOWN, N.J. (RNS) For four years, Jose Feliciano told a jury, his rage grew.
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Episcopal Bishop Cleared of Abandonment Charge
(RNS) The Episcopal bishop of South Carolina, who has distanced his diocese from the national denomination, has not “abandoned” the Episcopal Church.
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Charitable Giving Up Slightly but Still Ailing
(RNS) Charitable giving is trickling back up as the economy heals, but it could take years to return to pre-recession levels, nonprofit leaders say.
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Poll: Mitt Romney’s Mormonism Could Be a Primary Problem
(RNS) If Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney can secure the nomination, his Mormon faith shouldn’t be an obstacle for voters in the general election.
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Workplace Religious Complaints Double in Last Decade
CLEVELAND (RNS) Northeast Ohio native Suhad Hasan says neither her Muslim faith nor her headscarf should be an issue where she works.
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Religious Groups Spend Nearly $400 million on D.C. Advocacy
WASHINGTON (RNS) The number of religious advocacy groups has more than tripled since the 1970s, with conservative groups seeing the biggest growth.
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Angry Churches Pull Money from Big Banks
(RNS) A small number of religious communities are removing their money to protest what they see as unfair mortgage foreclosures and unwillingness to lend to small businesses.
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Photographer Captures Muslims’ Self-portraits
DURHAM, N.C. (RNS) Artist Todd Drake has aimed his camera lens at truck drivers, Alzheimer’s patients and employees of an exotic nightclub.
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Atheists Launch Campaign to Get Unbelievers to Come Out
(RNS) The young man in the video pulls in close to his computer camera with the trappings of a typical college dorm room behind him.
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Boston’s Cardinal Bernard Law Retires from Prominent Post
VATICAN CITY (RNS) Cardinal Bernard F. Law has stepped down from his controversial post as head of a prominent basilica in Rome.
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Change Comes to Bob Jones University
GREENVILLE, S.C. (RNS) It started in 2005, when the mantle of university president passed to Stephen Jones, Bob Jones III’s son.
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Pope Benedict XVI Calls for Reconciliation in Africa
VATICAN CITY (RNS) Pope Benedict XVI ended his second papal trip to Africa with a call for “reconciliation, justice and peace” in a troubled continent.
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Pope Benedict XVI Begins Second Trip to Africa
VATICAN CITY (RNS) Pope Benedict XVI opened his second papal trip to Africa with a warning against economic development through unbridled capitalism.
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Students Do Interfaith Through Universal Language of Music
DURHAM, N.C. (RNS) Say the word “interfaith” and the next word to roll off the tongue is probably “dialogue.” It’s hard to think of one without the other.
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Crystal Cathedral is Cautionary Tale for Pastors
(RNS) The Crystal Cathedral’s transformation from a Protestant megachurch to a Roman Catholic cathedral should teach pastors not to spend millions on ornate buildings.
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Calif. Court Hands Conservatives a Victory in Prop 8 Case
LOS ANGELES (RNS) The California Supreme Court handed conservatives a big victory by allowing them to defend a statewide ban on gay marriage.
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Episcopal Head Jefferts Schori Answers Critics on Abusive Priest
(RNS) Shori defended her decision to allow a former Roman Catholic monk to become an Episcopal priest even after he admitted to sexual misconduct with a minor.
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Lawyer Urges Penn State to Lift Confidentiality Claims
(RNS) Hundreds of people around the country who were sexually abused as children will watch in legally imposed silence, says a Boston attorney and expert on such cases.
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Benetton Pulls Pope-kissing Ad
VATICAN CITY (RNS) International clothing retailer Benetton pulled a provocative ad featuring Pope Benedict XVI kissing a Muslim cleric.
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Sexual Abusers Hard to Profile or Predict
(RNS) The grand jury report reads like a textbook profile of child sexual abuse.
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Catholics to Launch Shelter for Anglicans on Jan. 1
(RNS) A new Roman Catholic structure for Anglican converts in the United States will be formally launched, Cardinal Donald Wuerl of Washington announced.
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Accused Mo. Bishop Accepts Deal to Avoid Second Indictment
(RNS) A Roman Catholic bishop avoided a second criminal charge for failing to report suspected child abuse.
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Nurses Say They Were Forced to Assist in Abortions
NEWARK, N.J. (RNS) Twelve nurses accused the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey of abruptly forcing them to assist in abortion cases.
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Catholic Bishops Stay Mum on Economic Turmoil
BALTIMORE (RNS) Twenty-five years ago, Catholic bishops issued a statement that became the touchstone for religious opposition to “trickle down” economics.
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Catholic Bishop Backtracks on Limiting Communion Wine
(RNS) The Roman Catholic bishop of Phoenix has backtracked on plans to restrict Communion wine at Mass after a local outcry and consultation with other bishops.
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Gay, Muslim Groups Relieved by Changes to Bullying Bill
(RNS) A Michigan lawmaker agreed to drop a provision in an anti-bullying bill that would have carved out an exemption for religious or moral beliefs.
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Bishops Welcome Dialogue with Obama as Concerns Remain
BALTIMORE (RNS) The standoff between the White House and the nation’s Catholic bishops over gay marriage and other hot-button issues may be easing.
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N.Y. Clerk Who Refused Gay Marriage Licenses Wins Re-election
LEDYARD, N.Y. (RNS) The town clerk in Ledyard, N.Y., who drew national attention after refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples won re-election.
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Catholic College Sues over Contraception Mandate
(RNS) A small Catholic college has sued saying a new requirement to provide contraceptives contradicts the school’s religious beliefs.
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As Injured Vets Return Home, Congregations Reach Out
NEWTON, Mass. (RNS) Some wounds of war are all too visible—a missing leg, a shattered arm. The invisible wounds are often more difficult to spot.
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Black Seminaries Embrace Hip-hop
WASHINGTON (RNS) Two leading black seminaries think they have found a way to grab the next generation: hip-hop.
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Why Penn State Abuse Is (and Isn’t) Like the Catholic Church
(RNS) Penn State coaching legend Joe Paterno is out in the university’s burgeoning sex abuse scandal, and comparisons to the Roman Catholic Church’s own abuse scandals are in.
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Bishops Gear Up for Fight with Obama
(RNS) When the nation’s Catholic bishops gather, the issue that will stand out is their growing resolve to engage in politically charged battles.
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After Miss. Defeat, What’s next for Personhood?
WASHINGTON (RNS) The failure of the “personhood” initiative in Mississippi intensified what appears to be a growing divide in the anti-abortion movement.
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NCC Leader to Step Down
(RNS) The National Council of Churches announced that General Secretary Michael Kinnamon is resigning due to health reasons.
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Study Says Religious Services Make Some Women Happier
A new study in the Journal of Religion and Health suggests that there’s a link between optimism and attendance at religious services.
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Evangelicals Call for Nuclear Cutbacks
WASHINGTON (RNS) The National Association of Evangelicals called for greater precautions with nuclear weapons and a renewed effort toward disarmament.
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Survey Finds Deep Challenges for Romney
WASHINGTON (RNS) More than four in 10 American voters say they are uncomfortable with the idea of a Mormon in the White House.
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Catholic Official Resigns over Column
(RNS) A policy adviser to the U.S. Catholic bishops’ anti-gay-marriage office resigned a week after writing a column that blamed Satan for homosexuality.
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Atheists Thrive at Cal Lutheran
(RNS) Evan Clark chose to attend California Lutheran University even though he wasn’t sure how he might fit in as an atheist at a religious school.
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At Religious Campuses, Atheist Groups Operate Underground
(RNS) Late one night over pizza, University of Dayton students Branden King and Nick Haynes discovered neither of them believed in God.
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Amid Tense Relations, Ireland Closes Embassy to the Vatican
VATICAN CITY (RNS) After months of tense relations over the clergy sex abuse scandal, the Irish government announced that it will close its embassy to the Vatican.
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Church Prosecutor: Parents Have Duty to Report Abuse
VATICAN CITY (RNS) Catholic parents have a “right and duty” to report the sexual abuse of minors, the Vatican’s chief sex abuse investigator said.
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Religious Leaders Lobby Congress for Foreign Aid
WASHINGTON (RNS) As Congress prepares for a high-stakes battle over federal spending, religious leaders are lobbying senators to preserve foreign aid as a moral obligation.
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Catholics Urge Civility in Politics
WASHINGTON (RNS) A group of Catholic elder statesmen called for more civility in politics, saying Catholics have also been subjected to scrutiny.
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Anglicans Won’t Allow Civil Partnerships in Churches
LONDON (RNS) The British government said that same-sex couples will be allowed for the first time to use churches to seal their civil partnership vows.
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Congress Considers Conscience Rights in Health Care
WASHINGTON (RNS) Catholic and other Christian health care providers denounced a rule that requires insurers to cover contraception.
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Saudi-Iran Tensions Overshadow Hajj Pilgrimage
(RNS) Reports last month that Iran plotted to assassinate Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to the U.S. have enflamed animosity between the two Muslim powers.
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London Cathedral Suspends Legal Action Against Protester
LONDON (RNS) Authorities at London’s St. Paul’s Cathedral have decided to suspend legal action against scores of anti-corporate protesters.
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One Torah, Two Tales
METAIRIE, La. (RNS) Until recently, two remarkable stories surrounded the beautiful hand-lettered Torah scroll at Congregation Beth Israel
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Faith-healing Parents Sentenced to Six Years
OREGON CITY, Ore. (RNS) An Oregon judge sentenced two members of a faith-healing church to more than six years in prison.
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Supreme Court Won’t Wade into Roadside Crosses Fight
WASHINGTON (RNS) The Supreme Court announced that it will not reopen a case concerning highway crosses memorializing Utah state troopers.
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U.S. Seminaries Consider Radical Changes
(RNS) For more than 200 years, Andover Newton Theological School has trained future pastors to have expertise in biblical studies, pastoral care and preaching.
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Crystal Cathedral Endorses Offer to End its Bankruptcy Crisis
(RNS) Crystal Cathedral officials have endorsed an offer from a nearby California university to purchase the glass-walled megachurch.
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Historic London Cathedral Reopens and Moves to Evict Protesters
LONDON (RNS) London’s historic St. Paul’s Cathedral reopened its doors to visitors for the first time in a week.
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Lawyer Charges Catholic University with Civil Rights Violations
WASHINGTON (RNS) A famously litigious lawyer has filed charges against CUA for not providing Muslim students with prayer rooms.
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Pope Convenes Interfaith Summit
ASSISI, Italy (RNS) Pope Benedict XVI hosted some 300 representatives of world religions for an interfaith summit on justice and peace.
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Faith, Political Leaders Find Out How Far Food Stamps Go
WASHINGTON (RNS) Religious leaders and members of Congress are getting a firsthand taste of what it’s like to eat on $4.50 a day as part of the “Food Stamp Challenge.”
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Bishops Warn Congress on Threats to Freedom
WASHINGTON (RNS) U.S. Catholic bishops dispatched their new point man on religious freedom to warn Congress that religious people risk being labeled as bigots.
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Activists Bemoan Low Priority Given to Religious Freedom
WASHINGTON (RNS) Religious freedom advocates lamented America’s failure to protect the faithful abroad, saying things have gotten worse.
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Amish Bernie Madoff Won’t Fight Fraud Charges
SUGARCREEK, Ohio (RNS) An investment broker dubbed the “Amish Bernie Madoff” has decided not to fight federal charges that he defrauded thousands of investors.
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Faith Groups Target Super Committee
WASHINGTON (RNS) Religious communities are holding prayer vigils, phoning politicians and organizing letter campaigns in a bid to protect safety net programs.
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Muslims Call for Reforms 10 Years after Patriot Act
(RNS) A Muslim civil rights group is accusing the FBI and other federal agencies of “bad policing” and flaunting the Constitution in a 56-page report.
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Muslims Combat Radicalization with Online Tools
WASHINGTON (RNS) A Muslim organization is working to counter radicalization by providing the work of progressive Islam scholars online.
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Clergy Petition Village Voice to Drop Ads Linked to Sex Trafficking
(RNS) Three dozen religious leaders have signed an ad calling on Village Voice Media to remove an adult section of its website.
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Muslim Mortgages in Limbo After Bank Collapse
TORONTO (RNS) The collapse of a lender that offered Shariah-compliant mortgages has left Muslim homeowners in the Toronto area with many questions.
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Shifting Course, St. Paul’s Orders Protesters Out
LONDON (RNS) More than a week after welcoming anti-corporate protesters onto its grounds, London’s historic St. Paul’s Cathedral now wants them to go away.
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Vatican Blasts Idolatry of Global Markets
VATICAN CITY (RNS) The Vatican released an ambitious proposal for global regulation of the financial industry and the international money supply.
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D.C. Pastor to Lead Democrats’ Faith Outreach
WASHINGTON (RNS) The Democratic National Committee has tapped a well-connected Washington pastor to lead the party’s religious outreach.
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Vatican Hails End of Gadhafi Regime
VATICAN CITY (RNS) The Vatican called the death of Libya’s longtime leader Col. Moammar Gadhafi the end of a harsh and oppressive regime.
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Church Wrestles with Growth of Wisconsin Shrine to Mary
CHAMPION, Wis. (RNS) Philip and Barbara Hesselbein came to the Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help to pray for a grandson who has an inoperable brain tumor.
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What Would Jesus Laugh At? Quite a Bit, Says Colbert’s Chaplain
(RNS) Three priests—a Dominican, a Franciscan and a Jesuit—walk into a bar. According to the Rev. James Martin, it’s not only the opening to a good joke.
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Pope Appoints New Ambassador to U.S.
(RNS) Pope Benedict XVI has named Italian Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano as the Vatican’s next ambassador to the United States.
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Pope, 84, Opts for Wheeled Platform at Mass
(RNS) Pope Benedict XVI used a wheeled platform Sunday (Oct. 16) in a measure to “reduce fatigue” on the 84-year-old pope.
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Janitor Accused of Killing Priest Faces Trial
(RNS) Nearly two years after the Rev. Edward Hinds was found dead in the rectory of St. Patrick Church, the janitor charged in his murder is facing trial this week.
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Police Ordered Out of St. Paul’s as Protesters Allowed In
(RNS) Scores of anti-corporate demonstrators invaded London’s historic St. Paul’s Cathedral on Sunday.
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Driscoll’s Portland Church Met by Protesters
(RNS) Black-clad demonstrators gathered outside the Portland satellite branch of a Seattle megachurch on Sunday to protest the church’s stance on homosexuality.
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Activist U.S. Priest Arrested at Vatican
(RNS) A Roman Catholic priest from Georgia who is on the verge of expulsion from his religious order was arrested outside the Vatican on Monday.
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Gallup Poll: 35 Percent Oppose Death Penalty
(RNS) More than one-third of Americans now oppose the death penalty—the highest level in nearly 40 years—according to a new Gallup Poll.
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Anti-Gay Post on Teacher’s Facebook Page Stirs Firestorm
(RNS) It began last week with a single online comment, one critical of a high school display marking Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender History Month.
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Orthodox Get Green Light to Rebuild at Ground Zero
(RNS) Ten years after tiny St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church was destroyed by falling rubble from the World Trade Center towers, church leaders reached an agreement Friday to rebuild at Ground Zero.
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Law Would Allow Marriage to Catholics for U.K. Royals
(RNS) Future British kings and queens would be permitted to marry Catholics for the first time in more than three centuries.
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Under Pressure, D.C. Shelter Ends Church-service Requirement
WASHINGTON (RNS) A taxpayer-supported homeless shelter in the nation’s capital will no longer require its clients to attend religious services.
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Report Says Tithing, Church Spending Hit Record Low
(RNS) Tithing to mainline Protestant churches as a percentage of income is at its lowest level in at least 41 years.
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Obama Hosts First Evangelical Summit at White House
(RNS) President Obama formally extended his ear to evangelicals ahead of the 2012 election.
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Vatican Treads Carefully on Egyptian Violence
VATICAN CITY (RNS) Pope Benedict XVI lamented the killing of two dozen Christian protesters in Egypt.
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Williams Confronts Mugabe with Dossier of Abuse
HARARE, Zimbabwe (RNS/ENInews) Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams has asked Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe to intervene to stop attacks on Anglicans.
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Charges Dropped Against Clergy Who Prayed in Capitol
WASHINGTON (RNS) A city court dropped charges against a group of religious and civic leaders who were arrested during a prayer vigil for the poor.
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Film Explores Shifting Debate over Evolution
(RNS) A new documentary examines the evolving battle over teaching evolution in American classrooms.
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Conservatives Rally Around N.Y. Clerk over Same-sex Marriages
LEDYARD, N.Y. (RNS) A new YouTube video features a town clerk explaining why she believes she should not have to issue same-sex marriage licenses.
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Protest Chaplains Shepherd Movement’s Spiritual Side
BOSTON (RNS) They were met by typical sounds of raucous youth-led protests: drum beats, police sirens and shouted political slogans.
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Schismatics Discuss Vatican Demands
VATICAN CITY (RNS) Leaders of the group that’s in schism with the Catholic Church met to consider the Vatican’s conditions for reconciliation.
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Poll: Three in Four Pastors Say Mormons Aren’t Christian
WASHINGTON (RNS) A newly released poll says most Protestant pastors in U.S. agree that Mormons are not Christians.
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New Orleans Bids Adieu to Legendary Archbishop
NEW ORLEANS (RNS) Thousands of mourners paid their final respects to legendary Archbishop Philip M. Hannan as his casket was slowly lowered.
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GOP Campaigns Court Values Voters at D.C. Summit
WASHINGTON (RNS) Several candidates sought to kick-start their stalling campaigns by preaching a gospel of low taxes and conservative Christian values.
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Study: Teens Leave Churches Seen as Judgmental, Unfriendly
(RNS) Why do young Christians leave the church?
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Poll: Obama Seen as Smartest, Most Honest Candidate
WASHINGTON (RNS) Americans consider President Obama to be the smartest and most honest presidential candidate against Mitt Romney and Rick Perry.
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Dalai Lama Calls Off Trip for Tutu’s Birthday After Visa Standoff
CAPE TOWN, South Africa (RNS) An invitation to an 80th birthday party rarely causes ripples—unless it’s the Dalai Lama who’s trying to attend.
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Chief Rabbis Show Support for Burned Israeli Mosque
JERUSALEM (RNS) Israel’s chief rabbis are among the Jews in Israel and abroad who have strongly condemned an arson attack on a mosque in northern Israel.
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Dead Cleric's Videos May Find Eternal Life Online
(RNS) Radical American-born cleric Anwar al-Awlaki may be dead, but the power of the Internet means he won’t soon be forgotten.
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Civil Rights Icon Fred Shuttlesworth Dies at 89
BIRMINGHAM, Alabama (RNS) The Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth, the driving force behind the Birmingham integration efforts, died at age 89.
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Beer, Wine not on Church's List of Immoral Investments
BERLIN (RNS) New guidelines issued by Germany’s largest Protestant body advised parishioners to not invest in companies that make hard liquor.
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Was Christopher Columbus on a Religious Crusade?
(RNS) Two recent books argue that explorers Christopher Columbus and Vasco da Gama were more like Christian crusaders than greedy mercenaries.
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Bishops Warn that Church Teaching is Nonpartisan
(RNS) U.S. Catholic bishops reminded Catholic voters that they can’t cherry-pick from church teachings to justify their own political preferences.
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Williams Visits Zimbabwe Amid Church-state Standoff
HARARE, Zimbabwe (RNS/ENInews) Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams will visit Zimbabwe in a show of support for Anglicans.
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Atheists Say Cancer Volunteering Thwarted
(RNS) The American Cancer Society has rejected an atheist group’s bid to field a national team to raise money for cancer research.
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New Calif. Law Prohibits Circumcision Bans
(RNS) Jews, Muslims and their allies cheered as California Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill prohibiting all local bans on circumcision.
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As Network Turns 50, Robertson Bows Out of Politics
(RNS) Marking the 50th anniversary of the first broadcast of his Christian Broadcasting Network, Pat Robertson said he will no longer make political endorsements.
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Jury Convicts Dale, Shannon Hickman of Manslaughter
OREGON CITY, Ore. (RNS) A jury unanimously convicted an Oregon couple, Dale and Shannon Hickman, in the faith-healing death of their infant son.
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Pentagon: Chaplains Can Celebrate Gay Marriages
WASHINGTON (RNS) Military chaplains can lead same-sex marriage ceremonies on and off military bases.
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New Orleans Pastor on Restaurant Quest Can’t Live by Bread Alone
NEW ORLEANS (RNS) Minister Ray Cannata’s mission is almost complete.
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Churches Lose Fight over Ala. Immigration Law
HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (RNS) A federal judge jolted the national immigration debate by approving most parts of Alabama’s aggressive immigration law.
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Mother Cares for Her Son’s Amish Victims
LANCASTER, Pa. (RNS) Terri Roberts was eating outside with a co-worker on a bright October day when an ambulance wailed nearby and a helicopter swooped overhead.
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Supreme Court to Weigh Churches’ Hiring Rights
WASHINGTON (RNS) The Supreme Court will hear one of the most important religion cases in decades, centered on religious institutions exemption from anti-discrimination laws.
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U.S. Christians Rally Around Iranian Pastor
WASHINGTON (RNS) Religious freedom advocates rallied around an Iranian pastor who is facing execution because he has refused to recant his Christian faith.
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Parents of Dead Baby Defend Use of Faith-healing
OREGON CITY, Ore. (RNS) Two parents accused of choosing faith healing over medical care said that given the chance, they would do nothing differently.
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Report Says Trends for U.S. Churches Mostly Pointing Down
(RNS) American congregations have grown less healthy in the last decade, with fewer people in the pews and aging memberships, according to a new Hartford Seminary study.
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Update: Church/jail Sentencing Program Under Review
BAY MINETTE, Ala. (RNS) An alternative sentencing plan that would give inmates the choice between time in jail or a year in church will be delayed.
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Christians Outraged as BBC Drops B.C./A.D. Dating Method
LONDON (RNS) British Christians are incensed after the state-funded BBC decided to jettison the terms B.C. and A.D. in favor of B.C.E. and C.E.
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Dead Sea Scrolls Now Available Online
JERUSALEM (RNS) Five of the Dead Sea Scrolls are now available in digital form to anyone with an Internet connection.
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Criminals Offered Choice of Time in Pews or the Pokey
BAY MINETTE, Ala. (RNS) A new alternative sentencing program offers first-time, nonviolent offenders a choice of a year in church or jail time and fines.
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Best-selling Pastor Is Off to L.A. to Write More books
GRANDVILLE, Mich. (RNS) Megachurch pastor Rob Bell knew it was time to address the “giant, glowing, loud” elephant in the room.
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Amnesty International Slams Irish Catholic Church on Abuse
VATICAN CITY (RNS) A new report says the sexual abuse of children by Ireland’s Roman Catholic priests “included acts that amounted to torture."
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Rob Bell Isn’t First Megachurch Pastor to Seek Life Beyond the Pulpit
(RNS) Megachurches have given rise to powerhouse media empires from T.D. Jakes to Max Lucado to Joel Osteen and many others.
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Pope Seeks Protestant Allies to Combat Secularism
BERLIN (RNS) All faiths have to work together to stanch the tide of secularism sweeping the world, warned Pope Benedict XVI.
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Catholic Anti-abortion Group in Financial Trouble
(RNS) A leading Catholic anti-abortion group reported a $1.4 million deficit in 2010 despite collecting tens of millions of dollars in donations.
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Pope Begins First State Visit to Homeland
BERLIN (RNS) Thousands of people turned out for Pope Benedict XVI’s first official visit to his native Germany.
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Catholics Warn of National Conflict over Gay Marriage
NEW YORK (RNS) The nation’s top Catholic bishop issued a stern challenge to the Obama administration’s decision not to support a federal ban on gay marriage.
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Evangelicals Line Up Behind Rick Perry
(RNS) From media mavens to grassroots activists, conservative Christian leaders are heaping praise on presidential candidate Rick Perry.
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Catholics Asked to Fight Birth Control Insurance Rule
(RNS) Catholics around the country are being asked to object in writing to a new federal rule that will require birth control coverage.
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Clock Is Ticking for Religious Freedom Panel
WASHINGTON (RNS) The independent and bipartisan U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom could be forced to shut its doors.
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Religious Groups Latch On to the Groupon Craze
CHICAGO (RNS) Social deals are going spiritual. A growing number of entrepreneurs are making a go with sites specifically targeting religious groups.
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Many Americans See God’s Hand in Economy
(RNS) The way you see God tells a lot about how you see the U.S. economy, according to a new national survey.
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Does Meditation Help Fuel Entrepreneurial Success?
(RNS) Entrepreneurs behave just like most Americans when it comes to religion—but with one spiritual twist.
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Atheists press to ban creationism from U.K. schools
LONDON (RNS) A group of 30 leading scientists are pressing the British government to ban all teaching of creationism in the nation’s publicly funded schools.
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Atheists Target Clergy Housing Tax Break
(RNS) A long-standing tax break for clergy and other “ministers of the gospel” is facing the newest in a string of challenges in federal court.
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Groups Press Obama on Religious Hiring
WASHINGTON (RNS) Dozens of religious and civil rights organizations challenged President Obama to end religious discrimination in federally funded jobs.
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Failing Churches Find New Life as Outposts for Megachurches
PELHAM, Ala. (RNS) Five years ago, Living Word Church was unable to pack more than about 80 people into its 280-seat sanctuary.
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Christian Bookstores Try to Gain off Borders’ Loss
(RNS) The saying goes that when God closes a door, he opens a window.
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Bishop Says Anti-abortion Activist not Facing Charges
(RNS) Pavone and his bishop, Patrick J. Zurek of Amarillo, Texas, are seeking a way out of the tense standoff.
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Lawyers Say Faith-healing Parents Unfairly Targeted
OREGON CITY, Ore. (RNS) Attorneys for two parents vowed to show that prosecutors engaged in “meddling, interference and questionable conduct.”
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Do Atheists Have a Sexism Problem?
(RNS) Rebecca Watson meant it as a funny story, almost an aside.
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More Americans Desiging Make-your-own Religion
(RNS) If World War II-era warbler Kate Smith sang today, her anthem could be “Gods Bless America.”
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Vatican Gives Conservative Group an Ultimatum
VATICAN CITY (RNS) Reconciliation between the pope and a schismatic group is impossible unless the group accepts the last half-century of modernizing reforms.
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Presbyterians Target Caterpillar for Divestment
(RNS) A Presbyterian Church (USA) committee will recommend that the church add heavy equipment giant Caterpillar to its divestment list.
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Some Churches Cancel Sunday School, Put Parents in Charge
(RNS) Don’t look for children’s Sunday school classes at Ridgewood Church in Port Arthur, Texas. And forget about scavenger hunts and water park trips.
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State Dept. Chides Eight Countries on Religious Freedom
WASHINGTON (RNS) The State Department designated eight nations as the most serious violators of religious freedom.
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Victims Say Criminal Charges Against Pope Aren’t a Stunt
VATICAN CITY (RNS) A campaign to hold the pope responsible for “crimes against humanity” is not a publicity stunt, sex abuse victims say.
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Swell of Clergy Rallies Around Ga. Death Row Inmate
(RNS) In a last-minute bid to stop a Sept. 21 execution in Georgia, religious leaders have rallied in previously unseen numbers to call for clemency.
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Fourth Faith-healing Trial in Two Years Starts This Week
OREGON CITY, Ore. (RNS) When the trial of Dale and Shannon Hickman begins this week, the curtain again rises on a familiar tragedy.
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Muslim Groups File Petition Against Islamic law
(RNS) A coalition of Muslim groups say they don’t want to live under Shariah law in Michigan or anywhere else.
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Episcopal Bishop Who Won Heresy Trial Dies at 87
WASHINGTON (RNS) The Rt. Rev. Walter C. Righter died at the age of 87.
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Pope Links British Riots to Moral Relativism
VATICAN CITY (RNS) Pope Benedict XVI linked last month’s riots in England to the corrosive effects of moral relativism.
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After 9/11, Some Run Toward Faith, Some Run the Other Way
(RNS) Sean Tallon was nearing the end of his probationary training as a New York City firefighter when the two hijacked planes hit the twin towers.
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Megachurch Seeks to Reassure New Portland Neighbors
PORTLAND, Ore. (RNS) The pastor sought to reassure his new neighbors about the church’s philosophy.
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Outspoken Archbishop Takes the Reins in Philly
PHILADELPHIA (RNS) Archbishop Charles J. Chaput was installed as leader of the 1.5-million strong Archdiocese of Philadelphia.
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Okla. Anti-Shariah Amendment Heads to Appeals Court
(RNS) An amendment to Oklahoma’s constitution that bans state judges from considering Islamic law will face its next legal hurdle.
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Clergy Denounce Anti-Muslim Bigotry
WASHINGTON (RNS) Religious leaders gathered to remember the victims, foster interreligious unity and speak out in defense of religious freedom.
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Crane Topples at National Cathedral
WASHINGTON (RNS) A 500-foot crane toppled over next to the Washington National Cathedral, adding to the earthquake damage that the crane was brought in to fix.
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Justice Dept. settles in mosque construction dispute
WASHINGTON (RNS) The DOJ announced a settlement with Henrico County, Va., over the county’s alleged violation of a federal anti-discrimination law.
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Bloomberg, Faith Groups Face off Over 9/11 Prayers
NEW YORK (RNS) Critics hope enough pressure will convince Bloomberg to allow clergy to speak Sunday at ceremonies to mark the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.
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Kevin Smith Does It Again
(RNS) Don’t believe most of what you’ll hear about Kevin Smith’s new movie, “Red State.”
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Poll: Americans Are Tolerant of Other Faiths—Except Islam
WASHINGTON (RNS) Americans consider religious freedom a cornerstone of society, but fall short in their tolerance of Muslims.
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Report: KC diocese put children in jeopardy
(RNS) The Roman Catholic Diocese could have put children in jeopardy when it failed to follow guidelines for reporting clergy sexual abuse.
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`Roamin’ Catholics’ Wander in Search of New Church
CLEVELAND (RNS) They call themselves “Roamin’ Catholics,” traveling from church to church, looking for a new place to worship.
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Calif. Man Becomes a Pioneer for Gay Mormons
(RNS) Mitch Mayne is not the first openly gay person to hold a key leadership post but he may be the first to announce it from the pulpit.
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Catholics Pitch In to Repair National Cathedral
WASHINGTON (RNS) The Catholic Archdiocese of Washington is donating $25,000 to help repair the Washington National Cathedral.
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Dean of Black Preachers Defends Obama
(RNS) In a new book, the Rev. Gardner Taylor decries the treatment of President Obama by his critics.
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Five Facts about Dominionism
(RNS) In recent weeks, an arcane and scary-sounding religious term has crept into the lexicon of the 2012 campaign.
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Vatican Blasts New York’s Sex Ed Program
VATICAN CITY (RNS) The Vatican took a swipe at new sex education classes in New York City schools.
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Survey: Muslim Americans Have Moderate Views
(RNS) Almost half the nation’s estimated 2.8 million Muslims fault their leaders for not speaking out against Islamic extremists.
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Americans Flunk Question on Captain America vs. Bible
(RNS) Pop quiz: Who said “We often suffer, but we are never crushed. Even when we don’t know what to do, we never give up”?
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At 39, Gordon President Leads Evangelical Up-and-comers
WENHAM, Mass. (RNS) Lindsay has been living the very phenomenon he’s studied in depth: evangelicals climbing the ranks of institutions and becoming elites.
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Bachmann’s Prophecy, Joke or Not, Has Lots of Company
(RNS) Bachmann is facing a flood of criticism for suggesting, perhaps in jest, that God sent Hurricane Irene and the East Coast earthquake.
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Poll: N.Y. May Be More Spiritual, but Not Because of 9/11
(RNS) The uptick in faith may be a matter of coincidence rather than a religious response to the terrorist attacks.
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Pastor Probes `Where Was God?’ in Katrina
(RNS) Katrina brought in its wake untold property damage and emotional distress to New Orleans and the Gulf Coast, but also something deeper.
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Religious Leaders Laud King in Memorial Service

WASHINGTON (RNS) Religious leaders and civil rights veterans said King's legacy is unshakable.

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Rabbis Distribute Special Shabbat Guidelines for Hurricane
NEW YORK (RNS) Observant Jews are permitted to sidestep traditional Sabbath rules on electronics and listen to the radio as Hurricane Irene bears down.
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Report Details Roots, Funding of Islamophobia machine
(RNS) A small number of conservative foundations are propelling a handful of anti-Islamic activists who are fueling rising levels of Islamophobia.
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Activists Meet to Push Change in Methodists’ Gay policy
CLEVELAND (RNS) Hundreds of United Methodists are meeting in Huron, Ohio, this week in an uphill bid to make their 12 million-member denomination more gay-friendly.
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Fallen 9/11 Priest Emerges as An Icon for Gay Catholics
(RNS) The body belonged to the Rev. Mychal Judge, a Franciscan fire chaplain. Later, a half-hidden secret emerged about the gallant priest: he was gay.
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Quake-damaged National Cathedral Faces Millions in Repairs
WASHINGTON (RNS) The iconic Washington National Cathedral, already struggling with financial problems, faces millions of dollars in repair costs.
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9/11 Gives Birth to New Generation of Assertive Muslims
(RNS) Under a cloud of suspicion and distrust after the 9/11 attacks, there were stories of mosque leaders telling their flocks to lie low.
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After 9/11, Curiosity over Islam Leads to Conversion
BOSTON (RNS) Johannah Segarich asked herself: “What kind of religion is this that could inspire people to do this?”
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National Cathedral Suffers `Significant Damage' in Quake
(RNS) The earthquake that rumbled up the East Coast from Virginia on Tuesday (Aug. 23) "significantly damaged" the central tower of Washington National Cathedral.
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Vatican Summons Traditionalists to Rome
(RNS) The Vatican has summoned the head of a traditionalist group toRome to assess the results of a two-year doctrinal dialogue between the schismatic group and the Holy See.
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9/11 Marked Crucial Turn in Vatican-Muslim Relations
VATICAN CITY (RNS) A few weeks after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Pope John Paul II invited Muslim leaders to an interfaith prayer summit in Assisi, Italy.
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American Politics More Religious than American Voters
The country has grown less religious since the 1970s, while frequent churchgoers are now much more likely to vote Republican or support the Tea Party, according to recent studies.
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Illinois Catholics Lose Fight over Adoptions, Foster Care
(RNS) An Illinois judge has ruled that the state can terminate adoption and foster care services with Catholic Charities.
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Religious Leaders Battle Alabama Immigration Law
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (RNS) Alabama religious leaders say that a new immigration law would interfere with the practice of their religion.
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Congregations Go for Creation Care, One Barrel at a Time
WASHINGTON (RNS) Irrigating from a rain barrel saves water that would otherwise come from a municipal water system.
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A Soundtrack for Your Inner Dude
(RNS) In the Tibetan Buddhist tradition, “Lojong” is the practice of training one’s mind to be clearer and more compassionate.
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Pope, in Spain, Laments Hedonism, Greedy Economy
VATICAN CITY (RNS) Pope Benedict XVI lamented the “superficiality, consumerism and hedonism” of contemporary society.
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Civil Rights Veterans Say MLK Monument Long Overdue

WASHINGTON (RNS) At age 93, the Rev. Gardner Taylor never thought he'd live to see the day when his friend would be honored with a national memorial.

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Senators Probe Politics and Piety in New Books
WASHINGTON (RNS) Truth be told, when asked to name a spiritual role model, few people would likely pick a sitting U.S. senator.
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Priests in Madrid Allowed to Lift Excommunication for Abortion
VATICAN CITY (RNS) Priests at World Youth Day will be specially empowered to lift excommunication for having undergone or assisted in an abortion.
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King’s Nephew Named to Head Civil Rights Group
(RNS) The Southern Christian Leadership Conference has named a nephew of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. as its new leader.
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Intrepid Young Activists Push Condoms at World Youth Day
(RNS) A small band of young people are going to talk about condoms at World Youth Day, the triennial Catholic jamboree that opens soon in Madrid.
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Evangelical, Fundamentalist and Born-again Aren’t the Same
(RNS) I was dining with friends in New York when the conversation turned to religion and politics.
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Ohio Pastor Elected to Lead Breakaway Lutheran Church
(RNS) Members of the North American Lutheran Church (NALC) have elected an Ohio pastor as their new head bishop.
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Black Baptists Decry Disrespect Directed at Obama
WASHINGTON (RNS) A black denomination that began in support of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. has decried the “disrespect” shown to President Obama.
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Got Questions About Islam? Hotline Has Answers
NEWARK, N.J. (RNS) Like many American Muslims, Asim Khan is tired of the prejudice against his religion.
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Judge Rules for Atheist Bus Ads
(RNS) A federal judge ruled that the public transit system in Little Rock violated the free speech of atheists by refusing to run their advertisements.
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Jedis and Pastafarians: Real Religion or Joke?
(RNS) When congregants of West Side Church awoke in June to news that their churches had been vandalized, they expected to be frustrated.
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A `Christian’ Europe Without Christianity
(RNS) Does European Christendom need Christianity to survive?
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Left, Right Face Off on Facebook to Elect Online Pope
VATICAN CITY (RNS) With Pope Benedict XVI in good health, few are talking about his replacement.
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Quran-burning Pastor Plans 9/11 Visit to Ground Zero
(RNS) Controversial Florida pastor Terry Jones will visit Ground Zero on the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
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The Divine Surprises of Adoption
(RNS) Jennifer Grant has posted prayers to remind her that parenthood is both a labor of love and a sacred calling.
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Charity Group Brings Dollars, and Controversy
(RNS) Shopping for a flat screen TV typically isn’t that controversial. Arguments may ensue, but those quarrels are usually short-lived.
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Priest Won’t Stop Push for Women’s Ordination
(RNS) The Roman Catholic priest who faces expulsion from the priesthood for advocating for women to be ordained as priests is refusing to recant.
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Peace Service Held Amid London Riots
LONDON (RNS/ENInews) The annual peace service at Westminster Cathedral acquired fresh significance as Londoners gathered to pray for their city.
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Religious Restrictions Increased for 2 billion, Study Says
(RNS) A third of the world live in nations where restrictions on religion have substantially increased, according to a new report.
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Catholic Priest Faces Expulsion for Supporting Women’s Ordination
(RNS) A Roman Catholic priest who has campaigned for the ordination of women has been told he will be expelled if he does not publicly recant.
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States Scramble to Find Prison Chaplains After Cuts
RALEIGH, N.C. (RNS) Betty Brown has been crisscrossing the state searching for volunteers who can attend to the religious needs of prisoners.
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Prominent Prison Ministry Fires 72, Citing Economy
(RNS) Prison Fellowship, a prominent evangelical ministry to inmates, has laid off dozens of employees, citing the faltering economy.
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Religious Groups Irked by Contraception Mandate
(RNS) The Obama administration is taking heat from religious groups upset that new federal health regulations may force them to pay for employees’ birth control.
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Unitarian Universalist Head Convicted on Protest Charges
(RNS) The head of the Unitarian Universalist Association has been convicted on misdemeanor charges for participating in a protest rally.
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Mormons Launch Group to Defend Against Media Attacks
SALT LAKE CITY (RNS) A group of church loyalists felt the time was ripe to begin scrutinizing media reports for inaccuracies about the Utah-based faith.
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Army Agrees to Host Concert for Atheists on N.C. Base
(RNS) A group of military atheists have won the backing of U.S. Army officials to hold a “Rock Beyond Belief” concert for nonbelievers at Fort Bragg.
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Lawn Cross Becomes First Amendment Flash Point
LIVINGSTON, N.J. (RNS) It could have implications far beyond the quiet New Jersey street where Patrick Racaniello affixed a wooden cross in his front yard.
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Manhattan Declaration Comes to New Orleans
NEW ORLEANS (RNS) Nearly 200 pastors, policymakers and other New Orleans-area Christians were urged to sign a declaration circulating nationally.
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Study of Secularism Sees Boost on College Campuses
(RNS) Almost every major college and university offers a degree in religious studies. But secularism? Nary a one—until now.
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At Church of Beethoven, Music Is the Message
(RNS) “Music,” Ludwig van Beethoven said, “is the mediator between the spiritual and the sensual life.”
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With Spotlight on Mormon Faith, Scholars Gather to Defend It
(RNS) Mormon founder Joseph Smith may have declared all churches to be wrong, even apostate, but he also defined Mormonism as an inclusivist faith.
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Colleges Sign Up for Obama’s Interfaith Program
WASHINGTON (RNS) More than 250 colleges, universities and seminaries have submitted plans to the White House for yearlong interfaith service projects.
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Judge Bars Witch Hunt Comment from Faith-healing Trial
CLACKAMAS COUNTY, Ore. (RNS) A state medical examiner will not be allowed to offer "witch hunt" opinion when the defendants go to trial next month.
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Poll: American Muslims Hopeful About Life in the U.S.
(RNS) Ten years after the 9/11 attacks, an extensive new survey of Muslims finds them as optimistic as other Americans.
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Faith Leaders Challenge Alabama’s Immigration Law
(RNS) Leaders of the Episcopal, Methodist and Roman Catholic churches filed a federal lawsuit to stop enforcement of the state’s new immigration law.
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Women Show Deep Drop in Church Attendance, Survey Says
(RNS) Women, long considered the dominant pew dwellers in the nation’s churches, have shown a dramatic drop in attendance in the last two decades.
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Zondervan Brings Rob Bell to the App World
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (RNS) A film series founded by megachurch pastor and author Rob Bell is finding new life as a smartphone app.
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More Catholic Departures Than Baptisms for First Time in Germany
BERLIN (RNS) For the first time since membership records have been kept, more Germans departed the Roman Catholic Church than were baptized into it in 2010.
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Germans Await Pope’s Return, This Time as a Statesman
BERLIN (RNS) A German visiting Germany isn’t normally big news, even if it’s a famous expatriate German returning home for a visit.
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Norway’s Churches Try to Foster Healing after Attacks
TRONDHEIM (RNS/ENInews) A Norwegian bishop said his country has “countered this insane terrorism by demonstrating love and solidarity.”
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Head of Southern Christian Leadership Conference Dies
(RNS) The Rev. Howard Creecy Jr., chosen early this year as the new president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, died at the age of 57.
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Vatican Unveils New JPII iPhone App for World Youth Day
VATICAN CITY (RNS) Pilgrims at next month’s Catholic World Youth Day in Madrid will have some high-tech help in their devotions.
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Vatican’s U.S. Envoy, Who Helped Shape U.S. Church, Dies
(RNS) Archbishop Pietro Sambi died at Johns Hopkins Medical Center in Baltimore, succumbing to complications from lung surgery performed a few weeks earlier.
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Judge Tosses Out San Fran’s Circumcision Referendum
(RNS) A proposed circumcision ban will not appear on San Francisco’s citywide ballot in November, a Superior Court judge tentatively ruled.
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Stott, Called Evangelical Pope, Dies at age 90
(RNS) The Rev. John Stott, a renowned and prolific author credited with shaping 20th-century evangelical Christianity, died in England at age 90.
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HBO Film Follows Muslim Children Competing to Memorize the Quran
(RNS) The movie follows three Muslim children as they compete in a tournament that requires young contestants to recite portions of the Quran.
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Christians Divided on Belgium’s Burqa Ban
(RNS/ENInews) Belgian Christians expressed mixed reactions to the country’s new “burqa ban,” as Belgium joined France in criminalizing the Islamic veil.
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Catholic Bishops Urge House Against Steep Budget Cuts
(RNS) The nation’s Roman Catholic bishops are urging the GOP-led House to reject a cuts-only approach to the budget.
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Faith-healing Parents Lose Custody of Daughter
OREGON CITY, Ore. (RNS) State officials will retain custody of a girl whose parents treated the girl’s condition with prayer.
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Episcopalians Turn to Social Media for Growth
(RNS) The Episcopal Church is urging congregations to embrace social media websites in a push to highlight the Internet as a tool for church growth.
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Church-state Groups Slam Obama on Hiring Issue
WASHINGTON (RNS) The status-quo stance on the issue of faith-based hiring has drawn criticism from atheists and church-state watchdogs.
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U.S. Conservatives on the Defensive after Oslo Killings
(RNS) For years, many religious and political conservatives in the U.S. have sought to connect Islam to violence carried out by Muslims.
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Poll: God Has Better Approval Ratings than Congress
WASHINGTON (RNS) More than half of U.S. voters approve of God’s job performance, according to a new poll, making God more popular than all members of Congress.
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Vatican Recalls Irish Ambassador over Abuse Report
VATICAN CITY (RNS) The Vatican has recalled its ambassador to Ireland for “consultations” on the official church response to the government report.
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Poll: Anti-Muslim Sentiment Grew after Bin Laden Death
(RNS) Many Muslim Americans had hoped that the death of Osama bin Laden would improve their image among other Americans.
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Willow Creek Cuts Ties with Ex-gay Exodus International
(RNS) Willow Creek Community Church has quietly ended its partnership with Exodus International, an “ex-gay” organization.
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La. Monks Win Right to Build, Sell Caskets
NEW ORLEANS (RNS) A federal judge said a state law that limits the sale of caskets to licensed funeral directors and establishments is unconstitutional.
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Imams Trained to Adapt Islamic Finance to U.S. Economy
(RNS) Abdullah Nana, an imam at the Islamic Center of Mill Valley, Calif., has a distinct advantage over many of his fellow imams in the United States.
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Blogosphere Abuzz over Murdoch as Bible Mogul
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (RNS) The scandal involving Rupert Murdoch’s British tabloid empire continues to widen, bringing scrutiny to the Zondervan publishing company.
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Churches Press Obama to Protect Poor in Budget Talks
WASHINGTON (RNS) President Obama agrees with religious officials’ concerns about protecting the poor, according to leaders who met with him this week.
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Campus Crusade Ditches Name for 'Cru'
(RNS) Campus Crusade for Christ is out. “Cru” is in.
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Senators Debate Bill to Recognize Gay Marriages
WASHINGTON (RNS) Senators wrestled with issues of faith and religious freedom as they debated a new bill to recognize same-sex marriages.
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As Candidates Run for Office, Some Run from Their Church
(RNS) On a recent Sunday, Rep. Michele Bachmann gave a Pentecostal church in Iowa an intimate account of her pilgrimage to devout Christian.
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Watkins Re-elected President of Disciples
(RNS) The Christian Church voted to re-elect the Rev. Sharon Watkins as head of the denomination capping off a weeklong assembly.
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Chaput Will Upend Convention in the Most Conventional of Cities
(RNS) The most obvious reason he was sent to take over the prestigious Archdiocese of Philadelphia was the clergy sexual abuse scandal.
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Hindus Sue Restaurant over Meat Mistake
EDISON, N.J. (RNS) A group of Hindus can sue an Edison restaurant for money to travel to India, where they say they must purify their souls after eating meat.
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Neither We, Nor Michele Bachmann, Are Anti-Catholic
MILWAUKEE (RNS) Recent news reports have thrust the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod (WELS) into the middle of a presidential campaign.
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Pennsylvania Debates Whether Thou Shalt not Hunt on the Sabbath
HARRISBURG, Pa. (RNS) Two of the most influential forces in conservative lobbying are poised to go head-to-head this fall over this difficult issue.
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Churches Divided on Hungary’s New Religion Law
(RNS/ENInews) Christian leaders in Hungary are divided over a restrictive new law on religion.
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Ireland Pushes Priests to Report Confessed Sex Abuse
VATICAN CITY (RNS) Ireland’s prime minister said Catholic priests could be jailed for failing to report child sex abuse crimes they hear during confession.
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Court Says Store Discriminated Against Muslim
(RNS) Abercrombie & Fitch violated civil rights law when the clothier refused to hire a Muslim woman because she wears a headscarf.
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More Questions, Fewer Answers, on the Afterlife
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (RNS) For millennia, people have been trying to imagine what happens after death. Is there an afterlife, a heaven? Who gets in?
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Bachmann’s Former Church Defends Anti-Catholic Views
WASHINGTON (RNS) The Lutheran denomination that Rep. Michele Bachmann quit in June sought to explain its belief that the papacy is the anti-Christ.
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China Ordains Another Bishop Without Vatican OK
VATICAN CITY (RNS) China’s state-run Catholic church ordained another bishop without the approval of Pope Benedict XVI.
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Pawlenty Woos Evangelicals with Faith Video
WASHINGTON (RNS) Pawlenty has sharpened efforts to woo evangelical voters in Iowa by releasing a video where he speaks candidly about his faith.
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Polygamists Challenge Utah’s Anti-polygamy Law
SALT LAKE CITY (RNS) Utah’s complicated history with polygamy starts a new chapter as a reality-show family challenges the state’s ban on plural marriage.
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Irish Government Releases Damning Abuse Report
VATICAN CITY (RNS) A special commission sponsored by the Irish government criticized a bishop for failing to report allegations of clerical sex abuse.
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Pastors Lobby for Poor in Heated Deficit Talks
WASHINGTON (RNS) More than 4,000 pastors told Congress that churches would not be able to fill the gap facing social service providers if deep cuts are made.
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Toronto School Defends Muslim Prayers in Cafeteria
TORONTO (RNS) A majority-Muslim public school in Toronto is defending its policy of allowing an imam to lead Friday prayers in the cafeteria.
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NBC Apologizes to Congress for Edited Pledge
WASHINGTON (RNS) NBC has issued a formal apology to more than 100 members of Congress for omitting the words “under God” from the Pledge of Allegiance.
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Panel Says Judges Have Been too Hard on U.K. Christians
LONDON (RNS) A panel said judges have erred in supporting employers who fire Christian workers for such acts as wearing crosses.
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Bishop Loses Appeal over Holocaust Remarks
BERLIN (RNS) A bishop who said he didn’t believe the Holocaust faces a reduced fine of $9,110 for incitement, a German appeals court ruled.
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Iowa Marriage Pledge Drops Reference to Slavery
WASHINGTON (RNS) An conservative Christian organization has removed language about slavery from a pledge to uphold traditional marriage.
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Catholics Return Check from Lawmaker over Marriage Vote
RNS) A New York lawmaker has found himself at odds with the Roman Catholic Church after a parish school refused a $50 donation.
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House Directs Pentagon to Uphold DOMA Law on Gay Marriage
WASHINGTON (RNS) House lawmakers voted to order the Pentagon to uphold the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act that defines marriage as between one man and one woman.
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Presbyterians to Officially Allow Gay Clergy
(RNS) Presbyterians are prepping to celebrate the passage of a policy that allows gay pastors to serve openly for the first time in the denomination’s history.
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Author Says Amish Thrift Makes Sense by Saving Cents
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (RNS) While not ready to go off the electric grid, Craker said living like the Amish financially makes a lot of sense.
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Mormons Add Shorter Stints to Boost Missionaries
SALT LAKE CITY (RNS) They’re hoping that less will mean more: less time and expense, more missionaries.
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Catholics Look into Buying Crystal Cathedral
(RNS) The Crystal Cathedral has an interested party that needs a large cathedral: the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange, Calif.
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Church-state Groups Seek Equal Play for Atheist Concert
WASHINGTON (RNS) Activist groups criticized the Army for allowing an evangelical concert at Fort Bragg but not a concert for nonbelievers.
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Dalai Lama Turns 76 as He Kicks Off D.C. Peace Festival
WASHINGTON (RNS) The Dalai Lama celebrated his 76th birthday by speaking before throngs of well-wishers at an 11-day peace event in the U.S. capital.
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Episcopal Church Defends Top Bishop’s Record in Nevada Abuse Case
WASHINGTON (RNS) The Episcopal Church is rejecting charges that its top leader mishandled the ordination of a former priest who is now accused of sexual abuse.
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Saintly Relics, from the Macabre to the Magnificent
(RNS) St. Patrick’s tooth. Justin Bieber’s hair clippings. The bloodstained gloves that Mary Todd Lincoln carried to Ford’s Theatre. What do they have in common?
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Schismatic Bishop Faces Trial over Holocaust Denial
BERLIN (RNS) Lawyers for British Bishop Richard Williamson say he shouldn’t be punished for downplaying the severity of the Holocaust.
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Schuller Loses Vote at Crystal Cathedral
(RNS) Crystal Cathedral founder Robert H. Schuller has been removed from a voting position on the board of the iconic glass megachurch.
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City Attorney Questions Proposed Circumcision Ban
(RNS) The city’s top lawyer has concluded it is unconstitutional to ban the practice as a religious ritual, but allow it as a medical procedure.
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Mormon Leaders Told to Stay Out of Politics
SALT LAKE CITY (RNS) Mormon officials are telling their top, full-time leaders that they and their spouses should not participate in political campaigns.
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Pastor Preaches Brotherly Love for his Co-pastor Sister
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (RNS) Decades ago, Daniel Parker would pretend to be a preacher, belting out sermons as he jumped up and down on his bed.
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Calif. Bbishop Resigns, Citing Exhaustion from Sex Abuse Cases
(RNS) A Roman Catholic bishop in California resigned, saying he is “exhausted” from dealing with clergy sexual abuse cases in his Santa Rosa diocese.
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Mo. Congressman Apologizes for God Comment
(RNS) A Missouri congressman has apologized for telling a national radio audience that “at the heart of liberalism really is a hatred for God.”
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Houston VA Cemetery Draws Discrimination Claims
(RNS) People are outraged that a Veterans Affairs official in Houston discriminates against clergy who want to use religious references in memorial ceremonies.
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A Church by Any Other Name
(RNS) For Living Faith Lutheran Church, the name change was as much about the future as the past.
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Evangelical Leader to Retire from Minn. Pulpit
(RNS) Evangelical leader Leith Anderson has announced plans to retire as senior pastor of his Eden Prairie, Minn. megachurch.
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China Ordains Bishop without Vatican Approval
(RNS) China’s state-run Catholic church ordained a bishop without the approval of Pope Benedict XVI.
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Justices Rely on Standing in Church-state Disputes
WASHINGTON (RNS) Legal scholars say a decision issued two months ago is likely to resonate within church-state debates for years to come.
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Liechtenstein Churches May Lose Government Support
(RNS/ENInews) Churches in Liechtenstein could face financial disaster under government plans to withdraw state subsidies under new legislation.
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Can a Creedless Religion Make It Another 50 Years?
BALTIMORE (RNS) A recent Sunday service at the First Unitarian Church of Baltimore ended with an apology.
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Evangelicals, WCC, Vatican Reach Accord on Proselytizing
WASHINGTON (RNS) Christian missionaries should renounce all “deception and coercive means” of winning converts.
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Liberals Angry After Congressman’s God Comments
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (RNS) A congressman is catching flak from some liberals for saying last week that “at the heart of liberalism really is a hatred for God.”
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Southern Baptists Wrestle with Gay Hoax
(RNS) Officials of the SBC say they were the victims of a hoax when a group claiming to be them announced it had started to support gay marriage.
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Orthodox Rally to Rebuild Ground Zero Church
NEW YORK (RNS) Parishioners and supporters of a Greek Orthodox church rallied at Ground Zero in hopes of resuming negotiations to rebuild the church.
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Faith-healing Parents Sentenced to 90 days in Jail
OREGON CITY, Ore. (RNS) A county judge sentenced two members of a faith-healing church to 90 days in jail and three years probation.
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Israeli Ambassador Backpedals on Wartime Pope Comments
(RNS) After strong criticism from the Jewish community, Israel’s ambassador to the Vatican backpedaled from his praise of Pope Pius XII.
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Jewish Concerns Remain as Delta, Saudis Deny Discrimination
WASHINGTON (RNS) The Saudi Arabian embassy denied as “completely false” reports that U.S. Jews would not be able to travel to Saudi Arabia.
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Israeli Ambassador Praises Wartime Pope
(RNS) Israel’s ambassador to the Vatican praised the controversial wartime Pope Pius XII for his “actions to save the Jews” during the Holocaust.
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Report Says Islamophobia on the Rise
(RNS) A new report asserts that anti-Muslim prejudice has worsened in recent years, but argues the trend could be reversed with greater community outreach.
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U.S. Jews Not Able to Fly on Delta Flights to Saudi Arabia
JERUSALEM (RNS) Jews and Israelis will not be able to fly code-share flights from the U.S. to Saudi Arabia under Delta Air Line’s new partnership.
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Pawlenty Leads in Informal Poll of Evangelical Leaders
WASHINGTON (RNS) Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty is the top Republican pick of evangelical leaders, according to an informal survey.
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Lesbian Minister Suspended for 20 Days
(RNS) A United Methodist minister was suspended for 20 days by a church court in Wisconsin for performing a same-sex union in 2009.
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Evangelicals See Declining Influence in U.S.
(RNS) Are U.S. evangelicals losing their influence on America? A new poll released from the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life seems to say just that.
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Churches Call for U.S. to Pull Out of Afghanistan
WASHINGTON (RNS) A group of 40 religious leaders called for the president to “bring the war in Afghanistan to an end.”
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Leaving God out of Pledge Tees off Ohio Congressman
WASHINGTON (RNS) NBC’s decision to edit the word “God” from the Pledge of Allegiance has teed off an Ohio congressman.
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Conservatives Want Senator to Resign after Affair
WASHINGTON (RNS) The president of the Christian conservative Family Policy Network sent Sen. David Vitter, R-La., a letter calling on him to resign.
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Orthodox Basketball Player Allowed to Cover Her Arms
JERUSALEM (RNS) The federation has decided to permit an Orthodox Jewish basketball player to cover her arms during competitions.
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Pawlenty’s Prominent Pastor not a Political Pawn
(RNS) When GOP presidential hopeful Tim Pawlenty goes to church, he knows he’ll hear a 27-minute sermon—never longer, never shorter.
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Lesbian Minister to Face Methodist Church Trial
(RNS) United Methodists will begin a trial against a minister who’s accused of celebrating a same-sex marriage and being in a lesbian relationship.
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Van Impe Leaves TBN over Chrislam Remarks
(RNS) Jack Van Impe has ended his decades-long run on TBN after a dispute over naming ministers that he accuses of mixing Christian and Muslim beliefs.
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Church of England to Allow Gay Bishops—Sort Of
LONDON (RNS) The Church of England has issued a set of “legal guidelines” that pave the way for openly gay clergy to become bishops.
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Left-leaning Christians to Rally around Wild Goose
DURHAM, N.C. (RNS) The bygone staple of the tent revival will be reincarnated on a bucolic North Carolina farm as The Wild Goose Festival.
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Oregon Strips Faith-healing Parents of Legal Defenses
PORTLAND, Ore. (RNS) There is a new law that removes the remnants of Oregon’s legal protection for parents who rely solely on faith healing.
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Rowan Williams Sparks a Political Row in England
CANTERBURY, England (RNS) Nearly a millennium ago, four unruly knights crossed the English Channel from France and confronted the archbishop of Canterbury.
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Bishop Calls Ala. Immigration Law Nation’s Meanest
(BIRMINGHAM) A new Alabama law is the “meanest” immigration law in the country, according to a United Methodist bishop and respected theologian.
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Bishops Leave Sex Abuse Policies Largely Intact
BELLEVUE, Wash. (RNS) The nation’s Roman Catholic bishops voted to maintain current church policies on the sexual abuse of children.
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Black Churches Push Prostate Cancer Awareness
(RNS) Thomas A. Farrington isn’t looking for cards or a tie this Father’s Day. What he really wants is for other black men with cancer to know they’re not alone.
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Bishops Open Meeting to Review Sex Abuse Rules
BELLEVUE, Wash. (RNS) The nation’s Roman Catholic bishops began a review of church sex abuse policies.
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Vatican Tries to Revive Eucharistic Adoration
VATICAN CITY (RNS) For seven centuries, Eucharistic adoration was one of the most popular forms of devotion in the Roman Catholic Church.
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Goshen College Silences National Anthem Again
(RNS) Goshen College will no longer play The Star-Spangled Banner at sporting events, school leaders announced.
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Southern Baptists Look to Minorities to Jumpstart Growth
(RNS) Southern Baptists adopted a plan to try to boost minorities in their top leadership posts as they face continuing reports of declining membership.
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Religious Freedom Envoy Condemns Religious Intolerance
GENEVA (RNS) The U.S. envoy told a U.N. commission that government, political, religious and business leaders must stand ready to condemn hateful ideology.
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Catholic University Ends Mixed-Gender Housing
WASHINGTON (RNS) The Catholic University of America will phase out co-ed dormitories later this year, President John H. Garvey said.
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Israel Sees Slow but Growing Acceptance for Gay Orthodox
TEL AVIV, Israel (RNS) This year’s annual gay pride festival included a parade float representing the country’s religious gay and lesbian communities.
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Vatican to Brief Bishops, Religious Orders on Abuse
VATICAN CITY (RNS) The Vatican will use online education and other methods to help bishops and the heads of religious orders deal with clerical sex abuse.
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Temple Weddings Leave Some on Outside
SALT LAKE CITY (RNS) You see them on Temple Square nearly every day, pacing nervously or strolling aimlessly, staring down at the tulips or up at the spires.
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Evangelicals Wade into Circumcision Debate
(RNS) The National Association of Evangelicals is siding with Jews and Muslims in opposition of a proposed ban on infant male circumcision in San Francisco.
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Anglican Leader Slams British Austerity Budget
LONDON (RNS) The Archbishop has touched off a fury by accusing the British government of causing widespread “anxiety and anger” with its new austerity budget.
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Vatican Issues New Bishops’ Policy
VATICAN CITY (RNS) Catholics forced to participate in ordinations of bishops without the pope’s approval may be exempt from automatic excommunication.
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Americans See Room to Disagree but Remain Faithful to Religion
WASHINGTON (RNS) Americans say it is possible to disagree with their religion’s teachings and still remain in good standing with their faith.
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Principal at Paddling School Vows to Remain in Job
NEW ORLEANS (RNS) The embattled president of the nation’s last Catholic school to employ corporal punishment said he plans to remain on the job.
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First Amendment’s Free Exercise at Heart of Abuse Cases
(RNS) Jeremiah Scott was 11 when the abuse and molestation began in 1990 at the hands of an elder in his Mormon church in Portland, Ore.
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Feds Rule Against a Second Catholic College
(RNS) A federal regulator has rejected the First Amendment arguments of a Catholic college and cleared the way for the school’s adjunct faculty to unionize.
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Ore. Couple Convicted in Faith-healing Trial
OREGON CITY, Ore. (RNS) Jurors found two members of a faith-healing church guilty of felony criminal mistreatment for not seeking medical care for their daughter.
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Muslim Cabbie Fights Ticket over Religious Cap
ST. LOUIS (RNS) Langrial was chatting with another cabbie when an enforcement agent stopped to tell him his hat did not conform to the driver dress code.
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Miss. Woman Named World’s Longest-serving Church Organist
MOSS POINT, Miss. (RNS) For the past 69 years, Ida Mae Cumbest has been the pianist and organist at Caswell Springs United Methodist Church.
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Ore. Faith-healing Trial Draws to a Close
OREGON CITY, Ore. (RNS) Two parents accused of denying medical care to their infant daughter are the victims of religious persecution, a defense attorney said.
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Egyptians Want Advice, Not Rule, of Clerics
WASHINGTON (RNS) A new Gallup survey says a majority of Egyptians want religious leaders to advise the nation’s officials but they do not want a theocracy.
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Evangelicals: Bachmann Speaks Our Code
WASHINGTON (RNS) Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour warned several hundred Christian conservatives not to expect a “perfect candidate” to emerge.
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Irish Abuse Probe Finishes First Phase
VATICAN CITY (RNS) A Vatican investigation of clerical sex abuse in Ireland has finished its “first phase,” the Vatican announced.
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Poll: Two-thirds of Americans OK with Mormon Candidate
WASHINGTON (RNS) Roughly two out of three Americans say it makes no difference to them if a presidential candidate is Mormon.
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Monks’ Suit Over Caskets Heads to Trial
COVINGTON, La. (RNS) A federal lawsuit brought by a group of monks fighting for the right to sell handcrafted caskets without a state license is set to go to trial.
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Archbishop Says He Has Proof of Paddling’s Pain
NEW ORLEANS (RNS) Archbishop Gregory Aymond says he has firsthand accounts from students who said they were injured by paddling at a Catholic high school.
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Clinton Defends Religious Freedom Envoy
WASHINGTON (RNS) Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton defended her new ambassador-at-large for international religious freedom.
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Budget Battle Pits Atheist Ayn Rand vs. Bible
WASHINGTON (RNS) Ayn Rand published more than a dozen books. Now, liberal Christians say another work belongs in Rand’s canon: the 2012 Republican budget.
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Canadian Parents Sue over Religion in Daycare Centers
TORONTO (RNS) A group of parents is taking the province to court to challenge a government ban on religious teachings at subsidized daycare centers.
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Religious Leaders Call a Strike on Tobacco
(RNS) Religious leaders are hoping to hit a home run in a campaign to get Major League Baseball players to ban tobacco use on fields and dugouts.
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Lawyers: Faith-healing Parents Sought Care for Daughter
OREGON CITY, Ore. (RNS) Two parents pleaded with child-welfare workers for permission to take their infant daughter to a doctor, defense attorneys said.
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Update: Italy Unfreezes $33 million in Vatican Funds
VATICAN CITY (RNS) Prosecutors in Rome released $33 million in Vatican funds that had been frozen last September.
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King's Daughter Leaves Ga. Church After Scandal

(RNS) The Rev. Bernice King announced that she is leaving an Atlanta-area megachurch whose leader has been embroiled in scandal.

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God at the Root of Malick’s 'Tree of Life'
LOS ANGELES (RNS) Terrence Malick’s new film, “Tree of Life,” is nearly indescribable.
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Messiah Alumni Rally Around Gay Student
GRANTHAM, Pa. (RNS) Alumni at Messiah College have launched an online petition urging the conservative Christian school to change its policies.
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Crystal Cathedral Goes Up for Sale
(RNS) The Crystal Cathedral has announced plans to sell its iconic glass-walled church in Southern California to pay back creditors and overcome bankruptcy.
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Bishop Long Settles Sex Suit Out of Court
(RNS) Bishop Eddie Long, an Atlanta-area megachurch pastor, has settled suits out of court with four young men who accused him of sexual misconduct.
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Second Catholic Priest Sworn In as House Chaplain
WASHINGTON (RNS) The Rev. Patrick Conroy was sworn in as House chaplain, making him the first Jesuit to hold the position.
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Vatican Closes Monastery that Attracted Aristocrats, Dancing Nun
VATICAN CITY (RNS) The Vatican has closed the monastery of a fourth-century Roman basilica on account of “liturgical and financial irregularities.”
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Adventists in Calif. City Lose Sunday Mail Delivery
LOMA LINDA, Calif. (RNS) Postal carrier Ruth Gomez had prayed and waited for five years to be transferred to the Loma Linda Post Office.
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Katrina Volunteers Still Coming, Even if They Have to Pay
NEW ORLEANS (RNS) A Methodist hurricane-recovery ministry has reinvented itself—by asking volunteers to pitch in $225 to spend a week repairing houses.
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Same-sex Relations, Marriage Receive Record Approval
(RNS) Nearly two-thirds of Americans say gay or lesbian relations between consenting adults should be legal, the highest percentage ever recorded by Gallup.
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Christians Shatter Taboos in Talking about Money
BEVERLY, Mass. (RNS) No sooner had 29-year-old Graham Messier joined a small group at his church earlier this year than he found himself breaking an American taboo.
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Vatican to Weigh Condoms in Fighting AIDS
VATICAN CITY (RNS) The morality and effectiveness of using condoms to prevent HIV/AIDS will be on the agenda at a Vatican conference.
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Study Suggests Born-Again Believers Have Smaller Brains
DURHAM, N.C. (RNS) For decades, mainline Protestants have been beset by bad news: declining numbers, aging membership, waning cultural influence.
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Evangelist Says Rapture Date Was Off by Five Months
(RNS) Radio evangelist Harold Camping, who predicted the Rapture would occur on May 21, now says his calculations were off by five months.
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Oops! Printing Errors in the Original KJV
(RNS) In the days before spell check, printer errors occasionally crept into the King James Version of the Bible.
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Chances Are Thou Keepest a KJV in Thy House
(RNS) If thou hast a Bible in the house and readeth it at least once a month, chances are strong it’s the majestic King James Version of the Bible.
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Lofty Language of KJV is More Common Than You Might Think
(RNS) Twelve phrases believed to have originated in the King James Bible, which celebrates its 400th anniversary this year.
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Star Trek’s Spock Describes His Jewish Roots
ROCKVILLE, Md. (RNS) The V-shaped hand sign may have seemed to be from a planet far away, but he created it from childhood memories of his Jewish family.
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Bob Dylan’s Religious Mystique Endures
(RNS) Dylan was hailed as a prophet, first of folk music, then of rock ‘n’ roll—at least by those who forgave him for “going electric.”
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Exhibit Highlights Hindu Blue-Skinned Savior
NASHVILLE (RNS) In Hindu tradition, Lord Vishnu shows up in many forms.
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Muslims Wait for Signs of Change from Obama
(RNS) President Obama was talking to the Muslim world in his State Department speech, but U.S. Muslims were equally interested.
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First Lady Seeks Help for Military Families
WASHINGTON (RNS) First lady Michelle Obama has asked religious leaders to join her initiative to assist military families.
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It’s The End of the World as They Know It, and Atheists Feel Fine
(RNS) Harold Camping’s campaign to warn Christians that the rapture is coming has won him a band of followers.
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Bishops at Center of Abuse Scandal, and Potential Reform
WASHINGTON (RNS) A sweeping new report on the clergy sex abuse scandal compares the Roman Catholic Church to police departments.
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Amnesty International Chides Vatican for Abuse
VATICAN CITY (RNS) Amnesty International has criticized the Vatican for falling short of its commitments to protect children from sex abuse.
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Israel Removes Land Mines from Site of Jesus’ Baptism
West Bank (RNS/ENInews) Pilgrims are flowing back to the traditional site of Jesus’ baptism on the Jordan River.
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RNS Exclusive: Report Spreads Blame for Catholic Sex Abuse
NEW YORK (RNS) A comprehensive report on the scandal is set for release hoping to provide answers about a crisis that has raised numerous questions.
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Mormons, Baptists Assist in Tornado Clean-up
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (RNS) Mormon missionaries are often unwelcome guests when they knock at local front doors wearing white dress shirts and holding a Book of Mormon.
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Churches Asked to Share Pulpits with Muslims
(RNS) Religious and human rights activists are asking U.S. churches to invite Jewish and Muslim clergy to their sanctuaries.
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Climate Change: How Evangelical and Catholic Leaders Differ
Climate Change: How Evangelical and Catholic Leaders Differ
More than two-thirds of evangelical pastors doubt global warming is real and manmade while Catholic leaders issued a call to action to address the problem. Why are evangelical leaders in denial?
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Dalai Lama, Nobel Laureates Tussle (Gently) Over Violence
NEWARK, N.J. (RNS) The Dalai Lama says peace in the world begins with peace in oneself. Some of his fellow Nobel laureates, however, aren’t convinced.
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Billy Graham Returns Home from Hospital
(RNS) Evangelist Billy Graham returned home after a five-day hospital stay for pneumonia.
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Vatican Gives Bishops One Year to Set Abuse Policies
VATICAN CITY (RNS) The world’s Catholic bishops have one year to set national policies on clerical sex abuse of minors.
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Holocaust Conviction Began in Cleveland
CLEVELAND (RNS) The case that led to John Demjanjuk’s conviction in Germany was laid out 10 years ago in a Cleveland courtroom, where lawyers sparred over his wartime past.
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Dalai Lama Brings Peace Message to New Jersey
NEWARK, N.J. (RNS) The Dalai Lama has a message for Newark: Peace does not come easily, but the strategy for attaining it is simple.
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Vatican Says Latin Mass Shouldn’t Divide Catholics
VATICAN CITY (RNS) The Vatican broadened access to the old Latin Mass with a new rule that gives the Vatican the power to overrule bishops.
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Graham’s Doctor Says Condition Has Stabilizedad
(RNS) Billy Graham’s doctor confirmed that the 92-year-old evangelist has pneumonia, but said he is doing well.
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Bill Would Strengthen Role of Religious Freedom Envoy
WASHINGTON (RNS) New legislation would push the State Department to make international religious freedom a greater priority.
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Russian, Greek Orthodox Leery of ID Cards
MOSCOW (RNS/ENInews) Russian and Greek Orthodox leaders are objecting to plans in both countries to introduce electronic identity cards.
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Even After Win, Gay Clergy likely to Remain Limited
(RNS) Advocates celebrated a victory when the Presbyterian Church (USA) entered the ranks of denominations that allow openly gay, partnered clergy.
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Abuse Victims Oppose Pick for House Chaplain
WASHINGTON (RNS) The nation’s leading advocacy group for victims of clergy sexual abuse is opposing an Oregon Jesuit’s bid to serve as House chaplain.
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Two-thirds of Americans Say Bin Laden’s in Hell
(RNS) While Americans have debated whether Osama bin Laden’s body belongs at the bottom of the Arabian Sea, most agree on the final destination of his soul: in hell.
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Muslims Battle to Be Official Voice of U.S. Islam
(RNS) As president of the Phoenix-based American Islamic Forum for Democracy, Zuhdi Jasser is no fan of the Council on American-Islamic Relations.
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Finding God in Unexpected and Marvel-ous Places
(RNS) “Thor,” is the kind of cinematic legend where the only word that truly seems to fit is “epic.”
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Chaplains Say Navy Wedding Policy Confuses a Fraught Debate
WASHINGTON (RNS) A recent Navy memo that would permit military chaplains to officiate at same-sex marriage ceremonies is creating tension.
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After Seminary, Lost Boy Headed Back to Sudan
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (RNS) Armed with a master’s degree in educational ministry, the former “Lost Boy” is ready to find his way back to Sudan.
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Jesuit to Become Chaplain of the House
(RNS) A Jesuit will be sworn in as the 60th chaplain of the House of Representatives on May 25.
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Jewish Newspaper Erases Clinton from Photo
(RNS) An ultra-Orthodox Jewish newspaper in Brooklyn deleted Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton from a White House photograph.
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Charges Dropped Against Anti-Obama Protesters
(RNS) An Indiana prosecutor dropped trespassing charges against anti-abortion activists who protested President Obama’s 2009 commencement address.
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Study: 2 in 10 Atheist Scientists Are Spiritual
(RNS) More than 20 percent of atheist scientists consider themselves to be “spiritual,” according to a Rice University study.
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Scholars Chase Bible’s Changes, One Verse at a Time
NEW ORLEANS (RNS) Bible scholars are buried in a 20-year project to codify the thousands of changes that crept into the early New Testament.
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Reformed Denominations Join to Plant Churches
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (RNS) The Reformed Church in America and the Christian Reformed Church are joining together to launch a church planting project.
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Ala. Governor Calls Jews Brothers and Sisters
MONTGOMERY, Ala. (RNS) Gov. Robert Bentley twice referred to Jews as his “brothers and sisters” during a Holocaust remembrance event.
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Wheaton Alumni Rally Around Gay Students
(RNS) Gay and supportive alumni of Wheaton College have formed a new organization following a recent chapel series at the flagship evangelical school.
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Supreme Court to Weigh `Israel’ on U.S. Passports
JERUSALEM (RNS) The Supreme Court has agreed to consider whether American passports issued to children born in Jerusalem should include the word “Israel.”
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After Court Gives OK, Christians Mark National Day of Prayer
WASHINGTON (RNS) Supporters marked the 60th annual National Day of Prayer, just weeks after a federal appeals court dismissed a suit that challenged the law.
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BBC Says Muslims Selling Tainted Holy Water from Mecca
LONDON (RNS) A BBC investigation is claiming that holy drinking water from Mecca is contaminated with arsenic.
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Economic Bell Tolls for Nation’s Church Steeples
(RNS) Atop the tiny, white-columned 1842 church where Glen Likens was baptized, the steeple is rotting.
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Vatican Praises Bloggers as Church’s Public Opinion
VATICAN CITY (RNS) The pope may not be ready to start a blog or a Twitter account, but the Vatican is taking note of the unruly world of the blogosphere.
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Justices Sidestep Catholics’ Case Against San Francisco
WASHINGTON (RNS) The Supreme Court declined to hear a Catholic group’s appeal accusing San Francisco supervisors of violating the Constitution.
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Study Links Reliance on God with Reliance on Treatment
(RNS) Cancer patients who consider the length of their lives to be “in God’s hands” are more willing than others to spend money on treatments.
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Unitarians Drop Jefferson’s Name from Southeast Group
DURHAM, N.C. (RNS) To many Americans, Thomas Jefferson is a symbol of liberty and religious freedom and a standard bearer for progressive politics.
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Feminist Pioneer Challenges Orthodox Patriarchy
JERUSALEM (RNS) With her down-to-earth femininity, she doesn’t exactly look like a rabble-rouser within Orthodox Judaism.
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John Paul Put One Step Below Sainthood
VATICAN CITY (RNS) The late Pope John Paul II was beatified before a crowd of more than a million pilgrims.
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Jews, Evangelicals Search for Ways to Discuss Israel
WASHINGTON (RNS) American Jews and evangelicals need a formal mechanism to discuss their differences and similarities on support for Israel.
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John Paul’s Casket Unearthed for Beatification
VATICAN CITY (RNS) The casket of the late Pope John Paul II was exhumed in preparation for the late pontiff’s beatification ceremony.
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The President’s (Born-again) Birth Certificate
(RNS) So, according to the long-form birth certificate released by the White House Barack Hussein Obama II was born in Oahu, Honolulu, Hawaii.
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Evangelical Icon David Wilkerson Dies in Car Crash
(RNS) Evangelist David Wilkerson, who wrote the popular book “The Cross and the Switchblade”, died in a traffic accident Wednesday (April 27).
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Panel Cites Egypt for Religious Freedom Violations
WASHINGTON (RNS) A religious freedom watchdog panel has added Egypt to its list of the worst violators of religious liberty.
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Churches Form Circle of Protection Around Poor
(RNS) Christian leaders have formed a “Circle of Protection” against U.S. cuts to poverty-fighting programs.
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Gingrich Talks of Journey to Catholicism
WASHINGTON (RNS) Gingrich traced his spiritual journey from Southern Baptist to Roman Catholic at a Catholic prayer breakfast.
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Plans for Interfaith Seminary Shelved
(RNS) When leaders began to dream of building a new partnership, they planned to create a futuristic model of religious higher education.
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Former N.J. Governor Denied Episcopal Ordination
NEWARK, N.J. (RNS) Former New Jersey Gov. James McGreevey will not be ordained into the Episcopal Church priesthood in the near future.
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John Paul’s Blood to Be Split Between Italy, Poland
VATICAN CITY (RNS) A small quantity of blood from the late Pope John Paul II will be exposed as a holy relic during his beatification.
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Miracles Claimed from Late Pope’s Intercession
VATICAN CITY (RNS) Jesse was just 10 days old in November 2009 when he was diagnosed with Herpes simplex, a virus often lethal to a newborn child.
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Bill Would Limit Military Funeral Protests
WASHINGTON (RNS) A bipartisan group of senators has introduced a bill that would make it harder to protest outside military funerals.
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Transit Worker Fired for Burning Quran Gets Job Back
TRENTON, N.J. (RNS) The New Jersey Transit employee fired for burning pages of the Quran near Ground Zero will get his job back.
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Church-state Ties on Full Display at Royal Wedding
CANTERBURY, England (RNS) At the royal wedding Britain’s unique and historic ties between church and state will be on full display.
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Pope Says Comatose Can Still Feel Presence of Family
VATICAN CITY (RNS) Pope Benedict XVI told a mother that her comatose son can feel her “presence” and “love.”
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Simple Churches Find a Foothold Across U.S.
(RNS) This weekend, Jeanne O’Hair, her friends and family will raise their voices in Easter hymns “as the spirit leads us.”
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Just How Long Did Jesus Stay in the Tomb?
(RNS) As Christians worldwide celebrate Easter, they will follow a familiar chronology: Jesus rose from the dead on “the third day.”
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Supreme Court Limits Prisoners’ Right to Sue
WASHINGTON (RNS) Prison inmates who are deprived of their religious rights cannot sue states for monetary damages.
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Mormon Men Delaying the Walk Down the Aisle
SALT LAKE CITY (RNS) John Evans is in no hurry to get married.
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Study: Congregations Slowly Recovering from Recession
(RNS) The recession was a double-barrel blow to American congregations: directly hurting their budgets while also stretching them thin.
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Scholar Challenges Thursday Date of Last Supper
LONDON (RNS) A scientist claims his research shows Christians have been observing Jesus’ Last Supper on the wrong day of the week.
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Poll: Americans See Clash Between Values of Christianity, Capitalism
(RNS) Are Christianity and capitalism a marriage made in heaven, as some conservatives believe?
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Cookbook Preserves Family Recipes Lost in Holocaust
(RNS) The last time Regina Finer’s mother cooked the soft, dense potato dumplings called kluskies, Regina couldn’t have been more than 12.
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Obama Invokes Christian Beliefs at Easter Prayer Breakfast
WASHINGTON (RNS) President Obama said Jesus’ death and resurrection on Easter “puts everything else in perspective,” at a White House event.
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State Department Fires Back at Ambassador
WASHINGTON (RNS) The State Department fired back at a prominent Catholic ambassador who said the agency has a “rigidly narrow” view of foreign policy.
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Bishops Defend Criticism of Top Theologian
WASHINGTON (RNS) Under fire for criticizing a popular theologian, the U.S. Catholic bishops said they must occasionally assume the role of referee.
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Burned Church Nears Completion as Suspect Found Guilty
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (RNS) As a white man surrendered to federal marshals, workers were rebuilding the pulpit of the Macedonia Church of God in Christ.
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Senate Confirms Religious Freedom Ambassador
WASHINGTON (RNS) A New York minister will soon fill the Obama administration’s long-vacant position to oversee international religious freedom.
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Kmiec’s Gospel Falls Flat in Foggy Bottom
(RNS) The State Department has a “rigidly narrow” view of diplomacy that neglects religion’s role in foreign affairs, a prominent Catholic ambassador charged.
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A Child's Question: Adam and Eve vs. Cavemen
A Child's Question: Adam and Eve vs. Cavemen
What's your answer when your daughter asks whether Adam and Eve or the cavemen came first? You could pit science and faith against each other. Or help her affirm her faith while appreciating science.
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Belgian Bishop Says Nephews’ Abuse Was a Game
VATICAN CITY (RNS) Belgium’s Catholic bishops declared themselves “extremely shocked” by comments from a former bishop.
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Russian Jehovah’s Witness Cleared on Extremism Charges
MOSCOW (RNS/ENInews) A Jehovah’s Witness on trial in Siberia was found innocent of charges of inciting religious hatred and enmity.
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White Man Found Guilty in Arson at Black Church
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (RNS) Breaking a two-day deadlock, a federal jury convicted a white man, Michael F. Jacques, on all three charges.
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Court Dismisses Challenge to National Day of Prayer
WASHINGTON (RNS) The law calling for an annual National Day of Prayer imposes solely on the duties of the U.S. president.
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Evangelicals Named to Ministry Watchdog Panel
WASHINGTON (RNS) The Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability has announced members of a commission to advise Capitol Hill.
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Pope Appeals to China over Naming of Bishops
VATICAN CITY (RNS) The Vatican lamented China’s interference with the Roman Catholic Church.
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Filipino Churches Divided Over Hero's Burial for Marcos
MANILA, Philippines (RNS/ENInews) Filipino church leaders are divided over a proposal to give the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos a hero’s burial.
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Activists Want National Holiday for Good Friday
WASHINGTON (RNS) A small band of Christians is planning a rally in Washington, D.C., in a bid to make Good Friday a national holiday.
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Just How Long Did Jesus Stay in the Tomb?
(RNS) Jesus was crucified on Good Friday and rose from the dead on “the third day,” in the words of the ancient Nicene Creed. Or was he?
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Judge Says Monks Can Fight for Right to Sell Caskets
NEW ORLEANS (RNS) Monks at St. Joseph Abbey near Covington, La., can sue for the right to sell handcrafted caskets without a license.
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Archaeologist Claims Nails from Jesus’ Cross
JERUSALEM (RNS) An Israeli-Canadian journalist believes he may have tracked down two of the iron nails used to crucify Jesus.
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Anglicans Tighten Rules to Prevent Sham Marriages
LONDON (RNS) Couples suspected of using their wedding vows as a ruse to skirt immigration laws will be required to meet strict identity checks.
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Scholar Challenges Widely-held Beliefs About the Bible and Sex
(RNS) Is the Bible good for your sex life, but bad for a sex ed class?
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Catholic Bishops Report Seven Abuse Cases During 2010
WASHINGTON (RNS) U.S. Catholic bishops announced that sexual abuse accusations against Catholic clergy increased in 2010.
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French Ban on Full-face Veils Takes Effect
PARIS (RNS) Police arrested several and protests continued to spread as France’s controversial ban against the full-face veil came into force.
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Report: Ambassador Spends too Much Time on Religion
WASHINGTON (RNS) The U.S. ambassador to Malta has spent “considerable time” writing on topics beyond the mission of his office.
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Vatican Paper Praises Fertility Ethics of Films
VATICAN CITY (RNS) The official Vatican newspaper has praised two recent Hollywood movies for showing the ethical downsides of sperm donation.
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Jewish Group Gives Passover Cheer for Beck’s Exit
(RNS) A Jewish organization is celebrating Passover two weeks early, proclaiming freedom from Glenn Beck’s television show.
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Obama, Karzai Blast Florida Quran Burning
WASHINGTON (RNS) Presidents Obama and Karzai blasted the recent burning of a Quran at a Florida church and the deadly riots that followed.
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Skeletons in the Catholic Church’s Closet
(RNS) Showtime has found the magic combination for ultimate crowd appeal in a scintillating soap opera about a bad-boy pope.
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Evangelicals Most Likely to Support Government Shutdown
WASHINGTON (RNS) A slim majority of evangelicals favor government shutdown over a budget compromise.
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Embattled Religious Freedom Envoy the New Iron Lady
WASHINGTON (RNS) The embattled nominee is comparing herself to former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.
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Court Rules for Pharmacists on Morning-After Pill
(RNS) Pharmacists with religious objections to “morning-after” emergency contraceptives cannot be compelled to sell the product.
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British Astrophysicist Wins Templeton Prize
(RNS) A British theoretical astrophysicist has won the $1.6 million 2011 Templeton Prize.
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Top U.K. Druid Charged with Money Fraud
LONDON (RNS) One of the prominent figures in the revived ancient priesthood of Druidism in Britain has been charged with fraud.
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Millionaire Buys Paintings so Church Can Keep Them
CANTERBURY, England (RNS/ENInews) A self-effacing multimillionaire has become a local hero after buying a series of 17th-century religious paintings.
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For Every Action, an Equal and Opposite Reaction
(RNS) The website of the Dove World Outreach Center describes the tiny church as “a New Testament church based on the Bible, the Word of God.”
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Supreme Court Takes Dim View of Church-state Challenges
WASHINGTON (RNS) The Supreme Court rejected a challenge to an Arizona school tuition credit program.
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Man Denies Author’s Claim that He killed Malcolm X
NEWARK, N.J. (RNS) For 46 years, the chief assassin of slain civil rights icon Malcolm X has been hiding in plain sight in Newark.
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Young Mormons Advised not to Delay Marriage
(RNS) Single Mormon men who are postponing marriage should get to it right away, church President Thomas S. Monson said.
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Deadly Afghan Riots Blamed on Quran Burning at Fla. Church
(RNS) The Florida pastor who presided over the recent burning of a Quran said the United Nations must protect Afghans from deadly riots.
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Faith-healing Ore. Couple Released from Prison
OREGON CITY, Ore. (RNS) Two members of a controversial Oregon City church that rejects medical treatment were released from prison.
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Ala. Church Bans Employees’ Social Networking with Minors
MOBILE, Alabama (RNS) Electronic communication with minors must be limited to “providing information related to a ministry or event."
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Excommunicated Priest Now Faces Explusion
NEW ORLEANS (RNS) The Rev. Roy Bourgeois now faces expulsion from his religious order and from the priesthood over his support for the ordination of women.
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Catholic Bishops Censure Feminist Theologian’s Book
WASHINGTON (RNS) The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops condemned a book by Sister Elizabeth Johnson, a prominent feminist theologian.
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Showtime Soap Opera Features History’s Bad-boy Borgia Pope
VATICAN CITY (RNS) Modern popes have had their fans and detractors, but few would dispute their reputations for personal virtue.
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Jews Pressure Facebook over Palestinian Page
(RNS) Facebook shut down a “Third Palestinian Intifada” page and similar groups this week, prompted by complaints from Jewish groups.
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Report: Small Churches Feeling Financial Squeeze
(RNS) Almost all U.S. churches witnessed a change in the financial giving they received in 2010 compared to 2009.
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For Mormons, What Does Follow the Prophet Really Mean?
SALT LAKE CITY (RNS) Mormon leaders will offer sermons at an upcoming conference that many Mormons will treat like faxes from God.
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Religious Freedom Envoy Tries for a Second Time
WASHINGTON (RNS) The Obama administration’s nominee to oversee international religious freedom returned to Capitol Hill.
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In Senate Muslim Hearings, a Decided Change in Tone
WASHINGTON (RNS) It was billed as the first-ever congressional hearing on the civil rights of American Muslims. But it played more like an Act II than a premiere.
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Coalition Works to Protect Religious Employees
WASHINGTON (RNS) A coalition of religious and civil liberty groups is pushing the EEOC to stop employers from segregating visibly religious employees.
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Supporters March to Keep Paddling at Catholic School
NEW ORLEANS (RNS) Supporters of St. Augustine High School marched to oppose the call for an end to the school’s policy of using corporal punishment.
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Pope Calls for Libyan Cease-fire
VATICAN CITY (RNS) Pope Benedict XVI is calling for an immediate cease-fire and peace negotiations in Libya.
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Bishops Push Back on Allowing Gay Couples in Housing
WASHINGTON (RNS) Bishops are urging officials not to adopt proposed rules that would bar groups that receive federal funds from discriminating.
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UN Passes Religious Freedom Resolution
WASHINGTON (RNS) U.S. officials praised a United Nations council for a new statement on religious freedom that sidestepped a divisive debate.
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Vatican Opens Dialogue with Atheists
VATICAN CITY (RNS) A new Vatican initiative to promote dialogue between believers and atheists debuted with a two-day event.
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Tennessee Amends Anti-Shariah Bill
(RNS) Tennessee lawmakers are rewriting a bill that described Islamic law as a threat to U.S. security and seemed to equate peaceful Muslim practices with terrorism.
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Facebook Revelations Lead to Polygamy Charges
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (RNS) A Grand Rapids man who took a bride while still married to his estranged first wife says he “made a mistake.”
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Vatican Mourns Taylor as Last Diva of Cinema
VATICAN CITY (RNS) The Vatican’s official newspaper eulogized actress Elizabeth Taylor as the “last remaining star in the firmament of old Hollywood.”
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Poll: Most Americans Don’t blame God for Natural Disasters
(RNS) We may never know why bad things happen to good people, but most Americans reject the idea that natural disasters are divine punishment.
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U.S. Embassy Condemns Quran Burning at Fla. Church
(RNS) The U.S. ambassador to Pakistan called the burning of a Quran at a small Florida church “abhorrent.”
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Vatican Says Gay Opponents Are Victims, Too
VATICAN CITY (RNS) A Vatican official told a United Nations body that people who openly object to homosexual behavior are at risk of losing their human rights.
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U.S. Catholics Lead Other Christians on Gay Rights
(RNS) American Catholics are more supportive of gay rights than other U.S. Christians, according to new research.
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Trial Opens in Mass. Black Church Arson Case
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (RNS) The sole man to stand trial for torching a black church the night of President Obama’s election was confronted in court.
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Evangelicals Resist Obama’s Childhood Obesity Push
WASHINGTON (RNS) Evangelicals are the only major religious group where a majority opposes the federal government’s efforts to reduce childhood obesity.
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N.Y. Rabbi Tapped to Lead Reform Jews
(RNS) A New York rabbi with a reputation for innovation has been tapped to lead the Union for Reform Judaism.
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Fla. Pastor Presides at Burning of Quran
(RNS) The controversial Florida pastor oversaw the burning of the Islamic holy book on Sunday.
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Pope Neither Condemns, Endorses Libya Attacks
VATICAN CITY (RNS) Pope Benedict XVI voiced “fear and trepidation” about the “disturbing news coming from Libya” in a carefully worded statement.
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Methodists Shun the Bottle That No One Wants to Talk About
(RNS) The Rev. James Howell knew he had a problem on his hands when several teenagers arrived at a church dance drunk.
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Missionaries Grapple with Leaving Japan
(RNS) Wolfgang Langhans calls the week since the earthquake and tsunami hit Japan “the busiest and most stressful week of my life.”
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Obama Taps Campuses for Interfaith Service Projects
WASHINGTON (RNS) The White House is hoping to recruit America’s college and seminary students in a nationwide interfaith service campaign.
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Dominican Program Explores, Expands Lay Spirituality
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (RNS) As a student at Aquinas College in the 1980s, David Lincoln was on track to become a Roman Catholic priest.
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Priest Forced to Give up 40 Days of Muslim Lent
FERGUSON, Mo. (RNS) The Rev. Steve Lawler should have just given up chocolate or television for Lent.
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Schuller Says He Wouldn’t Have OK’d Church’s Gay Covenant
(RNS) Schuller said he never would have approved a recent covenant choir members were asked to sign urging them to be Christian and heterosexual.
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Court Rejects Mother’s Religious Home-school Arguments
(RNS) The New Hampshire Supreme Court upheld a lower court ruling that orders a girl to enroll in public school instead of being home-schooled.
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Justice Department Backs Sikh Inmate
(RNS) The DoJ has filed suit against California prison officials on behalf of a Sikh inmate who says his religious freedom was violated.
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Anglican Priest Arrested on Marriage Charges
LONDON (RNS) A Church of England vicar has been arrested in Britain’s second major police investigation in as many years.
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Adventists Grow as Other Churches Decline
(RNS) Rest on the Sabbath. Heed Old Testament dietary codes. And be ready for Jesus to return at any moment.
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Nearly 1,000 Anglicans Converting to Catholicism
LONDON (RNS/ENInews) More than 900 Anglicans formally expressed a desire to convert to Catholicism at special services held at Westminster Cathedral.
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Alaska Airlines Apologizes for Jewish Prayer Mix-up
SEATTLE (RNS) Alaska Airlines has issued an apology for misinterpreting the devotional behavior of three Orthodox Jews.
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Museum Restores Jefferson’s Unique Bible
(RNS) A Smithsonian museum is restoring the “Jefferson Bible,” a unique volume the third president cut and pasted himself.
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Religious Groups Mobilize to Aid Japan
(RNS) Religious relief organizations are sending and supporting teams to assess the damage.
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Churches in Japan Devastated by Earthquake
TOKYO (RNS/ENInews) Christians in Japan are looking for survivors and assessing damage to church buildings.
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Christians Question Conventional Wisdom on Divorce Stats
(RNS) It’s been proclaimed from pulpits and blogs for years—Christians divorce as much as everyone else in America.
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Former Head of Pentecostal Denomination Dies
(RNS) Bishop Chandler David Owens, a former presiding bishop of the Church of God in Christ, died at the age of 79.
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Westboro Church Plans Protest of Funeral for Pa. Children
HARRISBURG, Pa. (RNS) Westboro Baptist Church said it plans to protest at a funeral for seven Pennsylvania children who died in a fire.
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Fed Up with Hollywood, Churches Make Their Own Films
YORBA LINDA, Calif. (RNS) This year’s Oscars may have been passed out, but for some churches the major motion picture season is just getting started.
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Pope Links Violence in God’s Name to Antichrist
VATICAN CITY (RNS) Violence committed in the name of God or religion is a “favorite instrument of the Antichrist.”
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Churches Press Obama to Reengage on Middle East
(RNS/ENInews) Christian leaders are calling on the Obama administration to renew diplomatic efforts to settle the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
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Minister Seeks Models of Manhood on the Big Screen
CALEDONIA, Mich. (RNS) Tonight’s feature is “Open Range,” a Western that pits those who believe in free access to water and grass against “barbed wire” land barons.
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Study Says Engagement Rises with Mosque Attendance
WASHINGTON (RNS) A political science professor says research shows that affiliation with a mosque increases Muslims’ civic engagement.
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Catholics Try to Lure Lapsed Sheep Back into the Fold
MADISON, N.J. (RNS) A small bucket filled with bottles of cold beer sat on the floor as about a dozen young adults lounged around on comfortable couches.
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Book Explores Lasting Impact of Vatican II on U.S. Church
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.
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Former Counterterrorism Chief Says Muslims Cooperate
(RNS) A former FBI counter terrorism director rejected allegations that Muslim Americans don’t cooperate with law enforcement in terror investigations.
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For Second Time, Vatican Keeps Parishes Open
(RNS) 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.
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Court Rejects Challenge to `In God We Trust’
WASHINGTON (RNS) Atheist Michael Newdow plans to continue his fight to get “In God We Trust” off U.S. currency.
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Christchurch Cathedral Search Reveals No Quake Victims
WELLINGTON, New Zealand (RNS/ENInews) A complete search turned up no bodies buried in the rubble, despite widespread reports that people had been trapped inside.
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White House Praises Muslims Ahead of Hearing
WASHINGTON (RNS) The Obama administration is highlighting the role Muslim Americans play in combating radicalism in their communities.
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Muslims and Supporters Protest Congressional Hearings
NEW YORK (RNS) When Anam Chaudhry sang the national anthem she wore a Muslim headscarf, and around her shoulders, another garment: the American flag.
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House Republicans Plan to Defend DOMA
WASHINGTON (RNS) House Speaker John Boehner said that he and fellow lawmakers will defend the Defense of Marriage Act.
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Pakistani Churches Mourn Assassinated Christian Minister
BANGALORE, India (RNS/ENInews) Christian schools shut down for a three-day protest of the assassination of the country’s Minister for Religious Minorities.
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Bhutanese Protest Tobacco Charge Against Buddhist Monk
NEW DELHI (RNS) Protesters in Bhutan are denouncing the three-year prison sentence of a Buddhist monk.
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Evangelicals Push Back on Proposed Budget Cuts
(RNS) Balancing the federal budget at the expense of the poor would be un-Christian, evangelical leaders warned Congress.
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Israel Won’t Renew Permit for Jerusalem Bishop
JERUSALEM (RNS/ENInews) Israel has declined to renew a residency permit for Anglican Bishop Suheil Dawani of Jerusalem.
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Adventist Wins Fight not to Join Union
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.
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Man Who Says God Told Him to Kill Girlfriend Gets New Trial
(RNS) A New Jersey man who claimed God made him kill his pregnant girlfriend will get a new trial.
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After Phelps Wins, Uncertainty About What Lies Ahead
WASHINGTON (RNS) The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the “Thank God for Dead Soldiers” protesters from Westboro Baptist Church have First Amendment rights.
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Pope Says Jews not to Blame for Jesus’ Death
VATICAN CITY (RNS) The Jewish people were not responsible for Jesus’ crucifixion, and their descendants have not inherited blame for his death.
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Christians Banned from Foster Care over Gay Views
LONDON (RNS) Two senior judges have banned a Christian couple from any further foster care because they oppose homosexuality.
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Israeli Ambassador Prompts Debate over Campus Free Speech
IRVINE, Calif. (RNS) “Michael Oren, propagating murder is not an expression of free speech!”
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Harvard Pastor, Theologian Peter Gomes Dies at 68
(RNS) The Rev. Peter Gomes, the longtime minister of Harvard University’s Memorial Church, died at age 68.
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Court Rules for Jewish Man in Shavuot Dispute
(RNS) An Orthodox Jew has won a new trial after Maryland’s highest court ruled that a lower court erred.
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Wisconsin Dispute Exposes Catholic Split on Unions
(RNS) The fierce budget battle in Wisconsin has pitted the state’s top Roman Catholic bishops against each other.
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Publisher Backs Off Warning Label for Evangelical Books
(RNS) Southern Baptist bookstores have suspended a program that warned customers to read with “discernment” books by several authors.
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Islam Dominated Religion Coverage in 2010
(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.
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Alumni Defend Paddling at Catholic School
NEW ORLEANS (RNS) One by one, alumni of St. Augustine High School took the microphone recalling paddling at St. Augustine.
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Shattered Churches Yield Their Dead in New Zealand
CHRISTCHURCH, New Zealand (RNS/ENInews) Churches shattered by a 6.3-magnitude earthquake were yielding up their dead.
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If Obama Won’t Fight Gay Marriage, Conservatives Will
WASHINGTON (RNS) If President Obama no longer wants to defend the Defense of Marriage Act, who will?
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U.S. Rabbis Blast Israel over New Conversion Rules
JERUSALEM (RNS) American rabbis have signed a letter demanding that the conversions they perform outside Israel be recognized.
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Catholic Bishops Back Wis. Union Protesters
WASHINGTON (RNS) The U.S. Catholic bishops threw their moral weight behind the pro-union protesters in Wisconsin.
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Muslims and ACLU Sue FBI over Mosque Surveillance
(RNS) Is sending a secret informant into a mosque in search of terrorists proactive policing, or a violation of worshippers’ civil rights?
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Obama Drops Defense of Anti-gay-marriage Law
WASHINGTON (RNS) The Obama administration announced it will no longer defend the Defense of Marriage Act.
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Supreme Court Rejects 10 Commandments Case
WASHINGTON(RNS) The Supreme Court chose not to reexamine its decision to strike down displays of the Ten Commandments in two Kentucky courthouses.
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Budget Cuts Target the Poor, Faith Groups Say
(RNS) Get ready for more undernourished infants, dangerously cold homes and disease-stricken communities in developing countries.
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Suit Accuses Televangelist of Breaking Moral Clause
(RNS) Christian publisher Strang Communications has sued evangelist Benny Hinn, claiming he violated a moral clause.
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Number of Catholics Worldwide Edged Up, Vatican Says
VATICAN CITY (RNS) The number of Catholics in the world edged up to 1.18 billion in 2009.
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Stuff We Don’t Want, Stuff They Can’t Use
(RNS) On a recent family trip to Africa, spotting American T-shirts and baseball caps became something of a parlor game.
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At 89, Civil Rights Icon Reflects on Faith, Activism
(RNS) The Rev. Joseph Lowery has always combined his work on secular causes with a sacred message.
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National Debt is New Hot Issue for Evangelicals
WASHINGTON (RNS) Many economists warn that the government’s huge national debt is a looming threat to long-term prosperity.
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Jesuits Sued over Sex Abuse Bankruptcy
PORTLAND, Ore. (RNS) Lawyers representing a group of people who accuse Jesuit priests of sexual abuse filed 37 lawsuits.
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In Italian Sex Scandal, Vatican Caught in a Bind
VATICAN CITY (RNS) No major leader has been a more stalwart ally than Italy’s Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi.
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Marriage seminar sparks Chick-fil-A boycott
HARRISBURG, Pa. (RNS) Amy Goropoulos’ stomach and her ethics do not agree on Chick-fil-A.
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Quebec Mayor Vows to Fight Order to Remove Crucifix
TORONTO (RNS) The mayor says he will appeal a decision by a human rights tribunal that bans prayer at city council.
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Grassroots Group Pressure King on Muslim Hearings
WASHINGTON (RNS) Peter King is facing grassroots pressure to cancel his planned hearings on the “radicalization” of U.S. Muslims.
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Egypt’s Christians Keep Wary Eye on Muslim Brotherhood
CAIRO (RNS) In Magdi Shnouda’s cafe the men playing backgammon are a mixture of Christians and Muslims.
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Bill Would Codify Mother and Father on Documents
WASHINGTON (RNS) A proposed House bill will require the use of “mother” and “father” by all federal agencies and contractors when describing parents.
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Vatican Allows Three Mass. Churches to Stay Open
CHICOPEE, Mass. (RNS) Three closed Catholic churches in the Diocese of Springfield, Mass., have been given at least a partial reprieve.
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India Woos Sri Lanka with Buddha’s Bones
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.
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Greek Church Sues for Right to Rebuild at Disputed Ground Zero site
(RNS) Greek Orthodox officials filed suit against the agency charged with rebuilding Ground Zero.
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Report: U.S. Churches Continue Growth, Decline Trends
(RNS) While mainline Protestant churches in the U.S. continue to experience decline, Pentecostal traditions are on the rise.
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When Marriages are Eternal, Single and Divorced Mormons Struggle
SALT LAKE CITY (RNS) To many Americans, religious or not, chastity before marriage is a quaint tradition at best and emotionally damaging at worst.
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Top Church Official Indicted in Philly Abuse Probe
(RNS) Advocates for victims of clergy sexual abuse are hailing the indictment of a senior Roman Catholic official.
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Child in Faith-healing Case Continues to Improve
OREGON CITY, Ore. (RNS) A 13-month-old child who faced blindness in one eye after her parents treated her with prayer continues to improve.
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Report: Churches, Charities not in Competition for Dollars
(RNS) Houses of worship often aren’t in competition for dollars but instead tend to reap donations from similar donors.
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Towey Named President of Ave Maria University
(RNS) Tom Monaghan has stepped down from leading the conservative Catholic university he founded.
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At 102, George Beverly Shea to Receive Lifetime Grammy Award
(RNS) George Beverly Shea will receive a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 53rd annual Grammy Awards.
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New Pipe in Israel Aims to Halt Worship Water Shortage
JERUSALEM (RNS) Israeli officials have installed an $11 million pipe to ease a weekly water shortage on Fridays.
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Quebec Bans Sikh Daggers from Capitol
TORONTO (RNS) Lawmakers voted unanimously to ban the kirpan, a Sikh ceremonial dagger, from the legislature building.
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Catholics Spar with Federal Officials over Unions, Catholic Identity
(RNS) A small Catholic college last month got the news that part-time faculty have a right to form a union.
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Muslim TV Executive Found Guilty in Wife’s Beheading
(RNS) A former banking executive who helped launch the nation’s first Muslim television station faces 15 years to life in prison.
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Vatican Says iPhone Apps Won’t Forgive Sins
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.
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Presbyterian Court Clears Minister in Gay Marriage Case
(RNS) The court has found a Boston minister not guilty of violating church rules against performing gay marriages.
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Consumer Protection Chief Seeks Allies in Faith Leaders
WASHINGTON (RNS) The architect of the new consumer protection bureau met with faith-based groups.
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Something to Believe In
(RNS) Sir Anthony Hopkins could turn even “Green Eggs and Ham” into a creeptastic nightmare.
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Canadian Bishops Urge Catholics to Live Chastely
TORONTO (RNS/ENInews) Canada’s Roman Catholic bishops are urging church members—married and single—to live chastely.
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Colorado Years Shaped Islamic Militant’s View of U.S.
(RNS) Is the jazz standard “Baby It’s Cold Outside” a heart-warming ode to winter romance or the worst example of American hedonism?
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Controversial N.Y. Mosque Loses Another Leader
(RNS) The proposed mosque project is again looking for a top imam after Sheik Abdallah Adhami resigned.
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U.K. Catholics Caution Followers on Dangers of Witchcraft
LONDON (RNS) The Roman Catholic Church has published a guide aimed at helping teenagers deal with 21st century witchcraft.
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Pope Can’t Be Organ Donor, Church Says
VATICAN CITY (RNS) The Pope was once a card-carrying organ donor, but the offer expired when he assumed the papal throne.
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Mass. Man Denies Role in Church Arson
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (RNS) A defendant took the witness stand and told a federal judge he had no role in the 2008 blaze.
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Vatican to Draft Guidelines for Catholic Hospitals
VATICAN CITY (RNS) Controversies over bioethical standards show the need for greater Catholic education.
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Karmapa Lama Denies Charges of Spying for China
NEW DELHI (RNS) Indian officials want to know why top Buddhist leaders had $1.5 million in cash stashed away.
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Judge Rebuffed on Ten Commandments
(RNS) An judge who argued that it was his right to hang a poster about the Ten Commandments in his courtroom was overruled.
Read More ...
U.N. Marks First Annual Interfaith Harmony Week
(RNS) The United Nations kicked off the first “World Interfaith Harmony Week” to promote dialogue and civility among the world’s religions.
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U.N. Marks First Annual Interfaith Harmony Week
(RNS) The UN kicked off the first “World Interfaith Harmony Week” to promote dialogue and civility among the world’s religions.
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Archdiocese Posts Trove of Slave Records Online
NEW ORLEANS (RNS) The Archdiocese of New Orleans unveiled a new online database containing records in colonial New Orleans.
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Congressman Says He’s not Anti-Islam
WASHINGTON (RNS) A congressman said he is not anti-Muslim after saying Muslims represent the “antithesis” of American values.
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U.S. Marine for Christ Prompts Suit at Colo. Academy
WASHINGTON (RNS) Professors have filed suit to stop a school prayer luncheon headlined by a speaker who calls himself a “U.S. Marine for Christ.”
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Critics Raise Concerns About House Hearings on Muslims
WASHINGTON (RNS) A coalition is urging House leaders to raise concerns about planned hearings this month on the “radicalization” of American Muslims.
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Critics Wary of New Smithsonian Review Policy
WASHINGTON (RNS) Critics are unsatisfied with new policies intended to prevent future controversies.
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Catholic Hospitals, Bishops Reach Accord
(RNS) The Catholic Health Association publicly acknowledged that bishops have the final say on questions of medical morality.
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Anglican Archbishops End Summit on Quiet Note
(RNS) Anglican archbishops concluded their six-day summit in Ireland by issuing statements on a host of international issues.
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Judge Kills Most of Lutheran Retirees’ Claims
(RNS) A federal judge has ruled that Augsburg Fortress’ now-dissolved pension plan was exempt from federal regulations.
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After Controversy, Christian University Changes Gay Policy
(RNS) Belmont University in Nashville, Tenn., has amended its nondiscrimination policy to include sexual orientation.
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Vatican to Launch Dialogue with Atheists
VATICAN CITY (RNS) The Vatican announced a new initiative aimed at promoting dialogue between theists and atheists.
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Miracle Detectives on the Hunt for Answers
(RNS) Dirt at an ancient holy site in Chimayo, N.M. reputedly cures a woman’s rare bone cancer.
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Muslim leaders condemn Holocaust denial on remembrance day
(RNS) Prominent Muslim leaders marked International Holocaust Remembrance Day by decrying attempts to deny the Holocaust.
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Mich. Bill Would Allow Guns in Churches, Colleges
LANSING, Mich. (RNS) Individuals with valid concealed weapons permits could carry guns in Michigan areas currently prohibited by law.
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Rabbis Petition Murdoch to Crack Down on Fox’s Holocaust Language
(RNS) Rabbis used Holocaust Remembrance Day to push Murdoch to “sanction” Fox News personalities on the use of Nazi and Holocaust references.
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Minister Offers Comfort, Calm in Disasters’ Shadowy Places
KIRKWOOD, Mo. (RNS) The Rev. David Holyan recently found himself in Tucson, Ariz.
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Judge Upholds Law Preventing Guns in Churches
(RNS) 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.
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Many Genocides to be Commemorated on Holocaust Memorial Day
CANTERBURY, England (RNS/ENInews) After the Nazi slaughter of 6 million Jews during World War II, the world cried out “never again."
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Southern Baptist Leader Resigns Coalition Supporting Mosques
(RNS) A top leader of the Southern Baptist Convention has resigned from a new interfaith coalition.
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Russian Patriarch Denounces Moscow Airport Bombing
MOSCOW (RNS/ENInews) The head of the Russian Orthodox Church denounced a terrorist attack at Moscow’s busiest airport.
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Archdiocese Upset After St. Patrick Finds a Home in Restaurant
SOUTH ORANGE, N.J. (RNS) And now, let us raise a toast to St. Patrick.
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Anglican Prelates to Meet in Ireland
(RNS) Some archbishops are boycotting a high-level meeting in Ireland to protest the Episcopal Church’s acceptance of openly gay and lesbian bishops.
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Former UCC President Suspended After Affair
(RNS) The former president of the UCC has been suspended for one year and ordered to undergo a program of growth.
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Catholic Media Empire Acquires National Catholic Register
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (RNS) EWTN Global Catholic Network has signed a letter of intent to acquire the National Catholic Register newspaper.
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Court Says Religious Knowledge Test Improper in Asylum Case
(RNS) A Chinese Christian should be given another chance after a judge thought the man couldn’t answer “basic questions” about Christianity.
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Cash-strapped Cities Look to Tax Churches for Road Use
(RNS) When a community needs to rebuild crumbling roads, should houses of worship pay fees for the number of times their congregants drive on them?
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Ala. Governor Apologizes for Brothers and Sisters Comment
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (RNS) Gov. Bentley apologized to anyone who was offended with his inaugural day comments that non-Christians were not his “brothers and sisters.”
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Muslim Seminary Ends Talks with Vatican over Pope’s Comments
VATICAN CITY (RNS) The most prestigious religious university in the Sunni Muslim world has suspended dialogue with the Vatican.
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Update: Fla. Pastor Formally Banned from U.K.
LONDON (RNS) A Florida pastor who sparked fury when he threatened to burn a pile of Qurans has been officially banned from Britain.
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Vatican Tries to Tamp Down Abuse Letter to Irish Bishops
VATICAN CITY (RNS) The Vatican tried to tamp down allegations a letter to Irish bishops was meant to discourage prelates from reporting sexual abuse.
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Catholic Bishops Won’t Support Repeal of Health Care Law
WASHINGTON(RNS) The U.S. Catholic bishops will not join efforts to repeal the new health care law.
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Update: Innkeepers Found Guilty for Turning Away Gay Couple
LONDON (RNS) Two Christian innkeepers have been convicted of sexual discrimination for refusing to allow a gay couple to share a double room.
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Ala. Governor Says only Christians Are his Brothers and Sisters
MONTGOMERY, Ala. (RNS) Newly sworn-in Gov. Robert Bentley said that people who aren’t “saved” Christians aren’t his brothers and sisters.
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Religious Leaders Praise new Obama Policy on Cuba
WASHINGTON (RNS) Faith leaders are hailing a change in White House policy that reduces limits on religious travel to Cuba.
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Three Anglican Bishops Ordained as Catholic Priests
LONDON (RNS) Three former Church of England bishops have been ordained as priests in the Roman Catholic Church.
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Poll: Americans of All Faiths See a Civility Problem in U.S. Politics
(RNS) Americans agree on one thing: our political system has a civility problem.
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A Rush Toward Sainthood for John Paul II?
VATICAN CITY (RNS) Pope Benedict XVI has recognized a miracle attributed to Pope John Paul II the Vatican announced.
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Pakistani Churches Criticize Government’s Refusal to Amend Blasphemy Law
BANGALORE, India (RNS/ENInews) Pakistani churches say they’re frustrated by the government’s refusal to amend a controversial blasphemy law.
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Clergy Answer King’s 1963 Letter from Birmingham Jail
(RNS) A coalition of Christian churches answered the Rev. Martin Luther King’s 1963 “Letter from Birmingham Jail.”
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British Study Links Spread of faith to Believer Gene
LONDON (RNS) A British university study suggests that people of strong faith can spread religion through a “believers’ gene” that is part of their DNA.
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Pa. School District Takes Street Preacher to Court
HARRISBURG, Pa. (RNS) Should a street preacher be banned from approaching students at a bus stop?
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Pastor Who Prayed for Obama’s Death Turns to Westboro Baptist Church
(RNS) A Southern Baptist pastor who called for prayers for the death of Obama is now planning prayers against Westboro Baptist Church.
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Clergy Urge Congress to Unite Behind Push for Civility
(RNS) A coalition sent an open letter urging a “time of soul searching” and national dialogue about “violent and vitriolic political rhetoric.”
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Obama’s Eulogy Invokes Spirit of Black Church, Reinhold Niebuhr
WASHINGTON (RNS) Expecting a speech, Americans instead heard a sermon.
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Pope Appoints New Haiti Archbishop One Year After Quake
VATICAN CITY (RNS) Pope Benedict XVI marked the first anniversary of the Haiti earthquake by naming a new archbishop for the country’s capital city.
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VFW Sues Obama Administration over Disputed Cross Memorial
WASHINGTON (RNS) The VFW has sued the Obama administration over the ownership of land under a controversial California war memorial.
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Jews Troubled by Palin’s Use of Blood Libel
(RNS) Sarah Palin accused “journalists and pundits” of manufacturing a “blood libel” that seeks to link her and other conservatives to the massacre.
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Egypt, Angry Over Pope’s Remarks, Recalls Ambassador
VATICAN CITY (RNS) Egypt recalled its ambassador to protest a demand by Pope Benedict XVI that it better protect the country’s embattled Christian minority.
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Civility Project Disbands after Low Interest in Congress
WASHINGTON (RNS) The Civility Project is closing down after just three members of Congress agreed to the project’s pledge.
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Lawmaker Asks Clergy to Foster Tolerance in Wake of Shootings
PATERSON, N.J. (RNS) A New Jersey congressman is calling upon clergy to help people put aside their ideological differences during a “week of solidarity.”
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State Department to Leave Mother and Father on Documents
WASHINGTON (RNS) Secretary Clinton has ordered changes to a proposal to remove the terms “mother” and “father” from records of overseas births.
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Jewish Musician Debbie Friedman Dies at 59
(RNS) Debbie Friedman, a composer and singer whose modern melodies updated the music in synagogue services worldwide, died of pneumonia at age 59.
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Pope Warns Diplomats on Threats to Religious Freedom
VATICAN CITY (RNS) Pope Benedict XVI decried violence against Christians in the Middle East, Asia and Africa.
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Gallup: Jews Score Highest on Well-being Survey
RNS) American Jews scored the highest of any religious group on a “well-being” index according to a new Gallup survey.
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Court Rules Against Diocese
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (RNS) A federal judge ruled that the Diocese must bow to the altar of historic preservation.
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A Year Later, Quake-ravaged Haiti Struggles to Recover
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (RNS) Driving through downtown Port-au-Prince, it can be difficult at first to see much change from a year ago.
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Religious Profile of 112th Congress Remains Stable
WASHINGTON (RNS) The midterm elections did little to alter the religious composition of Capitol Hill.
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Abuse Victim Claims No Money from $900,000 Settlement
PORTLAND, Ore. (RNS) A man who secured a $900,000 settlement for alleged abuse at the hands of a Catholic priest has yet to see a penny more than seven years after the church paid out the money.
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Army Faces Questions over Spiritual Fitness Test
WASHINGTON (RNS) The Army is facing questions over a “spiritual fitness” portion of a mandatory questionnaire.
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Rubashkin Appeals Conviction, Sentence
(RNS) Convicted businessman Sholom Rubashkin has filed an appeal in hopes of a new trial, or at least a reduced sentence.
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Calif. War Memorial Cross Ruled Unconstitutional
WASHINGTON (RNS) A federal appeals court ruled a veterans’ memorial featuring a 43-foot cross on California’s Mount Soledad is unconstitutional.
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Pope Denies Appeal of Boston Parish Closings
(RNS) After a lengthy appeals process, the Vatican has ruled that nine Boston-area Catholic parishes should be closed.
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Poll: Americans See Religion’s Role Declining
(RNS) Seven in 10 Americans say religion’s influence on the country is waning.
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Worker’s Memory Plants Seeds for Trees Outside Katrina Homes
NEW ORLEANS (RNS) The last time Matt Sloan saw Sylvia Blanchard’s house the Blanchards were back in and it was neat, clean and smelling new.
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Technology Unites Missionaries, Families Around the World
(RNS) Janine Winkler loves reading books to her 2-year-old grandson Judah, but he’s usually half a world away in Nigeria.
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Pope Condemns Vile Killing Outside Egyptian Church
VATICAN CITY (RNS) Pope Benedict XVI denounced the “vile and murderous” New Year’s Day killing of 21 Egyptian Christians.
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Missouri Synod President to Keep Preaching Skills Polished
ST. LOUIS (RNS) The Rev. Matthew Harrison will serve a local church in addition to his role as President.
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Nuns Hopeful on U.S. Prelate’s Role in Vatican Probe
(RNS) The recent appointment of an American archbishop has the sisters and their supporters breathing a little easier.
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Jewish Groups Have Mixed Feelings on Highest-ranking Jew in Congress
WASHINGTON (RNS) When Virginia Republican Eric Cantor becomes House Majority Leader next month, he will become the highest-ranking Jewish member of Congress in history.
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Despite Abysmal Track Record, Calif. Atheist Keeps Suing in Lonely Crusade
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (RNS) He is the most famous—and the loneliest—atheist in the country.
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Jews Ready to Roll out New Ethical Kosher Seals
NEW YORK (RNS) What does it really mean for your Hebrew National hot dog to “answer to a higher authority?”
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10 minutes with Robby McGee
(RNS) Every December, Christmas culture warriors square off over whether it’s politically correct to say “Merry Christmas.”
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Gallup: More Religious, More Healthy
(RNS) Americans who are “very religious” are more likely to practice healthy behaviors than those who are less religious.
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Catholic Bishops, Evangelicals Praise START Treaty
(RNS) The U.S. Catholic bishops and other Christian groups are hailing the Senate’s ratification of a treaty with Russia.
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Legends Abound for Lords-a-leaping and Maids-a-milking in `Twelve Days’
(RNS) Twelve drummers? Ten leaping lords? Two turtle doves?
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Abortion Debate Opens Rift Between Bishops, Hospitals
WASHINGTON (RNS) An umbrella group of Catholic hospitals is backing a Phoenix hospital that was stripped of its church affiliation.
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U.N. Adopts Defamation of Religions Resolution with Fewer Votes
(RNS) The Assembly passed a resolution on “combating defamation of religions,” drawing criticism from human rights organizations and the U.S.
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Scandals Prompt Exodus from Catholic Church in Germany
BERLIN (RNS) The Catholic Church in Germany is seeing membership plunge as 2010 comes to a close.
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Poll Finds Family, not Jesus’ Birth, at Heart of Christmas
(RNS) While nearly all Americans celebrate Christmas, most focus more on family than religious traditions, a new survey shows.
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Creationism Holds Steady at Four in 10 Americans, Gallup Says
(RNS) Four in 10 Americans believe that God created humans in something like their present form within the last 10,000 years, according to a new Gallup Poll.
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Vatican Says No Change to Teaching on Condoms, Prostitutes
VATICAN CITY (RNS) The Pope's recent comments about condoms do not mark a change in “Catholic moral teaching” on AIDS prevention or contraception.
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Muslim Leaders Probe Problem of Disaffected Youths
LOS ANGELES (RNS) Muslim leaders are admitting disaffected Muslim youth are ripe for online recruitment by extremists.
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Pope Links Sex Abuse to Vices
VATICAN CITY (RNS) Pope Benedict XVI deplored the sexual abuse of children by Catholic priests and linked it to other vices.
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Muslims Allege Inappropriate Questions by Security Agents
(RNS) American Muslims reentering the United States from abroad are alleging U.S. Customs Agents violate their constitutional rights.
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Lutheran Leader Seeks Communion Agreement with Pope
ROME (RNS/ENInews) LWF is calling for a common statement on Holy Communion to mark the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation.
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New York Mosque Named Top Religion Story of 2010
(RNS) The debate over an Islamic community center near Ground Zero was the top religion story of 2010.
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For Year’s Top Religion Stories, a Major Case of Déjà Vu
(RNS) The calendar may have said 2010, but for Pope Benedict XVI and much of his global flock, it looked and felt a lot like 2002.
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Religious Leaders Join White House in Dream Act Push
WASHINGTON (RNS) Supporters are calling it a moral solution to help students hurt by the country’s immigration system.
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Christian and atheist Groups in Race to Raise Money for Charity
(RNS) Christians and atheists are fighting again—this time over who can raise more money for charity.
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Pope Calls Lack of Religious Freedom a Threat to Security and Peace
VATICAN CITY (RNS) Pope Benedict XVI called limits on religious freedom a “threat to security and peace,” and said Christians are persecuted more than any other faith group.
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Republicans Join FRC in Ad Countering Hate Group Listing
WASHINGTON (RNS) The FRC is mounting an aggressive defense to a decision by the Southern Poverty Law Center to designate the lobby as a hate group.
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Swiss Urged to Continue to Allow Mormon Missionaries
WASHINGTON (RNS) Members of Congress are urging Swiss authorities to allow Mormon missionaries to continue serving beyond 2012.
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British Group Withdraws Invite to Fla. Pastor
LONDON (RNS) A right-wing political group now says it has withdrawn the invitation because “he is not the right candidate for us.”
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Muslims not Laughing at Businessman’s Attempt at Humor
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (RNS) It was all a joke, says Biddinger, whose outdoor sign last week sported the phrase “BBQ Pork Restaurant Is Safest No Muslims Inside.”
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Muslim Women at Center of Suits over Hajj, Headscarves
(RNS) The ACLU has filed suit on behalf of a Georgia woman who was thrown in jail after refusing to remove her headscarf.
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Bulgarian Priests Join Union over Late Paychecks
SOFIA, Bulgaria (RNS/ENInews) The decision by Bulgarian Orthodox priests to join a trade union has angered at least one church hierarch.
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Holder Denies Entrapment of Muslim Suspects
WASHINGTON (RNS) Holder defended the FBI’s recent undercover investigation of an Oregon Muslim terror suspect.
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U.S. Jews, Evangelicals Help Israel Rebuild After Fires
JERUSALEM (RNS) American Jews and evangelical Christians are taking a central role in rebuilding the Carmel region in northern Israel.
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Market Bumps Raise Concerns About Church Pensions
(RNS) Religious denominations have long provided secure pension payments—more secure, in some cases, than corporate retirement plans.
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Black Church Group Criticizes Congressional Tax Cuts
WASHINGTON (RNS) The Conference criticized Congress for linking extension of unemployment benefits to tax cuts for the wealthy.
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Turkish Church Fears Cover-up over Bishop’s Murder
WARSAW (RNS/ENInews) A Catholic leader has rejected medical findings that the man who brutally murdered his predecessor was insane.
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Ex-cons Look to Clear Records in Hopes of Fresh Start and Ideally, a Job
NEWARK, N.J. (RNS) For Kerry Sifford, a trained security guard and graphic designer who was arrested years ago on a minor offense, finding a job has been nearly impossible.
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Study: Religious People Happier When Share Pews with Friends
(RNS) Close friendships among congregants seem to be the key to happiness among religious people, according to a new study.
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Oregon Releases Policy for Religious Clothing at Schools
(RNS) Oregon state officials released a policy intended to give school districts guidance in applying Oregon’s new law on religious clothing.
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Oklahoma’s Top Lawyer at Center of Fight over Shariah
(RNS) Backers admit they suffered a setback when a judge issued a temporary injunction last month.
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Report: Fewer `Middle Americans’ Married, Attending Worship
(RNS) Marriage among Americans who have graduated high school but not college is on the decline.
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Catholics Fight Bid to Lift Statute of Limitations on Abuse
TRENTON, N.J. (RNS) New Jersey lawmakers will consider a bill that would eliminate any statute of limitations on when sex abuse victims can sue.
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Ground Zero Church Starts Legal Action in Bid to Rebuild
(RNS) Legal action has begun against several agencies and officials involved in the Ground Zero land dispute.
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Most Protestant Pastors Think Bush, Palin are Christians but not Obama
WASHINGTON (RNS) The vast majority of Protestant pastors think former President George W. Bush is a Christian, but not Obama.
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Pope Gets Gloves from WCC Leader to Warm Relations
ROME (RNS/ENInews) The head of the World Council of Churches met Pope Benedict XVI saying he wants to strengthen cooperation with the Roman Catholic Church.
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Bishop Makes Few friends and Many Enemies in Diocesan Down-sizing
CLEVELAND (RNS) Even before he was officially installed, Richard G. Lennon was already talking about the need to close churches.
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Survey: Typical Atheist is White Son of Religious Parents
WASHINGTON (RNS) The typical member of a fast-growing atheist association is a highly educated, married white male who grew up with religious parents.
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Religious Groups Rally Behind Traditional Marriage
(RNS) A rare coalition of religious leaders released a public letter promoting traditional marriage.
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Churches Push Hard on Last-Minute Legislation
WASHINGTON (RNS) Faith groups are mounting a full court press on Capitol Hill on a number of bills.
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Clergy's Professional Rreputation Hovers in the Middle
(RNS) What do nurses, soldiers, pharmacists, elementary school teachers, doctors, and police officers have in common?
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Father Oprah and Wife Welcome First Daughter
(RNS) The Miami priest once known as “Father Oprah,” announced the birth of his first child.
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Katrina Menorah Lit at White House Hanukkah Event
WASHINGTON (RNS) President Obama and some 500 notables celebrated the second of the Hanukkah’s eight nights by lighting a menorah.
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Conservatives Push Apple to Restore Manifesto App
WASHINGTON (RNS) Conservative Christians are biting mad that an app for their manifesto has been plucked from Apple’s store.
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Palestinians Remove Claim to Western Wall after U.S. Objects
JERUSALEM (RNS) The Palestinian government has pulled a report stating that Jews have no historic connection to the Western Wall.
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Military Chaplains Voice Intense Views on Gay Ban
WASHINGTON (RNS) A long-awaited report says the chaplains corps has “some of the most intense and sharpest divergence of views” on the issue.
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Locals Rally Behind Mosque after Terror Suspect’s Arrest
CORVALLIS, Ore. (RNS) Rain didn’t stop the Corvallis community from showing up in swarms at a candlelight vigil outside a mosque that was hit by arson.
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Former Anglican Head Bemoans Attempt to Air-brush Christianity
LONDON (RNS) George Carey has slammed attempts to “air-brush” Christianity.
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Vatican Defends Pope’s Record on Sexual Abuse
VATICAN CITY (RNS) Pope Benedict XVI, while still a cardinal, sought in vain to expedite the process for defrocking priests.
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Christian Network CEO Tries to Head Off Blackmail Campaign
(RNS) The founders of the world’s second largest Christian network admitted that their marriage was once torn by an improper relationship.
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First Lady Expands 'Let’s Move' to Religious Groups
WASHINGTON (RNS) First lady Michelle Obama has expanded her “Let’s Move” initiative to include working with religious and community organizations.
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Princeton Students Divided on Israeli Ties to Campus Hummus
PRINCETON, N.J. (RNS) Princeton University’s great hummus war is going to the polls this week.
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Religious Groups Support Repealing Gay Military Ban
WASHINGTON (RNS) A new poll suggests broad support across religious groups for allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly.
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Top Canadian Archbishop Arrested, Charged with Sexual Assault
TORONTO (RNS) A Canadian Orthodox archbishop has been charged with sexual assault on two 10-year-old boys about 25 years ago.
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Hate Group Watchdog Adds Family Research Council to Its List
WASHINGTON (RNS) The Southern Poverty Law Center is adding the Family Research Council to its list of hate groups.
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Play Examines South’s Black Church Arsons
WASHINGTON (RNS) For playwright Marcus Gardley, the theater is his pulpit and plays are his sermons.
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Blasphemy Resolution Passes U.N. Committee
(RNS) A resolution combating the “vilification of religions” was adopted by a United Nations committee.
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For Year’s Top Religion Stories, a Major Case of Deja Vu
(RNS) The calendar may have said 2010, but for Pope Benedict XVI and much of his global flock, it looked and felt a lot like 2002.
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Being Thankful is Always in Style
(RNS) President Obama reminded us that Thanksgiving is an opportunity “to focus our thoughts on the grace that has been extended to our people and our country.”
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Blasphemy Resolution Passes U.N. Committee
(RNS) A resolution combating the “vilification of religions” was adopted by a United Nations committee.
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Muslims Prepare Halal Turkey Thanksgiving Feast
(RNS) The kitchen clamors with young cooks preparing South Asian dishes.
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Vatican, China Clash over Bishop’s Ordination
HONG KONG (RNS/ENInews) Vatican and Hong Kong cardinals criticized the ordination of a Catholic bishop without Vatican approval.
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Palestinians Claim Ownership of Western Wall
JERUSALEM (RNS) The Western Wall is actually a Muslim shrine, according to an official report.
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London Warns British Muslims on Shariah in Schools
LONDON (RNS) The British government has warned Islamic schools concerning the teaching of extremist Shariah law.
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Controversial Bishop Threatened with Ouster over Neo-Nazi Lawyer
VATICAN CITY (RNS) A Holocaust-denying bishop now faces expulsion from his ultra-traditionalist group.
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Anglican Bishop Blasts Royals as Shallow Celebrities
LONDON (RNS) A Church of England bishop has triggered fury over his public statements about the royal family.
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As Uproar Fades, Seton Hall Students Meet to Study Gay Marriage
SOUTH ORANGE, N.J. (RNS) It is the class that wasn’t supposed to happen.
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Hunger Group Hopes for Progress in 2011 on Global Malnutrition
WASHINGTON (RNS) Significant progress on global malnutrition can be made in 2011, the ecumenical anti-hunger group Bread for the World said.
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Vatican Says New Guidelines Will Combat Global Abuse Scandal
VATICAN CITY (RNS) The Vatican announced that it is preparing international guidelines to prevent sexual abuse.
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Canadian Court Rules Dissident Churches Must Abandon Property
TORONTO (RNS/ENInews) A Canadian appeals court has ruled in favor of an Anglican diocese in a property dispute with congregations opposed to same-gender blessings.
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New Rules on Hospital Visitations for Gays and Lesbians
(RNS) Hospitals that receive Medicare or Medicaid financing must drop any visitation policies that discriminate against gays, lesbians and transsexuals.
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Middle East Clergy Pray for Drought Relief
JERUSALEM (RNS) Experiencing the warmest, driest November on record, residents of the Holy Land are calling on a higher power to bring rain.
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Half of Americans say Obama Holds Different Religious Values
WASHINGTON (RNS) President Obama faces significant challenges on how Americans perceive his religious faith.
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Survey: Four in 10 Americans Say Marriage is Obsolete
(RNS) Marriage is on the decline in American society, with nearly four in 10 people claiming the institution is obsolete.
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Polish Church Ready to Unveil World’s Largest Christ Statue
WARSAW (RNS/ENInews) A Polish bishop has invited fellow Catholics from around the world to attend an unveiling.
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Williams, in Rome, Says Women Priests Shouldn’t be Stumbling Block
VATICAN CITY (RNS) The leader of the worldwide Anglican Communion reaffirmed his dedication to ecumenical relations between the two churches.
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Catholic Bishops Approve Baptism Accord with Reformed Churches
BALTIMORE (RNS) The U.S. Roman Catholic bishops approved a mutual agreement with four Reformed Protestant denominations.
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German Church Allows Gay Pastors to Live with Partners
BERLIN (RNS) Gay and lesbian Lutheran ministers may live with their partners in parish parsonages.
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U.S. Hunger Stats Stable, but Still at Record High
WASHINGTON (RNS) The number of Americans struggling with hunger remained stable in 2009 despite the economic downturn, but remained at the highest recorded level.
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Student Survey Says Some Likely to Throw Punches
(RNS) A recent survey found that public school students were more likely to participate in physical violence.
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Pope Warns Athletes on Doping
VATICAN CITY (RNS) Pope Benedict XVI warned against doping in athletic competition.
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U.S. Activists Lobby Against U.N. Defamation Resolution
WASHINGTON (RNS) Religious freedom advocates are urging members of the UN to vote against the latest proposal from Islamic countries.
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Bishops Defend Opposition to Health Care Reform
BALTIMORE (RNS) The outgoing head of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops vigorously defended the bishops’ opposition to the health care reform bill.
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Pope Outlines Scope of Irish Abuse Probe
VATICAN CITY (RNS) The Catholic archbishops of New York and Boston will meet personally with victims of abusive priests.
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Mormons Soften Language on Gays
(RNS) A newly published compilation of guidelines used worldwide by leaders of the Mormon Church has softened the language about gay Mormons.
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Actress Pushes Churches to Reach Out to Prisoners
(RNS) Why do so many churches have such a hard time with Jesus' command to visit the prisoner?
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U.K. Churches Warn Government on Forced Employment
EDINBURGH, Scotland (RNS/ENInews) British churches have criticized plan to remove unemployment benefits from people who refuse to accept jobs.
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Pope Answers Ahmadinejad’s Provocative Letter
VATICAN CITY (RNS) The Pope replied in diplomatic terms to a provocative letter from the Iranian president.
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Cardinal Says U.S. Morally Obliged to Protect Iraqis
WASHINGTON (RNS) The nation’s leading Catholic bishop said the U.S. has failed to help Iraqis to protect its citizens.
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Poll: Christians Most Likely to Want N.Y. Islamic Center Moved
(RNS) Christians are more likely to say a proposed Islamic center should be built farther away from Ground Zero.
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Study Calls for Sensitivity in Muslims’ Medical Care
(RNS) U.S. doctors need to take religious values into account while providing health care.
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Massive Pentecostal Meeting Means Massive Bucks for City
ST. LOUIS (RNS) 40,000 saints from the Church of God in Christ come marching in and relocate the year’s largest convention from one cash-strapped city to another.
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Christian and Muslims Propose Joint Crisis-intervention Group
GENEVA (RNS/ENInews) Leaders have called for a group that can be mobilized whenever a crisis threatens.
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Netanyahu Tells U.S. Jews He Won’t Allow Nukes for Iran
NEW ORLEANS (RNS) Netanyahu told American Jewish leaders that Israel will not allow Iran to acquire a nuclear weapon.
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Judge Puts Hold on Okla. Anti-Shariah Amendment
(RNS) Lawyers have two weeks to convince a federal judge to remove a temporary hold on a voter-approved state constitutional amendment.
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Churches to Mark 100th Anniversary of Ecumenical Movement
NEW ORLEANS (RNS) Leaders of the nation’s largest coalition of Christian churches will gather to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the ecumenical movement.
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Sikhs Call Airport Screening for Turbans Security Theater
WASHINGTON (RNS) Leaders of Sikh organizations say they’ve been told that turbans will always be searched.
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Five Anglican Bishops Leave for Roman Catholic Church
LONDON (RNS) Five bishops have decided to leave the Church of England and join the Roman Catholic Church.
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Muslim Advocacy Group Sues over Okla. Shariah Ban
(RNS) A Muslim advocacy group filed suit saying a just-passed amendment forbidding judicial use of Islamic law is unconstitutional.
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Transit Worker Fired for Burning Quran Sues State
TRENTON, N.J. (RNS) On the ninth anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks, Derek Fenton stole headlines by burning pages from the Quran.
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Faith Groups Press Geithner on Foreclosures
WASHINGTON (RNS) A national network of faith-based organizations urged him to tackle problems with fraudulent foreclosures.
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Israel to Allow Civil Marriages
JERUSALEM (RNS) For the first time in its 62-year history, Israel will soon allow a limited number of couples to marry in civil ceremonies.
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Forbes Names Pope World’s Fifth Most Powerful Figure
(RNS) Pope Benedict XVI won the No. 5 spot in a list of the world’s most powerful people.
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Study: Americans Crave Forgiveness but Are Choosy on Dispensing It
(RNS) Most Americans have a desire for more forgiveness in their lives, but they are more critical when choosing who to forgive.
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Bishop Compares Fight over Female Bishops to World War II
LONDON (RNS) A bishop has triggered fury by likening the debate over allowing female bishops to the “serious threat” of warfare.
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Supreme Court Wrestles over Religious Scholarship Program
WASHINGTON (RNS) Is a state law that allows tax credits for donations to scholarship programs unconstitutional?
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Air Force Academy Cites Progress in Tackling Religious Intolerance
WASHINGTON (RNS) A recent survey showed that 41 percent of non-Christian cadets face unwanted proselytizing.
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Ice Cream Company Loses Second Racy Religious Ad
LONDON (RNS) A British ice cream maker has been forced to yank a second racy ad that featured two male priests on the verge of a kiss.
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Church Arsonist Sentenced to Nine Years
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (RNS) The first man charged with torching a black church hours after President Obama’s 2008 election was sentenced to nine years in prison.
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Vatican Seeks to Be Ally with Victims on Abuse
VATICAN CITY (RNS) The Vatican’s top spokesman appealed to victims of pedophile priests who demonstrated near the Vatican.
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N.J. Group Helps Russian Jews Reaffirm Faith
(RNS) Veronika and Oleg Bilerman exchanged wedding vows a quarter of a century ago. Their Jewish faith was never acknowledged.
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Obama to Visit Largest Mosque in Indonesia
(RNS) President Obama plans to visit one of the world’s largest mosques during his trip to Indonesia in November.
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Gallup: Most Religious Americans Have High Levels of Well-being
(RNS) The most religious Americans also have the highest rates of well-being, according to a new Gallup survey.
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Right Wingers, Chelsea Clinton Included on Top Jews List
(RNS) Russian and right-wing Jews make a splash in this year’s list of influential people compiled by The Forward.
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Pope Says Science Can Unite Humans with God
VATICAN CITY (RNS) The Pope told scientists that their research can lead to knowledge of God by revealing the natural order of the universe.
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White House Denies Rumors About Obama and Sikh Temple
(RNS) The White House has denied reports that President Obama will avoid a Sikh shrine while visiting India next week.
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Southern Baptist Pastor Appeals Suit over Obama’s Birth
(RNS) Southern Baptist gadfly Wiley Drake will appeal a court’s dismissal of his suit claiming President Obama was not born in the U.S.
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La. Parish Bans Halloween on Sunday
NEW ORLEANS (RNS) In Louisiana’s Livingston Parish local laws forbid the observance of Halloween on a Sunday.
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Vatican Appeals for Former Iraqi Leader’s Life
VATICAN CITY (RNS) The Vatican called for former Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz to be spared the death penalty.
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Hoping to Avert Disaster, Democrats Turn to Black Churches
WASHINGTON (RNS) Democrats are turning to a key part of their base—African-Americans—and are using the black church to help get voters to the polls.
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Christianity’s Contributions Mostly Negative, Americans Say
(RNS) When asked about Christianity’s recent contributions to society, Americans cited more negatives than benefits.
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Mormon Leader Weighs In on Same-sex Attraction
SALT LAKE CITY (RNS) Mormons may not know until the hereafter what causes same-sex attraction, but “God loves all his children” a top Mormon leader said.
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Gulf Coast Food Banks Still in High Demand
NEW ORLEANS (RNS) Major charity groups say the needs of impacted families remain dire.
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Survey: 6 in 10 Protestant Pastors Disapprove of Obama
WASHINGTON (RNS) Six out of every 10 Protestant pastors say they disapprove of President Obama’s job performance, a LifeWay Research survey found.
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Pastor at Center of Aborted Quran Burn Gets a New Car
SOUTH BRUNSWICK, N.J. (RNS) Jones held the keys to his Hyundai Accent for only a few minutes before handing them to a battered women’s advocacy group.
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U.S. Bishop Says Jews Have No Exclusive Right to Israel
VATICAN CITY (RNS) A special Vatican meeting on the Middle East ended with a flare-up in Catholic-Jewish tensions.
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Israel A Model on Gays in the Military
JERUSALEM (RNS) Israel has allowed gays and lesbians to serve openly in the military for 17 years.
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Poll: Americans Say Religious Messages Fuel Negative Views of Gays
(RNS) Most Americans believe religious messages about homosexuality contribute to negative views of gays and lesbians.
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Palin Keeps Mum on Faith
(RNS) Sarah Palin once pursued politics out of a religious sense of calling.
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ACLU Questions Sunday Morning Voting at Churches
WASHINGTON (RNS) The ACLU is criticizing plans by two Iowa churches to host early voting during worship services.
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Investor Sues over Poor Returns for Bible.com
(RNS) A disgruntled investor has sued Bible.com, saying the website’s name alone should make it more profitable than it is.
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Ohio Priest Ordered to Pay Back Almost $4 Million
CLEVELAND (RNS) A federal judge sentenced the Rev. Samuel Ciccolini to one day in prison and ordered him to pay almost $4 million in fines.
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Study: More Link Christian Faith to Being American
(RNS) More Americans believe that being a Christian is a key aspect of being “truly American,” researchers say.
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Last Holdout Episcopal Diocese Ordains Female Priest
(RNS) Women have been ordained as priests in all 110 dioceses of the Episcopal Church.
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Pope Names Two Americans Among 24 New Cardinals
VATICAN CITY (RNS) Two American archbishops will be granted a cardinal’s red hat in a ceremony at the Vatican next month.
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Crystal Cathedral Files for Chapter 11
(RNS) The Crystal Cathedral has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection from creditors.
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Feds Tell Tenn. Officials to Protect Muslims’ Building Rights
WASHINGTON (RNS) Islam is a valid religion that is entitled to constitutional protection, said a U.S. attorney.
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Evangelicals Regret Chinese Delegates Banned from Travel
CAPE TOWN(RNS/ENInews) The WEA expressed disappointment after China prohibited a delegation of some 200 Christians from traveling.
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Pope Cautions Priests on Lay Movements
VATICAN CITY (RNS) Pope Benedict XVI praised Catholic lay movements as a source of vocations to the priesthood.
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Archbishop of Canterbury Criticizes European Burqa Bans
NAGPUR, India (RNS/ENInews) Rowan Williams deplored attempts to prohibit Muslim women from wearing body-covering burqas in public.
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Some Religious Charities Receive More Despite Overall Drop
(RNS) Several of the nation’s largest religious charities reported increases in private support.
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Study: Faith May Help Black Women Keep Fit
(RNS) Adding faith to the exercise regimen of African-American women may prompt them to be more fit, a UCLA study shows.
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Chilean Archbishop Booted from Top Anglican Panel
(RNS) Chile’s top Anglican bishop has become collateral damage in the border wars between the Episcopal Church and conservatives overseas.
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Study: Fox News Watchers More Likely to Believe NYC Mosque Rumors
(RNS) Fox News watchers are more likely than other Americans to believe dubious claims about the proposed Islamic community center near Ground Zero.
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Canadian Court Says Judges Will Decide on Veiled Witnesses
TORONTO (RNS) Ontario’s highest court has ruled that female witnesses may testify in court while wearing a face-covering burqa or niqab.
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European Bishops Establish Christian Rights Watchdog
WARSAW (RNS/ENInews) Roman Catholic bishops from across Europe have set up an organization to defend the rights of Christians.
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American Shariah? That’s News to Muslims
(RNS) Rep. Duncan expects his “Save Our State” referendum to keep Islamic law out of state courts to pass easily on Nov. 2.
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Stem Cell Agency Apologizes for Blasphemous Poem
(RNS) The California agency has apologized for honoring a poem that appropriated language from the sacrament of Holy Communion.
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Survey: Jewish Disapproval of Obama Rising
(RNS) President Obama’s approval rating among U.S. Jews has dropped in the past year.
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Polish Catholic Leaders Defend Right not to Hire Gays
WARSAW (RNS/ENInews) Polish Catholic leaders have defended the right of Catholic schools not to hire gay or lesbian teachers.
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Courts Uphold Teen’s Piercing, Religious License Plates
(RNS) Two federal courts have issued strong defenses of religious expression in two separate decisions.
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Utah Meeting Seeks to Unify Orthodox Christians
SALT LAKE CITY (RNS) They hope future generations of Greek, Serbian, Russian and other ethnic faithful will all worship together in a single American church.
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Behind Colbert’s Right-wing Funny Man, a Quiet Faith
(RNS) When comedian Stephen Colbert came to Capitol Hill and stole the spotlight, no one was more surprised than lawmakers.
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Critics Waiting for Action from Faith-based Office
WASHINGTON (RNS) Some critics say the office has been used to push the president’s health care reform.
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Recession Forces A-list Stars onto the Same Stage
(RNS) Fans of Christian music and books may see a divine hand at work in bringing together all-star talent for the “Make a Difference” tour.
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Sudan Conflict Armed Machine Gun Preacher
TRENTON, Ill. (RNS) On a recent autumn night, about 100 people listened to the Rev. Sam Childers talk about heroin addiction, biker gangs and African warlords.
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Queen of Gospel Albertina Walker Dead at 81
(RNS) Albertina Walker died Friday (Oct. 8) at the age of 81.
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Judge: Methodist Agency Can Lobby on Issues Besides Temperance
WASHINGTON (RNS) The United Methodist Church’s public policy agency can advocate on causes beyond alcoholism and temperance.
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La. Pastor Sentenced for Bilking Katrina Victims
NEW ORLEANS (RNS) A Louisiana minister will spend two years in prison for his role in bilking Hurricane Katrina victims of more than $350,000.
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ACLU Files Suit over Nose Ring
(RNS) The ACLU has filed two federal lawsuits alleging discrimination over a nose ring and lack of books other than the Bible.
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Jewish Paper Faces Firestorm over Gay Wedding Announcements
TEANECK, N.J. (RNS) New Jersey’s oldest Jewish newspaper says it overreacted in printing and then rescinding its first published same-sex wedding announcement.
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Ex-gay Group Ends Support of Students’ Day of Truth
(RNS) A leading “ex-gay” group has ended its role in the annual “Day of Truth” events.
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Zacchaeus’ Tree Now a Top Tourist Destination
JERUSALEM (RNS) A huge sycamore tree that some believe was climbed by Zacchaeus is the centerpiece of a new tourism campaign.
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Mormons Divided on LDS Apostle’s Speech on Gays
SALT LAKE CITY (RNS) Scores of Mormons say they felt confused and bruised after Apostle Packer unequivocally condemned same-sex marriage.
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Report Finds Strong Growth in U.S. Orthodox Churches
(RNS) America’s Eastern Orthodox parishes have grown 16 percent in the past decade, in part because of a settled immigrant community.
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Top Canadian Orthodox Bishop on Leave for Misconduct
TORONTO (RNS) One of Canada’s top Eastern Orthodox hierarchs has resigned his duties and been granted a leave of absence.
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9/11 Families Shocked After Supreme Court Rejects Burial Appeal
WASHINGTON (RNS) Relatives of 9/11 victims are “shocked” that the Supreme Court refused to hear their appeal.
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Vatican Perplexed by Nobel Awarded to IVF Creator
VATICAN CITY (RNS) The Vatican’s top bioethics official expressed “perplexity” after the Nobel Prize in Medicine was awarded.
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Pope, in Sicily, Denounces Mob
VATICAN CITY (RNS) Pope Benedict XVI spent Sunday in the heartland of the Sicilian Mafia denouncing organized crime.
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Mormon President Says Church Needs More Missionaries
SALT LAKE CITY (RNS) The Utah-based Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints needs even more missionaries, LDS President said.
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Druids get Official OK in Britain
LONDON (RNS) Druidry gained recognition by the British government as an official religion after a four-year legal battle.
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Judge Rejects Suit Against Religious Language at Capitol Visitor Center
WASHINGTON (RNS) A federal judge has dismissed a suit arguing that the engraving of “In God We Trust” is unconstitutional.
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Methodist Agency Drops Support of One Nation Rally
WASHINGTON (RNS) A United Methodist agency has withdrawn its endorsement from this weekend’s One Nation Working Together rally.
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Christians Call for Calm After Indian Verdict on Holy Site
Bangalore, India (RNS/ENInews) Churches in India have joined other faiths and political leaders in calling for calm after the court ruled.
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Religious Groups Join Progressives’ March
WASHINGTON (RNS) Faith-based organizations are teaming up with secular and progressive groups for this weekend’s One Nation Working Together rally.
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Interfaith Group Urges U.S. to Press for Middle East Agreement
(RNS) A broad coalition of U.S. Jewish, Christian and Muslim leaders has backed the administration’s efforts to broker peace.
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Mich. Attorney General Defends Campaign Against Gay Student
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (RNS) An assistant attorney general in Michigan is defending his rights to denounce the openly gay student.
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Lord Jesus Christ Booted from Library
BELCHERTOWN, Mass. (RNS) Lord Jesus Christ has been booted from the library for recurring bad behavior.
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EEOC Charges Auto Store with Harassing Sikh Employee
WASHINGTON (RNS) AutoZone harassed a Sikh employee for wearing a turban and eventually fired him, according to a lawsuit.
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Israeli Court Rules Against Segregated Sidewalks
JERUSALEM (RNS) Ultra-Orthodox leaders removed barriers separating men and women after Israel’s High Court ruled that the tall screens were illegal.
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Shootings at Ohio, Texas Churches Stirs Concerns
(RNS) Three outbursts of violence in or near churches, including one during worship services, are raising safety concerns for church leaders.
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Va. Imam Named Head of Largest Muslim Group
(RNS) The Islamic Society of North America named a gregarious Sudanese-born Virginia imam as its new president.
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RNA Honors Top Religion Reporting
DENVER (RNS) Religion reporters from The Washington Post and The New York Times won top honors at the RNA's annual awards competition.
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Small Dedicated Following Keeps Shape-note Singing Alive
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (RNS) The archaic sounds that fill the historic former church sanctuary echo, hauntingly, like a whispering ghost from the past.
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Churches Find Empty Pews at Sunday Evening Services
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (RNS) Doug De Vries describes Sunday evening worship as “a lot less formal” than the morning service.
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Long Denies False Allegations
(RNS) Pastor Bishop Eddie Long has decried the “false allegations” lodged against him.
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Bishops Rebuke Theologians’ Book Over Views on Homosexuality
(RNS) The U.S. Catholic bishops have issued a rare public rebuke of two Roman Catholic theologians.
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Court Puts Limits on German Church’s Ability to Fire Workers
BERLIN (RNS) The European Court of Human Rights ruled that a church organist’s employment rights were ignored when he was fired by a Catholic church for remarrying outside the church.
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Justice Department: Land-use Disputes Often Involve Religious Minorities
WASHINGTON (RNS) Religious minorities figure prominently in religious freedom investigations by the Justice Department.
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AA Co-founder Scaled Back References to God in Training Manual
(RNS) “The Big Book” initially used stronger religious language but was reduced to appeal to a wider audience.
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Embattled Philadelphia Bishop Says He Won’t Resign
(RNS) The embattled Episcopal bishop of Philadelphia is defiantly refusing to resign.
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10 Minutes with Mark Massa
(RNS) For generations, thousands of Catholics saw the Catholic Church as eternal, timeless, and unmoved by the tides of history.
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Spirituality Meets Consumerism at Joyce Meyer Conference
ST. LOUIS (RNS) The scene near the concession stands resembled something closer to a strip mall on Black Friday than the hour preceding a worship service.
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Self-taught Iconographer Writes God’s Story in Pictures
MECHANICSBURG, Pa. (RNS) For artist Jody Cole, painting is an act of prayer.
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Vatican Bank Under Scrutiny for Possible Money Laundering
VATICAN CITY (RNS) An Italian court took the unprecedented step of freezing $30 million in Vatican funds.
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Pastor at Center of Quran Burn Could Face $200,000 Bill
(RNS) The Florida pastor could still face a $200,000 bill from law enforcement agencies.
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Justice Department: FBI Erred in Targeting Interfaith Center
WASHINGTON (RNS) A DoJ inspector concluded that the FBI improperly targeted U.S. advocacy organizations for surveillance.
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Russia’s Prisons Look to Faiths to Bring Moral Guidance
MOSCOW (RNS/ENInews) Russian prisons are turning to religion to bring moral guidance to inmates.
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Poll: Most Americans OK Student Religious Speech
(RNS) A majority of Americans think students should be able to express their religion in public schools.
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Indiana Rep. Mike Pence Wins Values Voter Straw Poll
WASHINGTON (RNS) Rep. Mike Pence was the surprise winner of a straw poll among 17 possible Republican presidential candidates.
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Romania Church Leaders Condemn Roma Deportations
WARSAW (RNS/ENInews) A Catholic bishop in Romania has deplored the mass expulsion of Roma from France.
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Report Finds Spike in U.S. Poverty Levels
WASHINGTON (RNS) The number of people in poverty in America increased to its highest recorded point last year.
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Definition of Family Shifting, Scholar Says
(RNS) The definition of who makes a family is shifting in the minds of Americans to include more same-sex couples, new research shows.
Read More ...
Judge Demands Proof of Repairs to Imam's Apartment Building
UNION CITY, N.J. (RNS) A judge denied a city request for custodial receivership of two apartment buildings owned by the imam.
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Indictment Revised Against Defendant in Priest's Slaying
CHATHAM, N.J. (RNS) A grand jury issued a revised indictment against a former church custodian who stands accused of murdering a Catholic priest.
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Cardinal Under Fire for Calling Britain a Third World Country
LONDON (RNS) A senior Vatican cardinal compared Britain to a “Third World country.”
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Calvin Withdraws Invitation to New Pornographers Band
(RNS) Calvin College has canceled a concert by the Canadian indie rock band New Pornographers.
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Muslims Invited, Disinvited to Pray in Hartford
(RNS) Hartford, Conn. is the newest flashpoint in a culture war pitting Muslims’ First Amendment rights against opponents.
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Ground Zero Imam Hit with Suit Over Shoddy Rental Properties
UNION CITY, N.J. (RNS) A lawsuit charges that Rauf has failed to address complaints in two apartment buildings he owns.
Read More ...
Ga. Church Named Nation’s Fastest-Growing
(RNS) A megachurch in Lawrenceville, Ga., was named the fastest-growing Protestant church in America.
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Belgian Catholics’ Abuse Plan Falls Flat with Critics
(RNS) Belgian church leaders announced they would establish a center of recognition, reconciliation and healing.
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Early End to Daylight Saving Time Frustrates Israelis
JERUSALEM (RNS) The government’s decision to end daylight saving time early has set off an angry debate.
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Charity report: U.S. ties for fifth in global giving
(RNS) The U.S. tied with Switzerland for fifth place in a world giving index.
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Confusion Surrounds Meeting Between Fla. Pastor, N.Y. Imam
(RNS) The imam said that he has no plans to meet with a pastor who plotted to burn Qurans.
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Court Says Belgian Raid on Church Offices Was Illegal
VATICAN CITY (RNS) A Belgian court ruled that recent raids by police investigators on church offices were illegal.
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Facebook Withdraws, Restores Pastor’s Access over Quran Controversy
PORTLAND, Ore. (RNS) Facebook revoked a Portland minister’s posting rights to his page opposing the Quran burning.
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Judge Dismisses Ministers’ Suit Against Hate-crimes Law
BAY CITY, Mich. (RNS) A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit filed by a Midland man and three Michigan ministers.
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Obama Denounces Quran Burning
(RNS) President Obama has added his voice to a chorus of critics condemning a Florida pastor’s plans to burn Qurans.
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Mass. Bible Society to Hand out Free Qurans
(RNS) The Massachusetts Bible Society said it would give away two Qurans for every one burned.
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Imam Defends Plans for Islamic center in NYC
(RNS) The imam said that changing his plans would play into the hands of extremists.
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Vatican Joins Chorus Opposing Quran Burning
VATICAN CITY (RNS) The Vatican joined high-level U.S. officials in denouncing a Florida pastor’s plans to burn the Quran.
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British Less Than Enthused About Upcoming Papal Visit
LONDON (RNS) Pope Benedict XVI is scheduled to pay the first papal visit to Britain in 28 years.
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Prominent Faith Leaders Denounce Islamophobia
WASHINGTON (RNS) Three dozen faith leaders issued a declaration denouncing anti-Muslim bigotry.
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Anglican Priest Gets Four Years in Prison
LONDON (RNS) An Anglican vicar has been sentenced to four years in prison for conducting hundreds of fake marriages.
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Heaven Trumps Hell in Canadian Poll
TORONTO (RNS) “Hell is a half-filled auditorium,” wrote the poet Robert Frost.
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Three Years On, Creation Museum Is Evolving
PETERSBURG, Ky. (RNS) Ken Ham looks around the throng of guests and notes that “for a Tuesday, this is not a bad crowd.”
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Court: University Should Have Funded Student Group’s Worship
(RNS) The University of Wisconsin should not have prohibited the use of student funds.
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Catholic School Official Says She Was Ousted Over lesbian Marriage
SPRINGFIELD (RNS) A Catholic high school official says she was pressured to leave her job after marrying her female partner.
Read More ...
Anglican Head Rebuts Famous Scientist on God’s Role in Big Bang
LONDON (RNS) Williams has flatly dismissed Hawking’s claim that gravity was responsible for creating the universe.
Read More ...
Mormon and Jews Reach Agreement on Baptism Dispute
(RNS) Jewish and Mormon church leaders announced the agreement Wednesday.
Read More ...
Army Chaplain First to Die in Combat since Vietnam
(RNS) A Baptist minister from Oregon who was killed in Afghanistan is the first Army chaplain to die in combat since Vietnam.
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Pope Meets with Israeli President, Calls for Peace and Clarity
VATICAN CITY (RNS) Pope Benedict XVI met with Israeli President Shimon Peres on Thursday (Sept. 2).
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Former United Church of Christ President Admits Affair
(RNS) The former president of the UCC is divorcing his wife and is in a committed relationship with a former co-worker.
Read More ...
Muslim Group Releases Ads to Counter Wave of Bigotry
WASHINGTON (RNS) A Muslim advocacy organization has released public service announcements as part of an ad campaign.
Read More ...
Patriarch unveils Kremlin icon hidden after Russian Revolution
MOSCOW (RNS/ENInews) A fresco of Christ on the Kremlin Wall in Moscow plastered over after the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution has been rediscovered.
Read More ...
Faith-healing Family Pleads not Guilty to Manslaughter
OREGON CITY, Ore. (RNS) Two members of an Oregon church pleaded not guilty to manslaughter charges.
Read More ...
German Catholic Bishops Release New Sex Abuse Guidelines
BERLIN (RNS) Officials of Germany’s Roman Catholic Church will be required to immediately report suspicions of child abuse.
Read More ...
Christian Women Prefer Sunday Services to Shopping, Study Says
(RNS) Protestant and Catholic women in the United States have grown unhappier since stores have stayed open on Sunday.
Read More ...
Presbyterian Pastor to Appeal Gay-marriage Verdict
(RNS/ENInews) A retired Presbyterian pastor who was formally rebuked by a church court will appeal the ruling.
Read More ...
Ex-leader of Belgian Catholics Urged Victim to Keep Silent
(RNS) Secret recordings show the church leader asking a sex abuse victim not to expose the crimes of his assailant.
Read More ...
New Orleans Marks Katrina Anniversary with Grief, Hope
(RNS) Hundreds of New Orleanians gathered at St. Louis Cathedral  to remember Hurricane Katrina.
Read More ...
Church Court Convicts Pastor on Gay Marriage Charges
(RNS) A Presbyterian court  found a retired California pastor guilty of violating church rules and her ordination vows.
Read More ...
Poll: Muslims Give Obama Highest Approval Ratings
WASHINGTON (RNS) More than three-quarters of U.S. Muslims support President Obama.
Read More ...
Man Sues Mormon Church over Baptism Back Injuries
(RNS) A Las Vegas man is suing The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints after he injured his back.
Read More ...
Western Wall to Feature New One-way Partition Between Men, Women
JERUSALEM (RNS) Jewish authorities hope to replace the existing partition that separates the men’s and women’s prayer areas.
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Conservative Groups Push Against Hiring Rules in Federal Funding
WASHINGTON (RNS) A coalition of religious organizations is urging Congress to amend a proposed bill.
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Irish Catholics Deny Cover-up of Paramilitary Priest
DUBLIN (RNS/ENInews) The Church in Ireland has denied engaging in a cover-up of a priest who was allegedly involved in a bombing.
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Seton Hall to Proceed with Class on Gay Marriage
SOUTH ORANGE, N.J. (RNS) It appears Seton Hall University will offer a controversial course on gay marriage.
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Conservative Lutherans to Form New Church Body
(RNS/ENInews) Conservative Lutherans are forming a new church body they say will “uphold confessional principles.”
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Scottish Church Official Supports Release of Libyan Bomber
EDINBURGH, Scotland (RNS/ENInews) It was right to release the Libyan man convicted of the bombing of PanAm flight 103, church officials said.
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Conservatives Claim Victory as Judge Halts Stem Cell Funding
WASHINGTON (RNS) Conservative Christian groups won a victory when a judge halted federal funding of embryonic stem cell research.
Read More ...
WCC to Meet in Cleveland to Tackle Racism
CLEVELAND (RNS) Members of the World Council of Churches will gather to discuss how to expose and combat racism.
Read More ...
World Vision Wins Right to Hire, Fire Based on Religion
(RNS) World Vision can fire employees who disagree with its theological tenets, a federal appeals court ruled.
Read More ...
Pope Chides France after Gypsies Are Deported
VATICAN CITY (RNS) Pope Benedict XVI urged French-speaking Catholics to “accept legitimate human diversity.”
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Boston Archdiocese Blocks Employee Access to Critical Blog
(RNS) The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston has blocked a conservative website from employees’ computers.
Read More ...
Future of Destroyed Ground Zero Orthodox Church in Doubt
NEW YORK (RNS) After 9/11 all that remained of the tiny St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church were some candles, two icons and a bell clapper.
Read More ...
Ruling Could Prompt More Suits Against Highway Crosses
WASHINGTON (RNS) A court ruling that said highway crosses are unconstitutional could prompt additional challenges.
Read More ...
Catholic Adoption Agency Loses Fight over Gay Parents
LONDON (RNS) A Catholic adoption agency has lost its fight for the right to continue its policy of refusing to place children with same-sex couples.
Read More ...
New Catholic Mass Approved for 2011 Roll-out
WASHINGTON (RNS) The most sweeping changes to the Catholic Mass in 40 years will be rolled out in 2011.
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Volunteers Flock to Rebuild Church Torched by Arson
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (RNS) The Rev. Hillary Chrisley has traveled throughout the South, helping to rebuild churches torched by arson.
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Church Vows to Burn Qurans Without Fire Permit
(RNS) Fire officials in Gainesville, Fla., have denied a permit to a church that wants to burn Qurans on Sept. 11.
Read More ...
Polls: One in four Americans Thinks Obama’s a Muslim
WASHINGTON (RNS) Two new polls say as many as one in four Americans mistakenly believe President Obama is a Muslim.
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Episcopal Bishop, Back in Office, Vows to Stay
(RNS) The embattled Episcopal bishop of Philadelphia brushed aside calls for his resignation.
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Hispanic Leaders Warn GOP on Repealing Birthright Citizenship
WASHINGTON (RNS) Hispanic evangelical leaders said Republican proposals could erode support from Hispanic voters.
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Baha’i Community Stunned by Harsh Sentences in Iran
(RNS/ENInews) The Baha’i followers said the sentences against Iranian Baha’i leaders are an unjust punishment.
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Atheist Group to Raise Funds for Religious Charity
(RNS) An atheist foundation that seeks to foster charitable giving among nonbelievers is encouraging members to donate to a religious charity.
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Religious Groups Push Action on Prison Rape
WASHINGTON (RNS) Marilyn Shirley was raped in 2000 by a guard at the Texas prison where she was serving time.
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Cleveland Bishop Seeks Meeting with Breakaway Catholics
CLEVELAND (RNS) Bishop Richard Lennon wants to meet with the priest and lay leaders of a breakaway congregation.
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Atheists Campaign for Right to Blaspheme Religion
(RNS) The CFI has changed the name of its International Blasphemy Day to International Blasphemy Rights Day.
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Study Says Religious Hospitals more Efficient, Provide Better Care
(RNS) Church-run health care systems are more efficient and provide higher quality care than their secular counterparts.
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Fight over N.Y. Mosque Becomes a Partisan Wedge issue for Obama, GOP
WASHINGTON (RNS) What started as a local zoning debate about an Islamic center has now turned into an election-year political brawl.
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Study: Orthodox Jews More Open to Counseling
NEW YORK (RNS) Most Orthodox Jews who seek professional counseling do so for marriage problems.
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Christian Leaders Praise Taize Community on 70th Anniversary
GENEVA (RNS/ENInews) World Christian leaders are paying tribute to the ecumenical Taize community in eastern France.
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Financial Woes Lead to President’s Resignation at Methodist College
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (RNS) Trustees at Birmingham-Southern College accepted the resignation of President David Pollick.
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Calif. Judge Lifts Stay, Permits Gays to Marry Aug. 18
(RNS) Same-sex couples can begin marrying in California again on Aug. 18 pending another appeal.
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Muslim Men Try to Mark Ramadan in 30 States in 30 Days
NEW YORK (RNS) Two Muslims are hitting the road for Ramadan, determined to break the holy month’s daily fast in a different state each evening.
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Russians Pray for Rain as Churches Collect Aid
MOSCOW (RNS/ENInews) The Russian Orthodox Church is praying for relief from the heat and drought that has gripped Russia.
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Study Finds Prayer Aids Relationships
(RNS) The old adage “couples who pray together stay together” may be true, especially for African-Americans.
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Religious Leaders Blast Gingrich, Palin on New York Mosque
WASHINGTON (RNS) More than 40 Christian leaders say they are deeply troubled by the opposition to a proposed mosque.
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American Buddhist Godfather Robert Aitken Dies at 93
(RNS) Robert Aitken Roshi, pioneer in bringing Zen Buddhism to the West, died at age 93.
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SNAP Blasts Episcopalians on Reinstated Bishop
(RNS) SNAP blasted the Episcopal Church for reinstating the bishop of Philadelphia.
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Ky. Men Drop Abuse Suit Against the Vatican
(RNS) Three Kentucky men have dropped their six-year effort to sue the Vatican over sexual abuse by Roman Catholic clergy.
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Kenyan Church Leaders Defend Opposition to Constitution
NAIROBI, Kenya (RNS/ENInews) Kenyan church leaders have rejected calls for an apology after they campaigned against a new constitution.
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Church of God Says Women Can Be Leaders but Not Bishops
(RNS) The Church of God has decided to permit women to serve on local church councils but they cannot be ordained as bishops.
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Aid Group Wants to stay' in Afghanistan Despite Killings
(RNS/ENInews) The IAM has rejected Taliban claims that 10 aid workers killed in Afghanistan had been trying to convert Muslims.
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Baha'i Leaders Sentenced to 20 Years in Iran
(RNS) Seven top leaders of the Baha’i faith have received jail sentences of 20 years.
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Episcopal Bishop Reinstated after Abuse Case Overturned
(RNS) The Episcopal bishop was reinstated after a church court dismissed the charges.
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British Officials Help Churches Spot Sham Marriages
CANTERBURY, England (ENI) The British border protection agency says it is helping clerics spot “sham” marriages.
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Why the Prop 8 Ruling Scares Religious Conservatives
(RNS) When U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker struck down California’s Proposition 8 he said voters’ motivation for outlawing gay marriage was clear.
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Priest at London Cathedral Blasts Glitzy Weddings
LONDON (RNS) A top priest at St. Paul’s Cathedral says fancy weddings are now posing “a threat to marriage itself.”
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Christian-Muslim Relations Turn Bitter in India
NEW DELHI (RNS) Tensions between Christians and Muslims in India’s Kerala state have reached the boiling point.
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Religious Groups Press for CIA Torture Probe
WASHINGTON (RNS) Religious organizations are calling for an investigation into allegations of forced human experimentation.
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Judge Says Moral and Religious Views Don't Justify Gay Marriage Ban
(RNS) A federal judge struck down California’s voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage.
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Appeals Court Sides with Prison in Headscarf Case
WASHINGTON (RNS) A court has sided with a prison system whose policy forbids Muslim women from wearing headscarves.
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Focus on the Family Announces More than 100 Job Cuts
(RNS) Focus on the Family has announced 110 job cuts in the latest round of layoffs.
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Princeton Review Names Most, Least Religious Campuses
(RNS) BYU was named the nation’s most religious campus, and Sarah Lawrence College the least religious, in new rankings.
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Conservatives Will Appeal Go-ahead Vote for Ground Zero Mosque
(RNS) A law firm plans to appeal a green light for the construction of an Islamic community center two blocks from Ground Zero.
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Orthodox Jews Issue Statement in Support of Gays
JERUSALEM (RNS) More than 100 modern-Orthodox rabbis and others have signed a document that urges respect for homosexuals.
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Vatican Blasts FDA Over Stem Cell Ruling
VATICAN CITY (RNS) The Vatican has criticized a decision to allow the world’s first clinical trials using stem cells derived from human embryos.
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Evangelicals Condemn Planned Quran Burning
(RNS) The NAE has condemned plans by a Florida church to burn copies of the Quran.
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Study Finds Strong Amish Growth, Western Migration
(RNS) A new study says that the population of North American Amish has increased by nearly 10 percent.
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Catholic Patriarch Blasts Israel for Allowing Gay Parade
JERUSALEM (RNS) The Catholic Church’s highest official in the Holy Land sharply criticized Israeli authorities for permitting a gay pride parade.
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Anglican Priest Convicted of Sham Marriages
LONDON (RNS) An Anglican vicar has been convicted of conducting hundreds of bogus marriages in a scam aimed at helping African immigrants.
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Synthetic Biological Advancement Poses Questions
Synthetic Biological Advancement Poses Questions
The announcement that scientists had created a single-cell synthetic organism was met with affirmation as well as disapproval. It's important to stop, step back and take stock of this advancement with three questions.
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Faith and Science: Not an Either/Or Choice
Faith and Science: Not an Either/Or Choice
Can the Bible be read seriously without being read literally? The unnecessary conflict between faith and science is wreaking havoc on both faith and science.
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Catholics and Baptists Have Different Sacraments but Similar Child Abuse Scandals
Catholics and Baptists Have Different Sacraments but Similar Child Abuse Scandals
Conservative columnist Cal Thomas wrote that the sexual scandals in Catholicism and Protestantism were different, but Catholic and Baptist leaders have more similarities than differences on the child-abuse front.
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University Can Reject Christian Courses, Calif. Court Rules
(RNS) The University of California has the right to reject courses taught at Christian high schools.
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How Will Bishops' Vote Affect End-of-Life Issues?
How Will Bishops' Vote Affect End-of-Life Issues?
Catholic bishops recently voted "to strengthen its requirement that Roman Catholic hospitals insert and maintain nutrition and hydration tubes for patients in persistent vegetative states." Should Protestants care?
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Nominee to Lead NIH Balances Faith, Science
Nominee to Lead NIH Balances Faith, Science
Francis Collins, former head of the Human Genome Project and a Christian who is articulate at discussing his faith, has been named to lead the National Institutes of Health.
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Baptizing Children Raised in Same-Sex Households
Baptizing Children Raised in Same-Sex Households
Where do Baptists stand on baptizing children raised in same-sex households? This is one issue where all Baptists may get it right theologically. The focus is on the child being baptized, not on validating the child's parents.
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Sen. Inhofe Lists Creationists as Prominent Scientists in Global Warming Report
Sen. Inhofe Lists Creationists as Prominent Scientists in Global Warming Report
Sen. Inhofe's report lists more than "700 dissenting scientists" who dispute man-made global warming. One "scientist" is actually a TV weatherman with no college degree. One wonders how many others are without credentials.
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When Science vs. Theology, No Truth Contradicts God
When Science vs. Theology, No Truth Contradicts God
Whether evolution or the environment or another hot topic, debates between scientists and theologians seem to get the most muddled when those involved seek to address concerns beyond their fields of their expertise.
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The Pill: Boon or Bane?
The Pill: Boon or Bane?
Was the invention of the birth control pill a good thing or a bad thing? Most people, I suspect, have never considered the options.
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Congregations Prepare to Observe Evolution Weekend
Congregations Prepare to Observe Evolution Weekend
Nearly 1,000 congregations across the country have announced plans to participate in Evolution Weekend Feb. 13-15 in order to spark “serious discussion and reflection on the relationship between religion and science.” Among the participants listed on the Evolution Weekend Web site are a dozen Baptist churches, as well as congregations in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and 13 other nations.
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President Bush, Evolution and the Bible
Over the last eight years there have been many points at which I have disagreed with President Bush. And there have been some points where I have agreed with him. His comments about God and evolution on “Nightline” in December were one of those places where I agree with him.
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40 Years Later, Merton's Legacy Looms Large
TRAPPIST, Ky. -- Around the country for the next few weeks, many Roman Catholics will remember and honor the life of Trappist monk Thomas Merton, who died 40 years ago on Dec. 10, 1968, in a freak electrocution accident.
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You Say It Yahweh
Should Christians avoid pronouncing the name "Yahweh" out of deference to the Jews, as the Vatican has declared?
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Science and Faith
The pastor of my church asked me to speak about naturalism and theism at our Wednesday night supper, in part to lay some groundwork for his discussion of creationism and evolution the following week.
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The Bible Cannot Answer Scientific Questions
For over a century debates have raged over the ability of the Bible to tell us about the world, particularly how the natural world, and beings that inhabit this world, came into existence.
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No Free Lunch
I'm sitting at my desk eating a free lunch and trying to catch up on the news from an international food summit currently taking place in Rome. It is being sponsored by the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization.
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Methodists Oppose Teaching of Creationism, Intelligent Design
The United Methodist Church passed a resolution at its recent General Conference opposing the teaching of Creation Science and Intelligent Design in public schools.
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Faith and Doubt
The Alabama Shakespeare Festival is currently offering an exceptional production of Tom Dudzick's humorous play, "Over the Tavern." The story line is about a Catholic family in the 1950s that literally lives over a tavern. The characters, Chester and Ellen, are struggling to raise their four children, including two teenagers, a son who has down syndrome and a son who doesn't want to be Catholic.
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Florida Education Board Should Stick to Science, Avoid Theology
The Florida Board of Education should discount a letter from the top official of the Florida Baptist Convention opposing the approval of language for the new science standards that reads: "Evolution is the fundamental concept underlying all of biology and is supported by multiple forms of scientific evidence."
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Scientists, Religious Scholars Reject 'Intelligent Design'
An international group of scientists and theologians has issued a strong rebuke of "intelligent design," a theory that has gained ground with conservative Christians, especially in the United States.
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Evolution Weekend Aims to Elevate Discussion of Religion and Science
Evolution Sunday, an annual event held in churches the last two years to promote the idea that science and faith are compatible, this year is being expanded and renamed Evolution Weekend to make it more inclusive for members of all religions.
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Religion and Science
At a news conference in November 2005, Cardinal Paul Poupard, head of the Pontifical Council for Culture, defended Darwin's theory of evolution over and against Intelligent Design. "The fundamentalists want to give a scientific meaning to words that had no scientific aim," he said. The real message of Genesis is to teach us that "the universe didn't make itself and had a creator."
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The Golden Compass: Pointing Kids to Atheism?
A really dangerous series of books has become popular. The first book is so innocuous that many people give it to their children. The tale begins with a couple of innocent kids exploring the simple goodness of the world around them. Soon they find out that humans are not alone in the universe, and that there are other realms we cannot see. They discover that their world is full of warring factions, evil spirits, armies of good and bad angels, conniving witches, greedy kings and corrupt religious establishments. The series reaches a furious climax with the characters committing the most heinous act you can imagine: They kill God.
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Christian School Seeks Exemption From `Unlimited Filth' on Internet
Citing a concern about "unlimited filth" online, a small Christian school in Knoxville, Tenn., has requested that the state legislature permit exemptions from a law requiring computer education.
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