Religion News Service

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. Read More ...
Ron Csillag

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." Read More ...
Susan Page

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. Read More ...
Daniel Burke

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. Read More ...
Al Webb

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. Read More ...
Kimberly Winston

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. Read More ...
Alessandro Speciale

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. Read More ...
Annalisa Musarra

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. Read More ...
Alessandro Speciale

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. Read More ...
Roy Hoffman

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. Read More ...
Lauren Markoe

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. Read More ...
Omar Sacirbey

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. Read More ...
Elizabeth Bryant

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. Read More ...
Michele Chabin

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. Read More ...
Daniel Burke

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. Read More ...
Al Webb

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." Read More ...
Daniel Burke

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. Read More ...
Lauren Markoe

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. Read More ...
Alessandro Speciale

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. Read More ...
Tracy Simmons

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. Read More ...
Elizabeth Crisp

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." Read More ...
Tim Townsend

Obama Exempts Religious Groups from Contraception Mandate
(RNS) President Obama unveiled an "accommodation'' in which health insurance companies will provide employees with contraception coverage. Read More ...
David Gibson

Book Shatters Stereotypes on Muslim Women, Sex and Love
(RNS) If you think good Muslim women wait for marriage to have sex, think again. Read More ...
Omar Sacirbey

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. Read More ...
Adelle Banks

Fact Checker: Obama Muslim Prayer Meme is False
(RNS) The people behind a popular chain e-mail about President Obama and the National Day of Prayer might want to think about the sin of omission. Read More ...
Caryn Shinske

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?" Read More ...
Bob Smietana

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. Read More ...
David Gibson

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. Read More ...
Omar Sacirbey

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. Read More ...
Annalisa Musarra

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. Read More ...
David Finnigan

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. Read More ...
Amanda Greene

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. Read More ...
David Gibson

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. Read More ...
Al Webb

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. Read More ...
Tim Townsend

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. Read More ...
Debra Rubin

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. Read More ...
Bruce Nolan

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. Read More ...
Omar Sacirbey

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. Read More ...
Alessandro Speciale

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. Read More ...
Alessandro Speciale

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. Read More ...
Lauren Markoe

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. Read More ...
Lauren Markoe

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. Read More ...
Peggy Fletcher Stack

Christians Join Fight Against Cockfighting
(RNS/ENInews) Christian leaders are teaming with animal rights advocates to fight against cockfighting. Read More ...
Chris Herlinger

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. Read More ...
Oren Dorell and Sarah Lynch

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. Read More ...
Omar Sacirbey

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. Read More ...
Daniel Burke

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. Read More ...
Kimberly Winston

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. Read More ...
Rick Jervis

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. Read More ...
David Gibson

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. Read More ...
Michelle Jarboe McFee

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. Read More ...
Omar Sacirbey

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. Read More ...
Adelle Banks

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. Read More ...
Cathy Lynn Grossman

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. Read More ...
Omar Sacirbey

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. Read More ...
Lauren Markoe

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." Read More ...
Bruce Nolan

After Angering Catholics, White House Honors Teachers
WASHINGTON (RNS) The White House heralded nine Catholic educators as "Champions of Catholic Education." Read More ...
Lauren Markoe

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. Read More ...
David Gibson

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." Read More ...
Alessandro Speciale

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. Read More ...
Kay Campbell

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. Read More ...
Tom Haydon

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. Read More ...
Omar Sacirbey

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. Read More ...
Al Webb

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. Read More ...
David Gibson

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.” Read More ...
David Gibson

Conservative Presbyterians Launch New Denomination
(RNS) Conservative Presbyterians launched a new denomination, saying that the Presbyterian Church (USA) cannot nurture healthy congregations. Read More ...
Daniel Burke

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. Read More ...
David Gibson

Rabbis Step In as Matchmakers on New Jewish Dating Sites
(RNS) Before you meet your match, you’ve got to meet your matchmaker. Read More ...
Lauren Markoe

Are Mormons Christian? It’s Complicated
(RNS) Ask Mormons if they are Christian, and their answer often starts with a sigh. Read More ...
Daniel Burke

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. Read More ...
Alessandro Speciale

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. Read More ...
Tim Townsend

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. Read More ...
Judith Sudilovsky

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. Read More ...
Elizabeth Bryant

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. Read More ...
Omar Sacirbey

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. Read More ...
Robert Vickers

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. Read More ...
Alessandro Speciale

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. Read More ...
Kimberly Winston

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. Read More ...
Adelle Banks

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. Read More ...
John Caniglia

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. Read More ...
Bob Considine

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. Read More ...
David Gibson

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. Read More ...
Daniel Burke

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. Read More ...
Adelle Banks

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. Read More ...
Lauren Markoe

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. Read More ...
Renee Gadoua

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. Read More ...
David Gibson

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. Read More ...
Omar Sacirbey

Would Mormons Try to Influence a Romney White House?
WASHINGTON (RNS) When Switzerland passed new employment rules, 13 Mormon members of Congress pleaded with the Swiss ambassador for an exception. Read More ...
Matt Canham

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. Read More ...
Alessandro Speciale

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.” Read More ...
Heidi Fenton

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. Read More ...
Kathleen O'Brien

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. Read More ...
David Gibson

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. Read More ...
Omar Sacirbey

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. Read More ...
Lauren Markoe

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. Read More ...
Amanda Greene

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. Read More ...
Daniel Burke

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. Read More ...
David Gibson

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. Read More ...
Tim Townsend

Atheists Face Uphill Climb with New Political Party
(RNS) How viable is a political party with the word “atheist” in its name? Read More ...
Kimberly Winston

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. Read More ...
Bruce Nolan

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. Read More ...
David Gibson

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. Read More ...
Francis Rocca

2011: A Year of Taking It to the Streets
(RNS) 2011 was supposed to be the year the world ended. Twice. Read More ...
Kevin Eckstrom

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. Read More ...
Jeffery MacDonald

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.” Read More ...
Amy Ellis Nutt

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. Read More ...
Stephanie Barry

Poll: Nearly 80 Percent of Americans are Christian
(RNS) As Christmas nears, more than three-quarters of Americans identify themselves as Christian, Gallup reports. Read More ...
Adelle Banks

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. Read More ...
Omar Sacirbey

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. Read More ...
Adelle Banks

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. Read More ...
Kimberly Winston

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. Read More ...
Mark Gillispie

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. Read More ...
Kevin Allen

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. Read More ...
Jeffery MacDonald

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. Read More ...
Lauren Markoe

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. Read More ...
David Gibson

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. Read More ...
David Finnigan

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. Read More ...
Francis Rocca

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. Read More ...
Kimberly Winston

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. Read More ...
Kevin Eckstrom

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.” Read More ...
Adelle Banks

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. Read More ...
Kay Campbell

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. Read More ...
Josef Kuhn

New Reform Jewish Leader Promises Revitalization
WASHINGTON (RNS) Rabbi Richard Jacobs understands why so many Jews avoid synagogues. Read More ...
Lauren Markoe

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. Read More ...
Josef Kuhn

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. Read More ...
Josef Kuhn

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. Read More ...
Omar Sacirbey

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. Read More ...
David Gibson

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. Read More ...
Shandra Martinez

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. Read More ...
Lauren Markoe

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. Read More ...
Josef Kuhn

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. Read More ...
Tim Townsend

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. Read More ...
Alessandro Speciale

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. Read More ...
Omar Sacirbey

Young Hip Jews Leading a Hanukkah Music Makeover
(RNS) Put on your boogie shoes—the new Hanukkah songs are here! Read More ...
Lauren Markoe

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. Read More ...
Yonat Shimron

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. Read More ...
Josef Kuhn

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. Read More ...
Michele Chabin

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. Read More ...
Josef Kuhn

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. Read More ...
Lauren Markoe

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. Read More ...
Michele Chabin

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. Read More ...
Al Webb

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. Read More ...
Lauren Marko

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. Read More ...
Daniel Burke

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. Read More ...
Al Webb

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. Read More ...
David Gibson

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. Read More ...
Nancy Haught

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. Read More ...
Bryan Denson

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. Read More ...
Josef Kuhn

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. Read More ...
Josef Kuhn

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. Read More ...
Adelle Banks

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. Read More ...
Josef Kuhn

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. Read More ...
Niels Sorrells

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. Read More ...
Melanie Eversley

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. Read More ...
Daniel Burke

Accused Janitor Says Priest Blackmailed, Abused Him
MORRISTOWN, N.J. (RNS) For four years, Jose Feliciano told a jury, his rage grew. Read More ...
Ben Horowitz

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. Read More ...
Elizabeth Bryant

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. Read More ...
Francis Rocca

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. Read More ...
Dennis Wagner

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. Read More ...
Kevin Eckstrom

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. Read More ...
Marcia Pledger

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. Read More ...
David Gibson

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. Read More ...
Kimberly Winston

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. Read More ...
Cecile Holmes

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. Read More ...
Josef Kuhn

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. Read More ...
Francis Rocca

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. Read More ...
David Gibson

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. Read More ...
Francis Rocca

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. Read More ...
Adelle Banks

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. Read More ...
Yonat Shimron

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. Read More ...
Francis Rocca

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. Read More ...
Cathy Lynn Grossman

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. Read More ...
Daniel Burke

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. Read More ...
David Finnigan

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. Read More ...
Daniel Burke

Sexual Abusers Hard to Profile or Predict
(RNS) The grand jury report reads like a textbook profile of child sexual abuse. Read More ...
Donna Leinwand

Benetton Pulls Pope-kissing Ad
VATICAN CITY (RNS) International clothing retailer Benetton pulled a provocative ad featuring Pope Benedict XVI kissing a Muslim cleric. Read More ...
Francis Rocca

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. Read More ...
David Gibson

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. Read More ...
Seth Augenstein

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. Read More ...
Daniel Burke

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. Read More ...
David Gibson

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. Read More ...
Omar Sacirbey

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. Read More ...
Daniel Burke

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. Read More ...
Jeffrey MacDonald

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. Read More ...
Adelle Banks

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. Read More ...
Steve Rapp

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. Read More ...
David Gibson

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. Read More ...
David Gibson

Black Seminaries Embrace Hip-hop
WASHINGTON (RNS) Two leading black seminaries think they have found a way to grab the next generation: hip-hop. Read More ...
Adelle Banks

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. Read More ...
Lauren Markoe

NCC Leader to Step Down
(RNS) The National Council of Churches announced that General Secretary Michael Kinnamon is resigning due to health reasons. Read More ...
Daniel Burke

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. Read More ...
Lauren Markoe

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. Read More ...
Lauren Markoe

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. Read More ...
Josef Kuhn

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. Read More ...
Kimberly Winston

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. Read More ...
Kimberly Winston

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. Read More ...
Daniel Burke

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. Read More ...
Josef Kuhn

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. Read More ...
Francis Rocca

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. Read More ...
Francis Rocca

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. Read More ...
Lauren Markoe

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. Read More ...
Al Webb

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. Read More ...
Josef Kuhn

One Torah, Two Tales
METAIRIE, La. (RNS) Until recently, two remarkable stories surrounded the beautiful hand-lettered Torah scroll at Congregation Beth Israel Read More ...
Bruce Nolan

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. Read More ...
Al Webb

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. Read More ...
Omar Sacirbey

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. Read More ...
Jeffrey MacDonald

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. Read More ...
Adelle Banks

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. Read More ...
Nicole Dungca

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. Read More ...
Josef Kuhn

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. Read More ...
Al Webb

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. Read More ...
Adelle Banks

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. Read More ...
Josef Kuhn

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.” Read More ...
Lauren Markoe and Josef Kuhn

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. Read More ...
Francis Rocca

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. Read More ...
Josef Kuhn

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. Read More ...
James McCarthy

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. Read More ...
Lauren Markoe

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. Read More ...
Adelle Banks

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. Read More ...
Josef Kuhn

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. Read More ...
Omar Sacirbey

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. Read More ...
Francis Rocca

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. Read More ...
Al Webb

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. Read More ...
Ron Csillag

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. Read More ...
Judy Keen

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. Read More ...
Francis Rocca

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. Read More ...
Daniel Burke

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. Read More ...
Piet Levy

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. Read More ...
Josef Kuhn

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. Read More ...
Francis Rocca

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. Read More ...
ENInews Staff

Vatican Treads Carefully on Egyptian Violence
VATICAN CITY (RNS) Pope Benedict XVI lamented the killing of two dozen Christian protesters in Egypt. Read More ...
Francis Rocca

Obama Hosts First Evangelical Summit at White House
(RNS) President Obama formally extended his ear to evangelicals ahead of the 2012 election. Read More ...
Sarah Pulliam Bailey

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. Read More ...
Scott Rapp

Film Explores Shifting Debate over Evolution
(RNS) A new documentary examines the evolving battle over teaching evolution in American classrooms. Read More ...
Kimberly Winston

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. Read More ...
Josef Kuhn

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. Read More ...
Josef Kuhn

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. Read More ...
Francis Rocca

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. Read More ...
Jack Jenkins

Study: Teens Leave Churches Seen as Judgmental, Unfriendly
(RNS) Why do young Christians leave the church? Read More ...
Adelle Banks

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. Read More ...
Daniel Burke

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. Read More ...
Bruce Nolan

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. Read More ...
Niels Sorrels

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. Read More ...
Greg Garrison

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. Read More ...
Omar Sacirbey

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. Read More ...
Michele Chabin

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. Read More ...
Rebecca Weber

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. Read More ...
Adelle Banks

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. Read More ...
ENI News Staff

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. Read More ...
David Gibson

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. Read More ...
Josef Kuhn

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. Read More ...
Adelle Banks

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. Read More ...
Nicole Neroulias

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. Read More ...
Piet Levy

New Orleans Pastor on Restaurant Quest Can’t Live by Bread Alone
NEW ORLEANS (RNS) Minister Ray Cannata’s mission is almost complete. Read More ...
Doug MacCash

Pentagon: Chaplains Can Celebrate Gay Marriages
WASHINGTON (RNS) Military chaplains can lead same-sex marriage ceremonies on and off military bases. Read More ...
Adelle Banks

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. Read More ...
Steve Mayes

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. Read More ...
Lauren Markoe

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. Read More ...
Daniel Burke

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. Read More ...
Brian Lawson

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. Read More ...
Adelle Banks

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. Read More ...
Steve Mayes

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. Read More ...
Adelle Banks

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. Read More ...
Michele Chabin

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. Read More ...
Al Webb

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. Read More ...
Kim Lanier

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." Read More ...
Francis Rocca

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. Read More ...
Garret Ellison

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. Read More ...
Connie Baggett

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. Read More ...
David Gibson

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. Read More ...
Niels Sorrells

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. Read More ...
Jeffrey MacDonald

Evangelicals Line Up Behind Rick Perry
(RNS) From media mavens to grassroots activists, conservative Christian leaders are heaping praise on presidential candidate Rick Perry. Read More ...
Daniel Burke

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. Read More ...
David Gibson

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. Read More ...
Niels Sorrells

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. Read More ...
Piet Levy

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. Read More ...
Adelle Banks

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. Read More ...
Bruce Nolan

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. Read More ...
Al Webb

Does Meditation Help Fuel Entrepreneurial Success?
(RNS) Entrepreneurs behave just like most Americans when it comes to religion—but with one spiritual twist. Read More ...
Cathy Lynn Grossman

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. Read More ...
Cathy Lynn Grossman

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. Read More ...
Greg Garrison

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. Read More ...
Josef Kuhn

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. Read More ...
Kimberly Winston

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. Read More ...
David Gibson

Christian Bookstores Try to Gain off Borders’ Loss
(RNS) The saying goes that when God closes a door, he opens a window. Read More ...
Piet Levy

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.” Read More ...
Cathy Lynn Grossman

Do Atheists Have a Sexism Problem?
(RNS) Rebecca Watson meant it as a funny story, almost an aside. Read More ...
Kimberly Winston

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.” Read More ...
Steve Mayes

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. Read More ...
Adelle Banks

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. Read More ...
Josef Kuhn

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. Read More ...
Francis Rocca

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. Read More ...
Jeffery MacDonald

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. Read More ...
Francis Rocca

State Dept. Chides Eight Countries on Religious Freedom
WASHINGTON (RNS) The State Department designated eight nations as the most serious violators of religious freedom. Read More ...
Adelle Banks

Episcopal Bishop Who Won Heresy Trial Dies at 87
WASHINGTON (RNS) The Rt. Rev. Walter C. Righter died at the age of 87. Read More ...
Josef Kuhn

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. Read More ...
Omar Sacirbey

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. Read More ...
Steve Mayes

Megachurch Seeks to Reassure New Portland Neighbors
PORTLAND, Ore. (RNS) The pastor sought to reassure his new neighbors about the church’s philosophy. Read More ...
Steve Beaven

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. Read More ...
Lauren Markoe

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. Read More ...
Francis Rocca

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. Read More ...
Josef Kuhn

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. Read More ...
Omar Sacirbey

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. Read More ...
David Gibson

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. Read More ...
Josef Kuhn

Interfaith Worship Doubled since 9/11, but Remains Low
(RNS) Interfaith worship services have doubled in the decade since the 9/11 attacks, according to a new study. Read More ...
Piet Levy

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. Read More ...
Lauren Markoe

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. Read More ...
Lauren Markoe

Kevin Smith Does It Again
(RNS) Don’t believe most of what you’ll hear about Kevin Smith’s new movie, “Red State.” Read More ...
Cathleen Falsani

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. Read More ...
David Gibson

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. Read More ...
Peggy Fletcher Stack

`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. Read More ...
Michael O'Malley

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. Read More ...
Daniel Burke

Five Facts about Dominionism
(RNS) In recent weeks, an arcane and scary-sounding religious term has crept into the lexicon of the 2012 campaign. Read More ...
Daniel Burke

Dean of Black Preachers Defends Obama
(RNS) In a new book, the Rev. Gardner Taylor decries the treatment of President Obama by his critics. Read More ...
Adelle Banks

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. Read More ...
Lauren Markoe

Czech Government Agrees to Turn over Seized Churches
WARSAW, Poland (RNS/ENInews) A prominent Czech church leader has welcomed an agreement that would allow churches to reclaim land and buildings. Read More ...
Jonathan Luxmoore

Muslim Lawmakers Appeal for Israeli Soldier’s Release
WASHINGTON (RNS) Two Muslim congressmen and other prominent Muslims have urged Hamas to release Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit. Read More ...
Lauren Markoe

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. Read More ...
Alessandro Speciale

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. Read More ...
Jeffrey MacDonald

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”? Read More ...
Adelle Banks

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. Read More ...
Haya El Nasser

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. Read More ...
Richard Yeakley

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. Read More ...
Adelle Banks

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. Read More ...
Daniel Burke

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. Read More ...
Omar Sacirbey

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. Read More ...
Michele Chabin

Religious Leaders Laud King in Memorial Service
WASHINGTON (RNS) Religious leaders and civil rights veterans said King’s legacy is unshakable. Read More ...
Adelle Banks

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. Read More ...
Daniel Burke

UCC-Affiliated College to Ask About Sexual Orientation
(RNS) An Illinois college is poised to become the first school in the U.S. to ask prospective students about their sexual orientation. Read More ...
Kevin Eckstrom

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. Read More ...
Michael O'Malley

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?” Read More ...
Omar Sacirbey

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. Read More ...
Omar Sacirbey

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. Read More ...
Lauren Markoe

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. Read More ...
Lauren Markoe

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. Read More ...
Kent Faulk

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. Read More ...
Kevin Eckstrom

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. Read More ...
Adelle Banks

Pope, in Spain, Laments Hedonism, Greedy Economy
VATICAN CITY (RNS) Pope Benedict XVI lamented the “superficiality, consumerism and hedonism” of contemporary society. Read More ...
Francis Rocca

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. Read More ...
Cathleen Falsani

Monks’ Casket Fight Heads Back to Court
NEW ORLEANS (RNS) Louisiana’s funeral industry isn’t ready to give up the fight to preserve its exclusive right to sell caskets. Read More ...
Ramon Antonio Vargas

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. Read More ...
Francis Rocca

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. Read More ...
Jack Jenkins

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. Read More ...
Cathleen Falsani

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. Read More ...
David Gibson

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. Read More ...
Adelle Banks

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. Read More ...
Alice Speri

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. Read More ...
Adelle Banks

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. Read More ...
Jack Jenkins

A `Christian’ Europe Without Christianity
(RNS) Does European Christendom need Christianity to survive? Read More ...
David Gibson

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. Read More ...
Jack Jenkins

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. Read More ...
Kimberly Winston

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. Read More ...
Cathleen Falsani

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. Read More ...
Angela Wittrock

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. Read More ...
Francis Rocca

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. Read More ...
Jo Siedleka

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. Read More ...
Bruce Nolan

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. Read More ...
Lilly Fowler

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. Read More ...
Yonat Shimron and Adelle Banks

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. Read More ...
David Gibson

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. Read More ...
Lauren Markoe

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. Read More ...
Jack Jenkins

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. Read More ...
David Gibson

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. Read More ...
Adelle Banks

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. Read More ...
Richard Khavkine

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. Read More ...
Kimberly Winston

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. Read More ...
Peggy Fletcher Stack

At Church of Beethoven, Music Is the Message
(RNS) “Music,” Ludwig van Beethoven said, “is the mediator between the spiritual and the sensual life.” Read More ...
Cathleen Falsani

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. Read More ...
Kimberly Winston

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. Read More ...
Bruce Nolan

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. Read More ...
Steve Mayes

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. Read More ...
Adelle Banks

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. Read More ...
Peggy Fletcher Stack

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. Read More ...
Adelle Banks

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. Read More ...
Kent Faulk

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. Read More ...
Lauren Markoe

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. Read More ...
Niels Sorrells

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. Read More ...
Niels Sorrells

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. Read More ...
Ann Byle

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. Read More ...
Francis Rocca

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. Read More ...
Adelle Banks

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.” Read More ...
Oivind Ostang

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. Read More ...
Adelle Banks

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. Read More ...
Lauren Markoe

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. Read More ...
David Gibson

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. Read More ...
David Gibson

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. Read More ...
Jonathan Luxmoore

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. Read More ...
Jack Jenkins

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. Read More ...
Adelle Banks

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. Read More ...
Jack Jenkins

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. Read More ...
Steve Mayes

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. Read More ...
Alessandro Speciale

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. Read More ...
Jack Jenkins

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. Read More ...
David Gibson

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. Read More ...
Ramon Antonio Vargas

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. Read More ...
Adelle Banks

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. Read More ...
Omar Sacirbey

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. Read More ...
Adelle Banks

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. Read More ...
Troy Reimink

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. Read More ...
Omar Sacirbey

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. Read More ...
Daniel Burke

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. Read More ...
Jack Jenkins

Campus Crusade Ditches Name for 'Cru'
(RNS) Campus Crusade for Christ is out. “Cru” is in. Read More ...
Adelle Banks

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. Read More ...
Mary Ann Spoto

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. Read More ...
David Gibson

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. Read More ...
Jack Jenkins

Churches Divided on Hungary’s New Religion Law
(RNS/ENInews) Christian leaders in Hungary are divided over a restrictive new law on religion. Read More ...
Jonathan Luxmoore

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. Read More ...
Donald Gilliland

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. Read More ...
Mark Schroeder

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? Read More ...
Kim Lawton

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. Read More ...
Lauren Markoe

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. Read More ...
Francis Rocca

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. Read More ...
Jack Jenkins

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. Read More ...
Francis Rocca

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. Read More ...
Daniel Burke

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. Read More ...
Jack Jenkins

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. Read More ...
Francis Rocca

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. Read More ...
Lindsay Whitehurst

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. Read More ...
Al Webb

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. Read More ...
Jack Jenkins

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. Read More ...
Ron Csillag

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. Read More ...
Jack Jenkins

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. Read More ...
Adelle Banks

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. Read More ...
Niels Sorrells

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. Read More ...
Erin Albanese

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. Read More ...
Jack Jenkins

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. Read More ...
Kevin Eckstrom

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. Read More ...
Jack Jenkins

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. Read More ...
Adelle Banks

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. Read More ...
Chase Hall

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? Read More ...
Cathleen Falsani

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. Read More ...
Lauren Markoe

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. Read More ...
Jack Jenkins

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. Read More ...
Lauren Markoe

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. Read More ...
Adelle Banks

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. Read More ...
Niels Sorrells

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. Read More ...
Terri Finch Hamilton

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. Read More ...
Lee Davidson

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. Read More ...
Adelle Banks

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.” Read More ...
Jason Hancock

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. Read More ...
Francis Rocca

China Ordains Bishop without Vatican Approval
(RNS) China’s state-run Catholic church ordained a bishop without the approval of Pope Benedict XVI. Read More ...
Francis Rocca

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. Read More ...
Adelle Banks

A Church by Any Other Name
(RNS) For Living Faith Lutheran Church, the name change was as much about the future as the past. Read More ...
Jack Jenkins

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. Read More ...
Daniel Burke

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. Read More ...
Jonathan Luxmoore

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. Read More ...
Adelle Banks

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. Read More ...
Adelle Banks

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.” Read More ...
Jason Hancock

Evangelicals, WCC, Vatican Reach Accord on Proselytizing
WASHINGTON (RNS) Christian missionaries should renounce all “deception and coercive means” of winning converts. Read More ...
Francis Rocca

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. Read More ...
Francis Rocca

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. Read More ...
Steve Mayes

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. Read More ...
Chris Herlinger

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. Read More ...
Omar Sacirbey

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. Read More ...
Francis Rocca

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. Read More ...
Kevin Eckstrom

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. Read More ...
Daniel Burke

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. Read More ...
Adelle Banks

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. Read More ...
Michele Chabin

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. Read More ...
Sabrina Eaton

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.” Read More ...
Jack Jenkins

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. Read More ...
Adelle Banks

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. Read More ...
Jeffrey MacDonald

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. Read More ...
Michele Chabin

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. Read More ...
Jonathan Tilove

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. Read More ...
Al Webb

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. Read More ...
Adelle Banks

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. Read More ...
Daniel Burke

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. Read More ...
Trevor Grundy

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. Read More ...
Steve Mayes

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. Read More ...
Yonat Shimron

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. Read More ...
Denise Hawkins

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. Read More ...
Daniel Burke

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. Read More ...
Greg Garrison

Goshen College Silences National Anthem Again
(RNS) Goshen College will no longer play The Star-Spangled Banner at sporting events, school leaders announced. Read More ...
Jack Jenkins

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. Read More ...
Francis Rocca

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. Read More ...
Daniel Burke

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. Read More ...
Jack Jenkins

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. Read More ...
Peter Kenney

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. Read More ...
Adelle Banks

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. Read More ...
Peggy Fletcher Stack

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. Read More ...
Francis Rocca

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. Read More ...
Michele Chabin

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. Read More ...
Francis Rocca

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. Read More ...
Al Webb

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. Read More ...
Adelle Banks

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. Read More ...
Cecile Holmes

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. Read More ...
Bruce Nolan

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. Read More ...
Adelle Banks

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. Read More ...
Ken Leiser

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. Read More ...
Steve Mayes

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. Read More ...
Jeffrey MacDonald

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. Read More ...
Adelle Banks

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. Read More ...
Steve Mayes

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. Read More ...
Harlan Kirgan

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. Read More ...
Adelle Banks

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. Read More ...
Francis Rocca

Evangelicals: Bachmann Speaks Our Code
WASHINGTON (RNS) Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour warned several hundred Christian conservatives not to expect a “perfect candidate” to emerge. Read More ...
Daniel Burke

Clinton Defends Religious Freedom Envoy
WASHINGTON (RNS) Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton defended her new ambassador-at-large for international religious freedom. Read More ...
Adelle Banks

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. Read More ...
Bruce Nolan

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. Read More ...
Ramon Antonio Vargas

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. Read More ...
Adelle Banks

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. Read More ...
Ron Csillag

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. Read More ...
Daniel Burke

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. Read More ...
Adelle Banks

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. Read More ...
Francis Rocca

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. Read More ...
Steve Mayes

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. Read More ...
Ivey DeJesus

God at the Root of Malick’s 'Tree of Life'
LOS ANGELES (RNS) Terrence Malick’s new film, “Tree of Life,” is nearly indescribable. Read More ...
Cathleen Falsani

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. Read More ...
Adelle Banks

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. Read More ...
Adelle Banks

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. Read More ...
Albert Sabate

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.” Read More ...
Francis Rocca

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. Read More ...
Charles Pope

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. Read More ...
Jeffrey MacDonald

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. Read More ...
Adelle Banks

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. Read More ...
Bruce Nolan

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. Read More ...
Adelle Banks

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. Read More ...
Yonat Shimron

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. Read More ...
Francis Rocca

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. Read More ...
Daniel Burke

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. Read More ...
Cathy Lynn Grossman

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. Read More ...
Daniel Burke

Exhibit Highlights Hindu Blue-Skinned Savior
NASHVILLE (RNS) In Hindu tradition, Lord Vishnu shows up in many forms. Read More ...
Bob Smietana

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.” Read More ...
Ron Csillag

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. Read More ...
Adelle Banks

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. Read More ...
Yonat Shimron

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. Read More ...
Adelle Banks

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. Read More ...
Omar Sacirbey

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. Read More ...
Judith Sokolovsky

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. Read More ...
Francis Rocca

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. Read More ...
Daniel Burke

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. Read More ...
Adelle Banks

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. Read More ...
Greg Garrison

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. Read More ...
David Gibson

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. Read More ...
Cathleen Falsani

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