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The sordid story of John the Baptist’s execution boils down to being faithful to one’s oath. (See Mark 6:14-29 for the longer version; Matthew 14:1-12 for the shorter one.) Herod Antipas (son of Herod the Great) could be criticized for a lot of things – being weak, anxious, a little paranoid and a lot swayed […] Read More

LONDON (RNS) In the first case of its kind, a British court has convicted three Muslim men — who claimed they were acting under teachings of their religion — of openly advocating the execution of gays. Jurors in Derby, England, on Friday (Jan. 20) found Ihjaz Ali, Kabir Ahmed and Razwan Javed guilty of trying […] Read More

MORRISTOWN, N.J. (RNS) For four years, Jose Feliciano told a jury on Monday (Nov. 28), his rage grew. The former church janitor said his employer, the Rev. Edward Hinds, had been extorting him, forcing him into unwanted sexual contact under the threat of exposing Feliciano’s criminal past. The janitor grudgingly allowed the priest to continue […] Read More

OREGON CITY, Ore. (RNS) A jury on Thursday (Sept. 29) unanimously convicted an Oregon couple, Dale and Shannon Hickman, in the faith-healing death of their infant son. Both parents were found guilty of second-degree manslaughter, a Class B felony that requires a sentence of at least six years and three months in prison under Oregon’s […] Read More

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. As she often did at a sirens’ sound, Roberts said a quick prayer. “Little did I know what I was praying for,” she said. Walking back to her office, […] Read More

NEWARK, N.J. (RNS) For 46 years, the chief assassin of slain civil rights icon Malcolm X has been hiding in plain sight in Newark, according to a major new biography of the African-American leader released Monday (April 4). Al-Mustafa Shabazz is a 72-year-old Muslim who is married to a community leader who owns a boxing […] Read More

(RNS) A New Jersey man who claimed God made him kill his pregnant girlfriend will get a new trial because jurors deciding his case should have been allowed to hear special instructions about an insanity defense, an appellate panel has ruled. The three-judge panel tossed out the conviction and 50-year sentence of Boyce Singleton Jr. […] Read More

(RNS) A former banking executive who helped launch the nation’s first Muslim television station faces 15 years to life in prison after a jury convicted him on Tuesday (Feb. 8) of murdering and decapitating his wife nearly two years ago. Muzzammil “Mo” Hassan, 46, never denied killing Aasiya Zubair Hassan, who he met while visiting […] Read More

VATICAN CITY (RNS) Pope Benedict XVI denounced the “vile and murderous” New Year’s Day killing of 21 Egyptian Christians, and was rebuked by Egypt’s top Muslim cleric for an “unacceptable interference in Egypt’s affairs.” Benedict made his remarks on Sunday (Jan. 2) to crowds in St. Peter’s Square, following his weekly public recital of the […] Read More

WARSAW (RNS/ENInews) The head of Turkey’s Roman Catholic bishops conference has rejected medical findings that the man who brutally murdered his predecessor, Bishop Luigi Padovese, was insane. “The Turkish Justice Minister seemed quite sincere when he promised the truth—but our church is being silenced by this manipulation of the court and public opinion,” said Ruggero […] Read More