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(RNS) When Mormons call themselves “a peculiar people,” they mean it in the biblical sense — set aside by God, chosen. But many Americans call them peculiar in Webster’s way — strange, odd. Now Mormons, followers of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, are in the spotlight. One of their own, Mitt Romney, […] Read More

WASHINGTON (RNS) Faith leaders with long-term ties to Cuban organizations are hailing a change in White House policy that reduces limits on religious travel to the island nation. The White House announced Friday (Jan. 14) that President Obama had directed changes that include permitting religious organizations to sponsor trips through a general license. The administration […] Read More

(RNS) A coalition of more than 50 Christian, Jewish and Muslim leaders sent an open letter to Congress urging a “time of soul searching” and national dialogue about “violent and vitriolic political rhetoric.” The letter was released Thursday (Jan. 13), a day after President Obama led a memorial service for the six people killed and […] Read More

(RNS) Americans who are “very religious” are more likely to practice healthy behaviors than those who are less religious, a Gallup survey shows. The new findings are based on a survey of more than 550,000 people who were asked about their decisions related to healthy eating, smoking and exercise. Overall, very religious Americans scored 66.3 […] Read More

(RNS) The U.N. General Assembly passed a resolution Tuesday (Dec. 21) on “combating defamation of religions,” drawing criticism from human rights organizations and U.S. officials who say support for the measure continues to decline. The resolution sponsored by Islamic countries passed with 79 to 67, with 40 abstentions. Critics say it does more harm than […] Read More

(RNS) As a federal appeals court in California heard opening arguments in a landmark gay marriage case on Monday (Dec. 6), a rare coalition of religious leaders released a public letter promoting marriage as “the faithful union of one man and one woman.” Leaders of Catholic, evangelical, Orthodox Jewish, Mormon, Eastern Orthodox, Pentecostal and Sikh […] Read More

WASHINGTON (RNS) As the Pentagon readies a long-awaited survey of military personnel on lifting the Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell policy, a new poll suggests broad support across religious groups for allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly. The Pentagon report, expected to be released Tuesday (Nov. 30), will include a survey of some 400,000 military personnel, […] Read More

(RNS) The most religious Americans also have the highest rates of well-being, according to a new Gallup survey. The finding is based on a survey of more than 550,000 people about their physical and emotional health and their work environment. Overall, the very religious received a score on Gallup’s well-being index of 68.7 percent, while […] Read More

(RNS) Most Americans believe messages about homosexuality coming from religious institutions contribute to negative views of gays and lesbians, and higher rates of suicide among gay youths, a new poll reports. While split on whether same-sex relations are sinful, Americans are more than twice as likely to give houses of worship low marks on handling […] Read More

The latest science and the deepest theology do not suffice to address the existential elements of the human experience, such as love and loneliness, hope and despair, guilt and grace, even life and death itself. “Scientists publish a paper announcing a discovery or some breakthrough, like the cloning of Dolly. The inevitable question is some […] Read More