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World Religions

One might expect that religions adequately address or provide ameliorative strategies to reduce or eliminate poverty, but that’s not always the case. Here’s an overview of how several great religions view poverty. […] Read More

DES PERES, Mo. (RNS) More than 100 Lutherans streamed into the basement classroom at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Des Peres recently for a Bible study called “Islam Through a Lutheran Lens.” It was a better-than-expected showing, and people carefully balanced their Styrofoam coffee cups as they rearranged extra folding chairs into rows to capture […] Read More

(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. Balbale got his engineering degree after immigrating to the U.S. at age 21. With jobs hard to come by, he tried to enlist in the Army, but […] Read More

(RNS) Muslims, Sikhs and Hindus are accusing Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum of bigotry and ignorance after he said that “equality” is solely a Judeo-Christian concept. “Where do you think the concept of equality comes from?” Santorum said on the campaign trail last Friday (Jan. 20). “It doesn’t come from Islam. It doesn’t come from […] Read More

(RNS) A quick glimpse at a calendar is one way to see how religiously diverse the United States has become. This year, December, a month that encompasses the Christian and Jewish celebrations of Christmas and Hanukkah, includes spiritually significant days for Muslims, Buddhists, Pagans and Zoroastrians. Yes, Zoroastrians: Scholars estimate there are 6,000 followers of […] Read More

WASHINGTON (RNS) The number of religious advocacy groups in the nation’s capital has more than tripled since the 1970s, with conservative groups seeing the biggest growth, according to a new report. Together, faith-based lobbying and advocacy groups spend $390 million a year to influence lawmakers, mobilize supporters and shape public opinion, according to the report, […] Read More

(RNS) The young man in the video pulls in close to his computer camera with the trappings of a typical college dorm room—a loft bed and the clutter of cast-off clothes—piled behind him. Alex Fiorentini isn’t talking about girls, beer or football. Instead, it’s a coming-out moment of sorts. “Is it acceptable to the majority […] Read More

ASSISI, Italy (RNS) Pope Benedict XVI hosted some 300 representatives of world religions here on Thursday (Oct. 27) for an interfaith summit on justice and peace, with distinct changes made to the event first convened 25 years ago by Pope John Paul II. Benedict, who had been critical of John Paul’s 1986 event, welcomed a […] Read More

WASHINGTON (RNS) Religious freedom advocates on Wednesday (Oct. 26) lamented America’s failure to protect the faithful abroad, saying things have gotten worse, not better, since the issue first gained traction more than a decade ago. The soul-searching session, sponsored by the conservative Family Research Council, brought together panelists from government, academia and nonprofit groups who […] Read More

WASHINGTON (RNS) Religious freedom advocates rallied Wednesday (Sept. 28) around an Iranian pastor who is facing execution because he has refused to recant his Christian faith in the overwhelmingly Muslim country. The British-based group Christian Solidarity Worldwide has asked international supporters to urge Iranian officials to halt plans to execute Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani. The pastor […] Read More