United States Religion & Spirituality
Pope Paul VI to be made a saint
IUPUI professor: Mosques represent Hoosier religious congregations
Ex-atheist who wrote 'Case for Christ' to appear in Little Rock
Paterson pastor drops plan to legitimize Atlantic Street garage church
Untimely deaths may offer us a glimpse into eternal glory
LDS women say Church leaders encouraged them to stay with their abusers
Pope Francis Backs Down in Clash Over Nigerian Bishop
2018-02-20 02:00:07 Updated Feb. 19, 2018 6:52 p.m. ET ROME—Pope Francis removed an unpopular Nigerian bishop after five years of protests by local priests, in an extraordinary reversal that showed the limits of the pope’s power over his own hierarchy and the continuing challenge of ethnic divisions in Africa, the church’s fastest-growing region. The Vatican announced Monday that the pope had accepted   Read More ...
A Texas council member advocated for banning Islam in schools. He refuses to resign.
2018-02-20 00:46:23 A council member in northern Texas is rejecting calls for his resignation over a series of anti-Muslim and anti-black Facebook posts, including one saying that President Trump should ban Islam in U.S. schools. Tom Harrison, a city council member in Plano, Tex., is accused of sharing a post from a Facebook page titled “Joined Hands Across America For Trump.” The meme, which showed a young girl wearing a hijab, read: “Share if you think Trump should ban Islam in American schools   Read More ...
ISIS claims responsibility for deadly Orthodox church attack in Russia
2018-02-19 17:45:20 ISIS claimed responsibility Monday for the deadly attack on Orthodox churchgoers in Russia that left at least five women dead. In a statement posted on an ISIS-affiliated website, the group said a Muslim fighter attacked a "a Christian temple" in Kizlyar, located in a predominantly Muslim region of Dagestan situated between Chechnya and the Caspian Sea. The authenticity of the statement couldn't be confirmed, but the website is regularly used by ISIS to post statements   Read More ...
Iowa City students ask district to note Muslim holidays
2018-02-19 17:40:34 IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Some Iowa City elementary students are urging the school district to recognize Muslim holidays, and board members say they're willing to consider the request. The Iowa City Press-Citizen reports several students proposed the idea at a school board meeting last week. They suggested the district schedule days off for the Muslim holidays of Eid Al-Fitr and Eid Al-Adha   Read More ...
God and guns: Christian scholar calls out 'pro-life' voters who mix 'Christianity and a Colt .45'
2018-02-19 17:35:30 You can’t be pro-life and support guns at the same time, according to philosophy professor Michael W. Austin, who is writing a book titled God and Guns in America. The Eastern Kentucky University Department of Philosophy and Religion chair wrote an op-ed for the Christian Post calling the mixing of God and guns a unique “American recipe.” As bodies fall all over the United States, including 17 teens in Parkland, Florida, Austin argued there are “moral, legal and social facts” that are a piece of the debate   Read More ...
IS ambushes Iraqi Shiite-led force, killing 27 fighters
2018-02-19 16:00:13 BAGHDAD (AP) — Islamic State militants ambushed a group of Iraq’s Shiite-led paramilitary fighters, killing at least 27 more than two months after Baghdad declared victory over the extremist group, officials said Monday. The Popular Mobilization Forces, an umbrella group of mostly Shiite militias, said in a statement that the attack took place southwest of the northern city of Kirkuk, where the paramilitaries were conducting overnight raids   Read More ...
Bishop McKissick to lead Spring Revival at Livingstone on Tuesday
2018-02-19 14:49:16 A popular Florida bishop whose church has recorded two Billboard chart-topping hits is coming to Livingstone College. Bishop Rudolph W. McKissick Jr., senior pastor of Bethel Baptist Institutional Church in Jacksonville, Fla., will be the guest preacher for Livingstone’s Spring Revival, sponsored by Campus Ministries, said the Rev. Troy Russell, campus minister. The revival will take place at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb   Read More ...
Omdahl: The liberal Christian approach to moral values
2018-02-19 14:32:56 To Christian liberals, this constitutes political meddling in matters that should remain in the church or with individuals. Conservative Christians doubt the genuineness of liberal search for Christian values. While conservative Christians see personal morality, enforced by law if necessary, as the answer, liberal Christians search for moral values in social and economic justice for the "have nots" in society. Rev   Read More ...
Bangladesh says to meet with Myanmar on Rohingya trapped at border
2018-02-19 13:09:51 DHAKA (Reuters) - Representatives from Bangladesh and Myanmar will meet on Tuesday to discuss the repatriation to Myanmar of more than 6,500 Rohingya Muslims trapped on a strip of unclaimed land between the two countries, Bangladeshi officials said. However, several officials contacted in neighboring Myanmar said they were not aware of plans for a meeting, which Kalam said would take place on the “zero line” near a place called Gundum   Read More ...
IS ambushes Iraqi Shiite-led force, killing 27 fighters
2018-02-19 12:37:11 BAGHDAD (AP) — Islamic State militants have ambushed a group of Iraq's Shiite-led paramilitary fighters, killing at least 27. The Popular Mobilization Forces, an umbrella group of mostly Shiite militias, said on Monday that the attack took place the previous night in the al-Saadounya area, southwest of the northern city of Kirkuk, when the paramilitaries were conducting overnight raids. The PMF says the attackers were disguised in army uniforms   Read More ...
Pope Paul VI to be made a saint
2018-02-19 08:43:31 Pope Paul VI to be made a saint By Philip Pullella. Reuters February 18. 2018 9:21PM. Pope Francis waves during his Sunday Angelus prayer in Saint Peter's square at the Vatican on Sunday. (REUTERS/Tony Gentile) VATICAN CITY — The late Pope Paul VI, who led the Roman Catholic Church in the 1960s and 1970s during one of its most turbulent modern periods and enshrined its opposition to contraception, will be made a saint this year, Pope Francis has decided   Read More ...
New Zion Baptist Church holds Black History Celebration
2018-02-19 05:00:18 Church leaders say it's important to recognize those whose work may otherwise go unnoticed. The honorees of the night included Edwin Crocker, Audrey Hinton, Lizzie Miller and Donald Smith. "These individuals have been available throughout their lives to assist as they could," Pamela Bridgewater, with New Zion Baptist Church, said. "They've been passionate and open in terms of wanting to help make a difference in young peoples lives, the elderly   Read More ...
Hicks hits 5 3s, Radford beats Presbyterian 74-68 in OT
2018-02-19 02:42:14 RADFORD, Va. (AP) — Donald Hicks scored 15 points on a career-high tying five 3-pointers and Christian Bradford had 13 points to help Radford beat Presbyterian 74-68 in overtime on Sunday. Carlik Jones added 12 points, Randy Phillips had nine points, 11 rebounds and two blocks and Ed Polite Jr. scored eight with 10 rebounds for Radford (17-12, 10-6 Big South)   Read More ...
Little-known Venezuelan evangelical pastor launches presidential bid
2018-02-19 02:42:07 CARACAS (Reuters) - A little-known Venezuelan evangelical pastor on Sunday launched his candidacy for the upcoming presidential election, an illustration of the growing religious influence in Latin American politics. “I want to make this nation great, I want to bring Jesus to this nation, because Jesus dignifies the heart of any believer,” said Javier Bertucci of the religious organization The Gospel Changes in an internet broadcast   Read More ...
Russia church shooting kills 5 after gunman opens fire on people leaving service
2018-02-19 00:10:15 Five women were killed and several others were injured after a gunman opened fire with a hunting rifle on people leaving a church service in Russia's Dagestan region on Sunday, Russian media outlets reported.   Read More ...
Upstate pastor leads prayer vigil for victims of deadly school shooting in FL
2018-02-18 22:04:25 TRAVELERS REST, SC (FOX Carolina) - Residents in the Upstate are coming together to remember the victims of Wednesday's deadly school shooting in Florida. Pastor Randy Smith of Hilltop Baptist Church is leading a prayer vigil on Sunday in downtown Travelers Rest. The prayer vigil will take place at the gazebo on Main Street at 3:30 p.m. FOX Carolina will live stream the prayer vigil on our website and Facebook page   Read More ...
What do Christians mean when they say 'God spoke to me?'
2018-02-18 21:39:45 I must confess that I empathized with Joy Behar, co-host of ABC’s The View, when she recently expressed concern about a claim that Vice President (and Christian believer) Mike Pence has heard the voice of Jesus on occasion. I didn’t become a Christian until the age of thirty-five, and prior to that time, I also found it disturbing when Christians said, “God spoke to me last night,” or, “Jesus told me I should do this (or that)   Read More ...
IUPUI professor: Mosques represent Hoosier religious congregations
2018-02-18 18:57:23 The rise of the mosque as the preeminent religious institution among Muslims in the United States reveals how the structure of Islamic religion has become typically American. Almost half of Americans say that they go to one every week. It’s where Americans often get married, introduce their kids to the community, mourn their dead, raise money to assist those in need, organize community service, and even negotiate business deals   Read More ...
Russia church shooting leaves 5 dead after gunman opens fire on people leaving service
2018-02-18 17:41:10 Four people were killed and several others were injured after a gunman opened fire on people leaving a church service in Russia's Dagestan region on Sunday, Russian news agency Tass reported.   Read More ...
Russian news agency reports 4 dead in church shooting
2018-02-18 16:40:49 MOSCOW – Russian news agency Tass is reporting that a gunman opened fire on people leaving a church service in Russia's Dagestan region, killing four and wounding four others. Tass said the Sunday shooting occurred outside a church in the town of Kizlyar. The agency cited Mayor Alexander Shuvalov as the source for the number of people killed and wounded.   Read More ...
Ex-atheist who wrote 'Case for Christ' to appear in Little Rock
2018-02-18 01:32:21 Author, professor, speaker and teaching pastor Lee Strobel will be the second featured guest Tuesday at "City Center Conversations: Conversations About God, Life, and Faith in the City" at Little Rock's Statehouse Convention Center. Strobel is a professor of Christian thought at Houston Baptist University and a teaching pastor at Texas' Woodlands Baptist Church. With more than 20 books to his name, Strobel is most known for his best-seller The Case for Christ, in which he documents his 21-month investigation into the New Testament's validity and reliability while still an affirmed atheist   Read More ...
Jailed Islamic scholar Tariq Ramadan reported hospitalized
2018-02-17 22:06:46 PARIS – Prominent Islamic scholar Tariq Ramadan, who was jailed this month during an investigation of two alleged cases of rape, has reportedly been hospitalized. An online site campaigning for Ramadan's release said on Saturday that his family had learned of his hospitalization. French media, citing sources close to the case, reported that he was hospitalized on Friday. Ramadan's French wife, Iman, said in a video posted Wednesday on the Free Tariq Ramadan site that her husband suffers from a "severe chronic illness" and treatment for it is unavailable in jail   Read More ...
Jailed Islamic scholar Tariq Ramadan reported hospitalized
2018-02-17 21:34:46 PARIS (AP) — Prominent Islamic scholar Tariq Ramadan, who was jailed this month during an investigation of two alleged cases of rape, has reportedly been hospitalized. An online site campaigning for Ramadan's release said on Saturday that his family had learned of his hospitalization. French media, citing sources close to the case, reported that he was hospitalized on Friday. Ramadan's French wife, Iman, said in a video posted Wednesday on the Free Tariq Ramadan site that her husband suffers from a "severe chronic illness" and treatment for it is unavailable in jail   Read More ...
Layton man accused of defrauding elderly Mormon missionary out of $111,000
2018-02-17 18:42:37 A Layton man previously convicted of fraud allegedly fell into old habits last spring, conning an 87-year-old LDS missionary out of $111,000 after they met in a 12-step program. McKnight met the victim at a 12-step program for which the victim was assisting in counseling sessions as part of a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, according to a probable cause statement   Read More ...
Late Pope Paul VI to be made saint this year, Pope Francis says
2018-02-17 16:10:19 VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - The late Pope Paul VI, who led the Roman Catholic Church in the 1960s and 1970s during one of its most turbulent modern periods and enshrined its opposition to contraception, will be made a saint this year, Pope Francis has decided. Francis made the announcement on Thursday at a private meeting with Rome priests. The Vatican issued the transcript of the conversation on Saturday   Read More ...
Inter-America launches new VBS program for greater community outreach
2018-02-17 12:17:14 More than 160 children’s and adolescent ministries directors from across the Inter-American Division (IAD) territory gathered for a two-day workshop in Miami, Florida, on Jan. 31 to Feb. 1, to reaffirm their commitment to one of its strongest outreach programs of the year. “We are here to double our efforts in leading children to the feet of Jesus,” said Dinorah Rivera, children’s and adolescent ministries director for the church in Inter-America and main organizer of the event   Read More ...
IC elementary students want Muslim holidays added to district calendar
2018-02-17 05:01:37 IOWA CITY, Iowa (KCRG-TV9) -- Some elementary students in Iowa City are asking the school board to consider adding two Muslim holidays to the school calendar. "It was really overwhelming and I was really nervous but I was really excited also," said Saeid. She and fellow student Reem Kirja made their case at a school board meeting this week. Their principal at Weber Elementary said she was impressed with their proposal   Read More ...
Des Moines' ninth bishop submits resignation
2018-02-17 00:36:13 Des Moines' ninth bishop submits resignation DES MOINES, Iowa — The leader of the Des Moines Diocese has submitted his resignation to Pope Francis following his 75th birthday, according to “The Catholic Mirror,” the diocesan newspaper. Bishop Richard Pates, who served as Des Moines’ ninth bishop, on Monday turned 75, an age at which bishops are required to submit their resignations from office, according to Canon law   Read More ...
Next Level Church’s “blessing” to Pembroke hasn’t arrived yet
2018-02-17 00:06:03 By LOLA DUFFORT Monitor staff The relationship between Next Level Church and the town of Pembroke began on shaky ground, so the fast-growing operation in the mega-church model offered an olive branch. Church leaders said they would give the town an annual “blessing” around Christmas time – similar to what the tax bill would have been if it weren’t tax-exempt – to allay concerns that the town lost crucial revenue when the church moved into its small commercial district   Read More ...
Romney is running for Senate. Even if he wins, the Mormon Church has already lost powerful status in D.C
2018-02-16 23:46:48 As several Mormon senators step away from their positions in Congress, some observers wonder whether the moves will alter the unusual access that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has had on Capitol Hill. That political power has brought results on matters that include clearing the way for Mormon missionaries abroad and brokering land deals between Utah and the federal government   Read More ...
Former Pierre pastor part of new union church in Woonsocket melding Lutherans and Methodists
2018-02-16 20:23:43 A Lutheran pastor formerly in Pierre is leading a new way of doing church in Woonsocket, South Dakota, that’s gotten some attention because Lutherans and Methodists decided to build together a new church - a building and a congregation. It’s called Spirit of Faith. It comes out of long history of Protestants separating from each other after separating from the Catholic church 500 years ago   Read More ...
Paterson pastor drops plan to legitimize Atlantic Street garage church
2018-02-16 20:07:27 The pastor running a church out of an Atlantic Street garage has decided against seeking municipal approval to legitimize the controversial house of worship that neighbors have complained has caused traffic problems and late-night noise, according to his attorney. Jesus Sevilla withdrew his application seeking a certificate of occupancy from the Paterson Board of Adjustment on Thursday night. A dozen people from Atlantic Street attended the meeting to oppose the application   Read More ...
First came the massacre. Then came the coverup.
2018-02-16 18:46:53 IN THE coastal village of Inn Din, located in northern Rakhine state in Burma, also known as Myanmar, two groups long coexisted, Buddhists and Rohingya Muslims. The villagers fished in the Bay of Bengal and raised rice in paddies. But what happened at Inn Din on Sept. 2 marked a turning point in a war on the Rohingya by the Burmese security forces that should galvanize the world   Read More ...
Untimely deaths may offer us a glimpse into eternal glory
2018-02-16 17:07:58 Late last Saturday night and into early Sunday morning, I witnessed a sad scene. A young woman I knew, in her mid-40s, had died suddenly, after a short, acute illness. Her parents, sisters and nephews are dear friends of mine who attend the church where I’m pastor. Understandably, they and the rest of her family were in shock. As I sat with them, I felt shocked, too   Read More ...
After Gloria Copeland Banishes the Flu, Let's Look at Dallas Televangelists' Biggest Crimes and Misdemeanors
2018-02-16 15:30:06 Last week, Gloria Copeland, matriarch of Kenneth Copeland's Tarrant County TV ministry empire, told everyone the truth they needed to hear: The flu season, the same one that's killed more than 60 people in Dallas County and sickened thousands of others, didn't really exist. Anyone with true faith didn't need to worry, because Copeland was about to give them their Jesus shot   Read More ...
Myanmar says it's ready to take back Rohingya
2018-02-16 09:05:48 DHAKA, Bangladesh (AP) — An official says a visiting Myanmar minister has told Bangladesh's president that Myanmar is ready to take back Rohingya Muslims who fled violence there. Presidential spokesman Joynal Abedin said Friday that Myanmar's Home Minister Kyaw Swe told President Abdul Hamid in Dhaka that Myanmar was ready to take back Rohingya under a deal signed by the countries late last year   Read More ...
Myanmar says it's ready to take back Rohingya
2018-02-16 08:41:51 DHAKA, Bangladesh (AP) — An official says a visiting Myanmar minister has told Bangladesh's president that Myanmar is ready to take back Rohingya Muslims who fled violence there. Presidential spokesman Joynal Abedin said Friday that Myanmar's Home Minister Kyaw Swe told President Abdul Hamid in Dhaka that Myanmar was ready to take back Rohingya under a deal signed by the countries late last year   Read More ...
Bangladesh: Myanmar says it's ready to take back Rohingya
2018-02-16 08:40:49 DHAKA, Bangladesh – An official says a visiting Myanmar minister has told Bangladesh's president that Myanmar is ready to take back Rohingya Muslims who fled violence there. Presidential spokesman Joynal Abedin said Friday that Myanmar's Home Minister Kyaw Swe told President Abdul Hamid in Dhaka that Myanmar was ready to take back Rohingya under a deal signed by the countries late last year   Read More ...
Lawrence A. 'Larry' Melfa, a longtime Towson lawyer and active church member, dies
2018-02-16 00:42:15 Lawrence A. “Larry” Melfa, a longtime Towson attorney and an active member of his church, died from a heart attack Sunday at his Ruxton home. He was 72. “Larry was a wonderful human being and an honorable guy. He was a man of integrity,” said Robert D. Kalinoski, a partner in Kalinoski & Riordan P.A., a Bel Air law firm. “He was a good lawyer and a natural litigator   Read More ...
She ignored a judge and had her daughter baptized. Now she’s going to jail
2018-02-15 23:42:00 Kendra Stocks got her daughter baptized. Now she’s going to jail. In a head-on collision between matters of church and state, the Charlotte woman begins a contempt-of-court sentence on Friday, stemming from the clandestine christening of her child in August 2016. The baptism came one day after a Mecklenburg judge gave full custody to the girl’s father, “specifically including decisions concerning religion   Read More ...