Taylor DeVille/The Baltimore Sun/TNS

Two LGBTQ-affirming churches -- one historic and one young -- unite with installation of new pastor

Religion / Religious News /

BALTIMORE — A service held Sunday at St. Mark’s Evangelical Lutheran Church signifies a new partnership between one of Baltimore’s historic churches and a fledgling congregation, both rooted in LGBTQ affirmation and inclusivity, generations apart.

The Rev. Emily Scott, who leads both congregations, was installed through a Rite of ...Read more

Spencer Platt/Getty Images North America/TNS

Commentary: COVID vaccine mandates test the limits of religious exemptions

Religion / Religious News /

In extending a temporary restraining order on mandating COVID-19 vaccines for New York health care workers who raised religious exemptions, a judge made clear that the court did not determine that the health care workers qualify for a religious exemption. Rather, the court found, the workers have a federally protected right to seek such an ...Read more


Religious exemptions pose new challenges to COVID-19 vaccine mandates

Religion / Religious News /

MINNEAPOLIS — A recent post on Kate Lincoln's neighborhood website caught her by surprise. A neighbor had written "Need a vaccine exemption? … Holy Trinity Church in South St. Paul is helpful."

Lincoln called the church and left a message inquiring about the exemption. Her call was returned by a woman who confirmed that the church had a ...Read more

Matthew Stockman/Getty Images North America/TNS

Mormon president says church leaders speak 'pure truth'

Religion / Religious News /

The president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints called on members of the congregation to listen to faith leaders in the pursuit of “pure truth” while thanking those who have followed health guidance during the COVID-19 pandemic.

President Russell M. Nelson said that while the world is “still dealing with the ravages of ...Read more

Antonio Perez/Chicago Tribune/TNS

'It's a competition of Catholic values:' Suburban Catholic school conflicts over gender pronouns, same-sex marriage highlight tension between church and flock

Religion / Religious News /

CHICAGO — Ora Amber, a 16-year-old ex-Catholic, stood across the street from St. Francis High School in suburban Chicago last week lofting a yellow, white, purple and black flag that represents people whose gender identity is outside the male/female binary.

Amber, who uses they and them as pronouns, was part of a small crowd rallying against ...Read more


Brooklyn Bishop DiMarzio resigns after 18 years as spiritual leader for 1.5 million Catholics

Religion / Religious News /

NEW YORK — Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio, leader of the Diocese of Brooklyn for 18 years, announced his resignation Wednesday — with a native New Yorker named as his replacement.

DiMarzio, 77, stepped down weeks after a Vatican investigation cleared him of allegations from two men charging they were sexually abused by the priest when he was ...Read more

Barbara Haddock Taylor/Baltimore Sun/TNS

Years into attorney general investigation of Maryland's Catholic Church, abuse survivors wonder where it stands

Religion / Religious News /

BALTIMORE — Three years after it became public that Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh was investigating child sexual abuse in the Catholic church, abuse survivors are wondering: Is he building a case, or has the probe stalled?

In September 2018, Baltimore Archbishop William E. Lori told clergy the archdiocese was under investigation by ...Read more


Light Notes: Your name? There may be more to it than you imagined

Religion / Religious News /

How did you get your name? Most of us know the answer. Most are proud of their given name and of the story behind it (excepting a certain “boy named Sue”).

For reasons beyond the scope of this article, in many cultures one marriage partner may adopt the surname of the other. In other situations, one may move the family name to a middle name...Read more

Irfan Khan/TNS

Black Muslims: Finding community and faith in South LA

Religion / Religious News /

LOS ANGELES -- Beneath the glinting green dome of a mosque off Malcolm X Way in South Los Angeles, a spiritual leader in his late 80s is hammering home a vital message: African American Muslims must be engaged in their community and not let others make decisions for them.

Imam Abdul Karim Hasan embraced Islam more than 60 years ago after ...Read more

Irfan Khan/Los Angeles Times/TNS

Luz del Mundo church leader's trial pushed back to May

Religion / Religious News /

LOS ANGELES — The trial of Naason Joaquin Garcia, the head of La Luz del Mundo church who is charged with sexually abusing girls from his congregation, has been postponed to May.

On Friday, Superior Court Judge Ronald S. Coen granted a request by Garcia’s attorneys to delay the trial, which had been scheduled to start later this month.

...Read more

Jason Armond/Los Angeles Times/TNS

After evacuating, they rang in the Jewish New Year in the middle of a wildfire

Religion / Religious News /

PLACERVILLE, Calif. — This is how you ring in the Jewish New Year in the middle of a wildfire.

The rabbi still wears white, a symbol of purity and new beginnings, but instead of reading the Torah from the bimah, the synagogue's stage, he stands in an Airbnb in Santa Rosa, Calif., — his wife and children in the other room.

The actual ...Read more

Wally Skalij/Los Angeles Times/TNS

Prayer and politicking: Churches become a center of the California recall campaign

Religion / Religious News /

ROCKLIN, Calif. — It started as a traditional Sunday service.

The worship rose and fell in emotional chorus. People shook hands with their neighbors in the pews.

But then, in lieu of a sermon, Destiny Christian Church Pastor Greg Fairrington welcomed onstage Republican gubernatorial candidate Larry Elder.

“People of faith, in my opinion, ...Read more

Kevin Tanaka/TNS

Jewish congregations turn to livestreams, outdoor services as COVID-19 concerns once again loom over high holiday celebrations

Religion / Religious News /

CHICAGO – When safety mitigations around the coronavirus pandemic began to ease earlier this year, many area Jews hoped for a return to traditional services during the high holiday season.

In many cases, those hopes were dashed as the surging delta variant and rising COVID-19 case counts in Illinois have lead to continued unease around large ...Read more


Brooklyn Catholic bishop cleared by independent investigation of abuse allegations from two accusers

Religion / Religious News /

NEW YORK — An independent investigation ordered by the Vatican cleared Brooklyn Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio of sexually abusing two young boys while working in a New Jersey parish nearly a half-century ago, officials announced Wednesday.

The probe, conducted by a former federal prosecutor and a company headed by former FBI Director Louis Freeh, ...Read more


Light Notes: When the road ahead is rocky, don't lose your focus on God

Religion / Religious News /

I have friends who love to run as much as I do, but will only do so on asphalt or cement. It’s all about having an even, predictable surface beneath their feet. It’s all about no surprises.

I understand their preference, even though I don’t share it. When you don’t have to worry about roots, rocks and sudden dips in the trail, you have ...Read more

Nicolas Galindo/TNS

Ministry message to women at reformatory: 'There is hope in parenting behind bars'

Religion / Religious News /

MARYSVILLE, Ohio — Leah Howard stood on a stage in the middle of a prison recreation yard and told the hundreds of women sitting in the rain and staring up at her that this was their time — their time to learn how to be a better mom, their time to focus on their children like never before, their time to heal.

"There is hope in parenting ...Read more

Photo by Brad Horrigan | Courant/TNS

Commentary: Why vaccination hesitancy runs deep among the religious -- and what we can do to reach them

Religion / Religious News /

“Don’t come knocking on my door with your Fauci ouchi!” Rep. Lauren Boebert yelled at last month’s Conservative Political Action Conference. “You leave us the hell alone!” Boebert, R-Colo., has described her election to Congress as “a sign and a wonder, just like God promised.”

She’s a moderate in some circles. One Florida ...Read more


Decrying 'evil' of abortion, LA archbishop became public face of plan that could deny Biden Communion

Religion / Religious News /

LOS ANGELES — “Brothers,” Los Angeles Archbishop José H. Gómez addressed his colleagues, “before we come to the end of our meeting, I have an announcement to make.”

It was the middle of November, two weeks after Joseph R. Biden Jr. was elected president, marking only the second time that a Roman Catholic was headed to the White ...Read more

Tom Gralish/TNS

A Muslim leader from South Jersey connects communities and builds bridges

Religion / Religious News /

PHILADELPHIA — A word common to Arabic, Persian, and Urdu — three of the languages Muqqadas Ejaz uses in addition to English — aptly describes her mission. The word is muhsen, and it means “doing good.”

Muhsen also is the name of one of the half-dozen local and national American Muslim organizations to which Ejaz — an advocate, ...Read more