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Health & Spirit

Muslims fast in Ramadan to practice compassion and self-restraint. Terrorists see it as a time to step up violence

Religion / Religious News /

For Muslims, Ramadan is the holiest month of the year. Families travel to mosques for nightly prayers, give charity to those in need and wake up before dawn to break fast -- traditions meant to encourage self-reflection, compassion and piety. Ramadan is in short a chance to become closer to God.

Those who show righteous behavior during the holy...Read more

Ramadan's month of fasting brings Muslims closer to God and family

Religion / Religious News /

NAPERVILLE, Ill. -- Not one bite of food or sip of water from sunup to sundown. No alcohol. No sex. No tobacco.

The Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which began this year on May 26 and will end June 24, is hard. It's supposed to be. It's a time of sacrifice but also a time to focus on God and faith and family.

"We keep reminding people that we do...Read more

Facing deportation, she sought sanctuary in a Greensboro church

Religion / Religious News /

GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Juana Luz Tobar Ortega, 49, has been living in the cinder block room that used to be the nursery for St. Barnabas Episcopal Church in Greensboro for two weeks.

She has a bed, a nightstand and a small TV. Her family visits her during the week, but eventually they leave. She's grateful for her room and the volunteers taking ...Read more

Can virtual reality reduce high blood pressure at a church in South LA?

Religion / Religious News /

LOS ANGELES -- The Rev. Kelvin Sauls believes health and faith are two sides of the same coin.

He brings yoga and Zumba classes to his church in South L.A. because he knows African-Americans are particularly vulnerable to diabetes and heart disease.

"We can't save people's souls in the sanctuary and kill their bodies in the fellowship hall," ...Read more

Holy Fire said to be from Jesus' tomb travels from Jerusalem to Wichita

Religion / Religious News /

WICHITA, Kan. -- A fire is burning in the "unsleeping lamp" at St. George Orthodox Christian Cathedral in Wichita, a fire that Orthodox Christians believe is tied to a miracle and the resurrection of Christ.

It's the first time the Holy Fire has made its way to Wichita -- and the first confirmed time that the flame, believed to have originated ...Read more

7 things you might not know about Ramadan

Religion / Religious News /

Regardless of your faith, you may well know that Ramadan is a holy period for Muslims that is marked by reflection and fasting during the day.

The 30-day holiday is based on the lunar calendar and officially began in the United States this year on Saturday but Muslims usually begin their practice of observation at sunset the night before.

Here...Read more

Parents sue San Diego school district over Islamophobia bullying policy

Religion / Religious News /

SAN DIEGO -- A legal group and six parents have filed a lawsuit that challenges the constitutionality of a San Diego Unified School District plan to protect Muslim students from bullying.

"It's our position that the anti-bullying policies should protect all students regardless of ethnicity and affiliation, and they shouldn't be singling out any...Read more

Delayed by Nazis, bar mitzvah to now be celebrated by 89-year-old Holocaust survivor

Religion / Religious News /

CHICAGO -- Harold Katz didn't require a crash course in Hebrew before his bar mitzvah next week in Wilmette, Ill. He started preparing 76 years ago, and his skills never got rusty.

Katz, 89, who lives in a North Side retirement home, was to have celebrated the occasion in Czechoslovakia back in 1941. But that plan -- like so many others -- was ...Read more

Judge rules against group that sued California synagogue over ritual chicken slaughter

Religion / Religious News /

LOS ANGELES -- A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit against an Irvine synagogue by a group seeking to protect poultry.

The suit alleged that accepting donations to slaughter chickens as part of the ancient Yom Kippur atonement rite known as Kaparot constitutes an unfair business practice.

United Poultry Concerns, a nonprofit dedicated to ...Read more

Catholic schools try to find balance on LGBT issues

Religion / Religious News /

MIDDLETOWN, Conn. -- The controversy began, as many do these days, with an online petition.

A senior at Mercy High School in Middletown, an all-girls Catholic school, wanted to bring another girl as her date to the prom. The school's longstanding policy was clear -- girls go with friends or bring a boy as a date.

More than 1,800 signed the ...Read more

He's 98 and retired from the pulpit. Will there be a next Billy Graham?

Religion / Religious News /

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Who will be the next Billy Graham?

The Charlotte-born Graham is now 98, lives quietly in his mountain home in Montreat, N.C., and hasn't preached to a packed-stadium crusade in 12 years.

Yet no "next Billy Graham" has emerged -- that is, no American religious figure who commands as much fame, impact, and respect as Graham ...Read more

Pope Francis beatifies Capuchin friar, one step from sainthood

Religion / Religious News /

MILWAUKEE -- A Capuchin friar born in Wisconsin in 1870 was beatified Thursday by Pope Francis, the third of four steps to becoming a saint.

Father Solanus Casey co-founded the Capuchin Soup Kitchen in Detroit in 1929, which continues to provide food, clothing and human development programs, including as many as 2,000 meals each day.

He was ...Read more

For many overbooked Christian families, Wednesday is the new Sunday

Religion / Religious News /

BLOOMINGTON, Minn. -- Each Wednesday, the Latzke family heads to their Bloomington church for an evening of religious education and a worship service. Sunday is too packed to squeeze in church, so now Wednesday is their day -- as it is for thousands of busy Minnesotans.

"Wednesday is the new Sunday," is what some clergy call this trend ...Read more

26 percent of Americans are atheist? Researchers say the godless are undercounted

Religion / Religious News /

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Josh Stewart differs from most atheists. He'll tell you there is no God.

But when he gets together with other faithless folks in the Kansas City Atheist Coalition, they color code their name tags. One hue for those who are proudly public about their beliefs, another for whom photographers are asked to avoid.

"It is an issue...Read more

Kansas archdiocese severs ties with Girl Scouts and urges end to cookie sales

Religion / Religious News /

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Saying that Girl Scouts is "no longer a compatible partner in helping us form young women with the virtues and values of the Gospel," the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas is severing ties with the organization and switching its support to a Christian-based scouting program.

"I have asked the pastors of the Archdiocese to...Read more

Pope leaves Egypt after 2-day visit

Religion / Religious News /

CAIRO -- Pope Francis left Egypt charmed Saturday after a two-day visit during which he embraced Muslim leaders and challenged religious extremists.

"Everyone was really touched with his sincerity," Vivian Gobran of Cairo said after attending a Mass that Francis celebrated at the suburban Air Defense Stadium Saturday. "He brought his blessing ...Read more

Pope Francis delivers anti-terrorism message to open 2-day visit to Egypt

Religion / Religious News /

CAIRO -- Pope Francis on Friday won over the Egyptian audience with his first few words, spoken in Arabic: "Peace be with you."

"There is no justification for violence," he said to applause during a peace conference in Cairo, adding that it's the responsibility of clerics and other religious leaders to expose those responsible for extremist ...Read more

Pope heads to Egypt with peace and mercy message for Muslims and Christians

Religion / Religious News /

CAIRO -- In video posted online this week by the Vatican, Pope Francis sounds excited about his two-day trip to Egypt starting Friday, despite recent terrorist attacks.

"As salaam alaikum -- peace be with you! ... Thank you for having invited me to visit Egypt, which you call Umm al Dunya, Mother of the World," the pope read from prepared ...Read more

'Community beyond belief' follows church model without religion

Religion / Religious News /

WICHITA, Kan. -- People at Wichita Oasis start showing up at around 10 on Sunday morning, drinking coffee and chatting before the music begins.

Once children are safely in the large playroom -- complete with a chalk wall, a tent and plenty of toys -- the adults and youths find their seats, ready for music and announcements.

But when the music ...Read more

Amid a nationwide enrollment drop, Catholic educators gather in St. Louis

Religion / Religious News /

ST. LOUIS -- Catholic educators greeted a grim reality Tuesday at the start of their annual convention in St. Louis: they face a Catholic school enrollment that has shrunk 19 percent in a decade.

The National Catholic Educational Association convention, the largest private education gathering in the country, drew almost 8,000 attendees in St. ...Read more

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