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Irfan Khan/Los Angeles Times/TNS

During Ramadan, every night is a 'date' night

Religion / Religious News /

LOS ANGELES – The table was laden with food: a rack of lamb, well roasted and succulent. A platter of chicken over rice. A tray of tabbouleh, a bulgur salad speckled with parsley. A rainbow of watermelon, orange slices and grapes.

But the first things guests reached for as they gathered at the Fejleh family's home to break fast together on a ...Read more

Vatican Media/CPP/IPA/TNS

Pope allows cardinals, bishops to be tried by Vatican's lay criminal tribunal

Religion / Religious News /

Cardinals and bishops will now be allowed to be tried by the Vatican’s lay criminal tribunal, according to a decree issued Friday by Pope Francis.

Until now, the Catholic Church’s most senior officials accused of criminal offenses could only be tried by their peers in the "Corte di Cassazone" (Court of Cassation), which is presided over by ...Read more

Samuel Corum/Getty Images North America/TNS

Supreme Court conservatives may reset balance between LGBTQ rights and religious liberty

Religion / Religious News /

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court is set to decide soon whether conservative Christians have a constitutional right to refuse to work with same-sex couples while participating in a city-funded foster care program that forbids such discrimination.

It is the latest and possibly most significant culture-war clash between the First Amendment’s ...Read more

Amy Davis / Baltimore Sun/The Baltimore Sun/TNS

After a year of COVID-related isolation, Muslim community thankful for drive-thru dinner to break Ramadan fast

Religion / Religious News /

BALTIMORE – It’s 2 1/2 hours before sunset, a drizzle is falling under gloomy skies, and the cars are lined up by the dozen in the parking lot of the Islamic Society of Baltimore.

Drivers and passengers, many wearing headscarves or skullcaps, wait in minivans, luxury sedans and old beaters for a signal to move forward. On reaching the ...Read more

Diocese of Crookston/TNS

Minnesota bishop resigns at pope's request after abuse cover-up

Religion / Religious News /

MINNEAPOLIS — Bishop Michael Hoeppner of the Crookston Diocese resigned Tuesday after a request to step down by Pope Francis and an investigation that showed he had covered up a sex abuse allegation against a priest.

Hoeppner is the first U.S. bishop to be disciplined under new Vatican protocols for reviewing and sanctioning bishops for sex ...Read more

Irfan Khan/Los Angeles Times/TNS

September trial date set in Luz del Mundo sex abuse case

Religion / Religious News /

LOS ANGELES — A judge on Monday set a Sept. 27 trial date for Naason Joaquin Garcia, the head of La Luz del Mundo church, who faces a slew of sex abuse charges.

Superior Court Judge Ronald S. Coen also ordered Susana Medina Oaxaca, who faces charges alongside Garcia, to appear in court in downtown Los Angeles then.

An attorney from the ...Read more

VATICAN MEDIA/IPA/IPA via ZUMA Press/TNS

Commentary: Why America's record godlessness is good news for the nation

Religion / Religious News /

The secularization of U.S. society — the waning of religious faith, practice and affiliation — is continuing at a dramatic and historically unprecedented pace. While many may consider such a development as cause for concern, such a worry is not warranted. This increasing godlessness in America is actually a good thing, to be welcomed and ...Read more

Anthony Souffle/00063826A/TNS

New prayer stickers are a welcome message for Muslim patients

Religion / Religious News /

MINNEAPOLIS – Muslims getting care at the Hennepin Healthcare will no longer scramble to locate the right direction for prayer.

The hospital and Muslim leaders on Tuesday affixed stickers in 60 rooms around the emergency department indicating qibla, the direction they should face when praying. Hennepin Healthcare also made a commitment to put...Read more

Doral Chenoweth/Dispatch/The Columbus Dispatch/TNS

Pastor puzzles siblings during pandemic with daily riddle

Religion / Religious News /

The Rev. Eric Brown really thought he had stumped his six younger siblings on March 29.

“Oh no, they’re not getting this one,” he said confidently and with a chuckle just moments after filming a short video of him asking a daily riddle for the group and sending it to his two brothers and four sisters.

What can you keep after giving it to...Read more

Genaro Molina/Los Angeles Times/TNS

Asian American Christians confront racism and evangelical 'purity culture' after Atlanta spa shootings

Religion / Religious News /

Before Robert Aaron Long burst into three Atlanta massage spas and allegedly killed eight people — six of them women of Asian descent — he was a teenager struggling to conform with Evangelical teachings on "purity culture" and abstinence from sex.

The Rev. Chul Yoo knew Long back then. A former minister in Long's church, Yoo understood the ...Read more

Genaro Molina/Los Angeles Times/TNS

As churches mark Easter, hope builds for return to in-person services

Religion / Religious News /

ATLANTA — The Nett Church in Gwinnett County plans to hold Easter service indoors, the first in-person service inside the church buildings since last March 15.

Since that time, the church, like many others, has turned online, with congregants watching streamed services. Nett Church — which has campuses in Lawrenceville, Lilburn and Norcross...Read more

Brian van der Brug/Los Angeles Times/TNS

Majority of Americans don’t belong to a place of worship in historic decline, poll finds

Religion / Religious News /

For the first time in eight decades, fewer than 50% of Americans say they belong to a church, synagogue or mosque amid an ongoing steep decline in religious attendance, according to a new biannual Gallup poll.

Gallup first began polling Americans on church membership in 1937. In the six decades that followed, between 68% and 76% of Americans ...Read more

'God is doing something': Priest's daily Bible podcast tops charts, reaches millions

Religion / Religious News /

DULUTH, Minn. – Sometime last spring, feeling distressed and distracted by all that was going on in the world, the Rev. Mike Schmitz turned to the Bible.

"I realized it was grounding me in a unique way," the Duluth Catholic priest said. "It helped me find a sense of peace."

That gave Schmitz, an avid podcast and audiobook consumer, an idea: ...Read more

Dania Maxwell/Los Angeles Times/TNS

Hospital chaplains embrace new role during the pandemic: caring for caregivers

Religion / Religious News /

LOS ANGELES – Before entering the room of a COVID-19 patient, the Rev. Peggy Kelley dons personal protective gear — both physical and spiritual.

She pulls on a sterile gown and places a face shield over her mask. She pumps Purell into her gloved hands and holds them over her chest, checking in with her heart. With a few deep breaths, the ...Read more

Vatican Media/CPP/IPA/TNS

Commentary: You're wrong, Pope Francis, about gay couples

Religion / Religious News /

Well, Pope Francis, I disagree.

I respect much of what you’ve done in the papacy, Holy Father, but this statement from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, issued Monday with your approval, about the sinfulness of homosexuality is just plain wrongheaded.

It’s a truism, or at least it should be, that love is love.

Who is harmed ...Read more

TIM TAI/The Philadelphia Inquirer/TNS

Once addicted to heroin, this minister is now helping others as one of Philly's hunger fighters

Religion / Religious News /

PHILADELPHIA – On the worst day of Vito Baldini’s life, after scuffling on the streets of Philadelphia with drug addictions that were pushing him toward the grave, he was spotted outside a ShopRite by an old friend’s mother.

“Vito?” she asked, staring at the barely recognizable 23-year-old in his emaciated dissipation. “She saw me ...Read more

Terry Wyatt/Getty Images North America/TNS

Prominent evangelical Beth Moore steps away from Southern Baptist church

Religion / Religious News /

Prominent evangelist Beth Moore is no longer affiliated with the Southern Baptist church. The 63-year-old author and lecturer, who was criticized by some churchgoers for her opposition to Donald Trump, broke news of her departure from the church during a phone interview with Religion News Service.

“I don’t identify with some of the things ...Read more

Southern Baptist leaders remove Georgia church over LGBTQ inclusion

Religion / Religious News /

ATLANTA — The Rev. James Conrad, pastor of Towne View Baptist Church in Kennesaw, said the church will not appeal a decision Tuesday by the Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee to disfellowship it for affirming LGBTQ members.

“We’re not going to try to convince them to change their position” said Conrad, who has lead the ...Read more

Jose M. Osorio/Chicago Tribune/Chicago Tribune/TNS

COVID-19 means this year, Ash Wednesday ashes will be sprinkled or applied with a cotton applicator

Religion / Religious News /

CHICAGO – Ash Wednesday will look a little different for Chicago area Catholics, with new COVID-19 precautions featuring the sprinkling of ashes on the top of the head, a practice that is common in Europe, officials at the Archdiocese of Chicago said in a Friday statement.

Those receiving ashes on Feb. 17 may also have the option of having ...Read more

Alex Wong/Getty Images North America/TNS

Law firm finds credible evidence of sexual misconduct by late ministry leader Ravi Zacharias goes back years

Religion / Religious News /

ATLANTA — An investigation into allegations of sexual abuse and misconduct against Ravi Zacharias found credible evidence that the prominent Christian leader was involved in several incidents of unwanted touching, sexting, spiritual abuse and rape.

The international board of Alpharetta-based Ravi Zacharias International Ministries hired the ...Read more