Health & Spirit

Syrian refugee community growing, and so is support from Fresno's faithful

Religion / Religious News /

FRESNO, Calif. -- A group of Syrian refugees and Christian churchgoers in Fresno met last year with a simple greeting: "Peace be upon you."

The members of Wesley United Methodist Church taught themselves how to say it in Arabic during a Sunday service before walking across their parking lot after church to introduce themselves to their new ...Read more

Sacha Pfeiffer of 'Spotlight' fame questions whether church understands gravity of sexual abuse

Religion / Religious News /

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- They were played by actors in "Spotlight," the Oscar-winning movie that told the story of how the Boston Globe uncovered what would turn out to be a worldwide child sex abuse scandal in the Roman Catholic Church.

But on Thursday night in Charlotte, an audience of trial lawyers got to hear from the real Sacha Pfeiffer, whose ...Read more

Pittsburgh effort creates hijabs for dolls

Religion / Religious News /

PITTSBURGH -- Gisele Fetterman, who started the Braddock Free Store and co-founded the excess food collection service 412 Food Rescue, goes to great lengths to instill values of egalitarianism in her three young children.

Back in 2013, before state-level bans against same-sex marriage were overturned, her husband, Braddock Mayor John Fetterman,...Read more

Pa. Catholic diocese agrees to policies in effort to prevent priest sex abuse

Religion / Religious News /

PITTSBURGH -- A Pennsylvania Catholic diocese of Altoona-Johnstown agreed with federal prosecutors Monday on formal policies designed to detect and prevent sexual abuse by priests.

The memorandum of understanding, while lacking the enforcement power of a court order, commits the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown to completely replace the board it ...Read more

Sanctuary movement: Houses of worship consider offering refuge to immigrants

Religion / Religious News /

CHICAGO -- Alarmed by President Donald Trump's campaign proposals to crack down on immigration and subsequent executive orders that called for barring refugees and expediting deportations, hundreds of churches, synagogues and mosques nationwide are considering the bold move to provide sanctuary to immigrants who are living in the U.S. illegally....Read more

'Catholic Muslim' Fresno Latina shares concerns and reminder: 'Islam is for everybody'

Religion / Religious News /

FRESNO, Calif. -- Thalia Arenas of Fresno sometimes is asked, "How are you Muslim if you're Mexican? I don't understand."

It's a perplexing question to the 28-year-old Fresno woman, but one she answers willingly.

"Islam is for everybody," she says. "Matter of fact, only 20 percent of Muslims in the world are Arab. Most of them are actually ...Read more

Philadelphia archbishop says it's amazing 'how hostile the press is' to Trump

Religion / Religious News /

PHILADELPHIA -- Archbishop Charles J. Chaput of Philadelphia told a radio talk show host Monday that he believes less than 25 percent of the "mainstream ... elite" media have religious faith, and expressed surprise at what he termed was their hostility toward President Donald Trump.

"It's just amazing to me how hostile the press is to ...Read more

Religious groups appalled by refugee ban cast Trump as an adversary

Religion / Religious News /

WASHINGTON -- People of faith have been on the front lines of refugee resettlement for decades, and they are both furious and disheartened that President Donald Trump has halted the U.S. program. Instead of collecting housewares and making welcome signs, they are now bracing for a fight against a former ally: the U.S. government.

"We now view ...Read more

The art of illumination: A modern Bible uses medieval techniques

Religion / Religious News /

ST. LOUIS -- The image glows 30 feet away. Up close, its gold embellishment is meant to awe, and reflect, an onlooker.

Using techniques hundreds of years old, a handmade Bible brings an ancient artistic tradition into the 21st century. Although created with swan quills, vellum and soot ink, it also uses images of DNA, soundwaves and at least ...Read more

Trump wants religion and politics to mix, but Congress is reluctant

Religion / Religious News /

WASHINGTON -- President Donald Trump vowed Thursday to "totally destroy" a measure that bars houses of worship from endorsing political candidates, and eager Capitol Hill conservatives are ready to fight for him. But they're unlikely to get the votes they need.

Trump called for an end to the so-called Johnson Amendment, a 1954 measure authored ...Read more

The story behind the viral photo of Muslim and Jewish children protesting at O'Hare

Religion / Religious News /

CHICAGO -- A Muslim and a Jewish father had never met before bringing their children to O'Hare International Airport Monday to join in a protest of President Donald Trump's immigration ban. But after a photograph showing their son and daughter interacting went viral, they decided to bring their families together next week for dinner to celebrate...Read more

Eat, drink and be Catholic at Theology on Tap

Religion / Religious News /

AKRON, Ohio -- All it took was a slight nod from the priest to settle the loud crowd.

Instinctively, the hands collectively rose in unison to touch their fingertips to their foreheads.

In the name of the Father.

The hands of the hundred or so young Catholics then fell to touch the middle of their chests.

And of the Son.

The hands swiftly ...Read more

Turned away in Chisago County, Bosnian Muslims search anew for cemetery land

Religion / Religious News /

MINNEAPOLIS -- The small group of Bosnian Muslims practice their faith in Minneapolis, but they wanted a cemetery they could call their own. They signed a purchase agreement on an affordable parcel in rural Chisago County, and the planning commission approved the land use.

But the County Board voted 3-2 to deny the permit. Some assert the ...Read more

SNAP faces lawsuit claiming it colluded with clergy sex abuse victim attorneys

Religion / Religious News /

ST. LOUIS -- The advocacy group Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests has for decades pressured Catholic Church officials and helped expose clergy sex abuse cases that resulted in large payouts to victims and their attorneys.

Now the table is being turned on SNAP.

A former development director for the nonprofit organization claims that ...Read more

Mixed flock: When Democrats and Republicans share the pews

Religion / Religious News /

PITTSBURGH -- The Sunday after the presidential election, Pastor Rock Dillaman kept his ears tuned the conversations among members at the church he leads.

He knew both from his own observations and general trends that in a racially diverse congregation, there would be plenty of both Donald Trump supporters and Hillary Clinton backers, and he ...Read more

Will you pray for Donald Trump?

Religion / Religious News /

Donald J. Trump becomes the 45th president of the United States on Friday. Will you pray for him?

That's a question many Americans will be facing -- especially the millions who voted for someone else in November. Surely, we all want what's best for the country. But, after such a contentious election, are we willing to pray for Trump as his ...Read more

Detective says he warned of key witness in trial of monsignor

Religion / Religious News /

PHILADELPHIA -- It was January 2012, a month before the start of the child endangerment trial of Monsignor William J. Lynn, and retired Philadelphia Police Detective Joseph Walsh was called back to work by the district attorney's office to prep a key prosecution witness.

Instead, Walsh told a Philadelphia judge Friday, the veteran detective ...Read more

NC pastors — one white, one black — seek to build bonds between their churches

Religion / Religious News /

APEX, N.C. -- On the day of 2015's racially motivated attack on nine black worshipers in Charleston, S.C., Pastor Kyle Meier of Peak United Methodist Church picked up the phone to call Rev. James Taylor at nearby St. Mary AME Church.

Meier, who is white, asked if there was anything he and his predominantly white church on North Salem Street ...Read more

Americans are less Christian, but not so Congress

Religion / Religious News /

WASHINGTON -- The share of U.S. adults who describe themselves as Christians has been declining for decades, but today's Congress is about as Christian as it was in the early 1960s, according to a new analysis by the Pew Research Center.

The survey finds that among members of the new, 115th Congress, which took office Tuesday, 91 percent ...Read more

Hindus strive to end commercialization of their faith's sacred images

Religion / Religious News /

Bathroom mats. Toilet seats. Shoes. Dog tags.

All of these items have, in recent years, gone on sale adorned with images of Hindu deities, particularly that of Ganesha, known most commonly in the West for his elephant face.

"It is inappropriate, and it is offensive to devotees," said Rajan Zed, a Reno-based Hindu activist who protests against ...Read more