c. 2012 Religion News Service NEWARK, N.J. (RNS) Islamic leaders say they are shocked that a review by New Jersey's state attorney general into the New York Police Department's secret surveillance operation targeting Muslim businesses and mosques in New Jersey found the NYPD did nothing wrong.
c. 2012 Religion News Service WASHINGTON (RNS) The Anti-Defamation League is taking issue with a new, broadly supported pamphlet on balancing anti-bullying policies and religious speech in public schools.
c. 2012 Religion News Service (RNS) A Southern Baptist leader who works on gay outreach has criticized recent anti-gay comments by two Baptist pastors in North Carolina, saying they "show a complete lack of understanding of how to minister to those struggling with this particular temptation."
An oft-clichéd notion of heaven—a blissful realm of harp-strumming angels—has remained a fixture of the faith for centuries. Even as arguments go on as to who will or won’t be “saved,” surveys show that a vast majority of Americans believe that after death their souls will ascend to some kind of celestial resting place.
c. 2012 Religion News Service CHICAGO (RNS) Every year, some 100,000 pilgrims trek to the Taize ecumenical community in France where the biggest attraction is the music, a throwback -- way, way back, about 1,500 years or so -- to repetitive plainchant.
New Testament theologian Walter Wink, noted for relating the biblical phrase “principalities and powers” to the dominating sociopolitical structures of the modern era, died May 10, leaving a legacy of books, teachings and nonviolent resistance to apartheid in South Africa. Diagnosed with dementia, he died at home in Sandisfield, Massachusetts, at age 76.
As pundits and politicians struggle to divine the political fallout from President Obama’s sudden endorsement of same-sex marriage, one thing has become clear: the Golden Rule invoked by Obama to explain his change of heart is the closest thing Americans have to a common religious law—and that has important implications beyond the battle for gay rights.
c. 2012 St. Louis Post-Dispatch ST. LOUIS (RNS) When Adil Imdad's 28-year-old cousin died of cancer in Ohio two years ago, the family's grief was compounded by the absence of Muslim ritual following her death. There was no imam nearby to handle the religious customs, no Muslim funeral director to supervise the washing of the body, no Muslim cemetery where the family could lay her to rest.
c. 2012 Religion News Service NEW YORK (RNS) The wave of lawsuits filed this week by more than 40 Catholic groups against the Obama administration's birth control mandate was meant as a demonstration of church unity and influence in the face of what some bishops see as a grave threat to the church's very existence.
c. 2012 Religion News Service WASHINGTON (RNS) U.S. Catholic bishops have used the Obama administration's contraception mandate as Exhibit A in their high-stakes defense of "religious freedom." But it's not just the bishops who are fuming, and it's not only over contraception.
c. 2012 Religion News Service BOSTON (RNS) Groups of Boston-area Catholics who have waged an eight-year battle to block the sale of parish buildings are running out of options as the Vatican has rejected their appeals.
c. 2012 Religion News Service VATICAN CITY (RNS) Over the course of the last six months, Pope Benedict XVI delivered five major speeches to small groups of American bishops who were in Rome for their "ad limina" visits, which are required once every five years.