LONDON (RNS) Eight of the 47 countries that hold seats on the United Nations Human Rights Council imprisoned people in 2013 under laws that restrict religious freedom, according to a new report from Human Rights Without Frontiers International, a nonprofit advocacy organization based in Belgium.
(RNS) The Philadelphia priest whose conviction for failing to report child-abusing clerics to authorities was overturned last week was granted a $250,000 bail on Monday (Dec. 30). But it could take at least another week before Monsignor William Lynn is free.
When Pope Francis left his script Christmas morning to ad-lib an invitation to atheists to join the prayerful in “desiring peace,” it may have been the first time an Urbi et Orbi Christmas address—an annual message “to the city and the world”—mentioned unbelievers.
(RNS) ‘Tis the season for giving — but not always for receiving.
As the holiday season peaks, atheist and humanist groups around the country have seen their charitable impulses rebuffed by both Christian and secular organizations. Recent incidents of “thanks, but no thanks,” include:
(RNS) The Rev. Frank Schaefer was defrocked by United Methodist officials in Pennsylvania on Thursday (Dec. 19), after he refused to conform to denominational rules that prohibit ministers from officiating at same-sex weddings.
Schaefer, who pastors a church in Lebanon, Pa., said he plans to appeal the decision.
Clergy used to rank near the top in polls where Americans were asked to rate the honesty and ethics of people in various professions. This year, for the first time since Gallup began asking the question in 1977, fewer than half of those polled said clergy have “high” or “very high” moral standards.
(RNS) He’s Time magazine’s Person of the Year, the most talked about topic on Facebook and the most popular baby namesake in Italy. No surprise, Pope Francis is also the top Religion Story of the Year and the Religion Newsmaker of the Year, according to a poll of Religion Newswriters members.
(RNS) Harold Camping, the radio preacher who convinced thousands of followers that Jesus would return on May 21, 2011, to usher in the end of the the world, has died, according to a statement released late Monday (Dec. 16) by his Family Radio network. He was 92.