Top Religion News

Vice President Mike Pence, left, greets Senior Pastor Dr. Robert Jeffress, right, after Pence spoke at the Southern Baptist megachurch First Baptist Dallas during a Celebrate Freedom Rally in Dallas, Sunday, June 28, 2020. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

Virus loans helped entities tied to Trump evangelical allies

Jul. 7, 2020 4:15 PM EDT

NEW YORK (AP) — Churches connected to President Donald Trump and other organizations linked to current or former Trump evangelical advisers received at least $17.3 million in loans from a federal rescue package designed to aid small businesses during the coronavirus pandemic. Those receiving loans include...

FILE - In this March 7, 2020 file photo, workers disinfect the ground around the Kaaba, the cubic building at the Grand Mosque, over fears of the new coronavirus, the Muslim holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia. Guidelines were announced Monday, July 6, 2020 as Saudi Arabia gets ready for the 1,000 or so pilgrims that will be allowed to perform the hajj pilgrimage in Mecca later this month. The experience will be unlike any before which usually draws some 2.5 million people. (AP Photo/Amr Nabil, File)

New at Saudi hajj: Bottled holy water, sterilized pebbles

Jul. 7, 2020 1:40 PM EDT

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Saudi Arabia has issued guidelines for about 1,000 pilgrims who will be allowed to perform the hajj pilgrimage in Mecca later this month, an experience that will be unlike any before because of the coronavirus pandemic. The pilgrims will only be able to drink holy water...

FILE In this file photo taken on Wednesday, June 17, 2020, Father Sergiy, a Russian monk who has defied the Russian Orthodox Church's leadership, right, speaks to journalists in Russian Ural's Sredneuralsk, Russia. The Russian Orthodox Church on Friday July 3, 2020, defrocked Father Sergiy, who has defied the coronavirus lockdown orders and has taken control over a monastery. (AP Photo/Vladimir Podoksyonov, FILE)

Russian court fines coronavirus-denying rebel monk

Jul. 7, 2020 7:45 AM EDT

MOSCOW (AP) — A Russian court on Tuesday fined a coronavirus-denying monk who has challenged Kremlin lockdown orders for spreading false information about the pandemic. The court in the Ural Mountains region ordered Father Sergiy to pay 90,000 rubles ($1,250). The 65-year-old monk, who has attracted...

Horse mounted police officers patrol Via della Conciliazione, the street leading to St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, on the occasion of the Feast of Rome's Patrons Saints Peter and Paul, in Rome Monday, June 29, 2020. (Mauro Scrobogna/LaPresse via AP)

Vatican watchdog sees record cooperation levels despite raid

Jul. 3, 2020 9:13 AM EDT

The Vatican’s financial watchdog agency has reported record levels of internal cooperation despite being thrown into turmoil in October when Vatican police raided its offices as part of an investigation into a 350 million-euro (nearly $400 million) London real estate deal. The Financial Information...

Founder of German Schoenstatt Movement accused of abuses

Jul. 2, 2020 3:18 PM EDT

Another founder of a 20th century lay Catholic movement has been accused of abusing his power, including sexually and spiritually, with nuns in his care. A German researcher says she found evidence in newly released Vatican archives that the Holy See investigated the Rev. Josef Kentenich during the 1950s and...

Latest Religion News

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks during a press conference at the State Department, Wednesday, June 24, 2020 in Washington. (Mandel Ngan/Pool via AP)

US hits Chinese officials with visa bans over Tibet access

Jul. 7, 2020 5:28 PM EDT

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump administration fired a new shot in its diplomatic war with China on Tuesday by imposing travel bans on Chinese officials it says are restricting foreigners’ access to Tibet. While waging concurrent battles over Beijing’s policies in Hong Kong, human rights in...

Vice President Mike Pence, left, greets Senior Pastor Dr. Robert Jeffress, right, after Pence spoke at the Southern Baptist megachurch First Baptist Dallas during a Celebrate Freedom Rally in Dallas, Sunday, June 28, 2020. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

Virus loans helped entities tied to Trump evangelical allies

Jul. 7, 2020 4:15 PM EDT

NEW YORK (AP) — Churches connected to President Donald Trump and other organizations linked to current or former Trump evangelical advisers received at least $17.3 million in loans from a federal rescue package designed to aid small businesses during the coronavirus pandemic. Those receiving loans include...

FILE - In this March 7, 2020 file photo, workers disinfect the ground around the Kaaba, the cubic building at the Grand Mosque, over fears of the new coronavirus, the Muslim holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia. Guidelines were announced Monday, July 6, 2020 as Saudi Arabia gets ready for the 1,000 or so pilgrims that will be allowed to perform the hajj pilgrimage in Mecca later this month. The experience will be unlike any before which usually draws some 2.5 million people. (AP Photo/Amr Nabil, File)

New at Saudi hajj: Bottled holy water, sterilized pebbles

Jul. 7, 2020 1:40 PM EDT

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Saudi Arabia has issued guidelines for about 1,000 pilgrims who will be allowed to perform the hajj pilgrimage in Mecca later this month, an experience that will be unlike any before because of the coronavirus pandemic. The pilgrims will only be able to drink holy water...

FILE - In this June 1, 2020, file photo, President Donald Trump holds a Bible as he visits outside St. John's Church across Lafayette Park from the White House in Washington. Trump began June with his Bible-clutching photo op outside the church after authorities used chemicals and batons to scatter peaceful demonstrators, and the month never got less jarring or divisive. Now, some Republicans are expressing concern about the month's impact on their party's ability to hold the Senate. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)

GOP worries Trump's divisive June imperils Senate control

Jul. 7, 2020 11:53 AM EDT

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump's June began with his Bible-clutching photo op outside a church after authorities used chemicals and batons to scatter peaceful demonstrators. It never got less jarring or divisive. By month's end, he was downplaying a coronavirus pandemic upsurge that was forcing...

An Israeli flag flies over a Jewish owned house in a Palestinian neighborhood of Silwan in east Jerusalem, Wednesday, July 1, 2020. Israeli leaders paint Jerusalem as a model of coexistence, the

Jerusalem offers a grim model for a post-annexation future

Jul. 7, 2020 10:49 AM EDT

JERUSALEM (AP) — It's hard to say what exactly will change in the West Bank if Israel follows through on its plans to annex parts of the occupied territory, but east Jerusalem, which was annexed more than a half-century ago, may provide some answers. Israeli leaders paint Jerusalem as a model of...

FILE In this file photo taken on Wednesday, June 17, 2020, Father Sergiy, a Russian monk who has defied the Russian Orthodox Church's leadership, right, speaks to journalists in Russian Ural's Sredneuralsk, Russia. The Russian Orthodox Church on Friday July 3, 2020, defrocked Father Sergiy, who has defied the coronavirus lockdown orders and has taken control over a monastery. (AP Photo/Vladimir Podoksyonov, FILE)

Russian court fines coronavirus-denying rebel monk

Jul. 7, 2020 7:45 AM EDT

MOSCOW (AP) — A Russian court on Tuesday fined a coronavirus-denying monk who has challenged Kremlin lockdown orders for spreading false information about the pandemic. The court in the Ural Mountains region ordered Father Sergiy to pay 90,000 rubles ($1,250). The 65-year-old monk, who has attracted...

Students wearing face masks to protect against the new coronavirus have their documents checked by security officers before the first day of China's national college entrance examinations, known as the gaokao, in Beijing, Tuesday, July 7, 2020. China's college entrance exams began in Beijing on Tuesday after being delayed by a month due to the coronavirus outbreak. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)

The Latest: Air New Zealand puts hold on new flight bookings

Jul. 6, 2020 11:02 PM EDT

WELLINGTON, New Zealand — New Zealand’s national carrier has put a temporary hold on new bookings for flights into the country while the government tries to find enough quarantined hotel rooms for people returning home. Air New Zealand says the hold will last for three weeks and it is also trying...

Protesters back Indiana pastor who called activists maggots

Jul. 6, 2020 8:14 PM EDT

CARMEL, Ind. (AP) — Supporters of an Indiana minister who was suspended for calling organizers of the Black Lives Matter movement “maggots and parasites” walked out of a service and shouted at a bishop who ended his remarks with the words, “Black lives matter.” The...

Victims' group seeks dismissal of archdiocese bankrucptcy

Jul. 6, 2020 6:54 PM EDT

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — An organization of victims of sexual abuse by Roman Catholic clergy is seeking dismissal of a bankruptcy filing by the Archdiocese of New Orleans. The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests said in a Monday news release that its filing, submitted Friday in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in...

FILE - In this June 30, 2020 file photo, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin testifies during a House Financial Services Committee hearing on the coronavirus response on Capitol Hill in Washington. The Treasury Department said it is releasing on Monday, July 6 the names of more than 700,000 companies that received funds from the government’s small business lending program, a massive effort intended to support the economy as states shut down in April to contain the viral outbreak (Tasos Katopodis/Pool via AP, File)

Small business aid went beyond hard-hit companies, data show

Jul. 6, 2020 6:53 PM EDT

WASHINGTON (AP) — The government on Monday identified roughly 650,000 mostly small businesses and nonprofits that received taxpayer money through a federal program that was designed to soften job losses from the coronavirus but also benefited wealthy, well-connected companies and some celebrity owned...