Latest Religion and politics News

A family burn paper offerings for their departed relatives on the streets of Wuhan in central China's Hubei province on Saturday, April 4, 2020. Authorities are controlling access and limiting the number of people entering cemeteries across China during the annual Qingming festival, also known as the Grave Sweeping Day, a day when Chinese around the world remember their dearly departed and take time off to clean up the tombs and place flowers and offerings, a move to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus outbreak. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)

The Latest: Nearly 3,000 released from Sri Lanka prisons

Apr. 4, 2020 11:18 PM EDT

The Latest on the coronavirus pandemic. The new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms for most people. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness or death. TOP OF THE HOUR: , — China reports 30 new coronavirus cases, mostly from new...

FILE - This Monday, March 30, 2020 file photo shows The River Church in Tampa, Fla. Pastor Rodney Howard-Browne was arrested Monday, March 30, 2020, for violating a county order by hosting a large number of congregants at the church. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

New coronavirus limits bring new religious freedom tension

Apr. 4, 2020 7:14 PM EDT

NEW YORK (AP) — Despite state and local limits on public gatherings, some faith leaders have persisted in holding in-person services -- a matter of religious freedom, they say, as the nation approached its fourth Sunday battling the coronavirus pandemic. The most high-profile clash over in-person worship...

Congregants remain in their cars during a prayer service held outside at First United Pentecostal Church, Thursday, April 2, 2020, in Brandon, Miss. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

Mississippi churches take services online, into parking lots

Apr. 4, 2020 6:54 PM EDT

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Some Mississippi houses of worship are offering online services during the coronavirus pandemic. Others are inviting people to sit in vehicles outside the sanctuary to have socially distant prayer and maybe to hear a pastor's message over the radio. Gov. Tate Reeves says he does not...

Police officers restrict a rickshaw driver defying the nation-wide lockdown to curb the spread of the coronavirus in Hyderabad, Pakistan, Friday, March, 3, 2020. (Some mosques were allowed to remain open in Pakistan on Friday, the Muslim sabbath when adherents gather for weekly prayers, even as the coronavirus pandemic spread and much of the country had shut down. (AP Photo/Pervez Masih)

Mosques stay open in Pakistan even as virus death toll rises

Apr. 3, 2020 2:40 PM EDT

ISLAMABAD (AP) — Mosques were allowed to remain open in Pakistan on Friday, when Muslims gather for weekly prayers, even as the coronavirus pandemic spread and much of the country had shut down. Prime Minister Imran Khan is relying on restricting the size of congregations attending mosques and advice to...

FILE - IN this Jan. 29, 2019 file photo, Communications adviser Mercedes Schlapp speaks during a television interview in the press briefing at the White House in Washington. President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign is ramping up its courtship of Catholic voters ahead of a likely November matchup against a devout Catholic Democrat, former Vice President Joe Biden. The campaign previewed its message at a Thursday, April 2, 2020  launch of a “Catholics for Trump” coalition, touting the president’s religious freedom record and anti-abortion policies.  (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)

Trump campaign kicks off Catholic voter outreach project

Apr. 3, 2020 12:36 PM EDT

NEW YORK (AP) — President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign is ramping up its courtship of Catholic voters ahead of a likely November matchup against a devout Catholic Democrat, former Vice President Joe Biden. The campaign previewed its message at a Thursday night launch of a “Catholics for...

A worker disinfects the doors of the closed Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem's Old City, as general public movements are limited to prevent the spread of coronavirus, Monday, March 30, 2020. (AP Photo/Mahmoud Illean)

Israel to help Christians share 'holy fire' amid outbreak

Apr. 3, 2020 11:55 AM EDT

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel is working with foreign governments and Orthodox Christian leaders in the Holy Land to make sure that one of their most ancient and mysterious rituals — the Holy Fire ceremony — is not extinguished by the coronavirus outbreak, officials said Friday. Each year,...

File - In this Monday, March 30, 2020 file photo, Israeli police arrest an Ultra Orthodox Jew during protest against government's measures to stop the spread of the coronavirus in the orthodox neighborhood of Mea Shearim in Jerusalem. (AP Photo/Mahmoud Illean, File)

After ignoring warnings, Israeli ultra-Orthodox hit by virus

Apr. 3, 2020 10:36 AM EDT

BNEI BRAK, Israel (AP) — Early this week, the streets of the central Israeli city of Bnei Brak were bustling with shoppers as ultra-Orthodox residents, obeying their religious leaders, ignored pleas to stay home in the face of the coronavirus threat. By Friday, Bnei Brak had become the country's worst hot...

An Impoverished Indians gives his finger print on a biometric machine after purchasing food ration in Prayagraj, India, Thursday, April 2, 2020. India is adding more resources to tackle its increase in coronavirus cases by announcing that private hospitals may be requisitioned to help treat virus patients, and turning railway cars and a motor racing circuit into makeshift quarantine facilities. The steps were taken after a nationwide lockdown announced last week by Prime Minister Narendra Modi led to a mass exodus of migrant workers from cities to their villages, often on foot and without food and water, raising fears that the virus may have reached to the countryside, where health care facilities are limited. (AP Photo/Rajesh Kumar Singh)

The Latest: India's PM looks to boost country's morale

Apr. 3, 2020 12:38 AM EDT

The Latest on the coronavirus pandemic. The new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms for most people. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness or death. TOP OF THE HOUR: — India's PM urges citizens to light candles Sunday night to...

Wendy Lopez helps distribute free meals for curbside delivery for residents that signed up online at a restaurant Wednesday, April 1, 2020, in Orlando, Fla. Workers from several restaurants helped give out fresh meals, part of a #ChefsForAmerica event, providing meals to residents today and tomorrow. (AP Photo/John Raoux)

Florida jobless claims rise as does anger among unemployed

Apr. 2, 2020 9:10 PM EDT

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Unemployment claims in Florida skyrocketed Thursday — as did frustrations among the newly jobless who have struggled for weeks to file for financial relief amid the coronavirus outbreak that has crippled the state's economy and sidelined much of its workforce. To alleviate...

FILE - In this Feb. 1, 2020, file photo, funeral home workers remove the body of a person suspected to have died from the coronavirus outbreak from a residential building in Wuhan in central China's Hubei Province. Skepticism about China’s reported coronavirus cases and deaths has swirled throughout the crisis, fueled by official efforts to quash bad news in the early days and a general distrust of the government. In any country, getting a complete picture of the infections amid the fog of war is virtually impossible. (Chinatopix via AP, File)

The Latest: Israel's health minister has new coronavirus

Apr. 2, 2020 1:13 AM EDT

The Latest on the coronavirus pandemic. The new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms for most people. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness or death. TOP OF THE HOUR: ___ — Isreaeo's health minister diagnosed with new...