Latest Religion and politics News

Abortion opponents sue NY over anti-discrimination law

Nov. 18, 2019 5:28 PM EST

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — A church and anti-abortion pregnancy centers want to strike down New York’s new law that prevents employers from discriminating against employees over their reproductive health decisions. The groups filed a lawsuit this month asking a federal court to declare the state law...

Teacher union to sue Quebec on religious symbols ban

Nov. 18, 2019 3:35 PM EST

GATINEAU, Quebec (AP) — A union federation representing 45,000 teachers in Quebec is suing the Canadian province over its ban on the wearing of religious symbols by many public employees. The lawsuit by the Fédération Autonome de l'Enseignement challenges a state secularism law passed this year...

Gotabaya Rajapaksa sworn in as Sri Lanka’s new president

Nov. 18, 2019 5:53 AM EST

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — Former defense secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa was sworn in as Sri Lanka’s president on Monday and appealed to minority Tamils and Muslims who voted against him to give their support. Rajapaksa, who is credited with helping end the country’s long civil war, comfortably...

Tolerant Thailand to welcome pope, but martyrs tale haunts

Nov. 17, 2019 11:52 PM EST

SONGKHON, Thailand (AP) — When Pope Francis makes his first trip to Thailand this week, he will be visiting a country that welcomed Roman Catholic missionaries more than five centuries ago and whose Buddhist population remains strikingly tolerant of other religious beliefs. But in 1940, as militarism and...

UN calls for talks to end Bolivia crisis as death toll rises

Nov. 17, 2019 9:12 PM EST

LA PAZ, Bolivia (AP) — Shadowed by street violence and food shortages, a U.N. envoy is urging the government of Bolivia’s self-proclaimed interim president and supporters of self-exiled leader Evo Morales to begin talks on peacefully resolving a crisis that has already claimed 23 lives, an official...

Pope’s Asian agenda: Disarmament, martyrs, family reunion

Nov. 17, 2019 9:06 AM EST

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis has agendas both pastoral and personal for his trip to Asia, where he’ll appeal for global nuclear disarmament at the sites of the atomic bomb and minister to two tiny Catholic communities that have suffered gruesome periods of persecution. Emphasizing the dignity of...

Former Sri Lankan defense chief wins presidential vote

Nov. 17, 2019 6:44 AM EST

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — Gotabaya Rajapaksa, a former defense official revered by Sri Lanka’s ethnic majority for his role in ending a bloody civil war but feared by minorities for his brutal approach, registered a comfortable victory Sunday in the nation’s presidential election. Elections...

Myanmar rejects court probe into crimes against Rohingyas

Nov. 16, 2019 7:43 PM EST

YANGON, Myanmar (AP) — Myanmar's government rejected the International Criminal Court's decision to allow prosecutors to open an investigation into crimes committed against the Rohingya Muslim minority. Government spokesman Zaw Htay said at a Friday night press conference that Myanmar stood by its position...

Muslim voters attacked in Sri Lanka presidential election

Nov. 16, 2019 8:38 AM EST

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — Polls closed Saturday evening after a day of voting for Sri Lanka’s next president, an election marred by shots fired at a convoy of Muslims heading to cast their ballots in what some called a coordinated effort to disenfranchise the minority group. There were no reported...

5 protesters dead in violence over key Baghdad squares

Nov. 15, 2019 4:30 PM EST

BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraqi security forces fired live ammunition and tear gas in renewed clashes with anti-government protesters in central Baghdad on Friday, killing three people, while Iraq’s top Shiite religious leader warned its government to heed calls for sweeping political reforms. Separately, a...