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FILE - In this Dec. 8, 2020 file photo, Pope Francis delivers his message during the Angelus noon prayer from the window of his studio overlooking St.Peter's Square, on the Immaculate Conception day, at the Vatican. Pope Francis is once again canceling public appearances due to nerve pain. Francis will not participate in three events over the coming days “due to a recurrence of sciatica,” Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni said in a statement on Saturday, Jan. 23, 2021. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini, file)

Pope marking Holocaust warns another genocide possible

Jan. 27, 2021 8:44 AM EST

ROME (AP) — Pope Francis marked Holocaust Remembrance Day on Wednesday by warning that warped ideologies can pave the way to another genocide. Francis spoke off the cuff at the end of his weekly general audience, held in his private library because of coronavirus restrictions, to commemorate the 76th...

German woman charged with plotting attack on Muslims, others

Jan. 27, 2021 5:08 AM EST

BERLIN (AP) — A German woman has been charged with preparing a far-right attack and other crimes on allegations she was in the process of building a bomb to target Muslims and local politicians in Bavaria, Munich prosecutors said Wednesday. Susanne G., whose last name wasn't given in line with privacy...

FILE - In this Spet. 19, 1988 file photo Rev. Joseph Hart dispenses communion during an outdoor Mass celebrated for participants of the Basque Festival in Buffalo, Wyo. On Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2020 the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith cleared retired Cheyenne, Wyoming Bishop Hart of seven accusations of abuse, determined that five others couldn’t be proven “with moral certitude” and that two cases involving boys, who were 16 and 17, couldn’t be prosecuted given the Catholic Church didn’t consider them minors at the time of the alleged abuse, the diocese said. (AP Photo/Dean Wariner, File)

Vatican clears retired US bishop of multiple abuse claims

Jan. 26, 2021 4:41 PM EST

DENVER (AP) — The Vatican has cleared a retired U.S. bishop of multiple allegations he sexually abused minors and teenagers, rejecting lay experts' determination that a half-dozen claims were credible and instead slapping him on the wrist for what it called “flagrant" imprudent behavior. The...

FILE - In this April 21, 2020, file photo, Tony Spell, pastor of the Life Tabernacle Church, leaves East Baton Rouge Parish jail after posting bond in Baton Rouge, La. Louisiana authorities arrested the pastor on an assault charge after he admitted that he drove his church bus toward a man who has been protesting his decision to hold mass gatherings in defiance of public health orders during the coronavirus pandemic. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, File)

Judge refuses to toss case against defiant Louisiana pastor

Jan. 26, 2021 2:45 PM EST

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — A judge has refused to toss out six criminal complaints filed against a Louisiana pastor charged with violating coronavirus gathering capacity rules put in place during the early days of the pandemic. Nineteenth Judicial District Judge Eboni Johnson-Rose on Monday dismissed pastor...

Family members and volunteers from the Saaberie Chishty Society lower the body of a COVID-19 victim into a grave at the Avalon cemetery in Lenasia, South Africa, Monday, Jan. 4, 2021. For more than 30 years, the Saaberie Chishty ambulance service has responded to medical emergencies in a tight-knit Muslim community in Johannesburg. Now, as COVID-19 sweeps through, the service has greatly expanded to offer oxygen and home care. Confronted by an increased number of deaths, it also provides safe body preparation and burial to assure that people are still buried according to Muslim tradition. (AP Photo/Bram Janssen)

South African Muslim group safely buries its virus dead

Jan. 26, 2021 9:03 AM EST

JOHANNESBURG (AP) — Not even the full protective gear can mask the respect with which the men wash the body of a newly deceased member of their Muslim community. “To Allah we belong. Unto him shall we return. Ghusal Room 1,” reads a sign, referring to ghusal, the Muslim cleansing ritual, at...

Latest Religion News

Singapore detains 16-year-old over plans to attack mosques

Jan. 27, 2021 10:21 PM EST

SINGAPORE (AP) — Authorities in Singapore have detained without trial a 16-year-old student who made detailed plans and preparations to carry out “terrorist attacks” on two mosques with a machete. The Singaporean teen was inspired by an Australian white supremacist who killed 51 worshippers...

FILE - This Feb. 27, 2018, file photo, Israeli-born Australian Malka Leifer, right, is brought to a courtroom in Jerusalem. The former teacher extradited from Israel after a six-year legal battle appeared in an Australian court Thursday, Jan. 28, 2021, to face child sex abuse charges.(AP Photo/Mahmoud Illean, File)

Extradited teacher appears in Australia court on sex charges

Jan. 27, 2021 8:12 PM EST

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — A former teacher extradited from Israel after a six-year legal battle appeared in an Australian court Thursday to face child sex abuse charges. Israeli authorities extradited Malka Leifer this week after a long legal process that strained relations between the two governments...

This March 22, 2017, photo provided by Religion News Service shows Memorial Episcopal Church in Baltimore. The historic church has committed to setting aside $100,000 to reparations, an initiative that will contribute to local racial justice causes. Memorial Episcopal Church has also pledged to contribute an additional $400,000 for reparations and justice over five years. (Courtesy of Eli Pousson/Flickr/Religion News Service via AP)

Maryland Episcopal church commits $500,000 to reparations

Jan. 27, 2021 7:51 PM EST

(RNS) — A historic Episcopal church in Baltimore has committed to setting aside $100,000 to reparations, an initiative that will contribute to local racial justice causes. Memorial Episcopal Church also pledged to contribute an additional $400,000 for reparations and justice over five years. “Our...

FILE - In this Jan. 24, 2017, file photo, then Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback is seen at the Statehouse in Topeka, Kan. Former Gov. Brownback said he plans to make promoting racial reconciliation a focus of his life as a private citizen after more than a quarter century in politics. Brownback, stepped down as the country's ambassador-at-large for international religious freedom last week after Democrat Joe Biden took office. (AP Photo/John Hanna, File)

Ex-Kansas Gov. Brownback to focus on racial reconciliation

Jan. 27, 2021 5:14 PM EST

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Former Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback said he plans to make promoting racial reconciliation a focus of his life as a private citizen after more than a quarter century in politics. Brownback, 64, stepped down as the country's ambassador-at-large for international religious freedom last week...

People gather in Warsaw, Poland Wednesday Jan. 27, 2021 to protest after the country's top court on Wednesday confirmed its highly divisive ruling that will further tighten the predominantly Catholic nation's strict anti-abortion law. The Constitutional Tribunal published the justification of its decision, which means it can now be officially printed and take immediate effect. (AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski)

New protests as Polish court seals divisive abortion ruling

Jan. 27, 2021 4:32 PM EST

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — New anti-government protests broke out in Polish cities Wednesday, shortly after the country's top court confirmed its highly divisive ruling that will further tighten the predominantly Catholic nation’s strict anti-abortion law. The unrest shows growing discontent among many...

House Majority Leader Sheryl Williams Stapleton sits at her desk during the opening day of the legislative session on Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2021, in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Stapleton later introduced a bill that would outlaw hair and head covering discrimination in schools and workplaces. (AP Photo/Cedar Attanasio)

New Mexico lawmakers consider hair discrimination bill

Jan. 27, 2021 4:10 PM EST

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A bill to protect New Mexico students and workers from discrimination stemming from hairstyles or religious coverings cleared its first legislative hurdle Tuesday, winning a unanimous endorsement from the House Education Committee. Native American and Black supporters shared personal...

Child sexual abuse lawsuit 'window' moves near referendum

Jan. 27, 2021 4:05 PM EST

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — The state House has given its final approval to a proposal to change the Pennsylvania Constitution to give those who say they were victims of child sexual abuse a retroactive two-year “window” in which to file civil lawsuits, no matter how long ago the alleged abuse...

COVID-19 outbreak at Indiana religious order kills 2 sisters

Jan. 27, 2021 3:41 PM EST

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (AP) — A western Indiana order of nuns is facing a COVID-19 outbreak that has killed two sisters and two residents at a long-term care unit on the order's campus, a spokesman says. The precise number of COVID-19 cases at the Sisters of Providence of St. Mary-of-the-Woods was not available...

FILE - This June 30, 2020 file photo, shows the West Bank Jewish settlement of Ma'ale Efrayim in the Jordan Valley. West Bank Jewish Population Stats, a pro-settler group says Israel’s West Bank settler population has grown at a far higher rate than the country as a whole over the last four years, a period coincides with the Trump administration’s unprecedented acceptance of settlement activity. The Palestinians and much of the international community view the settlements as illegal and an obstacle to peace. (AP Photo/Oded Balilty, File)

Report: Israeli settler population surged during Trump era

Jan. 27, 2021 1:34 PM EST

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel's West Bank settler population has grown at a far higher rate than the country as a whole over the last four years, a pro-settler group said Wednesday, a period that coincides with the Trump administration's unprecedented acceptance of settlement activity. The report by West Bank...

A wreath is laid at the monument to the Heroes of the Warsaw Ghetto in Warsaw, Poland, on Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2021, as part of world observances of the 76th anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi German death camp Auschwitz.  Some 1.1 million people, mostly Jewish, were killed during World War II. Most observances were held online, due to the coronavirus pandemic, and only few people attended the ceremony at the monument.(AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski)

Auschwitz survivors mark anniversary online amid pandemic

Jan. 27, 2021 1:30 PM EST

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — A Jewish prayer for the souls of the people murdered in the Holocaust echoed Wednesday over where the Warsaw ghetto stood during World War II as a world paused by the coronavirus pandemic observed the 76th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. Most International Holocaust...