Latest Religion and politics News

Kat Taylor, wife of Democratic presidential candidate Tom Steyer, speaks with reporters during an open house at the home she's renting in Columbia, S.C., on Sunday, Feb. 16, 2020. (AP Photo/Meg Kinnard)

Steyer foundation mulling SC investments - after the primary

Feb. 16, 2020 5:57 PM EST

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Ahead of this month’s crucial South Carolina primary, the wife of presidential candidate Tom Steyer said that the foundation she runs is interested in considering an investment proposal from one of the state’s largest black church congregations. But she said the...

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz urges Minnesota lawmakers on Friday, Feb. 14, 2020, in Minneapolis, to pass a ban on

LGBTQ activists, Gov. Walz, demand 'conversion therapy' ban.

Feb. 14, 2020 6:05 PM EST

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Gov. Tim Walz and LGBTQ activists rallied at the state Capitol on Friday to demand that the Republican-controlled Minnesota Senate pass a ban on “conversion therapy” for minors, a discredited practice that seeks to turn gay people straight. The proposal passed the...

Vatican, Chinese foreign ministers hold highest-level talks

Feb. 14, 2020 3:38 PM EST

VATICAN CITY (AP) — The Vatican and Chinese foreign ministers met Friday in the highest-level encounter between the two sides following the 2018 signing of a landmark accord on Catholic bishop nominations. The Vatican said Archbishop Paul Gallagher met with his Chinese counterpart, Wang Yi, on the...

Samira Imin is photographed during an interview in Boston, Sunday, Feb. 9, 2020. It was nearly three years ago that Imin, a young Uighur Muslim woman working in Boston, last heard from her father, Iminjan Seydin, back home in China. In September she discovered that he had been kept in a government detention center, like over a million members of the beleaguered ethnic minority in China, before being sentenced to 15 years in prison in a closed trial. (Aysha Khan/RNS via AP)

Boston Uighur woman champions her father’s release in China

Feb. 14, 2020 2:23 PM EST

BOSTON (RNS) — Samira Imin can’t stop thinking about the times her father took her horseback riding. She remembers how her father, a prominent Uighur publisher and historian named Iminjan Seydin, would always spoil her and shelter her from her mother’s scoldings. She thinks of the time she...

People walk by graffiti showing a Serbian flag, left, and text reading

Montenegro PM, Serbian church bishop meet on religious law

Feb. 14, 2020 10:31 AM EST

PODGORICA, Montenegro (AP) — Montenegro's prime minister on Friday met with the top Serbian Orthodox Church bishop in the country in a bid to defuse tensions over a contentious law on religious rights. The Serbian Church in Montenegro opposes the law, saying it enables the state to take over its property,...

Flower shop owner Iris Leung wears her protective face mask as she delivers flowers with masks to customers on Valentine's Day in Hong Kong, Friday, Feb. 14, 2020. China has reported another sharp rise in the number of people infected with a new virus, as the death toll neared 1,400. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu)

The Latest: Hong Kong announces anti-virus funds

Feb. 14, 2020 9:24 AM EST

BEIJING (AP) — The Latest on a new virus that originated in China (all times local): 8 p.m. Hong Kong’s leader unveiled a 25 billion Hong Kong dollar ($3.2 billion) fund on Friday to bolster efforts to fight the virus outbreak, as the city announced three new cases, bringing its total to 56. The...

In this undated handout photo released by jw-russia.org, Mikhail Popov and his wife Yelena pose for a photo in Kamchatka region, Far East, Russia. A court in Kamchatka on Friday. Feb. 14, 2020 sentenced Mikhail Popov and his wife Yelena to fines of 350,000 and 300,000 rubles ($5,500 and $4,700) for engaging in extremist activities related to them being Jehovah's Witnesses. Russia officially banned Jehovah's Witnesses in 2017 and declared the group an extremist organization. Crackdown on the group has intensified since then. (jw-russia.org via AP)

Jehovah's Witnesses report convictions, torture in Russia

Feb. 14, 2020 6:25 AM EST

MOSCOW (AP) — Two Jehovah's Witnesses have been convicted of extremism in Russia and four more arrested, one of whom reported being tortured in custody, the religious group said Friday. A court in Kamchatka on Friday sentenced Mikhail Popov and his wife Yelena to fines of 350,000 and 300,000 rubles...

In this Jan. 30, 2020, photo, a Kashmiri journalist, center, browses the internet on his mobile phone inside the media center set up by government authorities in Srinagar, Indian controlled Kashmir. Six months after India stripped restive Kashmir of its semi-autonomy, enforcing a total communications blackout, it has restored limited internet at slow speeds with access only to government-approved websites. Since Modi came into power in 2014, the internet has been suspended more than 365 times in India, according to the global digital rights group Access Now. (AP Photo/ Dar Yasin)

India keeps lid on Kashmir's internet 6 months into lockdown

Feb. 14, 2020 2:04 AM EST

NEW DELHI (AP) — Six months after India's government stripped restive Kashmir of its semi-autonomy and enforced a total communications blackout, it is heralding the restoration of limited, slow-speed internet as a step toward normalcy. But for the Himalayan region's 7 million people, the reality is far...

FILE - In this file photo dated Sunday, Dec. 22, 2019, Brazil's former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva celebrates after scoring a goal during a friendly soccer match in Guararema, Brazil.  Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has met with Pope Francis at the Vatican and received a papal blessing, with the encounter being posted on his social media accounts, Thursday Feb. 13, 2020. (AP Photo/Nelson Antoine, FILE)

Ex-Brazilian leader da Silva meets the pope, gets blessing

Feb. 13, 2020 2:56 PM EST

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva met Thursday with Pope Francis at the Vatican, received a papal blessing and said the two discussed prospects for a “more just and fraternal world." Da Silva posted photos of the encounter on his Twitter and Facebook accounts...

Women take part in a protest in Tahrir Square, Baghdad, Iraq, Thursday, Feb. 13, 2020. Hundreds of Iraqi women took to the streets of central Baghdad and southern Iraq on Thursday in defiance of a radical cleric's calls for gender segregation in anti-government protest sites. Iraqis began protesting on Oct. 1 to decry rampant government corruption, poor services and unemployment. The protests have been unique because they have drawn both men and women who have camped out alongside each other in protest squares, a rare occurrence in Iraq.  (AP Photo/Khalid Mohammed)

Women protesters in Iraq defy radical cleric, take to street

Feb. 13, 2020 1:10 PM EST

BAGHDAD (AP) — Hundreds of Iraqi women took to the streets of central Baghdad and southern Iraq on Thursday in defiance of a radical cleric's calls for gender segregation at anti-government protest sites. An anti-government protest movement began Oct. 1 to decry rampant corruption, poor services and...