Latest Freedom of religion News

FILE - In this May 29, 2010 file photo, people from a minority Muslim Ahmadi Community stand guard as others preparing to bury the victims of attack by Islamic militants, in Rubwah, some 150 kilometers (93 miles) northwest from Lahore Pakistan. The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom on Friday, Jan. 8, 2021, adopted 55-year-old Ramazan Bibi, jailed on blasphemy charges in Pakistan, as a prisoner of conscience. According to a December report by the U.S. Commission for International Religious Freedoms, Pakistan recorded the most cases of blasphemy in the world even though 84 countries have criminal blasphemy laws on their books. (AP Photo/Anjum Naveed, File)

US group appeals for Pakistani woman jailed on blasphemy

Jan. 8, 2021 10:07 AM EST

ISLAMABAD (AP) — The U.S. religious watchdog appealed Friday for the rights of a Pakistani woman from the country’s minority Ahmadis who has been jailed on blasphemy charges, declaring her a prisoner of conscience and urging Prime Minister Imran Khan's government to immediately set her free. The...

Police officers escort Arzoo Raja, background center, after her appearance in Sindh High Court, in Karachi, Pakistan, on Nov. 3, 2020. Raja was 13 when she disappeared from her home in central Karachi. The Christian girl’s parents reported her missing and pleaded with police to find her. Two days later, officers reported back that she had been converted to Islam and was married to their 40-year-old Muslim neighbor. (AP Photo/Fareed Khan)

Each year, 1,000 Pakistani girls forcibly converted to Islam

Dec. 28, 2020 7:30 PM EST

KARACHI, Pakistan (AP) — Neha loved the hymns that filled her church with music. But she lost the chance to sing them last year when, at the age of 14, she was forcibly converted from Christianity to Islam and married to a 45-year-old man with children twice her age. She tells her story in a voice so low...

Congregants of Highland Colony Baptist Church are encouraged to spritz their hands with sanitizer before picking up a communion packet, while having a variety of seating options in the Worship Center of Highland Colony Baptist Church, Nov. 29, 2020, in Ridgeland, Miss. The church practices covid protocols by allowing families to sit spaced out from others, separating older and more vulnerable members in the worship hall and providing sanitizer and masks at the entrance. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

Mississippi churches face difficult decisions at Christmas

Dec. 20, 2020 9:11 AM EST

RIDGELAND, Miss. (AP) — It always feels special for Pastor Jay Richardson when his congregation at Highland Colony Baptist Church gathers during the holidays — but this year, that's even more true because of time they've spent apart. The church temporarily shut down at the start of the pandemic,...

FILE - In the Nov. 4, 2020 photo, The Supreme Court in Washington. A unanimous Supreme Court ruled Thursday that Muslim men who were placed on the government’s no-fly list because they refused to serve as FBI informants can seek to hold federal agents financially liable.  The justices continued a string of decisions friendly to religious interests in holding that the men could sue the agents under a 1993 religious freedom law. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Justices rule Muslim men can sue FBI agents over no-fly list

Dec. 10, 2020 12:51 PM EST

WASHINGTON (AP) — A unanimous Supreme Court ruled on Thursday that Muslim men who were placed on the government’s no-fly list because they refused to serve as FBI informants can seek to hold federal agents financially liable. The justices continued a string of decisions friendly to religious...

FILE - This undated file photo provided by The Ford County Sheriff's Office in Paxton, Ill., shows Michael Hari. A jury on Wednesday, Dec. 9, 2020 convicted Hair, the leader of an Illinois anti-government militia group, of several civil rights and hate crime charges in the 2017 bombing of a Minnesota mosque. (Ford County Sheriff's Office via AP File)

Jury convicts Illinois man in Minnesota mosque bombing

Dec. 9, 2020 8:24 PM EST

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A jury on Wednesday convicted the leader of an Illinois anti-government militia group of several civil rights and hate crime charges in the 2017 bombing of a Minnesota mosque. Prosecutors outlined 49-year-old Michael Hari's hatred for Muslims as his motivation for the bombing during the...

FILE - In this Wednesday, June 24, 2020 file photo, people gather prior to a funeral during a partial lockdown to prevent the spread of coronavirus, COVID-19, at the Saint Martin Basilica in Halle, Belgium. The Belgian government is under pressure to change its restrictive rules on religious services during the coronavirus crisis after Belgium's highest court said the measures impede constitutional conditions on freedom of religion. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo, File)

Belgium seeks to ease virus rules on religious services

Dec. 9, 2020 6:27 AM EST

BRUSSELS (AP) — Belgium's government is under pressure to change its restrictive rules on religious services during the coronavirus crisis after the country's highest court said the measures impede constitutional conditions on freedom of religion. The Council of State ruled that, at least temporarily, the...

FILE - In this Thursday, Sept. 3, 2020 file photo, Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden bows his head in prayer at Grace Lutheran Church in Kenosha, Wis. Conservative evangelical Christians have proven some of Donald Trump’s staunchest allies during his presidency. As his administration draws to a close, some of those backers are approaching President-elect Biden with skepticism, but not antagonism. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Religious right eyes Biden warily after Trump's good favor

Dec. 5, 2020 2:48 PM EST

WASHINGTON (AP) — Conservative evangelical Christians have proven some of Donald Trump’s staunchest allies during his presidency. As his administration draws to a close, some of those backers are approaching President-elect Joe Biden with skepticism, but not antagonism. Christian conservatives who...

FILE - In this Nov. 15, 2020, file photo Georgia Democratic candidates for U.S. Senate Raphael Warnock, left, and Jon Ossoff, right, gesture toward a crowd during a campaign rally in Marietta, Ga. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson, File)

Faith takes the forefront as Georgia Senate runoffs heat up

Nov. 29, 2020 8:10 AM EST

ATLANTA (AP) — Bishop Reginald Jackson stepped to the microphone at a drive-in rally outside a church in southwest Atlanta as his voice carried over a loudspeaker and the radio to people gathered in, around and on top of cars that filled the parking lot. “Let’s keep Georgia blue," Jackson...

FILE - This Thursday, Sept. 24, 2015 file photo shows Brooklyn Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio as Pope Francis, right, arrives at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York. The longtime head of the Roman Catholic Church in Brooklyn said Friday, Nov. 27, 2020, that a ruling by the Supreme Court that barred New York from enforcing certain restrictions on religious services in areas hit hard by the coronavirus is a “good decision” that guarantees constitutional protections for the free exercise of religion. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle, Pool, File)

Brooklyn bishop hails ruling, says diocese in line with pope

Nov. 27, 2020 7:06 PM EST

NEW YORK (AP) — The longtime head of the Roman Catholic Church in Brooklyn said Friday that a ruling by the Supreme Court that barred New York from enforcing certain restrictions on religious services in areas hit hard by the coronavirus is a “good decision” that guarantees constitutional...