Top Religion News

Vice President Mike Pence, left, greets Senior Pastor Dr. Robert Jeffress, right, after Pence spoke at the Southern Baptist megachurch First Baptist Dallas during a Celebrate Freedom Rally in Dallas, Sunday, June 28, 2020. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

Virus loans helped entities tied to Trump evangelical allies

Jul. 7, 2020 12:03 AM EDT

NEW YORK (AP) — Churches connected to President Donald Trump and other organizations linked to current or former Trump evangelical advisers received at least $17.3 million in loans from a federal rescue package designed to aid small businesses during the coronavirus pandemic. Those receiving loans include...

FILE - In this March 7, 2020 file photo, workers disinfect the ground around the Kaaba, the cubic building at the Grand Mosque, over fears of the new coronavirus, the Muslim holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia. Guidelines were announced Monday, July 6, 2020 as Saudi Arabia gets ready for the 1,000 or so pilgrims that will be allowed to perform the hajj pilgrimage in Mecca later this month. The experience will be unlike any before which usually draws some 2.5 million people. (AP Photo/Amr Nabil, File)

New at Saudi hajj: Bottled holy water, sterilized pebbles

Jul. 7, 2020 7:57 AM EDT

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Saudi Arabia has issued guidelines for about 1,000 pilgrims who will be allowed to perform the hajj pilgrimage in Mecca later this month, an experience that will be unlike any before because of the coronavirus pandemic. The pilgrims will be only be able to drink holy...

In this Wednesday, June 24, 2020, photograph, a woman walks past a mural in tribute to Frederick Douglass on the exterior wall of the Black-owned Slade's Bar and Grill in the South End neighborhood of Boston. Many from outside Boston have recently ordered takeout, purchased gift cards and supported the restaurant amid nationwide protests against racism. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

Religious leaders to invoke Frederick Douglass on July 4th

Jul. 3, 2020 6:14 PM EDT

RIO RANCHO, N.M. (AP) — About 150 preachers, rabbis and imams are promising to invoke Black abolitionist Frederick Douglass on July 4th as they call for the U.S. to tackle racism and poverty. The religious leaders are scheduled this weekend to frame their sermons around “What to the Slave is the...

Horse mounted police officers patrol Via della Conciliazione, the street leading to St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, on the occasion of the Feast of Rome's Patrons Saints Peter and Paul, in Rome Monday, June 29, 2020. (Mauro Scrobogna/LaPresse via AP)

Vatican watchdog sees record cooperation levels despite raid

Jul. 3, 2020 9:13 AM EDT

The Vatican’s financial watchdog agency has reported record levels of internal cooperation despite being thrown into turmoil in October when Vatican police raided its offices as part of an investigation into a 350 million-euro (nearly $400 million) London real estate deal. The Financial Information...

FILE In this file photo taken on Wednesday, June 17, 2020, Father Sergiy, a Russian monk who has defied the Russian Orthodox Church's leadership, right, speaks to journalists in Russian Ural's Sredneuralsk, Russia. The Russian Orthodox Church on Friday July 3, 2020, defrocked Father Sergiy, who has defied the coronavirus lockdown orders and has taken control over a monastery. (AP Photo/Vladimir Podoksyonov, FILE)

Russian Orthodox Church defrocks coronavirus-denying monk

Jul. 3, 2020 12:41 PM EDT

MOSCOW (AP) — The Russian Orthodox Church on Friday defrocked a coronavirus-denying monk who has defied Kremlin lockdown orders and taken control of a monastery. A church panel in the Ural Mountains city of Yekaterinburg ruled to defrock 65-year-old Father Sergiy, who has attracted nationwide attention by...

Latest Religion News

FILE - In this March 7, 2020 file photo, workers disinfect the ground around the Kaaba, the cubic building at the Grand Mosque, over fears of the new coronavirus, the Muslim holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia. Guidelines were announced Monday, July 6, 2020 as Saudi Arabia gets ready for the 1,000 or so pilgrims that will be allowed to perform the hajj pilgrimage in Mecca later this month. The experience will be unlike any before which usually draws some 2.5 million people. (AP Photo/Amr Nabil, File)

New at Saudi hajj: Bottled holy water, sterilized pebbles

Jul. 7, 2020 7:57 AM EDT

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Saudi Arabia has issued guidelines for about 1,000 pilgrims who will be allowed to perform the hajj pilgrimage in Mecca later this month, an experience that will be unlike any before because of the coronavirus pandemic. The pilgrims will be only be able to drink holy...

FILE In this file photo taken on Wednesday, June 17, 2020, Father Sergiy, a Russian monk who has defied the Russian Orthodox Church's leadership, right, speaks to journalists in Russian Ural's Sredneuralsk, Russia. The Russian Orthodox Church on Friday July 3, 2020, defrocked Father Sergiy, who has defied the coronavirus lockdown orders and has taken control over a monastery. (AP Photo/Vladimir Podoksyonov, FILE)

Russian court fines coronavirus-denying rebel monk

Jul. 7, 2020 7:45 AM EDT

MOSCOW (AP) — A Russian court on Tuesday fined a coronavirus-denying monk who has challenged Kremlin lockdown orders for spreading false information about the pandemic. The court in the Ural Mountains region ordered Father Sergiy to pay 90,000 rubles ($1,250). The 65-year-old monk, who has attracted...

FILE - In this June 1, 2020, file photo, President Donald Trump holds a Bible as he visits outside St. John's Church across Lafayette Park from the White House in Washington. Trump began June with his Bible-clutching photo op outside the church after authorities used chemicals and batons to scatter peaceful demonstrators, and the month never got less jarring or divisive. Now, some Republicans are expressing concern about the month's impact on their party's ability to hold the Senate. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)

GOP worries Trump's divisive June imperils Senate control

Jul. 7, 2020 6:06 AM EDT

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump's June began with his Bible-clutching photo op outside a church after authorities used chemicals and batons to scatter peaceful demonstrators. It never got less jarring or divisive. By the time it ended, he was downplaying a coronavirus pandemic upsurge that was...

An Israeli flag flies over a Jewish owned house in a Palestinian neighborhood of Silwan in east Jerusalem, Wednesday, July 1, 2020. Israeli leaders paint Jerusalem as a model of coexistence, the

Jerusalem offers a grim model for a post-annexation future

Jul. 7, 2020 3:02 AM EDT

JERUSALEM (AP) — It's hard to say what exactly will change in the West Bank if Israel follows through on its plans to annex parts of the occupied territory, but east Jerusalem, which was annexed more than a half-century ago, may provide some answers. Israeli leaders paint Jerusalem as a model of...

Vice President Mike Pence, left, greets Senior Pastor Dr. Robert Jeffress, right, after Pence spoke at the Southern Baptist megachurch First Baptist Dallas during a Celebrate Freedom Rally in Dallas, Sunday, June 28, 2020. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

Virus loans helped entities tied to Trump evangelical allies

Jul. 7, 2020 12:03 AM EDT

NEW YORK (AP) — Churches connected to President Donald Trump and other organizations linked to current or former Trump evangelical advisers received at least $17.3 million in loans from a federal rescue package designed to aid small businesses during the coronavirus pandemic. Those receiving loans include...

Students wearing face masks to protect against the new coronavirus have their documents checked by security officers before the first day of China's national college entrance examinations, known as the gaokao, in Beijing, Tuesday, July 7, 2020. China's college entrance exams began in Beijing on Tuesday after being delayed by a month due to the coronavirus outbreak. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)

The Latest: Air New Zealand puts hold on new flight bookings

Jul. 6, 2020 11:02 PM EDT

WELLINGTON, New Zealand — New Zealand’s national carrier has put a temporary hold on new bookings for flights into the country while the government tries to find enough quarantined hotel rooms for people returning home. Air New Zealand says the hold will last for three weeks and it is also trying...

Protesters back Indiana pastor who called activists maggots

Jul. 6, 2020 8:14 PM EDT

CARMEL, Ind. (AP) — Supporters of an Indiana minister who was suspended for calling organizers of the Black Lives Matter movement “maggots and parasites” walked out of a service and shouted at a bishop who ended his remarks with the words, “Black lives matter.” The...

FILE - In this June 30, 2020 file photo, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin testifies during a House Financial Services Committee hearing on the coronavirus response on Capitol Hill in Washington. The Treasury Department said it is releasing on Monday, July 6 the names of more than 700,000 companies that received funds from the government’s small business lending program, a massive effort intended to support the economy as states shut down in April to contain the viral outbreak (Tasos Katopodis/Pool via AP, File)

Small business aid went beyond hard-hit companies, data show

Jul. 6, 2020 6:53 PM EDT

WASHINGTON (AP) — The government on Monday identified roughly 650,000 mostly small businesses and nonprofits that received taxpayer money through a federal program that was designed to soften job losses from the coronavirus but also benefited wealthy, well-connected companies and some celebrity owned...

This image released by Netflix shows Yvonne Strahovski in a scene from

New this week: 'Stateless,' 'Palm Springs,' The Dalai Lama

Jul. 6, 2020 1:49 PM EDT

Here’s a collection curated by The Associated Press’ entertainment journalists of what’s arriving on TV, streaming services and music platforms this week. MOVIES “The Old Guard”: The summer movie season may be non-existent this year, but Netflix had a pinch-hitter ready to...

FILE - In this Feb. 6, 2020, file photo, President Donald Trump holds up a newspaper with the headline that reads

Trump's leadership is tested in time of fear, pandemic

Jul. 6, 2020 7:15 AM EDT

WASHINGTON (AP) — Not long after noon on Feb. 6, President Donald Trump strode into the elegant East Room of the White House. The night before, his impeachment trial had ended with acquittal in the Republican-controlled Senate. It was time to gloat and settle scores. “It was evil," Trump said of the...