Top Religion News

Fahima Mirzaie performs a Sema dance (Sufi Whirling) in Kabul Afghanistan, Thursday, Aug. 20, 2020. Taking on an unorthodox task in her society, the 24-year-old teaches men and women Sufi whirling. Mirzaie spins alongside men at an Afghan Italian restaurant in center of the capital, Kabul. (AP Photo/Mariam Zuhaib)

Young Afghan women, men perform whirling Sufi dance together

Sep. 22, 2020 3:53 AM EDT

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — A group of young Afghans – both women and men – is coming together in the country's war-torn capital to practice a mystical Sufi Islamic dance. The group’s founder says she sees their whirling dance, known as Sema, as a way of carving out a space in the...

Pope Francis delivers his blessing as he recites the Angelus noon prayer from the window of his studio overlooking St.Peter's Square, at the Vatican, Sunday, Sept. 20, 2020. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)

Pope says autistic kids are beautiful, unique flowers to God

Sep. 21, 2020 11:20 AM EDT

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis told a group of children with autism and spectrum disorders Monday that they are beautiful, unique flowers in the eyes of God. Francis met with members of an Austrian center for autism, Sonnenschein (“Sunshine”), in an audience at the Vatican. He told them...

FILE - In this May 25, 2019 file photo, Muslim worshippers circumambulate the Kaaba, the cubic building at the Grand Mosque, during the minor pilgrimage, known as Umrah in the Muslim holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia. Authorities on Monday, Sept. 21, 2020, released new details on how it plans to gradually allow Muslims back to Islam's holiest site in Mecca to perform the smaller-year-round pilgrimage, which has been suspended for the past seven months due to the coronavirus (AP Photo/Amr Nabil, File)

Saudi Arabia to launch app for Mecca pilgrims amid virus

Sep. 21, 2020 10:45 AM EDT

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) — Saudi Arabia on Monday released new details on how it plans to gradually allow Muslims back to Islam's holiest site in Mecca to perform the smaller, year-round pilgrimage, which has been suspended for the past seven months due to the coronavirus. Hajj Minister Muhammad Benten...

Scientists combat anti-Semitism with artificial intelligence

Sep. 21, 2020 2:03 PM EDT

BERLIN (AP) — An international team of scientists said Monday it had joined forces to combat the spread of anti-Semitism online with the help of artificial intelligence. The project Decoding Anti-Semitism includes discourse analysts, computational linguists and historians who will develop a “highly...

FILE—In this file photo from Sept. 9, 2020, people attending an event with Vice President Mike Pence, pray before he took the stage to speak to Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List, an anti-abortion group, at Cornerstone Ministries church, in Export, Pa. a Pittsburgh suburb. Trump's selection of Mike Pence to be his vice president has often been cited as a turning point in getting evangelicals, who make up about 1 in 5 voters, to rally behind Trump four years ago. (Alexandra Wimley/Pittsburgh Post-Gazette via AP, File)

Evangelicals at base of Trump hopes for Pennsylvania repeat

Sep. 19, 2020 11:00 AM EDT

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — President Donald Trump’s homestretch push to repeat his razor thin victory in Pennsylvania four years ago won't happen without white evangelicals, and there are signs that critical component of his coalition hasn't lost the faith. It's a group that has often made the...

Latest Religion News

Churchgoers participate in a procession at the Holy Apostles Church in Milwaukee, Saturday, Sept. 12, 2020. For decades, Roman Catholic voters have been a pivotal swing vote in U.S. presidential elections, with a majority backing the winner — whether Republican or Democrat — nearly every time. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)

In battleground states, Catholics are a pivotal swing vote

Sep. 22, 2020 8:03 AM EDT

For decades, Roman Catholic voters have been a pivotal swing vote in U.S. presidential elections, with a majority backing the winner — whether Republican or Democrat — nearly every time. How they vote in the battleground states this year could well decide the outcome, and the rival campaigns are...

FILE - In this Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2020 file photo, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, left, U.S. President Donald Trump, Bahrain Foreign Minister Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa and United Arab Emirates Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed al-Nahyan pose for a photo on the Blue Room Balcony after signing the Abraham Accords during a ceremony on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington. Saudi Arabia insists officially that there can be no formal ties with Israel before Palestinian statehood is achieved, but state-backed media and clerics have softened their tone toward Jews and there has been no official condemnation or criticism of the deals signed by the UAE or Bahrain with Israel. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)

Road to Saudi ties with Israel being paved, cautiously

Sep. 22, 2020 4:42 AM EDT

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Saudi Arabia, the most powerful Arab nation and home to Islam's holiest sites, has made its official position on the region's longest-running conflict clear: Full ties between the kingdom and Israel can only happen when peace is reached with the Palestinians. Yet...

Fahima Mirzaie performs a Sema dance (Sufi Whirling) in Kabul Afghanistan, Thursday, Aug. 20, 2020. Taking on an unorthodox task in her society, the 24-year-old teaches men and women Sufi whirling. Mirzaie spins alongside men at an Afghan Italian restaurant in center of the capital, Kabul. (AP Photo/Mariam Zuhaib)

Young Afghan women, men perform whirling Sufi dance together

Sep. 22, 2020 3:53 AM EDT

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — A group of young Afghans – both women and men – is coming together in the country's war-torn capital to practice a mystical Sufi Islamic dance. The group’s founder says she sees their whirling dance, known as Sema, as a way of carving out a space in the...

FILE - In this May 19, 2018, file photo, Amy Coney Barrett, United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit judge, speaks during the University of Notre Dame's Law School commencement ceremony at the university, in South Bend, Ind. Barrett, a front-runner to fill the Supreme Court seat vacated by the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, has established herself as a reliable conservative on hot-button legal issues from abortion to gun control. (Robert Franklin/South Bend Tribune via AP, File)

Top contenders for Ginsburg's seat on Supreme Court

Sep. 22, 2020 1:22 AM EDT

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump has said he would nominate a woman to replace Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died Friday at the age of 87 and was a champion of gender equality. A look at the top contenders: ___ AMY CONEY BARRETT Barrett, 48, is widely considered to be the front-runner. She was...

FILE - In this May 19, 2018, file photo, Amy Coney Barrett, United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit judge, speaks during the University of Notre Dame's Law School commencement ceremony at the university, in South Bend, Ind. Barrett, a front-runner to fill the Supreme Court seat vacated by the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, has established herself as a reliable conservative on hot-button legal issues from abortion to gun control. (Robert Franklin/South Bend Tribune via AP, File)

Top contenders for Ginsburg's seat on Supreme Court

Sep. 22, 2020 1:20 AM EDT

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump has said he would nominate a woman to replace Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died Friday at the age of 87 and was a champion of gender equality. A look at the top contenders: ___ AMY CONEY BARRETT Barrett, 48, is widely considered to be the front-runner. She was...

FILE- In this Aug. 3, 1993, file photo, then-Judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg poses in her robe in her office at U.S. District Court in Washington. Earlier, the Senate voted 96-3 to confirm Bader as the 107th justice and the second woman to serve on the Supreme Court. Ruth Bader Ginsburg died at her home in Washington, on Sept. 18, 2020, the Supreme Court announced. (AP Photo/Doug Mills, File)

The Latest: Trump boasts about how many court picks he's had

Sep. 21, 2020 8:49 PM EDT

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on the Supreme Court vacancy created by the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg (all times local): 8:45 p.m. President Donald Trump is boasting on the campaign trail about his reshaping of the federal judiciary days after the death of liberal Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader...

FILE - In this May 19, 2018, file photo, Amy Coney Barrett, United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit judge, speaks during the University of Notre Dame's Law School commencement ceremony at the university, in South Bend, Ind. Barrett, a front-runner to fill the Supreme Court seat vacated by the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, has established herself as a reliable conservative on hot-button legal issues from abortion to gun control. (Robert Franklin/South Bend Tribune via AP, File)

High court front-runner hailed by right, feared by left

Sep. 21, 2020 5:58 PM EDT

CHICAGO (AP) — A front-runner to fill the Supreme Court seat vacated by the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is a federal appellate judge who has established herself as a reliable conservative on hot-button legal issues from abortion to gun control. Amy Coney Barrett, a devout Catholic, is hailed by...

Pope Francis delivers his blessing as he recites the Angelus noon prayer from the window of his studio overlooking St.Peter's Square, at the Vatican, Sunday, Sept. 20, 2020. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)

Pope says autistic kids are beautiful, unique flowers to God

Sep. 21, 2020 11:20 AM EDT

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis told a group of children with autism and spectrum disorders Monday that they are beautiful, unique flowers in the eyes of God. Francis met with members of an Austrian center for autism, Sonnenschein (“Sunshine”), in an audience at the Vatican. He told them...

FILE - In this May 25, 2019 file photo, Muslim worshippers circumambulate the Kaaba, the cubic building at the Grand Mosque, during the minor pilgrimage, known as Umrah in the Muslim holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia. Authorities on Monday, Sept. 21, 2020, released new details on how it plans to gradually allow Muslims back to Islam's holiest site in Mecca to perform the smaller-year-round pilgrimage, which has been suspended for the past seven months due to the coronavirus (AP Photo/Amr Nabil, File)

Saudi Arabia to launch app for Mecca pilgrims amid virus

Sep. 21, 2020 10:45 AM EDT

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) — Saudi Arabia on Monday released new details on how it plans to gradually allow Muslims back to Islam's holiest site in Mecca to perform the smaller, year-round pilgrimage, which has been suspended for the past seven months due to the coronavirus. Hajj Minister Muhammad Benten...

FILE - In this Sept. 1, 2020 file photo, French President Emmanuel Macron, left, smiles as he meets Lebanon's President Michel Aoun at the presidential palace in Baabda, Lebanon, Tuesday, Sept. 1, 2020. In a televised address Monday, Sept. 21, 2020, Aoun warned that the crisis-hit country could be going to “hell” if a new government is not formed. An initiative led by Macron called for a Lebanese government of independent specialists that was to be formed by Sept. 15. (Gonzalo Fuentes/Pool via AP, File)

Lebanese president warns of 'hell' if no new gov't formed

Sep. 21, 2020 10:31 AM EDT

BEIRUT (AP) — Lebanon's president said Monday that the crisis-hit country could be going to “hell” if a new government was not formed, suggesting it would require a “miracle” for that to happen at this point. The stark warning comes as the country struggles to contain a...