Latest Freedom of religion News

WVa city council ordered to stop reciting The Lord's Prayer

May. 17, 2022 16:41 PM EDT

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — A West Virginia city was ordered Tuesday to stop opening its council meetings with The Lord’s Prayer. U.S. District Judge John T. Copenhaver Jr. ruled that Parkersburg City Council's practice of opening its meetings with the New Testament prayer violates...

Louisiana justices toss COVID-related charges against pastor

May. 13, 2022 18:21 PM EDT

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The Louisiana Supreme Court threw out charges Friday against a pastor who flouted restrictions on gatherings early in the coronavirus pandemic, ruling 5-2 that the governor's executive orders violated freedom of religion. “This is a tremendous win for religious...

Arrested Hong Kong cardinal a fiery critic of Beijing

May. 12, 2022 07:20 AM EDT

HONG KONG (AP) — Cardinal Joseph Zen, the 90-year-old Catholic cleric arrested by Hong Kong police on national security charges, has long been a fiery critic of Beijing's control of religion and political monopoly, along with efforts by the Vatican to reach a working arrangement with the ruling...

Now in spotlight, Dubai Jews struggle for public synagogue

May. 11, 2022 03:38 AM EDT

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Every Saturday, in secluded beach villas, hotel banquet halls and luxury apartment towers across Dubai, Jews arrive to worship at some of the world's most hidden synagogues even as the United Arab Emirates encourages the dramatic growth and openness of its...

After leak, religious rift over legal abortion on display

May. 08, 2022 22:23 PM EDT

America’s faithful are bracing — some with cautionary joy and others with looming dread — for the Supreme Court to potentially overturn the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade decision and end the nationwide right to legal abortion. A reversal of the 49-year-old ruling has never felt...

State turns to court after ex-House aide refuses subpoenas

Apr. 26, 2022 16:16 PM EDT

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee's attorney general is taking the one-time chief of staff of a former House speaker to court after he refused to comply with subpoenas in the investigation of a shadowy political action committee. Attorney General Herbert Slatery asked a Nashville...

US commission: Cite Afghanistan for religious persecution

Apr. 25, 2022 12:17 PM EDT

Afghanistan should join a list of the “worst of the worst” violators of religious freedom in the wake of the Taliban's return to power, a U.S. advisory body is recommending to the State Department. The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, in its annual report...

Israeli restrictions on 'Holy Fire' ignite Christian outrage

Apr. 23, 2022 09:34 AM EDT

JERUSALEM (AP) — Christians celebrated their “Holy Fire” ceremony at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem on Saturday against a backdrop of rising tensions with Israel, which imposed new restrictions on attendance this year that it said were needed for safety. Israel...

Clashes erupt again near flashpoint Jerusalem holy site

Apr. 17, 2022 13:48 PM EDT

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israeli police on Sunday entered the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem's Old City to secure the way for Jewish visitors to the flashpoint holy site, fueling clashes that left 17 Palestinians wounded, according to Palestinian medical workers. The unrest happened...

Indian scholars, activists criticize school hijab ban ruling

Apr. 02, 2022 05:44 AM EDT

NEW DELHI (AP) — A recent court ruling upholding a ban on Muslim students wearing head coverings in schools has sparked criticism from constitutional scholars and rights activists who say that judicial overreach threatens religious freedoms in officially secular India. Even though...