Latest Religion and politics News

Israel's election highlights secular-religious divide

Sep. 20, 2019 5:42 AM EDT

KFAR SABA, Israel (AP) — Yamit Dulberg considers herself a traditional Israeli woman with right-wing views who would usually vote for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud Party. But this week the 37-year-old mother of two cast her ballot for his main rival, in part because she's sick of his...

Iraq's stability on the line as US, Iran tensions soar

Sep. 20, 2019 5:37 AM EDT

BAGHDAD (AP) — As the United States and Israel escalate their push to contain Iranian influence in the Middle East, countries in Tehran's orbit are feeling the heat. Pro-Iranian militias across Lebanon, Syria and Iraq are being targeted, both with economic sanctions and precision airstrikes hitting their...

Feds cite Islam focus in review of Duke-UNC language grant

Sep. 19, 2019 5:56 PM EDT

The Trump administration is threatening to cut funding for a Middle East studies program run by the University of North Carolina and Duke University, arguing that it's misusing a federal grant to advance "ideological priorities" and unfairly promote "the positive aspects of Islam" but not Christianity or Judaism....

US government sues Detroit suburb over mosque rejection

Sep. 19, 2019 4:38 PM EDT

TROY, Mich. (AP) — The U.S. Justice Department is suing a Detroit suburb after a Muslim group failed to win local approval to turn a commercial building into a mosque and community center. The government says Troy is violating a federal law that's intended to accommodate religious groups. U.S. Attorney...

Jurors side with diocese in pregnant Missouri teacher's suit

Sep. 19, 2019 3:25 PM EDT

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Jurors ruled against a teacher who alleged that she was fired from a Catholic school in Kansas City, Missouri, because she was pregnant, unmarried and refused to have an abortion. After eight hours of deliberation, the jurors sided Wednesday with the Roman Catholic Diocese of Kansas...

In Israel, calls for unity reveal deep divisions after vote

Sep. 19, 2019 1:45 PM EDT

JERUSALEM (AP) — Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his chief rival, Benny Gantz, on Thursday each called for the formation of a unity government following Israel's inconclusive national election. But with both men demanding to be prime minister, there were no signs they could break the deadlock. The...

3 politicians sorry for using, defending anti-Semitic trope

Sep. 19, 2019 10:41 AM EDT

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — Three city council members in New Jersey's capital city have now apologized for using or defending anti-Semitic language while discussing actions taken by the city's Jewish attorney. Councilwoman Robin Vaughn apologized in a statement on Wednesday, saying her comments defending Council...

Tonga in national holiday to bid farewell to leader Pohiva

Sep. 19, 2019 9:24 AM EDT

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — Hundreds of mourners packed a church service on Thursday and children stood vigil on downtown streets as Tonga took a national holiday to bid farewell to Prime Minister 'Akilisi Pohiva at a state funeral. During a political career that began more than three decades ago,...

4 families sue over Missouri vaccine requirements

Sep. 19, 2019 8:04 AM EDT

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Four Missouri families who don't want to vaccinate their children allege in a lawsuit that the children's schools and state health officials have made it increasingly difficult to file religious exemptions. The Kansas City Star reports that a federal judge has already ruled that one...

In new Sudan, women want more freedom, bigger political role

Sep. 19, 2019 7:59 AM EDT

CAIRO (AP) — On her daily walks from home to her job at a primary school in the city of Port Sudan, Khalda Saber would urge people to join the protests against the three-decade rule of Sudan's autocratic President Omar al-Bashir. At school, she rallied fellow teachers to join the pro-democracy uprising. "I...