Latest Religion and politics News

Protesters rally in India to oppose citizenship bill

Dec. 11, 2019 6:42 AM EST

NEW DELHI (AP) — Protesters burned tires and blocked highways and rail tracks in India's remote northeast for a second day Wednesday as the upper house of Parliament began debating legislation that would grant citizenship to persecuted Hindus and other religious minorities from Pakistan, Bangladesh and...

Israeli parliament starts dissolving itself for 3rd election

Dec. 11, 2019 5:25 AM EST

JERUSALEM (AP) — The Israeli parliament began voting to dissolve itself on Wednesday and pave the path to an unprecedented third election within a year. The preliminary vote passed without objections. Barring a nearly unfathomable about-face, three more measures are expected to pass and call a new election...

No Christmas tinsel in Iraq, in solidarity with protesters

Dec. 11, 2019 1:08 AM EST

BAGHDAD (AP) — The Christmas tree in the middle of a central Baghdad plaza occupied by anti-government protesters is bare, save for portraits of those killed under fire from security forces. A tribute, the demonstrators explained, to a recent decision by Iraq's Christians to call off seasonal festivities...

India’s crackdown hits religious freedom in disputed Kashmir

Dec. 10, 2019 9:59 PM EST

SRINAGAR, India (AP) — For years, Romi Jan’s mornings would begin with the plaintive call to prayer that rang out from the central mosque in disputed Kashmir’s largest city. The voice soothed her soul and made her feel closer to God. Not anymore. For nearly four months, the voice that called...

Gulf leaders meet in Saudi Arabia under looming Iran threat

Dec. 10, 2019 2:56 PM EST

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) — Arab Gulf leaders gathered in Saudi Arabia on Tuesday for an annual summit that was intended to showcase their unity in the face of shared threats. But looming over the meeting were their frayed ties and heightened worries about Iran. For all their diverging views and...

Natan Sharansky receives Israel's prestigious Genesis Prize

Dec. 10, 2019 11:43 AM EST

JERUSALEM (AP) — Former Soviet dissident Natan Sharansky has been awarded Israel's prestigious 2020 Genesis Prize for a lifetime of work promoting political and religious freedoms, organizers announced Tuesday. The $1 million award is granted each year to a person recognized for outstanding professional...

Fallen rights icon at UN court for Rohingya genocide case

Dec. 10, 2019 10:04 AM EST

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — Twenty-eight years to the day after Aung San Suu Kyi’s husband and sons accepted her Nobel Peace Prize while she remained under house arrest in Myanmar, the former pro-democracy icon appeared in a United Nations court ready to defend her country's army from allegations...

North Dakota county votes to take limited number of refugees

Dec. 10, 2019 8:33 AM EST

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — A North Dakota county on Monday voted to accept no more than 25 refugees next year, after initially signaling it would be the first to ban them since President Donald Trump ordered that states and counties should have the power to do so. The 3-2 vote by the Burleigh County Commission,...

Duterte to end martial law in Philippine south after 2 years

Dec. 10, 2019 4:54 AM EST

MANILA, Philippines (AP) — President Rodrigo Duterte has decided to end more than two years of martial law in the southern Philippines after government forces weakened Islamic militant groups there with the capture and killing of their leaders, his spokesman said Tuesday. Duterte placed the Mindanao region...

Indian protesters stage shutdown against citizenship bill

Dec. 10, 2019 4:03 AM EST

GAUHATI, India (AP) — Hundreds of demonstrators closed down streets in northeastern India on Tuesday as part of an 11-hour shutdown in protest of legislation that would grant citizenship to persecuted Hindus and other religious minorities from Muslim-majority Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan who...