Latest Religion and politics News

Von der Leyen confirmed as new European Commission president

Jul. 16, 2019 2:54 PM EDT

BRUSSELS (AP) — Ursula von der Leyen was confirmed as the European Commission president Tuesday, becoming the first woman to hold one of the most prestigious positions in the European Union and who will be one of the most prominent faces from the bloc on the world stage. The European Parliament voted...

Trump abortion rule prompts exit at family planning program

Jul. 16, 2019 1:14 PM EDT

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump administration's ban on taxpayer-funded family planning clinics referring women for abortions prompted a major provider in Maine to announce Tuesday it is dropping out of the program after nearly 50 years. Others may follow. "It is objectionable that the federal government is so...

Government restrictions on religion increasing worldwide

Jul. 15, 2019 5:03 PM EDT

NEW YORK (AP) — Government restrictions on religion have increased markedly in many places around the world, not only in authoritarian countries, but also in many of Europe's democracies, according to a report surveying 198 countries that was released Monday. The report released by the Pew Research Center,...

Some Iranian women take off hijabs as hard-liners push back

Jul. 15, 2019 7:53 AM EDT

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — The simple act of walking has become a display of defiance for a young Iranian woman who often moves in Tehran's streets without a compulsory headscarf, or hijab. With every step, she risks harassment or even arrest by Iran's morality police whose job is to enforce the strict dress code...

Israeli minister's remarks on gays widely condemned

Jul. 14, 2019 1:44 PM EDT

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel's new education minister's remarks in favor of "conversion therapy," a controversial technique that seeks to turn gays into heterosexuals, came under widespread criticism and led hundreds to protest Sunday. Rafi Peretz, who leads a small religious nationalist party, said in a...

Court order blocking contraception exemptions upheld

Jul. 13, 2019 3:00 PM EDT

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A federal appeals court upheld a lower court order that blocked the Trump administration from enforcing rules that allow more employers to deny insurance coverage for contraceptives to women. The three-judge panel of the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia said Friday that...

Priest's friends see 'lack of due process' for allegations

Jul. 13, 2019 3:06 AM EDT

EBENSBURG, Pa. (AP) — Donald Dusza, Tony Stopka, Frank Wyland, Shari Stopka and Sam Piccioni grew up together, attended Bishop Carroll High School together, traveled together and shared life's joys and sorrows together. And now, the longtime friends are standing together as one of them faces a serious,...

Indonesia leader meets defeated rival after divisive poll

Jul. 13, 2019 1:40 AM EDT

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — Indonesia's president and his defeated election rival met Saturday for the first time since the divisive April poll and rode together on a recently opened subway in the capital, signaling a calming of political tensions in the world's third-largest democracy. In a choreographed...

Polis becomes 1st Democrat to address conservative summit

Jul. 12, 2019 3:47 PM EDT

DENVER (AP) — Jared Polis, who last year became the first openly gay man elected governor of a state in the U.S., made history again Friday by becoming the first Democrat to address a Denver conservative conference. The liberal governor from Boulder was sandwiched between Secretary of Housing and Urban...

Clay seeks to free Honduran residing in sanctuary at church

Jul. 12, 2019 1:46 PM EDT

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Democratic U.S. Rep. William Lacy Clay has introduced legislation aimed at freeing Alex Garcia, a Honduran refugee who has spent the past two years residing in sanctuary at a suburban St. Louis church. The bill introduced Friday would change Garcia's immigration status to permanent legal...