Latest Religion and politics News

FILE- In this March 28, 2019, file photo, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, right, speaks with Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh state Yogi Adityanath during an election campaign rally in Meerut, India. India’s ruling Hindu nationalist party has approved legislation in Uttar Pradesh, the country’s most populous state, that lays out a prison term of up to 10 years for anyone found guilty of using marriage to force someone to change religion. The decree was passed Tuesday and follows a campaign by Modi’s Hindu-nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party against interfaith marriages. The party describes such marriages as “love jihad,” an unproven conspiracy theory used by its leaders and Hindu hard-line groups to accuse Muslim men of converting Hindu women by marriage. (AP Photo/Altaf Qadri, File)

Indian state outlaws religious conversion by marriage

Nov. 25, 2020 2:34 AM EST

NEW DELHI (AP) — India’s ruling Hindu nationalist party has approved legislation in the country’s most populous state that lays out a prison term of up to 10 years for anyone found guilty of using marriage to force someone to change religion. The decree for the state of Uttar Pradesh was...

Nisara Gill, right, leads a prayer service at Pakistan's first church for transgender worshippers, in Karachi, Pakistan, Friday, Nov. 13, 2020. Transgender Pakistanis are often mocked, abused and bullied, and Christians among them are a minority within a minority, often shunned even in churches. (AP Photo/Fareed Khan)

Transgender Pakistanis find solace in a church of their own

Nov. 25, 2020 1:04 AM EST

KARACHI, Pakistan (AP) — Pakistan’s Christian transgender people, often mocked, abused and bullied, say they have found peace and solace in a church of their own. Shunned by other churches, they can raise their voices high here. During a recent service, transgender women, flowing scarves loose over...

Church organization in Kansas, Oklahoma pays medical debts

Nov. 24, 2020 4:51 PM EST

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Medical debts totaling more than $5.2 million owed by more than 3,200 families in Kansas and Oklahoma have been paid through a project of the United Church of Christ Kansas-Oklahoma Conference, church officials said Tuesday. “As a result of our campaign that netted $40,000, with...

A student of the Emile Dubois high school takes part to a COVID-19 antigen test in Paris, Monday Nov. 23, 2020. Experts said they are less accurate than the standard PCR test, which detects even the tiniest genetic trace of the virus. Many governments including in France have started deploying them as a precursor to PCR tests.( Ludovic Marin, Pool via AP)

Macron outlines France's baby steps out of lockdown

Nov. 24, 2020 3:07 PM EST

People in France will be able to go back to their favorite shops and attend religious services again next week after a month of partial virus lockdown — but they’ll have to wait until at least Jan. 20 to savor a meal in a restaurant or enjoy a gym workout. President Emmanuel Macron laid out new...

Bodies of people killed in a explosion lie in a hospital morgue in Bamyan province, northwest of Kabul, Afghanistan, Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2020. An Afghan official says a roadside bomb has exploded in central Afghanistan, killing and injuring tens of people. The attack Tuesday comes as government negotiators and the Taliban meet to find an end to decades of war. (AP Photo)

Officials: Roadside bomb attack in Afghanistan kills 14

Nov. 24, 2020 11:33 AM EST

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Roadside bombs exploded in central Afghanistan on Tuesday killing at least 13 civilians and a traffic policeman, officials said, even as government negotiators and the Taliban meet to try to end decades of war. Tariq Arian, spokesman for the Interior Ministry, said 45 people were...

A nurse walks COVID-19 tests back to the tent at the free COVID-19 testing site on Monday, Nov. 23, 2020 in Glenwood Springs, Colo. (Chelsea Self/Glenwood Springs Post Independent via AP)

The Latest: China reports results of mass testing

Nov. 23, 2020 10:56 PM EST

BEIJING — China has reported new coronavirus cases in the cities of Shanghai and Tianjin as it seeks to prevent small outbreaks from becoming larger ones. The National Health Commission said Tuesday that there were two new locally spread cases in the previous 24-hour period, one in each city. It also...

Agata Grzybowska, left, a photo journalist, is detained by police in Warsaw, Poland, on Monday Nov. 23, 2020. Police detained several people as women-led protests over abortion rights flared up again in Warsaw and elsewhere in Poland. The protests, organized by the group Women's Strike, have been occurring regularly ever since the country's constitutional court issued an Oct. 22 ruling that further tightens an abortion law that was already one of the most restrictive in Poland.(AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski)

Photojournalist detained at Poland's latest abortion protest

Nov. 23, 2020 4:45 PM EST

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Police detained several people and charged a female photojournalist with assaulting a police officer as women-led protests over abortion rights flared up again on Monday in Poland. Soon after the protest in Warsaw began, police arrived and forcibly removed people, including...

FILE - In this Sept. 22, 2014, file photo, Egypt's leading pro-democracy activist Alaa Abdel-Fattah takes a moment as he speaks about his late father Ahmed Seif, one of Egypt's most respected human rights lawyers, during a conference held at the American University in Cairo, Egypt. An Egyptian court placed nearly 30 people, including Abdel-Fattah and an Islamist politician, on a terrorism watch list over accusations they joined the banned Muslim Brotherhood, the official gazette reported Monday, Nov. 23, 2020. (AP Photo/Nariman El-Mofty, File)

Egypt adds leading activist, politician to terror watch list

Nov. 23, 2020 12:40 PM EST

CAIRO (AP) — An Egyptian court placed nearly 30 people, including a leading pro-democracy activist and an Islamist politician, on a terrorism watch list over accusations they joined the banned Muslim Brotherhood, the official gazette reported Monday. Activist Alaa Abdel-Fattah, politician Abdel-Monaem Abul...

Pope Francis leaves after celebrating Mass on the occasion of the Christ the King festivity, in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, Sunday, Nov. 22, 2020. At the end of the mass a delegation of youths from Panama will hand over the World Youth Day cross to youths from Portugal, where the next World Youth Day will be held in 2023. (Vincenzo Pinto/Pool via AP)

Pope book backs George Floyd protests, blasts virus skeptic

Nov. 23, 2020 10:52 AM EST

ROME (AP) — Pope Francis is supporting demands for racial justice in the wake of the U.S. police killing of George Floyd and is blasting COVID-19 skeptics and media organizations that spread their conspiracies in a new book penned during the Vatican’s coronavirus lockdown. In “Let Us...

An election official counts the ballots in at a polling station in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, for the presidential and legislative elections late Sunday Nov. 22, 2020. (AP Photo/Sophie Garcia)

Burkina Faso counts ballots; extremist threats affected vote

Nov. 23, 2020 9:14 AM EST

OUAGADOUGOU, Burkina Faso (AP) — Votes are being counted in Burkina Faso after Sunday’s presidential and legislative elections, where threats of extremist violence linked to al-Qaida and the Islamic State prevented parts of the country from casting ballots. Election workers began the counting after...