Top Religion News

A man walks by Bernini's colonnade in St. Peter's Square during Pope Francis' weekly general audience, streamed by the Vatican television due to restrictions to contain the Covid-19 virus, at the Vatican, Wednesday, April 1, 2020. The new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms for most people, but for some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness or death. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)

PALM SUNDAY: Pope celebrates without public in St. Peter's

Apr. 5, 2020 6:03 AM EDT

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis is celebrating Palm Sunday Mass without the public, since the traditional ceremony in St. Peter’s Square was scrapped because of the coronavirus pandemic. Normally, tens of thousands of Romans, tourists and pilgrims, clutching olive tree branches or palm fronds...

In this Sunday, March 29, 2020 photo, Rev. Steven Paulikas decorates an altar with palm fronds for Palm Sunday, which will be commemorated virtually this year, at All Saints' Episcopal Church in the Brooklyn borough of New York. The global coronavirus pandemic is upending the season's major religious holidays, forcing leaders and practitioners across faiths to improvise. (AP Photo/Emily Leshner)

Virus alters Holy Week celebration worldwide, not the spirit

Apr. 4, 2020 12:51 PM EDT

For Pope Francis at the Vatican, and for Christians worldwide from churches large and small, this will be an Easter like none other: The joyous message of Christ’s resurrection will be delivered to empty pews. Worries about the coronavirus outbreak have triggered widespread cancellations of Holy Week...

In this photograph provided by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints shows, far left to right, Neil L. Andersen, M. Russell Ballard, both members of a top governing board called the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, sit next to each other during The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' twice-annual church conference Saturday, April 4, 2020, in Salt Lake City. The conference kicked off Saturday without anyone attending in person and top leaders sitting some 6 feet apart inside an empty room as the faith takes precautions to avoid the spread of the coronavirus. A livestream of the conference showed a few of the faith's top leaders sitting alone inside a small auditorium in Salt Lake City, Normally, top leaders sit side-by-side on stage with the religion's well-known choir behind them and some 20,000 people watching. (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints via AP)

Mormons unveil new official logo at crowd-less conference

Apr. 4, 2020 10:43 PM EDT

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Leaders from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints sat 6 feet apart inside an empty room as the faith carried out its signature conference Saturday by adhering to social distancing guidelines that offered a stark reminder of how the global coronavirus pandemic is affecting...

FILE - This Monday, March 30, 2020 file photo shows The River Church in Tampa, Fla. Pastor Rodney Howard-Browne was arrested Monday, March 30, 2020, for violating a county order by hosting a large number of congregants at the church. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

New coronavirus limits bring new religious freedom tension

Apr. 4, 2020 7:14 PM EDT

NEW YORK (AP) — Despite state and local limits on public gatherings, some faith leaders have persisted in holding in-person services -- a matter of religious freedom, they say, as the nation approached its fourth Sunday battling the coronavirus pandemic. The most high-profile clash over in-person worship...

Casper ter Kuile, left, and his husband, Sean Lair, wave goodbye to their virtual community choir members from their home in the Brooklyn borough of New York on Sunday, March 29, 2020. Created to combat social isolation in times of coronavirus, more than one hundred people from around the world joined the hour-long sing along session. (AP Photo/Jessie Wardarski)

Contagious singing as Corona Community Chorus unites voices

Apr. 4, 2020 10:16 AM EDT

NEW YORK (AP) — Casper ter Kuile lights a candle in front of his computer screen. And then the music begins. All around the world, linked by video, more than 100 people sing “Come, Come Whoever You Are,” lyrics adapted from a poem by Rumi, the 13th century Sufi mystic. Then, laughing...

Latest Religion News

Dan Stastny, a pilot of a small sport plane, displays a snorkeling mask, modified to be a protection respirator for medical staff, that he will transport from a small Prague airport to a hospital in Ostrava some 400 kilometers (about 250 miles) east of Prague, Czech Republic, Sunday, April 5, 2020. Over 300 pilots in the Czech Republic have joined forces in a group of volunteers who use their private planes to distribute medical equipment all across the country. The

The Latest: 300 pilots form help group in Czech Republic

Apr. 5, 2020 7:07 AM EDT

The Latest on the coronavirus pandemic. The new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms for most people. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness or death. TOP OF THE HOUR: — More than 300 pilots in the Czech Republic to use their...

A man walks by Bernini's colonnade in St. Peter's Square during Pope Francis' weekly general audience, streamed by the Vatican television due to restrictions to contain the Covid-19 virus, at the Vatican, Wednesday, April 1, 2020. The new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms for most people, but for some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness or death. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)

PALM SUNDAY: Pope celebrates without public in St. Peter's

Apr. 5, 2020 6:03 AM EDT

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis is celebrating Palm Sunday Mass without the public, since the traditional ceremony in St. Peter’s Square was scrapped because of the coronavirus pandemic. Normally, tens of thousands of Romans, tourists and pilgrims, clutching olive tree branches or palm fronds...

FILE - In this Jan. 29, 2019, file photo, protesters demonstrate in support of prominent Chinese human rights lawyer Wang Quanzhang, right on poster, outside the Chinese liaison office in Hong Kong. Wang was released from prison Sunday, April 5, 2020, after being held for more than four years, his wife Li Wenzu said. Wang was among more than 200 lawyers and legal activists swept up in 2015 in what became known as the 709 Crackdown for the date, July 9, when most of them were detained.(AP Photo/Vincent Yu, File)

Imprisoned Chinese rights lawyer released, his wife says

Apr. 5, 2020 3:59 AM EDT

BEIJING (AP) — Wang Quanzhang, a well-known Chinese rights lawyer, was released from prison Sunday after being held for more than four years, his wife said. It was unclear whether he would be allowed to return to Beijing, where he practiced and lived with his wife and young son. Police took him to his...

The Rev. Michael Amadeo, left, gives Holy Communion during the broadcast and recording of the Palm Sunday Mass at Our Lady's Immaculate Heart Catholic Church for parishioners to watch online Saturday, April 4, 2020, in Ankeny, Iowa. Sunday Masses continue to be available online in response to the new coronavirus outbreak. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

US braces for more virus deaths; Europe hopes crisis peaking

Apr. 5, 2020 1:15 AM EDT

NEW YORK (AP) — The U.S. warned of many more coronavirus deaths in the days ahead as the global pandemic muted traditional observances from family grave-cleaning ceremonies in China to Palm Sunday for many Christians. Italy and Spain, the two hardest-hit European nations, expressed hope that the crisis was...

A family burn paper offerings for their departed relatives on the streets of Wuhan in central China's Hubei province on Saturday, April 4, 2020. Authorities are controlling access and limiting the number of people entering cemeteries across China during the annual Qingming festival, also known as the Grave Sweeping Day, a day when Chinese around the world remember their dearly departed and take time off to clean up the tombs and place flowers and offerings, a move to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus outbreak. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)

The Latest: Nearly 3,000 released from Sri Lanka prisons

Apr. 4, 2020 11:18 PM EDT

The Latest on the coronavirus pandemic. The new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms for most people. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness or death. TOP OF THE HOUR: , — China reports 30 new coronavirus cases, mostly from new...

In this photograph provided by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints shows, far left to right, Neil L. Andersen, M. Russell Ballard, both members of a top governing board called the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, sit next to each other during The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' twice-annual church conference Saturday, April 4, 2020, in Salt Lake City. The conference kicked off Saturday without anyone attending in person and top leaders sitting some 6 feet apart inside an empty room as the faith takes precautions to avoid the spread of the coronavirus. A livestream of the conference showed a few of the faith's top leaders sitting alone inside a small auditorium in Salt Lake City, Normally, top leaders sit side-by-side on stage with the religion's well-known choir behind them and some 20,000 people watching. (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints via AP)

Mormons unveil new official logo at crowd-less conference

Apr. 4, 2020 10:43 PM EDT

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Leaders from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints sat 6 feet apart inside an empty room as the faith carried out its signature conference Saturday by adhering to social distancing guidelines that offered a stark reminder of how the global coronavirus pandemic is affecting...

FILE - This Monday, March 30, 2020 file photo shows The River Church in Tampa, Fla. Pastor Rodney Howard-Browne was arrested Monday, March 30, 2020, for violating a county order by hosting a large number of congregants at the church. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

New coronavirus limits bring new religious freedom tension

Apr. 4, 2020 7:14 PM EDT

NEW YORK (AP) — Despite state and local limits on public gatherings, some faith leaders have persisted in holding in-person services -- a matter of religious freedom, they say, as the nation approached its fourth Sunday battling the coronavirus pandemic. The most high-profile clash over in-person worship...

Congregants remain in their cars during a prayer service held outside at First United Pentecostal Church, Thursday, April 2, 2020, in Brandon, Miss. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

Mississippi churches take services online, into parking lots

Apr. 4, 2020 6:54 PM EDT

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Some Mississippi houses of worship are offering online services during the coronavirus pandemic. Others are inviting people to sit in vehicles outside the sanctuary to have socially distant prayer and maybe to hear a pastor's message over the radio. Gov. Tate Reeves says he does not...

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear speaks during a media conference at the state Capitol in Frankfort, Ky., to provide an update on the novel coronavirus on Sunday, March 29, 2020. (Ryan C. Hermens/Lexington Herald-Leader via AP)

Some Kentucky churches plan to gather, despite virus orders

Apr. 4, 2020 6:11 PM EDT

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Some Kentucky churches are still planning to hold in-person church services this Sunday, despite statewide orders that ban mass gatherings to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Louisville preacher Jack Roberts told The Courier Journal that he would rather go to jail and court...

Number of PA coronavirus cases tops 10,000; 136 deaths

Apr. 4, 2020 5:59 PM EDT

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — The Pennsylvania Department of Health says the number of people who have tested positive for the coronavirus in the commonwealth has topped 10,000 with another 34 deaths reported, bringing the statewide total to 136. The department reported Saturday another 1,597 additional positive...