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FILE - Paster Bruce Schafer, top right, preaches from a scissor lift during the first of two drive-in Easter services held by Grace Life Church in a parking lot in Monroeville, Pa., Sunday, April 12, 2020. The principle of religious freedom is important to most Americans. But as President Donald Trump touts his support for it during his reelection bid, there are notable fault lines among people of different faiths and political ideologies over what it truly means. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar, File)

Religious freedom in America: popular and polarizing

Aug. 5, 2020 9:57 AM EDT

WASHINGTON (AP) — The principle of religious freedom is important to most Americans. But as President Donald Trump touts his support for it during his reelection bid, there are notable fault lines among people of different faiths and political ideologies over what it truly means. About 8 in 10 Americans...

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi performs the groundbreaking ceremony of a temple dedicated to the Hindu god Ram, in Ayodhya, India, Wednesday, Aug. 5, 2020. The coronavirus is restricting a large crowd, but Hindus were joyful before Prime Minister Narendra Modi breaks ground Wednesday on a long-awaited temple of their most revered god Ram at the site of a demolished 16th century mosque in northern India. (AP Photo/Rajesh Kumar Singh)

Indian PM lays foundation of temple at razed mosque site

Aug. 5, 2020 5:39 AM EDT

AYODHYA, India (AP) — Despite the coronavirus restricting a large crowd, Hindus rejoiced Wednesday as Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi broke ground on a long-awaited temple of their most revered god, Ram, at the site of a demolished 16th century mosque. Modi offered prayers to nine stone blocks with Ram...

A worker wearing a mask to protect against the coronavirus walks past space themed displays promoting an online service in Beijing, China on Monday, Aug. 3, 2020. An outbreak in China's far northwestern region of Xinjiang is continuing to subside. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)

The Latest: Mainland China, Hong Kong report fewer new cases

Aug. 3, 2020 11:00 PM EDT

BEIJING — Both mainland China and Hong Kong reported fewer new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday as strict measures to contain new infections appear to be taking effect. Mainland China announced 36 new cases across the country, down from 43 the previous day. Of those, 28 were in the northwestern region of...

A Hindu holy man looks at a decoration on the ghats of the river Saryu as part of preparations for the groundbreaking ceremony of a temple to the Hindu god Ram in Ayodhya, in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, Monday, Aug. 3, 2020. As Hindus prepare to celebrate the groundbreaking of a long-awaited temple at a disputed ground in northern India, Muslims say they have no firm plans yet to build a new mosque at an alternative site they were granted to replace the one torn down by Hindu hard-liners decades ago. (AP Photo/Rajesh Kumar Singh)

Hindus in India set to build temple at razed mosque site

Aug. 3, 2020 10:09 PM EDT

LUCKNOW, India (AP) — As Hindus prepare to celebrate the groundbreaking of a long-awaited temple at a disputed ground in northern India, Muslims say they have no firm plans yet to build a new mosque at an alternative site they were granted to replace the one torn down by Hindu hard-liners decades ago....

Chairman Raúl Grijalva, D-Ariz., left, speaks with Acting U.S. Park Police Chief Gregory T. Monahan, prior to a House Natural Resources Committee hearing on actions taken on June 1, 2020 at Lafayette Square, Tuesday, July 28, 2020 on Capitol Hill in Washington. (Bill Clark/Pool via AP)

The Latest: China's Xinjiang region has 28 new cases

Aug. 2, 2020 10:45 PM EDT

BEIJING — Numbers of new COVID-19 cases in China’s far northwestern region of Xinjiang are continuing to fall, with 28 reported on Monday. China reported 43 new cases nationwide, seven of the imported and eight in the northeastern province of Liaoning. No new deaths were reported, leaving...

Indian Muslims sit while maintaining social distance and attend an Eid al-Adha prayer service at the Jama Masjid in Ahmedabad, India, Saturday, Aug. 1, 2020. Muslims worldwide marked the the Eid al-Adha holiday over the past days amid a global pandemic that has impacted nearly every aspect of this year's celebrations. (AP Photo/Ajit Solanki)

AP PHOTOS: Muslims worldwide mark Eid festival amid pandemic

Aug. 2, 2020 7:10 AM EDT

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Muslims worldwide have marked the Eid al-Adha holiday amid a global pandemic that has impacted nearly every aspect of this year’s celebrations. Around the world, Muslims gathered with relatives or at home on Friday to mark the start of Eid. In the Iraqi capital...

A worker wearing protective gear sprays disinfectant solution inside the coffin of a person who died from suspected COVID-19, as the body arrives at the crematorium at Xilotepec Cemetery in Xochimilco, Mexico City, Monday, July 27, 2020. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)

Mexico No. 3 in virus deaths; storm could hinder US response

Aug. 1, 2020 12:22 PM EDT

Mexico now has the third most COVID-19 deaths in the world, behind Brazil and the United States, where a hurricane bearing down on the East Coast on Saturday is threatening to complicate efforts to contain the virus. Hurricane Isaias’ imminent arrival forced the closure of some outdoor testing sites even...

Two employees of the Ryugyong Health Complex disinfect the hands and check the fever of people coming to the complex to help curb the spread of the coronavirus, in Pyongyang, North Korea, Friday, July 31, 2020. (AP Photo/Jon Chol Jin)

The Latest: SKorea holds leader of church with virus cluster

Jul. 31, 2020 11:57 PM EDT

SEOUL, South Korea — South Korean prosecutors have arrested the elderly leader of a secretive religious sect as part of an investigation into allegations the church hampered the government’s anti-corfonavirus response after thousands of worshipers were infected in February and March. Prosecutors are...

Muslim worshippers offer Eid al-Adha prayer at a park as mosques are limited for ten people following the government's measures to help stop the spread of the coronavirus, in the mixed Arab Jewish city of Jaffa, near Tel Aviv, Israel, Friday, July 31, 2020. This is the first Feast of Sacrifice since the onset of the global coronavirus pandemic. The major Muslim holiday, at the end of the hajj pilgrimage to Mecca, is observed around the world by believers and commemorates prophet Abraham's pledge to sacrifice his son as an act of obedience to God. (AP Photo/Oded Balilty)

Final days of hajj and Eid festival impacted by coronavirus

Jul. 31, 2020 7:01 PM EDT

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Small groups of people performed one of the final rites of the Islamic hajj on Friday as Muslims worldwide marked the start of the Eid al-Adha holiday amid a global pandemic that has impacted nearly every aspect of this year's pilgrimage and celebrations. The last days...

Supporters of a religious group chant slogan during a rally favoring the Khalid Khan, who gunned down Tahir Naseem in courtroom, in Peshawar, Pakistan, Friday, July 31, 2020. Naseem, a U.S. citizen, according to a U.S. State Department statement, was gunned down this week in a Pakistani courtroom while standing trial on a charge of blasphemy.  The placard on right is read as 'we can die for honor of Prophet'. (AP Photo/Muhammad Sajjad)

Thousands rally in Pakistan in support of killer of American

Jul. 31, 2020 11:04 AM EDT

ISLAMABAD (AP) — Thousands of radical Islamists rallied on Friday in northwestern Pakistan in support of a man who earlier this week walked into a courtroom in the city of Peshawar and gunned down a U.S. citizen on trial for blasphemy. The American, Tahir Naseem, died of his wounds before he could be taken...