Latest Religion and politics News

Radicalization among Sri Lanka's Muslims was slow and steady

Apr. 24, 2019 8:30 AM EDT

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — A spate of attacks against mosques, shrines and followers of Sufi sheikhs in Sri Lanka more than a decade ago point to early warning signs of fundamentalism taking root among a sliver of the country's Muslims. The Easter attacks in Sri Lanka that killed more than 350...

The Latest: Sri Lanka president dismisses security officials

Apr. 24, 2019 7:14 AM EDT

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — The Latest on the Easter attacks in Sri Lanka (all times local): 4:30 p.m. Sri Lanka's president has asked for the resignations of the defense secretary and the national police chief after security forces failed to act on warnings before Easter suicide bombings that killed over...

Washington state bill limits measles vaccine exemptions

Apr. 23, 2019 9:17 PM EDT

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — Washington state lawmakers voted Tuesday to remove parents' ability to claim a personal or philosophical exemption from vaccinating their children for measles, although medical and religious exemptions will remain. The vote comes as the number of measles cases nationwide this year has...

Amal Clooney seeking Islamic State woman for Yazidi crimes

Apr. 23, 2019 8:07 PM EDT

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Human rights lawyer Amal Clooney said Tuesday she is requesting the transfer of a female member of the Islamic State extremist group to face justice for crimes against women from Iraq's Yazidi minority and American hostage Kayla Mueller, who was killed in 2015. Clooney represents...

Maine could end religious, philosophical vaccine opt-outs

Apr. 23, 2019 7:17 PM EDT

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — Maine could end non-medical exemptions for routine childhood vaccines required by schools and certain health care facilities by September 2021. The House voted 78-59 Tuesday on a Democrat's bill to end the opt-out by September 2021 for students at elementary, secondary and...

As Sri Lanka mourns, Islamic State claims Easter bombings

Apr. 23, 2019 7:10 PM EDT

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — As the death toll from the Easter bombings in Sri Lanka rose to 321 on Tuesday, the Islamic State group claimed responsibility and released images that purported to show the attackers, while the country's prime minister warned that several suspects armed with explosives are still...

Bishop critical of Nicaragua's Ortega leaves for Vatican

Apr. 23, 2019 3:44 PM EDT

MANAGUA, Nicaragua (AP) — A Roman Catholic bishop who has been outspoken in his criticism of President Daniel Ortega over Nicaragua's political standoff left the country Tuesday after being called to the Vatican indefinitely by Pope Francis. Speaking at Managua's international airport, where no members of...

Saudi Arabia beheads 37 for terrorism crimes; most Shiites

Apr. 23, 2019 2:35 PM EDT

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Saudi Arabia on Tuesday beheaded 37 Saudi citizens, most of them minority Shiites, in a mass execution across the country for alleged terrorism-related crimes. It also publicly pinned the executed body and severed head of a convicted Sunni extremist to a pole as a warning...

In camp of diehard IS supporters, some women express regrets

Apr. 23, 2019 2:09 PM EDT

AL-HOL CAMP, Syria (AP) — The women say it was misguided religious faith, naivete, a search for something to believe in or youthful rebellion. Whatever it was, it led them to travel across the world to join the Islamic State group. Now after the fall of the last stronghold of the group's "caliphate," they...

Czech lawmakers approve taxation of church restitution plan

Apr. 23, 2019 1:05 PM EDT

PRAGUE (AP) — Czech lawmakers on Tuesday approved a proposal drafted by Communist lawmakers to tax the compensation that the country's churches receive from the state for property seized by the former Communist regime. The 114-57 vote in favor of the proposal in the lower house is a further sign of the...