Latest Religion and politics News

Editorial Roundup: US

Sep. 30, 2020 3:49 PM EDT

Excerpts from recent editorials in the United States and abroad: ___ Sept. 30 The San Francisco Chronicle on the presidential debate: Americans should be saddened, if not angered, by the distressingly unhinged debate between President Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden on Tuesday night. Some of the blame...

Lawsuits challenge Virginia's sexual orientation protections

Sep. 30, 2020 3:04 PM EDT

FALLS CHURCH, Va. (AP) — A conservative legal group has filed lawsuits challenging a new Virginia law that bars discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. The lawsuits filed this week in state and federal court by Alliance Defending Freedom argue that the new law infringes on their...

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, left, and U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See Callista Gingrich greet Cardinal Raymond Burke, right, as they attend the

Pompeo urges Vatican to condemn human rights abuses in China

Sep. 30, 2020 10:49 AM EDT

ROME (AP) — U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo urged the Vatican on Wednesday to join the United States in denouncing violations of religious freedom in China, saying the Catholic Church should be at the forefront in the fight to insist on basic human rights there. Pompeo made the appeal at a conference...

Jai Bhagwan Goyal, a leader of India's ruling Bharatiya Janata Party and an accused in the 1992 attack and demolition of a 16th century mosque, celebrates outside a court in Lucknow, India, Wednesday, Sept. 30, 2020. An Indian court on Wednesday acquitted all 32 accused, including senior leaders of the ruling Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party, in the case. The demolition sparked Hindu-Muslim violence that left some 2,000 people dead. (AP Photo/Rajesh Kumar Singh)

32 acquitted in razing of India mosque that set off violence

Sep. 30, 2020 6:43 AM EDT

LUCKNOW, India (AP) — An Indian court on Wednesday acquitted all 32 people accused of crimes in a 1992 attack and demolition of a 16th century mosque that sparked Hindu-Muslim violence leaving some 2,000 people dead. Four senior leaders of the ruling Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party, or BJP, were...

The mask of Lakhe, a traditional mask dancer worshipped as a god, is covered with floral garlands after rituals were performed during Indrajatra festival in Kathmandu, Nepal, Sunday, Aug. 30, 2020. A lockdown was ordered around the eight days when the canceled Indrajatra festival would have been held, and instead, a small ceremony to seek forgiveness from Indra, the Hindu god of rain, was held under government security. (AP Photo/Niranjan Shrestha)

As virus curbs Nepal's festivals, devotees fear gods' anger

Sep. 29, 2020 11:03 PM EDT

KATHMANDU, Nepal (AP) — The revered living goddess is not leaving her temple this year. The old palace courtyard packed with hundreds of thousands of people each year during the Indrajatra festival is deserted, the temples are locked and all public celebrations are banned by the government to curb the...

Supreme Court nominee Judge Amy Coney Barrett looks over to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky., as they meet with on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2020. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, POOL)

Trump chose Barrett days after Ginsburg's death, papers show

Sep. 29, 2020 8:16 PM EDT

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump offered to name Judge Amy Coney Barrett his Supreme Court nominee more than a week ago at the White House — and she accepted, according to formal paperwork submitted to the Senate ahead of her confirmation hearings. Barrett tells the Senate Judiciary...

Judge allows US suit against Libyan commander to move ahead

Sep. 29, 2020 6:07 PM EDT

FALLS CHURCH, Va. (AP) — A federal judge has rejected a request from a Libyan military commander who once lived in Virginia to toss out lawsuits accusing him of war atrocities. At a hearing Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Alexandria, Judge Leonie Brinkema said the accusations against Libyan National Army...

FILE- In this Oct.5, 2014 file photo, a Sri Lankan Muslim man throws a bundle of grass to a calf at a livestock market on the eve of Eid al-Adha festival in Colombo, Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka's government announced Tuesday that it will ban cattle slaughter, saying it would help the dairy industry and thereby save money used to purchase imported milk powder. (AP Photo/Eranga Jayawardena, File)

Sri Lanka government decides to ban cattle slaughter

Sep. 29, 2020 5:39 PM EDT

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — Sri Lanka's government announced Tuesday that it will ban cattle slaughter, saying it would help the dairy industry and thereby save money used to purchase imported milk powder. But an analyst said the decision was politically motivated to please the Buddhist majority and would...

The full moon rises behind the Byzantine-era Hagia Sophia in the historic Sultanahmet district of Istanbul, early Tuesday, Sept. 1, 2020. Worshipers held the first Muslim prayers in 86 years inside the Istanbul landmark that served as one of Christendom's most significant cathedrals, a mosque and a museum before its conversion back into a Muslim place of worship on July 24, 2020. The conversion of the edifice, has led to an international outcry. (AP Photo/Emrah Gurel)

Orthodox church petitions UN over Istanbul's Hagia Sophia

Sep. 29, 2020 5:33 PM EDT

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — The Greek Orthodox Church of the United States said Tuesday it is petitioning United Nations experts to coerce Turkey into protecting Orthodox Christianity's cultural heritage following the Turkish government's conversion of Istanbul’s landmark Hagia Sophia from a museum into a...

FILE - In this July 31, 2017, file photo, the sun sets behind the statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee on Monument Avenue in Richmond, Va. In a state where Confederate monuments have stood for more than a century and have recently become a flashpoint in the national debate over racial injustice, Virginians remain about evenly divided on whether the statues should stay or go, according to a new poll. The poll conducted this month by Hampton University and The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research found that 46% support removal of Confederate statues and 42% oppose removal. (AP Photo/Steve Helber, File)

Poll: Virginians about evenly divided on Confederate statues

Sep. 29, 2020 5:13 PM EDT

FALLS CHURCH, Va. (AP) — In a state where Confederate monuments have stood for more than a century and have recently become a flashpoint in the national debate over racial injustice, Virginians remain about evenly divided on whether the statues should stay or go, according to a new poll. The poll conducted...