Latest Freedom of religion News

Schools settle with teacher who sued over transgender policy

Nov. 16, 2021 11:43 AM EST

LEESBURG, Va. (AP) — A northern Virginia school system has settled with a gym teacher who sued over the district's policy requiring teachers to address transgender students by their pronouns. The Loudoun County school board agreed to permanently reinstate physical...

Court will take new look at masks in religious schools

Nov. 10, 2021 13:45 PM EST

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — A federal appeals court agreed Wednesday to reconsider a challenge to COVID-19 mask orders affecting students in a Michigan religious school. The case involves Resurrection School in Lansing. But any result would cover other faith-based schools in...

Federal COVID shot opt-out not as clear as Democrats claim

Nov. 08, 2021 15:03 PM EST

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Lawsuits against Illinois over required COVID-19 vaccination were accumulating and the reason was clear: the legal claims leverage of the state's Health Care Right of Conscience Act in stating religious objections to the shot and in appealing sanctions, including...

Foes of death penalty offer spiritual support at executions

Nov. 03, 2021 11:59 AM EDT

NEW YORK (AP) — After Sister Barbara Battista, a Roman Catholic nun staunchly opposed to the death penalty, agreed to accompany a condemned man at his execution in federal prison, she wondered doubtfully, “Am I just part of this whole killing machine?” “The answer...

High court: NY abortion case ruling should be revisited

Nov. 01, 2021 16:28 PM EDT

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court is telling a lower court to take another look at a case in which the lower court upheld a New York regulation requiring health insurance plans to cover abortions. The regulation exempts certain religious organizations. In a brief...

Texas executions delayed over religious rights claims

Oct. 26, 2021 16:11 PM EDT

HOUSTON (AP) — The unresolved legal debate over whether spiritual advisers can touch inmates and pray aloud as condemned individuals are being put to death has delayed the final two executions scheduled this year in Texas. The delays come as the U.S. Supreme Court is...

Biden, orthodox patriarch discuss climate, religious freedom

Oct. 25, 2021 22:53 PM EDT

President Joe Biden and the spiritual leader of Eastern Orthodox Christians discussed ways to fight climate change and to end the coronavirus pandemic as well as the importance of religious freedom during an Oval Office session Monday. Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew,...

Terror & tourism: Xinjiang eases its grip, but fear remains

Oct. 10, 2021 06:43 AM EDT

Four years after Beijing launched a brutal crackdown that swept up to a million or more Uyghurs and other mostly Muslim minorities into detention camps and prisons, its control of China’s far west Xinjiang region has entered a new era. Chinese authorities have scaled back many of the most...

Terror & tourism: Xinjiang eases its grip, but fear remains

Oct. 10, 2021 03:23 AM EDT

XINJIANG, China (AP) — The razor wire that once ringed public buildings in China’s far northwestern Xinjiang region is nearly all gone. Gone, too, are the middle school uniforms in military camouflage and the armored personnel carriers rumbling around the homeland of...

Texas executions face delays over religious rights claims

Oct. 09, 2021 15:46 PM EDT

HOUSTON (AP) — Executions in the nation’s busiest capital punishment state face delays amid legal questions over Texas’ refusal to allow spiritual advisers to touch inmates and pray aloud as condemned individuals are being put to death. It’s unclear when Texas may...