Top Religion News

President Donald Trump listens to a question during an event on prayer in public schools, in the Oval Office of the White House, Thursday, Jan. 16, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)

Trump boosts school prayer, faith groups as he rallies base

Jan. 16, 2020 6:18 PM EST

In a bid to solidify his evangelical base, President Donald Trump on Thursday vowed to protect prayer in public schools and took new steps to give religious organizations easier access to federal programs. Speaking at an Oval Office event and joined by Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, Trump unveiled the federal...

In this Dec. 20, 2019, photo, Amani Al-Khatahtbeh, founder of MuslimGirl.com, sits for an interview inside her family's video game and electronic store business in Somerville, N.J. Al-Khatahtbeh started the website as a way to defy Muslim stereotypes after 9/11. A decade later, Al-Khatahtbeh has built it into an online magazine with a global audience. (AP Photo/Emily Leshner)

Muslim millennial's site dispels stereotypes for millions

Jan. 16, 2020 10:49 PM EST

NEW YORK (AP) — Today she travels the world, attends a red-carpet movie premiere and sits on panels with astronauts, former presidents and feminist icons. But in the years after 9/11, Amani Al-Khatahtbeh was just a New Jersey teenager, writing a blog from her bedroom. She used the blog to connect with...

FILE - In this June 28, 2017, file photo, Pope Francis, left, and Pope Benedict XVI, meet each other on the occasion of the elevation of five new cardinals at the Vatican. Retired Pope Benedict XVI has broken his silence to reaffirm the value of priestly celibacy, co-authoring a bombshell book at the precise moment that Pope Francis is weighing whether to allow married men to be ordained to address the Catholic priest shortage. (L'Osservatore Romano/Pool photo via AP, File)

Two popes -- one retired, one reigning -- cause a furor

Jan. 14, 2020 4:12 PM EST

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Ever since Benedict XVI announced he would become the first pope in 600 years to resign, Catholic theologians, canon lawyers and others warned of the potential confusion in having two popes living side by side in the Vatican, one reigning, the other retired but calling himself...

Former French priest Bernard Preynat, center, arrives at the Lyon court house, central France, Monday Jan.13, 2020. Bernard Preynat, is accused of sexually abusing some 75 Boy Scouts went on trial Monday _ but the proceedings were delayed until Tuesday because of a strike by lawyers. Preynat admitted in the 1990s to abusing boys, but was only removed from the priesthood last year. (AP Photo/Laurent Cipriani)

French priest recounts how he abused boy scouts over decades

Jan. 14, 2020 12:45 PM EST

LYON, France (AP) — A former priest detailed Tuesday how he systematically abused boys over two decades as a French scout chaplain, and said his superiors knew about his “abnormal” behavior as far back as the 1970s. The shocking testimony of Bernard Preynat is likely to further shake up the...

FILE - In this Dec. 11, 2019 file photo, Orthodox Jewish men pass New York City police guarding a Brooklyn synagogue prior to a funeral for Mosche Deutsch, a rabbinical student from Brooklyn who was killed in a shooting at a Jersey City, N.J. market. On Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2019, a group of security experts recommended that Jewish congregations opting to deploy armed security personnel in the wake of deadly attacks on synagogues should — if possible -- use uniformed law enforcement officers rather than private guards or volunteers from the community. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)

Experts advise synagogues on use of armed security personnel

Jan. 15, 2020 5:45 PM EST

NEW YORK (AP) — Jewish congregations opting to deploy armed security personnel in the wake of deadly attacks on synagogues should — if possible -- use uniformed law enforcement officers rather than private guards or volunteers from the community, a group of security experts recommended Wednesday....

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FILE - In a Monday, Jan. 13, 2020 file photo, St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner speaks in St. Louis. Ethical Society of Police President Heather Taylor said Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2020 that the city prosecutor’s lawsuit is correct in pointing out racial concerns in St. Louis, including biases within the police department itself. (AP Photo/Jim Salter, File)

Leader of St. Louis black police union says racial bias real

Jan. 17, 2020 11:00 AM EST

ST. LOUIS (AP) — The president of a predominantly black St. Louis police union said Wednesday that the city prosecutor’s lawsuit is correct in pointing out racial concerns in St. Louis, including biases within the police department itself. Ethical Society of Police President Heather Taylor stopped...

FILE - This handout photo from the office of Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani shows senior Shiite cleric Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani in the southern Iraqi city of Najaf on March, 13, 2019.  At least 13 people were stabbed Thursday, Dec. 5,  in Baghdad’s Tahrir Square, the epicenter of Iraq’s protest movement, security and medical officials said, stoking fears of infiltration by unknown groups among anti-government demonstrators. The protesters aligned with parties had marched to Tahrir earlier that day, mostly young men clad in black and waiving Iraqi flags. They chanted positive slogans in deference to Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, Iraq’s most powerful Shiite cleric, and stood conspicuous against the usual crowds of Tahrir protesters.  (Office of Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, via AP)

Officials: Iraq's top cleric discharged from hospital

Jan. 17, 2020 8:33 AM EST

KARBALA, Iraq (AP) — Iraq's most powerful cleric was discharged Friday from a hospital following a risky surgery for a fractured bone and returned to his home in southern Iraq, medical officials said. Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, who turns 90 later this year, fractured a thigh bone when he slipped...

Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro gestures during an event with young Venezuelan migrants at the Planalto Presidential Palace in Brasilia, Brazil, Thursday, Jan. 16, 2020. According to the UNHCR there are around 180,000 Venezuelan refugees and migrants in the country, many of them arrived crossing the border  in the northern state of Roraima. (AP Photo/Eraldo Peres)

Far-right Bolsonaro fires latest round in Brazil culture war

Jan. 17, 2020 8:31 AM EST

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Brazil's government has drawn criticism after launching a project that aims to revamp the country's arts scene, with a focus on nationalism and religion. The project is part of the far-right administration's answer to what it sees as decades of leftist hegemony in the cultural sphere...

Indian Muslims offer prayers, as activists of Bhim Army wait for the start of a protest against a new Citizenship law, in New Delhi, India, Friday, Jan. 17, 2020. Protests against India's citizenship law that excludes Muslim immigrants continue in Indian cities in an unabating strong show of dissent against the Hindu nationalist government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The protest at a 17th century mosque, Jama Masjid, was led by Chandrashekhar Azad, leader of the Bhim Army, a political party of Dalits who represent Hinduism's lowest caste. (AP Photo/Manish Swarup)

Protests against citizenship law continue unabated in India

Jan. 17, 2020 7:22 AM EST

NEW DELHI (AP) — Hundreds of demonstrators perched themselves on the steps of an iconic mosque in the Indian capital on Friday to protest against a new citizenship law that excludes Muslim immigrants. Demonstrators carried placards and shouted slogans accusing Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Hindu...

In this Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2020 photo the so-called “Judensau,” or “Jew pig,” sculpture is displayed on the facade of the Stadtkirche (Town Church) in Wittenberg, Germany. A court in eastern Germany will consider next week a Jewish man’s bid to force the removal of an ugly remnant of centuries of anti-Semitism from a church where Martin Luther once preached. (AP Photo/Jens Meyer)

Germany: Ugly anti-Semitic remnant at center of court battle

Jan. 17, 2020 7:02 AM EST

WITTENBERG, Germany (AP) — High on the wall of a German church where Martin Luther once preached, an ugly remnant of centuries of anti-Semitism is now at the center of a court battle. The so-called “Judensau,” or “Jew pig,” sculpture on the Town Church in Wittenberg dates back...

In this Jan. 14, 2020, photo, President Donald Trump arrives at UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena to speak at a campaign rally in Milwaukee. Trump's surrogates are fanning out across the country as part of an aggressive effort to stretch his appeal beyond the base of working-class white voters who propelled him to victory in 2016 (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)

Trump campaign tries robust outreach to expand his appeal

Jan. 17, 2020 6:23 AM EST

WASHINGTON (AP) — Selfies on a “Women for Trump” bus tour through Iowa. Volunteer training at a “Black Voices for Trump” organizing session in Philadelphia. A vice presidential headliner at a "Latinos for Trump” event in Florida. President Donald Trump's surrogates fanned...

Additional charge filed in threats to Maryland synagogue

Jan. 17, 2020 4:49 AM EST

BALTIMORE (AP) — A man who prosecutors say made threatening telephone calls to a Maryland synagogue is facing an additional charge. The office of the U.S. Attorney in Maryland said a federal grand jury on Thursday returned a superseding indictment against Stephen Lyle Orback. Prosecutors accuse him of...

Ex-Attorney General Lynch speaking at NC King Day service

Jan. 17, 2020 4:44 AM EST

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Former U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch and North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper top the list of notables attending the annual observance by state employees of the life and legacy of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. Lynch was the scheduled keynote speaker at Friday's event at First Baptist...

FILE - In this Feb. 4, 2019 file photo, supporters of Tehreek-e-Labbaik, a Pakistani religious group, surround an armored police armored car carrying their leader, Khadim Hussain Rizvi, as he arrives to a court in Lahore, Pakistan. A Pakistani court has sentenced 86 members of the radical Islamist party to 55-year prison terms each for taking part in violent rallies in 2018 over the acquittal of a Christian woman in a blasphemy case, a party official said Friday.(AP Photo/K.M. Chaudary, File)

Pakistani court hands down 55-year sentences to 86 Islamists

Jan. 17, 2020 3:22 AM EST

ISLAMABAD (AP) — A Pakistani court has sentenced 86 members of a radical Islamist party to 55-year prison terms each for taking part in violent rallies in 2018 over the acquittal of a Christian woman in a blasphemy case, a party official said Friday. The verdicts, unusually harsh for Pakistan, were...

In this Thursday, Dec. 19, 2019 photo, newly constructed buildings stand on Bhasan Char, or floating island, in the Bay of Bengal, Bangladesh. The island in Bangladesh that was regularly submerged during monsoon seasons is ready to house 100,000 Rohingya refugees, but no date has been announced to begin relocating people from crowded and squalid camps on the country's border with Myanmar, officials said Thursday. The island is built to accommodate 100,000 people, just a fraction of the million Rohingya Muslims who have fled waves of violent persecution in their native Myanmar. (AP Photo/Saleh Noman)


“Bhasan Char is ready for habitation. Everything has been put in place,” Bangladesh refugee, relief and repatriation commissioner Mahbub Alam Talukder told The Associated Press.

Bangladesh says once-submerged island ready for Rohingya

Jan. 17, 2020 12:06 AM EST

DHAKA, Bangladesh (AP) — A Bangladeshi island regularly submerged by monsoon rains is ready to house 100,000 Rohingya refugees, but no date has been announced to relocate people from the crowded and squalid camps where they've lived for years, officials said Thursday. Flood protection embankments, houses,...