Latest Religion and politics News

Tom Alexander holds a cross as he prays prior to rulings outside the Supreme Court on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, July 8, 2020. The Supreme Court is siding with two Catholic schools in a ruling that underscores that certain employees of religious schools, hospitals and social service centers can’t sue for employment discrimination. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

Double win at Supreme Court elates religious conservatives

Jul. 11, 2020 10:06 AM EDT

NEW YORK (AP) — Conservative-leaning faith leaders and their allies, outspoken in recent years about what they consider infringements on religious liberties, cheered Wednesday as the Supreme Court issued a pair of rulings that protected certain rights of religious employers. In Our Lady of Guadalupe School...

Two people walk down the steps outside the Supreme Court, Thursday, July 9, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Thomas spoke, Roberts ruled in unusual Supreme Court term

Jul. 11, 2020 12:15 AM EDT

WASHINGTON (AP) — Justice Clarence Thomas spoke and Chief Justice John Roberts ruled. The Supreme Court's most unusual term featured victories for immigrants, abortion rights, LGBTQ workers and religious freedoms. The usually quiet Thomas' baritone was heard by the whole world when the coronavirus outbreak...

Two people walk down the steps outside the Supreme Court, Thursday, July 9, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Thomas spoke, Roberts ruled in unusual Supreme Court term

Jul. 10, 2020 10:38 PM EDT

WASHINGTON (AP) — Justice Clarence Thomas spoke and Chief Justice John Roberts ruled. The Supreme Court's most unusual term featured victories for immigrants, abortion rights, LGBTQ workers and religious freedoms. The usually quiet Thomas' baritone was heard by the whole world when the coronavirus outbreak...

Muslims offer their evening prayers outside the Byzantine-era Hagia Sophia, one of Istanbul's main tourist attractions in the historic Sultanahmet district of Istanbul, following Turkey's Council of State's decision, Friday, July 10, 2020. Turkey's highest administrative court issued a ruling Friday that paves the way for the government to convert Hagia Sophia - a former cathedral-turned-mosque that now serves as a museum - back into a Muslim house of worship. The Council of State threw its weight behind a petition brought by a religious group and annulled a 1934 cabinet decision that changed the 6th century building into a museum. (AP Photo/Emrah Gurel)

Turkey's president formally makes Hagia Sophia a mosque

Jul. 10, 2020 7:08 PM EDT

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — The president of Turkey on Friday formally converted Istanbul’s sixth-century Hagia Sophia back into a mosque and declared it open for Muslim worship, hours after a high court annulled a 1934 decision that had made the religious landmark a museum. The decision sparked deep...

Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro, second right, ascends a flight of steps inside the official residence Alvorada Palace, in Brasilia, Brazil, Friday, July 10, 2020. Bolsonaro, 65, announced that he is infected with the new coronavirus on Tuesday and is using it to publicly extol hydroxychloroquine, the unproven malaria drug that he’s been promoting as a treatment for COVID-19, and now takes himself. (AP Photo/Eraldo Peres)

Brazil's Bolsonaro picks pastor as latest education minister

Jul. 10, 2020 7:01 PM EDT

SAO PAULO (AP) — Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro announced on Friday his second pick to head the education ministry in 11 days, naming a college professor and church pastor to the post. Milton Ribeiro, a former deputy dean of Mackenzie University in Sao Paulo who preaches at a Presbyterian church in...

FILE - Los Angeles Archbishop Jose H. Gomez celebrates the first English Mass with the faithful present, at the nation's largest Catholic Archdiocese in Los Angeles, Sunday, June 7, 2020. A religious freedom law firm with ties to President Donald Trump says it will sue California over its recent ban on singing or chanting in the church to slow the spread of the coronavirus. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes, File)

Church singing ban strikes sour note with California pastor

Jul. 10, 2020 6:52 PM EDT

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Crossroads Community Church Senior Pastor Jim Clark wants to keep his 1,500 parishioners safe during the coronavirus pandemic but he's drawing the line at a new California ban on singing or chanting at religious services. “I said enough’s enough,” Clark said....

FILE - In this Sunday, April 12, 2020 file photo, Cardinal Timothy Dolan, right, delivers his homily over mostly empty pews as he leads an Easter Mass at St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York. Due to coronavirus concerns, no congregants were allowed to attend the Mass which was broadcast live on local TV. The Archdiocese of New York received 15 loans worth at least $28 million just for its top executive offices. St. Patrick’s Cathedral on Fifth Avenue was approved for at least $1 million. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

AP: Catholic Church lobbied for taxpayer funds, got $1.4B

Jul. 10, 2020 1:04 PM EDT

NEW YORK (AP) — The U.S. Roman Catholic Church used a special and unprecedented exemption from federal rules to amass at least $1.4 billion in taxpayer-backed coronavirus aid, with many millions going to dioceses that have paid huge settlements or sought bankruptcy protection because of clergy sexual abuse...

Polish President Andrzej Duda speaks to supporters at a presidential election campaign rally in Lomza, Poland, on Tuesday July 7, 2020. Two bitter rivals are heading into a razor's-edge presidential runoff election Sunday in Poland that is seen as an important test of populism in Europe after a campaign that exacerbated a conservative-liberal divide in the country. (AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski)

Luxembourg PM criticizes Polish leader's anti-gay comments

Jul. 10, 2020 8:29 AM EDT

BERLIN (AP) — Luxembourg's prime minister is criticizing the Polish president's campaign against LGBT rights in the run-up to a closely fought runoff election this weekend. Polish President Andrzej Duda, a nationalist conservative, recently has called LGBT rights an “ideology” more dangerous...

This Aug. 8, 2018 photo shows St. Peter Cathedral in Erie, Pa., the home parish for the Catholic Diocese of Erie. In mid-March 2020, the diocese closed its churches as the coronavirus spread, limiting its access to weekly donors, and applied for funds from the Paycheck Protection Program. It also decided to withhold payments from its victim-compensation program, saying its bank had decreased a line of credit. (Christopher Millette/Erie Times-News via AP)

Takeaways: Paycheck Protection loans and the Catholic Church

Jul. 10, 2020 6:02 AM EDT

NEW YORK (AP) — When the coronavirus pandemic caused a broad economic downturn and Depression-era unemployment rates, Washington responded with trillions of dollars in federal relief. One centerpiece was the $659 billion Paycheck Protection Program. Congress created the program to help smaller businesses...

FILE - In this June 10, 2020, file photo, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks during a news conference at the State Department in Washington. From Tokyo to Brussels, political leaders have swiftly decried Beijing's move to impose a tough national security law on Hong Kong that cracks down on subversive activity and protest in the semi-autonomous territory. But the rhetoric from democratic nations has more bark than bite. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, Pool, File)

China vows retaliation against US sanctions over Xinjiang

Jul. 10, 2020 5:50 AM EDT

BEIJING (AP) — China said Friday it will retaliate against U.S. officials and institutions following Washington’s imposition of sanctions on three local officials of the ruling Communist Party over human rights abuses in the northwestern region of Xinjiang. China will “definitely fight...