Top Religion News

Nightbird Restaurant chef and owner Kim Alter, left, mimics giving a hug to nurse practitioner Sydney Gressel, center, and patient care technician Matt Phillips after delivering dinner to them at University of California at San Francisco Benioff Children's Hospital in San Francisco, March 27, 2020. A group of tech-savvy, entrepreneurial San Francisco friends wanted to help two groups devastated by the coronavirus pandemic. They came up with a plan that involved soliciting donations, tapping friends in the restaurant world and getting San Francisco hospitals to accept free food cooked up by some of the city's top chefs. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

Not so random acts: Science finds that being kind pays off

Jul. 2, 2020 11:08 AM EDT

Acts of kindness may not be that random after all. Science says being kind pays off. Research shows that acts of kindness make us feel better and healthier. Kindness is also key to how we evolved and survived as a species, scientists say. We are hard-wired to be kind. Kindness “is as bred in our bones as...

FILE - In this May 16, 2001, file photo, the entrance to the U.S. Penitentiary in Terre Haute, Ind. A Zen Buddhist priest wants a federal judge to stop the execution of a federal death row inmate he’s been counseling and argues he would be put at high risk for the coronavirus if the execution happens this month. Dale Hartkemeyer goes by the religious name Seigen. He filed a lawsuit Thursday in federal court in Indiana. The 68-year-old wants the court to delay Wesley Ira Purkey’s execution until a coronavirus vaccine is available or there’s a widespread effective treatment. Purkey is one of four federal death row inmates scheduled to be executed in July and August. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy, File)

Priest sues to stop federal execution over coronavirus risk

Jul. 2, 2020 11:08 AM EDT

WASHINGTON (AP) — A Zen Buddhist priest, who is a spiritual adviser to one of three federal death row inmates scheduled to be executed this month, filed a lawsuit Thursday arguing the Bureau of Prisons is putting him at risk for the coronavirus by moving forward with executions during a nationwide...

An aerial view of the Byzantine-era Hagia Sophia, one of Istanbul's main tourist attractions in the historic Sultanahmet district of Istanbul, Saturday, April 25, 2020. The 6th-century building is now at the center of a heated debate between conservative groups who want it to be reconverted into a mosque and those who believe the World Heritage site should remain a museum. (AP Photo)

Court considers status of Istanbul's iconic Hagia Sophia

Jul. 2, 2020 6:03 AM EDT

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — A state attorney on Thursday recommended that Turkey's highest administrative court reject a request that Istanbul's iconic Hagia Sophia, which now serves as museum, be turned back into a mosque, state-run media reported. The 6th-century structure was the Byzantine Empire’s...

German pastor charged with incitement for anti-gay comment

Jul. 2, 2020 8:13 AM EDT

BERLIN (AP) — Prosecutors in the northern German city of Bremen have charged a Protestant pastor with incitement for comments he made about homosexuality, authorities said Thursday. The comments from the pastor, whose name was not released, were made at a seminar in October on the subject of marriage when...

Bishop: North Carolina priest kept on leave on abuse claims

Jul. 2, 2020 8:39 AM EDT

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — A Catholic priest in North Carolina will remain on administrative leave after allegations of sexual abuse against him were revealed last year, the Charlotte diocese's bishop said. Bishop Peter Jugis made the announcement to St. Matthew parishioners in a letter Wednesday, writing that...

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People visit a mass grave for the victims of the Islamic State group in Mosul, Iraq on Thursday, July 1, 2020. A human skull, a pair of worn trousers and a shoe were among the remains unearthed from a mass grave discovered this week in northern Iraq, a remnant of the brutal rule of the Islamic State group. (AP Photo/Farid Abdulwahed)

New mass grave unearthed in Iraq's north from brutal IS rule

Jul. 2, 2020 12:42 PM EDT

MOSUL, Iraq (AP) — A human skull, a pair of worn trousers and a shoe were among the remains unearthed from a mass grave discovered this week in northern Iraq, a remnant of the brutal rule of the Islamic State group, Iraqi officials said Thursday. The new mass grave was discovered on Monday in the village...

Nightbird Restaurant chef and owner Kim Alter, left, mimics giving a hug to nurse practitioner Sydney Gressel, center, and patient care technician Matt Phillips after delivering dinner to them at University of California at San Francisco Benioff Children's Hospital in San Francisco, March 27, 2020. A group of tech-savvy, entrepreneurial San Francisco friends wanted to help two groups devastated by the coronavirus pandemic. They came up with a plan that involved soliciting donations, tapping friends in the restaurant world and getting San Francisco hospitals to accept free food cooked up by some of the city's top chefs. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

Not so random acts: Science finds that being kind pays off

Jul. 2, 2020 11:08 AM EDT

Acts of kindness may not be that random after all. Science says being kind pays off. Research shows that acts of kindness make us feel better and healthier. Kindness is also key to how we evolved and survived as a species, scientists say. We are hard-wired to be kind. Kindness “is as bred in our bones as...

FILE - In this May 16, 2001, file photo, the entrance to the U.S. Penitentiary in Terre Haute, Ind. A Zen Buddhist priest wants a federal judge to stop the execution of a federal death row inmate he’s been counseling and argues he would be put at high risk for the coronavirus if the execution happens this month. Dale Hartkemeyer goes by the religious name Seigen. He filed a lawsuit Thursday in federal court in Indiana. The 68-year-old wants the court to delay Wesley Ira Purkey’s execution until a coronavirus vaccine is available or there’s a widespread effective treatment. Purkey is one of four federal death row inmates scheduled to be executed in July and August. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy, File)

Priest sues to stop federal execution over coronavirus risk

Jul. 2, 2020 11:08 AM EDT

WASHINGTON (AP) — A Zen Buddhist priest, who is a spiritual adviser to one of three federal death row inmates scheduled to be executed this month, filed a lawsuit Thursday arguing the Bureau of Prisons is putting him at risk for the coronavirus by moving forward with executions during a nationwide...

Bishop: North Carolina priest kept on leave on abuse claims

Jul. 2, 2020 8:39 AM EDT

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — A Catholic priest in North Carolina will remain on administrative leave after allegations of sexual abuse against him were revealed last year, the Charlotte diocese's bishop said. Bishop Peter Jugis made the announcement to St. Matthew parishioners in a letter Wednesday, writing that...

FILE - In this Saturday, Oct. 27, 2007 file photo, Pope Benedict XVI, center left, applauds, as his brother, Georg, right, looks on, during a concert by the German Symphonic Orchestra Bayerischer Rundfunk and the Bamberger Symphoniker, at the Paul VI Hall at the Vatican. The Rev. Georg Ratzinger, the older brother of Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI, who earned renown in his own right as a director of an acclaimed German boys’ choir, has died at age 96. The Regensburg diocese in Bavaria, where Ratzinger lived, said in a statement on his website that he died on Wednesday, July 1, 2020. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini, File)

Funeral planned Wednesday for retired pope's elder brother

Jul. 2, 2020 8:33 AM EDT

BERLIN (AP) — A funeral is to be held in Germany next week for the Rev. Georg Ratzinger, the older brother of Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI who died Wednesday at the age of 96. The Diocese of Regensburg said Thursday that Ratzinger will be laid to rest in the Bavarian city's Catholic cemetery Wednesday...

German pastor charged with incitement for anti-gay comment

Jul. 2, 2020 8:13 AM EDT

BERLIN (AP) — Prosecutors in the northern German city of Bremen have charged a Protestant pastor with incitement for comments he made about homosexuality, authorities said Thursday. The comments from the pastor, whose name was not released, were made at a seminar in October on the subject of marriage when...

FILE - Businesswoman Lauren Boebert speaks during a watch party at Warehouse 25 Sixty Five in Grand Junction, Colo., after polls closed in Colorado's primary election on Tuesday, June 30, 2020. Boebert, a pistol-packing restaurant owner who has expressed support for a far-right conspiracy theory has upset five-term Colorado U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton. Lauren Boebert is an ardent defender of gun rights and border wall supporter. She will run in November’s general election against Diane Mitsch Bush, who won the Democratic nomination on Tuesday.  (McKenzie Lange/Grand Junction Sentinel via AP, File)

GOP candidate is latest linked to QAnon conspiracy theory

Jul. 2, 2020 6:13 AM EDT

DENVER (AP) — When Lauren Boebert was asked in May about QAnon, she didn't shy away from the far-right conspiracy theory, which advances unproven allegations about a so-called deep state plot against President Donald Trump that involves satanism and child sex trafficking. “Everything that...

An aerial view of the Byzantine-era Hagia Sophia, one of Istanbul's main tourist attractions in the historic Sultanahmet district of Istanbul, Saturday, April 25, 2020. The 6th-century building is now at the center of a heated debate between conservative groups who want it to be reconverted into a mosque and those who believe the World Heritage site should remain a museum. (AP Photo)

Court considers status of Istanbul's iconic Hagia Sophia

Jul. 2, 2020 6:03 AM EDT

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — A state attorney on Thursday recommended that Turkey's highest administrative court reject a request that Istanbul's iconic Hagia Sophia, which now serves as museum, be turned back into a mosque, state-run media reported. The 6th-century structure was the Byzantine Empire’s...

FILE - In this April 21, 2007 file photo, a Masai girl holds a protest sign during the anti-female genital mutilation (FGM) protest in Kilgoris, Kenya. The World Health Organization says the practice constitutes an

Sudan's bid to ban genital mutilation sparks hope, caution

Jul. 2, 2020 2:25 AM EDT

CAIRO (AP) — It’s been more than 60 years. But the scene is seared still into Kawthar Ali’s mind. The women pinned her down on a bed. She was maybe 5 1/2 or 6 years old. Holding her knees, they spread her legs open, her genitals exposed. At the time, she didn’t fully understand what...

A Mississippi Highway Safety Patrol honor guard carefully folds the retired Mississippi state flag after it was raised over the Capitol grounds one final time in Jackson, Miss., Wednesday, July 1, 2020. The banner was the last state flag with the Confederate battle emblem on it. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

Old times not forgotten: Mississippi furls rebel-themed flag

Jul. 2, 2020 1:25 AM EDT

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Mississippi officials held a ceremony Wednesday to retire the former state flag and send it to a history museum, a day after Republican Gov. Tate Reeves signed a law stripping official status from the last state banner in the U.S. that included the Confederate battle emblem. One...