Church of England installs alarms to stop copper thefts

LONDON (RNS) The Church of England is spearheading a campaign to install high-tech movement sensors on scores of churches in a bid to stop a rash of lead and copper thieves who have targeted the roofs of religious buildings. By Al Webb.

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia Commons

Monday’s Religion News Roundup: Oscar religion; queasy Santorum; Bevilacqua shredding

Not much religion at the Oscars last night (unless you count celebrity worship).  The documentary about the woman who kissed Elvis and then became a nun did not take home the golden idol. She did have a cute line, though. “Believe me, this is much different than being in a monastery,” Mother Dolores said in a red-carpet interview before the awards ceremony. I dearly hope no one asked who she was wearing.  In the foreign film category, Iran's “A Separation” bested Israel's “Footnote” and several other films, which Iran state TV portrayed as a defeat of Zionism. Speaking of Oscars, “Boys Town” founder Father Edward Flanagan, who was played by Spencer Tracy in a Academy Award-winning movie of the same name, is officially a candidate for sainthood.

Verizon plans to drop Muslim TV network

(RNS) Verizon FIOS, the national cable television operator, has decided to drop Bridges TV, a pioneering television network that seeks to challenge stereotypes of Muslims and create understanding between Muslims and non-Muslims. By Omar Sacirbey.

RNS photo by Aristide Economopoulos/The Star-Ledger.

NYPD’s Muslim surveillance extended well beyond New York

NEWARK, N.J. (RNS) New reports on the extent of surveillance of Muslim groups by the New York Police Department revealed the NYPD had been operating well outside its jurisdiction, cataloging Muslim communities on Long Island, New Jersey and campuses across the region. By David Giambusso and James Queally.

Religion News Service photo by Bob Mahoney.

For atheists of color, ‘coming out’ can be painful

(RNS) Many African-American atheists say that the act of “coming out” as nonbelievers in their community is to risk everything — friends, family, business ties — even their racial and cultural identity. By Kimberly Winston.

Lutherans find common with Catholics on Obama mandate

ST. LOUIS (RNS) The conservative Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod has not had much in common with Roman Catholics, but President Obama's contraception mandate has led the St. Louis-based church to find “large consensus with the Roman Catholic Church on moral issues,” its new president said. By Tim Townsend.