RNS photo courtesy American Islamic Forum for Democracy

Opposition grows to religious freedom nominee

(RNS) More than 1,800 people have signed a petition asking Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell to “reconsider” his appointment of Zuhdi Jasser, a prominent critic of Islam, to the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom. By Omar Sacribey.

RNS photo courtesy of Religion & Ethics News Weekly

Where was Jesus buried?

JERUSALEM (RNS) During Holy Week, Christians remember the familiar story of Jesus's death and resurrection. But exactly where does that story take place? The Bible offers only a few clues, and different groups of Christians have their own answers. By Kim Lawton.

RNS photo courtesy Rev. Lawrence Lew/Flickr

Bart Ehrman’s new portrayal of Jesus is surprisingly sympathetic

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (RNS) As Christians prepare to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus, Bart Ehrman, an agnostic, convincingly demonstrates there was a historical Jesus. As for the “mythicists” who argue otherwise — many of them his biggest fans — Ehrman has some choice words: “sensationalist,” “wrongheaded” and “amateurish.” By Yonat Shimron.

COMMENTARY: Freedom in God’s economy

(RNS) This year's Holy Week pilgrimage will have unusual irony, for the centralized institutions that took control of the Christian message and tried to rule the world now find themselves under assault by the same decentralizing and freedom-seeking that Jesus expressed. By Tom Ehrich.

Women wear hijabs in support of slain Iraqi woman

(RNS) Jean Younis is a Christian but she's donning a headscarf to stand in solidarity with Shaima Alawadi, the Iraqi immigrant and mother of five who died March 24 three days after being beaten in her home in El Cajon, Calif. By Omar Sacirbey

Passover traditions reflect ethnic, regional customs

(RNS) When Jewish families sit down for the Passover seder on April 6, it's a safe bet that they'll eat matzo and ask the traditional Four Questions. It's less likely that they'll be hitting one another with scallions (although Iraqi Jews will) or following the Syrian tradition of saving a bit of matzo as a talisman for safe travels. By Debra Rubin.

RNS photo by Frances Micklow/The Star-Ledger

Artists painstakingly transfer sacred stained glass windows

NEWARK, N.J. (RNS) For nearly a century, the stained glass portrait of St. Patrick looked down on parishioners — as if from the heavens — from the massive nave of the sacred Heart church in this city's Vailsburg neighborhood.

RNS photo by Michele Chabin

Passover prep takes spring cleaning to a whole new level

JERUSALEM (RNS) While Passover cleaning has been around since the Israelites fled from bondage in Egypt, some say the lengths to which many modern Jewish families go to avoid the smallest piece of leavened material has turned the “festival of freedom” into a season of domestic slavery. By Michele Chabin.

Religious leaders press Village Voice on sex ads

(RNS) Faith leaders delivered more than 230,000 signatures to the office of Village Voice Media, demanding they shut down the adult advertising section on their website, Backpage.com, where advertisements for sex with underage minors have appeared. By Annalisa Musarra.

RNS photo/public domain.

COMMENTARY: Pride goeth before a sail

(RNS) Before we get swept up in romanticized versions of the tragedy of the Titanic 100 years ago, we need to remember what really happened and recall the biblical words of Proverbs: “Pride goes before destruction.” By A. James Rudin.