Karen Wanjico has designed a workshop to help Americans heal from spiritual abuse. RNS photo by Tracy Simmons/Spokane Faith & Values

Victims raise profile of ‘spiritual abuse’

SPOKANE, Wash. (RNS) Spiritual abuse is when authoritarian religious groups use power and control to instill fear and guilt into worshippers. Similar to domestic abuse, if victims don’t deal with the trauma, survivor Karen Wanjico said, it can damage one’s mental health, relationships and worldview.

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Audio Slideshow: Welcoming a sister

NEWPORT, Wash. (RNS) On Sunday Sravasti Abbey welcomed a new novice nun to its community. In an ordination ceremony Daniela Mieritz took vows and became Venerable Thubten Jampa. Ruby Pan also took vows to become an Anagarkia.

imam shortage

U.S. mosques struggle with shortage of imams

SPOKANE, Wash. (RNS) The Spokane Islamic Center wants something mosques all across the country are seeking and can’t seem to find: an educated, bilingual, experienced imam who understands American culture. So far, the search has taken 18 months. By Tracy Simmons.

RNS photo by Tracy Simmons / Spokane Faith and Values

Lesbian answers bishop’s call for dialogue on gay marriage

SPOKANE, Wash. (RNS) The Catholic bishop here has asked for an honest dialogue about same-sex marriage, so Charlene Strong was happy to take him up on his offer, telling a Catholic campus why the state's domestic partnership law was insufficient when her partner of 10 years was dying. By Tracy Simmons.

RNS photo by Tracy Simmons/Spokane Faith and Values

Woman crusades to save sister’s life, end the death penalty

SPOKANE, Wash. (RNS) Victoria Ann Thorpe's sister has been on death row for 18 years for a crime she says she didn't commit. Now Thorpe is leading a grass-roots campaign to abolish the death penalty in Washington state, saying Jesus would never tolerate it. “Nothing that he did or said can be manipulated into harshness,” she said. By Tracy Simmons.

RNS photo by Jmquez/courtesy Wikimedia Commons (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Oyw_desmond.JPG) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons.

Pro-Tutu petitions flood Gonzaga

(RNS) After nearly 700 people tried to push Gonzaga University to rescind its commencement speaker's invitation to Archbishop Desmond Tutu, supporters of the anti-apartheid hero responded with 11,000 signatures of their own. By Tracy Simmons.