The Slingshot: The Olympics’ religious roots and Syria’s stubborn nuns



Need to know: 08/05/2016

Religious exercise

God and the games

The Olympics — both the ancient version and the modern version opening today — have deep religious roots. More from Religion News Service

The fighting saint

The ‘Splainer: Who is St. Sebastian and why do athletes claim him?

Athletes who are religious may say a little extra prayer to St. Sebastian, the patron saint of athletes and of the host city of Rio de Janeiro. More from Religion News Service


Hijab-wearing Olympic star: I’m not safe in the US

Ibtihaj Muhammad, America’s first hijab-wearing Olympian, said she feels the country has reached unsafe levels of anti-Muslim sentiment. More from The Daily Beast


Turkey issues warrant for US-based preacher Fethullah Gulen in failed coup

But Turkey has yet to make a formal extradition request to the US for Gulen. More from

Staying put

Catholic nuns under siege in Syria appeal for help

Despite intense bombing and severe food shortages, several Carmelite nuns are refusing to abandon Aleppo. More from Religion News Service



Bonus tracks

Keeping up with the Rev. Joneses

Clergy wages rise

Non-Catholic clergy have experienced significant increases in income, according to a study in the Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. More from

Culture of life

I’m a pro-life Christian. Here’s why I’m voting for Hillary Clinton

The Republican Party promises to outlaw abortion while actively working against the very policies that would lead to a significant reduction in unwanted pregnancies, writes Rachel Held Evans. More from Vox

Jewish pride

How Israel’s modern-Orthodox Jews came out of the closet

When an Israeli rabbi reminded his listeners that Jewish law opposes homosexuality, he was portrayed as a bigot in almost every quarter. More from

Sending a message

France’s real state of emergency

Many French Muslims and rights groups regard the emergency measures as a public relations exercise rather than a genuine security policy. More from

Biblical inspiration

New tool tracks the use of Bible verses in newspapers

It shows that 19th-century periodicals printed Sunday school lessons, ran Bible clubs for readers and circulated sermons. More from