ByPeggy Fletcher Stack and Lisa Schencker / The Salt Lake Tribune |
SALT LAKE CITY (RNS) In a surprising move that promises to transform Mormon social and spiritual dynamics, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is lowering the age of full-time missionary service to age 18 for Mormon men (down from 19) and 19 for women (down from 21). By Peggy Fletcher Stack and Lisa Schencker/The Salt Lake Tribune.
SALT LAKE CITY (RNS) A Mormon blogger accused of apostasy for writing critical web essays about church history, temple worship and contemporary issues has been given a reprieve, for now. By Peggy Fletcher Stack.
SALT LAKE CITY (RNS) A Mormon blogger who has written critical web essays about Mormon history, temple worship and contemporary issues — including about GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney — is facing church discipline for “apostasy.” By Peggy Fletcher Stack.
(RNS) The blowing of the shofar, the ram's horn that rouses the soul on the Jewish New Year, has traditionally been assigned to an august member of a synagogue. But the art of shofar blowing is now for anyone who can manage to get a sound out of the instrument. By Lauren Markoe.
(RNS) Beliefs about circumcision will not be easy to change, but questioning circumcision is already happening for Jews. A proposed law in Germany to ban circumcision on young boys offers a chance to expand the debate and move the conversation forward. By Ronald Goldman.
WILMINGTON, N.C. (RNS) With 10 percent unemployment in this corner of North Carolina, the search-for-work story of Gerry Murphy and Andrea Kanelopoulos-Murphy could be a common one. But the couple believe their unique marriage — he's a former Catholic priest — sometimes makes it harder to find the right workplace. By Amanda Greene.
SALT LAKE CITY (RNS) Maybe now, reporters, bloggers, outsiders and even many Mormons will accept that the Utah-based Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints does not forbid drinking cola. By Peggy Fletcher Stack.
(RNS) Following attacks on seven mosques in the last two weeks, many Muslim Americans will mark the end of Ramadan this weekend under a cloud of fear. Their leaders aren't sure how to promote safety without provoking panic. By Omar Sacirbey.
NEW ORLEANS (RNS) The Archdiocese of New Orleans has launched a kind of halfway house where a woman considering a vocation can live while giving the matter thought and prayer, the first in the nation that gives would-be nuns the same environment as would-be priests. By Bruce Nolan.
(RNS) A new report draws on 38,000 face-to-face interviews in 39 countries to find that Muslims differ sharply over questions of faith like who counts as a Muslim and what spiritual practices are acceptable. By Christopher Lisee.
Billed as the largest celebration of shared Jewish learning in history, some 90,000 Orthodox Jews crowded into a New Jersey stadium to read portions of the Talmud’s 2,711th — and final — page. By Mark Mueller and Jason Grant.
(RNS) As 150,000 Orthodox Jews in North America celebrate the completion of a seven-year Talmud study program August 1, it’s easier than ever to study scripture, with the advent of websites, podcasts and smartphone apps. By Chris Lisee.
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (RNS) Episcopal Bishop Kee Sloan of Alabama voted in favor of his church's new ritual for blessing same-sex unions – but he won't allow priests in his diocese to perform it. By Greg Garrison.
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (RNS) Could a Virgin Mary statue under a pine tree in the middle of a cow pasture in rural Alabama one day become an officially recognized international pilgrimage site of the Roman Catholic Church? By Greg Garrison.