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Peter Smith

Peter Smith is an author at Religion News Service.

All Stories by Peter Smith

Ukrainian archbishop: Minority faiths at risk if Russia wins

By Peter Smith — April 1, 2022
(AP) — Groups at risk include Catholics, Muslims and Orthodox who have broken away from the patriarch of Moscow, Archbishop Borys Gudziak said.

Russian talking point: Blaming US for Ukraine church split

By Peter Smith — March 23, 2022
(AP) — “You cannot call it a religious war, but it has a religious dimension,” said the Rev. Cyril Hovorun.

Moscow patriarch stokes Orthodox tensions with war remarks

By Peter Smith — March 8, 2022
(AP) — Kirill on Sunday depicted the war in spiritual terms.

Kyiv shrines, memorials with powerful symbolic value at risk

By Peter Smith — March 3, 2022
(AP) — Among the sites at risk in the Ukrainian capital are the nation's most sacred Orthodox shrines, dating back nearly 1,000 years to the dawn of Christianity in the region.

EXPLAINER: How is Russia-Ukraine war linked to religion?

By Peter Smith — February 28, 2022
(AP) — The division between Ukraine's Orthodox bodies has reverberated worldwide in recent years as Orthodox churches have struggled with how and whether to take sides.

Jewish leaders, backers defiant a week after hostage siege

By Peter Smith — January 24, 2022
(AP) — At synagogues around the US, Jewish leaders marked the first Sabbath since last weekend's hostage-taking with a show of defiance against acts of antisemitism.

Jewish leaders renew antisemitism fight after hostage case

By Peter Smith — January 20, 2022
(AP) — The gunman’s words were all too familiar to Jewish leaders and terror experts, who saw the attack on Congregation Beth Israel as yet another in the rising number of antisemitic hate crimes.

Ransom freed some missionary hostages in Haiti, workers say

By Peter Smith — January 6, 2022
An unidentified person paid a ransom that freed three missionaries kidnapped by a gang in Haiti under an agreement that was supposed to have led to the release of all 15 remaining captives early last month, workers for their Ohio-based organization have confirmed. The person who made the payment was not affiliated with Ohio-based Christian […]

Church agency: Captive missionaries made daring escape

By Peter Smith — December 20, 2021
Berlin, OH (AP) — Captive missionaries in Haiti found freedom last week by making a daring overnight escape, eluding their kidnappers and walking for miles over difficult, moonlit terrain with an infant and other children in tow, according to the agency they work for, officials said Monday. The group of 12 navigated by stars to […]

Ex-hostages doing well, have left Haiti, mission agency says

By Peter Smith and Christopher Sherman — December 20, 2021
(AP) — 'Everyone including the 10-month-old baby, the 3-year-old boy and the 6-year-old boy seem to be doing reasonably well.'

All from US missionary group freed in Haiti, police say

By Peter Smith and Evens Sanon — December 17, 2021
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) — 'We glorify God for answered prayer — the remaining 12 hostages are FREE!” Christian Aid Ministries said in a statement. “All 17 of our loved ones are now safe.'

Women breaking through to top roles in Black churches

By Adelle M. Banks and Peter Smith — December 9, 2021
(RNS/AP) — Most major Black Christian denominations in the U.S. have no doctrinal bar to ordained women leaders. Yet denominational leadership remained all-male until the 21st century, and women are still the exception in the top rungs.

US religious group says Haitian gang releases 3 hostages

By Evens Sanon and Peter Smith — December 6, 2021
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) — A religious group based in Ohio announced Monday that a violent gang in Haiti has released three more hostages, while another 12 remain abducted. The statement from Christian Aid Ministries said the people were released on Sunday in Haiti and are “safe and seem to be in good spirits.” The group […]

Bentleys to Buddhas: Vintage-car shop restores temple statue

By Peter Smith — November 9, 2021
The monks of the Pittsburgh Buddhist Center approached Exoticars, a car restoration shop in Pittsburgh, for the restoration of its outdoor statue of the Buddha.

Prayer for kidnappers deeply rooted in mission group’s faith

By Peter Smith — October 28, 2021
The missionary group was kidnapped Oct. 16 while returning from a visit to an orphanage supported by Christian Aid Ministries. The 400 Mawozo gang has threatened to kill the 16 Americans and one Canadian if ransom demands aren’t met.
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