Tom Heneghan is an author at Religion News Service.
Reform US rabbi in Dresden explains ultra-Orthodox traditions to German Jews
PARIS (RNS) — The story of Akiva Weingarten, an ultra-Orthodox New Yorker who was ordained in Israel and started over as a Reform rabbi in Germany, sounds like a made-for-TV movie saga.
Disputes loom as émigré church leader switches loyalty to Moscow
PARIS (RNS) — The fate of 118 parishes scattered across Europe is part of a larger struggle between the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Istanbul and the far larger and richer Moscow Patriarchate, whose power is linked to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Émigré Russian Orthodox inch toward a return to Moscow Patriarchate
PARIS (RNS) — A decision seemed to be made, but as with most émigré politics and disputes among Eastern Orthodox churches, it got complicated.
Pew study finds continued support in Western Europe for paying church taxes
PARIS (RNS) — Despite a noted lack of attendance on Sundays, Western Europeans don’t mind paying to keep established churches open, according to a new survey by the Pew Research Center.
Eastern Orthodoxy risks split over independence for Ukraine’s church
(RNS) — The political significance of the decision was immediately clear. ‘The (Russian) empire is losing one of the last levers of influence on its former colony,’ Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said.
Hindus chant to ‘purify’ former Nazi concentration camps
PARIS (RNS) — Should they be embraced as allies against racism or condemned for trying to whitewash and deny history?
Saudi-backed interfaith center boosted by crown prince’s surprising reforms
VIENNA (RNS) — Change in the Desert Kingdom has helped establish it as a serious player in interfaith dialogue.
Jews and Muslims invited to celebrate Carnival in Germany
(RNS) — The age-old Christian background to the festivities is mostly forgotten, but religion came up in a new way this year as organizers faced an interesting question. Can Jews and Muslims join in the merrymaking?
Top German cardinal signals cautious support for blessing same-sex couples
(RNS) — His comments made clear that he is open to approving such benedictions in private ceremonies.
What would Jesus say? European Catholics grapple with Lord’s Prayer translations
Paris (RNS) — Welcome to the confusing world of Catholic translations, where linguistics, theology, ecumenism and power politics clash despite the church’s claim to universalism.
In Germany, Catholic Church grapples with blessings for gay marriage
(RNS) — Though presiding at a gay marriage remains out of the question, some church officials have suggested that priests should be allowed to bless gay unions.
Germany worried about ‘imported anti-Semitism’ after immigrant protests
(RNS) — By adding Jews to the immigration debate, last month’s anti-Israel and anti-Jewish protests touched Germany’s most sensitive wound and prompted politicians to ask how to counter a new ‘Islamic anti-Semitism.’
German law takes initiative in countering hate speech on social media
PARIS (RNS) — Under a new law that takes effect Jan. 1, Germany will impose fines of up to 50 million euros for any major online service that fails to take down illegal content — religious or otherwise — within days of a complaint.
Morocco goes digital to counter radical Islam online
(RNS) — The Mohammadia League of Islamic Scholars, a government research institute leading Morocco’s extensive campaign against violent Muslim extremism, is producing videos and reaching out on Facebook and YouTube to those in their teens and 20s.