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Coronavirus

Ordinance limiting Oregon church meal services violates religious freedom, lawsuit says

By Alejandra Molina — February 1, 2022
(RNS) — The lawsuit claims an ordinance limiting the church to offering free meals just twice a week interferes with the church’s fundamental beliefs of ‘feeding the hungry, caring for the sick, and sheltering the houseless.’

Online church is church. I will not abandon my people.

By Jacqui Lewis — February 1, 2022
(RNS) — Even when it’s safe to gather in person again, we will always have hybrid worship programs — robust virtual options that do not treat online members as an afterthought.

Pope denounces fake news about COVID, vaccines, urges truth

By Nicole Winfield — January 28, 2022
ROME (AP) — Francis met with Catholic journalists who have formed a fact-checking network to try to combat misinformation about the pandemic.

Being pro-life demands sacrifice — for a pandemic, too

By Karen Swallow Prior — January 25, 2022
(RNS) — It is not asking too much — in fact, it’s really the bare minimum — for those of us who believe we are justified in asking a woman to sacrifice much to preserve a life growing inside her body to inconvenience our own bodies by wearing a piece of cloth.

Omicron is taking a toll on pagans, who depend on conferences for community

By Heather Greene — January 19, 2022
(RNS) — The pandemic has also threatened the financial viability of conferences and festivals.

Orthodox observe Christmas amid virus concerns

By Jim Heintz — January 7, 2022
MOSCOW (AP) — The Russian Orthodox Church, the largest Orthodox congregation, said celebrants must wear masks and observe social distancing at services.

Navy blocked from acting against 35 COVID vaccine refusers

By Robert Burns — January 4, 2022
WASHINGTON (AP) — A federal judge in Texas has granted a preliminary injunction stopping the Navy from acting against 35 sailors for refusing on religious grounds to comply with an order to get vaccinated against COVID-19. The injunction is a new challenge to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin’s decision to make vaccinations mandatory for all members […]

How East London’s oldest halal restaurant survived the pandemic

By Joseph Hammond — January 3, 2022
LONDON (RNS) — Halal Restaurant opened in 1939 to serve the needs of Muslims in the maritime industry. Over the ensuing decades the restaurant has changed alongside the rapidly shifting neighborhood.

From the Capitol insurrection to the Taliban takeover: The defining religion stories of 2021

By RNS staff — December 31, 2021
(RNS) — Religion was no minor character in 2021's most significant news stories.

COVID outbreak reported at Mormon missionary training center

By Associated Press — December 31, 2021
PROVO, Utah (AP) — All 588 missionaries at the Provo, Utah missionary training center were tested and a total of 91 tested positive.

Observers, detractors and preachers of religion who died in 2021

By Adelle M. Banks — December 30, 2021
(RNS) — Prominent figures in the world of religion who died in 2021.

At the end of a mixed political year: Love, hope and faith abide

By Diane Randall — December 30, 2021
(RNS) — January 2021 brought the inauguration of a new president, but the violent insurrection at the Capitol laid bare the profound differences in expectations of government.

Undertakers, rabbis join global fight promoting COVID shots

By Lindsey Tanner — December 28, 2021
(AP) — Vaccine promoters are up against fear, mistrust, complacency, inconvenience and people who simply have bigger worries than COVID-19.

Hard-hit by COVID, Israel’s ultra-Orthodox slow to get shots

By Tia Goldenberg — December 28, 2021
BNEI BRAK, Israel (AP) — The group has some of the lowest vaccination rates in the country despite being pummeled by the virus throughout the pandemic.

In eastern Germany, pastors push for shots despite protests

By Kirsten Grieshaber — December 28, 2021
CHEMNITZ, Germany (AP) — Lutheran pastors across Saxony have used their sermons to promote vaccines as the most efficient way to end the pandemic.
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