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How Jesus became white — and why it’s time to cancel that

By Emily McFarlan Miller — June 24, 2020
CHICAGO (RNS) — Nearly a century later, both ‘Head of Christ’ and criticism of its role in enshrining Jesus as white endure.

The N-word of God: Envisioning the image of Christ

By Mark Doox — June 24, 2020
(RNS) — A war over Christs of different ethnicities, says an artist and iconographer, won’t bring humanity closer together in empathy or love.

In Greece, pandemic deprives refugees of vital link to food and locals

By Magdalena Rojo — June 12, 2020
(RNS) — A restaurant dedicated to feeding refugees and native Greeks alike awaits the country's reopening.

Greg Zanis, who honored shooting victims by building 26,000 crosses, dies

By Yonat Shimron — May 6, 2020
(RNS) — The 69-year-old retired carpenter from Aurora, Illinois, crisscrossed the country to erect his wooden memorials near the sites of massacres, big and small.

Rival Ukraine churches clash over Easter lockdown rules

By Associated Press — April 16, 2020
KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — The Moscow-affiliated church said believers could gather outside places of worship despite a government ban on public gatherings, while the independent church called it a ‘Christian duty’ to stay home.

Religions can be part of the solution for peace, not the problem, faith leaders say

By Claire Giangravé — January 16, 2020
VATICAN CITY (RNS) — The Abrahamic Faiths Initiative group united 25 religious leaders representing Christian, Muslim and Jewish faithful to discuss practical ways of promoting peace and fraternity at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome this week.

Seeking the cross: Icy dips mark the feast of Epiphany

By Veselin Toshkov, Associated Press — January 6, 2020
Orthodox Christians in Bulgaria celebrated Epiphany by jumping in frigid waters to retrieve a cross. The holiday commemorates the coming of the Wise Men.

Egypt arrests Coptic community rights activist amid heightened surveillance measures

By Mina Nader, Jacob Wirtschafter — December 5, 2019
CAIRO (RNS) — Early on Nov. 23, plainclothes police arrived at the home of Ramy Kamel, a tailor and advocate for the Coptic community. Human rights groups have expressed alarm over Kamel's arrest and a renewed crackdown on activists and journalists in Egypt.

Exhibition in Jerusalem challenges perceptions of modestly dressed women

By Michele Chabin — September 6, 2019
JERUSALEM (RNS) — Featuring women from different cultures, the multimedia investigation of modest dress shows that the common denominator is a thirst for spiritual meaning.

Russian Orthodox Church considers a ban on blessing weapons of mass destruction

By Marc Bennetts — July 9, 2019
MOSCOW (RNS) — The ban would constitute a signal change in the church's official policy regarding Russia’s nuclear arsenal.

Greek Orthodox church in US gets 1st new leader in 20 years

By David Crary — June 24, 2019
NEW YORK (AP) — Elpidophoros was unanimously elected by senior Greek Orthodox officials last month to succeed Archbishop Demetrios, who recently retired at age 91 after serving in the post since 1999.

Russian Orthodox Church drops plan to build a new St. Catherine’s Cathedral

By Marc Bennetts — May 24, 2019
MOSCOW (RNS) — Protesters caused Russian church officials to cancel plans for a new cathedral in Yekaterinburg, the country’s fourth-largest city. Protesters were angered that the cathedral was going to be built on a rare piece of green space.

Close vote in Israel extends tiny ultra-Orthodox Jewish parties’ outsized sway

By Michele Chabin — April 11, 2019
JERUSALEM (RNS) — Besides its effect on the everyday lives of Jewish Israelis, the influence of haredi parties promises to exacerbate tensions between the Israeli government and non-Orthodox Diaspora Jews.

For Orthodox Jewish men, the hat known as a Borsalino is tops

By Bill Motchan — April 9, 2019
(RNS) — A fedora worn by Rihanna and Indiana Jones has also been the hat of choice for Jews from Eastern Europe to the United States for more than a century.

Putin assails Ukraine Orthodox church reform

By The Associated Press — January 31, 2019
(AP) — Putin said the push for the new church was rooted in “the struggle for power” and provoked “animosity and intolerance.”
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