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Sr. Maria Odete Pereira, center, of the Congregation of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, gives thanks before the distribution of food baskets to residents of the Our Lady of Fatima community just outside of Manaus, Amazonas state, Brazil. (Photo courtesy of Sr. Roselei Bertoldo)

As COVID-19 rages in Brazil, sisters in the Amazon fight hunger and isolation

By Global Sisters Report — March 8, 2021

Distributing food and aiding those afflicted by unemployment, hunger and despair, the religious women working in Brazil’s Amazonas state have been a driving force in coping with the pandemic.

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Pope Francis listens to Syriac Catholic Patriarch Ignatius Joseph III Yonan, right, delivering his welcome speech during a meeting with the Qaraqosh community at the Church of the Immaculate Conception, in Qaraqosh, Iraq, Sunday, March 7, 2021. The small Christian community returned to Qaraqosh after the war where they rebuilt their church that was used as a firing range by IS. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)

‘You are not alone!’ Pope makes final appeal to Iraqi Christian community

By Claire Giangravé — March 7, 2021

VATICAN CITY (RNS) — On his last full day in Iraq, Francis told Christians to forgive their oppressors, the better to put their energy toward restoring their country.

Pope Francis visited the ancient Mesopotamian city of Ur on Saturday, March 6, 2021, on the second day of his historic visit to Iraq (March 5-8). There he joined religious leaders for an ecumenical prayer calling for peace and tolerance in the country. Photo courtesy of Vatican Media

At ancient city of Ur, Pope Francis makes heartfelt appeal for fraternity of faiths

By Claire Giangravé — March 6, 2021

(RNS) — Earlier on Saturday, Pope Francis had a historic meeting with the Grand Ayatollah Ali Al-Sistani, the Iraqi Shiite leader.

Pope Francis, center, delivers a speech during a meeting with bishops and priests, at the Sayidat al-Nejat (Our Lady of Salvation) Cathedral, in Baghdad, Iraq, Friday, March 5, 2021. Pope Francis has arrived in Iraq to urge the country's dwindling number of Christians to remain and help rebuild the country after years of war and persecution, brushing aside the coronavirus pandemic and security concerns. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)

Photos of the Week: Francis in Iraq, unrest in Myanmar

By Kit Doyle — March 5, 2021

(RNS) — Each week Religion News Service presents a gallery of photos of religious expression around the world. This week’s photo gallery includes the first papal visit to Iraq, more unrest in Myanmar following the military coup and more. Add to Favorite Articles

Members of the Uyghur community living in Turkey hold banners while protesting against China, in Istanbul, Friday, Feb. 26, 2021. More than a million Uyghurs and other largely Muslim minorities have been swept into prisons and detention camps in China, in what China calls an anti-terrorism measure. Uyghurs, a Turkic group native to China's far west Xinjiang region, have sought refuge in Turkey for decades because of their shared cultural ties with the country. (AP Photo/Omer Kuscu)

As genocide designation becomes a political football, Uyghur activists push for action

By Joseph Hammond — March 5, 2021

(RNS) — Advocates for the Uyghurs say they expect the Biden administration to proceed on the understanding that China’s actions amount to genocide.

What group is least likely to get a vaccine? (AP Illustration/Peter Hamlin)

Black Protestants aren’t least likely to get a vaccine; white evangelicals are

By Yonat Shimron — March 5, 2021

(RNS) — A new survey by Pew Research shows that 64% of Black Protestants ‘definitely or probably’ plan to get vaccinated, compared to 54% of white evangelicals.

Pharmacist Madeline Acquilano draws a syringe of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine at Hartford Hospital in Hartford, Conn., Wednesday, March 3, 2021. The first shipments of the vaccine arrived at the hospital Wednesday morning. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill)

Johnson & Johnson vaccine creates a week of confusion for Catholics

By Jack Jenkins — March 5, 2021

(RNS) — An attempt to clear up confusion about the moral acceptability of the vaccine only created further uncertainty.

Waya Brown, who is Apache and Pomo, dances in a circle at Oak Flat campground on Saturday, Feb. 27, 2021, near Superior, Arizona. RNS photo by Alejandra Molina

Why Oak Flat in Arizona is a sacred space for the Apache and other Native Americans

By Alejandra Molina, Emily McFarlan Miller — March 5, 2021

SUPERIOR, Ariz. (RNS) — The Apache believe Oak Flat is a ‘blessed place’ where Ga’an — guardians or messengers between the people and Usen, Creator God — dwell. The site is at risk of being turned over to an Australian mining company.

In this July 29, 2009, file photo, financial guru Dave Ramsey sits in his broadcasting studio in Brentwood, Tenn. Ramsey Solutions later moved to a new corporate headquarters in Franklin. (AP Photo/Josh Anderson, File)

Dave Ramsey’s new crusade: Ending COVID-19 mask orders

By Bob Smietana — March 5, 2021

(RNS) — Dave Ramsey, the Christian financial guru, has long been a skeptic of COVID-19 restrictions, saying that he and his company will not be ruled by fear.

“Sister Act” podcast  co-hosts Sabrina Dent, clockwise from top left, Hurunnessa Fariad and Rabbi Susan Shankman share a laugh during a virtual meeting. Video screengrab

Women of different faiths find ‘seat at the table’ co-hosting ‘Sister Act’ podcast

By Adelle M. Banks — March 5, 2021

(RNS) — ‘Being female faith leaders, we are not always given the stage,’ said the podcast’s founder.

Pope Francis, center, delivers a speech during a meeting with bishops and priests, at the Sayidat al-Nejat (Our Lady of Salvation) Cathedral, in Baghdad, Iraq, Friday, March 5, 2021. Pope Francis has arrived in Iraq to urge the country's dwindling number of Christians to remain and help rebuild the country after years of war and persecution, brushing aside the coronavirus pandemic and security concerns. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)

On first day in Iraq, Pope Francis pays tribute to Christian martyrs

By Claire Giangravé — March 5, 2021

VATICAN CITY (RNS) — Visiting the Assyrian Catholic cathedral in Baghdad, Francis rallied Iraqis in the face of the challenges of the pandemic and the ravages of war and terrorism over the past two decades.

Adamo Tadolini's statue of St. Paul stands in front of St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican. Photo by AngMoKio/Creative Commons

How Catholicism became a breeding ground for conspiracy theories

By Claire Giangravé — March 5, 2021

(RNS) — A perfect storm of institutional crises, the polarization of perceived winners and losers and an influx of evangelicals has made Catholicism fertile ground for conspiracy theories.

Tahanie Aboushi at the New York State Supreme Court Building in Manhattan. Photo by Kisha Bari

Muslim candidate for Manhattan DA runs to give victims of system a ‘seat at the table’

By Zainab Iqbal — March 5, 2021

(RNS) — ‘Tahanie is New York personified,’ said Aboushi’s friend Linda Sarsour. ‘She is kind, humble, but also unbought and unbossed.’

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