Rev. Gil Caldwell, a ‘foot soldier’ for civil rights, turns his eye to LGBT rights

By Adelle M. Banks — May 5, 2015
DURHAM, N.C. (RNS) The Rev. Gil Caldwell walked onto the campus of Duke Divinity School, leaning on a cane, alongside thousands of Duke alumni arriving for a reunion. But unlike the others, he wasn’t returning for a stroll down memory lane. He had come here for a glimpse of what might have been. Some 60 […]
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TV’s `Dig’ goes to the gates of hell and hopefully, back

By Kimberly Winston — May 1, 2015
(RNS) Detective Golan Cohen, one of the primary characters in “Dig,'' the USA Network's biblical conspiracy action-thriller series, said it best: “This thing is getting weirder by the minute.''     Yes, Golan, it is.     Especially as the 10-part series, which airs Thursday nights at 10 p.m. EST, reached its penultimate episode this week. Thrown […]

A medieval prayer wheel surfaces, but how it was used is anyone’s guess

By David Van Biema — April 30, 2015
(RNS) It appears to have been ordered up by a woman for women: An abbess in Liesborn, Germany, named Berthildis, had it made for the highborn ladies who had traded the medieval court for her convent.

6 things to expect in the pope’s address to Congress

By David Gibson — April 30, 2015
WASHINGTON (RNS) Everyone wants Congress to stop fighting and get working, and that includes Pope Francis, a top adviser said Wednesday (April 29) in a preview of the pope's upcoming U.S. trip.     The Argentine-born pontiff has never been to the U.S., but he will make history in September as the first pope to address […]

5 faith facts about Bernie Sanders: Unabashedly irreligious

By Lauren Markoe — April 29, 2015
WASHINGTON (RNS) Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., a self-identified socialist who's perhaps the most left-leaning member of Congress, is expected to announce this week that he will seek the Democratic nomination for president. Sanders, 74, was born to Jewish parents and identifies as Jewish _ though culturally, not religiously. Most political observers call him a super […]

Canadian Supreme Court rules against prayer at city council meeting

By Ron Csillag — April 15, 2015
TORONTO (RNS) Canada’s Supreme Court has ruled that a small town in Quebec may not open its council meetings with prayer. In a unanimous ruling Wednesday (April 15), Canada’s highest court ruled that the town of Saguenay can no longer publicly recite a Catholic prayer because it infringes on freedom of conscience and religion. The […]

Five faith facts about Marco Rubio: “Once a Catholic always a Catholic”

By Lauren Markoe — April 13, 2015
(RNS) Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., who launched his presidential campaign Monday (April 13), often talks about faith and wrote about his religious convictions in his 2012 book, “An American Son: A Memoir.” Here are five faith facts about this Catholic son of Cuban immigrants who has also found comfort in Mormonism and a Southern Baptist church: 1. […]

5 faith facts about Hillary Clinton, social gospel Methodist to the core

By Cathy Lynn Grossman — April 10, 2015
WASHINGTON (RNS) As she embarks, again, on a presidential campaign, one facet of Hillary Clinton, 67, is unchanged across her decades as a lawyer, first lady, senator and secretary of state: She was, is and likely always will be a social-justice-focused Methodist. 1) She was shaped by a saying popular among Methodists:  “Do all the […]

Five faith facts about Rand Paul: ‘My faith has never been easy for me’

By Kimberly Winston — April 7, 2015
(RNS) Sen. Randal Howard “Rand” Paul, the junior Republican from Kentucky, launched his 2016 presidential campaign on Tuesday (April 7) in Louisville. Here are five facts about the faith background of this libertarian conservative: * Paul, 52, was baptized an Episcopalian. It didn’t stick. He attended Baylor University, a Baptist school in Texas, then Duke […]

What Americans can learn from the British about setting a religious vision for change (COMMENTARY)

By Ron Ribiat — March 25, 2015
(RNS) Nearly three months before the U.K.’s general election, the bishops of the Church of England are trying to frame the vision and values that should guide their country. Recently, those bishops published a nearly 52-page letter that received a public response by the Labour Party’s policy review coordinator, Jon Cruddas. The fact that Cruddas, […]

N.J. to Archdiocese of Newark: Get out of the headstone business

By Ron Ribiat — March 25, 2015
NEWARK, N.J. — The Archdiocese of Newark, the largest single provider of in-ground burials in New Jersey, must give up a lucrative companion business — the marketing of headstones and private crypts — under a bill signed into law Monday (March 23) by Gov. Chris Christie. The measure, which passed both houses of the Legislature […]

Meet the Muslim actor playing Jesus in Bill O’Reilly’s ‘Killing Jesus’

By Jonathan Merritt — March 24, 2015
(RNS) “Bless you for playing Jesus, peace be upon him.” This was the reaction of Lebanese-born actor Haaz Sleiman’s mother after she learned that her son had been cast as Jesus in National Geographic Channel’s “Killing Jesus.” The three Abrahamic religions will collide on Palm Sunday (March 29) when the television special premieres, with a […]

Despite rising anti-Semitism, Jews thrive in central Europe

By Ron Ribiat — March 24, 2015
BERLIN — In Cafe Elfenbein, which opened last year in a trendy Berlin neighborhood, two businessmen wearing yarmulkes — Jewish skullcaps — chat away. The aroma of freshly brewed coffee and homemade rugelach pastry fills the shop, where a rabbi has certified that all its food is kosher. The hip addition to the city points […]
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