Fate of historic Sofia church unclear as Bulgaria accuses abbot of spying for Russia

By David I. Klein — October 4, 2023
(RNS) — After three Russian Orthodox Church priests were expelled from Bulgaria on charges of espionage last month, their former church is at the center of a diplomatic rift between the Russian and Bulgarian governments and an ecclesiastical one between the two countries’ Orthodox churches.
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World Communion Sunday is about more than Christian unity

By Jennifer Butler — October 2, 2023
(RNS) — World Communion Sunday should be understood as a ritual that helps us envision ourselves beyond our own religious, racial, gender or national tribe and unified instead by a vision of human and planetary flourishing; a realization that all are one.

In Hindu Heritage Month, Hindu Americans seek to educate the public — and themselves

By Richa Karmarkar — October 2, 2023
(RNS) — For Hindu Heritage Month this year, Hindus want to highlight their faith for external audiences, but also grow broader awareness amongst Hindus themselves.

A green card processing change means US could lose thousands of faith leaders from abroad

By Giovanna Dell'orto — October 2, 2023
COLUMBIA HEIGHTS, Minn. (AP) — This change means that only applications filed before January 2019 are currently being processed, giving clergy with expiring visas no option but to leave their U.S. congregations behind.

Vatican, other faith leaders join in push for end of death penalty in Louisiana

By Adelle M. Banks — September 29, 2023
(RNS) — ‘We think that the clearing of Louisiana’s death row would be a monumental step towards the abolition of the death penalty,’ Vatican agency head said.

Dozens dead after blast in southwestern Pakistan at a rally celebrating birthday of Islam’s prophet

By Abdul Sattar — September 29, 2023
QUETTA, Pakistan (AP) — Around 500 people had gathered for a procession from the mosque to celebrate the birth of the prophet, known as Mawlid an-Nabi.

Inspired by llamas, the desert and Mother Earth, these craftswomen weave sacred textiles

By MarÍa Teresa HernÁndez — September 29, 2023
COLCHANE, Chile (AP) — Among the 3 million Aymaras who live along the borders of Chile, Perú and Bolivia, the Earth is known as “Pachamama.”

Soccer player Paulinho won’t let intolerance of his Afro-Brazilian religion stop his faith

By Mauricio Savarese — September 29, 2023
LAGOA SANTA, Brazil (AP) — Academics and religious-freedom advocates say that Afro-Brazilian religions are sometimes demonized in neo-Pentecostal churches.

French schools’ ban on abayas and headscarves is supposedly about secularism − but it sends a powerful message about who ‘belongs’ in French culture

By Carol Ferrara — September 29, 2023
(The Conversation) — Catholicism, ‘Frenchness’ and secularism are often conflated in French culture, a scholar writes, while non-Christian traditions are viewed with suspicion.

Why some Indians want to change the country’s name to ‘Bharat’

By Phillip M. Carter — September 29, 2023
(The Conversation) — The government’s use of the Hindi word for ‘India’ revives debates over whether Hindi should be the national language – and reopens some old wounds.

South Sudanese refugees, fleeing a second civil war in Sudan, return home to bleak prospects

By Tonny Onyulo — September 28, 2023
MALAKAL, South Sudan (RNS) — The situation has prompted religious leaders in South Sudan to appeal to the international community to aid returning refugees.

A Yom Kippur sermon warns American Jews of Israel’s growing messianic rule

By Yonat Shimron — September 27, 2023
(RNS) — In a barnburner Yom Kippur sermon Monday (Sept. 25), Rabbi Sharon Brous said elements of Israel’s new government have a messianic agenda that aims to turn the country into a fascist theocracy.

AME Bishop Silvester Beaman named chair of White House council on African engagement

By Adelle M. Banks — September 27, 2023
(RNS) — ‘Bishop Beaman’s extensive experience and deep roots in Africa will enable him to lead the Council to achieve its full potential,’ the White House said.
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