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Anglican Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu smiles as he celebrates his 86th birthday in Cape Town, South Africa, on Oct. 7, 2017. (AP Photo/Mark Wessels)

New book explores how Desmond Tutu’s Christian mysticism helped unite a nation

By Yonat Shimron — April 14, 2021

(RNS) — In his new book, ‘Desmond Tutu: A Spiritual Biography of South Africa’s Confessor,’ Michael Battle delves into the ways Tutu’s religious formation shaped a vision that helped topple apartheid and unite a riven nation.

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Ultra-Orthodox Jews, followers of the Hasidic sect of Shomrei Emunim, wearing protective face masks to combat the coronavirus outbreak, attend the funeral of Rabbi Refael Aharon Roth, 72, who died from the virus, in Bnei Brak, Israel, on Aug. 13, 2020. (AP Photo/Oded Balilty)

I love all Jews — even the ones I don’t like

By Jeffrey Salkin — April 13, 2021

(RNS) — We Jews are a small people, but we are a large family. 

Indonesian Muslims pray while practicing social distancing to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus during an evening prayer called tarawih as they mark the first eve of the holy fasting month of Ramadan at Istiqlal Mosque in Jakarta, Indonesia, on April 12, 2021. During Ramadan, the holiest month in the Islamic calendar, Muslims refrain from eating, drinking, smoking and sex from dawn to dusk. (AP Photo/ Achmad Ibrahim)

Muslims open Ramadan with social distanced prayers, vaccines

By Niniek Karmini — April 13, 2021

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — COVID-19 cases are spiking in Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim nation, but vaccines are being administered and the government is loosening restrictions.

A view of St. Peter’s Square, Vatican City, and Rome from the top of Michelangelo’s dome in St. Peter’s Basilica. Photo by David Iliff/Creative Commons/CC BY-SA 3.0

Italian prosecutors request arrest warrant for Italian financier named in Vatican scandals

By Claire Giangravé — April 12, 2021

VATICAN CITY (RNS) — Torzi’s legal team claimed to be ‘perplexed’ with Italian prosecutors’ request for an arrest warrant, given that the Vatican’s similar allegations were ‘demolished’ by a British judge only last month.

Devotees stand behind barricades as they wait for Naga Sadhu or Naked Hindu holy men to arrive for Shahi snan or a Royal bath during Kumbh mela, in Haridwar in the Indian state of Uttarakhand, Monday, April 12, 2021.  (AP Photo/Karma Sonam)

Huge gatherings at India’s Hindu festival as virus surges

By Neha Mehrotra, Sheikh Saaliq — April 12, 2021

NEW DELHI (AP) — The Kumbh Mela, or pitcher festival, is one of the most sacred pilgrimages in Hinduism.

FILE - This is a June. 2, 1953 file photo of Britain's Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, as they wave to supporters from the balcony at Buckingham Palace, following her coronation at Westminster Abbey. London.  (AP Photo/Leslie Priest, File)

Anglican convert and Pacific Island deity: 5 faith facts about Prince Philip

By Paul O'Donnell — April 9, 2021

(RNS) — Married for 73 years to the head of the Church of England, the prince consort built a religious profile that was more complicated than his official role might suggest.

Anti-coup protesters walk through a market with images of ousted Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi at Kamayut township in Yangon, Myanmar Thursday, April 8, 2021. They walked through the markets and streets of Kamayut township with slogans to show their disaffection for military coup. (AP Photo)

Baptists of Burma organize multiethnic diaspora rally in DC against coup in Myanmar

By Bob Smietana — April 9, 2021

(RNS) — Baptists and members of other ethnic Burmese churches will gather in DC in support of protests against the coup in Myanmar.

Syrians displaced by the Turkish military operation in northeastern Syria wait to receive tents and aid supplies at the Bardarash refugee camp, north of Mosul, Iraq, on Oct. 17, 2019. (AP Photo/Hussein Malla)

How the church can be a better evangelical witness to displaced people

By Eugene Cho — April 8, 2021

(RNS) — We have a duty not to let our politics blind us to the image of God in our neighbors.

FILE - In this Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2014 file photo, the Yellow Star badge of Heinz-Joachim Aris (Dresden 1941) reading 'Jew' is displayed in a showcase during a press preview in the new special exhibition 'Shoes of the Dead - Dresden and the Shoah' at the Military History Museum in Dresden, Germany. (AP Photo/Jens Meyer, file)

Holocaust survivors use social media to fight anti-Semitism

By David Rising — April 8, 2021

(AP) — The #ItStartedWithWords campaign educates people about how the Nazis dehumanized Jews years before death camps were established.

The Vatican’s Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, led by Cardinal Peter Turkson, has launched a new initiative to improve water, sanitation and hygiene conditions at its facilities. Image by Jeff Jacobs from Pixabay

Vatican water and hygiene initiative for health care facilities is an investment in life

By Mary Louise Stubbs — April 7, 2021

(RNS) — The lack of water, sanitation and hygiene in health care facilities worldwide kills infants, women and front-line workers.

La Bête de la Mer, meaning The Beast of the Sea, by Kimon Berlin, is a medieval tapestry, which shows John, the Dragon and the Beast of the Sea. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons/Creative Commons

No, the COVID-19 vaccine is not linked to the mark of the beast – but a first-century Roman tyrant probably is

By Eric M. Vanden Eykel — April 7, 2021

(The Conversation) — A scholar argues that Nero is the person identified in the Bible as 666.

A movie theater opened its doors for the broadcasting of Easter services, receiving blowback from the community, frustrated that the theater is otherwise closed due to COVID-19. Photo courtesy of Church of St. John the Baptist in Modena, Italy

Church faces backlash for showing Mass at a cinema, as Italy faces severe lockdown

By Claire Giangravé — April 7, 2021

VATICAN CITY (RNS) — The case highlights growing tensions between Italians and the Catholic Church, which critics say has been granted more leeway while the weary peninsula faces another severe lockdown more than a year into the pandemic.

In this Oct. 6, 2004, file photo, Hans Küng attends the Book Fair in Frankfurt, Germany. Küng, the Roman Catholic theologian who was an early colleague and friend of the future Pope Benedict XVI but later fell afoul of the Vatican for challenging church doctrine and became a vocal critic of the pontiff, has died. He was 93. (AP Photo/Michael Probst, File)

Hans Kueng, dissident Catholic theologian, dies at 93

By Geir Moulson — April 6, 2021

BERLIN (AP) — Kueng was an influential voice for liberal Catholics and a prolific author, challenging Catholic doctrines on papal authority, birth control, divorce and other issues.

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