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Was Mary Magdalene really from Magdala? Two scholars examine the evidence

By Yonat Shimron — January 7, 2022
(RNS) — The two scholars suggest Magdalene may well be an honorific from the Hebrew and Aramaic words meaning ‘tower’ or ‘magnify.’

Ransom freed some missionary hostages in Haiti, workers say

By Peter Smith — January 6, 2022
An unidentified person paid a ransom that freed three missionaries kidnapped by a gang in Haiti under an agreement that was supposed to have led to the release of all 15 remaining captives early last month, workers for their Ohio-based organization have confirmed. The person who made the payment was not affiliated with Ohio-based Christian […]

I was put up for ‘auction’ by Hindu extremists in India

By Amina Kausar — January 6, 2022
(RNS) — Indian Muslim women have been fighting the misogyny of Hindu extremism for years.

Indonesian prosecutors seek life for Bali bombing suspect

By Niniek Karmini — January 5, 2022
JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — Police and prosecutors say Zulkarnaen is the former military commander of Jemaah Islamiyah, a Southeast Asian militant group with ties to al-Qaida.

A surge of evangelicals in Spain, fueled by Latin Americans

By Alberto Arce — January 4, 2022
SALAMANCA, Spain (AP) — The numbers reflect huge surges in Spain's migrant population and are producing profound changes in in a country long dominated by the Catholic church.

Future of prayer site in doubt under Israel’s fragile government

By Tia Goldenberg — January 4, 2022
JERUSALEM (AP) — A plan for an egalitarian prayer site at Jerusalem's Western Wall has been stymied as new government struggles with internal divisions.

Activists urge Tesla to close new Xinjiang showroom

By Associated Press — January 4, 2022
BEIJING (AP) — American activists are appealing to Tesla Inc. to close a new showroom in China’s northwestern region of Xinjiang, where officials are accused of abuses against mostly Muslim ethnic minorities. Tesla on Friday announced the opening of its showroom in Urumqi, the Xinjiang capital, and said on its Chinese social media account, “Let’s […]

Even Congress can agree that we need to stop Uyghur genocide. Why can’t Elon Musk?

By Omar Suleiman — January 3, 2022
(RNS) — Planning a Tesla factory for Xinjiang is a new low, even for Tesla's CEO.

How East London’s oldest halal restaurant survived the pandemic

By Joseph Hammond — January 3, 2022
LONDON (RNS) — Halal Restaurant opened in 1939 to serve the needs of Muslims in the maritime industry. Over the ensuing decades the restaurant has changed alongside the rapidly shifting neighborhood.

Lebanese Christian leader: alliance with Hezbollah imperiled

By Sarah El Deeb — January 3, 2022
BEIRUT (AP) — The televised speech by Gebran Bassil, who heads the Free Patriotic Movement, signaled an unprecedented level of frustration with Hezbollah.

12 dead in crowd surge at popular Hindu shrine in Kashmir

By Aijaz Hussain — January 3, 2022
SRINAGAR, India (AP) — A crowd surge at a popular Hindu shrine in Indian-controlled Kashmir killed at least 12 people and injured 15 others on New Year’s Day, officials said. Initial reports suggested an altercation between a group of devotees led to the crush early Saturday at the Mata Vaishnav Devi shrine, where tens of […]

‘A moral giant’: South Africans pay their respects to Tutu

By Andrew Meldrum — December 31, 2021
CAPE TOWN, South Africa (AP) — The Anglican archbishop's plain pine casket is on view Friday in St. George's Anglican Cathedral in Cape Town.

Vivaldi opera gets premiere in Ferrara nearly 300 years late

By Nicole Winfield — December 31, 2021
ROME (AP) — The Catholic Church and the northern Italian city of Ferrara made their peace with Vivaldi nearly 300 years after the city’s archbishop canceled the staging of one of his operas.

African leaders hail Tutu, but many don’t follow his lead

By Farai Mutsaka — December 30, 2021
MUTARE, Zimbabwe (AP) — Many leaders have remained silent about Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu’s support for issues they’re uncomfortable with.

Boat with 120 Rohingya refugees disembarks in Indonesia port

By Rahmat Mirza — December 30, 2021
LHOKSEUMAWE, Indonesia (AP) — A group of 120 Rohingya Muslims disembarked from a boat that had drifted for days off Indonesia’s northernmost province of Aceh and was towed by a navy ship into port, officials said Friday. The refugees’ wooden boat was reportedly leaking and had a damaged engine. Efforts to rescue its passengers, who […]
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