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RNS Morning Report: Texas Rally for India’s PM; German Bishops’ Synodal Assembly; Low-Cost DNA Kits

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, left, slaps the hand of President Donald Trump as they share a laugh during a bilateral meeting at the G-7 summit in Biarritz, France, on Aug. 26, 2019. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Need to know: Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Interfaith group urges congressman to skip Texas rally for India’s prime minister

An event, dubbed 'Howdy, Modi!,' is being held amid reports of violence and intimidation by Indian soldiers in Kashmir villages.

Gathering of German bishops tests Pope Francis’ efforts for decentralization

Following an attempt by the Vatican to exercise control over its upcoming and reform-driven gathering, the Catholic Church in Germany has made it clear that it has no intention of backing down, proving to be yet another wedge in the internal church wars that have plagued Pope Francis' six-year papacy.

Low-cost DNA kits could reduce rate of unreported, unprosecuted rapes in Kenya, beyond

Two women, one an activist and a survivor of sexual assault and the other a criminologist and university professor, are working on an initiative they hope could change the way rape is treated in the developing world.

Leaving politics, Obama speechwriter finds new meaning in Judaism

The speechwriter-turned-Jewish-spokesperson talks about her unconventional views of God, how Judaism has taught her to be a better person and what she does to prepare for the High Holy Days.

Synod for the Amazon about more than married priests

For Pope Francis, the Amazon is important because it touches on so many themes of his papacy: concern for the marginalized, evangelization and protection of the environment, writes Thomas Reese.

Should college students get a break for religious holidays? One state says yes.

Mennah El-Gammal, other students, and Muslim and Jewish organizations successfully lobbied for the passage of a law that requires all private and public colleges in the state of Washington to “reasonably accommodate” students for religious reasons, including observance of a holiday.



Latest news from RNS

Arizona artists win suit over same-sex wedding invitations

Though the state Supreme Court said its ruling is limited to custom wedding invitations, the justices addressed a larger question of religious freedom and LGBT rights than the Colorado wedding cake case.

In Georgia, a Democrat launches a campaign that’s all about faith

Sarah Riggs Amico launched her campaign in August with a video that made a direct appeal to religious voters in the state.

Disputes loom as émigré church leader switches loyalty to Moscow

The fate of 118 parishes scattered across Europe is part of a larger struggle between the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Istanbul and the far larger and richer Moscow Patriarchate, whose power is linked to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

More views from RNS

Love your neighbor: Use their preferred pronoun

Rather than being annoyed that you need to remember a new set of pronouns, view it as a chance to love someone in a very specific way that will speak to their heart and nourish their longing to be seen, writes Ericka Andersen.

5 tips for churches on how to hold onto millennials and GenZ

With more young adults emptying the pews, new research from the Barna Group shows what some churches are doing right for Millennials and GenZ, writes Jana Riess.

Religion in the age of Trump

While much of the media oxygen is taken up by wealthy and powerful religious leaders, the faithful continue to work at the grassroots level, writes Ali A Olomi.