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The Slingshot: Pope poll; Ham served; Guns targeted

Pope Francis is cheered by faithful during an audience with health workers, in the Paul VI Hall at the Vatican, on March 3, 2018. (L’Osservatore Romano/ANSA via AP)

Need to know: Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Survey: Pope Francis is still popular, but warm feelings waning among conservatives

The first Latin American pope retains a soaring 84 percent favorability rating among Catholics overall, but roughly a quarter of American Catholics say he is naive.

After a rescinded invitation, Ken Ham talks about God at an Oklahoma university

The lecture by the founder of a Noah’s Ark theme park in Kentucky came despite objections to his views at the public university in the heart of the Bible Belt Oklahoma.

Why carrying a gun is an immoral act, according to Marilynne Robinson

“I am too old to mince words,” the author and Christian thinker writes in her new essay collection “What Are We Doing Here?”

By rewriting history, Hindu nationalists aim to assert their dominance over India

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government has appointed a committee of scholars to shape Indian identity as a nation of and for Hindus, worrying Muslims that they will end up second-class citizens.

How the Oscar-winning ‘Coco’ and its fantastical afterlife forced us to talk about death

In the absence of shared spiritual spaces in America, “Coco” and other mega-pop-culture experiences offer a sanctuary for talking about the religious or supernatural spheres in which all but the most hardcore nonbelievers still dabble, writes Michelle Boorstein. (Subscription may be required)

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Latest news from RNS

2 arrested after claiming Texas church shooting was fiction

(AP) — Pastor Frank Pomeroy, whose 14-year-old daughter died in the Nov. 5 shooting, says they claimed his daughter never existed and demanded to see her birth certificate.

Interfaith film misses Oscar, but raises hope in Africa

The film is helping to spread a message that many Africans say is too rarely heard: that people from different religious groups on the continent can be each other's heroes.

Christians are key to support for el-Sissi in upcoming Egypt election

Since Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi took over Egypt's presidency four years ago, he has worked to improve life for Coptic Christians, giving them near equal rights and benefits as Muslims.

More views from RNS

Muslim women don’t need saving from their religion

(RNS) — There are many women (and men) in our own country who need 'saving' as much as the most oppressed of Muslim women.

Why deporting the ‘Dreamers’ is immoral

(The Conversation) — Protecting the Dreamers isn’t about rejecting the rule of law. Rather, it reflects respect for the morality that the law proclaims.

Who cheers for democracy?

Religion not so much.

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