News

So you’ve been asked to officiate a wedding? Five pieces of advice from the pros
By Renée Roden — July 30, 2021
(RNS) — Chances are increasingly likely if you attend the wedding of a couple under 30 years old, their officiant won’t be a person of the cloth but someone who’s close to the couple.
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White House announces new religious affairs leaders, first Muslim religious freedom ambassador
By Jack Jenkins — July 30, 2021
WASHINGTON (RNS) — Biden will nominate Rashad Hussain, who served in other roles under the Obama administration, as his U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom.
Brutal killing spotlights violence against women in Pakistan
By Associated Press — July 30, 2021
ISLAMABAD (AP) — 'The epidemic of sexual crimes and violence against women in Pakistan is a silent epidemic. No one sees it. No one is talking about it.'
Who is behind The Pillar, the newsletter rocking the Catholic Church?
By Jack Jenkins — July 29, 2021
(RNS) — Why is a Catholic Substack causing so much controversy?
AME Zion leader Staccato Powell removed as bishop after facing financial accusations
By Adelle M. Banks — July 29, 2021
(RNS) — ‘The Trial Committee recommended Bishop Staccato Powell be disrobed, meaning Bishop Staccato Powell would no longer be recognized as consecrated to the office of Bishop,’ read trial minutes.
State finds LA public school district kept millions of federal funds from Catholic schools
By Alejandra Molina — July 29, 2021
(RNS) — Los Angeles Unified School District ‘has failed to provide equitable services to (archdiocesan) schools,’ state officials said in the report.
Sikh American soldiers continue to campaign for right to wear beard, turban
By Joseph Hammond — July 29, 2021
(RNS) — A memorial ceremony for a Sikh soldier on Thursday (July 29) at Arlington brings to the fore again the unequal religious accommodations extended to Sikhs across the military.
Three Jehovah’s Witnesses sentenced to six or more years in Russian prison for their faith
By Kathryn Post — July 29, 2021
(RNS) — Since 2017, 14 Jehovah’s Witnesses have been sentenced to six or more years of prison in Russia, where they are considered an extremist group.
Pope Francis’ September visit to Slovakia is met with excitement despite COVID-19 concerns
By Claire Giangravé — July 29, 2021
VATICAN CITY (RNS) — Only vaccinated people will be able to attend events during Pope Francis’ visit to the European country, which has among the lowest vaccination rates in the European Union.
Ex-Cardinal McCarrick charged with sexually assaulting teen
By Renée Roden — July 29, 2021
BOSTON (AP) — Former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick has been charged with sexually assaulting a teenage boy during a wedding reception in the 1970s.
NXIVM sex cult member who cooperated avoids prison time
By Associated Press — July 29, 2021
NEW YORK (AP) — A former member of NXIVM leader Keith Raniere’s inner circle avoided prison at sentencing Wednesday after prosecutors cited her extraordinary cooperation.
Report: US Supreme Court favors religion in emergency reviews
By Yonat Shimron — July 28, 2021
(RNS) — The analysis by Reuters found that the Court's shadow docket' in which emergency applications are decided hurriedly, provided religious applicants a win in every case.
African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church celebrates paid-off debts at major meeting
By Adelle M. Banks — July 28, 2021
(RNS) — ‘Livingstone College, Hood seminary, and Clinton College — debts have all been satisfied,’ announced AME Zion Bishop George Edward Battle Jr.