Canada cuts all non-Christian prison chaplains
TORONTO (RNS) The Canadian government is canceling the contracts of all non-Christian chaplains at federal prisons as a cost-cutting measure, saying non-Christians inmates will be expected to turn to Christian prison chaplains for religious counsel. By Ron Csillag.
Pastors to challenge IRS over political endorsements, and they’re likely to get away with it
LOS ANGELES (RNS) In a matter of days, some 1,400 American pastors are planning to break the law by endorsing a political candidate. And they’re likely to get away with it. By Lilly Fowler.
Judge dismisses Pa. suit over `Year of the Bible’
HARRISBURG, Pa. (RNS) A federal judge dismissed a lawsuit filed by an atheist group that challenged a “Year of the Bible” resolution passed early this year by state lawmakers, but also questioned whether the resolution should have been adopted at all. By Matt Miller.
Descendants want justice for Connecticut witches
HARTFORD, Conn. (RNS) Connecticut was executing suspected witches some 40 years before Salem, Mass. Scores of others were put on trial until witchcraft was no longer listed as a capital crime in 1715. But unlike other states, Connecticut has yet to acknowledge those sent to the gallows. And descendants are trying to change that. By Ann Marie Somma.
Shariah or not, Muslim divorces can get tricky
(RNS) Islamic marriages typically include a basic marriage contract — but when it comes time to divorce, some judges see the dowry as a simple contract, others as a prenuptial agreement, and others as a strictly religious matter in which they don’t want to get involved. By Omar Sacirbey.
Man behind anti-Islam film `Innocence of Muslims’ arrested in Los Angeles
LOS ANGELES (RNS) The Egyptian-American man reportedly behind the anti-Muslim video which has sparked weeks of riots was arrested and detained in Los Angeles. By David Finnigan.
Mich. man ordered to study history of Hindusim after hate crime conviction
BAY CITY, Mich. (RNS) A man who assaulted two men because he thought they were Muslims and was then ordered to write a report on the cultural contributions of Islam has a new assignment — to write a report on the history of Hinduism. By Cole Waterman.
Religious groups team up to fight sex trafficking
WILMINGTON, N.C. (RNS) Law enforcement is teaming up with faith groups to combat sex trafficking around the country, with some calling it the newest “Christian abolitionist movement.'' By Amanda Greene. 850.
Update: Judge allows Texas cheerleaders to use Bible banners
(RNS) Texas cheerleaders can continue to use banners with Bible verses after a court granted a temporary restraining order against their school district. By Adelle M. Banks.
Amish petition for bail after beard-cutting hate crimes verdict
CLEVELAND (RNS) A federal judge has given defense attorneys until Thursday (Sept. 27) to convince him that nine Amish defendants convicted of hate crimes should not be imprisoned until their sentencing Jan. 24. By James McCarty.
Judge blocks New Orleans law that prevents preaching in French Quarter
NEW ORLEANS (RNS) A federal judge has temporarily blocked enforcement of a city law that was recently used to arrest Christian evangelists who were preaching on Bourbon Street during Southern Decadence, the annual celebration of gay culture in the French Quarter. By Bruce Nolan.
16 Amish found guilty of hate crimes in beard-cutting attacks
CLEVELAND (RNS) Amish bishop Samuel Mullet was convicted Thursday of federal hate crimes and conspiracy for exhorting followers to forcibly shear the hair and beards of those who opposed his breakaway Ohio sect. By James F. McCarty.
Preachers arrested during New Orleans gay pride party plan to sue for right to protest
NEW ORLEANS (RNS) Nine preachers who were arrested after they allegedly yelled slurs during a gay pride festival plan to sue the city over an ordinance that bans “aggressive solicitation” in the city's storied French Quarter. By Katherine Fretland.
Amish bishop describes beard-cutting attack
CLEVELAND (RNS) Law officers testified Wednesday about the chaotic and bizarre scene they discovered when they arrived at the Holmes County home of Raymond Hershberger, a 79-year-old Amish bishop. By James F. McCarty.