Law & Court

Canada cuts all non-Christian prison chaplains

By Ron Csillag — October 5, 2012

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

By Lilly Fowler — October 4, 2012

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’

By Matt Miller / The Patriot-News — October 2, 2012

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

By Ann Marie Somma — October 1, 2012

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

By Omar Sacirbey — October 1, 2012

(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

By David Finnigan — September 28, 2012

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

By Cole Waterman — September 27, 2012

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

By Amanda Greene — September 25, 2012

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.

Religious groups denounce anti-Muslim subway ads

By Jeanie Groh — September 25, 2012

(RNS) Religious leaders are rallying against controversial ads placed in 10 New York City subway stations that insinuate that Muslims are savages. By Jeanie Groh.

Update: Judge allows Texas cheerleaders to use Bible banners

By Adelle M. Banks — September 24, 2012

(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

By James F. McCarty / The Plain Dealer — September 24, 2012

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

By Bruce Nolan — September 24, 2012

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

By James F. McCarty / The Plain Dealer — September 21, 2012

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

By Katherine Fretland / The Times-Picayune — September 12, 2012

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

By James F. McCarty / The Plain Dealer — September 6, 2012

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.

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