Lutheran Hospital, Caught in Crossfire, Struggles to Stay Afloat

c. 2006 Religion News Service JERUSALEM _ Augusta Victoria Hospital, a facility that treats Palestinian residents from the West Bank as well as some Arabs from East Jerusalem, has a million-dollar view from its perch atop the Mount of Olives. Built in 1910 by Germany’s Kaiser Wilhelm II, the stone building affords a heart-stopping vista […]

Falling Ranks Send Nuns From Convent to Community

c. 2006 Religion News Service NEWARK, N.J. _ A moving crew unbolted the solid wooden pews from the floor of the chapel at Sacred Heart convent. The hallways were filled with mattresses, boxes and other personal effects of the eight Nigerian religious sisters who had called the 17,000-square-foot convent their home for the past decade. […]

Gospel Singer Gives Voice to His Faith

c. 2006 Religion News Service (UNDATED) Kirk Franklin’s speaking voice sounds thick and kind of fuzzy, but let’s not get any rumors started about throat problems. Actually, the gospel triple threat _ performer, songwriter and producer _ says he just rolled out of bed and picked up the phone. This is his morning voice, his […]

Photographer Captures `Soulfulness’ of Black Churches

c. 2006 Religion News Service WASHINGTON _ Alarmed by the rash of church fires that struck the South a decade ago, photographer Jason Miccolo Johnson felt driven to help preserve the vibrancy and history of the nation’s black churches. His 10-year project resulted in “Soul Sanctuary,” a hardcover book filled with images he photographed across […]

COMMENTARY: Pet This Dog, Don’t Shoot It

c. 2006 Religion News Service (UNDATED) “The Da Vinci Code” has now entered movie theaters the way a large wet black Labrador dumbly but amiably invades a living room and seeks approval by shaking himself dry midst the retreating guests. In short, this movie, condemned as rabid by certain Vatican officials and fundamentalist preachers, is […]

RNS Weekly Digest

c. 2006 Religion News Service Swiss Religious Leaders Launch Europe’s First Interfaith Council PARIS (RNS) Christian, Muslim and Jewish leaders in Switzerland have inaugurated the country’s first interfaith council _ and possibly the first in Western Europe _ aimed at promoting dialogue, peace and understanding among the country’s three main religions. “The most important thing […]

Disputed Report on Religious ID Badges Stirs Concern in Iran

c. 2006 Religion News Service (UNDATED) A human rights group says disputed reports that Iran will force non-Muslims to wear color-coded badges will make it harder to investigate legitimate religious persecution and other abuses by Tehran’s hard-line Islamic regime. The author of the disputed report, Iranian-born writer Amir Taheri, is sticking by his story, which […]

RNS Daily Digest

c. 2006 Religion News Service Congress Approves Increase in Indecency Fines WASHINGTON (RNS) Social conservative activists are cheering a Senate vote last week (May 19) to significantly increase the penalty to radio and television broadcasters for airing “indecency.” Passed unanimously by a voice vote, the Broadcast Decency Enforcement Act raises the maximum penalty to $325,000 […]

Muslims Find an Open Door in Europe’s Churches

c. 2006 Religion News Service PARIS _ They came politely to St. Hippolyte Catholic Church one Wednesday afternoon: the middle-aged mason from Algeria; the onetime farmer from Mali; the two young Mauritanians who had fled drought and despair stalking their desolate country. And like a growing number of European parishes, St. Hippolyte let them in. […]

Conservative Home-School College Confronts a Staff Exodus

c. 2006 Religion News Service WASHINGTON _ A Christian college focused on shaping home-schooled students for careers in public service will lose about one-third of its faculty after several professors at the young school charged their academic freedoms were violated. Administrators at Patrick Henry College in Purcellville, Va., which opened in 2000, called the professors’ […]