Wednesday’s roundup

Kevin Eckstrom |

Let us pause for a moment to remember the long and illustrious career of Catherine of Tarragon, the official house cat of Washington National Cathedral (that’s her on the left). She’s apparently retired to North Carolina, and will be replaced on Sunday by a young upstart named Carmina. Today’s also the anniversary of the 1907 […]

Abuse charges aren’t Long’s first brush with controversy

Adelle M. Banks |

(RNS) Bishop Eddie Long was once best known as an Atlanta-area megachurch leader and internationally known religious broadcaster. Now there’s another title: Accused sex offender. As the Lithonia, Ga., pastor faces charges of using money and gifts to coerce young men into sexual relationships, experts say the man who built New Birth Missionary Baptist Church […]

10 minutes with … Marilyn Mellowes

Sara Shereen Bakhshian |

(RNS) PBS’ American Experience and Frontline explore the role of religion in American life across more than 400 years in the six-hour series “God in America,” which will air over three consecutive nights starting Oct. 11. The journey interweaves historical dramatizations, interviews with scholars and documentary footage, covering themes such as the complexities of religious […]

COMMENTARY: Nature vs. nurture

Phyllis Zagano |

(RNS) I was always told that you’re not supposed to discuss religion or politics in polite company. That was before gay marriage became the item du jour. Polls indicate a little more than half of Americans favor legal protections for same-sex couples. Gay marriage is another story; 44 percent of Americans support it, while 53 […]

Israeli court rules against segregated sidewalks

Michele Chabin |

JERUSALEM (RNS) Ultra-Orthodox leaders on Tuesday (Sept. 28) removed barriers separating men and women from a Jerusalem street after Israel’s High Court of Justice ruled that the tall screens were illegal. Representatives of the Eda Haredit, an ultra-Orthodox organization that enforces modesty, erected the barriers in the religious neighborhood of Meah Sha’arim at the start […]

Shootings at Ohio, Texas churches stirs concerns

Whitney Jones |

(RNS) Three outbursts of violence in or near churches, including one during worship services, are raising safety concerns for church leaders. Eddie Contreras, youth pastor at Walnut Park Casa De Mi Gloria Church in Garland, Texas, was speaking to a group of students Friday evening (Sept. 24) when Jose Pablo, a student struggling with family […]

Va. imam named head of largest Muslim group

Omar Sacirbey |

(RNS) The Islamic Society of North America, the largest Muslim group in the U.S. and Canada, on Tuesday (Sept. 28) named a gregarious Sudanese-born Virginia imam as its new president. Imam Mohamed Magid, executive director of the 5,000-family All Dulles Area Muslim Society in Sterling, Va., will succeed outgoing president Ingrid Mattson, who in 2006 […]

GUEST COMMENTARY: Ignorance, not Islam, is the enemy

John Esposito and Sheila Lalwani |

(RNS) In a single vote, the Texas State Board of Education managed to undermine Christian-Muslim relations, hamper religious literacy and impose ignorance on our kids at a time when they need knowledge to live and work in a competitive and integrated world. Board members — no foreigners to strange and bizarre decisions — voted to […]

For hopeful Muslim immigrant, no ordinary phone call

Tim Townsend |

BALLWIN, Mo. (RNS) Adil Imdad had just finished installing a hardwood floor in his new house when his cell phone rang. Imdad, 41, an environmental engineer and devout Muslim from Pakistan, had moved to the United States as a teenager and became a citizen in 1986. He hoped the new house would be the base […]