So much for that Prince of Peace stuff …

Kevin Eckstrom |

The good folks out at Repent Amarillo (self-described “outside the box in terms of traditional American Christian practices”) have opened up a new front in the War on Christmas, this time executing Santa Claus with a firing squad. Among St. Nic’s alleged “heinous” transgressions: “You have sought to substitute yourself for the place for the […]

Tuesday’s Religion News Roundup

Conservative politicians in Europe are stepping up their anti-Muslim rhetoric and forging ties across borders, Reuters reports. A Tea Party founder who once belonged to the United Methodist Church now calls the denomination the “First Church of Karl Marx,” and says, “If you hate America, you have a great future in the Methodist Church.” A […]

COMMENTARY: Going off the grid at Christmas

Tom Ehrich |

(RNS) Away from the seat of imperial power, away from religion’s holy places, members of the Holy Family were unregistered guests staying in a stable far from home, unknown to anyone. The Magi who came to pay respects went home “by another road,” themselves now “off the grid.” Jesus grew up “off the grid,” first […]

Muslim leaders probe problem of disaffected youths

David Finnigan |

LOS ANGELES (RNS) Muslim leaders are admitting disaffected Muslim youth such as the alleged Oregon bomber arrested last month are ripe for online recruitment by extremists. “Why do we in Muslim communities not have centers for at-risk youth?” said civil rights attorney Reem Salahi at the annual national convention of the Muslim Public Affairs Council […]

Pope links sex abuse to vices

Francis X. Rocca |

VATICAN CITY (RNS) Pope Benedict XVI deplored the sexual abuse of children by Catholic priests and linked it to other vices, including child pornography, sexual tourism and drug abuse, which he said were all promoted by an ideology of social moral relativism. The pope made his remarks on Monday (Dec. 20), in his annual Christmas […]

Muslims allege inappropriate questions by security agents

Omar Sacirbey |

(RNS) American Muslims reentering the United States from abroad are alleging U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents inquired about their religious beliefs and practices — questions they say violate their constitutional rights. Two civil liberties groups, the American Civil Liberties Union and San Francisco-based Muslim Advocates, are now calling on the Department of Homeland Security […]

Monday’s Religion News Roundup

Pope Benedict XVI said Monday that the Catholic Church should think hard about how its message and its model of Christian life contributed to the clergy sexual abuse scandal, according to the AP. The Vatican tried to stop Dublin church leaders from defrocking a dangerous pedophile priest and relented only after he raped a boy […]

Lutheran leader seeks Communion agreement with pope

Luigi Sandri |

ROME (RNS/ENInews) The president of the Lutheran World Federation is calling on Lutherans and Catholics to issue a common statement on Holy Communion to mark the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation in 2017. “Our intention is to arrive at 2017 with a common Roman Catholic-Lutheran declaration on Eucharistic hospitality,” Bishop Munib Younan told the […]

New York mosque named top religion story of 2010

Daniel Burke |

(RNS) The protracted and contentious debate over plans to build an Islamic community center near Ground Zero in New York was the top religion story of 2010, according to a survey of religion journalists. The imam piloting the project, Feisal Abdul Rauf, was voted the Religion Newswriters Association’s top newsmaker of 2010, besting Pope Benedict […]

Despite sour economy, religious card sales are up

Adelle M. Banks |

(RNS) The sour economy may mean fewer presents under the tree for many families this year, but one thing some Christians won’t give up on is sending Christmas cards — especially religious cards. “It’s the whole message of Christmas,” said Velma Fann, who returned to the Shrine of the Black Madonna bookstore in Atlanta this […]