Jewish concerns remain as Delta, Saudis deny discrimination

Kevin Eckstrom |

WASHINGTON (RNS) The Saudi Arabian embassy on Friday (June 24) denied as “completely false” reports that U.S. Jews would not be able to travel to Saudi Arabia under Delta Air Line’s planned partnership with Saudi Arabian Airlines. U.S. Jewish groups had criticized Delta for next year’s planned addition of the Saudi airline to the SkyTeam […]

Israeli ambassador praises wartime pope

Francis X. Rocca |

(RNS) In a conciliatory gesture regarding one of the most sensitive points of Jewish-Catholic relations, Israel’s ambassador to the Vatican praised the controversial wartime Pope Pius XII for his “actions to save the Jews” during the Holocaust. Mordechay Lewy made his remarks Thursday (June 23) at a ceremony honoring an Italian priest who helped protect […]

Report says Islamophobia on the rise

Omar Sacirbey |

(RNS) A new report asserts that anti-Muslim prejudice has worsened in recent years, but argues the trend could be reversed with greater community outreach. The report, “Same Hate, New Target: Islamophobia and its Impact in the United States,” was released Thursday (June 23) by the Council on American-Islamic Relations and the University of California Berkeley’s […]

China vows to ordain bishops without Vatican’s OK

Francis X. Rocca |

(RNS) In a move likely to aggravate tensions with the Vatican, China’s state-run Catholic church announced on Thursday (June 23) that it may soon ordain more than 40 bishops without the approval of Pope Benedict XVI. According to the official Xinhua news agency, a spokesman for the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association (CPCA) said the church […]

Parochial schools not immune to bullies

Charles Honey |

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (RNS) Middle school is no picnic for a lot of students, but for Alec McGuire, it was intolerable. He transferred from one Catholic school to another in eighth grade to get away from another student whom he said harassed and ridiculed him. Whether making fun of his parents’ divorce or throwing a […]

Friday’s Religion News Roundup

POTUS said gay couples deserve “the same legal rights” as everyone else, but stopped noticeably short of using the “M” word. New York lawmakers will be back at it today in a last-ditch attempt to figure out what they’re going to do on same-sex marriage. The trial of the Methodist lesbian pastor ended with a […]

Pawlenty leads in informal poll of evangelical leaders

Adelle M. Banks |

WASHINGTON (RNS) Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty is the top Republican pick of evangelical leaders, according to an informal survey, with 45 percent saying he would be their choice for GOP nominee in the 2012 election. Leith Anderson, president of the National Association of Evangelicals, which conducted the survey, said the results weren’t surprising since […]

Lesbian minister suspended for 20 days

Daniel Burke |

(RNS) A United Methodist minister was suspended for 20 days by a church court in Wisconsin on Thursday (June 23) for performing a same-sex union in 2009, a breach of denominational rules. A 13-member jury of local United Methodist clergy voted 9-4 to suspend the Rev. Amy DeLong, 44, of Osceola, Wis., according to gay […]

Raelians seek to reclaim swastika

Jack Jenkins |

(RNS) A UFO sect that believes human beings were created by extraterrestrials will host World Swastika Rehabilitation Day on Sunday (June 26) in an attempt to reclaim the swastika from the Nazis as an emblem of peace. Raelians, whose symbol consists of a swastika that intertwines with two overlapping triangles to form a star, say […]

Thursday’s Religion News Roundup

With apologies to Fyodor, today’s roundup is officially titled “Sex Crimes & Punishment.” To wit, Americans would rather catch politicians with their pants down than with their hands in the cookie jar, according to a new RNS/PRRI poll. And when it comes to sex scandals, it’s the lies and cover ups that bother people more […]