Thursday’s Religion News Roundup

Two major religious figures left this earthly realm on Wednesday. The Rev. John Stott, who helped write the Lausanne Covenant and was often called the “evangelical pope,” died in England. Stott, who was 90, leaves behind more than 50 books acclaimed for their accessible theology. And the papal ambassador to the United States, Archbishop Pietro […]

Wednesday’s Godbytes

Get Religion wonders about recent stories on the ordination of female Catholic priests, and whether the media shields the male priests who may be involved in the ordination rites: “To what degree did editors and other members of the Sun team intentionally participate in the hiding of a national or even global news story by […]

HBO film follows Muslim children competing to memorize the Quran

Jack Jenkins |

(RNS) A new documentary follows three Muslim children as they travel to Egypt to compete in a tournament that requires young contestants to recite whole passages of the Quran, Islam’s 600-page holy book, from memory. Each year during Ramadan — a Muslim holy month when believers fast, pray and read from the Quran — 100 […]

Christians divided on Belgium’s burqa ban

Jonathan Luxmoore |

(RNS/ENInews) Belgian Christians expressed mixed reactions to the country’s new “burqa ban,” as Belgium joined France in criminalizing the Islamic veil. “We’re against this ruling, since it violates basic human rights,” said Kristine Jansone, general secretary of the Brussels-based Ecumenical Youth Council in Europe. “Although I can’t speak on behalf of all our member-groups, I […]

Catholic bishops urge House against steep budget cuts

David Gibson |

(RNS) The nation’s Roman Catholic bishops are urging the GOP-led House to reject a cuts-only approach to the budget as Washington tries to avert an unprecedented government default on its multi-trillion-dollar debts. “A just framework for future budgets cannot rely on disproportionate cuts in essential services to poor persons,” wrote Bishop Stephen Blaire of Stockton, […]

COMMENTARY: Looking back at 640,000 words

A. James Rudin |

(RNS) I salute New York Yankee Derek Jeter, who recently recorded his 3,000th base hit. But I also have an eye on another statistic: my own. Since 1991, I have written nearly a thousand Religion News Service columns, numbering about 640,000 words. While that may represent lots of verbiage, crafting 700-word columns is like squeezing […]

Wednesday’s Religion News Roundup

The “Bell of Hope,” a gift from London to NYC after 9/11, will toll at historic St. Paul’s Chapel at noon today in remembrance of Norway’s massacre victims. Meanwhile, the debate rages on about whether Anders Breivik is a “Christian” terrorist, or a “fundamentalist nationalist,” or some other “-ist.” Norwegian Muslims are hoping the atrocities […]

Hill hearing again targets radicalized Muslims

Lauren Markoe |

WASHINGTON (RNS) The third in a controversial series of congressional hearings on the “radicalization” of American Muslims showcased on Wednesday (July 27) a militant Somali group that some experts say poses a serious risk to the United States. Al-Shabab has recruited more than 40 Americans and 20 Canadians, said Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., chairman of […]

Is Anders Breivik a `Christian’ terrorist?

David Gibson |

(RNS) The mass murders in Oslo have raised a host of agonizing questions, but few have such an ancient lineage and contemporary resonance as whether Anders Behring Breivik, the right-wing extremist behind the attacks that killed 76 Norwegians last Friday (July 22), is a Christian. Breivik claimed that he is a Christian in various forums, […]

Tuesday’s Godbytes

Like much of the world, the blogosphere is fixated on the tragic killings in Norway today, with the folks over at Religious Dispatches ruminating on the idea that “Christian Terrorism” is embodied in the suspected Norwegian mass killer Anders Behring Breivik and Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh: “Both were good-looking young Caucasians, self-enlisted soldiers in […]