Vatican blasts New York’s sex ed program

Alessandro Speciale |

VATICAN CITY (RNS) The Vatican took a swipe at new sex education classes in New York City schools on Wednesday (Aug. 31), saying teaching middle school students how to use a condom is “useless, and even harmful.” The front-page editorial of the Vatican’s official newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano, criticized all mandatory sex ed classes in public […]

Muslim lawmakers appeal for Israeli soldier’s release

Lauren Markoe |

WASHINGTON (RNS) Two Muslim congressmen and other prominent Muslims have urged Hamas to release Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, who was captured in a cross-border raid five years ago and has been held ever since in the Gaza Strip. Their hope is that Shalit’s release will spark more goodwill gestures between the militant Palestinian group and […]

Czech government agrees to turn over seized churches

Jonathan Luxmoore |

WARSAW, Poland (RNS/ENInews) A prominent Czech church leader has welcomed an agreement that would allow churches to reclaim land and buildings seized under communist rule, but forfeit state subsidies in return. A draft settlement was finalized in Prague on Aug. 25 that allows religious groups to retrieve assets that were confiscated after the 1948 communist […]

Does religion cause terrorism? It’s complicated

David Gibson |

(RNS) The shock of the 9/11 attacks was so great, and the personal losses so deep, that many people understandably sought simple answers for such overwhelming malevolence. What, they asked, would cause someone to hijack a plane of innocent civilians and fly it into a building? Since Osama bin Laden’s holy warriors carried out the […]

Wednesday’s Religion News Roundup

Muslims across the globe are celebrating Eid al-Fitr, the three-day feast that concludes Ramadan. For many, the Arab Spring adds new emotions to the holiday. In Yemen, Libya and Egypt – where they are dropping “Mubarak” from the customary salutation “Eid Mubarak” (a blessed Eid) – joy and optimism run high. In Syria and Pakistan, […]

GUEST COMMENTARY: How far we’ve come, how far we’ve yet to go

Eric Greenberg and Philip Cunningham |

(RNS) A fascinating exchange recently took place in the pages of the Vatican’s newspaper between the chief rabbi of Rome and the Vatican’s chief representative to the Jewish people. Their conversation reflected just how far we’ve come in Christian-Jewish relations — but also how far we have yet to go. It started when L’Osservatore Romano […]

GUEST COMMENTARY: Shame on you, Dick Cheney

Richard Cizik |

(RNS) Dear Vice President Cheney: As one of those Americans who voted for you in two elections, the excerpts from your new book and recent interviews you’ve given remind me of what has caused me the most regret. You sullied the good name of the United States of America around the globe when you authorized […]

Survey: Muslim Americans have moderate views

Haya El Nasser |

(RNS) Almost half the nation’s estimated 2.8 million Muslims fault their leaders for not speaking out against Islamic extremists, but a vast majority are far more satisfied than Americans overall with the way things are going in this country, according to a major survey of U.S. Muslims released Tuesday (Aug. 30). The Pew Research Center […]

Americans flunk question on Captain America vs. Bible

Adelle M. Banks |

(RNS) Pop quiz: Who said “We often suffer, but we are never crushed. Even when we don’t know what to do, we never give up”? According to a recent poll, more Americans attributed the passage to comic book hero Captain America, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and former President George W. Bush than its […]

At 39, Gordon president leads evangelical up-and-comers

G. Jeffrey MacDonald |

WENHAM, Mass. (RNS) For the past decade, sociologist D. Michael Lindsay has been living the very phenomenon he’s studied in depth: evangelicals climbing the ranks of secular institutions and becoming American elites. Yet in a surprise move, this 39-year-old rising star has traded a tenure-track position at Rice University to become president of Gordon College, […]