Woman crusades to save sister’s life, end the death penalty

SPOKANE, Wash. (RNS) Victoria Ann Thorpe's sister has been on death row for 18 years for a crime she says she didn't commit. Now Thorpe is leading a grass-roots campaign to abolish the death penalty in Washington state, saying Jesus would never tolerate it. “Nothing that he did or said can be manipulated into harshness,” she said. By Tracy Simmons.

Photo Slideshow: A View Inside a Mormon Service

Photographs of a Mormon service at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints – Lenexa Ward on Sunday June 17, 2012 in Lenexa, Kan. These slideshows were created by Religion News Service to provide our readers with an inside look at various religious services. From a Catholic Mass to prayer at a mosque, these images help understand the culture and diversity of the religious world, as well as how people pray and celebrate their religion.  Photos by Sally Morrow / Religion News Service

Activists say religion is key in combating female genital mutilation

(RNS) Because of its severity and prevalence, female genital mutilation is arguably one of the most important human rights issues in the world. But the practice remains poorly understood, both by supporters who assert it is mandated by Islam, and opponents who, according to some activists, do more to sustain the practice than end it. By Omar Sacirbey.