An attendee wears a button from the 1963 march at the National Action to Realize the Dream march on Aug. 24, 2013 commemorating the 50th anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington. Photo by Adelle M. Banks

An attendee wears a button from the 1963 march at the National Action to Realize the Dream march on Aug. 24, 2013 commemorating the 50th anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington. Photo by Adelle M. Banks

As the U.S. moves closer to military action against Syria, MercyCorps and other charities are emphasizing the plight of Syrian children and using social media to find donors. And Pope Francis once again demands an end to the civil war, citing the “multiplication of massacres and atrocious acts.”

More on the plight of the Arab World’s Christians from NPR.

The most prominent Catholic in Greater China, Cardinal Joseph Zen, is warning that Hong Kong’s pro-democracy movement, which he wholeheartedly supports, could provoke government violence.

Our own Adelle Banks was on the National Mall at the Realize the Dream march. Lucky for us, she took her camera. Click here for the slideshow.

Then read Mark Silk on how Martin Luther King Jr. broke a half century of relative quiescence from the nation’s clergy, and turned into our prophet-leader.

The Forward has a primer on Jews who had prominent roles in the original march.

Kimberly Winston hiked The Freethought Trail in central and western New York State, which secularists are using to show the key but largely forgotten role freethought played in many of the other movements born and strengthened in the region, including women’s rights and abolition.

California will compensate an atheist parolee after state authorities returned him to jail for refusing to participate in a religiously-orientated rehab program.

That bill N.J. Gov. Chris Christie just signed banning gay-to-straight conversion therapy for minors has provoked a challenge from Christian counseling groups, who have filed a federal lawsuit claiming the law violates a licensed therapist’s obligation to “respect the rights of clients to make decisions.”

The number of counties in New Mexico issuing same-sex marriage licenses as of today: 3

N.C. Gov. Pat McCrory has opted against vetoing a law that would prohibit judges from considering Islamic law. McCrory says the law is unnecessary, but allowed N.C. to become the seventh state with a so-called anti-Shariah bill. Omar Sacirbey reports.

Because people such as the senior pastor of Eagle Mountain International Church in Newark, Tex. cast doubt on decades of solid scientific evidence about the measles and other vaccines, others start thinking that vaccines for horrific, often-fatal diseases are optional. So there’s an outbreak now centered around the church.

A fun tweet from our friend at the Washington Post.

Remember that story earlier this month about how former Pope Benedict XVI told one of his rare visitors that it was God who told him to resign? Benedict’s secretary says it ain’t so.

This is for sure true: We’re having a “Draw of Pope” contest. You should enter, or someone you know who is more artistic than you should enter. Either way, the prize is real cash money.

If the choice is truth or mystery, focus on the mystery, says Katie Diller, who leads a ministry to help college kids stay Catholic. She talks to RNS blogger Michael O’Loughlin about engaging the young:

When truth is wielded like a hammer, our faith can seem cold and uninviting. Yet our truths are made manifest to us through mystery, the mystery of the incarnation, the cross, the Eucharist, etc.

The president of Yeshiva University, which has been slapped with a $380 million lawsuit over the alleged sexual abuse of boys attending YU’s high school in the 1970s and 1980s, says the school feels deep regret and shame over the  findings of an investigation commissioned by the university in January.

A Jewish summer camp is in the path of the largest wildlife in California history, so they whole camp evacuated, and rescued a Holocaust-era Torah which had once before been saved — from a small Czech village during World War II.

Are you a Mormon with a sweet tooth? Well then, you have a long, proud history of sugar obsession, writes Pat Bagley in The Salt Lake Tribune.

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- Lauren Markoe


Categories: Beliefs

Lauren Markoe

Lauren Markoe

Lauren Markoe covered government and features as a daily newspaper reporter for 15 years before joining the Religion News Service staff as a national correspondent in 2011. She previously was Washington correspondent for The State (Columbia, S.C.)


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