Descendants want justice for Connecticut witches

HARTFORD, Conn. (RNS) Connecticut was executing suspected witches some 40 years before Salem, Mass. Scores of others were put on trial until witchcraft was no longer listed as a capital crime in 1715. But unlike other states, Connecticut has yet to acknowledge those sent to the gallows. And descendants are trying to change that. By Ann Marie Somma.

Can a creedless religion make it another 50 years?

Daniel Burke |

BALTIMORE (RNS) A recent Sunday service at the First Unitarian Church of Baltimore ended with an apology. Laurel Mendes explained that religious doctrine had been duly scrubbed from the hymns in the congregation's Sunday program. But Mendes, a neo-pagan lay member who led the service, feared that a reference to God in “Once to Every […]

Scotland Yard says witchcraft abuse a hidden crime

Al Webb |

LONDON (RNS) British police have disclosed that they have investigated more than 80 witchcraft-based child abuse cases in the last decade and warned that the practice is “far more prevalent” than previously believed. By Al Webb.

At 27, new imam represents a homegrown American Islam

Tim Townsend |

ST. LOUIS (RNS) At just 27 years old, Asif Umar is the new imam of Daar-ul-Islam mosque, the largest mosque in the metro area. The son of Indian immigrants is devoted to the city's sports teams, marking the end of Ramadan with a St. Louis Blues hockey game. He also represents the ascendance of a […]

Muslims caught in reality show crossfire struggle to understand controversy

Kevin Allen |

DEARBORN, Mich. (RNS) When Fordson High School football coach Fouad Zaban was asked to be on a reality show about Muslim family life, his impulse was to decline. “It doesn’t seem like it now, but we kind of like our privacy,” Zaban said. “We are simple people. We don’t do crazy things. … Quite honestly, […]