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.
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 […]
LUMBERTON, N.C. (RNS) Andrew Bowen isn't Muslim, or Hindu, or Baha'i, or Mormon. In fact, he's none of the 12 faiths he practiced for a month at a time during 2011. Finding faith in God again was not Bowen's aim; he was looking for faith in humanity. By Amanda Greene.
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.
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 […]
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, […]
(RNS) Here are my picks for the top 10 religion stories from 2011: 1. Islam and Muslims dominated the news in 2011 with the “Arab Spring” rebellions; the electoral success of extreme Islamic parties in Egypt, Tunisia and Morocco; Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s brutal crackdown on his people; and Iran’s ominous steps to develop a […]
(RNS) The cast and producers of “All-American Muslim,” a reality-TV show that has been a lightning rod for controversy, said Wednesday (Dec. 14) they are helping change negative perceptions of Muslims, and rejected criticisms that the show is propaganda that sugarcoats Islam. “These are our lives. This is what we’ve been doing for years,” said […]
(RNS) Lowe’s, the national hardware chain, has pulled commercials from future episodes of “All-American Muslim,” a TLC reality-TV show, after protests by Christian groups. The Florida Family Association, a Tampa Bay group, has led a campaign urging companies to pull ads on “All-American Muslim.” The FFA contends that 65 of 67 companies it has targeted […]
Political ads are, as the Mitt Romney campaign itself has proudly conceded, “propaganda by definition.” So what to make of Rick Perry‘s last-ditch advertising blitz in Iowa attacking “Obama’s war on religion”? Perry – who probably ought to target the several Republicans polling better than he is in Iowa – says “there’s something wrong in […]