Thursday’s Religion News Roundup

Tired of hearing talk of a “shariah creep,” Muslim-American leaders have issued a fatwa declaring that there is no “contradiction between being faithful Muslims committed to God (Allah) and being loyal American citizens.” The Fiqh Council of North America’s ruling, a “Resolution On Being Faithful Muslims and Loyal Americans,” responds to what its authors call […]

Report says tithing, church spending hit record low

Piet Levy |

(RNS) Tithing to U.S. Protestant churches as a percentage of income is at its lowest level in at least 41 years, according to a new report, and churches are keeping a greater share of those donations for their own needs. Parishioners gave about 2.38 percent of their income to their church, according to “The State […]

Wednesday’s Religion News Roundup

Another Jewish holiday! Tonight begins the seven-day Festival of Sukkot, where Jews give thanks for the harvest. So get yourself an etrog (it’s like a lemon) and, as the Torah instructs, shake your lulav. (Don’t get too excited – it’s the closed frond of a date palm tree.) Israel and Hamas struck a deal to […]

Muslim superhero comics gain followers—and controversy

Omar Sacirbey |

(RNS) After a drunk driver killed his parents and left him paralyzed, the fictional character John Weller was a bitter 22-year-old in St. Louis who sat in his wheelchair and watched television. That all changed on a rainy night when he met two other characters from a new animated feature film, “The 99: Unbound.” Dana […]

New Calif. law prohibits circumcision bans

Nicole Neroulias |

(RNS) Jews, Muslims and their allies cheered Sunday (Oct. 2) as California Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill prohibiting all local bans on circumcision, making it illegal for local authorities to restrict the medical or religious practice. Anti-circumcision activists had gathered enough signatures to place the issue on the ballot in San Francisco. Voters would […]

COMMENTARY: 10 lessons we’ve learned in the 10 years since 9/11

Tom Ehrich |

NEW YORK (RNS) It’s been 10 years since 9/11, and of the countless lessons we’ve learned since then, here are 10 of the most important: First, an open society invites attack. Not only do we present an abundance of targets that we cannot possibly defend, but America’s openness is offensive to the repressive, the insular, […]

`King Arthur’ fights the law, and the law wins

Al Webb |

LONDON (RNS) A self-styled druid who likens himself to a king in ancient Britain has lost his bid to rebury a set of prehistoric human remains at a sacred pagan burial site. John Timothy Rothwell — who changed his name to King Arthur Pendragon in court documents — lost his court battle to win custody […]

Is the Islamic terrorism threat overblown?

Yonat Shimron |

(RNS) After a car bomb detonated on Wall Street one minute past the noon lunch hour killing 38 people, federal investigators came up with a possible link to an overseas group. Islamic terrorists? Al-Qaida? No, Italian anarchists. The year was 1920, and in those days anarchists were the equivalent of today’s terrorists, waging acts of […]

With spotlight on Mormon faith, scholars gather to defend it

Peggy Fletcher Stack |

(RNS) Mormon founder Joseph Smith may have declared all churches to be wrong, even apostate, but he also defined Mormonism as “an inclusivist faith that not only sees and appreciates goodness and truth in other religious traditions but is willing to acknowledge divine action in those other traditions.” That’s according to Brigham Young University Islamic […]

What’s behind China’s hard line against Catholics?

Francis X. Rocca |

VATICAN CITY (RNS) When China’s state-run Catholic Church ordained a new bishop for the Diocese of Shantou last Thursday (July 14) without the Vatican’s approval, it represented the latest step back from years of progress in a complex relationship. Yet the main causes for the shift may have little to do with Rome, experts say, […]