At least 43 people died when Egyptian soldiers opened fire on hundreds of unarmed supporters of ousted President Mohamed Morsi early Monday. The Muslim Brotherhood is urging people to rise up against the coup, and everyone is wondering how the holy month of Ramadan, which begins tomorrow, will go down.

A series of explosions rocked one of Buddhism’s holiest sites in eastern India on Sunday, an attack that officials called an act of terrorism. The Mahabodhi Temple is near the Bodhi Tree, where Buddha is said to have attained enlightenment.

Pope Francis denounced the “globalization of indifference” that greets migrants who risk their lives trying to reach Europe. He traveled to a Sicilian island to draw attention to the plight of migrants and to pray for those who never made it.

You may have heard that Pope John Paul II will soon be declared a saint. But you may have missed the announcement about the other Pope John —the XXIII. Francis waived the requirement for a second miracle for that short-serving pope who ushered in Vatican II. The Vatican’s spokesman said, “no one doubts his virtues.”

Speaking of popes, RNS just launched an art contest for the best illustration of Pope Francis. Get out your medium of choice and start drawing. Our judges will pick a winner. And there are prizes.

In Philly, the staggering financial deficits of the Catholic Archdiocese of Philadelphia are not all rooted in the priest sex-abuse scandal.

You may have also heard of President Obama’s recent trip to Africa. But did you read the vehement denunciations from religious leaders in response to the president’s remarks on decriminalizing homosexuality? Fredrick Nzwili has you covered.

Is the growth of “nones” good or bad? Americans are divided about the “none of the above” nonreligious.

The Israeli Army is about to start drafting ultra-Orthodox men. But within their communities, crude, comics-style posters have appeared in recent weeks portraying the first of these ultra-Orthodox men to volunteer as fat, bearded, gun-toting caricatures in uniform.

Ed Stetzer, Southern Baptist church growth expert, encourages pastors to meet with strangers (usually via Twitter).

Eliot Spitzer, former governor of New York, is asking for forgiveness as he pursues a run for city comptroller.

Thinking of trying meditation? New studies show the practice can alter neural functioning in brain areas associated with empathic understanding of others’ distress. As for evidence that meditation will give you a competitive edge in business? Not so much.

How about a drink? In Afghanistan, finding a place that sells alcohol is tricky because of the Muslim prohibition. But it’s easier if you’re a foreigner, as an NPR reporter found out.

Speaking of alcohol, a commercial for Samuel Adams links patriotism with drinking beer. The commercial quotes the Declaration of Independence that all men are created equal. But it leaves out the business of being endowed by “our Creator” with certain inalienable rights, which has some in a tizzy.

You be the judge:



  1. Another great RNS by Y. S. Beer commercial linking patriotism to drinking beer? Who cares? I get more annoyed by these type of ad’s than anything. Sigh. Why can’t religion at least grant equality to those who do not believe or act as they do? So you don’t like a particular lifestyle then pray for the person don’t persecute them, doesn’t exactly make them want to find out why your beliefs are so “great”. Another huge sigh.

  2. The new Egyptian Government, as with past Egyptian governments and any future governments, will not be able to solve the problem of widespread semi-starvation due the lack of food and its high prices. Nor will Egypt’s vast unemployment be solved. The global economy is structured to not supply sufficient food to Egypt nor will it supply any significant number of jobs. The domestic Egyptian economy also is not capable of providing food or jobs.

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