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2017-02-23

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Should atheists deliver opening prayer in Pa. House of Representatives?
That question is at the heart of a battle unfolding in a courtroom across the street from the state Capitol. There, members of the state House are trying to shut down a legal challenge over who can deliver the invocation at their public sessions, placing Pennsylvania squarely in the middle of a larger debate over the rights of atheists and non-believers.
 
2017-02-23

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Pope Francis: 'Better to Be an Atheist' Than a Hypocritical Catholic
Pope Francis told his followers Thursday that it was better to be an atheist than one of "many" Catholics who he said led hypocritical double lives.
 
2017-02-23

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Arkansas cancels hearing for satanic display at Capitol
Arkansas officials have canceled a hearing on a satanic monument proposed near the state Capitol, saying a new law prevents them from considering the display until it's approved by the Legislature.
 
2017-02-22

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Calls for blasphemy ban on Russian film Matilda
Matilda isn't due to hit cinema screens until autumn but some Orthodox believers have already declared the very idea of the film blasphemous and want it banned.
 
2017-02-22

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Muslims raise over $91,000 for vandalized Jewish cemetery in Missouri
Muslim Americans have helped raise more than $91,000 to repair vandalized headstones at a Jewish cemetery in St. Louis, Missouri, according to an online fundraising page, amid attacks and threats against Jewish institutions.
 
2017-02-22

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NH Republican State Rep. Brandon Phinney Refers to Religion as “Archaic Beliefs That Deny Reality”
Just to be clear, I asked him what label he used to describe himself. Was he really an atheist in the GOP? “I am an atheist,” he told me, adding, “I am not worried about party lines. I look at the facts.”
 
2017-02-20

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Catholic church's child protection body would have broad secrecy powers, inquiry told
New body to scrutinise child abuse would be allowed to keep reports secret if they involved children or vulnerable adults, or endangered public safety.
 
2017-02-20

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Saudi deputy minister of Islamic affairs: Political Islam caused much bloodshed
Deputy Minister of Islamic Affairs in Saudi Arabia Dr. Tawfiq al-Sudairi has expressed his disapproval for the “political interpretation of Islam” slogan, arguing that it is a “self-serving interpretation” for religion which resulted in a bloodbath of the impeccable.
 
2017-02-20

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Islamic State vows more attacks on Egypt's Christians
An Islamic State group affiliate in Egypt released a video Monday showing the suicide bomber who killed nearly 30 people when he attacked a packed church in December and vowing more attacks on the country's Christian. A narrator says in the 20-minute video that the Egyptian Christians are the extremist group's "favorite prey."
 
2017-02-17

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Turkey steps up scrutiny on Muslim migrants from Russia
Turkey has increased scrutiny of Russian-speaking Muslim communities in the past few months following a series of attacks blamed on Islamic State, a concrete example of the renewed relationship between the two countries.
 
2017-02-17

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Briarwood Presbyterian Church asks for its own police department
Briarwood Presbyterian Church and Briarwood Christian School want their own police department and a bill proposing it passed 9-2 in the House Public Safety Committee on Thursday, Briarwood's attorney said.
 
2017-02-17

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Florist Discriminated Against Gay Couple, Washington Supreme Court Rules
A florist who refused to sell flowers for a same-sex wedding cannot claim religious belief as a defense under the state’s anti-discrimination laws, Washington’s high court said Thursday, in a case that has been watched around the nation by religious and civil rights groups.
 
2017-02-17

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Pakistan: IS attack on Sufi shrine in Sindh kills dozens
A suicide attack in a popular shrine in southern Pakistan has killed at least 72 people, police say. The bomber blew himself up among devotees in the shrine of Sufi saint Lal Shahbaz Qalandar in the town of Sehwan in Sindh province, police said...The shrine, one of the country's oldest and most revered, was crowded as Thursday is considered a sacred day for Muslims to pray there.
 
2017-02-16

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Americans Express Increasingly Warm Feelings Toward Religious Groups
Jews, Catholics continue to receive warmest ratings, atheists and Muslims move from cool to neutral.
 
2017-02-16

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Thai police search of Buddhist temple fails to turn up wanted monk
Thai security forces filed past chanting monks on Thursday to search the country's biggest Buddhist temple for an influential former abbot accused of money laundering, but failed to find him.
 
2017-02-16

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Australia's Catholic Church paid $213 million in abuse compensation, costs
Australia's Catholic Church has paid A$276 million ($213 million) in compensation to thousands of child abuse victims since 1980, a government inquiry heard on Thursday -- the first time the total compensation paid by the church's schools, orphanages and residences has been revealed.
 
2017-02-15

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Church of England Stance on Gay Marriage in Disarray After Vote
The Church of England's legislative body on Wednesday voted against a report from bishops that rejected the idea of blessing same-sex marriages, the latest row over an issue that has divided the Church for years.
 
2017-02-15

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Animist wins appeal to thwart Christian prayer in public meetings
A federal court of appeals is siding with an animist who said members of a public board in Michigan violated the First Amendment by opening monthly meetings with Christian prayers.
 
2017-02-14

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Ahok trial: The blasphemy case testing Indonesian identity
Millions of Indonesians are set to elect local leaders, but the focus is on the capital Jakarta, where the city's first non-Muslim governor is fighting not only for re-election but to stay out of jail.
 
2017-02-14

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In France, Some Muslims Seek To 'Adapt' Islam To Secular Culture
Many French Muslims like Oubrou believe it's time to create a uniquely French brand of Islam — one that is compatible with the country's secular values and responds better to the needs of modern Muslims.
 
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