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Pope briefs priests: Don't be smug, don't judge sinners

A specially-recruited group of priests received last-minute instructions from Pope Francis Tuesday before fanning out through the world to show a more merciful face of the Catholic Church to sinners. Read more »

Published yesterday

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Pope, Russian Orthodox patriarch to meet in historic step

Pope Francis and the leader of the Russian Orthodox Church will meet in Cuba next week in a historic step to heal the 1,000-year-old schism that divided Christianity between East and West, both... Read more »

Published Feb. 5, 2016


Now deeply Christian, Cruz's religion once wasn't so obvious

Ted Cruz sometimes sounds more like a preacher than a presidential candidate. Read more »

Published Jan. 30, 2016


In latest fad, Thais treat 'child angel' dolls like progeny

Mix one part superstition, two parts fashion, a dab of celebrity idolatry and a heap of media frenzy, and what do you get? "Child angel" dolls, the latest craze in Thailand. Read more »

Published Jan. 30, 2016


Nevada high court rejects Mormon church appeal in water case

The Nevada Supreme Court rejected a Mormon church appeal Thursday on a narrow legal question in a broad water rights dispute surrounding a proposal to pump groundwater from arid valleys along the... Read more »

Published Jan. 28, 2016


Obama honors 4 who protected Jews during Holocaust

As he honored four people on Wednesday for risking their lives to protect Jews, President Barack Obama warned that anti-Semitism is on the rise and that an attack on any faith is an attack on all... Read more »

Published Jan. 27, 2016


Holocaust victims honored 71 years after Auschwitz liberated

Dozens of elderly Holocaust survivors lit candles at Auschwitz on Wednesday, exactly 71 years after the Soviet army liberated the death camp that has become the most powerful symbol of the human... Read more »

Published Jan. 27, 2016


Italian gay rights debate prompts proposed legislation for 'civil unions'

In Italy, family is considered so sacred that marriage is lauded in the Constitution. But what kind of family? Read more »

Published Jan. 27, 2016


Iranian leader asks pope to pray for him after Vatican talks

Iran's president asked Pope Francis to pray for him Tuesday after the two men held private talks at the Vatican, part of an Iranian effort to take a more prominent place on the world stage after a... Read more »

Published Jan. 26, 2016


Pope to visit Sweden, apologizes for Catholic wrongs

Pope Francis has concluded an annual weeklong prayer for Christian unity by making a sweeping apology for Catholic wrongs committed against other Christians and by announcing he will visit Sweden... Read more »

Published Jan. 25, 2016


Pope Francis answers questions from children in new book

"Dear Pope Francis," 10-year-old Mohammed begins, "Will the world be again as it was in the past?" Read more »

Published Jan. 25, 2016


Oldest Christian monastery in Iraq razed

Satellite photos obtained by The Associated Press confirm what church leaders and Middle East preservationists had feared: The oldest Christian monastery in Iraq has been reduced to a field of... Read more »

Published Jan. 20, 2016

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Rubio: Faith is 'single greatest influence in my life'

Republican presidential hopeful Marco Rubio promised to keep "talking about God" as he campaigned across Iowa Monday, reminding influential evangelical voters of his commitment to Christian values... Read more »

Published Jan. 18, 2016


Pope visits Rome synagogue in sign of interfaith friendship

Pope Francis made his first visit to a synagogue as pope Sunday, greeting Rome's Jewish community in their house of worship as his two predecessors did in a show interfaith friendship at a time of... Read more »

Published Jan. 17, 2016


Francis lays out case for mercy in 1st book as pope

Pope Francis lays out his case for emphasizing the merciful face of the Catholic Church in his first book as pontiff, saying God never tires of forgiving and actually prefers the sinners who repent... Read more »

Published Jan. 10, 2016


NYC settles lawsuits over Muslim surveillance by police

The New York Police Department will strengthen safeguards against illegal surveillance of Muslims in investigations of terror threats and install a civilian representative on an advisory committee... Read more »

Published Jan. 7, 2016


Epiphany celebrated in Orthodox Christian, Catholic nations

Wednesday is Epiphany, a major holiday in much of Orthodox Christianity celebrating the birth and baptism of Jesus. Religious services are held as well as Blessing of Water ceremonies at lakes,... Read more »

Published Jan. 6, 2016


Trump embraces Muslim ban in opening TV ads

Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump is giving some of the most divisive proposals of his campaign a starring role in his first television ad — although the billionaire developer... Read more »

Published Jan. 4, 2016


Saudis cut ties with Iran following Shiite cleric execution

Saudi Arabia announced Sunday it was severing diplomatic relations with Shiite powerhouse Iran amid escalating tensions over the Sunni kingdom's execution of a prominent Shiite cleric. Read more »

Published Jan. 3, 2016


Cruz and Rubio engage in battle for Nevada Mormons

Deep divisions among Nevada Republicans over a $1 billion tax increase pushed by the state’s Republican governor are helping to shape the battle between Sens. Marco Rubio of Florida and Ted... Read more »

Published Jan. 3, 2016


Influential Shiite cleric among 47 executed in Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia's execution Saturday of 47 prisoners, including an influential Shiite cleric, threatened to further damage Sunni-Shiite relations in a regional struggle playing out across the Middle... Read more »

Published Jan. 2, 2016


Americans' views on protecting religious freedom vary by faith, poll says

Americans place a higher priority on preserving the religious freedom of Christians than for other faith groups, ranking Muslims as the least deserving of the protections, according to a new survey. Read more »

Published Dec. 30, 2015


Cruz taps evangelicals, tea partiers to fuel campaign

When Republican presidential hopeful Ted Cruz first ran for U.S. Senate in Texas, the only thing lower than his name recognition was the expectation that he'd win. Read more »

Published Dec. 28, 2015


Pope urges Christmas prayers for Syria, Libya peace

Pope Francis issued a Christmas Day prayer that recent U.N.-backed peace processes for Syria and Libya will quickly end the suffering of their people, denouncing the "monstrous evil" and atrocities... Read more »

Published Dec. 25, 2015


Indonesia: Plot foiled to kill officials, Shiite followers

Indonesian police said Monday they have foiled a plot to kill government officials, law enforcement officers and others by suspected Muslim militants arrested in weekend raids. Read more »

Published Dec. 21, 2015