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US airstrikes in Iraq; humanitarian crisis worsens

The U.S. unleashed its first airstrikes in northern Iraq against militants of the Islamic State group Friday amid a worsening humanitarian crisis. The extremists took captive hundreds of women from... Read more »

Published Aug. 8, 2014

13 comments

2 Bible Belt filmmakers expand box office horizons

It's the Hollywood ending every studio wants: Low-cost production and high returns at the box office. Read more »

Published Aug. 3, 2014

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Millions displaced by religious violence in 2013

Millions of people were forced from their homes because of their religious beliefs last year, the U.S. government said Monday, citing the devastating impact of conflicts in Syria, Iraq and the... Read more »

Published July 28, 2014

1 comment

Israeli strikes on Gaza, rocket fire, break lull

Israeli jets struck several sites in Gaza on Monday as rockets continued to fall on Israel, the Israeli military said, disrupting a relative lull in the Gaza war at the start of a major Muslim holiday. Read more »

Published July 28, 2014

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UN Security Council calls for Gaza cease-fire

The U.N. Security Council called for "an immediate and unconditional humanitarian cease-fire" in the Gaza war between Israel and Hamas at an emergency meeting early Monday morning. Read more »

Published July 28, 2014

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Muslims mark end of Ramadan with Eid celebrations

Millions of Muslims across the world celebrated the first day of the Eid al-Fitr holiday Monday, which marks the end of the monthlong fast of Ramadan. Read more »

Published July 28, 2014

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After government topples crosses in China, congregations react with defiance

The battle started when a government-hired crew tore down the metal cross atop the one-room church in this village surrounded by rice paddies last month. Read more »

Published July 25, 2014

22 comments

Pope meets Sudanese Christian woman who was sentenced to death for her faith

Pope Francis has met privately with a Sudanese woman who arrived in Italy after escaping a death sentence in Sudan for refusing to recant her Christian faith. Read more »

Published July 24, 2014

2 comments

Iraqis: Jihadis blow up Muslim shrine said to be burial place of Jonah

Residents of the Iraqi city of Mosul say Islamic extremist militants have blown up a revered Muslim shrine traditionally said to be the burial place of the Prophet Jonah. Read more »

Published July 24, 2014

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Iraq Christians flee Mosul after militant threats

Iraqi Christians who fled the northern city of Mosul under threat from Islamic extremists described on Tuesday leaving behind all their possessions, as signs emerged that the crackdown on the... Read more »

Published July 22, 2014

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Iraq Christians flee Mosul after militant threats: Convert, pay a tax or die

Iraqi Christians who fled the northern city of Mosul after Islamic extremists seized it described Tuesday leaving behind all the possessions, as politicians in the country still struggle to form a... Read more »

Published July 22, 2014

1 comment

Iraqi PM condemns jihadis' targeting of Christians

Iraq's prime minister on Sunday condemned the Islamic State extremist group's actions targeting Christians in territory it controls, saying they reveal the threat the jihadists pose to the minority... Read more »

Published July 20, 2014

2 comments

United States sharpens criticism of Hamas, urges cease-fire

The United States on Sunday sharpened its criticism of Hamas and urged the militant Palestinian group to accept a cease-fire agreement that would halt nearly two weeks of fighting with Israel. Read more »

Published July 20, 2014

4 comments

Obama will sign order barring gay, transgender discrimination

President Barack Obama has turned down a plea from religious groups that they be exempt from an executive order he plans to sign Monday prohibiting federal contractors from discriminating against... Read more »

Published July 18, 2014

29 comments

In Iraq, Syria, militants try to govern as a state

Across the broad swath of territory it controls bridging Syria and Iraq, extremist militants from the group known as the Islamic State have proven to be highly organized administrators. Flush with cash, they fix roads, police... Read more »

Published July 18, 2014

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Iranian commanders on front line of Iraq's fight

A powerful Iranian general has emerged as the chief tactician in Iraq's fight against Sunni militants, working on the front lines alongside 120 advisers from his country's Revolutionary Guard to... Read more »

Published July 17, 2014

2 comments

Senate GOP blocks bill on contraception coverage

Senate Republicans on Wednesday blocked a bill aimed at restoring free contraception for women who get their health insurance from companies with religious objections, a legislative setback for... Read more »

Published July 16, 2014

36 comments

Democrats seek political edge in contraception ruling

Democrats see a political winner in the stinging defeat they suffered when the Supreme Court ruled that businesses with religious objections may deny coverage for contraceptives under President... Read more »

Published July 16, 2014

10 comments

Church of England says yes to women bishops

The Church of England ended one of its longest and most divisive disputes Monday with an overwhelming vote in favor of allowing women to become bishops. Read more »

Published July 14, 2014

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French financier to become new president of Vatican bank

The Vatican has chosen a French financier to become the new president of its bank, which is overhauling the way it operates after a series of financial scandals. Read more »

Published July 9, 2014

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Iraqi parliament delays next session until August

Iraq's deadlocked parliament on Monday postponed its next session until mid-August, prolonging the country's political impasse despite urgent calls for a new government that can confront Sunni... Read more »

Published July 7, 2014

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Pope to sex abuse victims: I beg your forgiveness

Pope Francis begged forgiveness Monday from the victims of clergy sex abuse as he held his first meeting with several abuse survivors — but another victim called the gathering nothing more... Read more »

Published July 7, 2014

3 comments

Iraq analyzing tape purported to show top militant

Iraqi officials are working to determine the authenticity of a video that purportedly shows the leader of the Islamic extremist group that has seized large swaths of the country delivering a sermon this week in the nation's... Read more »

Published July 6, 2014

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Priest guilty of killing nun will get funeral Mass

An Ohio diocesan official says a Catholic priest convicted of stabbing and strangling a nun 34 years ago in a hospital chapel will receive a funeral Mass. Read more »

Published July 5, 2014

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Priest guilty of killing nun will get funeral Mass

A Roman Catholic priest convicted of stabbing and strangling a nun 34 years ago in a hospital chapel will receive a funeral Mass, a church official said Saturday. Read more »

Published July 5, 2014

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