Worldwide Religious News

3,221 Flips | 198 Magazines | 107 Followers | @wwrn | WorldWide Religious News (wwrn.org) is a non-profit service providing the international academic and legal community with up-to-date religious news from around the world.

Petition to change Mormon bishops’ interviews of kids tops 11,000 signatures; activists call for practice to end ‘immediately, today’

A petition campaign demanding a halt to the LDS Church’s practice of closed-door, one-on-one interviews by bishops with children — sometimes …

Religion

Muslim Americans Sue FBI for Being Put on a Terror Watch List for No Reason

Five American Muslims filed a lawsuit against FBI Director Christopher Wray and other members of the government because they believe they were put on …

Study finds low levels of religious practice among initial teacher education applicants

Future primary teachers are only taking on the role of religion teaching to get into jobs despite a lack of significant enthusiasm, new research …

‘Mormon Land’: Historian discusses the new LDS leadership and the question everyone is buzzing about: ‘What about women?’

In the latest edition of “Mormon Land,” we examine the new First Presidency’s answers — which set off a debate inside and outside of the faith that …

Author of books on presidents’ faith says Trump misunderstands evangelicals

WASHINGTON (RNS) — Author Stephen Mansfield, who has written about the faith of former Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama, says the current …

Donald Trump

Longtime evangelist Luis Palau announces cancer diagnosis

(RNS) — Christian evangelist Luis Palau, who has preached across the globe for five decades, says he has late-stage lung cancer.<p>“Everything is ready …

Micronesia

Aum trials seen near completion as top court upholds life term for Katsuya Takahashi

The trials related to Aum Shinrikyo, the doomsday cult that executed the deadly sarin attack on the Tokyo subway system in 1995, are close to ending …

'They ensure each twin baby dies': the secret killings in central Nigeria | Orji Sunday

A shelter in Abuja is devoted to rescuing twins from death within remote communities convinced of their evil powers<p>The room is filled with the cries of 30 or more babies. Steven Olusola visits each cradle, peering into their eyes in search of illness.<p>“They fall sick often because they never …

Pope to indigenous: Amazon is 'heart of the church'

PUERTO MALDONADO, Peru (AP) — Pope Francis traveled deep into the Amazon rainforest demanding an end to the relentless exploitation of its timber, …

Ethnology

In Israel, a rabbinical plan to hide Africans facing deportation

JERUSALEM (RNS) – Inspired by sanctuary movements throughout history, a prominent rabbi in Israel has asked her peers to provide a safe haven for …

Israel

How a Brisbane Artist Became a Priest for a UFO Pleasure Cult

Luke Roberts is a Raelian: "the only religion with female, gay, and transgender priests."<p>The man in the photo above is an artist named Luke Roberts. He’s standing beneath a piece of public artwork he built for the Brisbane City Council, which he says was designed to look like a UFO to symbolise the …

HHS is targeting health workers’ religious objections. Here’s why.

<i>This story has been updated since it was first published on Jan. 18.</i><p>The Trump administration has announced new regulations and a new division responsible for handling complaints from health-care workers who do not want to perform a medical procedure like an abortion or assisted death because it …

Health Care

A word too far? Some evangelicals may have reached the breaking point with Trump.

The vulgarity President Trump reportedly used last week to describe certain countries in the developing world has gotten a lot of attention. Trump held a private, frank, blunt conversation with congressional leaders where he used a word others have used to describe places considered awful.<p>For some …

Where are mainline Protestants on abortion?

(RNS) — On Friday (Jan. 19), nearly 45 years after the landmark Roe v. Wade decision, hundreds of thousands will rally in the streets of …

Religion

Crystals, potions and tarot cards: the mystical rise of new age businesses

Consumer appetite for spiritualism has sparked a rise in companies offering everything from AI-powered astrology apps to subscription boxes for white witches<p>Harmony Nice is a 20-year old vlogger from Norwich. While she covers beauty on her YouTube channel, and her goth-inspired look is a hit on …

Anti-abortion Democrats navigate divide between March for Life and the Women’s March

WASHINGTON (RNS) — In 2017, Kristen Day was one of relatively few women to attend both the record-breaking Women’s March, whose organizers voiced …

Pro-life Movement

Science Is Giving the Pro-Life Movement a Boost

Advocates are tracking new developments in neonatal research and technology—and transforming one of America's most contentious debates.<p>The first time Ashley McGuire had a baby, she and her husband had to wait 20 weeks to learn its sex. By her third, they found out at 10 weeks with a blood test. …

Pro-life Movement

Two reports show fewer incidents of Muslim extremism in 2017

(RNS) — To hear it from the Trump administration, Muslim extremists pose the greatest risk to Americans today.<p>Shortly after a judge blocked his ban …

Extremism

Pope angers Chile after backing bishop accused of covering up sexual abuse

It was supposed to be an apology tour, but the pope’s Chile visit drew unexpected ire Thursday after the head of the Catholic Church came to the support of Juan Barros, a bishop accused of covering up sexual abuse. The remarks came at the end of a visit that was intended to ease tensions between …

A Presbyterian pastor languishes in a Turkish prison

(RNS) — For most pastors, the beginning of a new year is filled with the promise of youth programs, baptisms, and marriages. Instead, Pastor Andrew …

Human Rights

Evangelical chaplain’s suspension intensifies denomination’s gay marriage debate

(RNS) — The suspension of a popular evangelical university chaplain has highlighted tensions over same-sex marriage in a growing Protestant …

Faith

'Beyond comprehension': Myanmar admits killing Rohingya

Rights group calls for independent investigation as army acknowledges soldiers killed 10 Rohingya.<p>Amnesty International has reiterated a call for an independent investigation into rights abuses in Myanmar's Rakhine state after the country's army admitted its soldiers were involved in the murder of …

Asia

Ex-Mormons launch FaithLeaks to root out abuse and corruption in churches

(RNS) — Call it the WikiLeaks of the religion world.<p>A new website called FaithLeaks aims to bring transparency to the workings of religious …

Religion

Pope Francis to Declassify Files on Uruguay Dictatorship

Pope Francis ratified Monday his intention of declassifying Vatican's archives on Uruguay's military dictatorship, a process promoted by Pope Francis …

The Top 50 Countries Where It’s Most Dangerous to Follow Jesus

If trends continue, North Korea will no longer be the world’s worst persecutor of Christians. For decades, North Korea has clearly been the world’s …

Watchlist

'Double persecution': The untold plight of Christian women worldwide

America is currently experiencing a reckoning in terms of gender violence and harassment. Countless women have begun speaking out about the abuse …

Religion

How California’s megachurches changed Christian culture

(The Conversation) — The popular view of California is of a liberal, godless region, a land of possibilities that is open to experimentation in all …

New Testament

Chinese priest missing after ‘brief chat’ with authorities

A Chinese priest has been missing from his home town in China’s eastern Zhejiang province since government officials took him away just after …

China

Pope to meet with victims of Chile's dictatorship on trip

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis will meet with two victims of Chile's military dictatorship during his upcoming trip, and isn't ruling out a private encounter with victims of clerical sex abuse, the Vatican said Thursday.<p>Spokesman Greg Burke made the comments in announcing details of the Jan. …

An American Muslim Preacher Faces His Own Mortality

On a recent night in Chicago, a Muslim preacher sits on the floor in the center of an ethnically mixed and mostly young group of men and women. Around him, a drum circle sings praises of the Islamic prophet, Muhammad.<p>Mint tea is served on gold trays. A man with a hipster beard circulates an incense …

Religion