religion

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In Germany, a Massive Raid, a Ban on the 'True Religion'

Islamic group accused of radicalizing teens

(Newser) - Hundreds of police officers searched about 190 offices, mosques, and apartments of members and supporters of the Islamic group "The True Religion" as the German government announced a ban of the organization Tuesday, the AP reports. Police raided places in 60 cities in western Germany and Berlin seizing documents... More »

Thou Shalt Not Erect Religious Monuments on City Grounds: Court

Ten Commandments structure in Bloomfield, NM, declared unconstitutional

(Newser) - Much like those "rapid-fire warnings at the end of prescription drug commercials," a disclaimer on a Ten Commandments monument in New Mexico might require "a reasonable observer … to get on his knees" to read it, an appeals declared this week. That was one of the factors... More »

Woman Dies After Drinking 'Cure' That's Basically Clorox

It's promoted by a fringe church whose founder says he's from another galaxy

(Newser) - An institution calling itself the Genesis II Church of Health and Healing is anything but, according to a man who says an elixir promoted by the church as a "miracle cure" is the same concoction that killed her, ABC News reports. Doug Nash says he and his wife, Sylvia... More »

Why Food Vendors in Malaysia Have to Rename Hot Dogs

Government tells Auntie Anne's that 'dog' can't be in product name if it wants halal certification

(Newser) - What's in a name? In Malaysia, a heck of a lot when it comes to hot dogs. Per the BBC , the country's Islamic Development Department has told food vendors in the mostly Muslim nation that if they want a halal designation (meaning food items have been given the... More »

Teen Dies After 68-Day Fast, Family Faces Homicide Charges

13-year-old Aradhana Samdariya was taking part in ancient religious ritual

(Newser) - For more than two months, a 13-year-old in India took part in an extreme religious fast, reports the BBC . Early this month she called off that fast, but she fell into a coma two days later and died of cardiac arrest on Oct. 4—and now her parents, well-off jewelers... More »

'After School Satan Club' Coming to Portland School

But it's about teaching science, not worshiping Beelzebub

(Newser) - Normally, an elementary school adding an after-school program isn't cause for national headlines. Things are little different when the program is called the After School Satan Club. The Portland chapter of the Satanic Temple has just been approved to establish the club at Sacramento Elementary School in Portland, the... More »

Texas County Agrees to Take Crosses Off Cop Cars

Gov. Greg Abbott had supported decals, but nonprofit's suit said they were 'unconstitutional'

(Newser) - A group known for fighting for the separation of church and state has won a victory against Brewster County, Texas, reaching a settlement that has county cops agreeing to remove decals with crosses on them from police cars, Reuters reports. In response to a suit filed this year by the... More »

Church of Scotland OKs Gay Marriage for Its Ministers

But they still won't be able to perform gay marriages

(Newser) - The Church of Scotland has voted to let its ministers enter same-sex marriages—though it says it "maintains its traditional view of marriage between a man and woman," the AP reports. The church's general assembly voted Saturday to allow congregations to "opt out" from traditional teaching... More »

Tennessee Lawmakers: We Want Bible as State Book

It's up to Gov. Haslam whether bill is 'unconstitutional,' 'sacrilegious,' or neither

(Newser) - Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam has a bill coming his way that has the Bible nominated as the official state book, a move critics say would be both "unconstitutional and sacrilegious," per Nashville Public Radio . The state Senate approved the holy tome 19-8 Monday night, which could make Tennessee... More »

Women More Devout Than Men: Study

Gender gap in Pew study may be explained by both nature and nurture

(Newser) - Every pope, Jesus, Moses, Muhammad, and most other major religious leaders have been men, and many religions have either only recently let up restrictions on women officiants or continue to ban them, the Guardian notes. Yet a new study from the Pew Research Center finds that women are the ones... More »

'Moral Symbols' at Work Can Keep Bad Bosses in Line

'Righteous' quotations, religious items can help workers avoid unethical requests

(Newser) - Could the whole subprime mess have been avoided if bankers had some inspirational Gandhi quotes laying around? That's the question the Chicago Tribune asks after reviewing a study that shows employees who display "moral symbols"—an "ethically righteous quote" or religious item like rosary beads—are... More »

One Key to Civilization's Rise? Fear of an Angry God

It's why strangers work together, say researchers

(Newser) - The belief in all-seeing and punitive gods may be a huge factor in how modern civilization came to be. So report researchers in the journal Nature after studying nearly 600 individuals from eight communities, including plant cultivators on the South Pacific island of Tanna, wage laborers on Fiji and in... More »

11 Least Religious Cities in the US

Yup, Sin City makes the list

(Newser) - Haven't yet found God and don't plan to? You might feel right at home in Portland, San Francisco, or Seattle. Those are the least religious cities in the country, according to a new survey from the Public Religion Research Institute picked up by MarketWatch . Here are the 11... More »

Scalia: God Is Good to US Because US 'Honors' Him

'Unlike the other countries of the world'

(Newser) - Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia said Saturday the idea of religious neutrality is not grounded in the country's constitutional traditions and that God has been good to the US exactly because Americans honor him. Scalia was speaking at a Catholic high school in a New Orleans suburb. Scalia is... More »

The Surprising Traditions of Jewish Christmas Eve

Toilet paper, abstinence, and persecution

(Newser) - For many people—religious and non-religious alike—Christmas Eve means hot cocoa with family, watching Love Actually, or furiously wrapping last-minute gifts. But for centuries of Jews, Christmas Eve was all about abstinence, tearing toilet paper, and the occasional poker game. Slate has a fascinating look at the little-known—even... More »

Study: Fires Seem to Observe Religion, the Workweek

Australian researchers find weekly pattern to global wildfires

(Newser) - And on the seventh day, the wildfires rested. That’s what Australian researchers discovered after using NASA satellite images to track global fires—both naturally occurring and human-caused—from 2001 to 2013 as part of a new study . They found that there are fewer fires on Sundays—the Christian day... More »

Zooey Deschanel Converts to Judaism

Sources say she made the move for husband Jacob Pechenik

(Newser) - Zooey Deschanel is now Jewish. Sources tell Us she converted to Judaism for her Jewish husband, Jacob Pechenik. Prior to that, she didn't feel strongly about religion: Her mother is Roman Catholic and her father is Quaker, and she once explained, "I don't attach myself to any... More »

Study: Religion Makes Children Less Generous

Some kids just really don't want to share their stickers

(Newser) - Religion makes people more generous and empathetic toward their neighbor, right? Wrong, according to a study published Thursday in Current Biology. Forbes reports researchers found children from religious backgrounds are actually less altruistic than children from secular households. Researchers tested more than 1,100 Christian, Muslim, and nonreligious children between... More »

Student Claims Teacher Forced Class to Admit God Isn't Real

District says her story is more fiction than fact

(Newser) - "Today I was given an assignment in school that questioned my faith and told me that God was not real," Texas seventh-grader Jordan Wooley told the Katy school board Monday. The Houston Chronicle reports Jordan was complaining about a critical-thinking skills assignment in which students were tasked with... More »

Teen Recounts Deadly Church Beating

He testifies that ordeal lasted more than 6 hours

(Newser) - His voice barely audible in court, 17-year-old Christopher Leonard gave his first public account Wednesday of the violence last week that sent him to the hospital and killed his 19-year-old brother Lucas . He testified that after an eight-hour Sunday service Oct. 11, pastor Tiffanie Irwin asked the Leonard family and... More »

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