Stories 1 - 20 |  Next >>

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 »

Cops: Teen Beaten to Death Wanted to Leave Church

Witness claims he confessed to witchcraft

(Newser) - Some chilling details have emerged in the death of a man who was beaten for hours in what the Word of Life Christian Church called a "counseling session." Police say church members have told them 19-year-old Lucas Leonard's ordeal lasted more than 10 hours and the "... More »

Cops: Teen Beaten to Death at Church 'Counseling Session'

6 church members—including victim's parents—arrested

(Newser) - Six members of a mysterious church in upstate New York were arrested Monday after a 19-year-old man died following a severe beating during a "counseling session," CBS News reports. Among the arrested were the victim's mother, father, and sister. His 17-year-old brother had also been beaten and... More »

Woman Marries Jesus, Becomes Consecrated Virgin

Indiana resident isn't a nun, will remain in secular society

(Newser) - Well, it should save on honeymoon airfare, anyway. A 38-year-old Indiana woman married Jesus Christ over the weekend, becoming one of his approximately 3,000 living wives worldwide, CBS News reports. The process is known as becoming a consecrated virgin and is relatively rare within the Catholic Church, with only... More »

Want Good Mental Health? Get Religion

Joining a religious organization has a bigger impact than volunteering or sport

(Newser) - Attending a church, synagogue, or mosque may be better for one's mental health than engaging in sports, furthering one's education, or volunteering. So say researchers at the London School of Economics and Erasmus MC, who studied the effects of these four types of activities on the mental health... More »

Etsy Bans Sale of Spells, Irks Witches, Pagans

Some claim cultural or religious bias

(Newser) - Back in 2012, when eBay banned the sale of spells, potions, and other metaphysical goods, many witches and pagans set up shop with Etsy instead. But they're going to have to shuffle their goods and services yet again, now that Etsy—which went public in April—has quietly banned... More »

Sikh Man Breaks Protocol, Removes Turban to Help Boy

Harman Singh got a surprise of his own after his act of kindness

(Newser) - Harman Singh is a devout Sikh, meaning his turban stays on his head at all times when he's not in the privacy of his own home. But Singh broke religious protocol earlier this month when 5-year-old Daejon Pahia was hit by a car in Auckland, New Zealand. The 22-year-old... More »

Americans Leaving Christianity in Droves

Unaffiliated now number 56M in US behind evangelicals

(Newser) - The nation's Christians are experiencing a steep slide in numbers, according to a new Pew Research Center poll. The survey of 35,000 adults finds the number of those who identify as Christian slid from 78.4% in 2007 to 70.6% in 2014, the New York Times reports.... More »

What Made Us Happy in 1938—and 7 Decades Later

Religion was No. 3 then; it's not anymore

(Newser) - The world used to be a simpler place—and what we said made us happy then isn't what we think makes us happy now. That's the conclusion of a small new study that was a restaging of a previous one. As Science Direct explains, in 1938 an ad... More »

Burma Jails 3 Men Over Facebook Buddha Post

Poster depicted Buddha wearing DJ headphones

(Newser) - A Burmese bar owner and two employees have been sentenced to two and a half years in jail over a Facebook post that promoted a night of cheap drinks. The post, which depicted Buddha wearing DJ headphones, was found in violation of Burma's Religion Act, which bans damaging or... More »

Why Dreams Fuel So Many Religions

And why "hearing voices" may not mean a person is ill

(Newser) - Religions throughout the world—and throughout history—have put dreams at the center of their belief systems, and researchers say there's a good reason for that. We do much of our intense dreaming during REM sleep, when the highly active brain acts almost like it's awake, writes Ross... More »

How Hardship Affects Religious Belief

People living in harsh times embrace high gods, researchers say

(Newser) - Living under harsh conditions like extreme weather or food scarcity? Then you're more likely to believe in powerful, judgmental gods, according to a new study . A group of researchers from various fields reached their conclusion after synthesizing historical data from 583 societies around the world, reports. "... More »

Church, Synagogue, Mosque to Share One 'House'

Berlin project will cater to Christians, Jews, and Muslims

(Newser) - A pastor, a rabbi, and an imam walk onto an empty lot, and ... bury their shoes. Why? Because they plan to build what may be the world's first interfaith facility with separate houses of worship for Christians, Jews, and Muslims, the BBC reports. Dubbed the "House of One,... More »

Company Tried to Force Employees Into 'Onionhead' Religion: Suit

Employees allegedly fired for refusing to participate

(Newser) - What would you do if your employer told you to thank God for your job, say “I love you” to management, and attend meetings to discuss "divine plans"? If you work for New York health care firm United Health Programs of America, you go to the US... More »

What It's Like to Date in a Religion of Just 1M

Conventions, Google chats pave way to marriage

(Newser) - When there are only one million followers of your religion on the planet, it can be a little hard to meet people—especially when that religion requires marrying another Druze if one's children are to be members of the faith. The Arab religion developed about 1,000 years ago,... More »

It's Normal to See Jesus in Your Toast

The brain is hardwired to do it, study finds

(Newser) - Do you see Jesus in your morning toast or the Virgin Mary on a potato chip? Turns out that's perfectly normal, according to a new study by Canadian and Chinese researchers. “Our findings suggest that it's common for people to see non-existent features because human brains are... More »

Stories 1 - 20 |  Next >>