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Church Stops Clergy From Digging Up 'Shakespeare Skull'

Clergymen wanted conjecture settled once and for all

(Newser) - Like to size up the cranium that once held the brain behind Macbeth, Hamlet, and roughly 1,500 words we still use today? Well, it's bad news for you—and anyone who believes William Shakespeare's skull is lying under a small village chapel in England, the Birmingham Mail... More »

Suspect Charged in 2 of the St. Louis Church Fires

Authorities no longer suspect a hate crime

(Newser) - Authorities charged A 35-year-old black St. Louis man with arson following fires at two predominantly African-American churches earlier this month and federal investigators said they no longer believe the incidents were a hate crime. David Lopez Jackson was charged Friday in St. Louis Circuit Court with two counts of second-degree... More »

400-Year-Old Church Emerges in Reservoir

The Temple of Santiago gets a breath of air

(Newser) - Huh, this wasn't there last year—a 16th-century church emerging from the waters of a Mexican reservoir. But it actually makes sense, because drought has caused the water level to fall 82 feet in the Nezahualcoyotl reservoir, revealing a church that was flooded during construction of a dam nearly... More »

Georgia Church Expels 103-Year-Old Woman

Because she disagreed with the pastor

(Newser) - A small church in northeast Georgia is defending its decision to revoke the membership of a 103-year-old woman who disagreed with the pastor. The Athens Banner-Herald reported today that Union Grove Baptist Church of Elberton said Genora H. Biggs was displaying conduct detrimental to the congregation. The woman has been... More »

Bombs Rock 2 NM Churches as Parishioners Gather

No injuries in Las Cruces; police say explosions likely linked

(Newser) - Police are investigating a pair of blasts that rocked two New Mexico churches where parishioners had gathered yesterday morning, though there were no injuries and damage was "relatively minor," authorities tell NBC News . One explosion came from a mailbox outside an administrative entrance to Calvary Baptist Church in... More »

Snakes Again Prove Deadly in Church

John David Brock was handling the snake during Kentucky service

(Newser) - A man has died from a snake bite suffered during a church service, says a Kentucky sheriff's office. The Bell County Sheriff's Department said yesterday that 60-year-old John David Brock of Stoney Fork was handling the snake during a Sunday service at a Pentecostal church in Jenson. Authorities... More »

Tom Cruise Close to Quitting Scientology: Report

'Tearful' phone call makes it possible, says Star source

(Newser) - Tom Cruise, leaving Scientology? Thank his daughter Suri if it happens: Citing an article that links to Star magazine, Gawker reports that Cruise is edging toward leaving the Church of Scientology after a tearful phone call with Suri. "She was going on and on about her ballet class and... More »

20 Years After KKK Torched It, SC Black Church Burns Again

SC's Mount Zion AME Church is 7th black church to burn since Charleston

(Newser) - Yesterday the NAACP issued a series of tweets in response to the spate of black churches going up in flames across the South, calling for "black churches to take necessary precautions" and promoting the #WhoIsBurningBlackChurches hashtag. Hours later, the Mount Zion AME Church in Greeleyville, SC, became the seventh... More »

NC Church Gets 'Simple but Powerful' Gift: 18 Cents

Anonymous homeless man's gesture touches officials

(Newser) - The note was as simple as the five coins that accompanied it: "Please don't be mad I don't have much. I'm homeless. God bless." Rather than anger officials at First United Methodist Church in Charlotte, NC, the words scribbled on the back of an envelope... More »

Death From Botulism Tied to Ohio Church Potluck

One person is dead, at least 18 sickened after Lancaster gathering

(Newser) - On average, there are about 145 cases of botulism reported in the US each year—and almost two dozen of this year's have now apparently come out of Lancaster, Ohio, after what looks to be a church potluck gone wrong, the Columbus Dispatch reports. One person died and at... More »

Detroit Goes After Wrong Church for $170K Electric Bill

City turned off water at Bishop Daryl Harris' house, too

(Newser) - Detroit has had ongoing money issues , but the city may have been overzealous in trying to fill its coffers. Officials issued a mea culpa to Bishop Daryl Harris and his Total Life Christian Ministries church after slapping it with a lawsuit for a $170,000 electric bill, the Detroit ... More »

Suggested Dues for First Church of Cannabis: $4.20

Founder Bill Levin's response to Indiana law puts pot front and center

(Newser) - The first commandment of Indiana's newest religious establishment is pretty straightforward: "Don't be an asshole ." The First Church of Cannabis—given the thumbs-up as a religious corporation by Indiana's secretary of state after the Religious Freedom Restoration Act was signed into law last week—also... More »

Why One Church Works Entirely by Phone

LDS members in rural Alaska prefer to call

(Newser) - Rural Alaskans who'd like to attend church without navigating miles of frozen road have found a workaround: the telephone. An Alaskan branch of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is devoted entirely to members who call in, the Alaska Dispatch News reports. "It's what you... More »

Church's 3K-Pound Gargoyles Go Missing

No one in Worcester, Mass., has a clue where the giant historic statues could be

(Newser) - A 119-year-old Massachusetts church that had been slated for demolition almost 10 years ago was saved by a local preservation society—but now no one can find the 1.5-ton gargoyles that used to grace its exterior. Officials for Preservation Worcester, the city's Historical Commission, and Liberty Church are... More »

'Godless' Churches Open Doors

To the tune of 'Man in the Mirror,' in some cases

(Newser) - Apparently, atheists are yearning for their crack at potluck dinners and picnics: There's no church in the traditional sense, and no steeple, but what opened its doors in Rochester, NY, this past Sunday is no less than an atheist church. Dubbed the Sunday Assembly , the group skipped the pastor... More »

Church Hands Each Member $500—With Instructions

LaSalle Street Church in Chicago got boost from real estate sale

(Newser) - After landing big money in a real estate transaction, a Chicago church opted to give a tenth of it to attendees—to the tune of $500 each. That money, the church suggested, should be donated to a cause of the congregant's choice, the Chicago Tribune reports. In the 1970s,... More »

Pastor Jailed Over Noisy Church Services

Neighbors complained in South Carolina

(Newser) - A pastor in Columbia, SC, is spending two weeks in jail because neighbors complained that his church services were too loud, reports WLTX . Johnnie Clark's Rehoboth United Assemblies Church has been around for 25 years, but recent downtown development has led to conflict with neighbors in newly built homes... More »

Church Sees 'Miracle' After Paramedics Revive Man

Pastor led prayer for man suffering cardiac arrest

(Newser) - A man who went into cardiac arrest in a church last Sunday had two forces on his side: paramedics, and the prayers of pastor and congregation. When the man regained a pulse, the latter claimed victory, The Blaze reports. "When they raised the IV I knew that was a... More »

After the Virginity Pledge: Really Conflicted Husbands

Sociologist explores aftermath of virginity pledges

(Newser) - When men who take virginity pledges are taught that sex before marriage is beastly and wrong but sex after marriage is a gift from God, these very disparate messages can lead to problems down the road. So reports a sociologist who since 2008 has been studying 15 men in a... More »

Strippers Protest Topless Outside Church

Strip club owner says churchgoers abuse his staff, customers

(Newser) - An Ohio strip club owner surprised churchgoers yesterday with a protest that involved, shall we say, nothing above the belt. Employees of the Foxhole North club staged the topless protest during services outside the New Beginnings Ministries in Warsaw, to oppose church demonstrations at the club over the past nine... More »

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