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Jordan lifts ban on performance by popular Lebanese band

The Associated Press  |  Posted  Apr 29th - 3:10am

Jordan is permitting a popular Lebanese rock band to perform, lifting an earlier ban imposed amid claims the group's songs promoting religious and sexual freedom violate local customs and religious beliefs.

US fears rise of jihadists in moderate Bangladesh

Matthew Pennington, Associated Press  |  Posted  Apr 29th - 2:00am

The slaying in Bangladesh of a U.S. Agency for International Development employee has intensified U.S. concern that the strategically located South Asian country with traditions of religious tolerance is under threat from Islamic extremists.

Vatican crackdown on tax cheats flagged in oversight report

The Associated Press  |  Posted  Apr 28th - 12:40pm

The Vatican's financial watchdog said Thursday it received 544 reports of suspicious financial transactions last year, a three-fold increase over 2014, thanks in part to beefed-up efforts to flag potential tax cheats who are using the Vatican bank to hide money.

Protest in Myanmar targets US Embassy use of term 'Rohingya'

The Associated Press  |  Posted  Apr 28th - 8:41am

Buddhist monks joined several hundred protesters outside the U.S. Embassy in Myanmar on Thursday to demand it stop using the term "Rohingya" to refer to a Muslim ethnic minority group.

Hawaii church deploying igloos to house homeless families

Cathy Bussewitz, Associated Press  |  Posted  Apr 28th - 1:10am

A church in Hawaii looking to address the state's ongoing homelessness crisis has settled on a solution that on first look appears better suited for the frigid winters of Alaska than the islands' tropical climate: igloos.

Martin Short, Derek Hough join cast of 'Hairspray Live!'

Mark Kennedy, Associated Press  |  Posted  Apr 27th - 3:01pm

Comedian Martin Short and dancer Derek Hough have leapt aboard the cast of NBC's "Hairspray Live!" on Dec. 7.

The Latest: Lawyer denies charge that friar endangered kids

The Associated Press  |  Posted  Apr 27th - 1:10pm

The Latest on a hearing to decide whether three Franciscan friars should stand trial on child endangerment and other charges for their role in supervising another friar accused of molesting more than 100 children (all times local):

Jordan bans Lebanese band, says songs contradict religion

Sam McNeil and Mohammed Daraghmeh, Associated Press  |  Posted  Apr 27th - 12:10pm

Jordan has banned a performance by a popular Lebanese rock band on religious grounds, spurring criticism of the Western-allied kingdom, which portrays itself as an island of tolerance in a turbulent region.

Pakistani Sikhs open temple after 73 years, risking attacks

Kathy Gannon, Associated Press  |  Posted  Apr 27th - 12:30am

An armed policeman stood guard outside the 300-year-old Sikh temple, known as a gurdwara, in northwest Pakistan. He kept a watchful eye on everyone who passed him on the narrow street, looking for a suspicious gesture, or a bulge beneath the clothes that hints at a hidden gun or a bomb.

Kerry raises religion's role in diplomacy

The Associated Press  |  Posted  Apr 28th - 8:21pm

Secretary of State John Kerry says the U.S. can't lead the world if American diplomats don't understand the importance of religion.

3rd of 4 Mormon missionaries injured in Brussels goes home

The Associated Press  |  Posted  Apr 28th - 5:41pm

A Mormon missionary injured in the Brussels bombing attack is back at home after he was released from a Salt Lake City hospital.

Illinois school settles separation of church and state case

Alan Scher Zagier, Associated Press  |  Posted  Apr 28th - 4:12pm

An Illinois public school that requires students who ride the bus to arrive early for optional religious instruction at a Roman Catholic parish has agreed to discontinue the practice in response to a legal challenge.

Dubuque considers financially aiding church redevelopment

The Associated Press  |  Posted  Apr 28th - 3:41pm

Members of the Dubuque City Council will consider supporting an effort to turn a former Catholic church campus into apartments for formerly homeless women.

Iowa lawmakers agree on oversight bill for boarding schools

Barbara Rodriguez, Associated Press  |  Posted  Apr 28th - 3:01pm

Iowa will have clear regulatory authority over private boarding schools in the state under a legislative deal reached Thursday that also protects religious curriculum at such institutions and other educational facilities.

Poll: Wide differences in Muslim views on political Islam

The Associated Press  |  Posted  Apr 27th - 8:21am

A survey in 10 countries with significant Muslim populations, released Wednesday, found "striking" differences in the extent to which people believe the Quran should influence a nation's laws.

Religious order says Portland high school must change name

The Associated Press  |  Posted  Apr 27th - 5:10am

The Sisters of Mercy have mandated that Catherine McAuley High School must change its name when the Portland school ends its affiliation with the Catholic Church in July.

Turkish PM: new charter to stay secular; not 'authoritarian'

The Associated Press  |  Posted  Apr 27th - 4:50am

Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu has reaffirmed that Turkey's new constitution will remain secular, days after the parliament speaker sparked controversy by saying that the Muslim-majority country should have a basic charter based on religion.

Bangladesh jails 2 Hindu teachers for insulting Islam

The Associated Press  |  Posted  Apr 27th - 12:40am

A court has jailed two teachers in southern Bangladesh for making derogatory comments about Islam and the Prophet Muhammad, invoking a rare law from the British colonial era that makes insulting any religion a crime.

Congress OKs bill to curb antiquities looting by militants

Richard Lardner, Associated Press  |  Posted  Apr 26th - 5:00pm

Congress sent legislation to President Barack Obama on Tuesday that cracks down on the looting of Syrian antiquities by Islamic State militants.

Federal investigators explore motives for Idaho church arson

The Associated Press  |  Posted  Apr 26th - 3:01pm

Federal investigators are trying to determine whether the arson fire that destroyed a Catholic church in Idaho was driven by religious or racial bias.