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Minister at secretive N Carolina church sentenced for fraud

Mitch Weiss and Holbrook Mohr, Associated Press  |  Posted Apr 18th - 3:18pm

A minister at a secretive church in North Carolina has been sentenced to 34 months in prison and ordered to pay $466,960 in restitution for his role in an unemployment fraud scheme involving businesses owned by members of the congregation.

Doctor: Tennessee church shooting suspect has mental illness

The Associated Press  |  Posted Apr 18th - 3:14pm

A psychiatrist has identified mental illnesses in the man accused of fatally shooting a woman and wounding seven people at a Tennessee church in 2017.

Rabbis: 'Not kosher' to buy at grocery store during strike

Philip Marcelo, Associated Press  |  Posted Apr 18th - 2:34pm

As thousands of Stop & Shop workers remain on strike in New England, some Jewish families are preparing for Passover without the region's largest supermarket chain, which has deep roots in the local Jewish community.

President Nelson writes Pope Francis letter of sympathy after fire at Notre Dame

Liesl Nielsen,  |  Posted Apr 18th - 1:04pm

A few days after the Notre Dame fire, President Russell M. Nelson, leader of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, wrote Pope Francis a letter, expressing his condolences.

Poll: Church membership in US plummets over past 20 years

David Crary, Associated Press  |  Posted Apr 18th - 3:43am

The percentage of U.S. adults who belong to a church or other religious institution has plunged by 20 percentage points over the past two decades, hitting a low of 50% last year, according to a new Gallup poll. Among major demographic groups, the biggest drops were recorded among Democrats and Hispanics.

Pope washes inmates' feet, says bishops must be servants

Nicole Winfield, Associated Press  |  Posted Apr 18th - 2:29am

Pope Francis washed the feet of 12 prisoners Thursday and urged them to serve one another as brothers, as he ushered in the solemn pre-Easter rituals made more poignant this year following the devastation of Paris' Notre Dame Cathedral.

Emperor performs ritual to report abdication to Shinto gods

Mari Yamaguchi, Associated Press  |  Posted Apr 17th - 10:19pm

Emperor Akihito prayed at a Japanese shrine Thursday in a ritual to report his upcoming abdication to the Shinto gods.

Historic US church tests sprinklers in wake of Notre Dame

Natalie Pompilio, Associated Press  |  Posted Apr 17th - 1:52pm

A sprinkler system check at a church that was frequented by George Washington and Benjamin Franklin drew a crowd Wednesday, with dozens of people watching as sheets of water poured from the 196-foot (60-meter) steeple.

Morocco is a trove of Jewish history if you know where to go

Leanne Italie, Associated Press  |  Posted Apr 17th - 12:26pm

With its mountains and desert, beach resorts and Berber villages, Morocco is a feast for travelers of all kinds, including those who want to explore the kingdom's deep Jewish roots.

Former Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco enters hospice care

The Associated Press  |  Posted Apr 17th - 9:27am

Louisiana officials are calling for prayers for former Gov. Kathleen Blanco, who has entered hospice care for incurable cancer.

The Latest: Fire chaplain hailed as hero in Notre Dame blaze

The Associated Press  |  Posted Apr 17th - 2:49am

The latest on the fire that tore through the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris (all times local):

Tourist mecca Notre Dame also revered as place of worship

Nicole Winfield and Colleen Barry, Associated Press  |  Posted Apr 17th - 12:33am

The soaring beauty of Paris' Notre Dame Cathedral as it echoed with Gregorian chants so moved French poet Paul Claudel on Christmas Day 1886 that the avowed atheist converted to Catholicism on the spot.

Minister at secretive N Carolina church sentenced for fraud

The Associated Press  |  Posted Apr 18th - 3:46pm

A minister at a secretive church in rural North Carolina has been sentenced to 34 months in prison and ordered to pay more than $466,000 in restitution for his role in an unemployment fraud scheme involving businesses owned by church leaders.

Drive for 3 burned African American churches tops $1.8M goal

The Associated Press  |  Posted Apr 18th - 2:20pm

A crowdfunding drive to help rebuild three African American churches gutted by arson fires in Louisiana has surpassed its original $1.8 million goal.

Evangelical group says Laos deports 3 American missionaries

The Associated Press  |  Posted Apr 18th - 9:05am

A U.S.-based Christian evangelical organization says three of its American volunteers who were detained in Laos more than a week ago for proselytizing have been freed and deported.

Israeli police detain Jewish suspects with sacrificial goats

The Associated Press  |  Posted Apr 18th - 5:37am

Israeli police say they detained four suspects involved in an attempt to smuggle two baby goats into Jerusalem's most sensitive holy site for a ritual sacrifice.

Iran flies domestically made fighter jets to mark Army Day

Amir Vahdat, Associated Press  |  Posted Apr 18th - 1:23am

Iran showcased its domestically made fighter jets by flying the aircraft over Tehran during a military parade Thursday marking National Army Day as the country grapples with U.S. sanctions and the Trump administration's recent terrorism designation of Iran's powerful paramilitary force.

1 killed, several hurt in church bus crash on Texas highway

The Associated Press  |  Posted Apr 17th - 8:18pm

A church bus has crashed on a Texas highway, killing one person and injuring several others.

Pennsylvania House OKs new child sex abuse reporting rules

Mark Scolforo, Associated Press  |  Posted Apr 17th - 2:59pm

The Pennsylvania House of Representatives moved Wednesday to toughen penalties for people who do not report suspicions about repeated child sexual abuse and make it explicit that nondisclosure terms in contracts cannot prevent people from talking to police in child molestation investigations.

The Latest: LA archdiocese apologizes for teen sex abuse

The Associated Press  |  Posted Apr 16th - 6:10pm

The Latest on an $8 million settlement of a sex-abuse lawsuit against the Archdiocese of Los Angeles (all times local):