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Nobel laureate returns to Iraq, pledges to work for peace

Sinan Salaheddin, Associated Press  |  Posted Dec 12th - 1:27am

Iraqi activist Nadia Murad met her country's president in Baghdad on Wednesday after receiving the Nobel Peace Prize for her advocacy on behalf of victims of wartime sexual violence.

Pakistan rejects US rebuke on religious freedoms

Munir Ahmed, Associated Press  |  Posted Dec 11th - 9:39pm

Pakistan on Wednesday condemned a U.S. decision to add it to a list of nations that infringe on religious freedom, calling the move "unilateral and politically motivated."

Trump signs bill to help religious minorities in Iraq, Syria

Deb Riechmann, Associated Press  |  Posted Dec 11th - 3:39pm

President Donald Trump signed legislation on Tuesday to help ensure humanitarian relief reaches the members of religious and ethnic minorities in Iraq and Syria who have been targeted for genocide by Islamic State militants.

Polygamous group lets go of sprawling worship center along Utah border

Brady McCombs, Associated Press  |  Posted Dec 10th - 5:50pm

A polygamous group based on the Utah-Arizona border is letting go of the sprawling building where its members worshipped, in the latest sign that the sect run by imprisoned leader Warren Jeffs is losing control of the small community

Pope cites the 'disappeared' among those deprived of rights

Nicole Winfield, Associated Press  |  Posted Dec 10th - 3:47am

Pope Francis on Monday lamented that the poor, the unborn, those imprisoned and those who have been forcibly "disappeared" do not enjoy the same human rights protections as the wealthy.

Church renovation lifts Christmas spirit in Bethlehem

Mohammed Daraghmeh, Associated Press  |  Posted Dec 10th - 12:22am

A historic renovation of the Church of the Nativity is lifting spirits in the biblical town of Bethlehem ahead of Christmas, offering visitors a look at ancient mosaics and columns that have been restored to their original glory for the first time in 600 years.

Dutch court throws out case of disputed Buddha statue

The Associated Press  |  Posted Dec 12th - 5:48am

A court in Amsterdam has refused to resolve a legal dispute over ownership of a Buddha statue that contains the mummified remains of a monk.

Myanmar rally urges release of 'Person of Year' journalists

The Associated Press  |  Posted Dec 12th - 5:11am

Several dozen journalists and activists have held a rally in Myanmar's biggest city to mark the anniversary of the arrest of two reporters for the Reuters news agency who are among a group of journalists being honored by Time magazine as its "Person of the Year."

Italian police identify IS cell suspected in 2013 kidnapping

Nicole Winfield, Associated Press  |  Posted Dec 12th - 2:39am

Italian authorities said Wednesday they had identified members of the Islamic State group believed to have been behind the 2013 kidnapping in Syria of Italian aid worker Federico Motka and Briton David Haines, who was later killed.

Men accused in mosque attack face federal trial in Minnesota

The Associated Press  |  Posted Dec 11th - 4:22pm

Three members of an Illinois militia group accused of bombing a Minnesota mosque will have their federal cases consolidated for trial in Minnesota.

Memoirist who wrote about priest dad wins Thurber prize

The Associated Press  |  Posted Dec 11th - 12:00pm

A woman who wrote a memoir about having a married Roman Catholic priest for a father has won the country's top humor writing prize.

Prosecutors outline death penalty review in synagogue case

The Associated Press  |  Posted Dec 11th - 9:51am

Federal prosecutors are outlining the steps they will take as they decide whether to seek the death penalty against the suspect in the Pittsburgh synagogue massacre.

US downgrades Pakistan in religious freedom rankings

Matthew Lee, Associated Press  |  Posted Dec 11th - 9:09am

The Trump administration on Tuesday placed Pakistan on its annual list of worst offenders for nations that it says infringe on religious freedom.

Sydney teen jailed for planning attack

The Associated Press  |  Posted Dec 10th - 10:03pm

An Australian court sentenced a Sydney teenager to at least 12 years in prison on Tuesday for planning an attack inspired by the Islamic State group for which he bought knives and bayonets from a gun shop two years ago.

Church says nuns embezzled from school to cover Vegas trips

John Rogers, Associated Press  |  Posted Dec 10th - 2:09pm

Two nuns who worked for decades at a Catholic school in California embezzled a "substantial" amount of money from tuition and other funds and used it to pay for gambling trips to Las Vegas, church officials said Monday.

Lawyer: Irish priest O'Reilly has finished Chile sentence

Eva Vergara, Associated Press  |  Posted Dec 10th - 10:57am

An Irish-born priest of the Legion of Christ religious order has finished serving a four-year sentence for sexually abusing a minor and may have to leave the country within days, his lawyer said Monday.

Turkey seeks 15-year prison terms for prominent journalists

The Associated Press  |  Posted Dec 10th - 6:27am

Turkey's state-run news agency says prosecutors are seeking maximum 15-year prison terms for five journalists of an opposition newspaper, intensifying concerns over authorities' crackdown on news coverage critical of the government.

Indian bishop accused of misusing funds for family resigns

The Associated Press  |  Posted Dec 10th - 5:07am

Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of an Indian bishop who, according to news reports, was accused of misappropriating church funds to support a secret family.

Group says dozens detained in raid on Chinese church

The Associated Press  |  Posted Dec 10th - 4:35am

Dozens of Christians have been detained in a raid on a prominent Chinese church that operates outside the government's official Protestant organization, a U.S.-based advocacy group said Monday.