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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.

Poland's president, Jewish leaders light Hanukkah candles

The Associated Press  |  Posted Dec 9th - 1:23pm

Polish President Andrzej Duda and Jewish community members have lit a menorah at the Presidential Palace to jointly mark Hanukkah.

Pope to Romans in holidays speech: Make city more livable

The Associated Press  |  Posted Dec 8th - 12:05pm

Pope Francis has given Romans a holiday pep talk, encouraging them to do their share to make the trash-plagued, traffic-clogged city more livable.

Tunisian protesters criticize Israel, support Palestinians

The Associated Press  |  Posted Dec 8th - 11:56am

Dozens of pro-Palestinian demonstrators have staged a protest in Tunisia's capital against Israel and its policies toward the Palestinians.

Battle of wills: Tiny order of French nuns takes on Vatican

Nicole Winfield, Associated Press  |  Posted Dec 8th - 7:24am

The Vatican has an unusual dilemma on its hands after nearly all the nuns in a tiny French religious order threatened to renounce their vows rather than accept the Holy See's decision to remove their superior.

Catholic monks killed in Algeria's civil war are beatified

Aomar Ouali, Associated Press  |  Posted Dec 8th - 5:03am

A cardinal dispatched by the Vatican to Algeria held an unusual beatification ceremony on Saturday for 19 monks, nuns and other Catholics who were killed during Algeria's civil war in the 1990s.

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.

French minister: Violence in Paris 'under control' despite scattered tensions but is 'totally unacceptable'

The Associated Press  |  Posted Dec 8th - 11:33am

French minister: Violence in Paris 'under control' despite scattered tensions but is 'totally unacceptable'