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Russians plunge into icy waters to mark feast of Epiphany

The Associated Press  |  Posted Jan 18th - 1:17pm

Across Russia, the devout and the daring are observing the Orthodox Christian feast day of Epiphany by immersing themselves in frigid water through holes cut through the ice of lakes and rivers.

New attorneys general to continue investigating clergy abuse

Claudia Lauer, Associated Press  |  Posted Jan 18th - 10:08am

Newly inaugurated state attorneys general said they plan to continue investigations of clergy abuse in the Roman Catholic church as thousands of victims reach out to state hotlines and online systems to report past abuse.

Myanmar army ordered to take offensive against Arakan Army

The Associated Press  |  Posted Jan 18th - 6:11am

Myanmar's military announced Friday that the Arakan Army, a Buddhist rebel group in Rakhine state, has been classified a terrorist organization after mounting a flurry of recent attacks.

Road to snowed-in Austrian nuns cleared, but they stay put

The Associated Press  |  Posted Jan 17th - 6:22am

Authorities on Thursday cleared the road to reach 30 Catholic nuns whose Alpine convent was cut from the outside world by heavy snowfall for more than 10 days.

Militants kidnap Christian man in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula

Hamza Hendawi, Associated Press  |  Posted Jan 17th - 6:07am

Islamic militants on Thursday kidnapped a Christian man traveling in a communal taxi in the turbulent north of Egypt's Sinai peninsula, according to security officials, an incident that raises the specter of renewed attacks on minority Christians in the region after a two-year lull.

Ukraine OKs property law that could affect 12,000 churches

The Associated Press  |  Posted Jan 17th - 5:42am

Ukraine's parliament on Thursday adopted a bill spelling out procedures for transferring church property after a new unified Ukrainian Orthodox church was granted independence.

India's top court paves way for bars with dancers to reopen

The Associated Press  |  Posted Jan 17th - 2:52am

India's Supreme Court on Thursday paved the way for the reopening of Mumbai's dance bars, which had been a nightlife staple in the country's entertainment capital until they were outlawed six years ago.

Authorities: Man attacks Sikh at Oregon store

Andrew Selsky, Associated Press  |  Posted Jan 16th - 5:38pm

An Oregon man has been charged with a hate crime, assault and other charges after he allegedly attacked a Sikh who was working at a convenience store.

Freed by court, Pakistani Christian woman still a prisoner

Kathy Gannon, Associated Press  |  Posted Jan 16th - 5:48am

Aasia Bibi, a Pakistani Christian acquitted of blasphemy, still lives the life of a prisoner, nearly three months after her release from death row, awaiting a final ruling on her fate.

Pope wants bishops to punish sex abusers, not cover up cases

Nicole Winfield, Associated Press  |  Posted Jan 16th - 4:36am

Pope Francis is insisting that bishops attending his high-stakes sex abuse prevention summit will learn the laws to use against predators, how to care for victims and will make sure that no cleric abuse cases are covered up again.

Polish lawmakers pray for mayor; ruling party elite late

Vanessa Gera and Monika Scislowska, Associated Press  |  Posted Jan 16th - 3:20am

Polish lawmakers paid respects Wednesday to the popular mayor of Gdansk, who was fatally stabbed during a charity show by an ex-convict with a grudge against Poland's previous ruling party.

Guam Catholic Church enters bankruptcy amid sex abuse claims

Grace Garces Bordallo, Associated Press  |  Posted Jan 15th - 5:16pm

Guam's Catholic Church filed for bankruptcy Wednesday, a move that will allow the archdiocese to avoid trial in dozens of child sexual abuse lawsuits and enter settlement negotiations.

No-cost birth control, now the norm, faces court challenges

Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar, Associated Press  |  Posted Jan 15th - 1:50pm

Millions of American women are receiving birth control at no cost to them through workplace health plans, the result of the Obama-era Affordable Care Act, which expanded access to contraception.

Attack on Buddhist temple in southern Thailand kills 2 monks

The Associated Press  |  Posted Jan 18th - 11:29pm

Police say gunmen presumed to be Muslim insurgents have stormed a Buddhist temple in southern Thailand, killing two monks and wounding two others.

Court rules against Pfizer in religious discrimination suit

The Associated Press  |  Posted Jan 16th - 1:31pm

A woman who said she was fired by a major pharmaceutical company because of her religious beliefs won a court victory Wednesday when a state appeals panel ruled that she didn't agree in an online form to waive her rights to sue.

Plea hearings set for 2 of 3 men accused in Mosque bombing

The Associated Press  |  Posted Jan 16th - 1:08pm

Two of three militia members accused of bombing a Minnesota mosque have hearings scheduled next week in federal court to change their pleas.

Arrest warrant issued for former Dallas priest

The Associated Press  |  Posted Jan 16th - 10:25am

An arrest warrant has been issued for a former Texas priest accused of molesting teenagers more than a decade ago after a new alleged victim came forward.

Pakistani police raid militant hideout; 4 people killed

The Associated Press  |  Posted Jan 15th - 11:58pm

Security forces raided a militant hideout in the northwestern town of Hangu, killing three suspects including the mastermind of a bombing last year that killed 35 Shiites at a food market, a police official and the military said Wednesday.

Principal who banned Christmas from school won't return

The Associated Press  |  Posted Jan 15th - 11:56am

A Nebraska principal placed on leave after a Christian group threatened legal action over her ban on Christmas and holiday symbols has been moved into a different district job.