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Devotees nailed to crosses on Good Friday in Philippines

Iya Forbes, Associated Press  |  Posted Apr 19th - 3:48am

Several Roman Catholic devotees were nailed to wooden crosses in a gory Good Friday ritual in the Philippines, and others flogged themselves or took part in religious plays to reenact Jesus Christ's suffering.

Christian pilgrims march through Jerusalem for Good Friday

Isabel Debre, Associated Press  |  Posted Apr 19th - 2:54am

Thousands of Christian pilgrims and clergy members marched through the ancient stone alleys of Jerusalem's Old City, retracing Jesus' path to crucifixion in observation of Good Friday.

In Ukrainian candidate's hometown, a cry for change

Yuras Karmanau, Associated Press  |  Posted Apr 19th - 12:34am

Residents of this grim industrial city in eastern Ukraine say they are exhausted by a daily battle for survival amid low wages and soaring bills. Many of them believe a native son — a comedian with no political experience — is just the person to lift them out of their economic misery.

Warsaw synagogue 'reappears' on anniversary of ghetto revolt

Vanessa Gera, Associated Press  |  Posted Apr 18th - 11:15pm

The Great Synagogue of Warsaw, which was destroyed by German forces during World War II, made a brief reappearance as an apparition of light during commemorations for the Ghetto Uprising of 1943.

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.

Extremist Merah's brother handed 30-year sentence

The Associated Press  |  Posted Apr 19th - 3:35am

The brother of Islamic extremist Mohamed Merah has been convicted of complicity to murder for his involvement in a horrific 2012 attack in southern France that killed seven people.

Rome readies for Colosseum Good Friday event, led by pope

The Associated Press  |  Posted Apr 19th - 1:34am

Rome is busily preparing for the Colosseum Way of the Cross procession, presided over by Pope Francis.

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.