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Observers: India temple protest support a bid for votes

Ashok Sharma, Associated Press  |  Posted Oct 18th - 6:52am

India's ruling party and the main opposition are both supporting a protest blocking women from entering one of the world's largest Hindu pilgrimage sites, in what political observers said is a bid to court voters in the country's south ahead of a general election due next year.

Former Chinese internment camp detainee denied US visa

Dake Kang, Associated Press  |  Posted Oct 18th - 4:53am

An outspoken former detainee in China's internment camps for Muslims said Thursday his application for a visa to visit the United States was rejected despite an invitation to speak at Congress about his ordeal.

Brazil presidential candidates woo religious leaders

The Associated Press  |  Posted Oct 17th - 10:33am

Brazil's presidential candidates wooed church leaders Wednesday ahead of a runoff in this deeply religious country with sizable Catholic and evangelical populations.

At Vatican, South Korean leader says he's certain of peace

Nicole Winfield, Associated Press  |  Posted Oct 17th - 3:04am

South Korea's president said he was certain peace could be achieved on the Korean Peninsula as he prepared for an audience Thursday with Pope Francis where he's expected to extend an invitation from North Korean leader Kim Jong Un for Francis to visit.

Protesters stop females ages 10 to 50 from entering temple

Ashok Sharma, Associated Press  |  Posted Oct 17th - 12:37am

A temple in southern India and one of the world's largest Hindu pilgrimage centers opened its doors to females of menstruating age on Wednesday to comply with a Supreme Court ruling, but women weren't able to enter as hundreds of protesters fought street battles with police to keep them out.

Water pollution in Iraq threatens Mandaean religious rites

Philip Issa, Associated Press  |  Posted Oct 17th - 12:17am

Every Sunday in Iraq, along a strip of embankment on the Tigris River reserved for followers of the obscure and ancient Mandaean faith, worshippers bathe themselves in the waters to purify their souls.

Tauren Wells wins 4, including new artist, at Dove Awards

Kristin M. Hall, Associated Press  |  Posted Oct 16th - 7:52pm

Christian artist Tauren Wells won four awards including new artist and contemporary Christian artist of the year at the 49th annual Gospel Music Association's Dove Awards.

Jury deliberating in fraud trial of Ponzi scheme suspect

Michael Kunzelman, Associated Press  |  Posted Oct 16th - 1:51pm

A federal jury began deliberating Tuesday in the trial of an investment adviser charged with orchestrating a multimillion-dollar Ponzi scheme to finance her lavish lifestyle, including spending more than $800,000 for prayers by Hindu priests in India.

Merkel's Bavarian ally seeks quick decisions after election

The Associated Press  |  Posted Oct 16th - 6:46am

German Chancellor Angela Merkel's often-awkward Bavarian ally says he wants his party to draw consequences from its poor state election performance before Christmas, but is being coy about his own future.

Washington has stood by Riyadh through multiple crises

Tamer Fakahany, Associated Press  |  Posted Oct 16th - 6:18am

The kingdom of Saudi Arabia has enjoyed the ultimate protected status from the United States throughout its short history.

Archdiocese releases names of 'credibly' accused clergy

Ashraf Khalil, Associated Press  |  Posted Oct 16th - 6:04am

Days after Washington's archbishop resigned over his handling of sexual abuse allegations, the Archdiocese of Washington released the names of more than two dozen clergy members it says have been "credibly accused" of sexually abusing minors.

US briefs Iraq Chaldean head, Vatican on aid after critique

Nicole Winfield, Associated Press  |  Posted Oct 17th - 1:49pm

A senior American diplomat briefed the leader of Iraq's Chaldean Catholics on U.S. development aid Wednesday after the cardinal accused the United States of failing to help rebuild Christian villages devastated by the Islamic State group.

Man sentenced to more than 24 years for Texas mosque fire

The Associated Press  |  Posted Oct 17th - 12:39pm

A man convicted of torching a South Texas mosque last year has been sentenced to more than 24 years in prison.

Woman convicted of fraud; FBI said she cast 'hoodoo' spells

Michael Kunzelman, Associated Press  |  Posted Oct 17th - 9:42am

An investment adviser was convicted Wednesday of charges she defrauded investors out of millions of dollars, some of which she used to pay more than $800,000 for prayers by Hindu priests in India to ward off federal investigators.

The Latest: Priest pleads guilty in child sex abuse case

The Associated Press  |  Posted Oct 17th - 8:49am

The Latest on a Catholic priest pleading guilty to child sexual abuse charges (all times local):

Pennsylvania priest pleads guilty to sexual abuse of 2 boys

The Associated Press  |  Posted Oct 16th - 8:18pm

One of two Roman Catholic priests charged as a result of the damning Pennsylvania grand jury investigation admitted he sexually abused children, pleading guilty Wednesday to corruption of minors and child endangerment.

Chaldean cardinal says promised US aid for Iraq hasn't come

Nicole Winfield and Susannah George, Associated Press  |  Posted Oct 16th - 10:27am

The head of Iraq's Chaldean Catholic Church complained on Tuesday that promised U.S. aid for religious minorities in Iraq hasn't materialized, issuing an unusual public rebuke of the United States on the same day Washington announced a new infusion of assistance.

Chinese bishops invite pope to visit as they return home

The Associated Press  |  Posted Oct 16th - 6:49am

Two Chinese bishops who participated in a Vatican gathering say they have invited Pope Francis to visit China in another sign of improved relations since a landmark agreement was signed over bishop nominations.

Egypt extends state of emergency for another 3 months

The Associated Press  |  Posted Oct 16th - 6:39am

Egypt has extended its state of emergency for another three months.

Bishops calls for urgent action on UK welfare program

Danica Kirka, Associated Press  |  Posted Oct 16th - 5:59am

Church of England bishops on Tuesday called for urgent action to improve Britain's new comprehensive welfare program, known as universal credit, amid reports that some claimants may lose as much as 2,400 pounds ($3,172) a year.