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Pope assumes responsibility for migrants in Vatican reform

Nicole Winfield, Associated Press  |  Posted  Aug 31st - 7:00am

Pope Francis is showing his profound concern for refugees by assuming direct responsibility for migrant issues in a new Vatican department that merges four Vatican offices into one handling peace, the environment and human trafficking issues.

Pope applauds Colombia peace deal but sidesteps truth panel

The Associated Press  |  Posted  Aug 31st - 5:00am

Pope Francis has praised Colombia's peace deal but has declined an invitation to have a Vatican envoy help select judges for the proposed truth and justice commission.

For Brazilian man, Mother Teresa worked a miracle

The Associated Press  |  Posted  Aug 31st - 4:20am

Mother Teresa is known for having loved beggars, prostitutes and street children without discrimination or distinction. Marcilio Andrino is convinced she also loved him — and interceded with God to cure him of a viral brain infection when doctors had given him little chance of survival.

Mother Teresa: A saint despite spiritual 'darkness'

Nicole Winfield, Associated Press  |  Posted  Aug 31st - 4:20am

When Pope Francis canonizes Mother Teresa on Sunday, he'll be honoring a nun who won admirers around the world and a Nobel Peace Prize for her joy-filled dedication to the "poorest of the poor." He'll also be recognizing holiness in a woman who felt so abandoned by God that she was unable to pray and was convinced, despite her ever-present smile, that she was experiencing the "tortures of hell."

Uzbek PM leads national celebration; president still ill

The Associated Press  |  Posted  Aug 31st - 4:11am

Uzbekistan's prime minister led the nation's Independence Day celebration Wednesday in the capital of Tashkent as President Islam Karimov remained hospitalized.

Indonesians keep pride in Obama link even as high hopes dim

Niniek Karmini, Associated Press  |  Posted  Aug 30th - 11:20pm

As Barack Obama's presidency nears its end, Indonesians still speak with pride of the childhood years he spent in their country, though much of the enthusiasm has faded along with the impossibly high expectations of what the first African-American president would achieve.

Prayer or politics? Evangelist rallies Christians in Boston

Bob Salsberg, Associated Press  |  Posted  Aug 30th - 8:01pm

The son of evangelist Billy Graham urged a gathering on the historic Boston Common on Tuesday to vote in the November election but stressed he was taking no sides publicly in the U.S. presidential race.

Egypt's new law on churches angers Christian critics

Maggie Michael, Associated Press  |  Posted  Aug 30th - 4:21pm

Egypt's lawmakers on Tuesday passed the country's first law spelling out the rules for building a church, a step Christians have long hoped would free up construction that was often blocked by authorities. But angry critics in the community say the law will only enshrine the restrictions.

Vegas man accused of video post threatening terror attack

Ken Ritter, Associated Press  |  Posted  Aug 30th - 3:32pm

A 24-year-old Las Vegas man who police say posed in battlefield gear and assault weapons for an internet video saying he intended to shoot "Satanists" and "homosexuals" is due to face a judge this week on terror threat and conspiracy charges.

Ban Ki-moon tells Myanmar world concerned about Rohingya

The Associated Press  |  Posted  Aug 30th - 9:22am

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told Myanmar on Tuesday that the world is very concerned about the tens of thousands of Rohingya Muslim refugees who have been living for more than four years in camps in northern Rakhine state after fleeing violence from the Buddhist majority.

Egypt opens Gaza border crossing for Muslim pilgrimage

The Associated Press  |  Posted  Aug 30th - 8:00am

Hamas says Egypt has opened its border crossing with the Gaza Strip for three days, allowing hundreds of Muslim faithful to travel for a yearly pilgrimage.

String of Bahraini prison sentences issued against Shiites

The Associated Press  |  Posted  Aug 31st - 2:01pm

Courts in Bahrain have issued a string of guilty verdicts against Shiite activists and clerics, including a blogger who was sentenced to one year in prison for insulting the king and inciting hatred against the government.

Indiana woman uses religious objections law in abuse defense

The Associated Press  |  Posted  Aug 31st - 12:31pm

The attorney for a woman charged with child abuse for allegedly beating her son with a coat hanger says Indiana's religious objections law gives her the right to discipline her children according to her evangelical Christian beliefs.

Georgia county will end ban, mosque project can go forward

Kathleen Foody, Associated Press  |  Posted  Aug 31st - 9:24am

A ban on building permits for religious institutions that was prompted by opposition to a mosque will soon be lifted, officials in a Georgia county said Wednesday.

El Salvador judge orders ex-attorney general remain in jail

The Associated Press  |  Posted  Aug 30th - 6:42pm

A judge on Tuesday ordered that El Salvador's former attorney general remain in jail on new charges that he divulged intercepted telephone conversations while prosecuting a Roman Catholic priest from Spain in 2014.

Food stamp fraud suspects to make religious defense argument

The Associated Press  |  Posted  Aug 30th - 5:11pm

Polygamous sect members accused of food stamp fraud may testify at an upcoming hearing in an attempt to persuade a judge they were following religiously rooted communal living practices and not breaking the law.

ACLU: Christian woman forced to remove headscarf for license

Kim Chandler, Associated Press  |  Posted  Aug 30th - 3:01pm

A Christian woman in Alabama was forced to remove her headscarf for a driver's license photo after being told only Muslim women could wear them in photos, according to a lawsuit filed Tuesday by the American Civil Liberties Union of Alabama on her behalf.

Feds get more time to respond to church shooting lawsuits

The Associated Press  |  Posted  Aug 30th - 11:20am

A judge has granted the federal government more time to respond to wrongful death lawsuits in the South Carolina church shootings that claimed the lives of nine black parishioners.

Germany's Cologne Cathedral gets new St. John Paul II relic

The Associated Press  |  Posted  Aug 30th - 11:20am

Cologne's famous cathedral will soon be getting a new relic of a saint, with the gift of a drop of Pope St. John Paul II's blood from Krakow Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz.