Author: Editor - Religion News

Jared Kushner isn’t an ‘internet Unitarian,’ but he is ordained

WASHINGTON (RNS) — When excerpts from Michael Wolff’s tell-all book “Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House” were unveiled this week, a few sharp-eyed students of religion noticed a peculiar snippet about Jared Kushner. In a quote attributed to the president’s Orthodox Jewish son-in-law and senior adviser, Kushner claims to have been ordained “an internet Unitarian.” More specifically in the passage — revealed Wednesday (Jan. 3) in New York Magazine — Kushner says he can perform a marriage for MSNBC hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski thanks to this ordination. “I can marry you! I’m an internet Unitarian minister,”...

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Brazilian women break taboo to talk about illegal abortions

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — The doctor was late. So the women sat quietly in the waiting area of a clinic in an upscale neighborhood of Rio de Janeiro until they were overcome by thoughts of what they were about to do and what might happen to them. They began to talk. One woman said she was in a relationship with a drug lord and knew he would force her to have “his” baby if he found out she was pregnant. Another was a successful businesswoman who had separated from her children’s father and became pregnant accidentally by another...

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Mormons expect more of the same with a new church leader

(RNS) — With the recent death of its prophet and president Thomas S. Monson, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will name a new “prophet, seer and revelator.” But scholars and church members don’t expect a new direction for the church with a new president — universally expected to be Russell M. Nelson, most senior member of the church’s leadership council, called the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. That’s the “temperament” of the 16 million-member church, popularly known as the Mormons, according to Max Perry Mueller, author of “Race and the Making of the Mormon People” and...

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Egyptian Parliament considers outlawing atheism

Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, right, addresses Parliament in Cairo on Feb. 13, 2016. (MENA via AP, File) (RNS) — It may soon be a criminal offense to be an atheist in Egypt. Shortly before New Year’s Day, the Egyptian Parliament considered enacting a law that would make it illegal to profess no belief in God. It is already against Egyptian law to “insult” or “defame” religion, and blasphemy arrests are on the rise. A conviction can bring up to five years in prison. The new measure would criminalize the act of not believing in God — no insults or...

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Defense wants rural Trump voters in jury pool for Kansas bomb case

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Attorneys for three men accused of plotting to bomb a mosque and apartment complex housing Somali refugees urged a federal judge on Wednesday to include prospective jurors from rural western Kansas because they are more likely to have voted for President Donald Trump. But the government countered that granting the request would as a matter of policy “wreak havoc,” saying the defense is seeking to pick a jury pool based on ideology while “opening a dangerous door” to similar requests in other cases. U.S. District Judge Eric Melgren took the matter under consideration after a...

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