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WCC blasts U.S. for blocking ecumenical meeting in Cuba

GENEVA (RNS) The World Council of Churches says the U.S. economic blockade of Cuba violates religious freedom by preventing a group of Latin American churches from hosting a summit on the island nation. By Peter Kenny.
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When It’s Not the Hap, Happiest Season of All

Because of a family illness, I need to take a break from blogging. I hope to be back to writing in January, and I wish you all . . . not a merry Christmas, exactly, but a deep joy no matter what your life feels like right now.
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Have Yourself a Very Pagan Christmas

Earlier this week on The Daily Show, Jon Stewart brought up the all-too-predictable "war on Christmas" that creeps into December news stories, as alarmist commentators bemoan the erosion of Christmas as a Christian holy day and whimper aloud about how the separation of church and state prevents...
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Bethlehem on the Brain

As Advent begins and a cease-fire is brokered in Gaza, guest blogger Ruth Everhart, author of Chasing the Divine in the Holy Land, has Bethlehem on the brain. Our gauzy Christmas carols don't do justice to the realities of ongoing conflict in holy places. As she writes, "The next time you’re shopping and hear a song about Bethlehem, would you pray for them [the people there]?"  
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5 Advent Devotionals

I know it's old hat to say "keep Christ in Christmas," yada yada, but I find that this time of year I need a daily reminder that the month of December is about more than just decking the halls. Here are five daily devotional suggestions I like for the holiday season.
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Shopping for Jesus

Am I giving to charity via these glossy catalogs of chickens and goats, or am I just satisfying an insatiable need to shop?
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Anti-Mormon (and Mormon) Trolls

In the weeks leading up to the 2012 election, a flurry of strong, balanced media articles explored Mormonism and its role in American life. It’s become clear to me that most journalists are committed to understanding more about the Mormon faith and its people. However, I'm not so sanguine about the trolls who like to comment.
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My Doctor Went to Heaven and All I Got Was This Riveting NDE Book

In 2008, neurosurgeon Eben Alexander suffered a case of bacterial meningitis, a disease seen in only one in ten million adults each year. Rarer still is that he survived with no neurological deficit. And rarer than that is that he claims that during his comatose week with no brain activity, his soul was getting a personal tour of heaven.
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What Do Mormons Pick and Choose from the Bible?

Last weekend I gave a "Mormonism 101" talk at a local Protestant congregation. The audience was warm and welcoming, with the exception of one woman (who was not a member of the congregation, but a local who seems to enjoy debating Mormons). She had several questions, one of which seemed bent on...
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A Year of Biblical Womanhood

If you’re trying to live all the commandments of the Bible for women, does wearing a hoodie count as covering your head? Rachel Held Evans, author of A Year of Biblical Womanhood, thinks so. Readers, if you enjoy memoir, want to know more about the Bible (which, as she points out, is not actually “the best place to look for traditional family values” [48]), and have a robust sense of humor, you should check this out.
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