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8-year-old student not feminine enough, school says

Eds: A version of this story originally appeared in USA Today. It is available for use by RNS subscribers. Please use the USA Today byline. (RNS) The family of a little girl in western Virginia has removed her from her school after administrators said she did not appear feminine enough.     Sunnie Kahle, 8, likes autographed baseballs and hunting knives alon...
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Churches to serve as safe spaces after Ferguson grand jury announcement

Eds: A version of this story originally appeared in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch in St. Louis. It is available for use by RNS subscribers. Please use the St. Louis Post-Dispatch byline. ST. LOUIS (RNS)  After a prayer service outside her church turned violent last month, the Rev. T...
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Pope Francis tackles autism as families seek hope, support

VATICAN CITY (RNS) Michele and Vinny Arbogast of New York were devastated when their son Kyle was diagnosed with autism as he struggled to speak as a toddler nearly a decade ago. “Autism turns your world upside down,” Michele Arbogast said. “It affects every member of the family.”...
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Are Jews better off outside Israel? Alan Wolfe reconsiders the Diaspora

(RNS) Jews exclaim “Next Year in Jerusalem!” at the conclusion of the Passover seder, an acknowledgment that Israel is their spiritual home. But since the Babylonians invaded Jerusalem in 586 B.C., most Jews have lived outside of Israel. Today, Diaspora Jews, as they are called, a...
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Kenyan city of Mombasa tense after mosque closures

NAIROBI, Kenya (RNS) Christian and Muslim leaders fear more violence in the coastal city of Mombasa after the government indefinitely closed four mosques over suspected terror activities. On Friday (Nov. 21), religious and political leaders united to urge the government to reopen...
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If you leave Mormonism, you have to leave BYU. Now some alumni want to change that.

Eds: A version of this story originally appeared in the Salt Lake Tribune in Salt Lake City. It is available for use by RNS subscribers. Please use the Salt Lake Tribune byline. SALT LAKE CITY (RNS) If you lose or change your Mormon faith at Brigham Young University, you get expel...
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We’re awestruck about Earth, unsure about global warming

(RNS) Most Americans say they feel a deep connection to the wider world. But all that spiritual stargazing makes no difference in views about the facts of climate change and global warming, a new survey finds. Just 5 percent of Americans thought climate change was the most impor...
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Faith leaders join consumer advocates to push for lower payday loan rates

WASHINGTON (RNS) Dozens of faith leaders and consumer advocates are pressing Congress to create a national interest rate cap for payday lenders instead of the exorbitant three-digit rates currently charged to people in several states. Eighty activists from 22 states came to Washin...
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Richard Dawkins stands by remarks on sexism, pedophilia, Down syndrome

ATHERTON, Calif. (RNS) As the world’s most famous atheist, Richard Dawkins is no stranger to criticism from religious believers. But in recent months, a few of his opinions have riled many in the atheist community as well. Remarks he made on Twitter and elsewhere on subjects rangi...
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Religion survey babble confuses 103% of readers. Here’s why.

The ‘Splainer (as in “You’ve got some ‘splaining to do”) is an occasional feature in which Kimberly Winston and other RNS staff give you everything you need to know about current events to hold your own at a cocktail party. (RNS) Reading religion surveys can seem like confronting...
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Sexual revolution is destroying families, Russell Moore tells Vatican conference

VATICAN CITY (RNS) Prominent U.S. evangelicals Russell Moore and Rick Warren blasted the sexual revolution at a Vatican conference Tuesday (Nov. 18) and said it is destroying the institution of marriage. Moore, the public face of the Southern Baptist Convention, said sexual libera...
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