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Church explores other scouting groups after Boy Scouts revoke charter

SEATTLE (RNS) The pastor of a United Methodist Church said her congregation is exploring other scouting affiliations now that the Boy Scouts of America revoked the congregation's charter for refusing to dismiss a gay Scout leader.     ``We are a Reconciling Congregation, open to al...
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New study by sociologist Mark Regnerus suggests religion can predict sexual behavior

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (RNS) Controversial sociologist Mark Regnerus presented new research on marriage and sex at a conference of Southern Baptists on Tuesday (April 22), suggesting that religion and sex are tracking more closely than ever before.     In his first new research since his...
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The legacies of John Paul II and John XXIII

(RNS) One was a man who shook the very foundations of the Roman Catholic Church by ushering in revolutionary reforms through the Second Vatican Council of the 1960s. The other was a charismatic globe-trotter who stared down communism and taught the world lasting lessons of how to di...
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John Paul II and John XXIII: A rush to sainthood?

 VATICAN CITY (RNS) Hundreds of pilgrims wind their way around St. Peter's Square as tour guides shout in multiple languages. Beggars have their hands outstretched amid warnings of an invasion of pickpockets from abroad.     Across Rome, hotels are full, streets are clean and the c...
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Nigerian Christians begin three-day fast after schoolgirls kidnapped

(RNS) Christians began a three-day prayer and fasting period after Islamist Boko Haram militants kidnapped hundreds of schoolgirls in Nigeria and desperate parents joined the search in a remote forest.     The girls were abducted last week while at school in the Chibok area of Born...
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COMMENTARY: If the Internet isn’t killing religion, what is?

(RNS) A smart professor in Massachusetts noticed recently that religion's decline in America coincided with the rise of the Internet.     He theorized that the two may be connected. Headline: ``Is the Internet bad for religion?''     It's utter nonsense, of course. The decline of...
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Most voters favor prayer, minus Jesus, at public meetings

(RNS) The U.S. Supreme Court will soon rule on the constitutionality of prayer at public meetings. But a new survey finds U.S. voters clearly favor prayer – as long as the public prayer is generic and not specifically Christian. Fairleigh Dickinson University’s PublicMind survey a...
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New Jersey lawsuit seeks to ban Pledge of Allegiance

(RNS) The American Humanist Association is suing a New Jersey school district for its recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance in public classrooms.     The lawsuit, brought on behalf of a local family in central New Jersey, asserts the mandatory recitation of the pledge is discrimin...
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COMMENTARY: If millennials leave religion, then what?

(RNS) As the Pew Research Center recently found, today's young people are ``less likely than older generations to be affiliated with any religion.'' The question is whether this trend is a good thing or a bad thing.     If you are a person of faith, you may worry about the souls of...
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COMMENTARY: Ukrainian order to register Jews may have a Westboro corollary

(RNS) Now it seems clear that last week's story about Ukrainian Jews being ordered to ``register'' was both real and a hoax. I can only hope that this incident is as beneficial to the Ukrainians as Westboro Baptist Church has been to the United States.     Seriously.     No doubt...
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