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With Mosul’s Christians gone, Islamic State troops take over 4th-century monastery

ERBIL, Iraq (RNS) A day after most of Mosul’s Christians fled, Islamic State fighters stormed the fourth-century Mar Behnam Monastery near the city. They forced two priests, a monk, a guard and a few families taking refuge there to leave the Syriac Catholic compound. Like many Chr...
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Wikipedia’s edit wars and the 8 religious pages people can’t stop editing

(RNS) When he was a student at Brigham Young University three years ago, Anthony Willey came across a Wikipedia page on Mormons. What he read filled him with frustration. The article focused on polygamy, which seemed odd since Mormons officially outlawed the practice in 1890. “It...
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Auschwitz selfie girl defends her actions

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) An Alabama teen who faced criticism for posting a smiling snapshot of herself in front of the Auschwitz concentration camp is defending...
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Meriam Ibrahim, finally freed from Sudan, meets with Pope Francis

VATICAN CITY (RNS) Pope Francis met Meriam Ibrahim, the Christian woman spared a death sentence for apostasy in Sudan, at the Vatican on Thursday (July 24) after she was flown to Rome by the Italian government following a vigorous international campaign to free her. Ibrahim, 27, w...
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Rockets or not, Birthright still going to Israel

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) Rocket fire from terrorists in Gaza may have scared off U.S. and European airlines, but Taglit-Birthright Israel is still sending thous...
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Special liturgy atones for outbreak of ‘The Great War’

(RNS) Half a world away from Europe, where World War I erupted 100 years ago next week (July 28), Washington National Cathedral will mark the occasion with a liturgy created especially for the anniversary. But the service is about more than remembrance. It is about atonement — ato...
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COMMENTARY: How Wendy’s can do the right thing for tomato pickers in Florida

(RNS) Standing outside the Park Avenue offices of Trian Partners recently, home to Wendy’s Chairman Nelson Peltz, a group of rabbinical students chanted, “It’s a shanda (Yiddish for “disgrace”), it’s a shame, Wendy’s is the one to blame!” They had gathered outside the management f...
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Nursing home evangelism: Preaching at the ‘bus stop to eternity’

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (RNS) Rhonda Rowe and her team gathered around a diagram of the nursing home’s floor plan and determined how to split up to avoid praying with anyone twice. Rowe made her way to a room where a 93-year-old woman lay in her bed while her 87-year-old roommate sat in a...
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A ban on new church construction angers Sudanese Christians

(RNS) Christians in Sudan frequently face arrests, impromptu questioning and expulsion. But this month, conditions worsened after the government announced a ban on the construction of new churches. Shalil Abdullah, the Sudanese minister for guidance and religious endowments, made...
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Tony Palmer, who captured Pope Francis’ bid for Christian unity with a cellphone, dies after motorcycle crash

(RNS) Bishop Tony Palmer, a charismatic preacher who used a cellphone camera to record Pope Francis issuing an appeal for Christian unity between Catholics and evangelicals, died Sunday (July 20) after a motorcycle crash in the United Kingdom. In January, Palmer held the smartphon...
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