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New hotline launches to help people leave religion behind

(RNS) A new crisis hotline for those struggling between faith and atheism launched Friday (Feb. 27). Called “The Hotline Project,” the 24-hour free service will match volunteers with people who are considering leaving religion. It is a project of Recovering From Religion, a Kansas...
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Anti-Semitism a big problem at US colleges, report says

WASHINGTON (RNS) A student group in South Africa this month called on all Jews to leave the Durban University of Technology, an act of anti-Semitism that Americans could not imagine on their own college campuses. But a comprehensive survey of anti-Semitism at American colleges rel...
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7 ways universities can begin to challenge anti-Semitism on campus

(RNS) I attended a university with many Jewish students. One year during Hanukkah, a student lit a menorah in his dorm room, left the menorah unattended, and accidentally set fire to his room. The next day, I overheard some students snickering in the cafeteria: “Do you think that...
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The death of 16 nuns and the allure of terrorism (COMMENTARY)

WASHINGTON (RNS) A group of armed fighters surround the convent, demanding the nuns leave the premises and renounce their faith. When the sisters refuse, they are publicly beheaded, saying prayers and singing hymns with their last breaths. Although it sounds like the latest atroci...
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Theodore Hesburgh’s private faith in the public square (COMMENTARY)

WASHINGTON (RNS) Late Thursday night (Feb. 26), America lost one of its great heroes, the Rev. Theodore Hesburgh, the longtime president of the University of Notre Dame. He was 97. My first real encounter with Hesburgh was during my first few months at the White House. President O...
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In a first, atheist activist addresses conservative conference

(RNS) American Atheists and the Conservative Political Action Conference are having a do-over. CPAC, an annual gathering of political conservatives wooed by Republican presidential hopefuls, has not only allowed American Atheists, a national advocacy organization, an information b...
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3 ways relics and artifacts can help us ‘find Jesus’

(RNS) Why are we so fascinated with any historical artifact — relics, as some call them — associated with Jesus? Even the most suspect claim of a “lost” gospel or an “explosive” archaeological find that purports to shed light on the man from Galilee can generate a media frenzy, an...
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Islamic State refugees grow disgruntled: ‘We loved them so much’

SANLIURFA, Turkey (RNS) Hassan, a chain-smoking 20-year-old from Syria, sits in a cafe across the border from his homeland, one of thousands who escaped the clutches of the Islamic State group. Not so long ago, he was one of their recruits, having undergone four months of religion...
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Islamic State militant ‘Jihadi John’ named by media

LONDON (RNS) The Islamic State militant known as “Jihadi John,” who has been seen in videos of hostages’ beheadings, was identified Thursday (Feb. 26) by the BBC and The Washington Post. Mohammed Emwazi, who is in his mid-20s, is believed to be a Kuwaiti-born British man from west...
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Activists: Islamic State group now holding 220 Christians in Syria

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