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Pope Francis and America’s shifting views toward Catholics (COMMENTARY)

(RNS) Did you catch the shoutout to Pope Francis during President Obama’s State of the Union address? It’s only the third time in history that’s happened. Francis’ name will resurface in Congress later this year if and when he accepts an invitation to address lawmakers — that woul...
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Pope Francis says he wants all annulments to be free

(RNS) Pope Francis on Friday (Jan. 23) warned the Vatican’s top marriage judges that they should not “lock the salvation of persons within the straits of legalism” and indicated he wants the church to no longer charge for the sometimes onerous and expensive annulment process. “Thi...
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Mike Huckabee calls on states, governors to resist upcoming Supreme Court ruling on gay marriage

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. NEW YORK (RNS) Former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, a likely contender for the 2016 GOP presidential nomination and a leading voice for Ch...
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Boko Haram emerges as brutal Islamic State of Africa

(RNS) Boko Haram, with its chilling brutality, radical Islamic ideology and unstoppable seizure of Nigerian territory is quickly emerging as the Islamic State of Africa. While much of the world has focused on the terror attacks in Paris and the Islamic militants’ capture of swaths...
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Jimmy Carter, Russell Moore and Harry Jackson: Bridging the racial divide

(RNS) As protests against police brutality and the killing of unarmed black men continue from coast to coast, religious leaders are spearheading church-based gatherings to find ways to bridge America’s racial divide. On the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday, Baptists from dif...
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How Franklin Graham transformed a debate about Duke Chapel into a culture war (COMMENTARY)

(RNS) Franklin Graham’s Facebook fulminations last week about plans to issue the Muslim call to prayer from the bell tower of Duke Chapel transformed what could have been a nuanced campus debate about religious establishment, sacred space, and pluralism into a countrywide fracas tha...
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GOP abandons anti-abortion bill, angering religious conservatives on Roe anniversary

(RNS) Abortion opponents marking the huge annual March for Life in Washington on Thursday (Jan. 22) and anticipating legislative gains by a Republican-dominated Congress were thrown into disarray after GOP leaders unexpectedly withdrew an anti-abortion bill that had been seen as a d...
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Calling Ten Commandments ‘sayings’ draws ire of Baptists

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. GREENVILLE, S.C. (RNS) A Baptist minister is in hot water after preaching a sermon that called the Ten Commandments sayings or promises rathe...
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Putting our money where our faith is by divesting from fossil fuels (COMMENTARY)

WASHINGTON (RNS) We’re a few weeks into 2015, which means many of us are striving to keep our New Year’s resolutions while others have already seen their best intentions collapse under the pressure of daily routines. Every year, we make promises to be better — we’ll go to the gym, s...
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Marcus Borg, leading liberal theologian and historical Jesus expert, dies at 72

(RNS) Marcus J. Borg, a prominent liberal theologian and Bible scholar who for a generation helped popularize the intense debates about the historical Jesus and the veracity and meaning of the New Testament, died on Wednesday (Jan. 21). He was 72 and had been suffering from pulmonar...
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