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84-year-old nun gets 35 months for breaking into nuclear facility

(RNS) An 84-year-old nun was sentenced to nearly three years in prison on Tuesday (Feb. 18) for breaking into a Tennessee nuclear facility in July 2012.     Sister Megan Rice and two other anti-nuclear activists were convicted last May of breaking into a federal complex that stores enriched uranium.     ``Please have no leniency on me. To remain in prison for...
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Houston withdraws pastors’ subpoenas

(RNS) The mayor of Houston on Wednesday withdrew the subpoenas of sermons from five pastors who opposed an ordinance banning discrimination against LGBT people. Filed two weeks ago, the subpoenas outraged many conservative Christians as an affront to religious freedom. Houston M...
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Negotiations with Boko Haram a farce, says Catholic priest

NAIROBI, Kenya ( RNS) While the Nigerian government negotiates with the Islamic militant group Boko Haram for the release of 200 abducted schoolgirls, some church leaders in the country’s conflict-ridden north are expressing doubts about any impending resolution. Nearly two weeks...
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America isn’t a ‘Christian nation,’ and never has been (COMMENTARY)

(RNS) Right-wing Christians and the politicians who pander to them like to say that the United States was, is and always should be a “Christian nation.” Why, then, are they so obsessed about money and political power and so determined to make people afraid? After all, Jesus spen...
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An eerie calm: Iraqi Christians anxiously ponder their future

ALQOSH, Iraq (RNS) Basima al-Safar retouches a picture of Jesus on an easel outside her house overlooking the flat Nineveh plains, 30 miles north of Mosul. The murals she paints tell the story of her people, Christians in Iraq. But with Islamic State militants nearby, she is worri...
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Ted Olson: ‘Point of no return’ on gay marriage passed

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. WASHINGTON (RNS) Former solicitor general Theodore Olson, the Republican lawyer who argued Bush v. Gore and the challenge to California’s Pro...
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Why Americans want more religion in their politics (COMMENTARY)

(RNS) A plurality of Americans now say that they want a greater role for faith in our political life. So says the latest survey from the Pew Research Center on the subject of faith in America. According to the survey, 49 percent of all Americans said that they support churches and...
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Idaho city: Chapel owners exempt from discrimination law

(RNS) Husband-and-wife Pentecostal ministers who own a wedding chapel in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, refused to marry same-sex couples after a recent court ruling, and the American Civil Liberties Union says that’s OK — as long as the chapel only operates as a religious establishment. T...
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Is California forcing churches to pay for abortions?

(RNS) Religious groups are battling the state of California over whether employee health insurance plans require them to pay for abortions and some forms of contraception that some find immoral. So is the state forcing churches to pay for abortions? It depends on who you ask. Th...
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Pope Francis blasts supermax prisons as ‘torture’

VATICAN CITY (RNS) Pope Francis said Thursday (Oct. 23) that keeping inmates isolated in maximum security prisons is “a form of torture,” and called life sentences “a hidden death penalty” that should be abolished along with capital punishment. “All Christians and people of good w...
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Puerto Rico gay marriage ruling sets up a potential federal conflict

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) Gay marriage may be sweeping the nation, but in Puerto Rico it remains against the law. A federal district judge late Tuesday (Oct. 2...
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