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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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Q&A with Charles Manson’s prison chaplain

(RNS) After a judge sentenced Dzhokhar Tsarnaev to death for his role in the Boston Marathon bombings, religious leaders in that city found themselves on both sides of the issue. Lawmakers in Nebraska are considering a bill to ban the death penalty there, which would make it the fir...
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Ireland’s gay marriage referendum a sign of Roman Catholic decline

CANTERBURY, England (RNS) “In Ireland,” says a character in a 1904 George Bernard Shaw play, “the people is the Church, and the Church is the people.” But not so much anymore. On Friday (May 22), voters in this once deeply Roman Catholic country will decide whether the country’s...
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One year after Meriam Ibrahim’s release, two Christians face possible death penalty in Sudan

(RNS) Last year, a death penalty sentence slapped on a Sudanese doctor for refusing to renounce her Christian faith stirred international outrage and heightened calls on the government to increase religious liberty. Meriam Yahya Ibrahim was released a month later, but now two Chri...
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YouTube didn’t have to yank anti-Muslim film, court says

SAN FRANCISCO — An appeals court has overturned a controversial ruling that required YouTube to take down a video that disparaged Muslims. One of the actresses in the film sued to take it down and won, but an appeals court ruled Monday (May 18) that she didn’t have the right to co...
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The new normal: Lessons from Massachusetts on gay marriage — and divorce

BOSTON — Same-­sex marriage is so last decade in Massachusetts. These days, the earliest pioneers in gay and lesbian matrimony are demonstrating how to raise kids, retire — even divorce. As the Supreme Court wrestles with what Chief Justice John Roberts last month labeled a redefi...
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What would Oscar Romero say today about El Salvador? (COMMENTARY)

(RNS) Two years ago I was in El Salvador and asked a fellow Jesuit priest if he thought that Archbishop Oscar Romero — famously slain while celebrating Mass in 1980 — would ever be beatified. The Salvadoran Jesuit’s answer: only when all of the people who loved Romero and all of the...
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The ‘Splainer: Who are the Rohingyas and why are they fleeing Myanmar?

The ‘Splainer (as in, “You’ve got some ‘splaining to do”) is an occasional feature in which RNS gives you everything you need to know about current events to help you hold your own at a cocktail party. (RNS) Hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims live in squalor in Myanmar’s we...
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On conservative religious activism, the numbers speak for themselves (COMMENTARY)

WASHINGTON (RNS) In an interview with The Washington Post timed to a high-level summit on combating poverty, Harvard professor Robert Putnam makes an assertion about what he terms “organized religion,” its agenda and the use of its “resources.”  Specifically: “The obvious fact is...
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Vatican decision to recognize Palestine upsets Israeli government, Jewish advocacy groups

JERUSALEM (RNS) The Vatican’s decision to recognize Palestine as a sovereign state on Wednesday (May 13)  angered Israeli officials. The move comes four days before the first-ever canonization of two Palestinian nuns and it solidifies the standing of Palestinian President Mahmoud...
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Obama: Defeating poverty takes money and ‘transformative power’ of faith groups

WASHINGTON (RNS) The African-American boy who grew up without a father, who started his work life as a community organizer on the payroll of a Catholic agency and who later became U.S. president had plenty to say about poverty in our “winner-take-all” economy. President Obama spok...
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