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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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COMMENTARY: Is anyone answering Iraqi Christians’ cries for help?

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) Iraq’s Christians are begging the world for help. Is anybody listening? Since capturing the country’s second largest city of Mosul in...
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Turkish official: Women shouldn’t laugh in public

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) Many Turkish women were doubled over with laughter Tuesday (July 29) after their country’s deputy leader said in a speech assailing “mo...
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State Dept. should act on Pakistan’s religious freedom violations, watchdog group says

(RNS) An independent religious freedom watchdog panel has welcomed the State Department’s annual religious freedom report and its list of the world’s worst offenders, which had laid dormant for three years. The list of “countries of particular concern” had remained unchanged since...
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Appeals court ruling clears way for gay marriage in the heart of Bible Belt

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) A federal appeals court panel in Virginia became the second one this summer to strike down a state ban against same-sex marriage Monday...
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State Department report: Religious persecution makes migrants out of millions

(RNS) And then there were nine. Secretary of State John Kerry announced on Monday (July 28) that Turkmenistan has joined the State Department’s list of worst religious freedom offenders. The State Department’s “Countries of Particular Concern” list had remained static since 2006,...
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Usually a time of joy, Eid casts a pall in the West Bank

JERUSALEM (RNS) In Beit ‘Anan, a small Arab village in the West Bank, Haya Dawod, and her extended family sit around a large round table in her parents’ dining room for the celebratory Eid meal. Monday (July 28) marked the first day of Eid al-Fitr, the Muslim holiday that conclude...
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Ground Zero cross can stay at 9/11 museum, appeals court rules

NEW YORK (RNS) A cross-shaped beam from the wreckage of the World Trade Center can remain on display in the National Sept. 11 Memorial and Museum at Ground Zero, a three-judge panel of the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled, dismissing a lawsuit brought by atheists. American...
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Rabbi David Saperstein tapped as first non-Christian to serve as U.S. ambassador for religious freedom

WASHINGTON (RNS) President Obama on Monday (July 28) said he plans to tap Rabbi David Saperstein as the next ambassador-at-large for international religious freedom, the first non-Christian to hold the job, which was created in 1998. As ambassador, the man named as the most influe...
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Meriam Ibrahim, freed from Sudan, plans to settle in New Hampshire

ROME (RNS) Meriam Ibrahim, the Sudanese Christian who was flown to Rome after her death sentence was overturned, is now dreaming of building a future in the U.S. “We will begin a new life,” Ibrahim told Antonella Napoli, head of Italians for Darfur, according to the daily La Repub...
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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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