January 9, 2013

World News Archive 2012

December 24, 2012

Newtown Shooting Stirs Religious Gun Control Advocates
Christians, Jews, Muslims, and Sikhs, unite to curb gun violence.

Unbelief Now the Third-Largest 'Religion'
Christians, Muslims make up the two largest groups.

Jews, Muslims Applaud New Circumcision Law
The new law passed by a 434-100 vote.

Vatican Adopts Austerity Measures
The 2011 budge deficit reached $19 million.

December 17, 2012

Charities Fight Changes on Tax Deductions
Charities normally depend on high-income donors.

High Court to Hear Gay Marriage Cases
The court is likely to hear cases in March.

Episcopalians Unders Fire for Hosting Muslim Convention
It's the first MPAC meeting held in a Christian church.

Britain: Christianity Loses Ground to Islam
Christians in England declined by four million from 2001 to 2011.

December 10, 2012

Charitable Giving Up in 2011
But Sandy and tax changes may affect 2012 donation.

Commission Suggests Ways to Keep Closer Eye on Lavish Ministries
Evangelicals want more guidance form IRS.

Court Upholds Indiana Ban on Secular Wedding Officials
Judge's ruling cited the religious roots of marriage.

Jerusalem Restaurants Sue Over Rabbis' Kosher Certification Rules
Nearly a dozen establishments have severed ties with kosher supervisors.

December 3, 2012

Robert Schuller's Bankruptcy Bid Thwarted
Judge questioned family's breach of contract claims.

South Carolina Diocese Votes to Leave Episcopal Church
The split escalates a long-running fed with national church.

After Backlash, Anglicans to Vote Again on Allowing Women Bishops
Leaders say the vote will come July, 2013.

Survey Finds Less Cheating in High School
Some 23,000 students were polled.


November 26, 2012

Church of England Rejects Women Bishops
The measure, which needed a two-thirds majority, failed by five votes.

#Giving Tuesday Aims to Boost Charities
Giving fell to $298 billion in 2011.

Catholic Bishops Ask Congress to Save Poverty Programs
Ongoing budget-deficit talks could put these programs in jeopardy.

Oklahoma Judge Defends Sentencing Teen to Church
The teen was convicted of DUI manslaughter.

November 19, 2012

First Buddhist, Hindu Join the New Congress
But the legislature remains overwhelmingly Christian.
Jews Push Back on Scouts Anti-Gay Policy
Many Jewish clubs will pull out of the annual Ten Commandments hike.
Vatican Convicts Second Man in “Vatileaks’ Scandal
Claudio Sciarpelletti was given a suspended prison sentence.

Poll: 60 Percent of Voters Back Traditional Marriage
Researchers surveyed 800 voters.

November 12, 2012

Watchdog Group Asks IRS to Probe Catholic Bishops
The group wants the IRS to revoke USCCB's tax-exempt status.

French Move Toward Full Funding of Abortion
Critics say the measure will speed up the decline of the French population.

Anti-Semitic Incidents Decline in the U.S.
The incidents dropped by 13 percent in 2011.

On Sistine Chapel's 500th, Foot Traffic Remains a Threat
High traffic is damaging the frescoes.

November 5, 2012

Election Day Communion Aims to Heal Partisan Branch
More than 400 churches wil launch this new tradition.

Mormon Missionary Applications Soar by 471 Percent
Church leaders lowered the age limit for participants.

Grand Canyon U. Turns Down a New Free Campus
Local residents objected to the land transfer.

Pope's Butler Starts 18-month Sentence
Paolo Gabriele can still appeal for a papal pardon.

October 22, 2012

Non-Religious Population Shows Rapid Growth
One in five Americans claim no religious affiliation.

Evangelical Coalition Rallies Behind Family Planning
Some leaders are affirming access to contraceptives.

Pope Marks 50th Anniversary of Vatican II
The Catholic church hopes to stem secularism with a year-long commemoration.

Taliban Unrepentant After Attack on Pakistani Teen
The 14-year-old student is now receiving treatment in the UK.

October 15, 2012

Pastors Challenge IRS Over Political Endorsements
Nearly 1,600 pastors ignore IRS rules on "Pulpit Freedom Sunday."

Pakistan Case Turns Against Christian Girl
Muslims accuse the girl of blasphemy.

Canada Cuts Non-Christian Prison Chaplains
The new policy affects 21 chaplains.

Poll: Americans Don't Mind Religious Athletes
More than 1,000 adults were surveyed.

October 8, 2012

Toledo Mosque Hit by Arson
The center will be unhabitable for at least three months.

ENInews Suspends Service, Seeks Further Funding
Officials hope the suspension is just temporary.

Man Behind Anti-Islam Film Arrested
Nakoula Basseley Nakoula was arrested on probation violations.

Poll: Most Americans Don't Believe Scientology is a Religion
The poll was conducted by 60 Minutes and Vanity Fair.

September 24, 2012

U.S. Coptic Christian Leaders Blast Anti-Muslim Film
There are about 300,000 Copts in the U.S.

Parents Seek Veto on Sexuality Teaching in Ontario Schools
Conservative Christian and Muslim parents voice concern.

Survey: Americans Overstate Size of Religous Minorities
Researchers polled 747 U.S. adults.

What You Should Know About the Jewish New Year
The holiday ushers in the Jewish "High Holy Days."

September 17, 2012

Black Pastors Move to Counter New Voter ID Laws
Black clergy are joining forces with civil rights groups to push voter registration.

Activists Hail Release of Christian Pastor in Iran, Teen in Pakistan
Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani was released September 8
Poll: Most Churchgoers Don’t Read the Bible Daily
The study was conducted by LifeWay Research.
How The Lord’s Prayer Saved a 9/11 Survivor
John Mahony shares his testimony.

September 10, 2012

Muslim Leaders Back Pakistani Christian Girl
Rimsha Masih was accused of blasphemy.

Seven Years After Katrina, New Orleans Jews Have Found a Permanent Home
Congregation Beth Israel has 100 families.

Lawyer for Pope's Accused Butler Quits
A replacement is yet-to-be announced.

Homeless Christians Give $69 for Missions
The offering is a way the homeless give back.

September 3, 2012

Bible Game Show Aims for Religious Audience
TABC is the first religiously-themed game show on a secular network.

Catholic Church in Scotland Campaigns to Stop Gay Marriage
Scottish government intends to legalize same-sex marriage.

National Cathedral Gets $5 Million for Repairs
The gift came from Lily Endowment Inc.

Survey: Economy Continues Negative Effect on Churches
One thousand pastors share their views.

August 27, 2012

Poll: Atheism on the Rise in U.S.
The findings were part of a global survey.

United Church of Canada to Boycott Some Israeli Products
UCC is protesting Israeli settlements in Palestinian territories.

Pakistan Probes Alleged Hindu Exodus to India
Nearly 250 Hindus have fled the country.

Nuns Leadership Conference: We are Not Leaving the Church
Catholic nuns seek more dialogue with the Vatican.

August 20, 2012

Pope's Butler Charged With Stealing Private Papers
Paolo Gabriele faces six-year jail term.

Church of England Divests From News Corp.
Church sold shares worth US$3 million.

Missouri Prayer Amendment Wins by Wide Margin
The measure protects religious expression in public schools and other public places.

Report Highlights Islam's Global Diversity
Islam is the world's second-largest religion.

August 13, 2012

Amish Report Staggering Growth in Midwest
Nearly 250,000 Amish live in North America.

Baptist Leader Richard Land to Retire After Ethics Probe 
He was the face of SBC on political issues.

U.S. Muslims Petition Egypt: Don't Include Shariah
Signers urge equality for all Egyptians.

For Sikhs, Turban is a Proud Symbol--and a Target
An estimated 500,000 Sikhs live in the U.S.

August 6, 2012

Orthodox Jews Use Smartphones, Websites to Complete Talmud Cycle
Want to study the Talmud? There's an app for that.

State Department Highlights Global Religious Restrictions in New Report
Almost half of the world's governments have serious issues in this regard.

Bible Museum Closes $50 Million Deal for D.C. Spot
Dallas and New York were possible locations.

Religion at the Olympics, From Ancient Greece to London
London games accomodates religious athletes with 193 chaplains on site.

July 30, 2012

Court Upholds Georgia Ban on Guns in Church
Critics of the ban are mulling an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court

Vatican Bank Needs More Transperancy, Regulators Say
Five cardinals oversee the bank.

Survey: Unbelief is Growing
Researchers surveyed 19, 377 people.

Asian-American Beliefs Studied
The report reveals a mixed bag of beliefs.

July 23, 2012

Gallup: New Low in Religious Confidence
The poll included 1,004 adults.

160 Chaplains to Serve Olympians
But overt evangelism is restricted.

Debate Reignites Over Religion at Air Force Academy
Congressman allege religious hostilities at AFA.

Bible Museum Planned for Washington, D.C.
The museum will open within four years.

July 16, 2012

Study: Pastors' Concerns for Others May Harm Their Own Health
Study reveals high rates of chronic diseases.

Vatican Logs $19 Million Deficit
Loss blamed on global market declines.

Church of England Postpones Vote on Female Bishops
A vote is now scheduled for November.

Atheist Files Complaint Over Pennsylvania Restaurant's Discount for Churchgoers.
Restaurant owners say the promotion was designed to drum up business.

July 9, 2012

Kenya:  18 Die in Church Attacks
Victims ask for prayers.

Crisis Pregnancy Centers Get Legal Win
Court strikes down signage regulation.

Why Would Jews Vandalize Holocaust Memorial?
Arrested culprits called “ultraorthodox.”

Christian Churches Together Chooses New Director
The group promotes interchurch collaboration.

July 2, 2012

Giving to Houses of Faith Continues to Fall
Church donations decline for two years in a row.  

Baptist College to Open in New England
Faculty and students will sign a statement of faith.  

Interfaith Leaders Protest Solitary Confinement
They argue that it can degrade mental health.

Dalai Lama Taps American to Lead Tibetan Monastery
Dalai Lama wants to bridge eastern and western cultures.

June 25, 2012

Southern Baptists Elect Church's First Black President
New Orleans pastor Fred Luter takes the reigns.

ISRAEL: Archaeology Team Makes Key Find
Excavators discover Tel Gezer water tunnel.

Religious Groups Vie for Internet Domains
Who will control .church and .Bible?

Vatican Offers Special Status to Splinter Group
The Soceity of St. Pius X will report directly to the Vatican. 

June 18, 2012

Evanglicals Press Congress on Immigration
There's an estimated 11.5 million unauthorized immigrants in the U.S.

Southern Baptist Membership Declines
The decline has continued for five years.

Crystal Cathedral to Move to Smaller Catholic Church
The local Catholic diocese purchased the cathedral for $57.5 million.

High Court Tosses 'Christian Candy Cane' Case
The case started nine years ago.

June 11, 2012

19 Faith Leaders Meet White House Chef
White House wants to bring attention to childhood obesity.

Vatican 'Moles' Vow More Papal Leaks
Hearings on the scandal began June 4.

Israel to Recognize Non-Orthodox Rabbis
There are about 250 non-Orthodox Rabbis in Israel.

New Orleans Seminary Acquires a 1617 King James Bible
The historic Bible was owned by a former Primitive Baptist minister.

June 4, 2012

36 Faculty Members Resign at Baptist School
The Georgia university has about 100 full-time faculty.

Vatican Denies Bid to Keep Boston Catholic Churches Open
Some parishes will appeal to the Vatican supreme court.

Survey: Most Southern Baptist Pastors Favor Black Denominational Leader
Nearly 1,000 pastors responded to the poll.

Leaked Papal Documents Ignite New Vatican Scandal
The Vatican will start hearings on the incident within a week.

May 28, 2012

Churches Tread Lightly on Politics in 2012 Election
Congregations understand that most Americans want religion out of politics.

Guidelines Seek Line Between Free Speech, Bullying
New pamphlet helps educators tackle the topic correctly.

Chuck Colson's Memorial Steeped in Prison Themes
Prison Fellowship founder's service reminiscent of his ministry.

Poll: Queen Should Remain Head of the Church of England
In her diamond jubilee year, more than 75% of people in England in favor.

May 21, 2012

Archaeologists: Israeli Artifacts Support Solomon’s Temple
Artifacts resemble those described in the Bible.
Methodists Strike Accord with Five Black Denominations
The churches will share sacraments, affirm clergy and ministries.
Catholic Bishops to Scrutinize Girl Scouts
Bishops are reviewing the church’s relationship amid complaints.
Methodists Reject Calls for Divestment From Israel
Archbishop Desmond Tutu had lobbied for divestment.

May 14, 2012

Methodists Uphold Stance Against Homosexuality
Delegates nix compromise proposals.

Pope Warns Catholic Colleges on Fidelity to Church Doctrine
Pope wants stronger Catholic identity on campus.

Native Americans Get First Complete Inuit Bible
Translation started in 1978.

Pentagon Probes Islamic Training Course
Some 20 officers complained about the course.

May 7, 2012

United Methodists Vote to End Guaranteed Clergy Appointments
Bishops will have flexibility to remove inneffective pastors.

White House Releases Guidelines for Faith-based Partnerships
New report  leaves critical questions unanswered.

Narnia or Neverland? Christians Choose Their Favorite Fantasy Land
Results garnered from unique poll.

Sikhs Launch App to Report Profiling
New mobile phone app launched by New York-based Sikh Coalition.

April 30, 2012

Charles "Chuck" Colson Dies
The Watergate felon became an evanglical icon.

More Young Adults Lose Religion
One in four drifts from the faith of their childhood.

Study: No Evidence That Death Penalty Deters Crime
New research shows that previous studies were flawed.

U.S. Bishops Seek End to Cuba Embargo
Ending embargo would aid religious liberty, bishops say.

April 23, 2012

Cleveland Bishop to Reopen 12 Closed Parishes
The closings were reversed by the Vatican.
Muslim Opposition Grows to Religious Freedom Nominee
Religious and civic groups petition congress.
Houston Baptist U. Might Drop ‘Baptist’ From Name
Officials say ‘Baptist’ limits school’s potential student pool.
Pope Turns 85 amid Speculation of Resignation
Benedict XVI has served for seven years as pope.

April 16, 2012

Bishops Say Health-care Compromise is  ‘Unconstitutional’
Bishops says the number of exempted organizations should be expanded.
Christian Students Oppose Vanderbilt Policies
Students seek respect for their religious beliefs.
Pope: Church Reform Won’t Come Through Open Dissent
Pontiff denounces call for optional celibacy.
Praying for God to Hurt Someone Is Not Illegal, Judge Rules
Ruling seen as affirmation of religious freedom.

April 9, 2012

After Trayvon Martin Case, Chruches Say 'Stereotypes Cost Lives'
Some believe the death offers a 'teachable moment.'

Vatican Promotes Church's Role in Fighting the Mafia
Officials take a public stand in Sicily.

Dalai Lama Wins Templeton Prize
This year's award is $1.7 million.

April 2, 2012

Report: Church Giving on the Rebound
Giving was down $1.2 billion in 2010.

Britain Starts Talks on Legalizing Gay Marriage
Catholics and some Anglicans oppose the move.  

Largest U.S. Churches See Membership Declines
Membership in the top 10 dnominations dropped 5.9 percent.

'Covenant' to Bind Anglican Communion Appears Dead
The proposed document set boundaries in beliefs and practices for member churches.

March 26, 2012

Turkey Cited for Religious Freedom Woes
USCIRF cites abuses against Orthodox Christians.

Ireland: Vatican Ends Probe of Clergy Abuse
Pope Benedict ordered the probe in 2010.

Evangelicals Voting in Record Numbers in GOP Primaries
Evangelicals comprise more than 50 percent of Republican primary voters.

Archbishop of Canterbury Retires
Rowan Williams announcement stunned the religious world.

March 19, 2012

Cleveland: Vatican Reverses 13 Church Closings
Bishop Richard Lennon can appeal the ruling.

Harold Camping Repents for 'Sinful' Prediction
The Family Radio chief had predicted Christ's return on May 21, 2011.

Jews are World's Most Migratory Religious Group
New Pew study tracked 214 million migrants

England: Atheists Likely to Outnumber Christians in 20 Years
Researchers surveyed 50,000 people.

March 12, 2012

Billy Graham Ministry Trims 50 Staffers
BGEA will focus more on digital outreach.

U.S. Mosques Grow Rapidly in 10 Years
There are 2,106 U.S. mosques in 2011.

Breakaway Anglicans Must Return Church Property
The property is estimated at $40 million.

Israeli Postal Carriers Refuse to Deliver Hebrew-language Bibles
Proselytizing is a sensitive issue about Jewish Israelis.

March 5, 2012

Maryland Churches to Fight Gay Marriage Law
Clergy seeking a referendum.

Verizon to Drop Muslim TV Network
Officials cite low viewership.
London: Occupiers Evicted From St. Paul’s Cathedral
Police dumped an estimated 150 tents.  
Church of England Combat Copper Thefts
Alarms will be installed in 100 churches.

February 27, 2012

Proposed Decrease in Charitable Tax Deductions Sparks Opposition
The proposal is part of the White House budget.
N.J. Governor Vetoes Gay Marriage Bill
Lawmakers have until Jan. 2014 to override the veto. 
UK High Court Bans Prayer at Town Meetings
Public leaders are searching for a way around the ruling.
Southern Baptists to Keep Their Name
But members may also call themselves “Great Commission Baptists.”

February 20, 2012

Poll: Americans Split on Contraception Mandate
The poll surveyed 1,501 adults.
Egyptian Christians Reject Forming a Political Party
Coptic Christians are 10 percent of the population.

Washington Becomes Seventh State to Legalize Gay Marriage
The law takes effect on June 7.
Vatican Refutes Corruption Charges Make by Ambassador to U.S.
The Vatican issued a statement on February 4.

February 13, 2012

Luter is Poised to be First Black to Lead Southern Baptists 
Fred Luter pastors in New Orleans.  
Appeals Court Strikes Down Ban on Same-sex Marriage
Prop 8 supports will appeal the ruling.
Canadian Imams Issue Fatwa Against Honor Killings
The religious decree follows several Muslim murders.
Going to Israel? Dress Modestly
Some ultra-Orthodox neighborhoods can be dangerous.   

February 6, 2012

U.S. Split on Campaign Religion Talk
For many voters, religion is not a factor when choosing a political candidate.

Woman Charged with Embezzling $1 Million From NY Archdiocese
The archdiocese did not conduct a criminal background check.

Study: U.S. Muslims Don't Want Shariah
Some 212 Muslims were surveyed.

European Secularists: We're Not Treated Fairly
Humanists say the nonreligious are discriminated against.

January 30, 2012

Conservative Presbyterians Launch New Denomination
The new church was launched January 19. 

Egypt: Islamists Win Majority in Parliament
Muslim groups win 72 percent of the seats.   

Last of 3 Men Sentenced in Church Arson Case
Massachusetts man get 4.5 years.  

Pope Warns of 'Secularism' Threat
Pontiff addressed U.S. Bishops

January 23, 2012

Va. Judge Rules Against Breakaway Episcopal Parishes
The congregations must surrender their property
43 arrested While Protesting NYC Church Ban
There are 150 congregations worshiping in NY public schools.
N.J. Synagogue Attacks Stir Concern
The FBI has been monitoring the incidents. 
Survey: Half of Churchgoers’ Lives Not Affected by Time in Pews
Researchers surveyed 1,022 adults.

January 16, 2012

High Court Sides With Churches in Employment Fights
Religious leaders see decision as victory for religious freedom.
Assemblies of God Starts a Church a Day
AOG has 12,595 churches in the U.S.
Unbelievers Growing Fast in the U.K.
Declared Christians dropped by seven percent in 2010.
White House Staffers Have Catholic, Jewish Ties
Catholic voters make up 25 percent of the U.S. electorate.

January 9, 2012

Poll: Nearly 80 Percent of Americans are Christians
Survey was based on 327,244 interviews.

Evangelicals, Catholics Oppose Insurance Mandate
Health-care law mandates that religious insurers cover contraception.

Vatican Launches Home for U.S. Episcopalians
Diocese offers Anglican-style mass.

Scroll Fragments May 'Shed Light' on Old Testament Text
Scholars discuss Dead Sea scroll fragments.