Pope Highlights Bond With Muslims

Pope Benedict has met with German Muslim leaders and called for Christianity and Islam to grow together in “dialogue and mutual esteem.” He met with several Muslim leaders in Berlin Friday, on the second day of his trip to Germany. The pope stressed the importance of religion in modern society and said he believes there

Pope Warns German Lawmakers Not to Abuse Power

Pope Benedict has warned German lawmakers not to abuse power, referring to excesses in Adolf Hitler’s Nazi Germany as a lesson in history. In a speech to the German parliament Thursday, at the start of his first state visit to his native country, the pope said Germans know from experience what happens when power is

New University Desegregates Religious Education

Located in southern California, the Claremont Lincoln University prides itself on being the first multi-religious academic institution and aspires to be a new model for theological education. The new school offers master’s programs in interreligious studies and Muslim leadership, but it also acts as a hub for its three founding institutions – the Claremont School

State Department Releases Annual Report on Religious Freedom

The U.S. State Department on Tuesday issued its annual report on religious freedom. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said that violations of religious freedom embolden extremists, and said that Iran is among the worst offenders. An example of the abuses can be see in the case of Mahtab Farid, whose father was arrested after he

Cuban Pastor Denies Church Lock-In is Political Protest

A group of evangelical worshipers and their pastor say they locked themselves into their church in Cuba three weeks ago for a spiritual retreat. The son of the pastor told reporters by telephone Tuesday the worshipers are following instructions from God to pray.  He said this is not a political protest nor a suicide pact.

US Federal Court Considers Lawsuit Against Oklahoma Sharia Ban

A U.S. federal appeals court began hearing a case Monday on an amendment to Oklahoma’s state constitution that bans Sharia, or Islamic law, as well as international law from being considered in state courts.  Legal scholars say the case could affect similar moves in more than 20 other U.S. states. In a referendum last year,

Pope Sued for Alleged Crimes Against Humanity

A group representing victims of sexual abuse by priests says it is suing Pope Benedict and other top Vatican officials through the International Criminal Court [ICC] in The Hague for crimes against humanity. The U.S.-based human rights group Center for Constitutional Rights says it it filing the suit on behalf of the Survivors Network of

Indonesia’s Ahmadiyah Sect Fears Religious Violence

A survey by a human-rights group says most Indonesians oppose the use of violence against the minority Muslim sect Ahmadiyah.  Following the light sentences Muslim fundamentalists received for their involvement in a deadly attack against the sect, Ahmadiyah followers fear religious persecution against minorities will only get worse. Prayer services at the Al-Hidayah Ahmadiyah mosque

US Cites Eight Countries for Religion Curbs

A State Department report is citing eight countries including Iran, China and Saudi Arabia as major violators of religious freedom.  Turkey and Pakistan, among others, were praised for efforts to ease conditions for religious minorities. The 1998 act of Congress that mandates the annual religious freedom reports provides for no severe penalties against countries that

Religious Movement Linked to Texas Governor Stirs Controversy

A religious movement that seeks to become a dominant influence in society and government is gaining ground in America. But since several key pastors of the New Apostolic Reformation shared the stage at a prayer rally last month with a leading Republican presidential candidate, the movement has also generated controversy.Interview with C. Peter Wagner on