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One of the most consequential stories in American religion in recent years is the rapid and seemingly unceasing rise of “nones” – those who respond to questions about their religious affiliation by indicating that they are atheists, agnostics or “nothing in particular.”

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For those of us who are Christians, we have entered the sacred season of Lent. Last Wednesday was Ash Wednesday, which marked the beginning of the 40-day period, excluding Sundays, leading up to Easter, the day which marks the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the grave.

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PORTLAND, Oregon — The new rector at St. Mary’s Cathedral in Portland's northwestern district says he felt the presence of God there early Wednesday when he confronted a burglar inside the Catholic church.

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We’re far from New Orleans’ French Quarter, but plenty of people around the Tri-Cities celebrated Fat Tuesday by indulging in the traditional treat of the day – paczki.

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Ash Wednesday will look a little different this year, with new COVID-19 precautions featuring the sprinkling of ashes on the top of the head, a practice that is common in Europe, officials at the Archdiocese of Chicago said in a Friday statement.

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For the second year in a row, the rector of St. John’s Episcopal Church won’t be able to distribute Ashes to Go along Grand Haven’s busy Beacon Boulevard, but he is ensuring that people have an opportunity to come and receive ashes on Ash Wednesday, Feb. 17.

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When the coronavirus forced churches to close their doors and give up Sunday collections, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Charlotte turned to the federal government’s signature small-business relief program for more than $8 million.

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WASHINGTON — The Christian imagery and rhetoric on view during this month’s Capitol insurrection are sparking renewed debate about the societal effects of melding Christian faith with an exclusionary breed of nationalism.

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One of the most prominent human emotions that has been on display in the last year or so is fear.

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Muslims and Arab Americans in metro Detroit cheered the repeal of the Muslim travel ban by the administration of President Joe Biden, a move they hope will signal a change in how the U.S. government deals with their communities.

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ROME — The French doctor who discovered the genetic basis of Down syndrome but spent his career advocating against abortion as a result of prenatal diagnosis has taken his first major step to possible sainthood.

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WASHINGTON — President-elect Joe Biden’s first stop Wednesday was a church service at the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle, the seat of Washington’s Roman Catholic Archdiocese and titular church of Cardinal Wilton Gregory, who recently became the first Black American cardinal.

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PETERSBURG, Va. — The downtown Petersburg icon known fondly as “St. Joe” is turning 145 this Sunday. Alumni share their thoughts about the oldest continuously operating school in the Richmond Diocese.

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Chicago’s celebrity lefty political priest, the Rev. Michael Pfleger, is strangely silent.

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SOFIA, Bulgaria (AP) — Thousands of Orthodox Christian worshippers in Bulgaria on Jan. 6 ignored warnings issued by health authorities to abstain from mass gatherings due to the coronavirus pandemic and kept instead to their centuries-old Epiphany traditions.

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I read a book several years ago called “Skipping Christmas.” It was an enjoyable short novel by John Grisham, usually known for legal thrillers. The gist of the plot was a couple who were fed up with all the commercialism of the season and the high cost of buying all the presents. So, they d…

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LINXIA, China — The morning ritual began as dozens of men filed quietly into mosques in traditional white skullcaps, nodding to one other in the chill of an autumn twilight.

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MURDOCK, Minn. — The Murdock City Council voted Wednesday night to grant a permit allowing the Asatru Folk Assembly (AFA) to use an abandoned Lutheran church in the Swift County town as its third “hof,” or gathering hall, in the United States.

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MINNEAPOLIS — The Rev. Andrew Jaspers walked into the hospital room of a man dying of COVID-19 with a mask over his mouth, a shield over his face and a prayer in his heart.

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‘Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.” We’ve all probably heard those words before. They are the words of Jesus found in what has come to be known as the Sermon on the Mount. But they may seem bit mysterious to us. What does it mean to be “poor in spirit.”

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SPRING ARBOR — Spring Arbor University (SAU) will offer the "Bridging the Gap" program for the second time this January, with both Oberlin College and Cornerstone University participating.

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2020 has been a year of cancellations. School got canceled. Surgeries got canceled. In-person worship was canceled. Large public gatherings were canceled. Parties, concerts and sports events were canceled. And now we hear that Thanksgiving may have to be canceled this year.

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The head of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops told colleagues Tuesday that President-elect Joe Biden’s policy positions, including support for abortion rights, pose a “difficult and complex situation” for the church.

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Beginning the Christian Church's liturgical year, Advent is the season encompassing the four Sundays (and weekdays) leading up to the celebration of Christmas.

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SPRING LAKE — Due to COVID-19, the Thanksgiving experience will be different for many this year, including for volunteers and recipients of the 27th annual Community Feast based at a local church.

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NEW YORK — The messages in Christian houses of worship on the first weekend since the election were as divided as the country’s electorate, with religious leaders mostly calling for peace and unification even as some bemoaned the result and others celebrated.

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LOS ANGELES — Carl Lentz, a so-called pastor to the stars who baptized singer Justin Bieber in 2014, was fired last week by Hillsong Church for reasons including what the megachurch called “moral failures.”

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In popular culture, exorcism often serves as a plot device in chilling films about demonic possession. Last month, two Roman Catholic archbishops showed a different face of exorcism – performing the rite at well-attended outdoor ceremonies to drive out any evil spirits lingering after acrimo…

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HARTFORD, Conn. — Knights of Columbus founder Michael McGivney was beatified Saturday, as authorized by Pope Francis, making him the first Connecticut resident and one of only a handful of Americans to be recognized as “Blessed.”

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ROME — Pope Francis is halting his public general audiences and will limit participation at Christmas and other upcoming Masses amid a surge of coronavirus cases in Italy and the Vatican, officials said Thursday.