Saintly Popes * Rent-a-Womb * Christians and Scientologists Together: Monday’s Religion News Roundup

Church of Scientology "Big Blue" building at Fountain Avenue/L. Ron Hubbard Way, Los Angeles, California.

Church of Scientology “Big Blue” building at Fountain Avenue/L. Ron Hubbard Way, Los Angeles, California.

  Popes John Paul II and John XXIII will be canonized and declared saints on April 27, 2014. Leonard J. Kerpelman, the lawyer who successfully argued a landmark Supreme Court case in 1963 on behalf of an atheist, banning state-sanctioned religious prayers from public schools, died Sept. 26. Hobby Lobby’s Steve Green unveiled the “oldest Jewish prayer book ever found” at the Religion Newswriters Association conference last week. Also survey released at the conference suggested that finds that Hispanics are overwhelmingly Democrats who hold a largely negative view of the Republican Party. Some Christian groups, including the the National Council of Churches and the Rutherford Institute, are siding with Scientologists in an abuse case. Anita Perry, wife of Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R.), says abortion “could be a women’s right.” Meanwhile, a group of women’s health care clinics have sued Texas to overturn parts of a new law that they say would limit access to abortion. As Texas gears up to select high school biology textbooks over the next decade, a panel that reviews submissions from publishers has stirred controversy because several of its members do not accept evolution and climate change as scientific truth. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie will appeal a Friday ruling by a judge saying the state must recognize same-sex marriages. A Mississippi resident has asked the state to recognize out-of-state gay marriage so she can get a divorce. Evangelicals have been “worse” than the Catholic Church in their response to sex abuse scandals, said Billy Graham’s grandson. The Christian mission field is a “magnet” for sexual abusers, Liberty University professor Boz Tchividjian told journalists last week. Nearly 200 Muslim prisoners are suing England’s government after being served halal food contaminated with pork, saying their human rights were breached. The wife of the Amish school shooter is coming out with a new Zondervan book that includes details of her faith. President Obama spoke on the phone with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani last week, noting his concern about U.S. pastor Saeed Abedini who has been held in prison in Iran for a year. An American family had an emotional reunion with Abdul Haji (a Muslim of Somali origin), whose rescue of a four-year-old in the Kenya mall violence has been shared widely.
Alabama cops are turning to pastors to help curb their city’s skyrocketing murder rate.
A former United Methodist minister-turned-atheist Teresa MacBain was dismissed from her high-profile position at Harvard University last week after it was revealed she falsified her resume. The daughter of a southwest Louisiana pastor who was killed at a revival service said her father would invite the man to church. Nazir Afzal, a Muslim born in England to Pakistani parents, has become London’s go-to lawyer for cases involving violence against women. Jihadist fighters linked to Al-Qaeda set fire to statues and crosses inside churches in Syria last week.
India seeks to regulate its booming “rent-a-womb’’ industry. The country’s Hindu temples are resisting telling the government how much gold they have in their holdings.
A Saudi cleric says women who drive risk damaging their ovaries. Brian Pellot has a recap from a discussion on religious liberty and the public square along with his weekly roundup. “Breaking Bad” might be over and the government might shut down, but the RNS roundup will not. Sign up below to get it in your inbox. The post Saintly Popes * Rent-a-Womb * Christians and Scientologists Together: Monday’s Religion News Roundup appeared first on Religion News Service.

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