Image via Yunuen Bonaparte

“A teacher once told me it would be better if I didn’t tell people I’m gay,” said Jed McDonald, a Pasadena City College student and former youth in foster care.

“I think she meant it as helpful advice because she wasn’t a mean teacher, but it didn’t feel that way,” McDonald said.

Camille Erickson 4-15-2019

Migrants queue as they listen to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials after crossing illegally into the United States to request asylum, in El Paso, Texas, U.S., in this picture taken from Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, April 5, 2019. REUTERS/Jose Luis Gonzalez

In June 2018, the Trump administration issued a “zero tolerance” policy in an effort to deter migrants, a majority from Central America, from entering the U.S. The policy resulted in the separation of nearly 2,800 immigrant children from their families at the U.S.-Mexico border in a little over a month.

Notre Dame Cathedral burns in Paris, France, April 15, 2019. REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer

Built over a century starting in 1163, Notre-Dame is considered to be among the finest examples of French Gothic cathedral architecture.

Nazia Kazi, author of Islamophobia, Race, and Global Politics

Nazia Kazi knows her history well: A Ph.D. in anthropology, she teaches courses on race, ethnicity, immigration, and Islam in the U.S. at Stockton University in Philadelphia. Kazi’s new book, Islamophobia, Race, and Global Politics, released Dec. 12 from Rowman & Littlefield, discusses the scope of Islamophobia in the U.S. from the country’s historical and political roots. Drawing on examples such as the legacy of Barack Obama, the mainstream media’s portrayal of Muslims, and the justifications given for some of America’s most recent military endeavors, Kazi highlights the vast impact of Islamophobia, connecting this to a long history of U.S. racism.

Camille Erickson 4-10-2019

Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) speaks at the news conference announcing the NO BAN Act. Photo by Camille Erickson / Medill News Service

The last time Mana Kharrazi spoke with her uncle in Iran on the phone, she told him he could not visit the U.S. because of President Donald Trump’s so-called “Muslim ban,” an executive order barring travel from seven mostly Muslim-majority countries. She did not know her uncle was dying.

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro speaks at an event with Israeli and Brazilian business people, attended by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in Jerusalem April 2, 2019.

According to Francirosy Campos, anthropologist and professor at the University of São Paulo (USP), the main problem faced by Muslims in Brazil is prejudice and threats, many of them made on social networks, particularly on Facebook.

Donald Trump speaks to reporters as Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen (L) looks on in the Rose Garden. Jan. 4, 2019. REUTERS/Carlos Barria/File Photo

U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, who oversaw President Donald Trump's bitterly contested immigration policies during her tumultuous 16-month tenure, resigned on Sunday amid a surge in the number of migrants at the border with Mexico.

Lori Lightfoot at her election night celebration after defeating Toni Preckwinkle in a runoff election in Chicago. April 2, 2019. REUTERS/Joshua Lott

Lori Lightfoot, a political newcomer, was elected the first black female mayor of Chicago on Tuesday, defeating opponent Toni Preckwinkle by a landslide in a runoff to take over a city struggling with crime and weak finances.

A person looks through the border wall at Border Field State Park in San Diego. Nov. 20, 2018. REUTERS/Mike Blake/File Photo

The Trump administration on Sunday doubled down on its threat to shut down the southern border with Mexico, a day after it cut aid to Central American countries that President Donald Trump accused of deliberately sending migrants to the United States.

Military drone. Credit: Shutterstock

Ten children, part of the same extended family, were killed by a U.S. air strike in Afghanistan, along with three adult civilians, the United Nations said on Monday. The air strike early on Saturday was part of a battle between the Taliban and combined Afghan and U.S. forces that lasted about 30 hours in Kunduz, a northern province where the Taliban insurgency is strong.

Rose S. Aslan 3-19-2019

Image via Alexandros Michailidis/Shutterstock

Muslims believe Friday was chosen by God as a dedicated day of worship. In addition to the prayer itself, which is shorter than the usual midday prayers, Friday services include a sermon, usually given by a professional male Muslim clergy member in Muslim majority countries, but in the West, they are also given by a male lay community member.

Anna Sutterer 3-18-2019

Photo by Anna Sutterer

Churches across the nation are recognizing the value of their land how it can be leveraged to address the scarcity of affordable housing. An interfaith alliance in Colorado, which found faith organizations own more than 5,000 acres in the Denver metro area, communicated with 20 churches interested in transforming their unused land into housing. According to project reports from several church networks and partnered developers in northern Virginia, Washington, D.C. and Baltimore, more than 5,000 affordable housing units have been built, preserved or are being aided by church organizing in the area.

Abby Olcese 3-18-2019

Co-directors and writers Dan Madison Savage and Britt Poulton made Them That Follow out of a shared interest in religious communities, their long-term effects on the people raised in them, and encouraging empathy toward misunderstood population groups. Sojourners spoke with the filmmakers and star Thomas Mann about how those motivations manifest in the film, and how movies can help build our capacity for empathy.

Christina Colón 3-18-2019

Illustration by Rebekah Fulton

A murkiness in the numbers, combined with a lack of training and awareness, has made sexual harassment in housing a widespread, yet under the radar, problem. But local housing authorities are working to combat the problem on the ground. Their efforts could serve as a model for other communities.

New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern speaks on live television following fatal shootings at two mosques in central Christchurch, New Zealand. March 15, 2019. TVNZ/via REUTERS TV

At least one gunman killed 49 people and wounded more than 40 during Friday prayers at two New Zealand mosques in the country's worst ever mass shooting, which Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern condemned as terrorism.

Anna Sutterer 3-14-2019

Jeanette Vizguerra, a mother and prominent activist under threat of deportation, on Thursday called to thank faith leaders and supporters who petitioned at the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) headquarters in Washington, D.C., for a stay of removal and visa approval for Vizguerra.

Kietryn Zychal 3-14-2019

Image via Rebecca McHood

Arizona is the birthplace and home of retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor. She became the first woman appointed to the high court in 1981 and sponsored ERA legislation in her home state in the 1970s when she was a Republican state senator.

California Democratic gubernatorial candidate Gavin Newsom speaks after being elected governor of the state during an election night party in Los Angeles. Nov. 6, 2018. REUTERS/Mike Blake/File Photo

California Gov. Gavin Newsom will impose a moratorium on the state's death penalty on Wednesday, granting reprieves to all 737 inmates on death row and closing the state's execution chamber, an administration source said.

Sandi Villarreal 3-11-2019

Rev. Lacette (Rev. L) Cross

Amid ongoing conversations about the harm caused by a “purity” ethic taught within mostly evangelical churches in the 1990s-2000s (and for some, still today), a number of ethicists, theologians, pastors, and educators have been quietly shaping a new ethic — some for years.

Sandi Villarreal 3-07-2019

Some credit the negative reactions to purity culture as fueling the exodus of young adults from the evangelical church — in 2006, white evangelicals comprised 23 percent of Americans, and that dropped to 17 percent by 2016. As they have entered adulthood, become parents themselves, and have perhaps long since rejected a purity culture that they experienced as harmful to body and spirit, many find themselves left without anything to replace it. But a handful of pastors, writers, and activists have been finding their way forward — through shared storytelling, interpreting a more inclusive biblical sexual ethic, and offering new models for the church to talk about sexuality in a holistic, faithful way.