Lauren Markoe covered government and features as a daily newspaper reporter for 15 years before joining the Religion News Service staff as a national correspondent in 2011.
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'Suspicious' Fire Destroys Orthodox Cathedral in New York
Hours after parishioners celebrated Easter, which fell on May 1 in the Orthodox community, a fire gutted their landmark Manhattan cathedral.
“Our church has burned down last night,” read the announcement the next day on the website of the Serbian Orthodox Cathedral of St. Sava.
Episcopal Saint Is Namesake of New Yale Residential College
A new residential college at Yale University has been named for an Episcopal saint who was the first African-American woman to be ordained an Episcopal priest.
Anna Pauline Murray, known as “Pauli,” was also civil rights activist who helped shape the legal argument for the Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court ruling. She was the co-founder of the National Organization for Women and received an advanced law degree from Yale in 1965 and an honorary doctorate from Yale Divinity School in 1979.
Muslim Advocacy Groups Say They Were Snubbed by Ted Cruz's Staff
Muslim groups say Sen. Ted Cruz and his Capitol Hill staff refused to see them during an annual lobbying day in which hundreds of Muslim constituents met with their senators and representatives.
On April 18, while Cruz was in New York, campaigning in advance of the April 19 presidential primaries in that state, a group of 14 Muslim Texans marking “National Muslim Advocacy Day” went to the candidate’s Washington office.
Muslim Nations Plan to Call for New Israel-Palestine Peace Process
The largest gathering of Muslim leaders in the world kicks off a five-day conference that will call for a new peace process to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Other weighty issues at the Organization of Islamic Cooperation summit include combatting extremism within Muslim nations, countering Islamophobia in the rest of the world, and protecting the Rohingya — a group of Muslims suffering persecution in Myanmar.
Gay Methodist Pastor a Step Closer to Church Trial
A United Methodist pastor who recently came out as gay may be a step closer to a church trial, just weeks before the United Methodist Church’s General Conference is expected to take up the question of gay clergy and gay unions.
DC Library Officer Who Demanded Woman Remove Hijab Is Back at Work
A security officer at a Washington, D.C. public library who demanded that a library patron remove her headscarf is back on the job, reports the DCist, an online publication.
2 Young Women, 2 Different Views on Contraception Case
Amid the helium balloons, dance music, chants, and counterchants, Katie Stone and Katie Breslin spelled out their opposing views outside the Supreme Court as the justices inside heard one of the most contentious cases of the year. The two 20-something Christians, both motivated by faith, say the justices’ ruling in Zubik v. Burwell could affirm or weaken the most basic of rights. The case asks whether religious nonprofits must comply with the Affordable Care Act’s contraception mandate, or whether it violates the federal law that sets a high bar for government infringement on religious rights.
A List of Religious Groups Taking Sides in Supreme Court Birth Control Case
One of the most anticipated cases of this Supreme Court season revolves around nuns and birth control.
Zubik v. Burwell, which comes before the justices Wednesday, addresses one of the most contentious parts of the Affordable Care Act: the requirement that employers offer certain types of birth control to their employees — the so-called contraceptive mandate.
Merrick Garland Is Jewish. Does It Matter?
President Obama’s nominee for the Supreme Court, Merrick Garland, would be the current court’s fourth Jewish justice if confirmed.
For Jews, who represent about two percent of the population, holding 44 percent of the seats on the court might be a point of pride.
But is it anything more than that?
ISIS Lures With Video Game Themes
The footage, to gamers who like to play “Grand Theft Auto,” looks familiar. From the point of view of a gunman looking for targets through the speeding car’s window, unsuspecting people take bullets in the chest, and crumple to the ground.
But it’s not “Grand Theft Auto.” It’s propaganda created by the group that calls itself the Islamic State, also known as ISIS. And the people lying motionless on the ground are real. Then they die many times over on social media, after the Islamic State posts these executions on Twitter and elsewhere online.
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