Lauren Markoe, Religion News Service

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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Can a Cyberattack Trigger a ‘Just War’?

Image via RNS/Adelle M. Banks

Just war theory can be adapted to address technological innovation, said Rev. Bryan Hehir at a panel in D.C. Monday.

Since Ban, Persecution of Jehovah’s Witnesses Is ‘Worse Than Ever’

Image via RNS/Reuters/Maxim Shemetov

Since the Russian Supreme Court labeled Jehovah’s Witnesses an “extremist” group, vandals have targeted followers and their banks accounts have been frozen. Stones were thrown at a St. Petersburg assembly hall, and someone tried to burn the Moscow home of a Jehovah’s Witness to the ground, a church spokesman said.

Trump Liberty Commencement Speech: ‘As Long As I Am Your President, No One Is Ever Going to Stop You From Practicing Your Faith’

Image via RNS/Reuters/Yuri Gripas

Donald Trump thanked conservative Christians for their votes, and promised to protect their values in his first commencement address as president, at evangelical stronghold Liberty University.

“In America, we don’t worship government, we worship God,” he said to raucous applause at the graduation, at the nation’s largest Christian university, on March 13, in Lynchburg, Va.

Muslim Births Projected to Outnumber Christian Births Globally by 2035

Image via RNS/Reuters/Fayaz Aziz

Within 20 years, the number of Muslim babies being born is expected to surpass Christian births — though there will still be more Christians in the world. Muslims currently account for about 24 percent of the world population, compared to 31 percent for Christians, according to the Pew Research Center.

At U.S. Capitol, Christians Protest Budget Cuts

Image via RNS/Joseph Molieri/Bread for the World

With ashes on their foreheads, sackcloth draped around their necks, and the U.S. Capitol as a backdrop, Christians leaders used the words “evil” and “immoral” to describe the federal budget cuts President Trump has proposed and many Republican lawmakers favor.

“It is a time for lamentation,” said the Rev. David Beckmann, explaining the symbols of grief the clergy brought to Capitol Hill on March 29.

In ‘Turbulent Times,’ 500 Rabbis Look for Ways to Resist and Cope

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Anti-Semitic incidents have been rising in the U.S. in the past few years, and many Jews and others fault the Trump administration for only belatedly calling out anti-Semitism, and for failing to explicitly denounce those who have heralded his election as a victory for white people.

And Jewish and Muslim groups have banded together in unprecedented ways, in recent months, as mosques and Jewish institutions have been targeted.

Bomb Threats to Jewish Community Centers May Explain Decline in Preschool Enrollments

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Enrollment has dropped at more than a quarter of Jewish Community Center preschools since a wave of threats against JCCs began in early January.

“I’m starting with the most difficult news, which is simply that more JCCs indicated something of a decline — but the majority have not,” said David Posner of the Jewish Community Center Association of North America, sharing the results of the umbrella group’s latest member survey.

167 House Members Ask Trump to Retain Ambassador to Combat Anti-Semitism

Image via RNS/Reuters/Jim Bourg

Following a report that President Trump is thinking of scrapping the ambassador position assigned to combat global anti-Semitism, a bipartisan group of 167 U.S. House members sent a letter asking him to appoint one soon.

The letter, released on March 13, asks Trump to “maintain and prioritize” the appointment, in a time of rising anti-Semitism.

Bears Ears National Monument, Sacred to Native Tribes, Faces a Challenge to Its Status

Image via RNS 

Now a tribal coalition, which considers many sites within Bears Ears sacred, fears the Trump administration will take the unprecedented step of stripping a national monument of its designation, and leave their ancestral lands vulnerable.

A Battle with Islamophobia

3 Muslim Americans on Their Lives Today

Photo courtesy of Reuters/Nancy Wiechec/ RNS

This wave of Islamophobia has hit hard. Anti-Muslim sentiment was never absent from America. From the time Muslims first came as slaves in the 1600s, there have been times when anti-Muslim attitudes have bubbled over. This is one of those times.

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