Yonat Shimron, Religion News Service

Yonat Shimron is the managing editor of Religion News Service.

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Catholic Priest Goes Public About KKK Past, Takes Leave of Absence

Image via RNS / Catholic Diocese of Arlington

In his 20s, while a student at the University of Maryland, Aitcheson was charged with making bomb threats, manufacturing pipe bombs, and threatening to kill Coretta Scott King in a letter.

Aitcheson pleaded guilty to several cross burnings, including one in the front yard of an African-American couple in 1977.

Gene Editing: Gateway to Promised Land, or Key to Pandora’s Box?

News that scientists for the first time successfully edited genes in human embryos created a stir this week. In the experiment, outlined in a paper in the journal Nature published Wednesday, scientists essentially snipped a mutant gene known to cause a heart condition that can lead to sudden death.

Is the Old Testament Dying?

Strawn explains how dying languages revert to a pidgin-like form, with limited vocabulary and an even more limited sentence structure. The New Atheists, such as Richard Dawkins, often speak this broken language, Strawn says, picking and choosing the most extreme passages to support their arguments that the Bible is immoral or contradictory without bothering to understand the whole.

Former Chief Rabbi of Great Britain on Clearing ‘Scriptural Minefields’

Image via RNS/European Union 2016 - European Parliament/Pietro Naj-Oleari

Rabbi Jonathan Sacks made a name for himself as chief rabbi of Great Britain for nearly a quarter-century, a time of great tumult that included the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, the influx of millions of Muslims into Europe, and the ongoing pressures to absorb and assimilate newcomers into a mostly secular society.

As chief rabbi, from 1991 to 2013, he stressed an appreciation and respect of all faiths, with an emphasis on interfaith work that brings people together, while allowing each faith its own particularity.

His Fellowship Cut Short by Travel Ban, Iranian Dissident Returns to U.S.

Image via RNS/Yonat Shimron

Iranian dissident Mohsen Kadivar and his wife, Zahra “Nikoo” Roodi, have seen it all before.

On. Feb. 16, the couple embraced after Kadivar’s hasty return from Berlin, where last month he had begun what he expected would be a semester-long fellowship.

Instead his plans were cut short by President Trump’s travel ban.

Two Years After Slayings, These Muslims Show Hate Cannot Overpower Love

Image via Yonat Shimron/ RNS

“Since Day No. 1, we’re trying to fight the hate and sadness with doing good and being positive,” said Namee Barakat, Deah’s father. “That makes us feel better and it makes our wounds a little easier.” 

 

Assaults on Muslim Women Force Some to Rethink Hijab

Image via RNS/Sai Mokhtari/Gothamist

Melissa Grajek was subjected to all kinds of taunts for wearing the hijab, but an incident at San Marcos’ (Calif.) Discovery Lake sealed the deal.

Her 1-year-old son was playing with another boy when an irate father saw her and whisked his son away, telling Grajek: “I can’t wait until Trump is president, because he’ll send you back to where you came from.”

The man then scooped up a handful of wood chips and threw them at Grajek’s son.

'Sanctuary Churches' Vow to Shield Immigrants From Trump Crackdown

Image via Thanate Rooprasert/Shutterstock.com

First came the mayors of New York, Chicago, and Seattle declaring their cities “sanctuaries”, and saying they will protect undocumented immigrants from President-elect Donald Trump’s plan to deport them.

Then thousands of students, professors, alumni, and others at elite universities, including Harvard, Yale, and Brown, signed petitions, asking their schools to protect undocumented students from any executive order.

Now, religious congregations, including churches and synagogues, are declaring themselves “sanctuaries” for immigrants fleeing deportation.

Muslim Americans Reassure Their Children and Prepare for a New Day

Image via RNS/Yonat Shimron

On the day after the election, Mervat Aqqad’s 7-year-old son woke up and asked who got elected president.

When Aqqad broke the news to Ibrahim, a second-grader at the Al-Iman School in Raleigh, his first question was, “Do we have to move now?”

Episcopal Church Elects First Black Woman Diocesan Bishop

Image via RNS/Charlie Simokaitis

The Episcopal Diocese of Indianapolis has elected the first black, female diocesan bishop in the history of the Episcopal Church.

The Rev. Jennifer Baskerville-Burrows, director of networking in the Episcopal Diocese of Chicago, was elected on the second ballot, during a diocesan convention held at Christ Church Cathedral Indianapolis on Oct. 28.

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