Religion and politics

Muslims offer their evening prayers outside the Byzantine-era Hagia Sophia, one of Istanbul's main tourist attractions in the historic Sultanahmet district of Istanbul, following Turkey's Council of State's decision, Friday, July 10, 2020. Turkey's highest administrative court issued a ruling Friday that paves the way for the government to convert Hagia Sophia - a former cathedral-turned-mosque that now serves as a museum - back into a Muslim house of worship. The Council of State threw its weight behind a petition brought by a religious group and annulled a 1934 cabinet decision that changed the 6th century building into a museum. (AP Photo/Emrah Gurel)
July 10, 2020 - 6:07 pm
ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — The president of Turkey on Friday formally converted Istanbul’s sixth-century Hagia Sophia back into a mosque and declared it open for Muslim worship, hours after a high court annulled a 1934 decision that had made the religious landmark a museum. The decision sparked deep...
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FILE - Los Angeles Archbishop Jose H. Gomez celebrates the first English Mass with the faithful present, at the nation's largest Catholic Archdiocese in Los Angeles, Sunday, June 7, 2020. A religious freedom law firm with ties to President Donald Trump says it will sue California over its recent ban on singing or chanting in the church to slow the spread of the coronavirus. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes, File)
July 10, 2020 - 2:49 pm
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Crossroads Community Church Senior Pastor Jim Clark wants to keep his 1,500 parishioners safe during the coronavirus pandemic but he's drawing the line at a new California ban on singing or chanting at religious services. “I said enough’s enough,” Clark said. “We will be...
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FILE - In this June 10, 2020, file photo, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks during a news conference at the State Department in Washington. From Tokyo to Brussels, political leaders have swiftly decried Beijing's move to impose a tough national security law on Hong Kong that cracks down on subversive activity and protest in the semi-autonomous territory. But the rhetoric from democratic nations has more bark than bite. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, Pool, File)
July 10, 2020 - 4:49 am
BEIJING (AP) — China said Friday it will retaliate against U.S. officials and institutions following Washington’s imposition of sanctions on three local officials of the ruling Communist Party over human rights abuses in the northwestern region of Xinjiang. China will “definitely fight back”...
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Secretary of State Mike Pompeo during a news conference at the State Department in Washington, Wednesday, July 8, 2020. (Tom Brenner/Pool via AP)
July 09, 2020 - 3:28 pm
WASHINGTON (AP) — The United States on Thursday imposed sanctions on three senior officials of the Chinese Communist Party, including a member of the ruling Politburo, for alleged human rights abuses targeting ethnic and religious minorities that China has detained in the western part of the...
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FILE - In this Saturday, May 30, 2020 file photo, police for a line near St. John's Episcopal Church as demonstrators gather to protest the death of George Floyd, near the White House in Washington. Floyd, a Black man, died after being restrained by Minneapolis police officers. St. John's, at the epicenter of protests in Washington, has a long legacy on civil rights dating to its embrace of the 1963 March on Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
July 09, 2020 - 6:01 am
The Rev. John C. Harper had been rector at the historic St. John’s Episcopal Church for less than a year when the 1963 March on Washington began taking shape. A lay leader in the congregation urged him to steer clear of it — but instead he embraced it. Harper held a service the morning of the march...
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A worker walks among graves at a special cemetery for people who presumably died of COVID-19 at a cemetery in Jakarta, Indonesia Friday, June 12, 2020. As Indonesia’s virus death toll rises, the world’s most populous Muslim country finds itself at odds with protocols put in place by the government to handle the bodies of victims of the pandemic. This has led to increasing incidents of bodies being taken from hospitals, rejection of COVID-19 health and safety procedures, and what some experts say is a lack of communication from the government. (AP Photo/Achmad Ibrahim)
July 08, 2020 - 11:43 pm
JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — The mob of over 150 people who forcefully took Muhammad Yunus’ cadaver from a hospital in eastern Indonesia thought it was impossible that the 49-year-old Islamic preacher could have died from the coronavirus. He had always washed his hands, worn a mask and followed health...
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Commuters wearing face masks to protect against the spread of the new coronavirus walk through a subway station in Beijing, Thursday, July 9, 2020. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)
July 08, 2020 - 10:24 pm
BEIJING — China says it has nine new confirmed coronavirus cases, all of them brought from outside the country, and no new deaths. Thursday’s report buttresses growing signs the virus has been essentially contained inside the nation in which it first appeared late last year. The near elimination of...
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FILE - In this June 1, 2020, file photo, President Donald Trump holds a Bible as he visits outside St. John's Church across Lafayette Park from the White House in Washington. Trump began June with his Bible-clutching photo op outside the church after authorities used chemicals and batons to scatter peaceful demonstrators, and the month never got less jarring or divisive. Now, some Republicans are expressing concern about the month's impact on their party's ability to hold the Senate. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)
The Associated Press
July 07, 2020 - 10:53 am
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump's June began with his Bible-clutching photo op outside a church after authorities used chemicals and batons to scatter peaceful demonstrators. It never got less jarring or divisive. By month's end, he was downplaying a coronavirus pandemic upsurge that was...
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Vice President Mike Pence, left, greets Senior Pastor Dr. Robert Jeffress, right, after Pence spoke at the Southern Baptist megachurch First Baptist Dallas during a Celebrate Freedom Rally in Dallas, Sunday, June 28, 2020. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
July 06, 2020 - 11:03 pm
NEW YORK (AP) — Churches connected to President Donald Trump and other organizations linked to current or former Trump evangelical advisers received at least $17.3 million in loans from a federal rescue package designed to aid small businesses during the coronavirus pandemic. Those receiving loans...
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FILE - In this Feb. 6, 2020, file photo, President Donald Trump holds up a newspaper with the headline that reads "ACQUITTED" at the 68th annual National Prayer Breakfast, at the Washington Hilton in Washington. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci, File)
July 06, 2020 - 5:57 am
WASHINGTON (AP) — Not long after noon on Feb. 6, President Donald Trump strode into the elegant East Room of the White House. The night before, his impeachment trial had ended with acquittal in the Republican-controlled Senate. It was time to gloat and settle scores. “It was evil," Trump said of...
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