religion - updates

Rappler's latest stories on religion

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In rare U.S. criticism, Pence urges Saudis to free blogger Badawi

Jul 19, 2019 - 7:13 AM

US Vice President Mike Pence says, in 'Saudi Arabia, blogger Raif Badawi is still in prison for the alleged crime of criticizing Islam through electronic means'

US Vice President-elect Mike Pence arrives at Trump Tower in New York City on November 18, 2016 in New York. / AFP PHOTO / DOMINICK REUTER

Iraq's minority Yazidis, brutalized by ISIS

Jul 14, 2019 - 4:07 PM

5 years after the Islamic State swept across the Yazidis' hometown of Sinjar, here is what you need to know about the religious minority

LOST. Members of the Yazidi minority search for clues on February 3, 2015, that might lead them to missing relatives in the remains of people killed by the Islamic State jihadist group. File photo by Safin Hamed/AFP

India rejects critical U.S. religious freedom report

Jun 23, 2019 - 3:33 PM

'Despite Indian government statistics indicating that communal violence has increased sharply over the past two years, the Modi administration has not addressed the problem,' the US report international religious freedom finds

RELIGION. Indian Muslim devotees offer prayers during Eid al-Fitr at the Taj Mahal in Agra on June 5, 2019. File photo by Pawan Sharma/AFP

Iraq officially invites Pope to visit

Jun 20, 2019 - 11:33 PM

'I am honored to officially extend an invitation to Your Holiness to visit Iraq – the cradle of civilization and the birthplace of Abraham, the father of the faithful and messenger of the divine religions,' says President Barham Saleh

IRAQ INVITES POPE. In this file photo, Pope Francis waves as he boards a plane upon his departure for a three-day trip to Romania, on May 31, 2019 at Rome's Fiumicino airport . File photo by Alberto Pizzoli/AFP

7 in 10 Filipinos choose religion over science – global study

Jun 20, 2019 - 3:02 PM

According to the Wellcome Global Monitor 2018, the Philippines is among 19 countries 'where people most likely have high trust' in scientists

Sri Lanka extends emergency a month after suicide bombings

May 22, 2019 - 10:21 PM

Sri Lanka's president issues a proclamation saying that the emergency will continue for another 30 days, citing 'public security'

SECURITY. In this file photo, Sri Lankan security personnel keep watch outside the church premises following a blast at the St. Anthony's Shrine in Kochchikade, Colombo on April 21, 2019.  File photo by Ishara S. Kodikara/AFP

South Korean megachurch leader's rape term extended

May 17, 2019 - 11:29 PM

A Seoul appeals court has sentenced Pastor Lee Jaerock to 16 years behind bars

SENTENCED. In this file photo, South Korean Pastor Lee Jaerock arrives at the Seoul Central District Court to attend his trial in Seoul on November 22, 2018. File photo by Jung Yeon-je/AFP

Sri Lanka Muslims pray at vandalized mosques

May 17, 2019 - 6:13 PM

Police say security will remain tight over the weekend for a major Buddhist festival as well as the 10th anniversary of the ending of the country's decades-long Tamil separatist war

AFTERMATH. A Muslim man stands in front of the Jumha mosque after a mob attack in Minuwangoda on May 14, 2019. File photo by Lakruwan Wanniarachchi/AFP

U.S. says Pakistani Christian Asia Bibi 'safely reunited' with family

May 08, 2019 - 6:47 PM

(UPDATED) It is not clear when Bibi may have left or where she may have gone, and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau declines to confirm whether she has arrived in Canada

Dalai Lama discharged from hospital

Apr 12, 2019 - 7:36 PM

'I received the necessary medical treatments and now feel kind of normal,' the 83-year-old tells reporters in a video posted on his official Twitter account

Priest stabbed during mass at Canada's biggest church

Mar 22, 2019 - 11:45 PM

The suspect is arrested at the Roman Catholic basilica shortly after the attack in front of 50 people and a television audience, while priest Claude Grou is taken to hospital

CHURCH ATTACK. Catholic Priest Claude Grou was stabbed during a livestreamed morning mass on March 22, 2019, at Canada's biggest church, Saint Joseph's Oratory in Montreal, police said. Photo by Daniel Slim/AFP

Malaysian jailed for more than 10 years for insulting Islam

Mar 09, 2019 - 9:07 PM

The person found guilty, known only as Facebook user 'Ayea Yea,' will be jailed for 10 years and 10 months after pleading guilty to 10 charges of anti-religious activity and the misuse of communications networks

France urges Vatican to act after envoy charged with sex abuse

Mar 01, 2019 - 7:23 PM

'I am waiting for the Holy See to assume its responsibilities,' French European Minister Nathalie Loiseau says when asked if Luigi Ventura should see his diplomatic immunity lifted

Vatican to open probe into Cardinal Pell over child sex abuse

Feb 27, 2019 - 7:56 PM

The investigation could result in a canonical trial and George Pell's eventual expulsion from the priesthood

VATICAN PROBE. Cardinal George Pell (C) makes his way to the court in Melbourne on February 27, 2019. Photo by Con Chronis/AFP

Vatican has 'utmost respect' for justice after Pell conviction

Feb 26, 2019 - 9:28 PM

Cardinal George Pell, one of Pope Francis' closest advisers, has been found guilty of sexually assaulting two choirboys, becoming the most senior Catholic cleric ever convicted of child sex crimes

CONVICTED. Australian Cardinal George Pell looks on as he makes a statement at the Holy See Press Office, Vatican City on June 29, 2017. File photo by Alberto Pizzoli/AFP

Cardinal calls for global recognition of sex abuse in Catholic Church

Feb 22, 2019 - 10:01 PM

'The entire Church must take an honest look, undertake rigorous discernment, and then act decisively,' says Indian Cardinal Oswald Gracias

'TAKE AN HONEST LOOK.' Indian cardinal Oswald Gracias (R) arrives for a grand mass in St Peter's Basilica ahead of a papal election conclave on March 12, 2013 in St Peter's basilica at the Vatican. File photo by Gabriel Bouys/AFP

'Concrete measures' on sex abuse needed, pope tells Vatican summit

Feb 21, 2019 - 6:09 PM

(UPDATED) 'We humbly and sorrowfully admit that wounds have been inflicted by us bishops on the victims and in fact the entire body of Christ,' Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle tells the assembly

PRAYER. Pope Francis prays during the opening of a global child protection summit for reflections on the sex abuse crisis within the Catholic Church, on February 21, 2019 at the Vatican. Photo by Vincenzo Pinto/Pool/AFP

Pope admits priests, bishops sexually abused nuns

Feb 06, 2019 - 8:24 PM

Pope Francis says the problem can be found 'anywhere' but is prevalent in 'some new congregations and in some regions'

POPE FRANCIS. In this file photo, Pope Francis talks to journalists during a press conference held on board the flight to Rome. File photo by Andrew Medichini/Pool/AFP

55 million devotees for busiest days of Hindu megafestival

Feb 05, 2019 - 11:10 PM

The Mauni Amavasya – or new moon day – is the most auspicious day of the 48-day Kumbh Mela festival

Pope Francis makes history with Muslim dialogue in UAE

Feb 04, 2019 - 9:49 PM

The pope's highly publicized 48-hour visit to the United Arab Emirates will also include an open-air Mass on Tuesday, February 5, for 135,000 of the Muslim country's million Catholic residents

HISTORIC VISIT. Pope Francis (L) is welcomed by Abu Dhabi's Crown Prince along with the Dubai ruler upon his arrival to the presidential palace in the UAE capital Abu Dhabi on February 4, 2019. Photo by Giuseppe Cacace/AFP

Pakistan rejects challenge against Asia Bibi acquittal

Jan 29, 2019 - 6:22 PM

'She should now be free to reunite with her family and seek safety in a country of her choice,' Amnesty International says in a statement

FREE. This file handout photograph taken on November 20, 2010 and released by the Directorate General Public Relations (DGPR) Punjab shows Pakistani Christian woman Asia Bibi (C) sitting next to the then-governor of Punjab Salman Taseer (R) as she appealed her death sentence for blasphemy charges at the Central Jail in Sheikhupura. AFP PHOTO / Directorate General Public Relations (DGPR) Punjab

Pope Francis announces Japan visit in November

Jan 23, 2019 - 9:12 PM

The pope has made two trips to Asia since his election 5 years ago, visiting the Philippines and Sri Lanka in 2014, followed by Myanmar and Bangladesh in 2017

JAPAN VISIT. Pope Francis announces his plan to visit Japan in November 2019. File photo by Filippo Monteforte/AFP

At Jesus's birthplace, an app is born to ease crowds

Dec 20, 2018 - 2:03 PM

The app, which will be introduced early next year, is aimed at ensuring a regular flow of tourists at the Church of the Nativity

BETHLEHEM. A couple poses for a picture in front of the Grotto of the Nativity, the place where Jesus is said to have been born, inside the Church of the Nativity in the occupied biblical West Bank city of Bethlehem on December 12, 2018. (Photo by Thomas Coex/AFP


Jesuits release list of 89 U.S. priests accused of sex abuse

Dec 18, 2018 - 9:46 AM

The disclosures by the Jesuit provinces of Maryland and USA Midwest are the latest chapter in the ongoing sexual abuse scandal roiling the Catholic Church

Religious freedom at risk in 1 of 5 countries – report

Nov 23, 2018 - 1:50 PM

Of the 38 countries where freedom is threatened, the situation has worsened in 18 of them, 'in particular in two of the most populous countries in the world, China and India'

Muslim leaders reject Australia PM's terror comments

Nov 21, 2018 - 8:47 PM

The Australian Grand Mufti and other senior Muslim figures in Australia say they are 'deeply concerned and disappointed' with comments by Prime Minister Scott Morrison

Australia's Prime Minister Scott Morrison (C) delivers a national apology to child sex abuse victims in the House of Representatives in Parliament House in Canberra on October 22, 2018. - Morrison on October 22 issued an emotive apology to children who suffered sexual abuse, saying the state had failed to protect them from "evil dark" crimes committed over decades. (Photo by SEAN DAVEY / AFP)

3 killed in blast in India's Punjab state

Nov 18, 2018 - 5:12 PM

(UPDATED) Police say about 20 other people are injured after 2 armed men on a motorcycle forced their way into a building where the Nirankari spiritual group was meeting

Pakistani Christian woman Asia Bibi leaves jail, flies out of Multan

Nov 08, 2018 - 7:58 AM

Asia Bibi's release comes a week after her acquittal in a landmark case that triggered angry Islamist protests in Muslim-majority Pakistan

FREE. This file handout photograph taken on November 20, 2010 and released by the Directorate General Public Relations (DGPR) Punjab shows Pakistani Christian woman Asia Bibi (C) sitting next to the then-governor of Punjab Salman Taseer (R) as she appealed her death sentence for blasphemy charges at the Central Jail in Sheikhupura. AFP PHOTO / Directorate General Public Relations (DGPR) Punjab

China rights record in spotlight at U.N. review

Nov 06, 2018 - 1:39 PM

According to estimates, as many as one million Uighurs and other Muslim minorities are being kept in extrajudicial detention in China's fractious far western Xinjiang region

UN REVIEW. This photo taken on April 16, 2015 shows Uighurs riding through a sand storm, in China's western Xinjiang region. File photo by Greg Baker/AFP

Pakistan military says 'patience' tested ahead of mass blasphemy protests

Nov 02, 2018 - 4:41 PM

'We are tolerating remarks against us but action can be taken according to the law and constitution,' says the Pakistan military spokesman. 'Don’t force us into taking an action.'

Students of Islami Jamiat Talaba (IJT), a wing of religious political party Pakistan Jamaat-e-Islami (JI), march as they chant slogans following the Supreme Court decision to acquit Christian woman Asia Bibi of blasphemy, in Karachi on November 1, 2018. Pakistan's Imran Khan won praise for his stance against religious hardliners, as demonstrators blocked major roads to protest the Supreme Court's overturning of a blasphemy conviction. ASIF HASSAN / AFP

IN PHOTOS: Remembering the dead

Nov 02, 2018 - 8:25 AM

Millions flock to cemeteries to visit their departed loved ones

Observing All Saints Day with the traditional  "Panag Apoy" in Sagada, Mountain Province. Photo by Lito Borras/Rappler

Pakistan overturns Christian woman's blasphemy death sentence

Oct 31, 2018 - 12:52 PM

'The appeal is allowed. She has been acquitted. The judgement of high court as well as trial court is reversed. Her conviction is set aside,' says Pakistan's Chief Justice Saqib Nisar

[Two Pronged] My husband is leaving me and my son for his church

Sep 16, 2018 - 10:31 AM

'Was it right to prioritize the church before us, his family? Was it right that he hides money from me and yet generously donate to them?'

Ex-Australian archbishop avoids jail for concealing child abuse

Aug 14, 2018 - 3:25 PM

Magistrate Robert Stone has decided Philip Wilson will not need to spend time behind bars, with his age and prior good record taken into account

#ThewRap: Things you need to know, June 26, 2018

Jun 26, 2018 - 12:11 PM

Hello! Here are the stories you shouldn't miss this Tuesday

Justices of the Supreme Court led by acting Chief Justice Antonio Carpio starts the oral arguments on the same sex marriage on June 18, 2018. Photo by Ben Nabong/Rappler

'Stupid' God? Panelo says Duterte has shown highest levels of 'spirituality'

Jun 25, 2018 - 1:20 PM

Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo likens President Rodrigo Duterte to an 'academician' weighing in on the 'logic' behind the Bible's creation story

Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo during the Senate hearing on Charter Change on January 17, 2018. Photo by LeAnne Jazul/Rappler

CBCP hails 'wise' DOJ move to let Sister Fox stay for now

Jun 19, 2018 - 5:00 PM

Davao Archbishop Romulo Valles, president of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines, thanks the Department of Justice for its 'wise' decision on Australian nun Sister Patricia Fox

PETITION GRANTED. Sister Patricia Fox is allowed to stay in the Philippines, at least for now, after the Department of Justice nullified a Bureau of Immigration order forfeiting her missionary visa. Photo by Maria Tan/Rappler

'Pinapatay nila ang ating kawan. Pinapatay nila kaming mga pastol.'

Jun 16, 2018 - 11:00 AM

'Ikaw ba ay pumapalakpak pa rin? Ikaw ba ay tumatawa pa rin? Katawa-tawa pa rin ba ito sa iyo?' sabi nina Archbishop Socrates Villegas at mga kapwa niya pari ng Arkidiyosesis ng Lingayen-Dagupan

'HINDI KAMI NATATAKOT.' Naglabas ng matapang na pahayag sina Archbishop Socrates Villegas at mga kapwa niya pari laban sa pagpatay kay Father Richmond Nilo ng Nueva Ecija. File photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

Pope's envoys in Chile to 'ask forgiveness' over sex abuse

Jun 13, 2018 - 3:22 PM

Maltese archbishop Charles Scicluna and fellow papal envoy Jordi Bertomeu will take witness statements from victims of sexual abuse within the Church

ENVOY. Archbishop of Malta Charles Scicluna (L) and Spanish priest Jordi Bertomeu (R) give a press conference at the Apostolic Nunciature in Santiago on June 12, 2018. Photo by Claudio Reyes/AFP

'They are killing our flock. They are killing us shepherds.'

Jun 11, 2018 - 8:40 PM

Archbishop Socrates Villegas and other leaders call on President Rodrigo Duterte 'to stop the verbal persecution of the Catholic Church,' as they denounce the killing of Father Richmond Nilo

'WE ARE NOT AFRAID.' Archbishop Socrates Villegas denounces the killing of Nueva Ecija priest Father Richmond Nilo. File photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

He is insane. He is possessed.

Jun 10, 2018 - 1:57 PM

Dear children, as for those who dare to teach you error, pray for them and forgive them. They might be insane or possessed. They need God.

John Paul II's blood relic to be shown again at Manila Cathedral

May 17, 2018 - 9:30 PM

'Let us once again come together and receive God's grace through the intercession of our beloved St John Paul II,' says the Manila Cathedral on its Facebook page

BLOOD RELIC. Father Reginald Malicdem, rector of the Manila Cathedral, holds the relic of Saint John Paul II. File photo by Angie de Silva

Filipinos mark 400th year since Lady of Carmel's arrival in Philippines

May 05, 2018 - 7:52 AM

'Sa mundong sumasamba sa mga huwad na diyos, bumalik tayo sa Carmel,' writes Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle for 'Salubong at Traslacion'

FLUVIAL PROCESSION. The image of Our Lady of Mount Carmel is brought on a fluvial procession around Manila Bay on May 4, 2018. Photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

Sister Patricia Fox hits BI's definition of 'missionary work'

May 05, 2018 - 7:43 AM

While she has joined rallies for social justice, Australian nun Sister Patricia Fox calls these activities 'part and parcel of my apostolate and missionary work'

SEEKING PRAYERS. Priests pray over Australian nun Sister Patricia Fox at UP Diliman's Parish of the Holy Sacrifice on April 28, 2018. Photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

'Til divorce do us part?' PH struggles to marry religion and reality

Apr 21, 2018 - 10:00 PM

While there has been growing support for the passage of the divorce law, there is still no assurance from legislators that this would happen anytime soon

Pope John Paul II's blood relic honored at Manila Cathedral

Apr 07, 2018 - 4:27 PM

The public veneration of the blood relic at the Manila Cathedral lasts until 8 pm on Saturday, April 7, and resumes from 6 am to 8 pm on Sunday, April 8

BLOOD RELIC. The relic of the blood of Pope Saint John Paul II is on display for public veneration at the Manila Cathedral from April 7 to 8, 2018. Photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

China-Vatican deal on bishops imminent – Chinese prelate

Mar 29, 2018 - 3:37 PM

(UPDATED) Under the deal, the Vatican could agree to recognize 7 bishops who were chosen by the Communist government

CHINESE BISHOPS SOON? This photo taken on May 11, 2016 shows a priest about to start a mass at the Catholic church in Dingan, in China's southern Guangxi region. Photo by Greg Baker/AFP

[OPINION] Jesus wasn't white, he was brown-skinned. Here's why that matters.

Mar 29, 2018 - 12:28 PM

If we can recognize the importance of ethnically and physically diverse role models in our media, why can’t we do the same for faith? Why do we continue to allow images of a whitened Jesus to dominate?

JESUS. Jesus was a Middle Eastern Jew and was not white. Photo by Hans Zatzka (Public Domain)/The Conversation

Virtual Visita Iglesia: Philippine churches in 360-degree video

Mar 23, 2018 - 7:41 PM

To navigate on mobile and see each church in 360-degree view, scroll up and down or swipe left and right on the screen, while listening to and praying the Stations of the Cross

VISITA IGLESIA. Santo Tomas de Villanueva Church in Miagao, Iloilo, is one of the churches featured in Rappler's Virtual Visita Iglesia this year. Screen grab from 360-degree video by Fung Yu

Pope names new bishop of Kabankalan in Negros Occidental

Mar 13, 2018 - 2:52 PM

Monsignor Louie Patalinghug Galbines succeeds Bishop Patricio Abella Buzon, who was made bishop of Bacolod in May 2016

NEW BISHOP. Monsignor Louie Patalinghug Galbines, 52, is named bishop of Kabankalan in Negros Occidental. File photo from the Diocese of Bacolod/CBCP News