Religion

6:56am

Wed March 19, 2014
World

'Saint Death' Now Revered On Both Sides Of U.S.-Mexico Frontier

Originally published on Wed March 19, 2014 3:40 pm

Claudia Rosales kneels in front of her home altar devoted to Santa Muerte, or Saint Death. Rosales put up a statue of the saint in the city that was taken down by the mayor of Matamoros.
Kainaz Amaria NPR

The intrepid tourist who visits the market in the border city of Matamoros will find her between the onyx chess sets and Yucateca hammocks. She looks like a statue of the Grim Reaper dressed in a flowing gown. She is Santa Muerte, or Saint Death.

Originally revered as an underground folk saint in Mexico, her popularity has jumped the Rio Grande and spread to Mexican communities throughout the United States.

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5:44am

Thu March 13, 2014
World

One Year Later, 'A Pope For All' Keeps Catholics Guessing

Originally published on Thu March 13, 2014 9:21 am

Pope Francis greets the crowd as he arrives for his general audience in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican last month.
Vincenzo Pinto AFP/Getty Images

A year ago today, the world's 1.2 billion Catholics got their first Jesuit pope and the first from the global south. Taking the name Francis, he soon became one of the world's most popular newsmakers.

Following two doctrinally conservative leaders, the Argentine-born pope's pastoral approach has given the Catholic Church a new glow — less judgmental, more merciful.

Like many others in the big Sunday crowd in St. Peter's square, Sally Wilson is not Catholic, but she came all the way from Beaumont, Texas, to see the pope.

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5:07am

Mon March 10, 2014
Religion

Kentucky Southern Baptists Draw Crowds With Gun Giveaways

Originally published on Mon March 10, 2014 7:59 am

Twenty-five guns were up for grabs at the event. Raffle winners must pass a background check to claim their prize.
Blake Farmer WPLN

It's an hour before suppertime, and the line outside Lone Oak First Baptist Church in Paducah, Ky., is wrapped around the building. The people are waiting for more than a Bible sermon; there's a raffle tonight. Twenty-five guns are up for grabs.

There's nothing new about gun raffles in Kentucky, even at a church. Last year, there were 50 events like this one in the state. The Kentucky Baptist Convention says it's a surefire way to get new people through church doors.

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5:43am

Wed February 26, 2014
Religion

Ardent Atheists Spread Their Reverence For Disbelief

Originally published on Wed February 26, 2014 9:20 am

The San Diego Coalition of Reason opened this booth in Balboa Park to support the atheist community and to evangelize nonbelief to religious people.
Claire Trageser NPR

Stroll through the plaza of Balboa Park in San Diego, and you'll pass religious groups spreading their beliefs and looking for converts.

But you'll also see a table draped with a large banner that reads, "Relax, Hell Does Not Exist." Approach, and you'll hear evangelical atheist Rob Hudson engaged in religious arguments.

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5:37am

Tue February 11, 2014
Music

Monastic Life At The Top Of The Charts

Originally published on Tue February 11, 2014 11:28 am

Benedictines of Mary, Queen of the Apostles.
Courtesy of the artist

When the sisters of Benedictines of Mary, Queen of the Apostles aren't hard at work on the monastery grounds, they're topping the charts with albums of sacred music.

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