religion

Women pray during the Islamic Foundation of Greater St. Louis' service to celebrate Eid al-fitr, or the breaking of the month-long Ramadan fast.
Stephanie Lecci | St. Louis Public Radio

Hundreds of people, clad in colorful dresses and their finest clothes, filled the gymnasium at St. Louis Community College's Forest Park campus. After taking off their shoes, multi-generational families placed rugs on the floor, pointed in the same direction.

Waving, hugging and greeting one another, people waited for the beginning of the prayer service to mark the end of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.

Professor Lerone Martin holds recording of Rev. J.M. Gates
Willis Ryder Arnold | St. Louis Public Radio

The term "televangelist” was coined in a 1975 TIME magazine article to describe a practice now familiar to many Americans. Lerone Martin said that practice may stem from sermons recorded in the mid 1920s. Martin wants people to imagine a recording session with Louis Armstrong and his musicians in New York’s Columbia Records studios as one of the first bridges established between religion and mass media.

As local schools celebrate Catholic Schools Week, the new superintendent of Catholic Education for the Archdiocese of St. Louis said the schools are successful because everyone works together.

Courtesy of Mark Shook

Members of the clergy have taken on important roles since the August shooting death of an unarmed black man by a police officer in Ferguson. That’s also true within the St. Louis County Police Department.

The department has 23 volunteer chaplains from 11 denominations who have focused on the needs of police officers and their families, program coordinator Rabbi Mark Shook told “St. Louis on the Air” host Don Marsh on Wednesday. The chaplains often have an opportunity to talk with officers during breaks.

The Very Rev. Mike Kinman prepares for an interview Dec. 2, 2014, with 'St. Louis on the Air' host Don Marsh at St. Louis Public Radio.
Alex Heuer / St. Louis Public Radio

Religious leaders have actively addressed Ferguson issues and participated in Ferguson demonstrations since August. For the Very Rev. Mike Kinman, dean of Christ Church Cathedral, getting involved comes down to one word: Listen.

Tony Flannery
Courtesy of Call to Action

In 2012, Tony Flannery, an Irish priest and religious writer, found out the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the Vatican’s watchdog group, was displeased with some of his writings about the church.

Clergy guard a memorial at the Ferguson police department as part of Ferguson October.
Rachel Lippmann I St. Louis Public Radio

Though he didn’t want to go to jail, Rabbi Ari Kaiman, the assistant rabbi at Congregation B’nai Amoona, was willing to be arrested in front of the Ferguson police station on Monday.

It was the fifth day of Sukkot, the holiday during which Jews are commanded to dwell outside in temporary houses with open roofs. The holiday calls for an act of vulnerability, Kaiman said, trusting that God will provide the protection needed.

The Rev. Sean Martin
Provided by Aquinas

Today, for the first time in the 88 years since the Dominican friars founded Aquinas Institute of Theology, a scholar and priest who is not a Dominican becomes its president.

Father Seán Charles Martin is the new Aquinas president.

“It is a big step for us because in our long history we have always had a Dominican,” the Very Rev Charles Bouchard said. He's the Dominican provincial, its elected leader, over 14 states from Michigan to New Mexico, who made today’s announcement in Chicago.

Reza Aslan spoke at the Indian Summer Festival in in July 2014 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
us_mission_canada via Flickr

Who was Jesus? Much has been written about his religious influence, but less is known about the man from a historical perspective.

From a march in Ferguson on Aug. 15
Durrie Bouscaren I St. Louis Public Radio / St. Louis Public Radio

As communities seek leaders, members of the clergy are responding.

After the death of Michael Brown, followed by looting, riots, peaceful protests and arrests, local clergy and religious congregations are responding to the turmoil in Ferguson. On Wednesday, we talked to some of those leaders:

Elijah Haahr
Campaign site

A newly signed law designed to protect religious expression in Missouri’s public schools reinforces a constitutional amendment passed two years ago, but some say that it could lead to fewer opportunities for students to express their religious views.

The law, HB1303, was signed last week by Gov. Jay Nixon. Dubbed the “Missouri Student Religious Liberties Act,” it says that:

Mary Delach Leonard|St. Louis Public Radio and the Beacon

The blues will spill out the open front doors of Christ Church Cathedral in downtown St. Louis on Good Friday evening as local performers join in a service that blends religion with music rooted in city tradition.

The Very Rev. Mike Kinman, dean of the Episcopal cathedral, says blues will be incorporated throughout the program. The service will begin with a dramatic reading of gospel accounts of the passion of Jesus Christ and will conclude with a live concert.

Wm Morrow

At the close of World War II, Adolph Hitler committed suicide rather than face a world not shaped to his liking. So too did high-ranking Nazi officials Joseph Goebbel and Heinrich Himmler. But 23 of the leaders of the Third Reich remained alive to face justice for their crimes.

From November 1945 to October 1946, the world watched as the Allied forces tried 21 of those leaders for war crimes and crimes against humanity. In the background, unnoticed by most, was an army chaplain from St. Louis named Henry Gerecke.

(Via Flickr/Rosemary)

Legislation to allow medical professionals to refuse to take part in procedures that violate their religious or personal beliefs was heard Wednesday by a Missouri House committee.

Chris McDaniel, St. Louis Public Radio.

About two dozen taxi drivers protested outside of City Hall in St. Louis on Monday, denouncing a Muslim cab driver's arrest for wearing his religious clothing while on the job.

Raja Naeem jokes that his attorney calls him "the Muslim Rosa Parks."

The Metropolitan Taxicab Commission warned him that he couldn't wear his religious clothing while picking up customers from Lambert airport, and that he would be arrested if he did.

He wore it anyway, and says his Kufi - his hat - was thrown on the ground, which he says is a great insult.

UPI/Bill Greenblatt

Updated 12:02 p.m. Edited formatting 12:44 p.m.

Health care workers could refuse to participate in procedures or research that violates their religious, moral or ethical principles under a measure passed by the Missouri House.

The House sent the measure to the Senate Tuesday with a 116-41 vote.

Earlier story:

The Missouri House has given first-round approval to legislation that would allow medical workers to refuse to take part in procedures that violate their religious or ethical beliefs.

(via Flickr/s_falkow)

Updated to correct spelling of Patti Hageman's name

A St. Louis taxi driver has filed a religious discrimination lawsuit against the Metropolitan Taxicab Commission, the City of St. Louis and Whelan Security.

Raja Naeem filed the lawsuit this morning following his Dec. 7 arrest at Lambert Airport.

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri is one of nine states where lawmakers are forming caucuses they say will focus on preserving religious freedom.

Departing State Representative Mike McGhee (R, Odessa) is organizing Missouri’s caucus.  He says one of their functions will be to consult with lawmakers in other states on making sure that the language used in bills doesn’t result in the erosion of religious rights.

Missouri Capitol building
Marshall Griffin | St. Louis Public Radio

Several new laws will take effect in Missouri tomorrow, including one that’s being challenged in federal court.

(Wallpaperstock.net)

People from a range of religious traditions and faiths will be gathering this afternoon to talk about environmental sustainability.

St. Louis EcoFaith co-organizer Steve Lawler says the goal is to build an interfaith network that can support environmental awareness and action.

Himself an Episcopal priest, Lawler says concern for the environment is integral to many different religions, from Buddhism to Islam.

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