Religion

Imre Jokuti, who escaped from Hungary while fighting in the revolution, sings the Hungarian national anthem at St. Mary of Victories Church on Nov. 4, 2016.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Wearing a ribbon with the Hungarian flag’s red, white and green colors attached to his lapel, Albert Futo sang a hymn in his native tongue with the St. Mary of Victories Church choir in St. Louis Friday morning.

For Futo, this special Mass commemorating the 60th anniversary of Hungary’s uprising against the Soviet Union has personal significance.

Vince Bantu (left) listens to speaker SueJeanne Koh at the Summit for Future Theological Educators of Color, a conference held in Evanston, Ilinois, in the summer of 2014.
Vince Bantu | Jubilee Community Church

What exactly is an “inter-minority" dialogue?

For Vince Lee Bantu, it’s a space for where people of color can come share their common cultural experiences and nuanced struggles while building connections.

On Saturday, Inter-Minority Dialogue is an event with workshops that will explore topics that include “Latinos, Immigration, and the Church;” “Being Arab in St. Louis;” and “Partnering with Refugees.” Organized by local faith leaders like Bantu to focus on the experiences of people of color, the event will take place at Comunidad Cristiana Vida Abundante, 1216 Sidney St., in St. Louis.

Younger children, like 11-year-old Tanya Raja, don't have to fast during the month of Ramadan like older Muslims do, but many start practicing at an early age.
Stephanie Lecci | St. Louis Public Radio

The Islamic holy month of Ramadan, with its daily sun-up to sundown fasts, increased prayer and focus on charity, is drawing to a close. That means there are only a few days left for young Muslims to try to fast for the first time.

CAIR-St. Louis executive director Faizan Syed said this year's Sharing Ramadan event will be the biggest yet.
Council on American-Islamic Relations-St. Louis

As many as 500 St. Louis area Muslims and non-Muslims are expected to share in food and faith traditions Thursday for a "Sharing Ramadan" event, but this time, security measures will be in place. 

Outgoing SBC president Ronnie Floyd (center, sixth from left) leads the panel discussion on racial unity, including two St. Louis pastors.
Van Payne | Southern Baptist Convention

Updated Wednesday, June 15 with presidential election results – The Southern Baptist Convention has selected Steve Gaines, a Memphis pastor, as its next president. 

Church representatives, or messengers, voted twice Tuesday after a close count caused a runoff election. By the next morning, North Carolina pastor J.D. Greear dropped out of the race to keep the convention "united."  The announcement came the day after the convention representing the country's largest Evangelical Christian denomination notably called on its members to "discontinue the display of the Confederate Battle Flag."

Priests welcome their two new members Saturday, May 28, 2016 at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis.
Camille Phillips | St. Louis Public Radio

Row after row of priests filed through the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis Saturday to lay hands on the heads of the two men joining their brotherhood.

Archbishop Robert Carlson then prayed over the candidates, ordaining Kent Pollman and Scott Scheiderer as priests.

Pollman and Scheiderer are part of a new class of priests in St. Louis: smaller in number than the ordination classes of the 1980s, and facing a future juggling more responsibilities.

The Kursk Root Icon is annually venerated at Orthodox parishes across North America.
St. Basil the Great Orthodox Church | Facebook

Several Orthodox Christian churches in the St. Louis area are hosting a centuries old icon over the next few days.

The Kursk Root Icon is a painting of the Virgin Mary, known as the Theotokos, that is said to date to the 13th century in its namesake town in Russia. The icon, associated with miraculous healings and events, annually travels to the North American parishes that are part of the Russian Church Outside of Russia (which is now a reconciled part of the Russian Orthodox Church).

The Conservative movement's Committee on Jewish Law and Standards recently decided that abstaining from legumes during Passover is more of a long-standing tradition and not a rule.
Gilabrand | Wikipedia

Barbara Shamir’s Passover table may get one new addition this year, to accompany the tender brisket, rich potato kugel, gefilte fish with a horseradish sidekick, and ubiquitous flourless chocolate cake.

It's tehina -- also called tahini -- once banned, now welcome at her table, thanks to a rabbinical dispensation.

In previous years, Shamir, of Olivette, would not allow her husband, Amos, to prepare or serve this sesame seed-based sauce during the holiday. That’s because the condiment contains “kitniyot,” foods that include legumes, certain seeds and peas. For many Ashkenazi Jews, or those of Eastern European descent, kitniyot is not kosher to eat during Passover.

Photos of the four pastors interviewed for this story.
Credit: provided and St. Louis Public Radio

Hundreds of thousands of people are expected to attend a St. Louis-area church Sunday to celebrate Easter, filling more pews than normal in the process.

With regular church attendance on the decline nationwide, St. Louis priests and pastors say knowing more people will hear their Easter message gives added importance to the words they share.

Civic Progress President Tom Irwin stands with Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon at the St. Louis Regional Chamber. Business groups held a presser condemning the amendment.
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri’s business organizations are waging an all out attack on an amendment aimed at allowing clergy and business owners to refuse services to same-sex weddings. 

The measure, known as SJR39, was the central focus of a nearly two-day-long filibuster by Missouri Senate Democrats. Republicans employed a rarely used parliamentary procedure known as the "previous question" to squelch the talk-a-thon, and now the amendment awaits action in the Missouri House.

Archbishop of New York and St. Louis native, Cardinal Timothy Dolan, drew on the papacies of popes John Paul II, Benedict XVI and Francis to discuss how religion can play a role alongside politics.
Stephanie Lecci | St. Louis Public Radio.

Cardinal Timothy Dolan, the Catholic Archbishop of New York, was back in his hometown of St. Louis Wednesday to give a lecture at Washington University's John C. Danforth Center on Religion and Politics.

A dinner party with Isaac (Jonathan C. Kaplan), Jory (Rachel Christopher), Emily (Leigh Williams) and Amir (John Pasha) in The Rep's "Disgraced" starts off on a friendly note but soon takes a different turn.
Peter Wochniak / ProPhotoSTL.com

This year’s most widely produced play in the country is on stage right now at the Repertory Theatre of St. Louis. 

“Disgraced” centers on an ambitious New York attorney grappling with his Islamic roots in a post-9/11 world. But the Pulitzer Prize-winning drama is really about everyone’s American experience, people of all faiths or no faith, according to playwright Ayad Akhtar.

Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

The president of Maryville University’s Muslim Student Association wants to set something straight:

“People need to understand that the real face of Islam is the face you see in front of you right now,” said Shehmin Awan. “It is us three people. It’s the billions of people who are practicing peacefully. It is not the face of ISIL or ISIS or whatever you want to call it. It’s not the face of a terrorist.

Askia Hameed, resident imam at Al-Muminoon Masjid in St. Louis: "'’Oh you who believe, stand out firmly for Allah as witnesses to fair dealing.  And let not the hatred of others to you make you swerve to wrong and depart from justice. '"
Carolina Hidalgo / St. Louis Public Radio

For our holiday episode, we talked to faith leaders about their experiences addressing race with their congregations.

 

We wanted to know if they felt obligated to address race (many said yes); whether parishioners were receptive (sometimes); and why it was or was not an important part of their ministry (you’ll have to listen to the show to find out).

 

Susannah Lohr | St. Louis Public Radio

It’s the holiday season, and like many of you, we’re taking stock.  

Taking stock of what we accomplished with this We Live Here project; the stories and topics we’ve covered; and where we hope to go in the future.   

The choir of United Believers in Christ Ministries opened the first service at the church's new building on Sunday with several worship songs.
Stephanie Lecci | St. Louis Public Radio

The yellow house at 8820 North Broadway in St. Louis looks like most of the others on the block, but the worship music wafting out onto the sidewalk signals this is the new home of United Believers in Christ Ministries

Dr. Ed Hogan of the St. Louis Archdiocese said he believes there is a "false" contradiction between faith-based and scientific beliefs, a theme similarly depicted in this Tiffany stained glass window located at Yale University.
Ragesoss | Wikimedia Commons

A professor at a St. Louis-area Catholic seminary is one of 15 people across the country to win a $10,000 grant to develop science courses for future priests.

Erica Jones, right, and Theodis Rush, left, listen to a press conference to announce more money for an anti-gun-violence program run out of Better Family Life. Jones’s 24-year-old daughter, Whitney Brown, was killed in a drive-by shooting in August.
Nassim Benchaabane|St. Louis Public Radio

On Monday morning, St. Louis detectives began work on the city’s 145th homicide case since January. The body of a 25-year-old man was found in a car with multiple gunshot wounds in the Mark Twain neighborhood, an area less than two miles square that has already experienced six murders in the past nine months. 

The "Nuns on the Bus" social justice bus tour arrives in Keiner Plaza in downtown St. Louis on Thursday, as the first stop in a seven-state journey.
Stephanie Lecci | St. Louis Public Radio

A national Catholic social justice organization made St. Louis the first stop on its seven-state bus tour as it travels the country ahead of Pope Francis' upcoming U.S. visit. 

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:

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