(via Flickr/Jennifer_Boriss)

The Missouri House has approved legislation allowing health care providers to refuse to participate in some tasks that violate their religious or ethical beliefs.

Wednesday's 117-37 vote sends the bill back to the Senate to consider changes made by the House.

The measure prohibits punishment of doctors, nurses and other health care workers who refuse to participate in contraception, abortions, embryonic stem cell research and certain other procedures or research.

(Joseph Leahy/St. Louis Public Radio)

The internet pervades almost every aspect of modern life and religion is no exception. From Facebook and Twitter, to live streaming services and online donations, churches across the country are redefining what it means to worship.

St. Louis Public Radio’s Joseph Leahy takes a look at how some local congregations are embracing the net to expand their missions online.

Including the "dot com"

During a livestreaming service on Easter Sunday, Pastor David Crank recalled the story of Jesus and the Adulteress -- adding one unusual detail:

(Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio)

The Missouri House has passed legislation that would exempt doctors and other health care workers from being forced to perform medical procedures that violate their religious beliefs.

The bill re-ignited intense debate over women’s reproductive rights.  State Rep. Margo McNeil (D, Hazelwood) argued that allowing health professionals to opt out of performing certain procedures could result in a public health threat.


The Missouri Senate has endorsed legislation making it a crime to disturb a religious worship service.

The bill given initial approval Wednesday would make it a misdemeanor to intentionally disturb or interrupt a "house of worship" with profane language, rude behavior or noise. The crime would be punishable by up to six months in jail and a $500 fine, with harsher punishment for repeat offenses.

(Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio)

On Sundays, rows of chairs, a city made of cardboard, and a praise band transform the auditorium of a local community center into the home of Middle Tree Church.

It's the first church associated with the Assemblies of God to open north of Delmar in almost 20 years. Its website asks, "What would communicate the love of God louder to a racially, socio-economically divided city than a church that truly unites the community that surrounds it?"

It's one man's effort to use a once racially-divided church to help heal a racially divided city.

A state House member wants to amend the Missouri Constitution to let parents receive public funding to send children to religious schools.

The proposal by Jefferson City Republican Jay Barnes would repeal a prohibition on public money going to religious schools. If approved by the full House and Senate, it would go on a statewide ballot.