religion

Courtesy of Ayan Jama

The sun was peeking through the clouds on Saturday, April 25  at Victor Steinbreuck Park in downtown Seattle, where a crowd gathered to celebrate the first ever Islamophobia Awareness Day.

The event was created by a group of Muslim girls from Rainier Beach High School. 

Abortion, contraception, same-sex marriage. The so-called pelvic issues are the ones that the head of the Roman Catholic Church really gets worked up about, right?

Not this pope.

That has been pretty clear to anyone listening to Pope Francis since he took over at the Vatican in 2013. “It is not necessary to talk about all these issues all the time,” Francis told an interviewer that same year. 

Now, Francis seems determined to talk about global climate change. And lots of people are listening.

As a 12-year-old Catholic boy growing up in England, Michael Fitzgerald decided he wanted to be a missionary in Africa. Eight years later, he was studying theology and learning Arabic in Tunisia.

He went on to devote his priestly ministry to the promotion of interfaith understanding between Muslims and Christians, and became one of the top Roman Catholic experts on Islam. He has served as the archbishop of Tunisia, the papal nuncio — effectively a Vatican ambassador — in Cairo, and the Vatican's delegate to the Arab League.

Sixty-three percent of people who took part in a global survey of religious attitudes say they are religious, according to WIN/Gallup International, the organization that carried out the polling.

The poll also found that 22 percent said they were not religious while about 11 percent said they were "convinced atheists," according to the poll published today. It surveyed nearly 64,000 people in 65 countries.

Plymouth Congregational Church in downtown Seattle.
Flickr Photo/Aaron Gustafson (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Marcie Sillman talks with Chris James of Dubuque University about his study on Seattle churches and what they can tell us about the future of religion.

Seattle's Jewish Population Soars

Apr 3, 2015
Remaining edifice of the old Temple De Hirsch, Capitol Hill neighborhood of Seattle.
Flickr Photo/brewbooks (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Marcie Sillman speaks with Matt Boxer, a researcher at Brandeis University's Cohen Center for Modern Jewish Studies, about the increase in Seattle's Jewish population. Boxer is part of a team commissioned by the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle to study the Jewish population.

Karen Shiveley, 67, waits to meet the pastor of a Baptist church in Everett. Shiveley has been checking out several churches around the Seattle area, hoping to find the right fit.
KUOW Photo/Isolde Raftery

 At Greater Trinity Missionary Baptist Church in Everett, Karen Shiveley sat alone in a pew, waiting to meet the pastor. The 67-year-old was smartly dressed, with orange-framed glasses, and she wondered if this could be her church home.

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray in the KUOW studios.
KUOW Photo/Bond Huberman

Ross Reynolds talks with Leah Libresco, news writer at FiveThirtyEight, about the boycott issued by Governor Jay Inslee and Seattle Mayor Ed Murray of government travel to Indiana after it passed the controversial Religious Freedom Restoration Act, described by opponents as a license to discriminate against gays and lesbians. 

In Israel, religious law governs family matters.

For a Jewish divorce, an Orthodox rabbi oversees a ritual that begins with the husband placing a folded decree, called a get or gett, into the wife's cupped hands. But that paper can be hard to obtain, because the husband can refuse to grant the divorce.

A new Israeli film playing in the U.S. shows how patriarchal Jewish divorce laws can trap even secular women for years.

The film is a drama called Gett: The Trial of Viviane Ansalem. Viviane wants a divorce but needs her husband's permission.

At the U.S. Supreme Court, you know that it's going to be a hot argument when the usually straight-faced Justice Samuel Alito begins a question this way: "Let's say four people show up for a job interview ... this is going to sound like a joke, but it's not."

The issue before the court on Wednesday was whether retailer Abercrombie & Fitch violated the federal law banning religious discrimination when it rejected a highly rated job applicant because she wore a Muslim headscarf.

Vandalism at Bothell Hindu Temple and Cultural Center.
Courtesy of HTCC/Nitya Niranjan

Marcie Sillman talks to Kami Simmons, professor of law at Wake Forest University Law school in North Carolina, about the challenges of proving a hate crime.

Last week the Hindu Temple and Cultural Center in Bothell and Skyview Junior High School were vandalized by graffiti that read "get out" with a swastika symbol and "get out Muslims." Now leaders of the Hindu temple and local interfaith leaders in the community are calling for a federal investigation of the incident.  

Vandalism at Bothell Hindu Temple and Cultural Center.
Courtesy of HTCC/Nitya Niranjan

Leaders of a Hindu temple in Bothell have fast-tracked a plan to add some extra security cameras. This comes after the temple was tagged with racist graffiti over the weekend. The incident has gotten some international media attention and is still under investigation.  

A highly contagious disease was sweeping across the United States. Thousands of children were sick and some were dying. In the midst of this outbreak, health officials did something that experts say had never been done before and hasn't been done since: They forced parents to vaccinate their children.

It sounds like something that would have happened 100 years ago. But this was 1991 — and the disease was measles.

Ross Reynolds talks to Vaughn Palmer, Vancouver Sun columnist, about the comments made by Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper about the niqab, a face veil some Muslim women wear.

This week officials are gathering in Washington to discuss how to counter extremist messages, particularly those from the self-proclaimed Islamic State.

ISIS has been luring thousands of Westerners to the battlefields of Syria and Iraq. The number of Americans who have traveled to Syria is still relatively small — in the neighborhood of 150 people — and a thin slice of that group, perhaps as many as two dozen Americans, are thought to have joined ISIS.

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