religion

Pope Francis over the weekend became the first pontiff to hold a private meeting with a transgender person. It’s one of many firsts for Pope Francis that have been seen as promoting greater inclusiveness in the church.

But what about women in the church? According to a Georgetown University study, 72 percent of nuns in the U.S. have left the church in the last five decades, compared with 35 percent of priests.

Just six years ago, the Vatican’s launch of an investigation into American nuns sparked outrage, but the release of the report in December was more warmly received.

All Pilgrims Christian Church on Seattle's Capitol Hill.
Flickr Photo/Curtis Cronn (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Marcie Sillman talks with Don Jensen, executive director of Community Lunch, and Greg Turk, pastor of All Pilgrims Christian Church on Seattle's Capitol Hill, about community controversy over the church's plans to expand a meal program for people in need.

Jews Face New Fears In Europe

Jan 13, 2015

The killing of four French Jews in last week’s hostage standoff at a Paris kosher market has deepened the fears among European Jewish communities shaken by rising anti-Semitism and feeling vulnerable due to poor security and a large number of undefended potential targets.

The hostage situation followed the attack on the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo that left 12 people dead. Experts say European Jews have not felt this threatened since World War II, when some 6 million Jews were murdered in the Nazi Holocaust.

(This post was last updated at 6:50 p.m. ET.)

A nationwide manhunt for the suspects of France's deadliest terrorist attack in more than 50 years ended in a hail of gunfire on Friday.

After hours of tension in two separate standoffs that shut down parts of the Paris metro area, the two main suspects in the attack on a satirical magazine and a man who took hostages at a kosher grocery are dead, President François Hollande said in a speech to the nation.

We're not all Charlie

Jan 8, 2015
Carlo Allegri/Reuters 

#JeSuisCharlie exploded on social media on Wednesday in support of the murdered journalists at Charlie Hebdo.

But while people across the world are aligning themselves with the French satirical publication, these are the reasons they shouldn't: 

1. Je suis Charlie? Nope. I'd be dishonest. 

Charles R. Johnson with Ralph Ellison
Wikipedia Photo/Robin Platzer

As a teenager, University of Washington professor emeritus Charles Johnson discovered a book on yoga and meditation on his mom’s bookshelf that sparked his interest in practicing Buddhism.

Johnson spoke with Marcie Sillman on KUOW’s The Record to discuss the intersection of race, religion and his writing. His newest book is called “Taming the Ox: Buddhist Stories and Reflections on Politics, Race, Culture, and Spiritual Practice.”

In The Sunday Conversation, Weekend Edition Sunday brings listeners an unexpected side of the news by talking with someone personally affected by the stories making headlines.

Allan Edwards is the pastor of Kiski Valley Presbyterian Church in western Pennsylvania, a congregation of the Presbyterian Church in America. He's attracted to men, but he considers acting on that attraction a sin. Accordingly, Edwards has chosen not to act on it.

Jews, Chinese Food And Christmas: A Love Story

Dec 24, 2014
Chinese food fortune cookie
Flickr Photo/Ginny (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Marcie Sillman talks with Hanna Raskin, former food critic for the Seattle Weekly, about the historical reasons why American Jews traditionally eat Chinese food on Christmas.

The Vatican released a much-anticipated report Tuesday, examining the lives and social work of American nuns.

The report on the 50,000 nuns and another on their leaders were both initiated under Pope Benedict in 2008. In 2012, the Vatican took over the Leadership Conference of Women Religious and said the leaders focused too much on social issues and promoted radical feminist themes.

You may think Jewish cooking can be summed up with a few dishes like chicken soup, knishes, chopped liver and gefilte fish.

But there once were Jewish communities all over the world — most of which no longer exist and all of which had a distinctive cuisine.

Stefano Rellandini/Reuters

It's been only two years since the Vatican released a highly critical report on American nuns that caused years of tension and distrust. But Catholic cardinals offered the same nuns praise on Tuesday as part of a report on women's religious orders in the United States.

Amin Shifow, general manager of Puget Sound Yellow Cab, said he wants to start a hotline for drivers to report harassment and other potential crimes against them.
KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

A Muslim advocacy group in Seattle is calling on the FBI to look into a possible hate crime against a Somali taxi driver. According to Seattle Police, the attacker reportedly told the driver “you are a terrorist” and “I will shoot you,” then repeatedly punched him in the face.

“The severity of the incident makes this a more serious matter,” said Arsalan Bukhari, executive director of the Council on Islamic-American Relations (CAIR) in Washington state, which is part of a national organization. “The person was attacked by three people who left him bloodied and unconscious.”

Seattle's Mormon Temple, used for rituals and weddings. Mormons attend church in wards on Sundays.
Flickr Photo/Tyler Foote (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Earlier this week Kate Kelly, the founder of a group advocating for women to be ordained into the Mormon priesthood, was excommunicated by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints for apostasy.

“For Mormons it’s really the equivalent of spiritual death,” said Natalie Kelly, a Seattle-based member of that group, Ordain Women. She is not related to Kate Kelly.

United Methodist pastor Frank Schaefer speaks during a news conference Tuesday, June 24, 2014, at First United Methodist Church of Germantown in Philadelphia.
AP Photo/Matt Rourke

Ross Reynolds talks with Frank Schaefer, author of "Defrocked: How A Father's Act of Love Shook the United Methodist Church," about his decision to officiate his son's same-sex marriage and the ensuing case over his dismissal from position as pastor in the Methodist church.

This segment originally aired October 20, 2014.

African-American clergy, academics and activists will hold a march on Washington this week, protesting the grand jury decisions in Ferguson, Mo. and New York City and call on the federal government to intervene in the prosecutions of police officers accused of unjustified use of force.

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