3:40 am
Tue September 30, 2014

Millennial Jews Do An About-Face, Start Keeping Kosher

University of Illinois student Stanley Dayan (from left) and Chabad Jewish Center employees Mordy Kurtz and Yosef Peysin work at the center's kosher food stand in 2013 at the university's State Farm Center basketball arena in Champaign, Ill.
David Mercer AP

Originally published on Tue September 30, 2014 10:46 am

Many millennials — people born after 1980 — have embraced vintage items: vinyl records, thick-framed glasses ... and now, dietary laws.

"I'm 21 years old, and, yes, I do keep kosher," says Lisa Faulds.

She says she ate whatever she wanted growing up: "bacon, ham, all that fun stuff. Seafood, shellfish."

But that all stopped a few months ago.

According to a 2013 Pew Research Center study, nearly a fourth of millennial Jews are keeping kosher.

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Faith And Service
9:51 am
Fri September 26, 2014

Seattle Rabbi Becomes First Bearded Air Force Chaplain

Rabbie Elie Estrin is sworn into the U.S. Airforce on September 10, 2014.
Credit Courtesy of Nina Krasnow

On Sept. 10, Rabbi Elie Estrin of Seattle was sworn in as the first U.S. Air Force chaplain with a beard after the Pentagon relaxed its restrictions on facial hair in the military earlier this year.

Estrin, who is now based out of Joint Base Lewis-McChord, said that though he was attracted to a military life before the ban was lifted, keeping his beard was an important part of his culture.

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RadioActive Youth Media
9:45 am
Thu September 25, 2014

Youth Find Themselves By Crossing Religious Boundaries

Podcast hosts Josh Medina (L) and Mohamed Mohamed
Credit KUOW Photo / Jenny Asarnow

This month's podcast features stories about youth who are defining themselves by building new religious community. 

First, pre-teens on all sides of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict put aside their cultural differences to find peace and friendship in a program called Kids4Peace.

Then, two young Muslim converts pursue their beliefs in spite of what their families or the media have to say.

RadioActive is KUOW's program for high school students. Listen to RadioActive stories, subscribe to the RadioActive podcast and stay in touch on Facebook.

Climate Change
2:38 pm
Tue September 23, 2014

Appealing To A Higher Authority In Climate Effort

Demonstrators at the People's Climate March in Seattle on September 21.
Credit Earth Ministry's Facebook page

Marcie Sillman speaks with Jessie Dye, outreach director for Earth Ministry, about the 2014 UN Climate Summit and the involvement of religious groups in environmental work.

Health Care
9:02 am
Wed September 17, 2014

How Catholic Insurance Companies Outsource Contraceptive Coverage

Contraceptive coverage has long been required by state laws or sought by nonreligious employers the religious health plans serve.

Originally published on Mon September 22, 2014 8:15 am

Catholic and other religious hospitals and universities have been arguing in federal court for much of the past two years that they shouldn't have to offer or facilitate birth control as part of their employee health plans because it violates their religious beliefs.

But what happens when the insurance company is itself Catholic? It turns out that Catholic health plans have for years been arranging for outside firms to provide contraceptive coverage to their enrollees.

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3:33 pm
Tue September 16, 2014

Why The Young Unchurched Flock To Evangelical Churches

During a service at Mars Hill Church's dowtown Seattle location.
Flickr Photo/Mars Hill Church (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Ross Reynolds talks with James Wellman, chair of the comparative religion program at the University of Washington, about why young people are drawn to evangelical institutions like Mars Hill Church and are leaving mainline denominations behind.

Wellman will be speaking at the Christ and Cascadia conference this month, an academic gathering addressing Christian renewal in the region.

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2:38 pm
Mon September 15, 2014

Former Mars Hill Pastor: 'It Wasn't Easy For Any Of Us To Leave'

Jeff Bettger and his wife Teresa, July 2013.
Credit Courtesy: Twitter/@jsuffering

Jeannie Yandel speaks with former Mars Hill Church Pastor and Elder Jeff Bettger about what he loved about the church and why he finally made the hard decision to leave in the wake of recent scandals.

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11:14 am
Thu September 11, 2014

Playwright Ayad Akhtar In Search Of The Modern Muslim

Playwright Ayad Akhtar
Credit courtesy ACT Theatre

Ayad Akhtar is one of those guys you'd hate if he wasn't so likeable.

The Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright is an award-winning screenwriter, a critically-acclaimed novelist, an actor and a teacher. And he's only 43 years old.

The Pulitzer-winning play, "Disgraced," is about a Pakistani-American who tries to distance himself from his roots. His deception falls apart when he and his wife host a dinner party. "Disgraced" has its Broadway debut this fall.

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Great Red Dragon
8:00 am
Fri August 15, 2014

Chasing China's Doomsday Cult

Propaganda against the Church of Almighty God in Beijing this year. The church aims to overthrow the Chinese government, which it calls the Great Red Dragon.
Credit Wikimedia Commons

Almighty God vs. the Red Dragon: It sounds like a fantasy action film, but it is in fact a real and disturbing struggle in China.

The most vivid case involves a group of people who beat a stranger to death in a fast food restaurant. They said they had no choice because the victim was a "demon."

The killers are fanatical followers of the Church of the Almighty God, a Christian doomsday cult which claims millions of members across China and pledges to overthrow the Chinese Communist Party - which it calls the Great Red Dragon.

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Mars Hill
7:38 am
Wed August 13, 2014

Book News: Christian Retailer Halts Sales Of Celebrity Pastor's Book

This undated photo provided by Crossway Books shows Mark Driscoll. Driscoll, pastor of Seattle's Mars Hill Church, invites his audience members to hit him with tough questions by way of text message. On Sunday evenings, after his last service, Driscoll answers the inquiries in real time on YouTube.
Crossway Books AP

Originally published on Wed August 13, 2014 7:28 am

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

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Mississippi Clinic
2:14 pm
Mon August 11, 2014

Doctor Performs Abortions 'Because I'm A Christian'

Dr. Willie J. Parker, pictured here on April 15, 2013, travels from Chicago about once a month to work at the Jackson Women's Health Organization clinic. (Rogelio V. Solis/AP)

Originally published on Mon August 11, 2014 12:28 pm

Dr. Willie Parker is one of two doctors who performs abortions at the only women’s health clinic in Mississippi where abortions are performed.

Parker is a devout Christian who feels he is doing the right thing to help women in need. He’s the subject of a profile in Esquire magazine called “The Abortion Ministry of Dr. Willie Parker.”

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Sephardic Jews
2:50 pm
Thu July 31, 2014

How Do You Save A Dying Language?

Ross Reynolds speaks with Devin Naar, an assistant professor at the University of Washington, about his attempts to save Ladino, a dying language spoken by Sephardic Jews. Naar discusses the language's fascinating history, uncertain future and how Ladino helped him uncover secrets about his own family.

11:37 am
Wed July 30, 2014

Pierce County First In Northwest To Approve 'In God We Trust' Motto Display

File photo from the exterior of the Pennsylvania State Capitol in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

Originally published on Wed July 30, 2014 8:21 am

A divided county council in Pierce County, Washington Tuesday voted to display the motto "In God We Trust" in its chambers. That makes it the first jurisdiction in the Northwest to become part of a national campaign to feature the motto.

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RadioActive Youth Media
11:10 am
Fri July 25, 2014

Creative Or Analytical? Ask A Wiccan!

Meghan and Noah have a laugh over tea while recording this podcast.
Lila Kitaeff KUOW

Meghan O'Kelley and Noah Phillips Reardon attend a Wiccan gathering at Edge of the Circle Bookstore on Capital Hill. Listen as they discover and share the ancient secrets of palm reading.

RadioActive is KUOW's program for high school students. Listen to RadioActive stories, subscribe to the RadioActive podcast and stay in touch on Facebook.

6:54 am
Mon July 21, 2014

The Fasting 5K: No Food, No Water, No Problem For Muslim Runners

Runners form a human bridge at the finish line to cheer fellow racers. Participants completed a 3-mile loop around the National Mall — without food or water since sunrise.
Rund Abdelfatah NPR

Originally published on Mon July 21, 2014 11:53 am

With the sun lingering on the horizon and the Capitol in the distance, runner after runner completed a 3-mile loop around the National Mall and was met with cheers and high-fives. Standing in two parallel lines with hands outstretched, the crowd of mostly 20-somethings formed a celebratory human bridge for their fellow runners to pass under as they crossed the finish line.

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