religion and faith | KUOW News and Information

religion and faith

In light of President Donald Trump’s contentious immigration order, Washington lawmakers started making moves of their own. At a press conference in Olympia Thursday, faith leaders said they want to help.

Archaeologists from the U.S. and Israel say they have found evidence that a 12th cave was used to store Dead Sea Scrolls, the ancient manuscripts dating back to the time of Jesus.

"This exciting excavation is the closest we've come to discovering new Dead Sea scrolls in 60 years," Oren Gutfeld of The Hebrew University said in a statement about the discovery. "Until now, it was accepted that Dead Sea scrolls were found only in 11 caves at Qumran, but now there is no doubt that this is the 12th cave."

White House chief strategist Steve Bannon is known to have cultivated ties with far-right parties in Europe, like the National Front in France. He also seems to have forged an alliance with Vatican hard-liners who oppose Pope Francis' less rigid approach to church doctrine. The New York Times reported this week on Bannon's connections at the Vatican.

Courtesy Gil Aegerter

Joe Fuiten likes President Donald Trump's proposal to eliminate tax restrictions on churches' participation in politics.

Fuiten built up one of Washington's largest churches, Cedar Park Church in Bothell. He told KUOW's Kim Malcolm that he found ways around the Johnson Amendment because he knew the law and followed it.


FLICK PHOTO/ caged (CC by 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/7JELJr

Bill Radke speaks with Tanya Erzen, associate professor of religion and gender studies at the University of Puget Sound, about the rise of Christian faith-based ministry in prisons. 

In Washington state prisons, 85 percent of the faith-based ministries for inmates are Christian. That tracks with what's happening in prisons all over the country. 

Days after fire destroyed the Victoria Islamic Center in Victoria, Texas, donations to rebuild the mosque have passed $1 million. And that's only one part of the support the mosque has received: Four churches and a synagogue say Muslims are welcome to hold services in their buildings.

Spokane’s City Council passed an emergency ordinance Monday night that prohibits religious registries of any kind in Washington’s second largest city.

Alaa, age 11, takes a selfie with a reporter's camera.
ALAA AL HALABI

Alaa Al Halabi's big sister was supposed to move here on Monday. 

But President Donald Trump signed an executive order banning travelers from seven Muslim-majority countries. 

Carl Livingston, a professor at Seattle Central College and a pastor at Kingdom Christian Center in Federal Way.
KUOW Photo/Katherine Banwell

Carl Livingston sees the troubles facing African American churches in Seattle as a test.

Livingston told KUOW’s Kim Malcolm that as the city has grown more expensive, congregations are surviving in part by cutting costs and seeking innovative ways to find income.


President Trump's temporary ban on the admission of refugees is not going over well with the churches and religious organizations that handle most refugee resettlements in the United States.

"The faith groups are going to kick and scream and object to every aspect of this disgusting, vile executive order," says Mark Hetfield, president of HIAS, a Jewish refugee society. "[It] makes America out to be something that it is not. We are a country that welcomes refugees."

Gordon Wilson sits next to Tanvir Rahman at the KUOW Studios.
KUOW PHOTO/ISOLDE RAFTERY

A couple of weeks ago, a fire destroyed a Bellevue mosque. So their neighbors stepped up.

Members of the Mormon Church next door offered to share their building to give their Muslim neighbors a place to pray.

A fire on Saturday morning burned down a large part of the Islamic Center of the Eastside, a mosque in Bellevue.
Bellevue Fire Department

Updated 8:42 p.m.

A fire burned down most of a mosque in Bellevue early on Saturday morning, just one day after a man was charged with a hate crime for threatening members of that mosque in October.

There were no injuries.

Does America have a divine origin?

Jan 12, 2017
Michael Medved speaking at the 2014 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland.
FLICKR PHOTO/Gage Skidmore (CC by SA 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/kPpwPZ

Bill Radke speaks with conservative talk show host Michael Medved about his new book, "The American Miracle: Divine Providence in the Rise of the Republic." 

Some Americans believe that President Trump will restore this nation's greatness as God intended it. Medved is not a Trump supporter, but he does believe God has a plan for America. Medved believes the history of the United States is improbable and bizarre, which makes it easier to see where that divine providence guided the nation.

The Muslim Association of Puget Sound, which is the largest mosque in the Puget Sound area, received a threat after the Orlando shooting on Sunday, June 12.
KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

Police chiefs from six cities on the Eastside met with community members Tuesday night.

They held a safety forum at the Muslim Association of Puget Sound (MAPS), the largest mosque in the Northwest, to address concerns in the local Muslim and immigrant communities.

KUOW Photo/Bond Huberman

Long before Seattle was a sanctuary city, churches here sheltered immigrants from Central America.

Carlos Mejia and his wife Ercilia moved here in 1983 from El Salvador, which was in the throes of a civil war. Patricia was seven months pregnant at the time; she later gave birth on the third floor of University Baptist Church.

I escaped Nazi Germany. I see its ideology alive in America today

Dec 30, 2016
Franz W. Wasserman, 96, lives in Seattle. He was 12 when Hitler rose to power in Germany.
Courtesy of Margie Bone

A call to action:

I was born in Munich, Germany, in 1920. I lived there during the rise of the Nazi Party and left for the U.S.A. in 1938. 

The monks at Assumption Abbey in Ava, Mo., were making concrete blocks when Father Cyprian Harrison joined the order in 1965. As demand for the blocks waned, the order explored other options to support the men who call the cloistered monastery home.

"After a lot of inner reflection, we decided [to get out of the concrete block business and start making] fruitcake. We only had to change the recipe a little," quips Harrison.

Hindus and Muslims who have migrated to the United States in recent years are especially well-educated, according to a new survey from the Pew Research Center. On average, Hindus in the U.S. have nearly 16 years of schooling, significantly more than Jews, the next most highly-educated U.S. religious group. Muslim Americans have nearly 14 years of schooling, which is well above the U.S. average.

Pope Francis is calling on those who use and control the media to avoid disinformation and "the sickness of coprophilia" — comparing a love of scandal to an abnormal interest in feces that can also include elements of sexual arousal.

An obsession with scandal can do great harm, Francis said Wednesday, in remarks that also cited people's tendency toward coprophagia (the eating of feces).

When you walk into the Smithsonian's "Art of the Qur'an" exhibition, you're met with a book that weighs 150 pounds. The tome, which dates back to the late-1500s, has giant pages that are covered in gold and black Arabic script.

When it comes to assessing the possible risks and benefits of science and technology, who is the relevant authority?

University scientists? Industry scientists? Religious organizations?

Damage to the sign outside the mosque in Redmond.
Courtesy of MAPS/Abduselam Ibrahim

Bill Radke speaks with Mahmood Khadeer, president of the Muslim Association of Puget Sound, about a sign outside a mosque in Redmond that was damaged in an attack last week. Khadeer shares his reaction to the vandalism and how he wants his community to react to hate. 

Washington Democratic Congresswoman Suzan DelBene
Flickr Photo/Ronald Woan (CC by NC 2.0) / https://flic.kr/p/qihx7g

U.S. Representative Suzan DelBene (D-Wash.) is proposing legislation that would prohibit the federal government from creating a registry of Muslim Americans.

President-elect Donald Trump voiced support for the idea during the campaign, saying it could help guard against domestic terrorism. And the notion has picked up steam recently after a supporter for Trump suggested that such a registry would be legal.

DelBene sees it differently, and tells KUOW that the idea is disturbing.

Stephen Bannon, center left, back, campaign CEO for Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, looks on as Trump speaks during a campaign rally on Election Day.
AP Photo/ Evan Vucci

In journalism, we avoid wonk.

Which is why we at KUOW discussed whether to use the term “alt-right.” Mainstream news sites have plugged it into headlines, but our readers and listeners were confused. What does that label even mean?

Pope Francis has declared that abortion, which remains a "grave sin" in the eyes of the Catholic Church, can be absolved by ordinary priests for the foreseeable future — instead of requiring the intervention of a bishop.

The change was implemented on a temporary basis, for one year only, as part of the Catholic Church's "Year of Mercy," which began last December and ended on Sunday.

In a letter released on Monday, the pope announced that the change was being extended indefinitely.

Minidoka Japanese internment camp in Idaho.
Flickr Photo/Samantha Smith (CC BY 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/Nhc4WG

Bill Radke talks to Tom Ikeda, the director of nonprofit Densho, about his family's experience in the Minidoka internment camps and how he's working to make sure no community in America is interned again.  

The Washington Supreme Court Tuesday heard the case of a florist versus a same-sex couple who wanted flowers for their wedding in 2013. The owner of Arlene’s Flowers in Richland, Washington, refused to take the job, saying it was against her religious beliefs.

Back in 2013, Curt Freed and Robert Ingersoll were engaged to be married. Ingersoll remembers it was on a Friday, his birthday, when he asked the couple's long-time florist, Arlene's Flowers, to do arrangements for their upcoming wedding.

"We had gone to Arlene's for many years and enjoyed her service. She did a great job for us. So it was just natural for us to go there and have her do our flowers," Ingersoll says.

UW student Varisha Khan at the Democratic National Convention in July
KUOW PHOTO/David Hyde

During his campaign, Donald Trump called for a ban on Muslims entering the U.S. because of his concerns about terrorism.

Now that he's the president-elect, Muslims in Seattle are worried for their future.


Hossein Khorram (left) at a Republican viewing party of a presidential debate in Bellevue, Washington.
KUOW Photo/Hebah Fisher

There are about 20,000 self-identified Muslims in Washington state – and some are voting for Trump. 


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