Pod people: What was top 2013 story for Pope Francis?

I am sure that GetReligion readers will be shocked, shocked to know that the Godbeat professionals in the Religion Newswriters Association selected the election of Pope Francis Superstar as the top religion-news story of 2013. It goes without saying that Pope Francis was also named Religion Newsmaker of the Year. Click here to read the [Read More...]

Ghosts in those one-sided reports about victims in Syria

Rare is the day that I do not receive at least one or two emails from Eastern Orthodox Christians, or those sympathetic to the plight of Christians in the Middle East, containing URLs pointing toward new reports about alleged atrocities linked to the fighting or acts of terrorism in Syria, Egypt or elsewhere. The common [Read More...]

Missing nuns, missing details, in Maaloula (updated)

Trust me on this. I know that it must be impossible for journalists to cover events in the war-torn land of Syria right now without getting their heads blown off. This is especially true for correspondents linked to Western news organizations that are trying to cover the actions of Islamist radicals. However, how hard is [Read More...]

Reuters skips a key detail in Israel’s wedding wars — divorce

Everybody loves a wedding, or so culture would have us believe. However, according to a report from the Reuters news agency, not every Israeli likes the wedding options available in that country: For most Israelis in the Jewish state, there is one legal way to get married — God’s way. Israeli law empowers only Orthodox [Read More...]

Got news? Has Kristallnacht come to the Middle East?

There was always an important, yet unstated, idea at the heart of the “On Faith” website at The Washington Post: Religion is an important and powerful force in the real world, but the reality is that religion is all about feelings, experiences and opinions, not facts about history, doctrines, laws, scriptures, traditions and governance that [Read More...]

The Coptic ghost in those potential flights from Egypt

Let’s start with a few journalistic questions. Am I surprised that The New York Times has published a story on the possibility that freethinking Egyptians are beginning to flee their troubled nation or, at the very least, to debate whether it is time to do? No. That’s a perfectly valid news story. Am I surprised [Read More...]

Lost in mobs, fire, guns and ink: Is Christ of Sinai safe?

What is the Mona Lisa worth? At the time of their destruction by the Taliban, what were the Buddhas of Bamiyam worth, in terms of culture, history and money? With that in mind, let me ask this simple question: What is the Christ of Sinai icon worth? Yes, it is priceless. Yes, for Orthodox believers [Read More...]

Pay no attention to Rand Paul (or Christian persecution!)

A Washington Post Politics news blog on Senator Rand Paul’s appearance before the Value Voters Summit in Washington last week has left me perplexed. Reading the article entitled “Rand Paul: ‘There’s a worldwide war on Christianity’”tells me little about what the Kentucky senator said. Nor am I clear as to what a news blog is [Read More...]


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