Religion | WGLT

Religion

Marko Vombergar/Aleteia / Creative Commons

Pope Francis is in the midst of his second trip to the Americas in less than a year. After touching down Friday in Havana, he has spent the past four days in Mexico. For many, the high point of his trip will be an outdoor Mass Wednesday near the U.S.-Mexico border. In a gesture expected to have widespread implications, the Pope will greet immigrants on the fence between El Paso, Texas and Cuidad Juarez in Mexico.

Majeed Sayed

Earlier this week, President Obama visited a Baltimore mosque to signal he wants Americans to increase their understanding of Muslims living in the U.S. On Saturday, one of the three Twin Cities mosques will hold an open house where non-Muslims can join in prayer and ask questions about Islam.

Illinois Wesleyan University

It's not a public policy issue like immigration, trade or national defense, but religion is playing a prominent role in the presidential race. It's likely to become even more of an issue now that Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas won the Iowa caucuses largely through support from fellow evangelical Christians and is seeking their support in upcoming primary contests. Illinois Wesleyan University chaplain Elyse Nelson Winger says the religion factor in presidential politics is probably here to stay.

Officials of a suburban Chicago Christian college has begun efforts to fire a political science professor who was placed on leave after saying Christians and Muslims worship the same God.  Telephone calls to Wheaton College for comment on the decision weren't immediately returned Tuesday. However, a statement on the school's website says Provost Stanton Jones has initiated a termination-for-cause proceeding regarding Larycia Hawkins.  

Pam Binder / Creative Commons

December twenty-first marks the Winter Solstice. It is the shortest day of the year, after which the daylight gradually begins to increase. Bloomington's Unitarian Universalist Church will be marking the event tomorrow evening(Friday December 18) with music and dance. Tonya Keach, one of the event organizers, says Winter Solstice has long been associated with spiritual introspection.

The Unitarian Universalist program begins at 6 p.m. and will include peace dances from various cultures, as well as a performance of ritual gong music based on an ancient healing service.

A suburban Chicago teenager accused of beating a Sikh man has pleaded guilty to a hate crime. The 17-year-old from the village of Willowbrook pleaded guilty Dec. 7. The confrontation occurred in September along a road in Darien. Fifty-three-year-old Inderjit Mukker of Darien says the teen was cutting him off and calling him a ``terrorist'' and ``Bin Laden.'' Prosecutors say when they both pulled over the teen punched Mukker in the face. The Sikh Coalition rights group says Mukker suffered a broken cheekbone and cuts requiring stiches. Sentencing is scheduled for Feb. 8 in juvenile court.

Catholic Church Annulments Changing

Dec 8, 2015
The Catholic Post / Peoria, IL

Catholics will find it easier to seek a marriage annulment, as changes to the process announced by Pope Francis in September go into effect this week. The additional process will make it easier for practicing Catholics who divorce their first spouses to remarry in the church. 

Vandalized Menorah Replaced

Dec 8, 2015

A large menorah knocked over earlier this year outside a University of Illinois Jewish center has been repaired and rededicated. The center candle of the menorah at the university's Chabad Center was lit Monday by center director Rabbi Dovid Tiechtel and interim university Chancellor Barbara Wilson. A group of students lit two other candles, and many in the crowd of 150 people sang songs as they marked the second night of Hanukkah. Tiechtel says his community's faith has grown stronger following the Aug. 19 vandalism.

Matt Hickman

The phrase "prayer shaming" entered the lexicon of many last week as the New York Daily News called out politicians in a position to do something about gun violence once again offering their "thoughts and prayers." WGLT's Mike McCurdy talks with Mennonite Church of Normal pastor Matt Hickman about the intersection of prayer and action.

Flickr user tvnewsbadge

Attorney, author and justice advocate Sister Simone Campbell is best know for leading Nuns on the Bus tours across America to draw attention to the concerns of low income workers, immigrants and people with disabilities. She's known to many in McLean County too, having given the 2013 Jim and Gwen Pruyne Lecture at New Covenant Community Church in Normal.

Durbin Likes Pope's Message

Sep 24, 2015
(flicker)

U.S. Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois is impressed by Pope Francis' joint address to congress. Durbin calls the pope an inspiration not just through his words, but his actions.

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