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During the annual gathering of the Baptist World Alliance in Birmingham, Alabama, members of the body’s general council passed resolutions on the war in Ukraine, last year’s coup in Myanmar, racial justice, and slavery reparations.

As the Baptist World Alliance’s annual gathering opened this week in person for the first time since 2019, Baptists from around the country came together at Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama, for a weeklong meeting focused on “standing for racial justice.”

It is a scene that stirs hope — and relief — for Muslims around the world. One million pilgrims from across the globe amassed on Thursday in the holy city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia to perform the initial rites of the hajj, marking the largest Islamic pilgrimage since the coronavirus pandemic upended the annual event — a key pillar of Islam.

The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to strike down Roe v. Wade, the 1973 ruling that made abortion legal nationwide, has prompted lawmakers in Israel to make it simpler to terminate a pregnancy. On Sunday, the parliament’s Labor Welfare and Health Committee approved new regulations to reduce the bureaucracy and intrusive questions that Israeli women have long faced when seeking an abortion.

Two priests, age 79 and 80, respectively, were shot to death in the small church on Cerocahui’s town square Monday (June 20), along with a tourist guide they tried to protect from a local criminal boss.

France’s top administrative court ruled Tuesday against allowing body-covering “burkini” swimwear in public pools for religious reasons, arguing that it violates the principle of government neutrality toward religion. While worn by only a small number of people in France, the head-to-ankle burkini draws intense political debate in the country.

Pope Francis has taken another step to reign in new religious groups in the Catholic Church after their unregulated proliferation in recent decades led to abuses in governance that allowed spiritual and sexual misconduct to go unchecked.

Gunmen opened fire on worshipers and detonated explosives at a Catholic church in southwestern Nigeria on Sunday, leaving dozens feared dead, state lawmakers said. 

Reconfirming the status quo in Jerusalem will require some hard diplomacy and a lot of goodwill. King Abdullah II of Jordan is the custodian of Muslim holy places in Jerusalem, via a religious trust known as the Waqf Council.

Alejandro Clemente González was talking with an electrician while preparing for weekend services at Cuba's most important Baptist church when an enormous explosion shook the building and shattered the 19th century dome towering far above the pews.