religion

President Obama is taking some heat over who's been invited to attend Pope Francis' large arrival ceremony at the White House this Wednesday. The list includes the first openly gay Episcopal bishop, an activist nun and a transgender activist — guests the Vatican reportedly objected to, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Pope Francis' Visit Means More Than Religion To Cubans

Sep 20, 2015
Al Diaz / Miami Herald

Pope Francis' arrival in Cuba was met at Havana's Plaza de la Revolución by 300,000 spectators who braved the heat Sunday morning to hear the Holy Father deliver Mass and talk about the need to serve. 

"The importance of one person is always based on how they serve the frailty of their brothers," the pope told the assembled crowd. "In this we find one of the true fruits of humanity. Because, brothers and sisters, those who don't live to serve, do not have a life worth living."

Mark Stein / WLRN

This week, the Society for Crypto-Judaic Studies hosts its 25th annual conference here in Miami. The society aims to study the history of Jewish communities persecuted during the Spanish Inquisition of the 14th and 15th centuries.

WUSF

In the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court ruling guaranteeing the right to same-sex marriage, some Florida clergy members and lawmakers are mobilizing to ensure legal exemptions for religious organizations.

On July 1st, Chris Walker, a pastor at the Cathedral of Power International Church in Clermont, launched a petition on Change.org calling for Governor Rick Scott to sign a "Pastor Protection Act" into law. The petition has garnered over 22,000 signatures.

KEENPRESS Photography/flickr

The Evangelical Environmental Network (EEN) has taken up the cause of climate change in Florida. The national group claims 600,000 members or supporters around the country with more than 100,000 of them in Florida. It's funded by donations and grants.

EEN is part of the Floridians for Solar Choice coalition, which is pushing a constitutional amendment that would allow Floridians to buy electricity directly from someone other than a utility company.

The South-Dade Bluesman Raised In The House Of God

May 15, 2015
Roosevelt Collier / Facebook

Roosevelt Collier says music makes up 70 percent of each worship service at his House of God Church in Perrine, in south Miami-Dade County. Collier grew up in that church, contributing to aural prayers by playing the drums, bass, keys and anything else his cousins and uncles taught him.

But after picking up one instrument, he didn't need any new ones. At 12 years old, he started playing the sacred steel guitar.

"In our church, the steel is the focus," Collier says. "It is what makes that church different from any other church."

Lisann Ramos

Those celebrating Easter this Sunday know the importance of Holy Week. Yesterday Roman Catholics from across South Florida went on a tour of seven churches to mark the beginning of this Holy Weekend. 

Carolyn Fetscher began this church pilgrimage eight years ago. She took the advice of a woman who organizes a tour in Boston and encouraged Fetscher to start her own tour here.

“It’s an ancient custom, goes back to the middle ages. There’s countries in Central and South America and Haiti that do these seven churches,” Fetscher said.

12/22/14 - Monday's Topical Currents: Millions of Americans who aren’t religious feel a bit excluded from many friends and relatives during the holiday season.   Professor of sociology and secular studies Phil Zuckerman has researched those whose religious beliefs have waned . . .

News Service of Florida

We told you the Satanic Temple was preparing to file a lawsuit this week against the state of Florida. Now, those plans have been dropped because the temple is being allowed to put up a holiday display inside the Capitol. 

The display depicts an angel falling into a pit of fire. It’s scheduled to go up on December 22. It includes a banner with the words "Happy holidays from the Satanic Temple.”

Nadege Green / WLRN

Before Cardinal Chibly Langlois celebrated Mass at Notre Dame D’Haiti Catholic Church in Little Haiti, he took it all in.

A banner with his likeness hung from a black fence.

Parishioners wore yellow T-shirts with a picture of his face on the front and on the back, a message in Creole thanking God for blessing them with the first-ever Haitian cardinal.

Earlier this year, Pope Francis named Langlois cardinal, making him the first Haitian in history to hold that post.

Rick Stone

Miami's downtrodden, disenfranchised and undocumented probably have no greater friend than Bishop Leopold Frade, spiritual leader of Southeast Florida's 33,000 Episcopalians.

Jessica Meszaros / WLRN

Roman Catholic Mass was at one time universally celebrated in Latin, the ancient Roman language.

After the second Vatican Council in the 1960s, Mass was allowed to be celebrated in the language of the people, meaning Mass in Peru was celebrated in Spanish and Mass in the United States was celebrated in English -- you get the picture.

Latin is now sometimes referred to as “the dead language,” but it is not dead in Miami.

In Detroit, a group of Catholics borrowed the idea of flash mobs for "Mass mobs" to help revitalize urban churches.

Every month, a group called Detroit Mass Mobs picks a church, spreads the word on Facebook — and just like that, it fills up and buzzes with the energy it once had.

Jessica Meszaros / WLRN

The Episcopal Church of the Intercession first opened its doors in Fort Lauderdale in the late 1950s. But churchgoers dwindled over recent years and the church couldn't afford to stay open. Its members celebrated mass for the last time this past Sunday.

Reverend Fred H. Johnson Jr. was called to the church three years ago as a supply priest, something a little like a substitute teacher.

As Ramadan Comes To A Close, Local Muslims Come Together To Break Fast

Jul 25, 2014
Constanza Gallardo / WLRN

The Islamic holy month of Ramadan is coming to a close. During Ramadan, Muslims fast during the day -- no food or drink. They break the fast with a meal after sundown called iftar. (See our Unique Eats: Ramadan Edition.)

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