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Articles written by Peter Smith

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What they wore: Amish Country exhibit spotlights sex abuse

LEOLA, Pa. (AP) — Clotheslines with billowing linens and long dresses are a common sight on the off-grid farms of Pennsylvania's Lancaster County, home to the nation's largest Amish settlement. For many tourists they're as iconic a part of Amish...

 By PETER SMITH    Regional    April 6, 2022

First pope, now US churches face boarding-school reckoning

U.S. churches are bracing for an unprecedented reckoning with their histories operating boarding schools for Native Americans. Native children were forced to attend these schools in the 19th and 20th centuries. The schools broke down students'...


Many faith leaders wary of religious exemptions for vaccine

By the thousands, Americans have been seeking religious exemptions in order to circumvent COVID-19 vaccine mandates, but generally they are doing so without the encouragement of major denominations and prominent religious leaders. From the Vatican,...


Jewish leaders, backers defiant a week after hostage siege

On the eve of her 100th birthday Saturday, Ruth Salton told her daughter she was going one way or another to Friday night Shabbat services at Congregation Beth Israel, just days after a gunman voicing antisemitic conspiracy theories held four... Full story


Jewish leaders renew antisemitism fight after hostage case

Although the FBI initially said the man who held four people hostage at a Texas synagogue was focused on an issue "not specifically related to the Jewish community," the captor voiced beliefs that Jews controlled the world and had the power to...


Ransom freed some missionary hostages in Haiti, workers say

An unidentified person paid a ransom that freed three missionaries kidnapped by a gang in Haiti under an agreement that was supposed to have led to the release of all 15 remaining captives early last month, workers for their Ohio-based organization...


Ex-hostages doing well, have left Haiti, mission agency says

All the former hostages from a U.S.-based missionary group kidnapped in Haiti have been flown out of the country after a two-month ordeal, the leader of their Ohio-based missions organization said Friday, as he also extended an offer of forgiveness...


Court: If bias rules have exceptions, faith groups qualify

Justice Samuel Alito called it a "wisp" of a decision — a Supreme Court ruling Thursday that favored Catholic Social Services in Philadelphia but was far from the constitutional gale wind that would have reshaped how courts interpret religious...

 By PETER SMITH    Regional    May 30, 2021

Tulsa pastors honor 'holy ground' 100 years after massacre

By PETER SMITH Associated Press TULSA, Okla. (AP) — When white attackers destroyed the prosperous Black neighborhood of Greenwood 100 years ago this week, they bypassed the original sanctuary of the First Baptist Church of North Tulsa. By the churc...

 By PETER SMITH    Regional    May 30, 2021

Hundreds gather at historic Tulsa church's prayer wall

TULSA, Okla. (AP) — Hundreds gathered Monday for an interfaith service dedicating a prayer wall outside historic Vernon African Methodist Episcopal Church in Tulsa's Greenwood neighborhood on the centennial of the first day of one of the deadliest... Full story


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