religion

Harper Collins Publishers

This month marked the one-year anniversary of the shooting at the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, Florida. Many religious leaders and laypeople alike came together in the wake of the shooting to provide support, and mourn the loss of the victims killed in the LGBT nightclub.

Updated at 6:40 p.m. ET

President Trump signed an executive order Thursday that directs the executive branch to "honor and enforce" existing protections for religious liberty and asks agencies to "consider issuing amended regulations" for organizations that don't want to cover contraception in employer health insurance plans.

Trump signed the order in the Rose Garden after a ceremony to mark the National Day of Prayer. He said he was fulfilling a campaign pledge to "take action" on religious liberty.

President Trump is set to sign an executive order on Thursday that aims to relax restrictions on political activity by religious groups without threatening their tax-exempt status.

Ann-Elise Henzl WUWM

The recent beating of a Milwaukee Muslim woman outraged many people, including members of the Islamic and the interfaith community. The woman says her attacker made a point of ripping off her head scarf, or hijab. The incident follows a series of threats against a Jewish community center. Religious groups have been working for years to prevent such attacks. The shared strategy is to promote understanding and tolerance.

number1son, flickr

For more than a hundred years, the Basilica of St. Josaphat has been a landmark on Milwaukee’s South Side.

The building has been central to the spiritual life of the largest Polish Catholic parish in Wisconsin. But it has also been a tourist destination – drawing tens of thousands of visitors each year.

But as the years have passed, time and weather have deteriorated the Basilica's unique architecture. And this summer, an ambitious restoration project got underway on the building’s exterior.

The Nine

Nine former members of a religious sect have decided to put down roots in Wisconsin.  The tradition they left may not be well-known here, but their experience speaks to a more basic human issue – freedom to choose one’s own destiny.

Lois Bielefeld / Portrait Society Gallery

The Museum of Wisconsin Art in West Bend is an amazing place for people to learn about and see creations made by notable Wisconsin artists. But the museum is also a tremendous resource for people making art.

Last year, the museum provided an opportunity for its first artist-in-residence abroad, thanks to a partnership with the Ansay Development Corporation. Milwaukee photographer Lois Bielefeld traveled to Luxembourg for the program.

Joy Powers / WUWM

Some might think that dressing modestly in a hijab or abaya, might preclude being fashionable. But don’t tell that to the Samara sisters.

Aateka and Marwa Samara are fashion-bloggers from Franklin, Wisconsin. Their Instagram blog is aptly named “The Samaras” and since it’s launch last August, it’s gained more than 19,000 followers. It features photos of the women in everyday life; going to museums or having brunch in their unique fashions.

CARTHAGE COLLEGE

Tonight’s debate between Democratic contenders may well include a conversation about the upturn in global terror, especially as carried out by ISIS. The recent attacks in Paris and on a social service center in San Bernadino, California has thrust the issue of America’s response to terror attacks by religious extremists back into the forefront.

Republican Rep. Scott Allen of Waukesha used state equipment to produce and post a Christmas video that cites Bible verses and invites non-believers to become Christians, according to Assembly Speaker Robin Vos.

In the video, Allen says, "For those who may watch this and are not Christians, I invite you to consider the hope offered by the Prince of Peace."

Dave Gilbert / Flickr

The nationwide sexual abuse scandal involving Catholic priests has gotten increased scrutiny in recent days with the release of a new movie about the investigation.  “Spotlight” dramatizes the effort by the Boston Globe newspaper to bring abuses by priests in the Boston archdiocese to light.

Kesha Parker / Flickr

Earlier this summer, Milwaukee launched a new effort called Housing First to address the problem of chronic homelessness in the city. At last count, an estimated 200 people in Milwaukee went without housing for a full year, or were homeless multiple times over three years. 

Anne Nicol Gaylor was 88 years old, when she died late Sunday at a hospice in Fitchburg, Wisconsin. Gaylor propelled the creation of the Freedom From Religion Foundation in 1976 and served as its president until 2004. It went national in 1978 and claims 23,000 members today. The organization has continuously launched legal actions to keep religion and government separate and prevailed, for instance, at having Wisconsin's Good Friday holiday declared unconstitutional.

Gaylor also fought for abortion rights and helped start programs to benefit indigent women.

The Nine

Secret bible studies, anorexia, alcoholism and a dress code that excludes women from wearing pants. These are some of the things three women experienced during their time in Hutterite colonies in Canada.

Junia Waldner, Glenda Maendel, and Darlene Waldner are part of The Nine, a group of people who left the religious sect to freely pursue their Christian faith and join the modern world. 

Matt Cardy/Getty Images

It does not take long to think of examples of violent acts in the name of religion.

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