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Pope Paul VI banned contraception for Catholics in the 1968 encyclical, “Humanae Vitae.” AP Photo/Jim Pringle

How the Catholic Church came to oppose birth control

July marks 50 years of Pope Paul VI's encyclical prohibiting contraceptive use. For many years prior to it, the church had not been so explicit on its stance. How did it become such a thorny issue?
A mourner reads a sympathy card left for Anthony Bourdain at a makeshift memorial in New York. AP Photo/Mary Altaffer

Why religions of the world condemn suicide

Most religions have a fundamental belief that all human life belongs to God.
Saint Patrick. Thad Zajdowicz

10 things to know about the real St. Patrick

There are many myths associated with St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland. But Patrick's own writings and early biographies reveal the person behind the legend.
Several thousand people gather at a rally in Washington in 1952 to hear Evangelist Billy Graham preach. AP Photo

Could there be another Billy Graham?

Current trends suggest that evangelicalism is out of step with younger Americans. But, a scholar says, evangelicalism has been here before.
What’s the role of faith in service? European Commission DG ECHO

How religion motivates people to give and serve

Religious values, deeply rooted in texts, serve as an important motivator for giving. Religious Americans volunteer more, give more, and give more often.
A Hindu devotee prepares to participate in a fire-walking ceremony to honour the goddess Draupadi in Durban in 2011. Reuters/Rogan Ward

Behind the God-swapping in the South African Indian community [part 1]

Since the 1920s Pentecostal churches have had a major impact in South Africa's Indian community. Their converts have grown larger than all the other Christian denominations put together.

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