The Virgin Mary may not be able to pull Brazil out of a deep recession, but her church-sponsored house calls do wonders to ease economic malaise among participating Catholic families.
For a century, Brazil's Catholic Church has sent holy statues out to parishioners' homes. A new study finds that these visits create a local subeconomy, benefitting families and the church.
Lawmaker: my views have nothing to do with the law.
Voting on this issue is a matter of conscience, so the MP's view that women shouldn't be allowed to terminate pregnancies, even when they've been raped, is very relevant to the rest of society.
Nuns offer a unique insight into how work is divided between the sexes and rewarded accordingly.
The 2016 Census showed major changes in the ranking order of religious groups in Australia.
The changing pattern of the diversity of religious identities is one indicator of a society’s degree of multicultural composition. On this measure, Australia is among the most diverse.
Muslims praying in Puerto Rico.
AP Photo/Tomas van Houtryve
There are an estimated 3,500 to 5,000 Muslims in Puerto Rico. Who are they and what is their history?
What is different about hookup culture on Catholic campuses?
Boy girl image via www.shutterstock.com
As Catholicism teaches abstinence before marriage, there is a common perception that Catholic schools would be places without hookup culture. Does faith make a difference?
The Thomas Jefferson memorial in Washington, DC.
The White House may not host the traditional reception for Ramadan this year. This would be a departure from tradition and the vision of America's founders.
How can a Pope not believe in God? Jude Law as Pius XIII in The Young Pope.
The TV series The Young Pope is a fascinating exploration of the ambiguities and doubts within Christian faith.
Pope Francis giving a TED talk.
What Pope Francis did in his surprise TED talk was to relate the social message of Catholicism to people’s real lives.
B.A. Santamaria (left) played a significant role in the Labor split and the formation of the Democratic Labor Party.
Viewed from today’s post-Cold War and secularised society, the conflicts at heart of the Labor split appear curiously arcane. Yet its ghosts remain.
All papacies are political, and Pope Francis’s is no exception.
The Pope hasn't actually opened the door for married priests. But in rethinking celibacy, he has shown his mastery of the art of containing people without actually making big changes to the Church.
Blood on the streets: the 1572 St Bartholomew’s Day massacre.
Saint Bartholomew's Day Massacre by Francois Dubois via Wikimedia Commons
The Archbishops of Canterbury and York have called for repentence for the divisions caused by the schism between the Protestant and Catholic faiths.
The 2007 midwinter solstice illumination of the main altar tabernacle of Old Mission San Juan Bautista, California.
Rubén G. Mendoza/Ancient Editions
At many Spanish missions in the US and Latin America, the rising sun illuminates the altar on the winter solstice or other symbolic days. To the faithful, these events meant that Christ was with them.
'Ouija board' via www.shutterstock.com
The Oujia board's origins were anything but evil. It emerged, in part, out of a longing to communicate with loved ones who had died during the Civil War.
Mother Theresa in 1991.
Mother Teresa will become a saint on Sunday, on the basis of two miracles of healing. But let's not remove our thinking caps and go all medieval: we should be wary of uncritical endorsement of claims to the miraculous.
Some, but not all, of Kenya’s churches are opposed to the formal recognition of atheists.
The furore over atheism in Kenya comes at a time of slow but steady growth in the number of people unaffiliated to any religion, thanks to religious discontent and access to scientific knowledge.
Giles Fraser thinks that 'Brexit recycles the defiant spirit of the Reformation'. How wrong can he be?
Preaching to the converted.
Pope Francis' mercy mission to a migrant camp in Lesbos is another effort to rescue the tarnished and failing brand of Catholicism.
Two worlds? Minaret in Brick Lane, East London.
An 'us and them' narrative pervades reporting about British Muslim attitudes, but there remains lack of understanding about what the separation of the church and state really means.
After more than a millenium, Pope Francis I will meet the head of the Russian Orthodox Church. They will have plenty to talk about.