Religion

Pope Francis kisses a statue of Baby Jesus as he celebrates the Christmas Eve Mass in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, Monday, Dec. 24, 2018. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)
December 24, 2018 - 4:35 pm
VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis urged Christians on Monday to forgo the greed, gluttony and materialism of Christmas and to focus instead on its message of simplicity, charity and love. Francis celebrated a Christmas Eve Mass in St. Peter's Basilica, opening a busy week for the pope that includes...
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Iraqis shop for Christmas decorations in Baghdad, Iraq, Monday, Dec. 24, 2018. Although the number of Christians has dropped in Iraq, Christmas a national holiday, is very popular in the capital. (AP Photo/Ali Abdul Hassan)
December 24, 2018 - 4:17 pm
VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis is ushering in Christmas with a late-night Mass in St. Peter's Basilica, while his deputy is traveling to Iraq to celebrate with the country's long-suffering Christians. The Mass on Christmas Eve is one of the highlights of the Vatican's liturgical year. Monday's...
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Pope Francis kisses a statue of Baby Jesus as he celebrates the Christmas Eve Mass in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, Monday, Dec. 24, 2018. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)
December 24, 2018 - 4:15 pm
VATICAN CITY (AP) — The Latest on Christmas Eve observances at the Vatican (all times local): 10:05 p.m. Pope Francis is urging Christians to forgo the greed, hoarding and materialism of Christmas and to focus instead on its message of simplicity, charity and love. Francis celebrated a Christmas...
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A Christian worshipper prays at the Grotto, under the Church of the Nativity, traditionally recognized by Christians to be the birthplace of Jesus Christ, in the West Bank city of Bethlehem, Sunday, Dec. 23, 2018. Christians around the world will celebrate Christmas on Monday. (AP Photo/Nasser Nasser)
December 24, 2018 - 3:30 pm
BETHLEHEM, West Bank (AP) — Pilgrims from around the world flocked to Bethlehem on Monday for what was believed to be the biblical West Bank city's largest Christmas celebrations in years. Hundreds of locals and foreign visitors milled in Manger Square as bagpipe-playing Palestinian Scouts paraded...
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FILE - In this Nov. 18, 2018 file photo, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivers a statement in Tel Aviv, Israel. Israeli media is reporting Monday, Dec. 24, 2018, that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s ruling coalition government has agreed to call an early election for April 9. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit, File)
December 24, 2018 - 2:42 pm
JERUSALEM (AP) — Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday called early elections for April, setting the stage for a three-month campaign clouded by a series of corruption investigations against the long-serving Israeli leader. Riding high in the polls, Netanyahu appears all but certain to win a...
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Iraqis shop for Christmas decorations in Baghdad, Iraq, Monday, Dec. 24, 2018. Although the number of Christians has dropped in Iraq, Christmas a national holiday, is very popular in the capital. (AP Photo/Ali Abdul Hassan)
December 24, 2018 - 2:11 pm
VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis is ushering in Christmas with a late-night Mass in St. Peter's Basilica, while his deputy is traveling to Iraq to celebrate with the country's long-suffering Christians. The Mass on Christmas Eve is one of the highlights of the Vatican's liturgical year. Monday's...
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FILE - In this Oct. 28, 2018, file photo, Rabbi Jeffrey Myers, right, of Tree of Life/Or L'Simcha Congregation hugs Rabbi Cheryl Klein, left, of Dor Hadash Congregation and Rabbi Jonathan Perlman during a community gathering held in the aftermath of a deadly shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh. As the Jewish community grieved, Myers took a leading role during public memorials and presided over seven funerals in the space of less than a week. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)
December 24, 2018 - 11:17 am
Parkland. Pittsburgh. Paradise. These cities became synonymous with tragedy in 2018, a year when America seemed to careen from one horror to another. But amid the calamity of shootings, wildfires and other heartbreaking stories, there were those who showed their humanity and sense of duty. Among...
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A Christian worshipper prays at the Grotto, under the Church of the Nativity, traditionally recognized by Christians to be the birthplace of Jesus Christ, in the West Bank city of Bethlehem, Sunday, Dec. 23, 2018. Christians around the world will celebrate Christmas on Monday. (AP Photo/Nasser Nasser)
December 24, 2018 - 6:05 am
BETHLEHEM, West Bank (AP) — Palestinians are preparing to host pilgrims from around the world in celebrating Christmas in the West Bank city of Bethlehem. Archbishop Pierbattista Pizzaballa, the top Roman Catholic cleric in the Holy Land, crossed an Israeli military checkpoint from Jerusalem on...
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A car that crashed into the entrance of the Crossroads United Methodist Church located at 1100 Hague Avenue is visible from inside of the church on the morning of Sunday, December 23, 2018 in Columbus, Ohio. A woman drove into the church during morning services, injuring several people. (Brooke LaValley/The Columbus Dispatch via AP)
December 23, 2018 - 5:17 pm
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A car smashed through a church wall in Ohio during Sunday morning services, injuring six people and shattering stained glass. Firefighters say the six injured at Crossroads United Methodist Church in Columbus were treated for cuts and other injuries. The Rev. Jay Anderson says...
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A man inspects his house damaged by a tsunami in Carita, Indonesia, Sunday, Dec. 23, 2018. The tsunami occurred after the eruption of a volcano around Indonesia's Sunda Strait during a busy holiday weekend, sending water crashing ashore and sweeping away hotels, hundreds of houses and people attending a beach concert. (AP Photo/Achmad Ibrahim)
December 23, 2018 - 6:29 am
JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — The Latest on a tsunami that hit the coast around Indonesia's Sunda Strait (all times local): 6:25 p.m. Pope Francis has prayed for the dead, the missing and the homeless in the tsunami that struck Indonesia. Francis told tourists and pilgrims in St. Peter's Square on...
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