Chancellor Merkel in dilemma as German anti-Islam marches gain support

December 15, 2014
(Participants hold up their mobile phones during a demonstration called by anti-immigration group PEGIDA, a German abbreviation for "Patriotic Europeans against the Islamization of the West", in Dresden December 8, 2014. Opponents of Germany's policy towards asylum seekers and Islam took part in the protest in the eastern German town on Monday. REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke)

(Participants hold up their mobile phones during a demonstration called by anti-immigration group PEGIDA, a German abbreviation for “Patriotic Europeans against the Islamization of the West”, in Dresden December 8, 2014. REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke)

Turkish police raid media close to Muslim cleric Gulen, detain 24

December 14, 2014
(A Zaman media group journalist holds a banner as he stands outside the headquarters of Zaman daily newspaper in Istanbul December 14, 2014. Turkish police raided a television station and a newspaper close to U.S.-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen on Sunday, detaining some people, media reports said, two days after President Tayyip Erdogan signalled a fresh campaign against Gulen's supporters. A crowd chanted at the Istanbul offices of newspaper Zaman as editor Ekrem Dumanli made a speech to them broadcast live on television, defiantly calling on police to detain him.REUTERS/Murad Sezer)

(A Zaman media group journalist holds a banner as he stands outside the headquarters of Zaman daily newspaper in Istanbul December 14, 2014. REUTERS/Murad Sezer)

Pope Francis turns out not to have made “pets in heaven” comment

December 14, 2014
(A woman poses with her dog dressed as the pope during the 24th Annual Tompkins Square Halloween Dog Parade in New York October 25, 2014. Hundreds of dog owners dress their dogs and compete for fun and prizes during the parade. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri)

(A woman poses with her dog dressed as the pope during the 24th Annual Tompkins Square Halloween Dog Parade in New York October 25, 2014. Hundreds of dog owners dress their dogs and compete for fun and prizes during the parade. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri)

Israeli settlements squeeze religious tourism in Palestinian areas, officials say

December 12, 2014
(People gather after lighting a Christmas tree outside the Church of the Nativity in the West Bank town of Bethlehem December 6, 2014. REUTERS/ Mussa Qawasma)

(People gather after lighting a Christmas tree outside the Church of the Nativity in the West Bank town of Bethlehem December 6, 2014. REUTERS/ Mussa Qawasma)

China’s Urumqi bans Islamic veil, sparking rights concerns

By Reuters Staff
December 12, 2014
(Ethnic Uighurs and Han Chinese Muslims pray together during Friday prayers at Yang Hang mosque in the city of Urumqi in China's Xinjiang Autonomous Region July 17, 2009. Security remains heavy in ethnic Uighur neighbourhoods of Xinjiang regional capital Urumqi after riots on July 5 between the Muslim Uighur minority and majority Han Chinese wounded more than 1,600. The official Xinhua news agency said on Wednesday that 192 people were killed in the riots, and that around 1,000 people have been detained. REUTERS/David Gray)

(Ethnic Uighurs and Han Chinese Muslims pray together during Friday prayers at Yang Hang mosque in the city of Urumqi in China’s Xinjiang Autonomous Region July 17, 2009. SREUTERS/David Gray)

Kentucky drops tax incentives for planned Noah’s Ark theme park

By Reuters Staff
December 12, 2014
(Visitors look over an exhibit of Noah's Ark at the new Creation Museum during a special viewing of the museum in Petersburg, Kentucky, May 26, 2007. Like many modern museums, the newest U.S. tourist attraction includes some awesome exhibits -- roaring dinosaurs and a life-sized ship. But only at the Creation Museum in Kentucky do the dinosaurs sail on the ship -- Noah's Ark, to be precise. REUTERS/John Sommers)

(Visitors look over an exhibit of Noah’s Ark at the new Creation Museum during a special viewing of the museum in Petersburg, Kentucky, May 26, 2007. REUTERS/John Sommers)

Czech home owners find Jewish belongings from WWII

By Reuters Staff
December 12, 2014
(Prague Rabbi Karol Sidon stands deep in thought prior to a commemoration ceremony held in the Terezin ghettos to honor Holocaust victims, April 23. On the right are the extermination ovens.)

(Prague Rabbi Karol Sidon stands deep in thought prior to a commemoration ceremony held in the Terezin ghettos to honor Holocaust victims, April 23. On the right are the extermination ovens. 23 April 1998/REUTERS)

Psychologist who helped devise CIA interrogation program lost Mormon role

By Reuters Staff
December 12, 2014
(A group of Mormon women walk to Temple Square in an attempt to get tickets to the priesthood meeting at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints semi-annual gathering known as general conference in Salt Lake City, Utah April 5, 2014. The group, who want ecclesiastical equality with men, seeked admittance to a male-only session of the faith's spring conference on Saturday, as they promote the ordination of women into the lay priesthood of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. REUTERS/Jim Urquhart)

(A group of Mormon women walk to Temple Square in Salt Lake City, Utah April 5, 2014. REUTERS/Jim Urquhart)

Islamic State extremists top Religion Newswriters’ 2014 Religion Stories of the Year

By Guest Contributor
December 11, 2014
(A militant Islamist fighter waving a flag, cheers as he takes part in a military parade along the streets of Syria's northern Raqqa province June 30, 2014. The fighters held the parade to celebrate their declaration of an Islamic "caliphate" after the group captured territory in neighbouring Iraq, a monitoring service said. The Islamic State, an al Qaeda offshoot previously known as Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), posted pictures online on Sunday of people waving black flags from cars and holding guns in the air, the SITE monitoring service said. Picture taken June 30, 2014. REUTERS/Stringer)

(A militant Islamist fighter waving a flag, cheers as he takes part in a military parade along the streets of Syria’s northern Raqqa province June 30, 2014.  REUTERS/Stringer)

Shi’ite pilgrims flock to Iraq holy city, government fears attack

By Reuters Staff
December 10, 2014
(A police officer stands guard as Shi'ite pilgrims make their way to the holy city of Kerbala, ahead of the holy Shi'ite ritual of Arbaeen, in Baghdad, December 10, 2014. Arbaeen falls 40 days after the holy day of Ashura. REUTERS/Ahmed Saad)

(A police officer stands guard as Shi’ite pilgrims make their way to the holy city of Kerbala, ahead of the holy Shi’ite ritual of Arbaeen, in Baghdad, December 10, 2014. REUTERS/Ahmed Saad)