Update on the latest religion news

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Updated: Tue, 05 Aug 2014 07:20:08 EST


Aid worker with Ebola improving; returning to US

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — The son of a second American missionary who contracted Ebola in Liberia hopes his mother's return to the U.S. will help lead to a cure.

Nancy Writebol is to be treated at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta with her fellow missionary, Dr. Kent Brantly.

Her son, Jeremy Writebol, says he's praying that her experimental treatment can cure her, and ultimately help many other Ebola victims as well. He hopes that "by her suffering in this and by her just going through it she may be able to help countless more."

Jeremy Writebol says his parents became missionaries in order "to serve Christ and to love other people well."

Ebola has killed at least nearly 900 people in four West African countries.

Sound: (3:06 a.m. audio feed)

237-w-31-(Steve Coleman, AP religion editor, with Jeremy Writebol, son of Ebola patient Nancy Writebol)--The son of a second American missionary who contracted Ebola in Liberia hopes his mother's return to the U.S. will help lead to a cure. AP Religion Editor Steve Coleman reports. (4 Aug 2014)

<<CUT *237 (08/04/14)££ 00:31

238-a-06-(Jeremy Writebol, son of Ebola patient Nancy Writebol, in AP interview)-"help, countless more"-Jeremy Writebol, son of Ebola patient Nancy Writebol, says he hopes his mother's treatment for Ebola helps lead to a cure. ((cut used in wrap)) (4 Aug 2014)

<<CUT *238 (08/04/14)££ 00:06 "help, countless more"

239-a-11-(Jeremy Writebol, son of Ebola patient Nancy Writebol, in AP interview)-"and his church"-Jeremy Writebol, son of Ebola patient Nancy Writebol, says his parents felt they were called to help people in Liberia. ((longer version of cut used in wrap)) (4 Aug 2014)

<<CUT *239 (08/04/14)££ 00:11 "and his church"

240-a-07-(Jeremy Writebol, son of Ebola patient Nancy Writebol, in AP interview)-"other people well"-Jeremy Writebol, son of Ebola patient Nancy Writebol, says his parents have given the rest of their lives to being missionaries. (4 Aug 2014)

<<CUT *240 (08/04/14)££ 00:07 "other people well"

241-a-09-(Jeremy Writebol, son of Ebola patient Nancy Writebol, in AP interview)-"done for them"-Jeremy Writebol, son of Ebola patient Nancy Writebol, says his parents wanted to minister to needy people overseas. (4 Aug 2014)

<<CUT *241 (08/04/14)££ 00:09 "done for them"


Iraq's Yazidi religious group flees advancing Islamists

BAGHDAD (AP) — The spokesman for Iraq's armed forces says the Iraqi air force will help Kurdish military forces fight Sunni militants who have captured the towns of Sinjar and Zumar and sent tens of thousands from Iraq's minority Yazidi religious community fleeing.

Jawhar Ali Begg, a spokesman for the community, says thousands of Yazidis have been killed and 40,000 have fled. He says the Islamic State militants gave Yazidis, who follow an ancient religion with links to Zoroastrianism, an ultimatum to convert to Islam, pay a tax or be killed.

The militants have driven Christians and other religious groups out of Iraq's second-largest city, Mosul, and have attacked churches, mosques and shrines they say contradict strict Islamic teachings.


Cardinal Dolan to say mass at Hudson Valley prison

NAPANOCH, N.Y. (AP) — The Roman Catholic archbishop of New York will celebrate Mass at a maximum security state prison in Ulster County to mark the golden anniversary of the facility's chapel.

Cardinal Timothy Dolan is set to visit Eastern New York Correctional Facility today. After saying Mass, Dolan will visit with inmates and staff at the prison 70 miles north of New York City.

Eastern houses about 908 male inmates, 64 percent of them from the five boroughs of New York, and 23 percent of them Catholic.


Minor injuries in church van crash in Sioux Falls

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — Several people were treated for minor injuries when a pickup truck crashed into a church van in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

Authorities say the truck crossed the center line and struck the van shortly after 9 p.m. Sunday. The van from a Baptist church in Arkansas was on a mission trip to Sioux Falls. It was not immediately clear how many people were inside.

The 20-year-old pickup driver was arrested on a drunken driving charge.


Orlando drops church lawsuit, moving MLS stadium

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — The mayor of Orlando says the Florida city is dropping eminent domain proceedings against a church that was holding up construction of a new downtown Major League Soccer stadium.

Mayor Buddy Dyer announced the decision Monday. The city is instead purchasing an additional parcel of land that will allow it to move the location of the new stadium one div west of the original site, leaving Faith Deliverance Temple untouched.

Church officials said last month they didn't want to sell their property, which sat in the middle of the planned development for the $100 million stadium.

The city filed eminent domain proceedings in May. It had offered the church as much as $4 million for its land, but it was rejected.

Orlando City Soccer Club plans to open the stadium in 2016.


It pays to pray in Pennsylvania Senate, not House

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — It pays to pray in the Pennsylvania Senate, but not in the House.

The state Senate provides a $125 stipend to chaplains who offer a prayer during the opening of a legislative session. It also pays their mileage expenses.

Senate Republican spokesman Erik Arneson tells PennLive.com that the payment is a token of appreciation for people who often have to travel long distances to get to Harrisburg. He says about $10,000 a year is set aside in the Senate budget for chaplains' expenses.

The Pennsylvania House of Representatives is not as generous. It hands out ceremonial gavels and photos of the chaplains with the lawmaker who invited them.


Pope reinstates suspended pro-Sandinista priest

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis has reinstated a Nicaraguan priest suspended by the Vatican in the 1980s for participating in Nicaragua's leftist Sandinista government.

The 81-year-old Rev. Miguel D'Escoto Brockmann, Nicaragua's foreign minister from 1979-1990, recently wrote to Francis asking to be allowed to celebrate Mass again before he died. The Vatican said Monday that Francis had agreed and asked D'Escoto's superior in the Maryknoll order to help reintroduce him into priestly ministry.

The Vatican suspended D'Escoto and three other dissident priests in 1985 for defying a church ban on clergy holding government jobs. The sanction was also a reflection of St. John Paul II's broader crackdown on liberation theology in Latin America.

The Sandinistas, who supported the "popular church" of liberation theology, overthrew the pro-American regime of Anastasio Somoza in 1979.

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