Muslims, non-Muslims still dislike each other

WASHINGTON (AP) - Attitudes toward Muslims have become slightly

more positive in the U.S., Britain, France, Germany and Russia

compared with five years ago.

But a Pew Center survey finds negative views between Muslim

countries and the West persist on both sides.

The survey, by Pew's Global Attitudes Project, found majorities

of Muslims surveyed in five of six Muslim-dominant countries and

the Palestinian territories described non-Muslim Westerners as

selfish and greedy. In all of the six Western countries surveyed,

less than 30 percent of non-Muslims said they consider Muslims

respectful of women.

Muslims were more likely to see themselves as Muslims instead of

their national identity. Christians in the U.S. were about evenly

divided about their identities as Christians or Americans.


Lutheran split shakes up social service network

NEW YORK (AP) - One of the largest social service networks in

the U.S. faces a shake up over the Bible and homosexuality.

The theologically conservative Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod

says it has become "difficult if not impossible" to continue

working with the more liberal Evangelical Lutheran Church in

America. Last year, the ELCA abolished barriers to ordaining gays

and lesbians.

Together, the two Lutheran denominations run social service

programs ranging from adoption to disaster relief in the United


The conservative Lutherans announced this week they will no

longer train military chaplains with their liberal brethren. More

such breaks are expected in the coming months.


Vatican promises to weigh in on Irish church abuse

VATICAN CITY (AP) - The Vatican insists it will respond when

"opportune" to Irish demands it come clean in its oversight role

on abuse by clergy of children.

Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, responded to

Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny's denunciation of the Vatican's

role in abuse scandals. Kenny accused the Vatican this week of

downplaying the "rape and torture" of children by clergy.

Lombardi's statement says the Vatican will respond "when

opportune to the demands of the Irish government" following the

probe of the Cloyne diocese. That investigation found church

officials there shielded pedophiles from the law until 2008.


Calif. bill would block local circumcision bans

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Two California lawmakers have introduced a

bill that would pre-empt local governments from passing laws

banning male circumcision and limit the enacting of such

legislation to the state.

San Francisco's measure would prohibit circumcision of males

under the age of 18, making it a misdemeanor punishable by fine or

jail. Proponents of the ordinance have said the practice is a form

of genital mutilation that is not necessary and potentially


A coalition of Jews and Muslims filed a lawsuit last month to

block the measure from the ballot, saying male circumcision is a

procedure widely practiced by members of both faiths. They also say

the ban would violate First Amendment rights.


3 teens accused of arson over Baytown church fire

BAYTOWN, Texas (AP) - Three teens have been accused of setting

fire to a Houston-area church.

Chambers County Sheriff Joe LaRive says the arson

suspects were arrested Wednesday in connection with the fire early

Monday at Living Hope Church in Baytown.

Living Hope Church last week was targeted with graffiti.

Investigators have not said whether they believe the vandalism and

the fire are related.

The church will have to share space with another congregation

during repairs.


Suspect in priest's killing denies he did it

WAVELAND, Miss. (AP) - A man accused of killing a priest and

stealing his car and money for a Disney trip denies that he did it.

As Jeremy Wayne Manieri was escorted into court in Waveland,

Miss. for an initial hearing, an Associated Press reporter asked if

he did what he was accused of. Manieri answered, "No, sir."

He did not enter a plea on Thursday. Bond has been set at more

than $2 million.

Manieri is charged with murder and grand larceny in the death of

the Rev. Edward E. Everitt of Hammond, Louisiana. Everitt's body

was found July 11 at a beach house in Waveland.

Manieri was arrested the next day near Winter Haven, Fla. Police

said he had bought three-day passes to Disney World for his

ex-wife, his stepson and daughter.


Man arrested after letting 11-year-old girl drive

BRANDON, Fla. (AP) - A Florida man faces child neglect charges

for allegedly allowing his girlfriend's 11-year-old daughter to

drive. The SUV they were in crashed into a water pipe at a

Hillsborough County church.

Deputies say Donald Leet told them he let the child drive

because he had a glass of wine with dinner Tuesday evening, and his

driver's license was suspended. The child told deputies Leet was

teaching her to drive.

When deputies arrived at First Baptist Church of Brandon, water

was shooting 50-feet into the air. Officials say the girl and her

7-year-old sister were screaming, but no one was injured.


Long Island woman pummeled, mugged going to church

ELMONT, N.Y. (AP) - Police say a Long Island, N.Y. woman was

shoved to the ground, pummeled and robbed by two men as she was

heading to church.

Police say Amy Dawson was walking to catch a bus from her Elmont

home when the men came up behind her, knocked her down and grabbed

her purse containing $13. Dawson was on her way to attend evening

services at Bethlehem Missionary when the attack occurred on


Dawson, who's a widow and grandmother, suffered bruises. She

told WCBS that she hopes her muggers find the prayer readings

inside her bag, and that they take them to heart.


Oklahoma university donating shoes to charity

SHAWNEE, Okla. (AP) - Students, faculty and staff at a small

Catholic university in Oklahoma are giving 358 pairs of shoes to a


The donation from St. Gregory's University in Shawnee is going

to Soles 4 Souls, a charity that says it has distributed more than

12 million pairs of shoes around the world since 2005.

The charity's founder and CEO, Wayne Elsey, says it gives the

donated shoes to people living in extreme poverty or recovering

from natural disasters.


Some NYC Hindus object to animated Hindu film

NEW YORK (AP) - An animated film based on a Hindu religious epic

has run into controversy from some New York City Hindus.

Nina Paley, the creator of "Sita Sings the Blues," tells the

Wall Street Journal she's never run into a problem before.

Objections have been raised by Hindu groups in Queens over the

film's language and appearance of a bosomy Sita, the wife of the

Hindu god Rama.

"Sita" has been shown around the world since its release two

years ago.


Experts to catalog south Indian temple treasures

NEW DELHI (AP) - A trove of gold and silver treasures found in a

16th century Hindu temple will be unearthed and cataloged by

antiquities experts under tight security.

India's Supreme Court has ruled that the media and public will

be barred from the site in southern India.

The recently discovered treasure includes bagfuls of coins,

crowns, precious gems and golden statues of gods and goddesses

studded with diamonds, rubies and emeralds. Its unofficial $22

billion valuation, based on an incomplete inventory, is expected to

rise as the list of centuries-old items expands.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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