religion

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From a targeted shooting in Olathe to the president's so-called "travel ban," tensions over race, culture and religion are high. Today, we delve into two experiences in the Muslim community and learn what living in Trump's America has been like for Islamic people.

The NAACP of Missouri has issued its first-ever travel advisory for the state, warning of harassment and discrimination. A look at whether Missouri is safe for people of color ... and whether safety related to race, religion, gender identity or sexual orientation is something that people think about when planning their travels.

Susie Fagan / Kansas News Service

Gov. Sam Brownback on Thursday touted his credentials and passion for helping the Trump administration mitigate religious persecution around the globe.

The prospective ambassador-at-large for international religious freedom said he does not know how long it might take for the U.S. Senate to consider his nomination by President Donald Trump, and he hasn’t yet decided when to turn over the reins to his lieutenant governor, Jeff Colyer.

File Photo / Kansas Public Radio

After months of speculation, news broke Wednesday evening that Pres. Donald Trump nominated Kansas' governor as ambassador-at-large for international religious freedom. The appointment requires Senate approval. Today, we hear from journalists, political thinkers, and Kansas state lawmakers to find out what this long-rumored move means for the Sunflower State, and to discuss the legacy Gov. Sam Brownback will leave behind.

Monday’s U.S. Supreme Court decision involving a Missouri church ultimately could make it easier for religious institutions to seek out state money for non-religious needs.

The justices ruled 7-2 in favor of Trinity Lutheran Church in Columbia, which had sought a state grant to put a soft surface on its preschool playground, but was denied funding. Chief Justice John Roberts wrote it is “odious to our Constitution” to exclude the church from the grant program.

The South Sudanese Community Lutheran Church meets at Zion Lutheran Church in Denison, Iowa, on Sunday afternoons.
Amy Mayer / Harvest Public Media

This story is part of the special Harvest Public Media series United And Divided, which explores the links and rifts between rural and urban America.

As Highway 30 enters Denison, Iowa, a city of 8,000, the national fast food chains stand next to Mexican groceries and restaurants. In this small city near the Nebraska border, waves of immigrants have been arriving since at least the 1980s.

Laura Ziegler / KCUR 89.3

In another time, the opening of a new mosque in Johnson County, Kansas, may not have attracted hundreds of people from a wide array of backgrounds. But some say these are extraordinary times.

According to the Council on American-Islamic Relations, incidents that reflect bias against Muslims grew by 57% last year.

Crowds streamed into the new classic masjid, Arabic for mosque, at the Islamic Center of Johnson County.

Julie Denesha / KCUR 89.3FM

On a windswept hillside in Leavenworth County is a weather-worn wooden church that’s been there for nearly 150 years. For more than a century, Little Stranger Church was a place for worship and celebration   — until it wasn’t anymore. But now, some locals are trying to bring it back, and they have a powerful incentive: home-made pie.

Laura Ziegler / KCUR 89.3

A stone’s throw from the childhood home of pilot Amelia Earhart in Atchison, Kansas, is Benedictine College. Benedictine monks started the college in 1857 to provide a Catholic education to the children of pioneers and to celebrate Mass with German and Irish settlers.

Today, about 40 monks live at the abbey on a hill overlooking the college and the Missouri River. They live much the same way Benedictine monks have lived since St. Benedict of Nursia established the order in sixth century.

The U.S. National Archives

When President Harry Truman moved into the White House, he thought the creaks and groans meant it was haunted. It turns out it was just in imminent danger of collapse. Today, hear the story of how the executive mansion was completely gutted and restored. Then, what takes more than seven years and 900 international volunteers to complete?

Kansas City Fashion Week

Kansas City takes the nickname 'Paris of the Plains' seriously, and not just because of our fountains. Today, we learn why Kansas City Fashion Week has designers, photographers, models, makeup artists, and stylists gathered in the Heartland. Then, the director of the Vatican Observatory looks at the intersection of religion and science. He'll also answer an "age-old" question for us: Should extraterrestrials be baptized?

As more young people identify as Nones (as in "no religious affiliation"), are they still making room for rituals in their daily lives?

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Wylie "Cyote" C / Wikimedia Commons

In such a divided era in America, is respect for different faiths critical to the country's success? A former member of President Obama's Faith Advisory Council answers that question. Then, trout season begins on March 1 and there's no better place in Missouri to ring it in than Bennett Spring State Park, outside Lebanon.

Andrea Tudhope / KCUR 89.3

Kansas City metro-area residents continue to voice opposition to the Trump Administration's executive orders on immigration. The latest was a candlelight vigil Sunday afternoon in Overland Park.

Sofia Khan started planning the vigil last weekend, after an order temporarily barring refugees and travelers from seven Muslim-majority countries was issued.

Fibonacci Blue / Flickr - CC

From the Standing Rock protests to the European migrant crisis, we explore the stories of faith and values that made headlines in the last year. Then, we meet a community activist who has spent decades working on behalf of urban neighborhoods in Kansas City.

Photocapy / Flickr -- CC

What do ancient religious rituals mean to millennials? Across faiths, people are following the rituals of their parents and grandparents, but the meaning they attach to those practices may be changing.

Plus, a chat with the curator of an exhibit, ¿Qué Pasa, USA?, which features artists of color who are using humor to explore questions of race and belonging.

Guests:

Laura Ziegler / KCUR 89.3

It goes without saying that religious communities are not monolithic. That may be especially true after this election.

So when I got an assignment to get “the response of religious communities” to the presidential election, my impulse was to visit with every religious institution in the area. Not possible. So I arbitrarily selected representatives of a few denominations, knowing it would be but a sample, a snapshot, of what some houses of worship were feeling.

I began with mosques. 

The creator and editor-in-chief of MuslimGirl.com talks about the challenges facing Muslim women in the wake of Donald Trump's election. Then we examine the soundtrack of the Vietnam War, and listen to some of the songs that helped American troops get through the conflict.

How Uncertainty Builds Faith In 'A Gray World'

Sep 27, 2016

During troubled times some turn to prayer, but when left with no answers they may question their beliefs. Religion writer Bill Tammeus says that doubt is natural, and can play a big part in strengthening one's faith.

Julie Denesha / KCUR 89.3

The NCAA has put off its December announcement on future championship sites to give itself the chance to monitor what happens in state legislatures this fall.

When the Missouri legislature re-convenes, it’s possible that a so-called "religious freedom" bill may pop up again on the agenda. That concerns Kansas City Sports Commission Executive Director Kathy Nelson. Especially since the sports commission submitted a record of 55 bids to the NCAA to host championships.

“For us, we have 55 have chances to get shot down if someone decides to vote for this,” said Nelson.

While Mother Teresa certainly had her critics, she did spread a lot of hope to a lot of people. Her expedited canonization highlights the role saints play in the modern Catholic Church, and a process that's happening with unprecedented frequency.

Guests:

Andrea Tudhope / KCUR 89.3

Around a year ago, Bishop James Johnston came to Kansas City to lead the Catholics of northwest Missouri at a challenging time. He came in with an agenda not of his choosing: to clean up the mess of the sexual abuse scandal that engulfed his predecessor. But he also has hopes and priorities of his own.

Bishop Johnston spoke with guest host Brian Ellison on KCUR’s Central Standard about what his job entails, and about his journey from electrical engineer to getting the call from the Vatican to come to Kansas City.

Andrea Tudhope / KCUR 89.3

Bishop James Johnston came to town to lead KC's Catholics at a challenging time — and he started with an apology on behalf of the church. We check in on what's being done to address the sexual abuse scandal that engulfed his predecessor, and we'll hear his journey from electrical engineering to shepherding a flock of some 130,000 Catholic faithful here.

Guests:

KCUR 89.3

It was a rainy night in April in Lawrence, Kansas. 

Liberty Hall was hosting the twelfth stop on Jónsi Birgisson’s solo live experience tour of 2010. During Sigur Ros’ indefinite hiatus, lead singer Birgisson set out to craft an experience all his own.

In researching Topeka's Westboro Baptist Church, Arkansas State University sociologist Rebecca Barrett-Fox got an intimate view of the ministry's operations. Despite what most people think, Barrett-Fox found the congregation and its roots aren't that far off the beaten path.

White Christians set the tone for this country, dating back to its founding. But that’s changing in some profound ways. For one thing, white Christians no longer comprise a majority of the nation. As the cultural and religious ground shifts under them we’ll see how their influence is changing.

Guest:

Laura Ziegler / KCUR 89.3

More than 100 members — about half white, half African-American, mostly middle age or younger — of two Methodist churches came together Thursday night to pray, read and discuss their personal experiences of race relations.

Religion remains central to many lives in Kansas City, despite a continued rise in the number of people not affiliated with a particular faith. A new documentary called Beyond Belief, produced by Steve Mencher, examines how some locals are using their faith as a bridge to connect seemingly disparate communities.

Courtesy of Arionne Yvette Williams

 When Arionne Yvette Williams first heard “Formation,” the lead single of Beyoncé’s album, Lemonade, one of the lyrics inspired her to start a Bible study group for women.

“I just love the song; it just resonated with me as soon as I heard it,” Williams told host Gina Kaufmann on KCUR’s Central Standard.

The top policy-making body of the United Methodist Church this week narrowly approved a full review of all church law on sexuality. Up to Date host Steve Kraske speaks with two area ministers about this latest move by the Church.

Guests:

  • Rev. Adam Hamilton is the founding pastor of the United Methodist Church of the Resurrection in Leawood, Kansas.
  • Rev. Mark Holland is also the mayor and CEO of the Unified Government of Wyandotte County.

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