Top Stories

The LDS Church is struggling to balance its position on social justice issues, such as gay rights and women's roles. Creative commons image by Jay Whitmire

Tension (but not too much) ahead for Mormon viability?

“Too much tension with the surrounding culture invites scorn; too little threatens its uniqueness:” Such is the dilemma facing Mormonism after nearly two centuries of […]

Approximately 82,693 mosques rest on Turkish soil, including the Ortakoy Mosque pictured here. Of Turkish provinces, Istanbul has the most with 3,113 and is funding an international expansion of mosques. Creative Commons image by Dan Nevill

Turkey’s new ‘mosque diplomacy?’

A state sponsored program to build mosques in foreign countries has emerged as a foreign policy instrument for Turkey and a way to assert a […]

Fifty-seven nations have blasphemy laws. Reactions to them vary widely from country to country such as this European protest denouncing Pakistan's blasphemy laws. // Creative Commons image by Mtaylor848

Blasphemy laws common yet put to different uses

The shared concern about the need to limit rights to maintain public order and public morals is interpreted differently from one country to another, with […]

Featured Story

Rabbi Lizzi Heydemann at Mishkan Chicago’s Get Higher: High Holidays 5775 services at the Preston Bradley Center. Photo by Timothy Smith, courtesy of Mishkan Chicago.

Featured Story: Women rabbis in vanguard of new synagogue forms

Women rabbis are at the forefront of starting new synagogues, even if they don’t go by that name as they push at the boundaries of traditional Reform, Conservative and Orthodox branches of Judaism. These “indie synagogues” are known for their exuberant prayer styles and their success at attracting … [Read More...]

Dig in Deeper: Religion Watch Current Research

Current Research: May 2015

01: Nations that are strongly religious are less innovative in science and technology, according to a study by the National Bureau of Economic Research. Economists Roland Benabou, Davide Ticchi and Andrea Vindigni studied the relationship between religious populations and the rate of patent applications filed by a country’s residents. In both international and cross-state U.S. […]

Current Research: April 2015

01: There is a small but potentially significant increase in the strengthening of Catholic affiliation and a stabilization of the retention rate in the church, according to an analysis of the 2014 General Social Survey. In a post on the blog of Center for Research on the Apostolate (CARA), Mark Gray finds that when asked […]

Current Research: March 2015

01: The growth of the non-affiliated (or “nones”) continues unabated among incoming American college students, and it may be diminishing the importance of spirituality among such young adults, according to the American Freshman, an annual study  conducted by UCLA’s Higher Education Research Institute. The study, which has consistently asked incoming students their religious affiliation, surveyed 153,015 students […]