Heroes & Villains in the Quest for Spirituality: 100 Significant Characters of the Hebrew Bible

There are hundreds of named men and women in the Old Testament. Merely to list all of their names would fill many pages and be of little profit. If you want to investigate every one of them, I recommend Herbert Lockyer's books, All the Women of the Bible and All the Men of the Bible, or any good Bible dictionary, such as Nelson's New Illustrated Bible Dictionary.

Here are the 100 most significant Old Testament people, based not on what I think or who I like, but on how many chapters are devoted to their lives. You will meet peasants and princes, queens and harlots, shepherds and soldiers.

I have identified each with a short description and a Bible reference. This doesn't mean the reference cited is the only place this person is mentioned. Keep in mind that these are in alphabetical order, not in either chronological order or in the order in which they appear in the Hebrew Scriptures.

  • Aaron ? Brother of Moses and Israel's first high priest.

  • Abner ? The general of King Saul's army, treacherously killed by David's general, Joab.

  • Adebnego ? One of Daniel's three friends who were thrown into the fiery furnace for refusing to worship the golden image of Nebuchadnezzar. "Abednego" is the Babylonian name assigned to him by his captors. His Hebrew name is Azariah.

  • Abimelech ? One of the "Judges" of Israel who for a short time ruled as a king.

  • Abraham ? The man whose life of faith and covenant with God established the nation of Israel, his descendants, as the people of God.

  • Absalom ? The son of King David whose bitterness at how his father treated him led him to usurp his father's throne. David's general Joab killed Absalom to end the rebellion.

  • Adam ? The first human being, created out of the dust of the ground. His wife's name was Eve.

  • Adonijah ? A son of David and half-brother of Solomon who tried to steal the throne during David's declining years.

  • Ahab ? Powerful king of Israel (though in fact he only ruled over the northern 10 tribes). As a result of marrying Jezebel, Ahab introduced his kingdom to Baal worship.

  • Ahasuerus ? King of the Persian empire and husband to the Jewess Esther.

  • Amos ? Farmer-shepherd whom God call to denounce the northern nation of Israel.

  • Athaliah ? Wicked daughter of Ahab and Jezebel who ruled over Israel until she was executed to make way for the boy-king Joash.

  • Baalam ? Non-Israelite prophet who prophesied blessing for Israel rather than the curses he was being paid to declare. Balaam is also known for beating his donkey, who then spoke to him by God's power.

  • Bathsheba ? Wife of Uriah with whom David committed adultery before murdering her husband. Bathsheba's second child, and the only to survive more than a few days, was Solomon.

  • Belshazzar ? The last ruler of the Babylon before it was conquered by the Medes and Persians. Daniel prophesied his destruction--a prediction fulfilled that very night.

  • Bildad ? One of the three friends who visited Job and ended up discouraging him rather than comforting him.

  • Boaz ? A godly man in an ungodly age, Boaz married Ruth of Moab and was great grandfather of King David.

  • Caleb ? A tribal leader who, along with Joshua, counseled Israel to courageously conquer the land they and the 10 unbelieving leaders had spied out.

  • Cyrus ? As the first great leader of the Medo-Persian empire, Cyrus abruptly changed the policy of the Babylonians, allowing exiled peoples to return to their ancestral homelands. In doing this, Cyrus was unwittingly fulfilling Isaiah's much earlier prophecy that he was actually carrying out God's will.

  • Daniel ? One of the Israelites taken into Babylonian exile who, because of his faithfulness to God and to the king, rose to great power and influence in both the Babylonian and Medo-Persian empires.

  • David ? Second king of Israel and famous as "the man after God's own heart," as a singer of psalms, and the slayer of the giant, Goliath. David's reign and that of his son Solomon, was the time of greatest power and prosperity for the nation in ancient times.

  • Darius ? The first ruler of Babylon in the Medo-Persian empire, Darius the Mede appointed Daniel to be his advisor. Darius was manipulated into throwing Daniel to the lions, but was greatly relieved when God's prophet emerged unharmed.

  • Deborah ? As the only woman who served as a "Judge" of Israel, Deborah led the Israelites to a military victory over Sisera of Damascus.

  • Delilah ? This Philistine woman deceived Samson into revealing the secret of his great strength so that she could deliver him to his enemies.

  • Eli ? The high priest who took in Samuel when his mother Hannah dedicated him to the Lord. God punished Eli for not restraining the wickedness of his sons.

  • Elihu ? A young man who became angry as he listened to the discourse between Job and his three friends. In contrast to the friends, Elihu believed that God imposed suffering on Job, not to punish him for sins but to prevent him from sinning.

  • Elijah ? One of the greatest of the prophets, Elijah stood for God virtually alone during the time King Ahab and his wife Jezebel were persecuting true believers and promoting the worship of Baal.

  • Eliphaz ? One of the three friends of Job, all of whom were convinced that God was punishing Job for his wickedness.

  • Elisha ? The successor of Elijah as God's prophet. Elisha sought and apparently received a double dose of Elijah's miraculous power.

  • Esau ? The elder brother of Jacob, who sold the birthright of firstborn to his brother and later also lost his father's blessing to his brother. Although at the time of this second incident Esau vowed to kill Jacob, he later on was reconciled to him declaring how much God had blessed him.

  • Esther ? A beautiful Jewess whom the Persian king Ahasuerus married and made his queen. Esther later on saved the Jews from certain destruction by exposing the plots of Haman against her uncle, Mordecai.

  • Ezekiel ? Prophet among the Hebrew exiles in Babylonia who saw visions of why God would destroy Jerusalem and how He would restore it.

  • Ezra ? A righteous priest and one of the exiles who returned under the sponsorship of the Persian government. Ezra helped Nehemiah to turn the hearts of the people back to the Lord.

  • Eve ? The first woman, created from the side of the first man, Adam.

  • Gideon ? One of the "Judges" of Israel, convinced to lead the army against the Midianites by two miracles involving a fleece and dew. At God's prompting, Gideon reduced his large army down to 300 men, and still won the victory.

  • Gomer ? Wife of the prophet Hosea, whom he married despite her prostitution. Gomer's unfaithfulness to Hosea was symbolic of Israel's unfaithfulness to God.

  • Habakkuk ? A prophet who struggled to understand how God could punish the wicked of his nation by the Babylonians, who were even more wicked. God's reply, to which Habakkuk complied, was simply to trust him.

  • Hagar ? The slave of Sarah, the wife of Abraham. When Sarah remained childless after many years of trying to conceive, she gave Hagar to her husband--a practice common to the culture of that time. Hagar conceived and bore Abraham his first son, Ishmael.

  • Haggai ? Worked closely with his fellow-prophet Zechariah to inspire the people returned to Jerusalem from Babylonian exile to finish rebuilding the temple of the Lord.

  • Haman ? An advisor to King Ahasuerus whose arrogance and pride led him to plot against Mordecai, the righteous uncle of Esther. When Esther uncovered Haman's plot, the king ordered that he be hung on the gallows he had built to hang Modecai.

  • Hannah ? Mother of Samuel who dedicated him to the Lord as soon as he was weaned.

  • Hezekiah ? Righteous king of Judah who sought and received God's deliverance from the Assyrian army, reformed the worship of God, and brought about a second golden age similar to that of David and Solomon. Hezekiah benefitted greatly from having the prophet Isaiah for an advisor.

  • Hiram ? King of Tyre who entered into a treaty and a close personal friendship with King Solomon. Hiram supplied the cedars for the building of the temple and Solomon's palace.

  • Hosea ? Prophet of God who obeyed God's command to marry the prostitute Gomer, as a living parable of God's relationship to wayward Israel.

  • Isaac ? Second son of Abraham but regarded as the firstborn, since he alone was son of Abraham's wife Sarah. Isaac also entered into covenant with the Lord and prospered under His blessing.

  • Isaiah ? Prophet of God who advised King Hezekiah and, along with Micah, inspired the nation of Judah to return to the Lord.

  • Ishmael ? First son of Abraham, by Hagar, the slave-woman of Abraham's wife Sarah.

  • Jacob ? Also known as "Israel" (Prince of God), Jacob was son of Isaac, grandson of Abraham, husband of Leah and Rachel, and father of twelve sons, who became tribal leaders of what would be known as "The Sons of Israel." Jacob also had a daughter named Dinah.

  • Jehu ? The successor of Ahab as king of the northern nation of Israel. Appointed by the prophet Elijah, Jehu had Ahab's wife, Jezebel killed, as well as all of Ahab's sons.

  • Jephtha ? A judge of Israel who delivered the nation from the oppression of the Ammonites (Judges 10 - 11). Jephthah foolishly vowed that if the Lord gave him the victory, he would sacrifice whatever came out to greet him upon his return home. Little did he know that it would be his only daughter (Judges 11:30-40).

  • Jeremiah ? Called by God when very young and serving as a prophet for many years, denouncing Judah for its sin and predicting its fall to the Babylonians and a 70-year exile. Jeremiah lived to see his prediction fulfilled when Nebuchadnezzar captured Jerusalem in 586 B.C.

  • Jeshua ? High priest for the Israelites allowed by Cyrus to return to Jerusalem. Along with Zerubbabel, Jeshua led the people to complete the reconstruction of the Lord's temple, in response to the prophetic ministry of Zechariah.

  • Jezebel ? Princess of Sidon who married Ahab and led the northern nation of Israel into the practice of Baal worship. Jezebel tried to kill off all of the faithful prophets of the Lord, including Elijah. Among her other sins, Jezebel ordered the murder of Naboth in order to sieze his vineyard. She was killed at the order of Jehu.

  • Joab ? The nephew of David who served as the general of David's army once David became king. Joab was a treacherous and violent man who nevertheless was fiercely loyal to David.

  • Joash ? A righteous king of Judah contemporary with Jehu, king of Israel. Joash became king when he was only six years old, having survived the wrath of Queen Athaliah, daughter of Ahab and Jezebel. Among his other righteous deeds, Joash repaired the temple of the Lord. He was assassinated at age 22.

  • Job ? (pronounced "jobe"). A righteous man whose severe trials and enduring faith are the subject of the book that bears his name. The book is a series of dialogues between Job and his friends regarding the cause of his suffering.

  • Joel ? A prophet the Lord sent to the northern nation of Israel, calling them to repentance on the occasion of a locust plague that happened during a drought. Joel describes the spiritual renewal that awaits those who heed his call.

  • Jonah ? A prophet the Lord sent to warn Nineveh that the city was about to suffer destruction. Jonah tried to run from God but eventually delivered the message, prompting the city to respond in fear and repentance. Jonah was angry that the Lord spared the penitent Ninevites and received a rebuke from the Lord in the form of an object lesson.

  • Jonathan ? As son of Saul, Jonathan was prince of Israel and should have been next in line for the throne. But the Lord had chosen David as Saul's successor, and Jonathan, who was David's best friend, was willing for David to assume the throne in his place. Jonathan lost his life in a battle against the Philistines on Mount Gilboa.

  • Joseph ? As the favorite son of his father Jacob, Joseph provoked the jealousy of his 10 older brothers, who sold him into slavery. God blessed Joseph, however, so that he eventually rose to become the ruler of Egypt, second only to the Pharaoh. From this position of authority, Joseph was able to save his entire family from a famine after he had demonstrated to his brothers that he had forgiven them.

  • Joshua ? The assistant of Moses who after the Lawgiver's death, became his successor and led the Israelites in their conquest of the land of Canaan. The book of Joshua relates the history of his life.

  • Josiah ? A righteous king of Judah who led important religious reforms. Unfortunately, Josiah lost his life in a battle near Megiddo against Pharaoh Neco.

  • Judah ? One of the sons of Jacob whose descendants became one of the most populous tribes of Israel. Judah's was the tribe of both David and Jesus.

  • Laban ? Brother of Rebekah and father of Leah and Rachel, Laban

  • Leah ? Wife of Jacob, sister of Rachel, and daughter of Laban, Rachel was the mother of Joseph and Benjamin, during whose childbirth she died. Rachel was her husband's favorite wife.

  • Lot ? Nephew of Abraham whom Abraham had to rescue from being a prisoner of war. After barely escaping from the destruction of Sodom, Lot fathered a son by each of his two daughters after they got him drunk on two successive nights. The descendants of the two boys became the nations known as the Moabites and the Ammonites.

  • Malachi ? Prophesied during the period after the return from Babylonian exile. Malachi predicted the coming of both John the Baptizer and Jesus.

  • Manasseh ? Succeeded his father, righteous Hezekiah, to the throne of Judah, Manasseh was one of the most wicked, responsible, according to tradition, for stuffing the prophet Isaiah into a hollow log and then sawing the log in half. After being punished by the Lord by going into exile, Manasseh turned back to the Lord at the end of his life.

  • Meshach ? One of the three friends of Daniel who refused to bow to the image of Nebuchadnezzar and were thrown into a fiery furnace. The Lord rescued the three from martyrdom as a testimony to Nebuchadnezzar of His greatness. "Meshach" is the name the Babylonians assigned to him; his Hebrew name was Mishael.

  • Micah ? A prophet of the Lord who prophesied to the nation of Judah. Micah was an older contemporary of the prophet Isaiah.

  • Michal ? Daughter of Saul given in marriage to David. When David fled from the wrath of Saul, Michal's father gave her in marriage to another, who was forced to return her to David when David became king. Later on in their marriage, Michal came to despise her husband. She died childless.

  • Miriam ? Sister of Moses and Aaron and a prophetess. Miriam led the women in their song of rejoicing after the Lord drowned the Egyptian army in the Red Sea (Exod. 15:20-21). Miriam was temporarily struck with leprosy as punishment for joining with Aaron in questioning Moses' unique authority (Num. 12:1-15).

  • Mordecai ? Uncle of Esther who raised her as his own daughter. Mordecai enjoyed a position of favor in the court of Ahasuerus after exposing a plot against the Persian ruler. Esther rescued him from a plot against his life by wicked Haman

  • Moses ? Used by God to deliver the Israelites from Egyptian slavery. Among the men of the Old Testament Moses was unequaled as a prophet and the lawgiver for the Israelites. His life is recorded in Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy. He is believed to be the author of Genesis, and Psalm 90 is also ascribed to him. Moses was brother to Aaron and Miriam.

  • Naaman ? Syrian military leader who sought a healing of his leprosy from the prophet Elisha. The Lord healed his leprosy after he dipped seven times in the Jordan River, as Elisha directed him.

  • Naomi ? The mother-in-law of Ruth, who brought the young widow with her when she returned to Bethlehem from Moab after the death of her husband and both of her sons. It was Naomi who advised Ruth to seek protection from Boaz, resulting in Ruth's eventual marriage to the rich kinsman.

  • Nahum ? A prophet of the Lord who predicted the fall of Nineveh. His predictions were fulfilled in 612 B.C. when the Babylonians conquered the Assyrian capital.

  • Nathan ? Faithful prophet of the Lord who served as David's trusted spiritual advisor. Nathan had the honor of announcing to David that his dynasty would last forever (2 Sam. 7), a prophecy ultimately fulfilled in the eternal reign of Jesus Christ. To Nathan also fell the unpleasant task of confronting David with his sin of adultery and murder and announcing that his infant child would die (2 Sam. 12).

  • Nebuchadnezzar ? King of the Neo-Babylonian empire, who deported nobles from Judah, including Daniel and his three friends, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, better known as Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. A few years later, in 586 B.C., the Babylonian army laid siege to Jerusalem, captured it, and destroyed it. Nebuchadnezzar recognized the potential of the young Hebrews and promoted them to leadership positions in his kingdom.

  • Nehemiah ? Cupbearer to the Persian king Artaxerxes and appointed by him to be governor of the exiles returning to Jerusalem to rebuild the walls of the city. Against strong opposition, Nehemiah led his people to rebuild the walls of the city and helped Ezra in turning the people's hearts toward the Lord.

  • Noah ? A man who found grace from the Lord in a desperately wicked generation and built the ark that rescued from the Great Flood his entire family and representatives of all of the land animals then living upon the earth. Upon leaving the ark, Noah entered into a covenant with the Lord and received from Him gracious promises, including the promise never again to destroy all life by a flood.

  • Obadiah ? A prophet the Lord used to denounced the Edomites for celebrating the fall of the Israelites and even cutting down their refugees. Obadiah's predictions that Edom would be utterly destroyed were fulfilled.

  • Rachel ? The wife whom the patriarch Jacob loved more than his other wife, her older sister Leah, and who gave birth to Jacob's two favorite sons, Joseph and Benjamin. Benjamin became the head of one of the tribes of Israel, almost wiped out in a war against the other tribes.

  • Rahab ? A prostitute of the pagan city of Jericho at the time the Israelites were about to invade. Rahab hid the Israelite spies in exchange for their protection in the coming battle. After the spies kept their word and spared her at the fall of the city, she married an Israelite, becoming one of the ancestors of Jesus Christ.

  • Rebekah ? Wife of Isaac chosen by Abraham's servant because of her willingness to serve him by drawing water for him from a well and watering his camels. Rebekah was the daughter of Nahor and the sister of Laban. When Isaac became blind in his old age, Rebekah conspired with her son Jacob to deceive him into giving Jacob the Father's Blessing in place of his older twin, Esau, to whom it rightly belonged. When Rebekah heard Esau threaten his revenge, she sent Jacob off to her father's people and died without ever seeing him again.

  • Reuben ? The firstborn son of Jacob who lost his position over his brothers because of his sin with his father's concubine. When his brothers wanted to kill their younger brother Joseph, Reuben intervened and persuaded them not to kill him. Reuben's descendants became one of the twelve tribes of Israel.

  • Ruth ? A woman from Moab who, after the death of her Israelite husband, firmly committed herself to attend her widowed mother-in-law, Naomi, the Israelite. After the two women returned to Bethlehem, Naomi's home, Ruth married Boaz, Naomi's kinsman. Their son Obed turned out to be the grandfather of king David.

  • Samson ? An Israelite dedicated to the Lord from before he was born, who nevertheless was vain, selfish, sensual, and violent. God used him despite his sinfulness to bring deliverance to Israel from their Philistine oppressors. Samson was deceived by a Philistine woman Delilah to reveal the secret of his great strength, his long hair, uncut as a sign of his dedication to God. When Delilah cut off Samson's hair while he slept, Samson lost his great strength and fell victim to his enemies, who put out his eyes and bound him with chains. Samson got his revenge, however, for when his hair grew back, he pulled down a Philistine temple to which he was chained, killing not only Samson, but all of the Philistines who had assembled there to mock him.

  • Samuel ? Another Israelite dedicated to the Lord before he was born and raised as the servant of the high priest Eli. Samuel grew up serving God and after Eli's death, became the last judge of Israel and also one of the greatest prophets of the Old Testament. Under the Lord's guidance, Samuel anointed both Saul and his successor, David as the first two kings of Israel.

  • Sarah ? Wife of Abraham and mother of Isaac. Sarah was very beautiful even as an older woman. The Lord blessed her to conceive her child after she was beyond the age of bearing children, in fact, when she was 90 years old.

  • Saul ? The first king of Israel and a powerful warrior who led Israel's armies against the Philistines. Because Saul sinned against the Lord and apparently did not repent, the Lord took his kingdom away from him and gave it to David. Saul compounded his sin by trying to kill David again and again. Saul committed suicide on the battlefield after he realized the Philistines had won the battle and were about to capture him. Saul's son, Jonathan was killed in the same battle.

  • Sennacherib ? King of Assyria who led an invasion that swept through Syria, Israel, and Judah at the end of the eighth century B.C. Sennacherib destroyed all of the fortified cities of Judah except Jerusalem. He surrounded Jerusalem and would have destroyed it as well, had not Hezekiah prayed and received from the Lord a mighty deliverance--in one night an angel of the Lord struck down 185,000 soldiers of Sennacherib's army. Sennacherib returned to Assyria in humiliation, where two of his own sons assassinated him. Sennacherib's palace in Nineveh has been excavated, on the walls of which he depicts the taking of Lachish, an Israelite city near Jerusalem. He boasts, "I walled up Hezekiah in his city like a bird in a cage," but makes not mention of taking Jerusalem or of the decimation of his army.

  • Shadrach ? One of the three friends of Daniel taken into exile by the Babylonians before they destroyed the city of Jerusalem. His Hebrew name was Hananiah. With his two friends, Mishael and Azariah, better known as Meshach and Abednego, Shadrach refused to worship the golden image of Nebuchadnezzar. Although the three of them were thrown into a furnace of blazing fire, God sent someone Nebuchadnezzar described as "someone like a son of man" to rescue them, and they escaped unharmed.

  • Solomon ? King of Israel, succeeding his father David to the throne. At the beginning his reign, the Lord offered to give him whatever he wanted. Although quite young, Solomon asked for wisdom rather than riches or long life. In response, the Lord gave him all three, blessing his reign until he became renowned as the wisest and richest king in history. Tragically, however, his many marriages to foreign women turned his heart away from the Lord. Despite being remembered for building a glorious temple to the Lord in his capital city of Jerusalem, Solomon actually became an idolater.

  • Uriah ? A Hittite warrior among the elite soldiers in the army of King David, whom David treacherously ordered to be exposed to the enemy in battle and killed to hide the king's adultery with Uriah's wife, Bathsheba. The Bible has nothing but praise for this victim of a king's lust and the subsequent, self-serving cover-up.

  • Uzziah ? King of Judah and father of King Hezekiah. Uzziah was also known as Azariah (not the much later Azariah also called Abednego). He was a righteous king, but at the end of his reign became conceited and wrongly offered incense in the temple of the Lord. The Lord punished him with a leprosy that remained with him until his death.

  • Zechariah ? A prophet of the Lord who, along with Haggai, persuaded the returned exiles to complete the temple they had begun four years earlier and neglected to finish while they built their own houses. Zechariah greatly encouraged the governor, Zerubbabel, that the Lord could care for the nation's se while he devoted himself to finishing the sanctuary of God. Zechariah also encouraged the high priest, Jeshua, that the Lord Himself purified him for his duties as the spiritual leader of God's people.

  • Zephaniah ? A prophet of the Lord chosen from among the royal household to urge the people to return to following after the Lord.

  • Zerubbabel ? The Persian-appointed governor of the exiles who returned to Jerusalem to rebuild the temple. Supported by the prophetic ministries of Zechariah and Haggai, along with the ministry of the high priest, Jeshua, Zerubbabel was able to motivate the people to complete the rebuilding of the temple of Solomon in 516 B.C.

  • Zophar ? One of the friends of Job, who, in the guise of trying to comfort him in the loss of all of his children, his possessions, and his health, instead sought to accuse him of deserving God's punishment because of some hidden sin. Eventually the Lord vindicated Job and prompted him to pray for his three friends.

    Steve Singleton has written and edited several books and numerous articles on subjects of interest to Bible students. He has taught Greek, Bible, and religious studies courses Bible college, university, and adult education programs. He has taught seminars and workshops in 11 states and the Caribbean.

    Go to his DeeperStudy.org for Bible study resources, no matter what your level of expertise. Explore "The Shallows," plumb "The Depths," or use the well-organized "Study Links" for original sources in English translation. Sign up for Steve's free "DeeperStudy Newsletter."

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    Religious discrimination bill will safeguard people of faith, says attorney general  The GuardianChristian Porter says those who face 'indirect' unfair treatment will have 'powerful avenue' for redress.
    Religious freedom getting worse around the world; Christians remain most persecuted group: Pew  The Christian PostGovernment restrictions on religion have increased across the globe — and Christians and Muslims are persecuted in more countries than any other religious ...
    Regardless of race & religion: S'pore couple shares the highs & lows of an interracial family  Mothership.sgCamille Tan, 29, is the mother of two sons. Advertisement. Kierann and Aarann are five and two years old respectively. Some may raise their eyebrows at their ...
    AZ Atheist Group Plans Legal Fight Over Tax-Free Housing for Religious Leaders  PatheosThe leader of a Humanist group wants the same tax code perk offered to pastors.
    Arab world turns its back on religion – and its ire on the US  The GuardianSurvey of 25000 people in Middle East and North Africa also shows 52% of 18- to 29-year-olds are thinking about migrating.
    Religion Briefs, July 20, 2019 | Briefs  The Grand Junction Daily SentinelConcert pianist to perform in Palisade. Internationally celebrated concert pianist Jerry Nelson will perform at 10:30 a.m. Sunday at Palisade Church of the ...
    Mid-Michigan Religion News | Lifestyles | themorningsun.com  The Morning SunAlma Presbyterian *Service* Set. The First Presbyterian Church of Alma will worship at 10:30 a.m. on Sunday, in the Fellowship Hall. Nursery is provided during ...
    Disagreement is not discrimination: ‘Do No Harm Act’ is a dishonest act to eject religion  USA TODAYTo hear supporters of the 'Do No Harm Act' tell it, the federal law protecting religious freedom is a weapon harming minorities. But that's not true.
    Religion Briefs: Vacation Bible School returns to Oakland UMC this week  Baltimore SunOakland United Methodist Church in Eldersburg has been hosting a Vacation Bible School since the late 1940s, reaching out to children of all faiths in the ...
    Must Reads: How millennials replaced religion with astrology and crystals  Los Angeles TimesAs people sour on the religious beliefs they grew up with, a new generation is embracing astrology apps, tarot cards, crystals and other spiritual practices.
    Religion News: July 20 | Nvdaily | nvdaily.com  Northern Virginia DailyLutheran. St. John's Lutheran Church will hold “Mocha and a Message,” a contemporary worship *service* with coffee and desserts, at 6 p.m. today at 3623 Back ...
    More Americans identify with no religion that ever before but three states see evangelical growth: study  Fox NewsMore Americans identify with no religion than ever before, according to a new study on religious affiliation.
    Is religion driving conservatism among youth?  LivemintThe past few years have witnessed rising religiosity in the country, according to data from a number of surveys conducted by different organizations over the past ...
    Twitter updates hate speech rules to include dehumanizing speech around religion  TechCrunchAgainst a backdrop of rising violence against religious minorities around the world, Twitter today said that it would update its hateful conduct rules to include ...
    US Confidence in Organized Religion Remains Low  GallupWASHINGTON, D.C. -- Americans' confidence in the church or organized religion continues to erode, with 36% now saying they have "a great deal" or "quite a ...
    5 faith facts about the moon landing: Space Communion and a prayer league of its own  Religion News Service(RNS) — Where humans go, faith seems to follow. It's no less true of NASA's first manned mission to land on the moon, when astronauts Neil Armstrong, Edwin ...
    Faith groups fear the end of refugee resettlement in the US  Religion News Service(RNS) — Faith-based groups that help the U.S. government resettle refugees fear the future of their work is in jeopardy, after learning that the Trump ...
    The internet as religious experience  BBC NewsReligion is in the ascendant across the world, but it has a new, powerful rival - the internet.
    What’s Behind Quebec’s Ban on Religious Symbols  The AtlanticThe Canadian province has a complicated relationship with its immigrant communities. Last month, it became the first place in North America to institute such a ...
    What Is Chris Pratt's Religion? The Actor's Church Sparks Criticism  DistractifyChris Pratt is one of Hollywood's biggest stars, but fame and fortune aren't what's important to the Marvel movie star. The actor is passionate about his Christian ...
    Cory Booker could be a candidate for the religious left  The Oakland PressWASHINGTON >> Questions about religion can paralyze some politicians, but not Cory Booker.
    Remarks by President Trump in Meeting with Survivors of Religious Persecution  Whitehouse.govOval Office. 4:22 P.M. EDT. THE PRESIDENT: Good afternoon. We'll be leaving for North Carolina in a short while. I think some of you will be outside.
    I'm the gay grandson of a persecuted Jew; freedom of religion is not freedom to harm  The AgeAs the government moves to a Religious Discrimination Bill, we need a level-headed debate, writes the head of Australia's largest LGBTQI health organisation.
    Quebec's religious symbols law passes 1st legal test as judge refuses injunction  CBC NewsA Quebec Superior Court justice has rejected a request to temporarily suspend parts of the province's new religious symbols law, upholding a ban on the ...
    Religion, meet technology | ASU Now: Access, Excellence, Impact  Arizona State UniversityThis summer, Arizona State University religious studies PhD candidate Jamie Edmonds decided to incorporate technology into the final projects of his religion ...
    US to press religious freedom in North Korea: Pence  CNAWASHINGTON: Vice President Mike Pence vowed on Thursday (Jul 18) to press North Korea to respect freedom of religion, despite the narrow US focus ...
    Nuns, other Catholics arrested protesting treatment of immigrant children  Religion News ServiceWASHINGTON (RNS) — Police arrested dozens of protesters, including many Roman Catholic nuns, at a rally Thursday (July 18) opposing the Trump ...
    Speaking of Religion | Buddhism, Daoism, and Confucianism  Bennington BannerThe golden statue of Confucius sits serenely and benevolently at the Wen Miao Temple in Shanghai. Various gifts - fruits, sweets, and other offerings - are ...
    New Research: Why Religions Promote Sexual Conservatism  Psychology TodayDoes religious belief lead to conservative sexual values, or do people seek religion to bolster their initial preferences for monogamy? New research yields a ...
    Religion vs law: Big religious fight erupts over Ranchi court's order to distribute copies of Quran  India TodayA 19-year-old girl has been asked by a Ranchi court to distribute five copies of Quran as a punishment for posting a communal post on social media. Judicial ...
    Israeli archaeologists discover signs of religion in 9000-year-old city near Jerusalem  Religion News ServiceJERUSALEM (RNS) — The region around Jerusalem has a long history of religious practices. Those practices might date back to the Stone Age. The people ...
    A closer look at changing restrictions on religion  Pew Research Center's Religion and Public Life ProjectPew Research Center has analyzed restrictions on religion around the world for 10 years, finding that global restrictions have risen. What is happening in some ...
    The Turnabout on Religious Freedom  The Wall Street JournalLiberals used to favor broad claims of liberty. Prof. David Skeel says the Obama-era culture wars helped change that.
    When Leaving a Religion Is Like Abandoning a Cult  The New York TimesAmber Scorah's memoir, “Leaving the Witness,” recounts a tale of disillusion and ultimate apostasy as she decides to turn away from the faith she's known since ...
    In remote Appalachia, liberal Christians gather at Wild Goose to pray — and plan  Religion News ServiceHOT SPRINGS, N.C. (RNS) — For years, liberals — even liberal people of faith — have been wary of fusions of faith and politics, careful not to pierce the ...
    Pope Francis gets it right on Curia reform and women  Religion News Service(RNS) — In appointing seven women to the Vatican congregation that oversees religious orders earlier this month (July 9), Pope Francis achieved a double win.
    US condemns Saudi Arabia over religious freedom abuses  CNNThe State Department's top official for international religious freedom said Friday that Saudi Arabia continues "to be one of the worst actors in the world on ...
    What Religion is BTS? - BTS Members Religion and Faith  Seventeen.comIt's not hard to tell BTS is super dedicated to their loyal fan base, the ARMY. Whether it's putting out exclusive *content* for them via a mobile video game or ...
    Israel Folau and the tension at the heart of religious freedom  The GuardianTwo core democratic principles are at stake in the Israel Folau case, and they will not be challenged at the pulpit or on the football field. Andrew West. Sat 22 Jun ...
    India rejects critical US religious freedom report  Al Jazeera EnglishState Department report says senior BJP officials made 'inflammatory speeches' against religious minorities last year.
    A matter of faith: Democrats embrace religion in campaign  The Associated PressWASHINGTON (AP) — When 10 Democratic presidential candidates were pressed on immigration policy during their recent debate, Pete Buttigieg took his ...
    Pete Buttigieg's Memorable Debate Lines About Religion Still Missed the Mark  PatheosOne of the high points of tonight's Democratic primary debate for me was what Mayor Pete Buttigieg said about religion. But the more I thought about it, the more ...
    Terror has no politics, religion or caste, says Amit Shah as Lok Sabha passes NIA Bill  India TodayHome Minister Amit Shah said in favour of the NIA Bill that terrorism has no religion, politics or caste in it.
    The U.S. Women’s Soccer Team doesn’t just tolerate religion, it embraces it  ThinkProgressThe U.S. Women's National Soccer Team has been getting a lot of attention and well-deserved adulation over the past 10 days, ever since they won their second ...
    Canada Stifles Religious Freedom  National ReviewThe Canadian Charter explicitly guarantees “freedom of religion and conscience.” Guarantee, shmarantee. Canadian law is fast becoming intolerant to religious ...
    Photos of the Week  Religion News Service(RNS) — Each week Religion News *Service* presents a gallery of photos of religious expression around the world. This week's gallery includes Hindu and ...
    Inside the radical religious commune in the heart of Sussex where there is no crime or debt, but you can’t do  The SunIN their ankle-length plaid skirts, shapeless blouses and headscarves, the women of the Bruderhof community look like peasants from a past age. But this is not ...
    Shopping is America’s religion. But this isn’t the first country to confuse the two.  The Washington PostWe like to tell ourselves that in some past era, humans celebrated events that had real meaning: harvest festivals and national holidays, Christmas and Yom ...
    Quebec's Ban on Religious Clothing is Chilling: To Be Like Us, You Must Dress Like Us  Human Rights WatchRight after 9/11, my mom started wearing the hijab in Sarnia, Ontario — a town with little diversity on the U.S. border. She had made a conscious and unilateral ...
    Religious liberals want to change what it means to be a Christian voter  PBS NewsHourDES MOINES, Iowa — The meeting began with a prayer. Heads bowed and eyes closed. Then the members of “We Are Church Confessing,” a group of liberal ...
    Chick-fil-A inspires new religious liberty law in Texas  Washington ExaminerChick-fil-A is known for its delicious chicken sandwiches and summertime lemonade. Now, it can add another accolade to its list of accomplishments: being the ...
    New poll shows growing view that clergy are irrelevant  Religion News Service(RNS) — In her 2004 Pulitzer-Prize winning novel “Gilead,” Marilynne Robinson sketches a portrait of the Rev. John Ames, a small- town pastor in 1950s Iowa ...
    Americans have little confidence in religion, Congress, news media  The Jerusalem PostGallup first conducted their Confidence in Institutions poll in 1973, around the time of the Watergate scandal. The ratings have been updated annually since ...
    Pope: Moon landing inspires progress on justice, environment  Virginian-PilotVATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis is hoping that the 50th anniversary of the first moon walk inspires efforts to help our "common home" on Earth.
    Religion just one facet of India’s population explosion debate | Analysis  Hindustan TimesExpressing concern over a “population explosion” in India, Union minister Giriraj Singh last week suggested, for the second time, that Indians with more than two ...
    Oil and American religion set stage for current political divides, historian finds  ND NewswireIn his newest research, Darren Dochuk, associate professor of history at the University of Notre Dame, chronicles North America's age of oil — in particular, ...
    Brunson at religious freedom summit: 'It's wonderful that I can be here in person'  Religion News ServiceNorine and Andrew Brunson attend the State Department's 2019 Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom in Washington on July 17, 2019. RNS photo by ...
    How a Rugby Star’s Homophobic Posts Got Australians Arguing About Religion  The New York TimesSYDNEY, Australia — Religion isn't a welcome dinner subject for most Australians. The country has grown increasingly secular, and in one recent poll a majority ...
    UK government considering sanctions for religious freedom violators  Catholic Herald OnlineUK Ambassador to the Holy See Sally Axworthy said this week that the UK government will consider a recommendation to impose sanctions on foreign ...
    Treasure Singapore's racial and religious harmony: PM Lee Hsien Loong, Heng Swee Keat  The Straits TimesSINGAPORE - Singapore must treasure the racial and religious harmony that it enjoys, said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, citing how race and religion have ...
    An academic society whose time has come  Religion News ServiceCORK, Ireland (RNS) — What brought me to Ireland's second city was “Religion, Water and Climate Change,” the title of this year's get-together of the ...
    Photography exhibition about sexuality and religion opens in Auckland church  NewshubA photographic exhibition that explores sexuality and religion has opened in a deconsecrated Auckland church. Inferno explores the difficulties Gui Taccettii ...
    Holy See urges tolerance, inclusivity to combat terrorism against religions  Vatican NewsBy Robin Gomes. The Holy See is urging patience, perseverance, wisdom, courage and leadership in countering terrorism against every religion by fostering ...

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