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Among the items in this issue of Religion News Briefs: Criticizing the Mormon Church can get you excommunicated. Leaving the destructive Scientology cult is scary (and wise).
Also: After three decades of debate on homosexuality, the Presbyterian Church has changed its definition of marriage. Plus: the Ex-Hijabi Fashion Photo Blog.
Full story: Mormon Purge * Scary Scientology * No More Hijab
A judge has ruled that religious beliefs and practices can be used as evidence in the manslaughter trial of a couple charged with manslaughter in the faith-healing death of their 12-year old daughter.
Travis and Wenona Rossiter belong to the Church of the First Born, which eschews modern medicine in favor of faith healing.
Full story: Faith-healing beliefs to be used as evidence in manslaughter trial
The Nebraska Board of Pardons on Tuesday commuted the sentence of former cult member Timothy Haverkamp, who has been on parole since 2009.
Haverkamp was one of five men convicted of the 1985 murder of James Thimm.
Full story: Convicted in torture-murder case, former cult member wins commutation
Bloggers have been picking apart the claims of a man who says he is a Muslim-turned-Christian. Ergun Caner has sued some of them for posting a video they say shows him lying. Thus far, the bloggers are winning.
In England, viewers are upset with ITV for showing a an ad during prime-time in which the Scientology cult spouts its usual nonsense.
Find out why Russian Orthodox Church priests are getting ridiculed on Twitter.
Full story: Friday’s Religion News Briefs: Ergun Caner keeps losing
Narconon facilities are billed as a 'drug rehab' centers. But the organization's approach is built on the quackery of fantasist L. Ron Hubbard, the dishonest man who saddled us with the Scientology cult. Small wonder then that Narconon is facing heaps of legal problems.
Are our bodies designed to connect with God?
Two serial killers in today's edition: Charles Manson and David Berkowitz.
Full story: Scientology’s ‘rehab’ target of federal lawsuits; +Religion Briefs
Authorities in Texas have today taken physical possession of the 1,700-acre Yearning For Zion Ranch that until recently belonged to the polygamous Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (FLDS).
Under Texas law, law enforcement can try to seize property that was used to commit or facilitate certain criminal conduct.
Full story: Texas takes possession of FLDS cult’s ranch
Cult leader Frederick Madison King, leader of the Church of Jesus Christ Restored has been charged with assualt and a range of other crimes.
Some of the charges date back to 1978 and involve seven victims, who were all members of the church.
Full story: Cult leader and brother charged with assault, other crimes
It's getting close to Easter, so the Jesus theorists and pundits are coming out of the woodworks again. Among them is Dr. Karen L. King, who has been speculating about a tiny fragment of papyrus she chose to call the "Gospel of Jesus’ Wife."
Criticism has been fierce, of course, with one scholar saying the fragment is so patently fake that it “seems ripe for a Monty Python sketch.”
Full story: Jesus’ wife?
Want to understand what's going on in Syria? You need to be familiar with some 7th century prophecies.
"Craigslist killer" Miranda Barbour, who claims she was a Satanist and has killed "under 100 people," has had her first court appearance.
Also: In some countries, not wearing a proper veil can get you arrested. By the religious police.
The beard-cutting-cult leader is back in the news. Plus more...
Full story: ‘Satanic’ Craigslist killer; The prophecies behind Syria conflict