• In this July 29, 2015 photo, lay leader Tu Shouzhe stands on his Protestant church's roof hours after Chinese government workers came and cut down the building's cross, at right, in Muyang Village in Pingyang County in eastern China's Zhejiang Province. A massive government campaign is underway in Zhejiang, where authorities are believed to be under a two-month deadline to remove crosses from the spires, vaults, roofs and wall arches of the 4,000 or so Protestant and Catholic churches that dot the landscape of the region. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)

    Severe crackdown in China on church crosses draws backlash

    LOWER DAFEI VILLAGE, China (AP) — About a dozen Catholics wept and sang hymns outside their church as a man climbed to the top of the building and sliced off its steel cross with a cutting torch. It toppled with a thud.

    Updated: 11:41 pm

  • China ordains first Catholic bishop since 2012

    BEIJING (AP) — A diocese in central China has ordained the country’s first Catholic bishop in three years amid tensions between Beijing and the Vatican and a strained relationship between the Chinese leadership and the Christian religion in general.

    Updated: 11:58 pm

  • This Jan. 4, 2011 file photo shows Milwaukee Archbishop Jerome Listecki at a news conference in St. Francis, Wis. Listecki said Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2015 the Milwaukee archdiocese has agreed to a $21 million settlement with victims of clergy abuse. The proposed settlement sets the stage for the archdiocese to close a bankruptcy proceeding that was filed in January 2011. (AP Photo/Morry Gash, File)

    Milwaukee archdiocese settles abuse cases for $21 million

    MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Milwaukee said Tuesday that it will pay $21 million to more than 300 victims of clergy abuse in a settlement that would end a four-year bankruptcy proceeding.

  • This Monday, Aug. 3, 2015 photo shows the exterior of Calvary Baptist Church in Las Cruces, New Mexico, where an explosive was detonated on Sunday morning. There were no injuries and only minor damage. (Robin Zielinski/Las Cruces Sun-News via AP)

    Las Cruces churches reviewing security after explosions

    LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) — Church officials in Las Cruces say they will conduct security reviews following two explosions that startled Sunday churchgoers in the New Mexico city.

  • A picture of a smooth, brown, egg-sized rock is shown in the printer's manuscript of the Book of Mormon following a news conference Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2015, at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Church History Library, in Salt Lake City. The Mormon church for the first time is publishing photos of a small sacred stone it believes founder Joseph Smith used to help translate the story that became the basis of the religion. The Mormon church is taking another step in its push to be more transparent, and is releasing more historical documents that shed light on how Joseph Smith formed the religion. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

    Mormon church to release more documents from founder

    SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — The Mormon church took another step toward transparency Tuesday with the first published pictures of a small sacred stone it believes founder Joseph Smith used to help translate a story that became the basis of the religion.

    Updated: 6:17 pm

  • Aaliyah Doninguez, 11, stands on N. Alameda Boulevard on Sunday, Aug. 2, 2015, in Las Cruces, N.M., advising parishioners that Holy Cross Catholic Church mass is canceled. Churchgoers were left shaken during Sunday morning services after authorities say explosions occurred less than 30 minutes apart outside two Las Cruces churches. (Robin Zielinski/The Las Cruces Sun-News via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT

    New Mexico Gov. Martinez: ‘Coward’ set off 2 church blasts

    LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) — The governor told southern New Mexico residents to keep attending houses of worship after small explosions outside two churches put parishioners on edge.

  • Viewed from the Embassy Suites hotel traffic moves along the Benjamin Franklin Parkway leading to the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Thursday, July 30, 2015, in Philadelphia. On the parkway Pope Francis is scheduled to visit The World Meeting of Families' festival and celebrate a Mass during his visit to the United States. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

    Pope’s upcoming visit inspires anxiety in Philadelphia

    PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Pregnant women are calling up the mayor, concerned they won’t be able to get to the delivery room. Some businesses say they’ve been told to close for a three-day weekend. Others are bringing in cots for workers to sleep. Taxi drivers, fearing onerous checkpoints and distant drop-off locations, are planning to stay home.

  • In this Feb. 8, 2015 file photo, Katy Perry arrives at the 57th annual Grammy Awards at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. A Los Angeles judge is scheduled to hear arguments on Thursday, July 30, 2015, about who has the right to sell a hilltop convent that is the subject of competing offers from pop superstar Perry and a local businesswoman. The dispute has pitted Los Angeles’ Catholic archbishop against an order of elderly nuns with only five surviving members, at least two of whom oppose selling their former home to Perry. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP, File)

    Judge to consider fate of convent Katy Perry wants to buy

    LOS ANGELES (AP) — Katy Perry’s dream of owning a hilltop convent near Hollywood is going to have to wait a while longer.

  • Confederate flags sit in the back of a police car outside Ebenezer Baptist Church Thursday, July 30, 2015, in Atlanta. U.S. authorities are investigating after several Confederate battle flags were discovered near the church and a civil rights center named after Martin Luther King, an iconic leader in the African-American Civil Rights Movement, Thursday morning. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

    Confederate flags placed at Ebenezer church near MLK Center

    ATLANTA (AP) — Police worked Thursday to identify two white males who were caught on surveillance camera laying Confederate battle flags neatly on the ground near the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s church.

  • Israeli settlers sleep in the Jewish settlement of Beit El after a night stand off with police, near the West Bank town of Ramallah, Wednesday, July 29, 2015. The Israeli Prime Minister's office said Wednesday it has approved the "immediate construction" of 300 housing units in the West Bank settlement of Beit El. The announcement came amid a standoff in Beit El, where Israeli settlers clashed with Israeli forces as authorities began to dismantle a contested West Bank settlement housing complex after Israel's Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that it must be demolished. (AP Photo/Tsafrir Abayov)

    Israeli bulldozers start demolishing West Bank settlement

    JERUSALEM (AP) — Israeli bulldozers began demolishing a contested housing complex in a West Bank settlement on Wednesday as the prime minister’s office announced the “immediate construction” of some 300 new units at another location in the same settlement and advanced plans for about 500 new units in east Jerusalem.