• Rabbi Dovid Tiechtel poses near the damaged menorah outside the Chabad Center at the University of Illinois in Champaign, Ill., on Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2016. The menorah has been damaged three times in less than a year, most recently on Feb. 7. (AP Photo/David Mercer)

    U of Illinois menorah damaged for a third time

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — A 9-foot-tall menorah at a University of Illinois Jewish student center has been damaged for a third time in less than a year, police said Tuesday, and the center’s rabbi believes school leaders need to take a stronger stand against the vandalism.

  • Police seize Santa Fe archdiocese files in molestation case

    SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Authorities have seized records from the Archdiocese of Santa Fe as part of an investigation into claims that a Catholic school teacher inappropriately touched female students.

  • Las Cruces bishop: Diocese to get Ciudad Juarez pope tickets

    LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) — The Diocese of Las Cruces bishop says the diocese will be getting tickets to a Papal Mass in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico after all.

  • Dragon and lion dancers perform amidst exploding firecrackers in celebration of the Chinese Lunar New Year Monday, Feb. 8, 2016 at Manila's Chinatown district in Manila, Philippines. This year is Year of the Monkey in the Lunar calendar. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)

    Chinese visit temples, fairs to ring in Year of the Monkey

    BEIJING (AP) — Chinese and others around Asia flocked to temples and fairs to pray for good health and fortune on Monday, the first day of the Lunar New Year.

  • In this Jan. 16, 2016 photo, Tzotzil Indians participate in the procession in honor of the Christ of Esquipulas in Chajtoj, Chiapas state, Mexico. Pope Francisí visit to the heavily indigenous Mexican state of Chiapas appears aimed at celebrating the regionís ìIndian church,î a mix of Catholicism and indigenous culture once considered a thorn in the side of standard liturgy by the Vatican. (AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo)

    Pope Francis visit to celebrate Mexico’s indigenous church

    SAN CRISTOBAL DE LAS CASAS, Mexico (AP) — Pope Francis’ visit to the heavily indigenous Mexican state of Chiapas appears aimed at celebrating the region’s “Indian church,” a mix of Catholicism and indigenous culture once considered a thorn in the side of standard liturgy by the Vatican.

  • Christian group says China charges pastor with embezzling

    BEIJING (AP) — A Christian rights group says a pastor in a Chinese province where authorities have been cracking down on churches has been charged with embezzling funds.

  • Pope Francis attends his weekly general audience in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2016. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

    Pope, Russian Orthodox patriarch to meet in historic step

    VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis and the leader of the Russian Orthodox Church will meet in Cuba next week in a historic step to heal the 1,000-year-old schism that divided Christianity between East and West, both churches announced Friday.

  • In this Thursday, Feb. 3, 2016 photo, visitors stand next to a religious ornament with the "manji" symbol, which comes from the ancient Sanskrit and is widely used for centuries to denote Buddhist temples on maps and elsewhere, at a temple in Tokyo. As Japan gears up to host the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and caters to a surging influx of foreign visitors, the country faces a cultural dilemma: Should it stop identifying Buddhist temples on maps with the traditional "manji" symbol that is often confused with a Nazi swastika? (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)

    Japan may change temple map icon to avoid Nazi confusion

    TOKYO (AP) — As Japan gears up to host the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and caters to a surging influx of foreign visitors, the country faces a cultural dilemma: Should it stop identifying Buddhist temples on maps with the traditional “manji” symbol that is often confused with a Nazi swastika?

  • Saudi official says kingdom ready to send troops to Syria

    CAIRO (AP) — A Saudi military spokesman said Thursday the kingdom is ready to send ground troops to Syria to fight Islamic State group provided coalition leaders agree during an upcoming meeting in Brussels.

  • A sign is seen on the front window of Watt's Blooming, Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2016, in Indianapolis. The florist does not discriminate and will serve all. Some worry that decades of work to reverse the city's sleepy image by luring conventions, businesses and even a Super Bowl to Indianapolis could be turned back by an ongoing culture war over civil rights protections for LGBT people that has divided urban areas from rural. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

    Indiana culture war over gay rights worries business leaders

    INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Downtown Indianapolis was once so desolate that men armed with shotguns hunted pigeons on Sundays among empty buildings and a trash-strewn river canal.