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Preview: Worldwide study scores US religious diversity as moderate

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Non-Christian religions account for only about 5 percent of the U.S. population, according to Pew Research Center's recent study on religious diversity.

The remainder of the U.S. population is made up of Christians and the "religiously unaffiliated," whom the center defined as "those who say they are atheists, agnostics or nothing in particular."

English cardinal calls sexual violence 'most gross breach' of rights

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Sexual violence "is always a crime, an immoral act" and the Catholic church is committed to prevent such offenses being perpetrated "against anyone, anywhere and under any circumstances," an English cardinal said.

Speaking at the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict, Cardinal Vincent Nichols of Westminster said the rape and sexual degradation of civilians during conflicts inflicted a "deep wound on the body of humanity."

Italy's Catholic bishops denounce court ruling that OK'd sperm donors

Italy's Catholic bishops have condemned a court ruling that lifts a ban on married couples using sperm donors for artificial insemination, likening the move to playing God.

"None of us are the masters of anyone else, not even parents with respect to their own children," the secretary-general of the Italian bishops' conference, Msgr. Nunzio Galantino, said Wednesday.

"There is a glaring contradiction between those who proclaim freedom, respect, rights and then do not clearly recognize the rights of those who do not have the chance to express it for themselves."

Nigerian cardinal supports offer of amnesty to Boko Haram insurgents

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Cardinal John Olorunfemi Onaiyekan of Abuja supported Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan's proposal to offer amnesty for any Boko Haram militants who stop fighting and embrace peace.

In a June 3 letter, Onaiyekan said any amnesty arrangement must be undertaken with the goal of reconciliation among the government, militants and victims of violence.

The letter was the fifth the cardinal sent from Rome to Nigeria to address violence in his country. The cardinal said he is in Rome tending to church-related business.

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July 18-31, 2014

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