Religion

Catholic News Agency

A Roman Catholic diocese has closed two Catholic schools in a West Virginia county this year, citing low enrollment.

Local news outlets report the Roman Catholic Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston announced Thursday that All Saints Catholic School in Moundsville will not reopen for the 2017-2018 school year. The announcement follows the closure of Bishop Donahue High School.

Roger May/ Looking at Appalachia

In this episode of Inside Appalachia, we talk about faith and music. We learn about Sister Rosetta Tharpe,  one of the first great recording stars of gospel music, find our the story behind a song that became an American icon, and we’ll learn more about a project Glory that depicts images of Pentecostal style tent revival in Kentucky and West Virginia.

Lawyers for a West Virginia public school system are asking a judge to maintain a 75-year practice of putting children in Bible classes.

WVVA-TV reports attorneys for the Mercer County Board of Education and Mercer County Schools filed a motion with the judge this week to dismiss a mother's lawsuit over the board's "Bible in the Schools" program.

StoryCorps/ Georgetown University

Nicholas Cochran, 27, and Uneeke Ferguson, 21, are students at Wheeling Jesuit University in Wheeling, West Virginia, where they volunteer at a catholic worker home.

They discussed their childhood experiences with homelessness growing up in inner city Baltimore and Marietta, Ohio, and how volunteering has changed their views on the homeless population.

StoryCorps

We’ve teamed up with StoryCorps and Georgetown University’s American Pilgrimage Project for this episode about faith in Appalachia.

Kara Lofton / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

This week's Inside Appalachia is a special holiday edition.  We hear stories of Christmas past, present and hope for the future. We’ll check in with West Virginians still recovering from historic flooding that hit about 6 months ago, find out how to avoid gaining weight, hear a story about a welcomed Star of David on a Christmas tree, and more.

StoryCorps/ Georgetown University

West Virginia Public Broadcasting and StoryCorps have teamed up for a series of conversations about religious faith told by West Virginians. We'll be bringing you these conversations over the next few weeks.

In this interview, we hear from a woman who describes her relationship with God as "complicated". Patience Deweese was interviewed by her 18-year-old daughter Keturah, who was interested in finding out about her mother's time as a Jehovah's witness and how her faith has evolved over time.

StoryCorps

West Virginia Public Broadcasting and StoryCorps have teamed up for a series of conversations about religious faith told by West Virginians. We'll be bringing you these conversations over the next few weeks. We begin the series with Ronald English and James Patterson. Both men are ministers in Charleston. They also share the experience of challenging racism during the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and '60s.

CAIR/ Ikram Benaicha

How do Muslims living in Appalachia feel about increasing Islamaphobia in America? What role does the media play in creating such fear?

CAIR/ Ikram Benaicha

How do Muslims living in Appalachia feel about increasing Islamaphobia in America? What role does the media play in creating such fear?

This issue has been heating up in the last year. As refugees from Syria have been arriving in Europe, some Americans, like Donald Trump,  have called for barring them from entering the United States.

courtesy Fairness West Virginia

This story was updated March 2, 7:40 pm: House Bill 4012 died on a 7 to 27 vote by the West Virginia Senate. The bill, known as the Religious Freedom Protection Act, would have established a process for courts to follow when people or businesses claimed that government action was infringing upon their religious beliefs.

17-year old Davis Kimble, a young activist who had spoken out against the bill earlier this week, had this response to the Senate's decision:"I think this serves as a victory for not only minorities across the state, but also for passionate community leaders who stood up and made their voices heard. It's a shame we had to fight this fight, but it shows a willingness on the part of our state legislatures to hear the people's voices and do what's best for the state and its wonderful people."

Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

Four amendments for House Bill 4012, the West Virginia Religious Freedom Restoration Act, were debated on the House floor Wednesday morning. The bill creates a judicial test for lawsuits against the state or government entities to ensure the protections of an individual’s “sincerely held religious beliefs.”

Us & Them: Atheists

Nov 16, 2015

Throughout our nation’s history, it’s not uncommon for presidential candidates to reference the Bible to demonstrate their religious and specifically, Christian credentials.  Democrats and Republicans both do this, from John F. Kennedy defending against critics of his Catholic faith to fundamentalist Christian GOP presidential candidate Ted Cruz, who said that a person who “doesn’t begin his days on his knees” isn’t fit to be president.

In West Virginia, Executive Director of Main Street Fairmont, Kate Greene, sees a city on the move.

The Clinch River region of Southwestern Virginia is looking for new economic opportunity.

And Tennessee State Park Ranger, Bobby Fulcher, has spent the last three decades traveling the Tennessee hills to record folk-music. These stories and more on this week's Inside Appalachia.

Advocates Hold Their Own Legislative Session

Sep 11, 2014
West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On West Virginia Morning,  an advocacy group takes over the House of Delegates chamber for its own mock legislative session and religious tolerance is the focus of a discussion in Morgantown. 

Community Coalition for Social Justice

Continued news about conflicts between faith groups around the globe inspired interfaith discussions this week in Morgantown. A Forum on Religious Diversity explored what different faiths teach about social justice, tolerance, and compassion.


This article is part of a special series highlighting the Jewish experience in West Virginia. It's a companion to the television series The Story of the Jews, airing March 25 and April 1 at 8 pm on West Virginia PBS.

We conclude our series on West Virginia's Jewish community - with a story of hope at the Congregation Ahavath Shalom in Bluefield a place where the enthusiasm of youth is bringing a new energy to the older congregation, even if it may be short lived.

Righteous Remnant Bartizvah
Tom Sopher

Righteous Remnant: Jewish Survival in Appalachia is the West Virginia PBS documentary produced by West Virginia University School of Journalism Professor Maryanne Reed. The half-hour film, produced in 1997, examines the history and modern-day concerns of the small Jewish community in Beckley, W.Va. Click play below to watch the entire film.

Rabbi Urecki
Rabbi Victor Urecki

This article is part of a special series highlighting the Jewish experience in West Virginia. It's a companion to the television series The Story of the Jews, airing March 25 and April 1 at 8 pm on West Virginia PBS.

Temple Beth El
Suzanne Higgins

This article is part of a special series highlighting the Jewish experience in West Virginia. It's a companion to the television series The Story of the Jews, airing March 25 and April 1 at 8 pm on West Virginia PBS.

Tom Sopher was once a teenager helping the rabbi at Temple Beth El in Beckley with maintenance and yard work.

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