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There aren't many Shakers left.

Sister Frances Carr, one of three remaining members of the religious group commonly known as the Shakers, died Monday at the age of 89.

According to the group's website, Carr died due to cancer at the Shaker community at Sabbathday Lake in New Gloucester, Maine, "surrounded by the community and her nieces."

United Congregational Church Bridgeport

A historic Christian church in Bridgeport will be reborn as a mosque following a $1 million purchase by the Bridgeport Islamic Community Center, or "BICC."

Uptowner / Creative Commons

Donald Trump's election last month was the culmination of a venom-filled campaign that was nastier than almost any in recent memory. The mean-spirited comments tossed to voters eager to "lock her up" fell just shy of the malicious rhetoric coming from Thomas Jefferson's presidential campaign in 1796. Jefferson's hatchet-man called John Adams a "hideous hermaphroditical character, which has neither the force and firmness of a man, nor the gentleness and sensibility of a woman."

Photo courtesy of United Congregational Church-Bridgeport

A picturesque building that’s been the home of the United Congregational Church in Bridgeport -- for 91 years -- will soon be transformed into a mosque.

This hour, we learn the story behind the Bridgeport Islamic Community Center’s plans to purchase the UCC church and the strong interfaith partnership that will make the purchase possible. 

President-elect Donald Trump announced Thursday he will nominate bankruptcy attorney David Friedman as U.S. ambassador to Israel. Friedman, who has no prior diplomatic experience, is an outspoken supporter of Jewish settlement on the Israeli-occupied West Bank and has questioned the need for a Palestinian state.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Nancy Butler was first touched by God while listening to bible stories at the Methodist bible camp she attended when she was nine-years-old. By the end of the week, she was ready to give her life to God, first through through daily prayer and bible readings, later by founding one of the first inclusive evangelical churches that welcomed everyone regardless of sexual orientation.  God became the center of her life - but she kept it private from others. 

Editor's note: There is language in this piece that some will find offensive.

Sometime in early 2016 between a Trump rally in New Hampshire, where a burly man shouted something at me about being Muslim, and a series of particularly vitriolic tweets that included some combination of "raghead," "terrorist," "bitch" and "jihadi," I went into my editor's office and wept.

I cried for the first (but not the last) time this campaign season.

The Connecticut chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) is calling for stepped up security measures after a hate-filled letter arrived at the New Haven Islamic Center.  

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The documentary "Flory's Flame" gets its Connecticut premiere this Saturday at the University of Hartford.

The film explores the life of composer and performer Flory Jagoda, who is credited with preserving the traditional Sephardic music of the Balkans, an art form that was nearly wiped away by the Nazis during World War II.

What can you say about the sun? It sits not only at the center of our solar system but has, over time, been at the center of religions, scriptures, songs, art and countless other aspects of our culture.

Vector Portal / Creative Commons

Al Capone told everyone who asked him what he did for a living that he was a "property owner and taxpayer in Chicago." He was really a powerful multimillionaire in 1920's Chicago who made money from the illegal sale of alcohol during Prohibition and the vices that usually accompanied it: gambling and prostitution.

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The Archdiocese of Hartford has agreed to settle a 16-year-old sexual abuse claim against one of its priests.

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Bobby Allyn

Developer Leo Voloshin is standing in front of an empty church in Philadelphia’s trendy Fishtown neighborhood.

“It has tall majestic spires. It has a beautiful green patina,” Voloshin said. “The church is just awe-inspiring.”

The 1880s church, St. Laurentious, the oldest Polish church in the city, has been sitting unused since 2013.

“You walk in and look up and the baby-blue ceiling is really just brings it all to life,” he said.

A Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints temple in Farmington, Connecticut, opened this weekend. It’s the second Mormon temple in New England. The temple would normally be off limits to non-Mormons, but it’s offering public tours this month.

ChurchofSatan / Flickr

Free will, individual responsibility, and the pursuit of happiness: Fundamental tenets of, wait for it... Satanism. While the word conjures up images of fire and brimstone, the truth is a bit more complicated. So why does a religion which celebrates so much what Americans profess to hold dear get such a bad rap?

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

This Sunday marks the 15th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. This hour, we hear from two people whose lives were forever changed by the tragedy. 

Fifteen years after the attacks of Sept. 11, Americans have grown aware not only of the danger of terrorism but also of the reality that their nation is far less white, Christian and European than it used to be.

"Culturally, we're a country of Bollywood and bhangra and tai chi and yoga and salsa and burritos and halal and kosher," says Diana Eck, professor of comparative religion at Harvard University and author of A New Religious America.

Top French Court Suspends Riviera Town's Burkini Ban

Aug 26, 2016

France's highest administrative court struck a blow against controversial 'burkini bans' Friday, upending one town's decision to prohibit the full-body swimsuit on its beaches.

The Council of State suspended the ban in Villeneuve-Loubet, just west of Nice, saying it "seriously, and clearly illegally, breached the fundamental freedoms to come and go, the freedom of beliefs and individual freedom."

The Riviera town was one of roughly 30 municipalities to forbid beachgoers from donning the swimsuit often worn by Muslim women, reporter Jake Cigainero tells our Newscast unit.

Connecticut's First Mormon Temple to Open in Farmington

Aug 19, 2016
Josh Rosenfield / WNPR

After three years of construction, Connecticut’s first Mormon temple is almost complete. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints plans to unveil the Farmington building with a three-week public open house beginning September 30, after which non-Mormons will not be allowed to enter.

A New York City man was charged Monday in Saturday's shooting deaths of an imam and his associate as they left a mosque in Queens. Police say the suspect, Oscar Morel, 35, of Brooklyn, is charged with two counts of second-degree murder and criminal possession of a weapon.

Police Deputy Inspector Henry Sautner describes how the crime occurred:

New York police are working to track down the gunman who fatally shot the leader of a mosque in Queens and his associate on Saturday as they were walking home from afternoon prayers.

Meanwhile, members of the Bangladeshi Muslim community are mourning the death of Imam Maulama Akonjee, 55, and his friend Thara Uddin, 64. They're calling on the police to investigate the killings as a hate crime.

Georg Aumer / Flickr

What can you say about the sun? It sits not only at the center of our solar system but has, over time, been at the center of religions, scriptures, songs, art and countless other aspects of our culture.

Churchgoing Americans say their preachers often speak out on hot social and political issues and occasionally back or oppose particular candidates in defiance of U.S. law prohibiting such endorsements.

CircaSassy / Creative Commons

Connecticut is among the least religious states in the country according to the Pew Research Center. While the number of churchgoers might not be high, religion is a pillar of our state’s history.

Faith in Connecticut is rich and diverse, but this hour, we zoom in on our Puritan past and find out how, if at all, that past still influences our communities today. We speak to a professor and historian and we get the perspective of a pastor from the United Church of Christ -- a protestant denomination that can trace its roots to the Puritan religion. 

Even if fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad doesn't medal at the Rio Olympics, she is set to make the history books.

Once she hits the fencing strip for her first bout in the women's individual sabre competition on Aug. 8, she will become the first U.S. Olympic athlete to compete while wearing a hijab.

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