With pandemic in mind, pared-back hajj in Mecca for 2nd year


MECCA, Saudi Arabia (AP) — Tens of thousands of vaccinated Muslim pilgrims circled Islam’s holiest site in Mecca on Sunday, but remained socially distanced and wore masks as the coronavirus takes its toll on the hajj for a second year running. The hajj pilgrimage, which once drew some 2.5 million Muslims from all walks of … Read more

In many COVID hot spots, a pattern: High concentrations of white evangelicals


(RNS) — As COVID-19 cases surge again, two things are true about many counties considered hot spots: Vaccination rates are low and white evangelical Protestant populations are high, according to a new data analysis. Concern about vaccine hesitancy or outright anti-vaccine sentiment among white evangelicals has persisted since at least March, when, according to a … Read more