France’s president visits Notre Dame a year before the fire-damaged cathedral’s planned reopening

French President Emmanuel Macron has visited the Notre Dame Cathedral to mark the one-year countdown to its reopening.

APWeek in Pictures: Europe and Africa

Dec. 1–7, 2023

A military cadet applies lipstick before a National Day parade in Bucharest, Romania.

A ram travels in a rickshaw before a ram fighting competition in Lagos, Nigeria, and rainfall destroys a road in Gamba, Kenya.

What is Bodhi Day? And when do Buddhists celebrate it?

Bodhi Day is a Buddhist holiday that commemorates the day Siddhartha Gautama attained awakening or enlightenment and became the Buddha 2,600 years ago.

Man fires shotgun outside Jewish temple in upstate New York as Hanukkah begins, no one injured

Officials say a man fired a shotgun twice outside a Jewish temple in upstate New York, then said “Free Palestine” as he was taken into custody. Gov.

Germany’s chancellor lights first Hanukkah candle on a huge menorah at Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has expressed his unwavering support for the Jewish people as he lit the first Hanukkah candle on a huge menorah in front of Berlin’s iconic Brandenburg Gate.

Families had long dialogue after Pittsburgh synagogue attack. Now they’ve unveiled a memorial design

Preliminary designs are being released for an outdoor memorial to the 11 victims of the 2018 Pittsburgh synagogue attack.

Denmark’s parliament adopts a law making it illegal to burn the Quran or other religious texts

A new law has been passed in Denmark’s parliament that makes it illegal to desecrate any holy text in the country.

A milestone for Notre Dame: 1 year until cathedral reopens to public after devastating fire

When Notre Dame went up in flames in 2019, people who worked in the cathedral felt orphaned. With the reopening of the world-famous Paris landmark drawing closer by the day, they’re now beginning to picture their return to the place they call home.

Indiana’s appeals court hears arguments challenging abortion ban under a state religious freedom law

The Court of Appeals of Indiana is considering a challenge to the state’s near total abortion ban on grounds it violates a religious freedom law.

Hanukkah message of light in darkness feels uniquely relevant to US Jews amid war and antisemitism

Preparing for Hanukkah feels uniquely somber yet defiant this year for the Jewish communities in and around Miami Beach.

A new Homeland Security guide aims to help houses of worship protect themselves

A new guide from the Department of Homeland Security aims to help churches, synagogues, mosques and other houses of worship protect themselves during heightened tensions in faith-based communities across the country.

Pope says he’s ‘much better’ after a bout of bronchitis but still gets tired if he speaks too much

Pope Francis says he’s “much better” after a two-week bout of bronchitis but says speaking still makes him tired.

When is St. Nicholas Day? And how did this Christian saint inspire the Santa Claus legend?

The white-bearded Christian saint whose acts of generosity inspired America’s secular Santa Claus figure is known worldwide. But Saint Nicholas’ origin story is not.

Lebanon’s Christians feel the heat of climate change in its sacred forest and valley

For Lebanon’s Christians, the cedars are sacred, these tough evergreen trees that survive the mountain’s harsh snowy winters.

Wisconsin pastor accused of exploiting children in Venezuela and Cuba gets 15 years

A Wisconsin pastor accused of sexually exploiting children from Venezuela and Cuba has been sentenced to 15 years in a federal prison.

Takeaways from The 鶹ýapp’s investigation into the Mormon church’s handling of sex abuse cases

A former Mormon bishop whom a top church official said committed “sexual transgression” with his own daughter was excommunicated after making a religious confession.

Recordings show how the Mormon church protects itself from child sex abuse claims

The recordings chronicle how a church official persuaded a member who claimed she was abused by her father to sign a nondisclosure agreement.

In US, some Muslim-Jewish interfaith initiatives are strained by Israel-Hamas war

The Israel-Hamas war and its polarizing reverberations in America are straining some Muslim-Jewish interfaith relationships in the U.S. more than ever.

Pope Francis says he’s doing better but again skips his window appearance facing St. Peter’s Square

An ailing Pope Francis has skipped his popular window appearance to the public in St. Peter’s Square for a second Sunday but said in televised remarks that he’s doing better.

Philippine president blames foreign militants for a bombing that killed 4 Christian worshippers

The Philippine president has blamed what he called “foreign terrorists” for a bomb blast that killed four people, wounded dozens of other Catholic worshippers in the south and sparked a security alarm, including in the capital, Manila, where state forces were put on alert.

In Mexico, a Japanese traditional dancer shows how body movement speaks beyond culture and religion

Unlike the fast-moving interpreters of samba, salsa and other Latin American dancing styles, Japanese traditional dancers move slowly, performing just a few moves that their bodies keep fully controlled.

Send-offs show Carlton Pearson’s split legacy spurred by his inclusive beliefs, rejection of hell

Before his peers would label him a heretic, the late Bishop Carlton D. Pearson was once one of the best known preachers in the United States.

Kenyan cult leader sentenced to 18 months for film violations but still not charged over mass graves

The leader of a doomsday cult in Kenya has been sentenced to 18 months in prison for the illegal distribution of films and operating a film studio without licenses.

APPHOTOS: Rosalynn Carter’s farewell tracing her 96 years from Plains to the world and back

Former U.S. first lady Rosalynn Carter has been memorialized with three days of public ceremonies and tributes. She died Nov. 19.

Pilgrims yearn to visit an isolated peninsula where Catholic saints cared for Hawaii’s leprosy patients

Devotees of two Catholic saints — Damien and Marianne of Molokai — want to see where they spent a pivotal part of their lives caring for Hawaii’s leprosy patients.

Las Vegas man accused of threats against Jewish US senator and her family is indicted

A federal grand jury has indicted a Las Vegas man on charges of making antisemitic threats against U.S.

US prosecutors say plots to assassinate Sikh leaders were part of a campaign of planned killings

Law enforcement authorities say in court papers that the plot driven by a government official in India to assassinate a prominent Sikh separatist leader in New York City was meant to precede another killing in California and more assassinations in the U.S. and Canada.

Influential Detroit pastor the Rev. Charles Gilchrist Adams dies at age 86

Influential longtime Detroit pastor the Rev. Charles Gilchrist Adams has died following an illness. He was 86.

What to know about the Sikh independence movement following US accusation that activist was targeted

The U.S. has charged an Indian national in what prosecutors allege was a failed plot to assassinate a Sikh separatist at the behest of an unnamed Indian government official.

What to know about Hanukkah and how it’s celebrated around the world

Hanukkah — also spelled Chanukah or other transliterations from Hebrew — is Judaism’s “festival of lights.”