Adelle M. Banks
Aretha Franklin, a singer who began her career with gospel music and was later crowned the "Queen of Soul," died Thursday (Aug. 16) after battling a range of health issues. She was 76.
The State Department concluded its first-ever Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom July 26, with declarations promising further efforts to reduce religious persecution, even as critics said they are waiting to see its statements turned into actions.
Vice President Mike Pence used a State Department summit of foreign ministers and religious leaders to call on Turkey to release U.S. pastor Andrew Brunson and threatened the country with sanctions if it did not.
U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom Sam Brownback opened a summit at the State Department this week by urging leaders from a range of faiths to work together to help the persecuted across the globe.