Religion news in brief
Attorney: North Korean detainee was treated well
West Carrollton Ohio — The lawyer for an American arrested and held for nearly six months in North Korea for leaving a Bible at a nightclub says the man was treated well by the North Korean government and is in good health.
Attorney Timothy Tepe says the family of detainee Jeffrey Fowle is overjoyed to have him home but mindful that two other Americans remain detained in North Korea.
Tepe says the family thanks God for protecting Fowle over the past six months. The family also thanked the U.S. State Department and the Swedish Embassy for organizing Fowle’s release.
Tepe spoke Wednesday standing next to Fowle, Fowle’s wife and their three children outside the family’s home in rural southwest Ohio.
Pope to visit Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia in Turkey
Vatican City — Pope Francis will visit sites that recall Turkey’s often-tumultuous history as a cultural crossroads between continents and faiths during a three-day visit to the country next month.
The Vatican announced Tuesday that Francis’ first stop on the Nov. 28-30 trip will be a visit to the mausoleum of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founder and first President of the Republic of Turkey. He will also meet Turkey’s president and prime minister.
The pope travels the next day to Istanbul, where he will visit the Blue Mosque and the Hagia Sophia, an ancient Christian cathedral that was transformed into a mosque after the Muslim conquest of Constantinople and is now a museum.
Reports: Televangelist urged vasectomies, abortion
Akron, Ohio — A newspaper reports that Ohio televangelist Ernest Angley advised church members not to have children, encouraged people to shun those who leave the fold and used free labor at his for-profit businesses.
The reports were based on interviews with more than 20 former church members of Grace Cathedral in Cuyahoga Falls and were published in a series of articles in the Akron Beacon Journal starting last week. The 93-year-old minister denied any wrongdoing.
Some former members called Angley’s church a cult. Others said Angley would encourage men to have vasectomies and examined their genitals. One woman told the newspaper she was pressured into having an abortion. Angley also was accused of covering up allegations that teens had been sexually assaulted by church members.
Angley denied that he tries to control his congregation.