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Will Phelps’ Westboro hate cult disappear? +more religion news

There has been some speculation that the death of hate preacher Fred Phelps will spell the end of the hate group he founded.

That may be a case of wishful thinking, especially when you take into account that Phelps was excommunicated from the church after a power-struggle in August, 2013.

Also inside: A Muslim, a Christian, a Buddhist monk, a Hindu and a Taoist priest get together — and its not a joke.

Plus: help make an anti-Scientology cult conference possible; and more…

Religion News Briefs: Warren Jeffs, Fred Phelps, Catherine Schaible …

Jailed FLDS cult leader Warren Jeffs is hospitalized. A mother convicted together with her husband for the faith healing death of their young son starts her prison sentence.

Also: Fred Phelps, the founder the Westboro Baptist Church is near death (and was reportedly excommunicated from the hate group).

Plus: Pilgrims are drawn to a glowing Virgin Mary statue . And more….

Religion News You Might Have Missed This Week

Why are rich pastors not speaking up for the Obamacare ‘coverage gap’ poor in America’s Bible Belt states?

Also: Billy Graham’s final message to America (and the world). Catholic bloggers won’t be able to use the .catholic domain. name. And Christian rocker Marc Martel sounds just like Freddie Mercury.

Plus: a pastor goes on trial for officiating his gay son’s wedding.

‘Hug me Jesus,’ TBN lawsuit, God as weatherman: Religion News Briefs

hug me jesus ‘Hug Me Jesus’ statue about to replace the Touchdown Jesus statue that was destroyed by lightning. Also: The Trinity Broadcasting Network’s legal problems turn ‘The Blasphemy Channel’ into a soap opera.

Plus: What is going on at the Texas ranch of the polygamous FLDS cult? Storm chasers: some people want God to influence the weather to match their sense of right and wrong. That and more in today’s Religion News Briefs.

Hate crimes trial for Amish cult: Religion News Briefs

Bergholz Clan A breakaway Amish groups considered by prosecutors to be a cult goes on trial today for hate crimes. Also: A young man convicted for his involvement in a vampire cult murder wants to have his sentence reduced.

Plus: In Spain a fresco of Christ, disfigured in a botched restoration attempt, draws throngs of tourists (and is a worldwide internet sensation).

The murderous Aum Shinrikyo cult, best known for its nerve gas attacks on the Tokyo subway system, is still recruiting new followers. And cult expert Steve Hassan has written

Religion News Quick Takes: Amish fakes, ‘honor’ crimes, Ark of Noah, Stephen Colbert, and more

Religion News Quick Takes In today’s issue: Your Amish whatever is probably not Amish after all. Televangelist Robert ‘Dr. Shine’ Freeman jailed. And a TV station staff entirely by veiled women.

Also: Philip Jenkins recounts a scary experience in Amsterdam.

Plus: Spending by Muslim tourists is growing faster than the global rate, and… Cardinal Timothy Dolan and Stephen Colbert team up.

Religion News Quick Takes: Islamists, coconuts, noisy Scientologists, PanaWave and more

Religion News Quick Takes A collection of links and blurbs highlighting religion news, cult stories — and anything else we think you might like.

Today: New York fails to stop noisy Scientologists. Religious devotees line up to have coconuts smashed on their heads. Nigerian prophet wants to represent a Japanese cult.

Also: South African white supremacist guilty of high treason in Mandela murder plot.

Plus… our yummiest new Twitter follower.