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Oldest Black Church Open After Six-Year Restoration

The nation's oldest black church reopens to the public this week after a $9-million restoration fueled in part by federal stimulus funds, and completed in painstaking detail despite the recession. Shannon Mullen tours Boston's African Meeting House with the woman who led the project.
NPR

How Religious Conservatives Shape The GOP Race

Newt Gingrich has caught a wave of support these last few weeks, much of it from religious conservatives, a group that has significant influence in many state primaries. Host Scott Simon talks with Bob Vander Plaats, a leading social conservative who heads the Family Leader advocacy group, about the role of religious conservatives in the Iowa caucuses.
NPR

Why Some Evangelicals Back Thrice-Wed Gingrich

The former House speaker, who cheated on his first two wives and was fined by Congress for ethical violations, is outperforming family man Mitt Romney among evangelical Republicans in key states. Says one influential Iowa conservative: "The centerpiece of our faith is forgiveness."
NPR

GOP Candidates Affirm Their Support Of Israel

The GOP presidential contenders addressed the Republican Jewish Coalition Forum Wednesday. Lynn Neary talks to NPR's Ari Shapiro for more.
NPR

Mall Santas Coached To Temper Kids' Expectations

Lynn Neary talks to Fred Honerkamp, a graduate from the Charles W. Howard Santa Claus School in Michigan and current mall Santa, about the spirit — and strategy — of playing Old Saint Nick in tough economic times.
NPR

'Man Seeks God,' Finds Wayne Of Staten Island

In Eric Weiner's newest book, Man Seeks God, the former NPR foreign correspondent heads around the world on a humorous and thoughtful quest for spirituality.
NPR

Chaplains Wanted For Atheists In Foxholes

Military chaplains, most of whom are Protestant Christians, are assigned many secular advising duties, including marriage, family and suicide counseling. But as many as 40,000 U.S. military service members identify as atheists, agnostics or humanists, and a retired Army captain is leading the charge to instate military chaplains who share their beliefs.

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