Lauren Markoe | Religion News Service

Lauren Markoe covered government and features as a daily newspaper reporter for 15 years before joining the Religion News Service staff in 2011. She was Washington correspondent for The State (Columbia, S.C.), where she won a 2004 first prize for feature writing from the National Association of Black Journalists. She also covered government for the Charlotte Observer and the Massachusetts statehouse for the Patriot Ledger. Markoe holds B.A. in history from Yale University and an M.S. in Foreign Service from Georgetown University.

Stories by Lauren Markoe | Religion News Service

ISIS, ISIL, Daesh — Explaining the Many Names for Terrorists

What does each name for this terrorist group mean, and why would a person use one over another?

2014 Holiday Gift Guide

Find something for your pastor, your Jewish brother-in-law, your Muslim child and your secularist sister.

The Church Needs Bolder Pastors to Boost Giving

Researchers say the decline in charitable giving will continue if congregants don’t embrace Jesus’ teachings on the poor.

The Case of the Muslim Inmate’s Beard

The Supreme Court will decide if an Arkansas inmate can grow a half-inch beard in observance of his faith.

In Some Poor Neighborhoods, the Catholic School Is the Only Hope

A Q&A with a Notre Dame law professor on the rapid closure of Catholic schools in urban America.

In Her Words: How Lauren Bacall Spoke of Her Jewish Identity

Five facts about the Jewish life of the legendary actress who passed away at the age 89.

Single Mothers in the Pulpit

More than 40 percent of births are to unmarried mothers. But what if the single mom by choice is a minister or a rabbi?

Breaking the Ramadan Fast in the Company of Jews

Despite continuing violence in Israel and Gaza, Muslims and Jews are coming together this Ramadan to promote interfaith community.

Suzan Johnson Cook defends her work on religious freedom and explains why she left

WASHINGTON — Suzan Johnson Cook, who resigned this month as U.S. ambassador-at-large for international religious freedom, said she left for … Continued

Leaders push for free Jewish preschool in US, Canada

RNS () — To keep younger Jews connected to Judaism, two top Jewish leaders are pushing free Jewish preschool for … Continued

American Jews say others face more discrimination

RNS () — American Jews say they face discrimination in the U.S., but they see Muslims, gays and blacks facing … Continued

Suzan Johnson Cook to resign as religious freedom ambassador

WASHINGTON — Suzan Johnson Cook, the State Department’s ambassador-at-large for international religious freedom, will announce this week that she is … Continued

Conservative Judaism turns 100 and works to reverse its decline

RNS () — For those who care deeply about passing on Judaism to future generations, a new, exhaustive study on … Continued

When Catholic schools fire gay teachers, laity push back

RNS () — They taught English, gym, music and fifth grade, and are typically described as “beloved” by their students. … Continued

Is Christian-owned Hobby Lobby boycotting Hanukkah?

RNS () — Hanukkah comes early this year. But it apparently never comes to Hobby Lobby. The national craft store … Continued

Who’s a Jew? Few American Jews say it’s a matter of belief

WASHINGTON — In the most comprehensive study of American Jews in 12 years, a strong majority said being Jewish is … Continued

Hobby Lobby’s Steve Green unveils ‘oldest Jewish prayer book ever found’

AUSTIN, Texas — Evangelical businessman Steve Green on Thursday (Oct. 26) unveiled what he called “the oldest Jewish prayer book … Continued

Conservatives promote House bill to protect opponents of gay marriage

WASHINGTON — Conservatives are rallying around a House bill designed to protect religious people who advocate for traditional marriage — … Continued

For somber Jews on Yom Kippur, white is the new black

RNS () —  When Rabbi Shmuel Herzfeld of Ohev Sholom synagogue in Washington looks out at his congregation on Yom … Continued

Survey: Yom Kippur, Passover top Jewish holiday list

RNS () — Older and younger Jews agree that Yom Kippur tops Passover as the most important Jewish holiday. But … Continued