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Jaweed Kaleem
Jaweed Kaleem is the national religion reporter for The Huffington Post. He also covers one of HuffPost's most unique beats: death.

The American Academy of Religion has twice recognized Jaweed for his reporting. In 2014, the group honored him for his writing on "Death in America." In 2013, it gave Jaweed its first-place award for best in-depth writing for his "Faith Shift" series on the changing faces of American religion. That series was also recognized by the Religion Newswriters Association, which named him its religion feature writer of the year.

The Religion Communicators' Council has twice awarded Jaweed for his reporting in Huffington., HuffPost's weekly iPad magazine. In addition, the New York Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists in 2014 named Jaweed as one of its top feature writers for his reporting on American funeral traditions.

Prior to HuffPost, Jaweed was a religion and general assignment news and features reporter for The Miami Herald from 2007 to 2011. As a Herald reporter, he was part of a breaking news team that was a 2011 Pulitzer Prize finalist for its coverage of the Haiti earthquake.

He has produced radio reports on religion for Miami's WLRN 91.3 FM and PRI's The World. Before religion reporting, he was a general assignment reporter at the San Jose Mercury News, Detroit Free Press, Lexington (Ky.) Herald-Leader and McClatchy Washington Bureau.

Jaweed can be reached at or 212-206-4495. Follow him on Twitter @jaweedkaleem and subscribe to his Facebook updates here.

Entries by Jaweed Kaleem

Women Bishops Approved By Church Of England

(417) Comments | Posted July 14, 2014 | 11:31 AM

The General Synod of the Church of England voted today that women can be consecrated as bishops, two years after a similar measure was controversially voted down.

The vote required passage by a two-thirds majority in the synod's three houses of bishops, clergy and laity. The House of Bishops approved...

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Lights, Camera, Mortician! The Rise of 'Fun Funerals'

(13) Comments | Posted July 5, 2014 | 7:30 AM

When a friend and fellow mortician died a decade ago, Teddy Lee received an unusual request. By most measures, the widow said, it was to be a standard Christian service, complete with prayers and promises of life after death. Except for one thing.

Would Lee, asked the widow, put on...

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'Zionism Unsettled' Guide Is Removed From Presbyterian Church (USA) Website

(622) Comments | Posted June 28, 2014 | 3:08 PM

The Presbyterian Church (USA) has removed a controversial publication from its website that was targeted by prominent Jewish organizations and church members as being an attack against Israel.

The 76-page booklet, "Zionism Unsettled: A Congregational Study Guide," was released in January by the Israel/Palestine Mission Network, an independent Presbyterian group....

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Unearthing The Surprising Religious History Of American Gay Rights Activism

(169) Comments | Posted June 28, 2014 | 9:03 AM

On New Year's Day 1965, hundreds of gay San Franciscans arrived at 625 Polk Street in the city's Tenderloin district for a much-anticipated "Mardi Gras Ball."

The event organized by gay rights -- or, to use the then-common term, homophile -- activists was not unlike the thousands of public...

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Presbyterian Church (USA) Makes Controversial Divestment Move Against Israel

(1131) Comments | Posted June 20, 2014 | 11:28 PM

The largest U.S. Presbyterian church narrowly voted Friday to divest from three multinational corporations that it said supply Israel with products that promote violence in occupied Palestinian territories.

The divestment, vehemently opposed by many of the nation's prominent Jewish organizations, and hailed by many pro-Palestinian activists, passed by...

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Presbyterian Church Votes To Allow Gay Marriages

(690) Comments | Posted June 19, 2014 | 5:15 PM

In a monumental move, the nation's largest Presbyterian denomination voted Thursday to change its definition of marriage and allow its pastors to officiate same-sex ceremonies in states where gay marriage is legal.

By a vote of 429-175, leaders of the 1.76 million-member Presbyterian Church (USA) voted during the biennial General...

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United Methodist Church Divests From Security Firm Targeted For Work In Palestinian Territories

(40) Comments | Posted June 12, 2014 | 7:48 PM

A United Methodist Church fund is divesting from a multinational security firm that activists have criticized for its work in Israel and the Palestinian territories.

The church's General Board of Pension and Health Benefits is selling its stock in the U.K.-based G4S, which provides equipment and services for Israeli prisons,...

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Presbyterian Church's Next Move Could Be A Tipping Point In The Israeli Divestment Debate

(33) Comments | Posted June 9, 2014 | 7:37 AM

When thousands of leaders of the nation's largest Presbyterian denomination meet this week for the church's biennial General Assembly, they'll pore through detailed proposals on dozens of topics, from gun violence to same-sex marriage to organic farming. But members expect one controversial issue to dominate the discussion: The 1.76 million-member...

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As Memorial Day Observations Decline In Popularity, Powerful Lessons Remain

(553) Comments | Posted May 25, 2014 | 10:51 PM

For three decades now on the last Monday of May, Bill Brater has gathered in the chapel of the funeral home he manages in Statesville, North Carolina, for what he considers one of the most important ceremonies of the year.

Joining a crowd of about 250 residents ranging from politicians...

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How Pope Francis' Pilgrimage To The Holy Land Could Be A Turning Point In Christian-Muslim Relations

(115) Comments | Posted May 23, 2014 | 3:35 PM

For the past week, it's all that Khaldoun Barghouti, a resident of Ramallah in the West Bank, has seen on TV, heard on the radio and read when he logs onto Facebook: Pope Francis is coming to town.

He's looked closely for details. Who will the pope meet? Where will...

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Americans Exaggerate How Much They Go To Religious Services, According To Study

(1247) Comments | Posted May 17, 2014 | 4:04 PM

Despite gains in the number of Americans who identify as atheist, agnostic or having "no religion" at all, it's well known that the nation is largely one of religious believers. In polls over the past two decades, a slim majority of Americans have said they find religion...

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'Dying Matters Awareness Week' Takes Off In United Kingdom

(56) Comments | Posted May 15, 2014 | 5:21 PM

Call it YODO: You only die once.

That's been the message of an unusual festival this week with events at more than 100 sites around the United Kingdom, from interactive exhibits at shopping malls and teach-ins at coffee shops to open houses at hospices and funeral homes, including...

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Hispanic Catholics Increasingly Joining Protestant Churches Or Choosing 'No Religion': Survey

(93) Comments | Posted May 7, 2014 | 10:01 AM

While immigration over several decades has driven up the share of Hispanics in the pews across U.S. Catholic churches, a new survey shows that Hispanic Americans are also quickly leaving the church for Protestantism or choosing not to identify with any particular religion at all.

The Pew Research Center's

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North Carolina's New Gay Marriage Lawsuit Could Turn 'Everything On Its Head'

(448) Comments | Posted April 30, 2014 | 8:03 AM

An unusual lawsuit in North Carolina is shifting the conversation about religious freedom -- and could be driving a wedge between some major opponents of same-sex marriage.

Clergy from the United Church of Christ, a liberal denomination that voted to support gay weddings in its churches in 2005, filed suit...

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'Heaven Is For Real' Spurs Conversations And Controversy On Near-Death Experiences

(591) Comments | Posted April 21, 2014 | 7:40 AM

Is it possible to die, take a quick look around, and come back to life to describe what you found? Seekers have asked the question for millennia, with the answers elusive and inconclusive at best.

A new film purports to give a glimpse into what people of all faiths --...

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'Gospel of Jesus' Wife' Papyrus Is Ancient, Not Fake, Scientists And Scholars Say

(2437) Comments | Posted April 10, 2014 | 10:22 AM

An ancient, business-card-sized papyrus fragment that appears to quote Jesus Christ discussing his wife is real, Harvard University announced Thursday. The fragment caused international uproar when it was revealed by a Harvard historian in September 2012, with prominent academics and the Vatican swiftly deeming it a forgery.


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Roman Missal Changes To Mass Rejected By Majority Of Catholic Priests, Survey Shows

(245) Comments | Posted April 8, 2014 | 7:49 PM

It's been more than two years since Catholics across the U.S. switched to a new Roman Missal, the prayers and instructions that make up the ritual "call and response" during Mass, but a new survey finds that a majority of priests still said they "don't like it."


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Rick And Kay Warren Launch Saddleback Church Mental Health Ministry After Son's Suicide

(354) Comments | Posted March 28, 2014 | 2:41 PM

Every day since his son Matthew died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound nearly a year ago, Pastor Rick Warren of Saddleback Church has found himself in tears.

He has spent his nights journaling, trying to discern God's purpose in the pain that Matthew endured over his 27 years...

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Rick And Kay Warren Launch Saddleback Church Mental Health Ministry After Son's Suicide

(1) Comments | Posted March 28, 2014 | 2:24 PM

Every day since his son Matthew died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound nearly a year ago, Pastor Rick Warren of Saddleback Church has found himself in tears.

He has spent his nights journaling, trying to discern God's purpose in the pain that Matthew endured over his 27 years...

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If Westboro Baptist's Fred Phelps Is Dying, Is It Right To Cheer?

(255) Comments | Posted March 17, 2014 | 2:22 PM

As news spread over the weekend that Fred Phelps Sr., the notorious founder of Westboro Baptist Church, was dying in a Kansas hospice, corners of the Internet erupted in cheers.

On Facebook, a "Fred Phelps Death Watch" group formed and gained hundreds of members, while other...

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