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 Resource Type: Report
 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
House and Senate Chaplains

House and Senate Chaplains

Date: October 9, 2001
Creator: Amer, Mildred
Description: This report discusses the two chaplains, one in the House, the other in the Senate, who are the official clergy of Congress. At the beginning of each Congress, the House chaplain is elected for a 2-year term. The Senate chaplain does not have to be reelected at the beginning of a new Congress. There have been 61 Senate chaplains and 59 House chaplains.
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Islamic Finance: Overview and Policy Concerns

Islamic Finance: Overview and Policy Concerns

Date: July 29, 2008
Creator: Ilias, Shayerah
Description: The international market for Islamic finance has grown between 10% to 15% annually in recent years. Islamic finance historically has been concentrated in the Persian Gulf countries, but has expanded globally to both Muslim and non-Muslim countries. There is a small but growing market for Islamic finance in the United States. Through international and domestic regulatory bodies, there has been effort to standardize regulations in Islamic finance across different countries and financial institutions, although challenges remain. Critics of Islamic finance express concerns about possible ties between Islamic finance and political agendas or terrorist financing and the use of Islamic finance to circumvent U.S. economic sanctions. Proponents argue that Islamic finance presents significant new business opportunities and provides alternate methods for capital formation and economic development.
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Pope Francis and Selected Global Issues: Background for Papal Address to Congress

Pope Francis and Selected Global Issues: Background for Papal Address to Congress

Date: September 8, 2015
Creator: Ribando Seelke, Clare; Reese, Shawn; Straus, Jacob R.; Werner, James D. & Mix, Derek E.
Description: This report provides Members of Congress with background information on Pope Francis and a summary of a few selected global issues of congressional interest that have figured prominently on his agenda. The background section on Pope Francis includes a biographical sketch of his life as Jorge Mario Bergoglio, followed by a brief overview of his papacy thus far. The report then identifies some--but not all--of the global issues of concern to Pope Francis. Those include environmental stewardship, poverty and inequality, peace and diplomacy, and human trafficking.
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Islamic Finance: Overview and Policy Concerns

Islamic Finance: Overview and Policy Concerns

Date: February 9, 2009
Creator: Ilias, Shayerah
Description: This report discusses Islamic finance, which is based on principles of shariah, or "Islamic law." Major financial principles of shariah are a ban on interest, a ban on contractual uncertainty, adherence to risk-sharing and profit-sharing, promotion of ethical investments that enhance society, and asset-backing. While the Islamic finance industry represents a fraction of the global finance market, it has grown at double-digit rates in recent years.
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Pope Francis in Cuba

Pope Francis in Cuba

Date: October 2, 2015
Creator: Sullivan, Mark P.
Description: This report briefly discusses Pope Francis' visit to Cuba from September 19-22, 2015. This was the third papal visit to Cuba, following those by Pope John Paul II in 1998 and Pope Benedict XVI in 2012.
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The Islamic Traditions of Wahhabism and Salafiyya

The Islamic Traditions of Wahhabism and Salafiyya

Date: January 17, 2007
Creator: Blanchard, Christopher M.
Description: The terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, and subsequent discussions of religious extremism have called attention to Islamic puritanical movements known as Wahhabism and Salafiyya. Al Qaeda leaders and their ideological supporters have advocated a violent message that some suggest is an extremist interpretation of this line of puritanical Islam. Other observers have accused Saudi Arabia, the center of Wahhabism, of having disseminated a religion that promotes hatred and violence, targeting the United States and its allies. Saudi officials strenuously deny these allegations. This report provides a background on Wahhabism and its relationship to active terrorist groups; it also summarizes recent charges against Wahhabism and responses, including the findings of the final report of the 9/11 Commission and relevant legislation in the 110th Congress.
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The Constitutionality of Including the Phrase "Under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance

The Constitutionality of Including the Phrase "Under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance

Date: June 18, 2004
Creator: Welborn, Angie A
Description: On October 14, 2003, the Supreme Court granted certiorari in the appeal regarding the California statute, and on June 14, 2004, the Court reversed the Ninth Circuit’s decision finding that Newdow lacked standing to challenge the school district’s policy in federal court. This report summarizes the facts of the case, the opinions that have been rendered, congressional action, and the appeal to the Supreme Court. It will be updated as circumstances warrant.
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American Jihadist Terrorism: Combating a Complex Threat

American Jihadist Terrorism: Combating a Complex Threat

Date: February 19, 2014
Creator: Bjelopera, Jerome P.
Description: This report describes homegrown violent jihadists and the plots and attacks that have occurred since 9/11. It also outlines actions underway to build trust and partnership between community groups and government agencies and the tensions that may occur between law enforcement and engagement activities.
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American Jihadist Terrorism: Combating a Complex Threat

American Jihadist Terrorism: Combating a Complex Threat

Date: January 23, 2013
Creator: Bjelopera, Jerome P.
Description: This report describes homegrown violent jihadists and the plots and attacks that have occurred since 9/11. For this report, "homegrown" describes terrorist activity or plots perpetrated within the United States or abroad by American citizens, legal permanent residents, or visitors radicalized largely within the United States. The term "jihadist" describes radicalized individuals using Islam as an ideological and/or religious justification for their belief in the establishment of a global caliphate, or jurisdiction governed by a Muslim civil and religious leader known as a caliph. The term "violent jihadist" characterizes jihadists who have made the jump to illegally supporting, plotting, or directly engaging in violent terrorist activity.
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Chaplain of the House: Selection and Related Procedures

Chaplain of the House: Selection and Related Procedures

Date: August 22, 2003
Creator: Rundquist, Paul S & Beth, Richard S
Description: House procedures to elect an officer during a Congress differ from those followed at the start of a Congress. A resolution to elect a replacement officer to fill a vacancy during a Congress is privileged and debatable under the hour rule. By statute, the Speaker has authority to appoint a temporary replacement officer, and in some cases, temporary appointments have continued in effect for the remainder of a Congress. This report describes the consultative process that ultimately led to Father Coughlin’s temporary appointment, and related parliamentary issues concerning the selection of House officers.
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American Jihadist Terrorism: Combating a Complex Threat

American Jihadist Terrorism: Combating a Complex Threat

Date: September 20, 2013
Creator: Bjelopera, Jerome P.
Description: This report describes homegrown violent jihadists and the plots and attacks that have occurred since 9/11. For this report, "homegrown" and "domestic" are terms that describe terrorist activity or plots perpetrated within the United States or abroad by American citizens, legal permanent residents, or visitors radicalized largely within the United States. The report also discusses the radicalization process and the forces driving violent extremist activity. It analyzes post-9/11 domestic jihadist terrorism and describes law enforcement and intelligence efforts to combat terrorism and the challenges associated with those efforts. It also outlines actions underway to build trust and partnership between community groups and government agencies and the tensions that may occur between law enforcement and engagement activities.
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Islamic Religious Schools,

Islamic Religious Schools,

Date: October 29, 2003
Creator: Armanios, Febe
Description: None
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Islamic Religious Schools,

Islamic Religious Schools,

Date: February 10, 2005
Creator: Blanchard, Christopher M
Description: None
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Islamic Religious Schools, Madrasas: Background

Islamic Religious Schools, Madrasas: Background

Date: January 23, 2007
Creator: Blanchard, Christopher M
Description: None
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Islamic Religious Schools, Madrasas: Background

Islamic Religious Schools, Madrasas: Background

Date: January 10, 2006
Creator: Blanchard, Christopher M
Description: This report provides an overview of madrasas, their role in the Muslim world, and issues related to their alleged links to terrorism. The report also addresses the findings of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States (the “9/11 Commission”) and issues relevant to the second session of the 109th Congress.
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Campaign Activity by Churches: Legal Analysis of Houses of Worship Free Speech Restoration Act

Campaign Activity by Churches: Legal Analysis of Houses of Worship Free Speech Restoration Act

Date: June 14, 2005
Creator: Lunder, Erika & Whitaker, L. Paige
Description: Under current law, churches and other IRC § 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organizations are prohibited from engaging in such activity and risk losing their tax-exempt status if they do. While this outcome is rare, it is possible. This report provides an overview of the current tax and campaign finance law relevant to this legislation, a discussion of how each bill would amend current law, and a chart that compares the bills.
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Campaign Activity by Churches: Legal Analysis of Houses of Worship Free Speech Restoration Act, H.R. 235 (108th Congress)

Campaign Activity by Churches: Legal Analysis of Houses of Worship Free Speech Restoration Act, H.R. 235 (108th Congress)

Date: June 16, 2003
Creator: Morris, Marie B & Whitaker, L. Paige
Description: Churches and other Internal Revenue Code (IRC) Section 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organizations can lose their tax-exempt status if they participate in a political campaign. The Houses of Worship Free Speech Restoration Act, H.R. 235 (108th Congress) would permit churches to engage in limited types of political campaign activity, in unlimited amounts, without jeopardizing their tax-exempt status. This report provides an overview of current tax and campaign finance law relevant to this legislation, a discussion of how H.R. 235 (108th Congress) would amend current law, and a comparison of H.R. 235 (108th Congress) to H.R. 2357 (107th Congress).
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Terrorists and Suicide Attacks

Terrorists and Suicide Attacks

Date: August 28, 2003
Creator: Cronin, Audrey Kurth
Description: None
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Legal Analysis of Religious Exemptions for Photo Identification Requirements

Legal Analysis of Religious Exemptions for Photo Identification Requirements

Date: April 13, 2009
Creator: Brougher, Cynthia
Description: This report analyzes the legal issues associated with religious exemptions to photo identification laws. Although no lawsuits appear to have challenged federal laws with photo requirements, state photo identification laws have been challenged for several decades.
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Iran: Ethnic and Religious Minorities

Iran: Ethnic and Religious Minorities

Date: November 25, 2008
Creator: Hassan, Hussein D.
Description: Iran is home to approximately 70.5 million people who are ethnically, religiously, and linguistically diverse. This report discusses these minorities, their treatment under the Islamic regime, and the reactions of international rights groups.
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Muslims in Europe: Integration Policies in Selected Countries

Muslims in Europe: Integration Policies in Selected Countries

Date: November 18, 2005
Creator: Gallis, Paul E; Archick, Kristin; Miko, Francis T & Woehrel, Steven
Description: This report examines the integration of Muslims into the United Kingdom, France, Germany, and Spain. It also analyzes policies at the European Union (EU) level that affect Muslim populations. However, key policies relating to integrating Muslims into society — including citizenship laws, education, treatment of religious institutions, and anti-discrimination measures — largely lie with individual governments.
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Faith-Based Organizations and Their Relationship with State and Local Governments: Analysis of Recent Initiatives

Faith-Based Organizations and Their Relationship with State and Local Governments: Analysis of Recent Initiatives

Date: January 23, 2003
Creator: Canada, Ben
Description: This report discusses federal, state, and local government funding for faith-based organizations (FBOs) to provide services to needy citizens. It provides an overview of several selected issues including the effectiveness of FBOs, their accountability for results, and the working relationship that FBOs have at various levels of government.
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Charitable Choice Rules and Faith-Based Organizations

Charitable Choice Rules and Faith-Based Organizations

Date: January 26, 2006
Creator: Richardson, Joe
Description: This report discusses the Bush administration's "Charitable Choice" agenda aimed at expanding the ability of faith-based organizations to provide federally funded social services.
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Russia's Religion Law: Assessments and Implications

Russia's Religion Law: Assessments and Implications

Date: May 29, 1998
Creator: Nichol, Jim
Description: None
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