Arkansas Religion

10 commandments
Wikipedia

A group planning to place a Ten Commandments display near the Arkansas state Capitol says the granite monument will weigh 6,000 pounds and stand more than 6 feet tall.

Those details were included in the formal application that the American History and Heritage Foundation filed Monday in its effort to build the privately funded monument near the Capitol. The majority-Republican Legislature and GOP Gov. Asa Hutchinson approved a law last year requires the state to allow the monument to be built on Capitol grounds.

A year after the U.S. Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage, some Arkansas congregations are embracing unions they have traditionally excluded.

Sarah Whites-Koditschek / KUAR

The Islamic Center of Little Rock is hoping to counter negative stereotypes with a billboard campaign comparing a Muslim woman in a hijab, or headscarf, to Virgin Mary in a veil.

KUAR spoke to the mosque’s vice president, Alaa Eldamaty , who says the goal is to encourage questions. 

"You might be scared of Islam because of all of the media or all of the horrific attacks happening around the world in the name of Islam," said Eldamaty. "But really, Islam is a religion of peace," she explained. 

Arkansas Capitol
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

A rule that would allow Arkansas counselors to refer patients to another provider over religious objections has been sent back to a subcommittee.

The Arkansas Legislative Council voted Friday to refer the rule with little discussion. State Rep. Andy Davis, co-chair of the Administrative Rules and Regulations Subcommittee, says the rule was not expected to be controversial, "but now that it is, we'll give them 30 more days to look at it."

Sarah Whites-Koditschek / KUAR

Imam Mahmoud Hassanein says members of the Islamic Center of Little Rock may send a delegation to Florida in solidarity with victims of Sunday’s deadly massacre at a gay bar in Orlando.

He expressed regret about Sunday’s killing and says his community is grieving the incident.

"This is the killing of innocent people who had done nothing," he said. 

According to Hassanein, Islam teaches that homosexuality is wrong, but it is up to God to judge and respond, not individual people. 

Arkansas Capitol
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

More the 70 Arkansas religious leaders affixed their names to a letter delivered to Governor Asa Hutchinson’s office on Friday expressing “dismay” at his directive to disregard federal guidance on bathroom access for transgender youth. 

File photo. Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R) speaking to reporters after addressing the Arkansas General Assembly at the beginning of a special session.
Jacob Kauffman / KUAR

Gov. Asa Hutchinson says he’s worked with fellow Republicans to keep a transgender bathroom bill off the agenda of a special session he called to address highway funding. Instead, Hutchinson plans to work with lawmakers on legislation for next year’s lengthier, regular legislative session.

During a press conference, Hutchinson said adding the item to the special session has the potential to detract from his primary objective.

File photo: Gov. Asa Hutchinson speaking to reporters at the Capitol
Jacob Kauffman / KUAR

Arkansas Republicans wasted no time in letting voters know they do not accept President Obama’s directive on transgender access to public school bathrooms and locker rooms while some Arkansas Democrats are keeping a low profile.

Attorneys for Planned Parenthood of the Heartland want to amend a lawsuit challenging Arkansas' abortion restrictions, including dropping a challenge to a law requiring abortion pill providers to follow U.S. Food and Drug Administration guidelines.

State Sen. Jason Rapert (file photo).
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

The governor’s Medicaid expansion plan picked up a last minute potential change intended to block insurance coverage for the Morning After and Plan B pills. State Senator Jason Rapert filed an amendment on Tuesday that requires Governor Asa Hutchinson to ask federal officials for a waiver that would stop Medicaid funds from going to the reproductive health medications.

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