Michael Mroziak, WBFO

A state Assemblymember, an estimated 70 pastors and church leaders, and at least 100 supporters gathered outside a Hamburg church, where they demanded Gov. Andrew Cuomo consider places of worship as essential institutions and reopen them.

Updated at 3 p.m. ET

President Trump said Friday that state governors should allow churches, synagogues, mosques and other houses of worship to reopen immediately.

In brief comments at the White House, Trump said houses of worship are "essential places that provide essential services." Churches have faced restrictions for gatherings and ceremonies as public health officials worked to stop the spread of the coronavirus. Some have chafed at the restrictions.

Mike Desmond

New York will allow small religious gatherings starting Thursday as the state gradually loosens restrictions, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said at his Wednesday briefing.

File photo

Parts of New York state are gradually reopening, with western New York authorized on Monday to join five other regions of the state and begin the first of a four-phase process. The Capital Region will be allowed to begin reopening on Tuesday. 

National Public Radio

An increasing percentage of Americans say they have no religious affiliation in a society that traditionally has been religious. A University at Buffalo political scientist is part of a group of researchers who have been looking at that in the context of politics, with the heavy involvement of the religious right and the Republican party.

Eileen Buckley/WBFO

In the days leading up to Easter, thousands of Western New Yorkers will travel to the Broadway Market to pick up supplies for their celebrations. There, shoppers can buy everything from pierogies and polish sausage, to unique items such as butter lambs.


The religious community is coming together in response to the "Black Lives Matter" sign at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Amherst being vandalized last year.

Mike Desmond / WBFO News

Civil rights pioneer Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once said that America's most segregated hour was 11 o'clock on a Sunday morning, for Christian church services. A local and nationwide effort is trying to bridge that racial gap.

Fewer Americans affiliate with a religion

May 13, 2015
Center for Inquiry

Americans who have no religious affiliation now make up the second-largest group in the nation, only behind Evangelical Protestants. A new survey by the Pew Forum on Religion in Public Life found that people who do not identify with any religion make up 22.8% of the population, up from 16.1% in 2007.

In the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, daytime fasting ends at sunset with an Iftar dinner. On Wednesday night, Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown hosted such a dinner in the lobby of City Hall.

Photo from Cheektowaga Central School District Website

A suburban school district is caught between two national groups on opposite sides of the centuries-long fight over the separation of church and state.

Tony Campolo is a Baptist clergyman and university sociologist, has written a series of books and was a counselor to President Clinton during the Monica Lewinsky scandal.

All during his career, he's been involved in skirmishes with other clergy, including an informal heresy hearing.

While strongly in favor of clergy being involved in issues, he says backing candidates crosses the line.

"There's a big difference between dealing with issues and endorsing candidates," Campolo said.