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Meredith Somers

Meredith Somers

Meredith Somers is a Metro reporter for The Washington Times. She can be reached at [email protected].

Articles by Meredith Somers

In this June 17, 2011 photo, journalist James Foley receives applause from students at the Christa McAuliffe Regional Charter Public School in Framingham, Mass. Foley had been released a month prior after being detained for six weeks in Libya. Students at the school had written government leaders to work for his release. Foley was abducted in November 2012 while covering the Syrian conflict. Islamic militants posted a video showing his murder on Tuesday, Aug. 19, 2014, and said they killed him because the U.S. had launched airstrikes in northern Iraq. (AP Photo/MetroWest Daily News, Ken McGagh) MANDATORY CREDIT

Higher Ground: James Foley said prayer gave him 'inner freedom'

American photojournalist James Foley was shown this week to be executed by Islamic State fighters, and while heartbreak and outrage have been the strongest reactions to the tragic news, Mr. Foley's faith has emerged as a source of comfort. Published August 21, 2014

Bao Bao follows her mother, Mei Mei, back into their indoor enclosure for feeding time. On Saturday, zoo visitors can watch as the 1-year-old cub gets her birthday cake.

Celebrate with Bao Bao as she turns 1 year old

A year after the National Zoo welcomed a hairless, helpless panda cub no bigger than a butter stick, it is celebrating the birthday of Bao Bao, who has grown to 40 pounds and found her independence. Published August 21, 2014

Cheerleaders of Kountze Middle School use their faith-based signs at the middle school football game held at Kountze High School.  (Beaumont Enterprise via Associated Press)

Higher Ground: Sis boom Bible

A high school cheerleading squad has asked the Texas Supreme Court to weigh in on religious banners they want to make for football games. Published August 14, 2014

In this June 14, 2014 photo, Brigitte Schaefer, left, her son Tim Schaefer, center, and Tim's partner, John Duncan, applaud as Frank Schaefer receives an Open Door Award for his public advocacy in Massachusetts, at Old South Church, in Boston. Frank Schaefer, a Methodist pastor who was defrocked for officiating his son Tim's wedding to another man, accepted the award the weekend before a Methodist judicial panel was scheduled to hear his appeal to continue in the ministry. (AP Photo/Josh Reynolds)

Higher Ground: 'Holy' horror film set to premiere

The Year of the Faith-Based Movie is not over yet, and with pet projects, sweeping epics and tear-jerker dramas all finding success at the box office, it's only fitting that the horror genre gets a shot at audiences. Published August 7, 2014

Bondage-themed hotel near chapel irks Spanish villagers

A Spanish bondage-themed hotel complete with dungeon has found its hands tied by local government leaders who are worried visitors to a nearby chapel might be scared off by the clientele. Published August 5, 2014

Meriam Ibrahim, who recently left her home country of Sudan after being held for refusing to recant her Christian faith, is moving to New Hampshire. (Associated Press)

Higher Ground: 'Christian' Grey

It's a safe bet Valentine's Day 2015 is going to be one of the most romantic in a long while. Days after the release of a trailer for the hotly anticipated movie adaptation of "50 Shades of Grey," Variety announced that a Christian-friendly alternative was in the works and due out the same holiday weekend as its naughtier counterpart. Published July 31, 2014

SNAP National Director David Clohessy said the group has come a long way in its 25 year history, and is "cautiously optimistic" about the future, which may involve reaching out to survivors in other faiths. (Associated Press)

Priest abuse survivors group marks milestone

Fearless advocates. Vicious enemies. The Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests has been called a variety of names — positive and negative — in the last quarter century. Published July 30, 2014

Pope Francis waves as he arrives for the Angelus prayer he delivers from the studio window overlooking St. Peter square at the Vatican, Sunday, July 13, 2014. Pope Francis has led tens of thousands of people in St. Peterís Square in unannounced, silent prayer for an end to the warfare in the Mideast. Francis called for insistent prayers for peace in the Holy Land during his Sunday window appearance to pilgrims and tourists. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

Pope Francis coming to Philly?

The Archdiocese of Philadelphia on Friday tamped down growing excitement over news that Pope Francis would be visiting the City of Brotherly Love next year. Published July 25, 2014

Incoming Israeli President Reuven Rivlin is sworn in during a ceremony at the Knesset, Israel's parliament, in Jerusalem. Despite the recent violence in the region, Jewish youths continue to make pilgrimages to the nation.  (AP Photo/Ronen Zvulun, Pool)

Higher Ground: War no deterrent

Flights have been grounded and troops have been mobilized in and out of Israel because of ongoing violence, but young Jewish people are still making the trip as part of their birthright. Published July 24, 2014

The U.S. Capitol building is seen through the columns on the steps of the Supreme Court in Washington, May 5, 2014. (Associated Press) ** FILE **

Humanists hit the Hill to press for 'nontheistic' chaplains

The American military might reflect the diversity of society, but its chaplains are falling short when it comes to representing nontheistic believers in the ranks, the American Humanist Association told a Capitol Hill briefing Tuesday. Published July 22, 2014

Humanist services lacking in the military, advocates tell Congress

The American military might reflect the diversity of society, but its chaplains are falling short when it comes to representing nontheistic beliefs, said the American Humanist Association at its first congressional hearing on Tuesday. Published July 22, 2014