Religion News Service file photo courtesy of Pete Souza/The White House

White House releases public/private guidelines

WASHINGTON (RNS) A new White House report that offers guidance on public/private partnerships between the government and faith-based groups leaves critical questions unanswered and does not resolve the issue of religious groups' ability to discriminate in hiring and firing, church-state watchdogs said.

Churches attacked in Kenya, Nigeria

NAIROBI, Kenya (RNS/ENInews) Kenyan churches are tightening security after a lone attacker exploded a grenade inside an evangelical church in Nairobi on Sunday (April 29), killing one person and injuring 15, while a string of bombings in Nigeria killed 19 people. By Fredrick Nzwili.

MondayâÂ?Â?s Religion News Roundup: Another gay bishop? Catholic ultimatum, rich Amish beard-cutter, Joel Osteen âÂ?Â?supersizesâÂ?Â? it

New Hampshire’s Episcopalians elected an openly gay man as bishop nine years ago and sparked a virtual schism in the Anglican Communion. Now they are considering electing another gay bishop, the Rev. William W. Rich, who is one of three candidates. “I think electors in New Hampshire are interested in getting the best bishop for New Hampshire,’’ said the Rev. Adrian Robbins-Cole, a leader in the diocese. “People are very parochial in the end.’’ And the Rev. Rich is married. Meanwhile, back in Wisconsin, Madison’s Catholic bishop, Robert Morlino, is telling parishioners at a parish split after the arrival of traditionalist priests who banned altar girls and such, that unless they stop agitating they risk “interdict,” which is a bad thing in churchspeak.

COMMENTARY: Countering the ‘Christians’

(RNS) I have been a Christian my entire life, never more fervently than in recent years, and yet I cringe when I hear politicians and public figures announce their Christian faith. No wonder people have come to see “Christians” as harsh, judgmental, intolerant, argumentative and angry. By Tom Ehrich.

RNS photo by Leah Hogsten/The Salt Lake Tribune

Utah storehouse at top of Mormon food chain

SALT LAKE CITY (RNS) The massive new Utah Bishops' Central Storehouse is the centerpiece of the Mormons' intricate network for taking care of its members and lending a hand to others in times of natural disasters. Holding a can of peaches grown on church-owned orchards, manager Richard Humpherys says, it's “the best food money can't buy.” By Brooke Adams.

FridayâÂ?Â?s Religion News Roundup: NASCAR Christians? Nikki HaleyâÂ?Â?s faith, Colton DixonâÂ?Â?s âÂ?Â?Idol,âÂ? pet shiva

Remember “NASCAR Dads”? Ralph Reed is trolling for NASCAR Christians, as his Faith & Freedom Coalition is sponsoring a car in tomorrow’s NASCAR Sprint Cup series race in Richmond. “There are an estimated 75 million NASCAR fans, many of whom live in battleground states like Virginia, North Carolina, and Florida. This vote has significant overlap with the evangelical and Tea Party vote,” Reed says. “An estimated 20 percent of NASCAR fans are not registered to vote.

Sidebar: Professionalizing Human Trafficking Activism

(RNS) Human trafficking, with images of child laborers and sex slaves, is ready-made for the kind of sharing and conversation that characterizes social media. However, the recent popularity and subsequent controversy of Invisible Children’s Kony 2012 video is cited by critics who fault social media activism as “slacktivism”—an ineffective and easy form of social justice advocacy. That's not the whole picture, says Claude d’Estree at the University of Denver. D’Estree said videos and photos posted to social media can inspire someone to investigate an issue at a deeper level. Students can go beyond conversations on Twitter and Facebook at the University of Denver, which has created a two-year clinic on the issue of human trafficking in efforts to create more effective leaders.


College activists draw on faith traditions to fight human trafficking

(RNS) For two years of her life, Louise Allison says she looked and felt like trash. She was a straggly-haired teenager sold for sex on Dallas streets. Her traffickers often drugged her and dumped her in a park to await customers. Allison is one of millions of people who have been trafficked—or sold into slavery—for underage sex or forced labor. Now she directs Partners Against Trafficking Humans, a Little Rock, Ark.-based Christian nonprofit that is starting safe houses for human trafficking survivors.