CHICAGO (RNS) In the first decade of the 21st century, America's religious landscape shifted dramatically, with minority groups making sizable gains as established Catholics and Protestants lost ground — literally, according to a new study. By Kevin Eckstrom.
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.
(RNS) Jerry DeWitt’s transition from true believer to total skeptic took 25 years. It began, he said, with the idea of hell. How could it be, as he had been taught and preached, that a loving God would damn most people to eternal fire? By Kimberly Winston.
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.
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.
(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.
BETHESDA, Md. (RNS) The goal of the Clergy Project is not to pull pastors from the pulpit, but to provide those who have already lost their faith with a safe place to anonymously discuss what what’s next. By Kimberly Winston.
(RNS) The Pentagon is investigating whether military officials ignored complaints from senior officers about a course that was found to have inflammatory and inaccurate content about Islam. By Omar Sacirbey.
As millions of Americans bow their heads for the annual National Day of Prayer, atheists, humanists and other nontheists will mark the National Day of Reason _ part protest, part celebration and purely godless. By Kimberly Winston.
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.
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.
(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.
(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.