St. Michael's, a church within the Diocese of South Carolina, is one of the most prominent Episcopal churches in Charleston, S.C. RNS photo by Kevin Eckstrom

All eyes on Texas, S.C. church property fights

(RNS) When disgruntled congregations have left hierarchical denominations, civil courts traditionally have said buildings and land are not theirs to keep. But outcomes could be different this year as high-profile cases wind their way through courts in Texas and South Carolina.

RNS photo courtesy Library of Congress

Secession theology runs deep in American religious, political history

(RNS) Ever since President Obama won re-election, more than 700,000 Americans have petitioned the White House to let their respective states secede. Observers say those leading the charge are framing it in terms that suggest a deep-seated religious impulse for purity-through-separation is flaring up once again. This time, it’s playing out on a political stage. By G. Jeffrey MacDonald.