WASHINGTON (RNS) This holiday season, whether we and our families gather around a menorah or a Christmas tree, we celebrate our freedom to believe. We rejoice in the values for which our forefathers fought and passed down for centuries. The Hanukkah and Christmas lights that illuminate our homes burn bright for all of humanity. By Michael Oren.
GENEVA (RNS) The World Council of Churches says the U.S. economic blockade of Cuba violates religious freedom by preventing a group of Latin American churches from hosting a summit on the island nation. By Peter Kenny.
STOVER, Mo. (RNS) In any denomination, Christians confronted with the shocking news that a pastor has been accused of sexual misconduct, many congregations circle the wagons. But what happens when those circling the wagons around their pastor are also those who have to make the ultimate decision about his fate — his career, his paycheck, his reputation? By Tim Townsend.
(RNS) A new poll shows more than a third of Americans believe the severity of recent natural disasters is evidence that we are in the “end times” described in the Bible – a period of turmoil preceding the return of Christ and the end of the world. By Lauren Markoe.
(RNS) A new Catholic translation of the Bible tweaks an Old Testament text — Isaiah 7:14 — that many Christians consider a prophecy about Jesus’ birth. So, why did they alter a 2,745-year-old prophecy, and does it change what the church teaches about Jesus’ virgin birth? By Daniel Burke.
(RNS) Jews and Muslims in Germany are relieved that a tumultuous political controversy over circumcision in Germany has ended with passage of a law that allows the practice for religious reasons. By Lauren Markoe.
(RNS) At 5:30 a.m. ET on Wednesday (Dec. 12), Pope Benedict XVI reached out to the world of digital seekers — 140 characters at a time. He began with a blessing: “Dear friends, I am pleased to get in touch with you through Twitter. Thank you for your generous response. I bless all of you from my heart.” By Cathy Lynn Grossman / USA Today.
CANTERBURY, England (RNS) New figures from the 2011 National Census show that the number of people who identify as Christians in England and Wales has fallen by 4 million over the last 10 years, from 37.3 million to 33 million last year. By Trevor Grundy.
(RNS) Gabrielle Douglas, who walked away with the gold at the London Olympics, talks about her prayer life, her love of matzo ball soup and overcoming homesickness to make it to the Olympics. By Adelle M. Banks.
Mainline Protestantism and Catholicism in America rise together, hold steady together, and decline together. The reasons for the decline may vary, from group to group, but few in church life have it easy today. “Decline,” it turns out, is contagious.
VATICAN CITY (RNS) Pope Benedict XVI on Friday promoted his personal secretary to head of the papal household, giving Monsignor Georg Gaenswein even larger influence in organizing the aging pontiff's schedule and meetings. By Alessandro Speciale.
PASADENA, Calif. (RNS) Leaders of a flagship progressive Episcopal church are defending themselves against charges of sympathy for terrorists in their decision to host the annual Muslim Public Affairs Council convention. By Megan Sweas.
(RNS) Ayelet Waldman isn't shy about sharing her true feelings about the upcoming Jewish festival of lights. “I loathe Hanukkah,'' she says. She's not alone: Some Jews, tired of the “December Dilemma'' and competing with Christmas, would prefer to avoid all the fuss. By Beth Kissileff.