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RNS Updated Budget — Wednesday, October 16, 2019

RNS-BERNIE-WHATSAPP: Inside the WhatsApp group of young Muslims praying for Bernie’s health
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (RNS) — When the news broke that Sanders had suffered a heart attack earlier this month, Hamzah Raza kidded on his Instagram account about setting up a group to read the Quran for the senator. He received such a positive response that he set up a WhatsApp group where young Muslims could track and complete the recitation of the entire Quran as well as pray for Sanders’ health and guidance. By Aysha Khan. 1,128 words. (category: a)

RNS-CHURCHES-GIVING: Study: Religious attendance flatlining, but giving remains strong
(RNS) — Conventional wisdom has it that religious congregations are declining. But a new nationally representative study from the Lake Institute on Faith and Giving at Indiana University finds that congregations are not necessarily seeing a corresponding decline in revenue. In fact, the study finds that nearly half of America’s estimated 360,000 congregations saw an increase in giving from three years ago. By Yonat Shimron. 850 words. (category: a)

RNS-OTIS-LIBRARY: After call from Indian official, Connecticut library pulls memorial on Sikh ‘genocide’
(RNS) – Three months ago, the Otis Library in Norwich, Connecticut, held a ceremony to unveil its new memorial to the thousands of Sikhs killed in India 35 years ago in a military campaign and ensuing mass violence. Then, India’s consul general in New York called. Within weeks, the entire memorial — a Sikh flag, a portrait of a Sikh revolutionary hero, and a plaque honoring the 1984 massacre’s Sikh victims and accusing India of committing genocide — was quietly removed from the library. By Aysha Khan. 1,300 words (category: a)

RNS-SYNOD-FOCUS: Bishops worry divisions on ‘details’ at synod distract from big picture
Vatican City (RNS) — Halfway into a three-week gathering of bishops at the Vatican to discuss the Amazon region, participants warned that inside divisions over ordination or inculturation risk missing the forest, so to speak, for the trees. “In focusing only on certain themes, there is the risk of losing the broader outlook,” said the Vatican’s chief press officer, Paolo Ruffini. By Claire Giangravè. 708 words. (category: i)

RNS-MUSLIM-BULLYING: 40% of Muslim students in CA report being bullied due to religion, according to survey
ANAHEIM (RNS) — Muslim youths in California schools are bullied at double the rate of students across the nation, according to a report by the Council on American-Islamic Relations. The report is based on a statewide survey of about 1,500 Muslim students between 11 and 18 years old. It was released Wednesday (Oct. 16) by the Los Angeles chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, or CAIR-LA. By Alejandra Molina. 590 words. (category: a)

RNS-GOLD-OPED: Faith groups need to repent for gay ‘conversion’ bullying
(RNS) — Most clergy I know would recoil at the notion that they or their faith communities have routinely engaged in bullying — but that’s exactly what anti-LGBTQ messaging and policies are: bullying, plain and simple. By Mitchell Gold. 900 words. (category: k)

RNS-ATCHESON-OPED: Pompeo’s ‘Christian leader’ speech goes only as far as Trump allows
(RNS) — In a recent speech on “Being a Christian Leader,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo buttresses his points with sprinklings of Scripture and amusing anecdotes, but he boxed up Christianity and its teachings in a way that insulates him from applying Christian ethics to the policies of the Trump administration. By Eric Atcheson. 1,220 words. (category: k)

RNS-RIESS-OPED: Billy Graham, Franklin Graham, and the dangers of mixing religion and politics
(RNS) — How will evangelist Billy Graham (1918–2018) be remembered? And is his son Franklin damaging the religious leader’s legacy with his excessive politicizing for the Republican Party and Donald Trump? I talked with historian Grant Wacker about his new biography “One Soul at a Time,” which explores Billy Graham and positions his six decades of ministry within the larger contours of American religious history. By Jana Riess. 1,260 words. (category: k)

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