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Bob Smietana

Bob Smietana is a veteran religion writer and national reporter for Religion News Service.

All Stories by Bob Smietana

Can anyone lead the Southern Baptist Convention forward?

By Bob Smietana — October 19, 2021
(RNS) — Ronnie Floyd joins a growing list of SBC leaders who resigned due to controversy.

Millions wanted to ‘Save Saeed.’ Few wanted to help his abused ex-wife.

By Bob Smietana — October 15, 2021
(RNS) — In a 2016 recording, Franklin Graham is heard pressing an abused spouse to go to counseling with her husband. 'This can be fixed, easy.'

Ronnie Floyd, SBC Executive Committee chief, resigns, citing damage to his reputation

By Bob Smietana — October 14, 2021
(RNS) — Floyd’s plans to unite Southern Baptists around evangelism and missions were overshadowed by controversy.

Menlo Church investigation finds no direct evidence or disclosures of sexual abuse

By Bob Smietana — October 13, 2021
(RNS) — A long-expected report found no evidence of abuse at a San Francisco megachurch but did fault leaders for their lack of transparency.

Southern Baptist Convention’s lawyers to cut ties after vote to waive privilege

By Bob Smietana — October 11, 2021
(RNS) — Jim Guenther had represented the Southern Baptist Convention since 1966.

In new book, Sarah Young of ‘Jesus Calling’ hopes Jesus is listening

By Bob Smietana — October 8, 2021
(RNS) — A former missionary who shuns the spotlight, Young has sold 35 million devotional books since 2004. A million copies of her new book drop this week.

In ‘The Jesus Music,’ Erwin Brothers recount the glory and mess of Christian music

By Bob Smietana — October 6, 2021
(RNS) — A new documentary recounts the history of contemporary Christian music from its roots among California hippies to today’s multimillion-dollar industry.

SBC committee waives privilege after bitter debate, moving abuse investigation forward

By Bob Smietana — October 5, 2021
(RNS) — ‘We deserve what is coming for us as a people,’ said Tiffany Thigpen, abuse survivor.

A brief guide to the Southern Baptist meltdown over sexual abuse

By Bob Smietana — October 2, 2021
(RNS) — A fight over one clause in a contract has deep implications for the nation's largest Protestant denomination.

Southern Baptist seminary heads join chorus of critics as leaders balk on abuse probe

By Yonat Shimron — September 30, 2021
(RNS) — The presidents of all six Southern Baptist seminaries have issued statements or tweets expressing their dismay at the Executive Committee’s unwillingness to act at the convention’s direction. Many pastors agree.

Southern Baptists, at impasse, postpone vote on sex abuse probe for a week

By Yonat Shimron — September 28, 2021
(RNS) — At issue is whether the Executive Committee can shield from investigators certain communications it has received from its lawyers.

The Sunday Assembly hopes to organize a godless future. It’s not easy.

By Bob Smietana — September 24, 2021
(RNS) — At its peak, there were about 70 congregations in the Sunday Assembly movement. About half have shut down or gone dormant.

SBC Executive Committee agrees to pay for abuse review, stalls on waiving privilege

By Bob Smietana — September 21, 2021
(RNS) — After two days of meetings, the details for an abuse investigation remain unresolved.

Christian author Josh McDowell steps away from ministry after comments about Black, minority families

By Bob Smietana — September 19, 2021
(RNS) — At a meeting of the American Association of Christian Counselors, the popular Christian author and speaker denounced critical race theory as one of several 'global epidemics' threatening Christians.

Study: Religion soothed evangelicals at start of COVID. Politics put them at risk.

By Bob Smietana — September 17, 2021
(RNS) — From the start, religion has divided how Americans respond to COVID.
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