Bob Smietana

Bob Smietana is a veteran religion writer and editor-in-chief of Religion News Service.

All Stories by Bob Smietana

Report: Jerry Falwell injured in fall while drinking according to 911 call

September 17, 2020

(RNS) — According to transcripts from a 911 call on August 30, Becki Falwell reported her husband had fallen down the stairs and was bleeding.

Baylor, Southwestern Baptist sue to wrest control from ‘rogue’ foundation with ties to Paige Patterson

September 9, 2020

(RNS) — A lawsuit claims a Texas foundation has misused funds and illegally changed its charitable purpose.

Jen Hatmaker, Christian author and former reality TV star, files for divorce

September 7, 2020

(RNS) — Hatmaker asked for prayers and for privacy as she and the family work through their grief and loss during the divorce process.

Video from priest says Catholics who vote for Democrats will go to hell. One bishop approves this message.

September 6, 2020

(RNS) — A Texas bishop has endorsed a video that claims Catholics who vote Democratic will go to hell.

Keith and Kristyn Getty’s Sing! conference goes online, focuses on singing at home

August 29, 2020

NASHVILLE (RNS) — Hymn writer Keith Getty hopes the pandemic will lead to a renewal of singing at home. That message will be part of the Getty Music annual Sing! conference, which will be held online this year.

As Hurricane Laura hits, faith-based disaster relief groups ready to lend a hand  

August 27, 2020

(RNS) — Working closely with FEMA, faith-based groups are among the first responders when disasters strike.

Judge orders John MacArthur, Grace Community Church to wear masks, social distance during services

August 15, 2020

John MacArthur’s megachurch can keep worshipping indoor for now, proving that worshipers wear masks and keep six feet apart.

Eboo Patel says $6 million gift to IFYC will jumpstart ‘Interfaith America’

August 7, 2020

(RNS) — An unexpected multi-million dollar grant will help jumpstart IFYC’s new Interfaith America campaign to address racial justice.

Why is Trump supporter Stella Immanuel talking about demon sex and spiritual warfare? A professor explains

July 29, 2020

(RNS) — Doctor and preacher Stella Immanuel made headlines this week for her out-of-the-mainstream beliefs about medicine and spirituality.

Embattled megachurch pastor John Ortberg resigns from Menlo Church

July 29, 2020

(RNS) — The resignation comes after revelations that Ortberg allowed a volunteer who had admitted being attracted to children to continue working with kids at the church and in the community.

Texas church planter John Powell killed in accident

July 19, 2020

(RNS) — Powell’s unexpected passing was mourned by Southern Baptist leaders Al Mohler and Russell Moore. A GoFundMe site has been set up to assist his family.

John Ortberg’s megachurch announces new investigation

July 12, 2020

(RNS) — Elders at Menlo Church say their initial investigation into concerns about megachurch pastor John Ortberg’s son fell short.

Megachurch pastor John Ortberg kept a family member’s attraction to children secret. Then his son blew the whistle.

July 6, 2020

(RNS) — The Rev. John Ortberg’s son reportedly confessed he was attracted to children. The megachurch pastor kept that admission secret while his son continued working with kids.

Tennessean editor denounces ‘horrific’ Nashville Islam nuclear prophecy advertisement

June 21, 2020

(RNS) — A breakaway Seventh-day Adventist group ran a full-page newspaper ad predicting a nuclear attack on Nashville set for July 18.

Catholic bishops, Southern Baptists, call for justice in George Floyd death

May 30, 2020

(RNS) — Catholic and Southern Baptist leaders condemned the abuse of police power, call for racial healing and pray that the family of George Floyd will find comfort.

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