Bob Smietana

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

All Stories by Bob Smietana

Efrem Smith on the death of George Floyd and what divides white and black Christians

May 29, 2020

(RNS) — Too many white evangelicals are silent about the death of George Floyd and the racial divide of the American church.

Online Communion should be celebrated, not shunned, says Diana Butler Bass 

May 15, 2020

(RNS) — God can be present when people celebrate Communion online, says writer and author Diana Butler Bass, and not just when worshippers are in the same room.

Fund set up to benefit family of Darrin Patrick

May 9, 2020

RNS — A fund has been set up to benefit the family of Darrin Patrick, who died this week unexpectedly.

Friends mourn Darrin Patrick, megachurch pastor and author, who died of apparent ‘self-inflicted gunshot wound’

May 8, 2020

Darrin Patrick, a megachurch pastor who fell from grace and then returned to ministry, died this week of what appears to be a “self-inflicted gunshot wound,” according to Seacoast Church.

Willow Creek names Michigan pastor David Dummitt as new leader

April 15, 2020

(RNS) — Two years after the fall of Bill Hybels, Willow Creek names David Dummitt as its new pastor.

In ‘The Last Emperox,’ John Scalzi delivers a satisfying space opera with a soul

April 13, 2020

(RNS) — In ‘The Last Emperox,’ author John Scalzi mixes action and religion to create a page-turning space opera whose characters try to save the world despite their own flaws.

John Scalzi on messiahs, the apocalypse, coronavirus and religion in science fiction

April 13, 2020

(RNS) — John Scalzi discusses his latest book, why he often writes about religion in his science fiction and examines what it means to be a messiah.

Faith Not Fear crosses bring cheer, and critics

April 6, 2020

(RNS) — Inspired by a family in Georgia, a Christian movement to erect crosses decorated with Christmas lights during the pandemic has taken off nationally as a symbol of positivity and prayer. But the lighted crosses have also drawn comparisons to the KKK’s burning crosses.

HBO’s ‘McMillions’ offers a surprising tale of true crime and redemption

March 31, 2020

(RNS) — ‘McMillions,’ the hit HBO documentary series, offers true crime with a soul.

A conversation with ‘McMillions’ creators James Lee Hernandez and Brian Lazarte

March 31, 2020

(RNS) — HBO’s ‘McMillions’ is part true crime, part morality tale, with a generous portion of temptation and forgiveness.

Trump is a ‘big egotistical loser’ says Christian finance expert in stimulus Twitter rant

March 28, 2020

(RNS) —  Prosperity preacher and financial expert Michael Chitwood launched a profane critique of the stimulus package on Twitter.

Prisoners keeping faith during coronavirus, says former Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski

March 25, 2020

(RNS) — Former Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski, who was convicted on federal charges in 2018, talks about life on the inside during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Craig Groeschel, Life.Church pastor, quarantined at home after coronavirus exposure

March 4, 2020

(RNS) — Craig Groeschel, pastor at one of the largest churches in the U.S., is in isolation after exposure to the coronavirus while at a conference in Germany.

Faith groups gear up disaster relief after deadly tornadoes in Tennessee

March 3, 2020

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (RNS) — Faith groups are preparing to respond after killer tornadoes hit Tennessee.

Remembering Roy Larson, legendary religion journalist and teacher

February 27, 2020

(RNS) — The Chicago Sun-Times’ longtime religion editor, who died this week at 90, taught us that we could be both hard-nosed reporters and decent people.

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