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Chris Smith

Chris Smith is an author at Religion News Service.

All Stories by Chris Smith

Christians and Yazidis in Iraq stand on the brink of extinction

By Chris Smith — October 5, 2017
(RNS) — U.S. Rep Chris Smith, R-N.J., blames 'U.S. government bureaucrats' for the failure to provide promised aid to persecuted religious minorities in Iraq.

In key battleground state, Jewish voters get fidgety

By Chris Smith — October 9, 2008
c. 2008 Religion News Service CLEVELAND HEIGHTS, Ohio _ The stuff Harold Males is saying around his synagogue here might have shocked people’s sensibilities a few years ago. Like his contention that evangelical Christians make good friends. “They’re not dangerous people, not to me,” he insists. Or that Gov. Sarah Palin boasts some impressive credentials. […]

Immigrant abuse often a hidden shame

By Chris Smith — July 25, 2008
c. 2008 Religion News Service LAKEWOOD, Ohio _ The first time her screams brought police to the house, the Lakewood mother lied. She told the officers that her husband did not strike her. She was thinking of her Muslim immigrant community and the role she was expected to play. Faithful wife. Submissive mother. Mostly, she […]

Myanmar Expatriates Respond to Violence With Prayer

By Chris Smith — October 6, 2007
c. 2007 Religion News Service AKRON, Ohio _ From a small house on a busy street, Ai Hong and his wife, Aliyeh Chan, devote hours responding to the military crackdown in Myanmar, their former home. The military has the guns. The military has the might, they acknowledge. “Prayer is our weapon,” Hong says with gentle […]

American American Jewish Volunteers Sign Up for Israeli Army

By Chris Smith — August 18, 2006
c. 2006 Religion News Service BEACHWOOD, Ohio _ Yoni Geller told his parents in January of his decision. Over time, they came to accept it. But Israel was at peace. The plane carrying their 19-year-old son toward his goal was in flight July 13 when Eddie Geller and Esti Gumpertz watched the first explosions of […]

GUEST COMMENTARY: A New Map of an Old Path to God

By Chris Smith — August 4, 2006
c. 2006 Religion News Service (UNDATED) A recent Johns Hopkins University study finds that powerful mystical experiences can be occasioned (one of my mentors, writer Aldous Huxley, told me never to say “caused,” always say “occasioned”) by certain psychoactive substances. In a living-room-like laboratory, volunteers received psilocybin, a chemical found in “sacred mushrooms.” Each also […]

NEWS FEATURE: The Spirit of Taize: Old Forms Attract Young Worshippers

By Chris Smith — January 1, 2000
c. 2000 Religion News Service PROVIDENCE, R.I. _ A group of casually dressed young adults prayed silently, sitting cross-legged on floor cushions in a chapel beneath the city’s Episcopal cathedral. Dozens of votive candles sent deep, glimmering reflections onto the tile floor. Softly, the participants’ voices gathered into a chant: “Stay with me, Lord Jesus […]

NEWS FEATURE: Overcoming Lingering Stereoptypes of the New Testament Era

By Chris Smith — January 1, 2000
c. 2000 Religion News Service SHERBORN, Mass. _ Jesus was Jewish. No surprises there. But he may also have been trained as a Pharisee, part of the very group portrayed in the Christian gospels as a byword for religious hypocrisy. And some of Jesus’ teachings were not as revolutionary as they appeared: contemporary rabbis taught […]

COMMENTARY: The New Century’s Struggle for the Soul

By Chris Smith — January 1, 2000
c. 2000 Religion News Service (Huston Smith is a visiting professor of religious studies at the University of California, Berkeley. His new book, “Why Religion Matters,” is being published this month by HarperSanFrancisco.) (UNDATED) The hoopla occurred last year, but technically the third millennium begins this January. And as the recent presidential campaign made it […]

NEWS FEATURE: Museum show offers another dimension to Kevorkian

By Chris Smith — January 1, 1999
c. 1999 Religion News Service WATERTOWN, Mass. _ A horrified man clings to life with frayed fingers as the abyss of death yawns below. Santa Claus, descending a chimney, plants his boot on the Christ child. A decapitated man devours himself as the Roman god of war Mars looks on approvingly. They’re bright, brazen and […]

NEWS FEATURE: Europe’s leper colonies dwindling

By Chris Smith — January 1, 1999
c. 1999 Religion News Service TICHILESTI, Romania _ When he worships in the Orthodox chapel here in his small, isolated village in eastern Romania, Cristache Tatulea finds special significance in certain Scriptures.”I can’t read the Bible because I don’t see well,”said Tatulea, 67.”But I heard in church about how Jesus Christ helped the lepers, and […]

NEWS FEATURE: World’s population at 6 billion sparks religious, ethical debate

By Chris Smith — January 1, 1999
c. 1999 Religion News Service UNDATED _ Same world, different planets. Religious activists and ethicists sometimes appear that far apart on the issue of global population growth, a topic receiving renewed attention with the United Nations’ projection that the world’s 6 billionth human will be born on Oct. 12. On one side are religious leaders, […]

NEWS FEATURE: Some statistics from the United Nations Population Fund

By Chris Smith — January 1, 1999
c. 1999 Religion News Service UNDATED: Here are some selected statistics on world population growth from the United Nations Population Fund. The world’s population is expected to hit the 6 billion mark on Oct. 12: World population growth has slowed from 2.4 to 1.3 percent in the last 30 years, but it is still rising […]

FEATURE SIDEBAR: Vatican considering a number of mea culpas to mark Jubilee

By Chris Smith — January 1, 1999
c. 1999 Religion News Service UNDATED _ Hoping to enter the third millennium with a clear conscience, the Roman Catholic Church is re-examining the most notorious chapters of its history. A papal statement being prepared for Ash Wednesday in the year 2000 (March 8) is expected to ask forgiveness from Jews and other victims of […]

NEWS SIDEBAR: An overview of Hansen’s Disease, or leprosy

By Chris Smith — January 1, 1999
c. 1999 Religion News Service UNDATED _ Leprosy, or Hansen’s Disease, infects about half a million people annually, according to the World Health Organization. About 1 million people suffer permanent disabilities from having had the disease. Researcher G.A. Hansen identified leprosy’s cause in 1873 as the mycobacterium leprae. Victims suffer skin lesions and nerve damage. […]
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