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Arts & Culture

DMX performs during the BET Hip Hop Awards in Atlanta on Oct. 1, 2011. The rapper died April 9, 2021, at a hospital in White Plains, New York, after having a heart attack the week before. (AP Photo/David Goldman, File)

DMX was my John the Forerunner

By T.C. Moore — April 14, 2021

(RNS) — DMX pointed me to Jesus not through a sermon or a Bible study, but through his bold faith that didn’t paper over his flaws.

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Justin Bieber in the video for his song “Holy.” Photo via @justinbieber/Instagram

Justin Bieber’s Easter surprise EP, ‘Freedom,’ adds to his Jesus-filled chapter

By Kathryn Post — April 7, 2021

(RNS) — Justin Bieber’s latest recording is his most explicitly religious project to date.

A movie theater opened its doors for the broadcasting of Easter services, receiving blowback from the community, frustrated that the theater is otherwise closed due to COVID-19. Photo courtesy of Church of St. John the Baptist in Modena, Italy

Church faces backlash for showing Mass at a cinema, as Italy faces severe lockdown

By Claire Giangravé — April 7, 2021

VATICAN CITY (RNS) — The case highlights growing tensions between Italians and the Catholic Church, which critics say has been granted more leeway while the weary peninsula faces another severe lockdown more than a year into the pandemic.

Musician Harry Connick Jr. has released a new album, titled “Alone With My Faith.” Courtesy photo

Harry Connick Jr., bunkered for the pandemic, emerges with ‘Alone With My Faith’

By Maina Mwaura — April 6, 2021

(RNS) — While it’s reverent, the album is anything but churchy.

Image courtesy of Netflix

Why ‘Shtisel’ matters

By Jeffrey Salkin — April 6, 2021

(RNS) — ‘Shtisel’ is more than great entertainment. It is great literature.

Still from Lil Nas X's “Montero (Call Me By Your Name)

Lil Nas X is inviting the Black church in with ‘Montero’

By Don Abram — April 6, 2021

(RNS) — ‘Montero’ is the anthem of a Black gay man roaring back from years of self-hate caused by anti-LGBTQ+ theologies. As a queer child of the Black church, it’s an anthem that resonates with me.

Gospel artist Donnie McClurkin. Photo by Christian Lantry

Gospel singer Donnie McClurkin speaks of mateless future, says he’s ‘got joy’

By Adelle M. Banks — April 2, 2021

(RNS) — McClurkin told TV One of ‘We Fall Down,’ a song whose lyrics continue, ‘but we get up’: ‘I was singing it because it related to me.’

10 nonfiction books (and one novel) to keep Women’s History Month going all year

By Emily McFarlan Miller — April 1, 2021

(RNS) — Here are 10 new nonfiction books, both forthcoming and released in the last year, that explore women’s roles and influence in Christian traditions — plus, one bonus work of fiction.

Dolan’s Uyghur Cuisine in Alhambra, California, features a mural including the reminder to “Google Uyghurs” and learn more about the people and their plight. RNS photo by Joseph Hammond

After being detained in China, one LA resident began a Uyghur restaurant to educate through food

By Joseph Hammond — March 25, 2021

ALHAMBRA, Calif. (RNS) — A large mural depicting Uyghur culture sits above an outside dining area with the ready-made social-media hashtag #GoogleUyghurs in one corner.

Author Jen Hatmaker and her book, “Simple and Free.” Courtesy images

Progressive Christian author Jen Hatmaker cancels cancel culture in new book ‘Simple & Free’

By Emily McFarlan Miller — March 23, 2021

(RNS) — ‘Simple & Free: 7 Experiments Against Excess’ releases March 23, and Hatmaker hopes it will not only show how she has changed, but also free readers to do the same.

The new album, “Justice,” by Justin Bieber. Album cover

Bieber samples King’s sermons, supports Poor People’s Campaign with new album ‘Justice’

By Emily McFarlan Miller — March 19, 2021

(RNS) — Some songs — like the album’s first single ‘Holy,’ a collaboration with Chance the Rapper — toe the line of songs with lyrics that might be about loving God or might be about loving a girl.

Posts on Nadirah Pierre’s Instagram feed. Screengrab

Insta-Famous: Nadirah Pierre’s satire draws on the Black Muslim experience

By Joseph Hammond — March 16, 2021

(RNS) — Relationships, marriage, body positivism, hijab — they’re all fair game for the Haitian American’s outspoken style and bold videos.

Riz Ahmed in “Sound of Metal.” Photo courtesy of Amazon Studios

Riz Ahmed first Muslim nominated for Best Actor Oscar

By Joseph Hammond — March 15, 2021

LOS ANGELES (RNS) — Ahmed’s nomination comes for his turn in ‘Sound of Metal’ as a drummer in a heavy-metal duo who grapples with increased hearing loss.

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