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Arts & Culture

Chicano organizer Rodolfo “Corky” Gonzales, center, speaks during a lunch gathering at the Church of the Epiphany in Nov. 1968. A “La Causa” (The Cause) banner hangs behind him. ©

Church known as a birthplace of LA’s Chicano civil rights movement earns national recognition

By Alejandra Molina — February 8, 2021

LOS ANGELES (RNS) — The Church of the Epiphany in the 1960s became a center for the flourishing Chicano movement. Five decades later, it has earned a spot on the National Register of Historic Places.

Henry Louis Gates’ new book and TV series distills centuries of Black church history

By Adelle M. Banks — February 5, 2021

(RNS) — ‘The Black Church: This Is Our Story, This Is Our Song’ is a new book and a documentary set to air on PBS stations.

Ramy Youssef, from left, Tahar Rahim and Rizwan Ahmed. Photos courtesy of Creative Commons

Three Muslim actors make Golden Globe history

By Joseph Hammond — February 4, 2021

(RNS) — For the first time in history, three Muslim actors have received Golden Globes award nominations in the same year.

DvG: Conquering Giants is based on the popular Biblical story. Courtesy image

New VR game lets kids, adults face-off against Goliath

By Bob Smietana — February 2, 2021

(RNS) — In a new VR game, the Philistine giant is tougher to beat than Darth Vader.

American poet Amanda Gorman reads a poem during the 59th Presidential Inauguration at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

At Amanda Gorman’s Black Catholic LA parish, ‘it’s like everybody here is a freedom fighter’

By Alejandra Molina — January 28, 2021

LOS ANGELES (RNS) — Poet Amanda Gorman sang in the youth choir, did her sacraments and recited her poetry at an Afrocentric Catholic church in South Central Los Angeles.

Photo by Rosie Fraser/Unsplash/Creative Commons

When it comes to building trust, belonging beats belief, study finds

By Bob Smietana — January 28, 2021

(RNS) — A new study found that those who belong to a religious group or go to services have higher levels of trust than those who have stronger individual belief.

People line up next to the pews at a pop-up COVID-19 vaccination site at St. Luke's Episcopal Church, Jan. 26, 2021, in the Bronx borough of New York. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

Survey: Americans most likely to say pandemic has boosted their faith

By Yonat Shimron — January 27, 2021

(RNS) — Nearly half of white evangelicals in the U.S. (49%) said their faith grew stronger due to the coronavirus outbreak — more than any other group, according to a new Pew Research survey.

The Vatican City flag, left, and a pride flag. Images courtesy of Creative Commons

Catholic LGBTQ nuns are speaking up again, and this time they have no intention of going away

By Claire Giangravé — January 26, 2021

VATICAN CITY (RNS) — New book tells the stories of 23 lesbian and queer religious sisters from different backgrounds, communities, age groups and ministries.

El Monte Police Chief David Reynoso takes pictures of graffiti on the side wall of the First Works Baptist Church, after an explosion in El Monte, California, on Jan. 23, 2021. The church had been the target of protests for its anti-LGTBQ message. Officers noticed smoke coming from inside and realized a blast had blown the windows out. No injuries were reported. Protesters have repeatedly targeted the church headed by Pastor Bruce Mejia, who has condemned same-sex relationships. A statement on the church website calls homosexuality “an abomination.” Calls to the church went unanswered Saturday. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

Protesters and supporters denounce explosion at anti-LGBTQ First Works Baptist Church

By Alejandra Molina — January 24, 2021

LOS ANGELES (RNS) — ‘We weren’t expecting anything like this,’ an organizer of a group protesting the church’s message said. ‘It’s made it harder on our cause.’

Author J.R.R. Tolkien lived in this Oxford home from 1930-1947. Tolkien wrote many of his most famous works while living at 20 Northmoor Road. Photo courtesy of Breckon and Breckon

Tolkien fans hope to turn his house into a ‘Rivendell’ for writers and filmmakers

By Claire Giangravé — January 22, 2021

(RNS) — Fantasy enthusiasts want to turn the house of the Catholic author in Oxford, England, into a meeting place.

Full Ramsey Solutions Response

By RNS staff — January 15, 2021

“We are horrible people,” the financial advice and media company told RNS in a sarcastic email.

People attend a worship service entitled “Watch the Darkness Flee,” Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021, at Ramsey Solutions headquarters in Franklin, Tennessee. RNS photo by Bob Smietana

Is Dave Ramsey’s empire the ‘best place to work in America’? Say no and you’re out

By Bob Smietana — January 15, 2021

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (RNS) — For years, Dave Ramsey has boasted that his company is the best place to work in the country. COVID-19 and a failure by a high-profile leader put that to the test.

Jake Angeli, center, better known as the “QAnon Shaman,” and other supporters of President Donald Trump are confronted by Capitol Police officers outside the Senate Chamber inside the Capitol, Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

Conspiracy theories and the ‘American Madness’ that gripped the Capitol

By Emily McFarlan Miller — January 12, 2021

(RNS) — Author Tea Krulos talked to Religion News Service about how conspiracy theories have spread, how religion plays a role and how to talk to friends and family who believe them.

The souls of musician Joe Gardner, right, and 22, left, in the Disney/Pixar animated film “Soul.” Image courtesy Disney/Pixar

Pixar adviser and theologian Suzan Johnson Cook on how they came to define ‘soul’ in the film

By Adelle M. Banks — January 8, 2021

(RNS) — ‘I’m a faith leader, so I wanted to make sure my definition wasn’t too strong, and (Pixar’s) definition wasn’t too weak,’ the minister and former ambassador said.

Actor Matt Lanter stars in the film “Chasing the Rain.” Photo courtesy of Night Muse Productions

New film ‘Chasing the Rain’ wrestles with suffering and other unanswerable questions

By Emily McFarlan Miller — January 7, 2021

(RNS) — The film, which released on Amazon Prime Video just before the holidays, also features cameos by well-known Christian thinkers, including Greg Boyd, N.T. Wright, Efrem Smith and Shane Claiborne.

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