Best of RNS 2018

At Trump’s hotel, spiritual warriors pray for the president Trump

By Jack Jenkins — December 10, 2018

WASHINGTON (RNS) — A loose network of charismatic Christians sees Trump’s election and presidency as a catalyst for a spiritual ‘turnaround’ in America, even as the nation is under siege by forces of spiritual evil.

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DC’s Bible museum hires a Jewish exhibits director as it overhauls staff

By Yonat Shimron — October 10, 2018

(RNS) — The hiring of Rena Opert may be a symbolic gesture for a museum that says it is committed to presenting an inclusive view of the Bible.

What’s next for Willow Creek?

By Emily McFarlan Miller — September 28, 2018

CHICAGO (RNS) — As a summer of new allegations against founding pastor Bill Hybels, of resignations and apologies and plans, draws to a close, the once-promising future of Willow Creek Community Church appears uncertain.

Should we live to be 500? Christians and secularists come together over transhumanism

By Emily McFarlan Miller — September 5, 2018

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (RNS) — Transhumanism is ‘a conversation that calls us, that challenges us to develop a deeper theology of technology,’ according to Micah Redding, director of the Christian Transhumanist Association.

In ‘gOD-Talk’ discussions, black millennials explore their faith, spirituality

By Adelle M. Banks — August 23, 2018

(RNS) — Black millennials on average are more religious than other millennials and less religious than other blacks, Pew researchers have found.

Denominations repent for Native American land grabs

By Emily McFarlan Miller — August 22, 2018

(RNS) — Several Protestant denominations have repudiated the Doctrine of Discovery, the idea laid out in a series of 15th-century papal bulls that justified appropriating native land. But what are they doing now to act on that?

#ChurchToo supporter Karen Swallow Prior builds bridges between the extremes

By Adelle M. Banks — August 20, 2018

WASHINGTON (RNS) — Inside and outside the classroom, the 53-year-old Maine native said her goal is to help all creatures great and small (she’s an animal rights activist too) improve their lives.

Fighting intolerance, Ahmadi Muslims have won unlikely allies

By Aysha Khan — August 7, 2018

ALTON, United Kingdom (RNS) — Many Muslim groups say they’ve been shut out of religious freedom advocacy. But the persecuted Ahmadi community, which touts the motto ‘Love for all, hatred for none,’ has scored a different level of access.

Mariia Butina and the National Prayer Breakfast

By Jack Jenkins — July 18, 2018

WASHINGTON (RNS) — A new Department of Justice affidavit alleges that a Russian national tried to exploit the National Prayer Breakfast as a back channel to American politicians. Evidence suggests Russian connections to the religious event run deep.

The surprising success of ‘Won’t You Be My Neighbor?’

By Emily McFarlan Miller — July 14, 2018

(RNS) — Perhaps more surprising than the film’s success is the quiet presence of Fred Rogers’ faith in the documentary ‘Won’t You Be My Neighbor?’

Faith-based agencies open doors to kids separated at the border

By Jack Jenkins, Emily McFarlan Miller — June 28, 2018

(RNS) — When Sarah Huckabee Sanders was asked about widespread religious pushback to the ‘zero-tolerance’ policy separating families along the U.S.-Mexico border, she said people of faith ‘should open up their doors’ to help. Some already had.

More than 600 United Methodists file formal church complaint against Jeff Sessions

By Jack Jenkins — June 19, 2018

(RNS) — More than 600 United Methodist clergy and laypeople have signed a formal denominational complaint against fellow United Methodist Attorney General Jeff Sessions, condemning his role in the Trump administration’s border policy.

In sleep-deprived America, Ramadan offers an extra challenge for insomniacs

By Aysha Khan — June 12, 2018

(RNS) For Muslims with sleeping disorders, observing the major rituals of the holy month—waking up before dawn, then staying up to pray late into the night—can take a serious toll. What’s a insomniac to do?

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