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How 2021 collapsed the divide between religion and politics

By Jacob Lupfer — December 29, 2021
(RNS) — As religion recedes as a force in American public life, politics has co-opted faith for its own purposes.

Tutu’s advocacy for LGBTQ rights did not sway most of Africa

By David Crary — December 29, 2021
(AP) — Even within his own denomination, the Anglican Communion, there has been no continentwide embrace of LGBTQ rights.

How Archbishop Tutu saved a small New York town from a blowup over hate crimes

By Dwight Lee Wolter — December 28, 2021
(RNS) — A letter from the archbishop resolved an impasse over who is invited to take a seat at the table of justice.

Archbishop Desmond Tutu: father of South Africa’s ‘rainbow nation’

By P. Pratap Kumar — December 28, 2021
(The Conversation) — Archbishop Tutu earned the respect and love of millions of South Africans and the world.

In eastern Germany, pastors push for shots despite protests

By Kirsten Grieshaber — December 28, 2021
CHEMNITZ, Germany (AP) — Lutheran pastors across Saxony have used their sermons to promote vaccines as the most efficient way to end the pandemic.

How COVID-19 has made the lives of aspiring clergy more daunting

By Camille Daniels — December 27, 2021
(RNS) — The increasing stressors of being a pastor in a pandemic are affecting how many seminarians are thinking about their mental health and their careers.

Gene Robinson, 1st gay bishop in US, remembers Tutu’s generosity

By Holly Ramer — December 27, 2021
CONCORD, New Hampshire (AP) — In the foreword to Robinson's book, the South African archbishop apologized for the “cruelty and injustice” the LGBTQ community had suffered at the hands of fellow Anglicans.

‘Go in peace’: Pennsylvania church founded in 1800 holds last service

By Associated Press — December 27, 2021
BELLEFONTE, Pennsylvania (AP) —The First Presbyterian Church of Bellefonte, which is nearly as old as the borough itself, held the final scheduled service on Christmas Eve.

Desmond Tutu, archbishop, activist and apartheid foe, is dead at 90

By Adelle M. Banks and B. Denise Hawkins — December 26, 2021
(RNS) — Tutu said a disciplined prayer life helped him through apartheid and continued to sustain him decades later.

Wary of omicron, churches shift Christmas services online

By Jack Jenkins — December 23, 2021
WASHINGTON (RNS) — On Wednesday evening, the Washington National Cathedral announced it was shifting to virtual services for the entire holiday season.

Idaho church window once depicting Robert E. Lee now honors Black female bishop

By Adelle M. Banks — December 22, 2021
(RNS) — ‘We recognize this section of our window is more than a benign historical marker,’ the United Methodist church’s leaders said in 2020.

Pastor asks federal court to sanction immigration officials

By Jack Jenkins — December 22, 2021
(RNS) — The request is part of an ongoing lawsuit in which the pastor accuses federal officials of violating her religious freedom by surveilling her after she officiated at immigrant weddings.

United Methodists join Boy Scouts in settlement proposal to aid sex abuse survivors

By Adelle M. Banks — December 22, 2021
(RNS) — ‘We are sorry for what occurred and are praying for all those who experienced harm through Scouting activities,’ said Bishop John Schol, a leader in the mediation process.

How the church’s focus on Mary’s virginity became a curse for women

By Serene Jones — December 22, 2021
(RNS) — The shaming of women that rose from the Christmas story goes against Jesus’ teachings.

A pro-democracy faith movement is forming. Will it be enough?

By Jacob Lupfer — December 17, 2021
(RNS) — The Scriptures say little about voting rights, leaving faith groups struggling to inspire activism.
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