Photos of the Week: Bun Festival; Billy Graham statue

By Kit Doyle — May 17, 2024
(RNS) — This week’s photo gallery includes an annual Hong Kong Bun Festival, a new sculpture of the Rev. Billy Graham in Statuary Hall and more.
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He feared coming out. Now this pastor wants to help Black churches become as welcoming as his own

By Darren Sands — May 17, 2024
(AP) – Crowley’s career has flourished, and he has now written a book — “Queering the Black Church” — that he hopes can serve as a guide for other congregations to be “open and affirming” to LGBTQ+ people rather than shunning them.

AME official Jerome V. Harris dies under a cloud of alleged corruption

By Fiona André — May 16, 2024
(RNS) — Harris, an important figure of the AME Church, died suddenly, according to a press release from the Christian Recorder, the church’s official publication.

A priest observed a ‘Eucharistic fast’ for racial justice. Now, he could be deposed.

By Kathryn Post — May 16, 2024
(RNS) — Ramey, an activist against white supremacy and former rector of an Episcopal church in Alexandria, Virginia, has refused to preside over the Eucharist or to receive it personally since 2022.

Lawmakers unveil statue of Billy Graham in US Capitol

By Jack Jenkins — May 16, 2024
WASHINGTON (RNS) — Billy Graham’s son, the Rev. Franklin Graham, praised the statue but said his father ‘would want the focus to be on the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God.’

Vatican to weigh in on the supernatural, Marian apparitions

By Aleja Hertzler-McCain and Claire Giangravé — May 16, 2024
(RNS) — This Friday, the Vatican will release a document with new norms for discerning Marian apparitions and other supernatural phenomena, the first time those norms have been updated since 1978.

He won a Pulitzer for his book on the Israeli occupation. Then came the cancellations.

By Yonat Shimron — May 16, 2024
(RNS) — When the Pulitzers were announced on May 6, Nathan Thrall had to contend again with cancellations from venue organizers too skittish to feature a writer on a combustible subject.

Anitta defends her Afro-Brazilian faith after new music video costs her some followers

By ElÉonore Hughes — May 16, 2024
RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Anitta was already known for elevating marginalized populations such as women, residents of the working-class neighborhoods known as favelas, as well as LGBTQ+ and Black people.

United Methodists scrap their anti-gay bans. A woman who defied them seeks reinstatement as pastor

By David Crary, Peter Smith, and Holly Meyer — May 16, 2024
(AP) — Earlier this month, delegates at a United Methodist Church conference struck down the UMC’s longstanding anti-LGBTQ policies and created a path for clergy ousted because of them to seek reinstatement.

Why the speech by Kansas City Chiefs kicker was embraced at Benedictine College’s commencement

By Peter Smith and Heather Hollingsworth — May 16, 2024
(AP) — The fast-growing college is part of a constellation of conservative Catholic colleges that tout their adherence to church teachings and practice — part of a larger conservative movement in parts of the U.S. Catholic Church.

This, too, could pass: Christian group’s rule keeping beaches closed on Sunday mornings may end

By Wayne Parry — May 16, 2024
OCEAN GROVE, N.J. (AP) — The association, a nonprofit Christian entity that owns the beach and the land under all of Ocean Grove's houses, has long kept people off the beach before noon on Sundays.

A Palestinian converted to Judaism. An Israeli soldier saw him as a threat and opened fire

By Jack Jeffery — May 16, 2024
JERUSALEM (AP) — In his final moments, David Ben-Avraham was once again viewed as a Palestinian who was in the wrong place, at a time of widespread anger and suspicion.

Playwright Tom Block aims to tell ‘two equally righteous narratives’ of Israel, Palestine

By Ambar Castillo — May 16, 2024
Queens, NEW YORK (RNS) — In 'Oud Player on the Tel,' playwright Tom Block, who is Jewish and identifies with Islamic mysticism, envisions a friendship between two displaced people in 1947.
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