News

Michael Hebb, a death wellness expert, wants people to plan for their end

By Yonat Shimron — October 21, 2020

(RNS) — ‘With the coronavirus there’s been an incredible wake-up call to our mortality,’ said Hebb, who has created resources to help people learn how to plan for it and support loved ones who may be nearing the end of life.

Rohingya American voters ‘grateful,’ ‘excited’ to cast ballots for the first time in Chicago

By Emily McFarlan Miller — October 21, 2020

CHICAGO (RNS) — About a dozen Rohingya refugees voted for the first time Tuesday (Oct. 20) at an early voting site in Chicago’s Rogers Park neighborhood.

Pope Francis voices support of civil unions for LGBTQ couples in new documentary

By Claire Giangravé — October 21, 2020

VATICAN CITY (RNS) — ‘Homosexuals have a right to be a part of the family,’ the pope said in an interview for the documentary ‘Francesco.’ Francis also suggested the need for ‘a civil union law,’ in a departure from official church teaching.

James MacDonald and Harvest Bible Chapel reach multimillion-dollar agreement

By Yonat Shimron — October 20, 2020

(RNS) — MacDonald, who was fired last year, will get $1.2 million and a vacant parcel of property adjacent to the church’s Crystal Lake Campus. He will also be allowed to run his Walk in the Word ministry independently.

Carlo Acutis, millennial candidate for sainthood, draws 41,000 to Assisi church

By Claire Giangravé — October 20, 2020

(RNS) — Devotees looking forward to his canonization already refer to Acutis, an internet enthusiast, as ‘the tracksuit saint’ or the ‘influencer saint.’

‘Nuns on the Bus’ creator to retire from Catholic lobbying group next year

By Jack Jenkins — October 20, 2020

(RNS) — Sister Simone Campbell played an important role in the passage of the Affordable Care Act.

Petition for a new American Girl doll asks popular toy company to tell the modern refugee story

By Emily McFarlan Miller — October 20, 2020

CHICAGO (RNS) — ‘I think by inviting the American Girl Company to pay attention to the importance of refugee stories and people, we are showing God’s love to the world and to refugees,’ said Laura Laurie, petition creator.

Yom Kippur Zoom reunites Holocaust survivors 71 years later

By Luis Andres Henao, Jessie Wardarski — October 20, 2020

NEW YORK (AP) — More than 70 years had passed since last seeing her friend at an Austrian displaced persons camp. Then Ruth Brandspiegel heard a familiar name being called out in a Yom Kippur service held in late September via Zoom.

Poll: White evangelicals are religious outliers on every issue of concern to voters

By Yonat Shimron — October 19, 2020

(RNS) — Only 35% of white evangelicals said the coronavirus is of critical concern, according to PRRI’s 11th annual American Values Survey. Among this group, abortion and terrorism top the list of concerns.

Hasidic Jews feel like the only minority New York officials are comfortable targeting

By Menachem Wecker — October 19, 2020

(RNS) — ‘We’re an easy target. The last remaining group that it’s acceptable to target and vilify are Orthodox Jews,’ said Barry Spitzer, who represents the Brooklyn neighborhood Borough Park and is the first Hasidic district manager in the state.

French police operations underway after beheading of teacher

By Associated Press — October 19, 2020

PARIS (AP) — Tens of thousands of demonstrators gathered on Sunday across France in support of freedom of speech and in memory of the slain 47-year-old teacher.

Both candidates went to church this weekend. Their experiences were very different

By Jack Jenkins — October 19, 2020

(RNS) — The evangelical pastor dedicated much of his sermon to praising Trump. The priest didn’t appear to mention Biden at all.

With Junipero Serra banished, California’s Indigenous activists and artists ask what goes in his place

By Alejandra Molina — October 19, 2020

(RNS) — As government officials look into what to do with empty memorials, Indigenous leaders are hoping the state’s authorities will devote them to ‘spaces of healing and truth telling.’

Brandeis University stands by caste-bias ban despite pushback from Hindu activists

By G. Jeffrey MacDonald — October 19, 2020

(RNS) — A year-old ban against caste bias, says the Hindu American Foundation, is a ‘deeply problematic’ remedy for a largely nonexistent problem.

In SBC video, Eric and Ruth Brown recall daughter Pearl Joy, whose life still speaks

By Bob Smietana — October 18, 2020

(RNS) — Eric and Ruth Brown’s faith helped them to fight for their daughter’s life. But nothing could prepare them for saying goodbye.

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