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Race & Religion

The Rev. Jason Lydon speaks during a virtual Passover service of Second Unitarian Church of Chicago on March 28, 2021. Video screengrab

Formerly incarcerated, this Unitarian Universalist minister is dedicated to abolishing prisons

By Lyra Walsh Fuchs — April 15, 2021

(RNS) — His ministry may have been born in prison, but Jason Lydon wants to see a society where prisons no longer exist. That dream is connected to his theology, he says.

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Martin Luther King III, fourth from left, leads the March for Humanity on April 9, 2018, in Atlanta. The march commemorates the funeral procession of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. 50 years ago. To the right of King is Kerry Kennedy, daughter of Robert Kennedy, and Bernice King, daughter of Martin Luther King Jr. To the left is his daughter Yolanda Renee King and Jaclyn Corin, an organizer of March for Our Lives. Behind King is the Rev. Al Sharpton. Three years later, a panel was held including Martin Luther King III discussing voting legislation. (AP Photo/Jonathan Landrum)

Martin Luther King III calls new voting legislation ‘greatest hypocrisy’

By Adelle M. Banks — April 9, 2021

(RNS) — ‘People came out and voted in every mechanism, and they want to stop people from voting,’ said the son of the civil rights leader. ‘That’s unconscionable.’

Dr. Chanequa Walker-Barnes, left, has drawn recent attention from a poem of hers included in the book “A Rhythm of Prayer: A collection of Meditations for Renewal”. Image courtesy of, and Amazon

A white woman’s response to the ‘Prayer of a Weary Black Woman’

By Amy Julia Becker — April 9, 2021

(RNS) — Her prayer makes me uneasy, but may help me see why Chanequa Walker-Barnes may hate someone like me.

Howard Thurman teaches a college class. Thurman came to know Martin Luther King Jr. at Boston University. Photo courtesy of Emory University

Thank you, Howard Thurman: Remembering an American spiritual master

By Or N. Rose — April 9, 2021

(RNS) — On the anniversary of Thurman’s death, it’s worth recalling how this towering figure moved on a very human level.

The Rev. Frederick Haynes III was one of several faith leaders to speak in opposition to proposed legislation affecting Texas elections. The group gathered April 7, 2021, in front of the Capitol in Austin and livestreamed their event for more to see. Screengrab from the Texas Impact Facebook Live

Texas faith leaders condemn new election bills as Jim Crow dressed up in a ‘tuxedo’

By Jack Jenkins — April 8, 2021

(RNS) — Faith leaders in Texas are accusing Gov. Greg Abbott and other Republicans of using ‘election integrity’ as an excuse to enact restrictive laws that target voters of color.

Authorities investigate the scene after a man rammed a car into two officers at the barricade on Capitol Hill in Washington, April 2, 2021. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Nation of Islam says suspect in ‘tragic’ Capitol attack sought to be a member

By Adelle M. Banks — April 6, 2021

(RNS) — The faith group said it is researching Noah Green’s life and ‘we cannot rest until we find out what caused him to take a turn like this.’

Pastor Tony Evans in 2020. Courtesy photo

Tony Evans: On male leadership, grieving his wife and correcting Kirk Franklin

By Adelle M. Banks — April 6, 2021

(RNS) — Pastor Tony Evans of Dallas says ‘there is a lead role that God has called men to take and own, and we shouldn’t shy away from that.’

Still from Lil Nas X's “Montero (Call Me By Your Name)

Lil Nas X is inviting the Black church in with ‘Montero’

By Don Abram — April 6, 2021

(RNS) — ‘Montero’ is the anthem of a Black gay man roaring back from years of self-hate caused by anti-LGBTQ+ theologies. As a queer child of the Black church, it’s an anthem that resonates with me.

A mural and memorial honoring George Floyd and other Black victims in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Photo by Munshots/Unsplash/Creative Commons

On this Good Friday, let us reflect on the 7 last words of George Floyd

By John Thomas III — April 2, 2021

(RNS) — This year’s Good Friday is especially poignant for African Americans as it comes in the middle of the trial of police officer Derek Chauvin for the gruesome killing of George Floyd.

The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. speaks about his opposition to the war in Vietnam at Riverside Church on April 4, 1967, in New York. RNS file photo by John C. Goodwin

Celebrity lineup to read King’s anti-war speech on assassination anniversary

By Adelle M. Banks — April 1, 2021

(RNS) — Alice Walker, Jane Fonda and Ibram X. Kendi are set to read the civil rights leader’s speech during a ‘Breaking the Silence’ webinar.

The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. stands with other civil rights leaders on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee, on April 3, 1968, a day before he was assassinated at approximately the same place. From left are Hosea Williams, Jesse Jackson, King and Ralph Abernathy. The 39-year-old Nobel laureate was the proponent of nonviolence in the American civil rights movement of the 1960s. (AP Photo/Charles Kelly)

On an Easter shadowed by the Lorraine Motel, recommit to justice

By J. Lawrence Turner — April 1, 2021

(RNS) — Fifty-three years after MLK’s assassination, we must transform a place of bloodshed into inspiration for a better world.

Logos of the six Southern Baptist Convention seminaries. Image courtesy of Baptist Press

Black Southern Baptists seek more action on racism from seminary presidents

By Adelle M. Banks — March 30, 2021

(RNS) — The fellowship said it was ‘deeply disappointed’ that the seminary presidents have ‘not moved from their original statement of CRT’s incompatibility in all its forms.’

Marchers carry a large rainbow flag down Congress Street during the annual Pride parade in Portland, Maine. Photo by Mercedes Mehling/Unsplash/Creative Commons

Black religious leaders, stand with our LGBTQ family

By Cornel West, Frederick A. Davie — March 30, 2021

(RNS) — Black LGBTQ leaders have labored alongside us so that all Black Americans could experience equality.

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