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Race & Religion

Methodist racial history recalled on 250th anniversary of Asbury’s US arrival

By Adelle M. Banks — October 21, 2021
(RNS) — ‘Francis Asbury’s role in helping develop Methodism in America,’ one expert said, ‘is one of those factors that gave birth to the Black Christian experience in Philadelphia.’
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Latino Catholics are among the most vaccinated religious groups. Here’s why.

By Alejandra Molina — October 12, 2021
(RNS) — The Pew Research Center found that 82% of Catholic adults said they were at least partially vaccinated as of August — data that included 86% of Latino Catholics and 79% of white Catholics.

For Natives, land is sacred. Why aren’t we protecting their religious freedom?

By Billie Jo Kipp — October 11, 2021
(RNS) — If we aren’t able to expand our understanding of religion and get clear on who we are protecting, we will continue to leave people and communities behind.

Columbus Day or Indigenous Peoples Day? Getting to the heart of the American identity crisis

By Robert P. Jones — October 8, 2021
(RNS) — This belief in America as a divinely ordained white Christian nation — which has blessed so much brutality in our history — remains linked to denials of our past and support for political violence and anti-democratic sentiment in the present.

Mary Lou Williams thought jazz had the power to heal. The Catholic Church agreed.

By Yonat Shimron — October 7, 2021
(RNS) — A popular biography of the legendary jazz pianist, composer and arranger gives a glimpse of how art can serve the pursuit of holiness.

Remnant of one of the oldest Black churches in US is unveiled in Virginia

By Adelle M. Banks — October 7, 2021
(RNS) — ‘We always hoped this is what we’d find,’ an archaeology director said. ‘Now we can move forward to better understand the footprint of the building.’

Fisk Jubilee Singers continue to sing spirituals 150 years later

By Adelle M. Banks — October 6, 2021
(RNS) — ‘Fisk Jubilee Singers are artists and do not limit themselves to just Negro spirituals,’ its director said. ‘There’s versatility in our choice of music when we have celebrations.’

Faith, endurance of civil rights activist Fannie Lou Hamer revealed in new biography

By Adelle M. Banks — October 5, 2021
(RNS) — ‘She used the Bible in many different ways,’ said Hamer’s biographer. ‘She used it to shame her white oppressors who claimed also to be Christians.’

National Baptist Convention USA president questions ‘hypocritical’ mandate views

By Adelle M. Banks — September 29, 2021
(RNS) — The leader of the Black denomination preached about the need to ‘confront our faults in this country,’ pointing to the Jan. 6 insurrection as an example.

Kirk Franklin rereleases ‘Lean on Me’ with virtual global children’s choir

By Adelle M. Banks — September 28, 2021
(RNS) — ‘You have hundreds of kids that are living in marginalized situations,' Franklin said, 'that this song is giving them an opportunity to have a voice.’

Albert Raboteau, expert on African American religious history, dead at 78

By Adelle M. Banks — September 24, 2021
(RNS) — The scholar ‘was the Godfather of Afro-American Religious Studies & the North Star of deep Christian political sensibilities!’ said colleague Cornel West.

Cathedral to replace Confederate windows with stained glass reflecting Black life

By Adelle M. Banks — September 23, 2021
(RNS) — ‘This will be one of the first Confederate icons that has come down and been replaced with something else,’ said a cathedral official.

Religious artifacts in new Reconstruction exhibit depict resilience, racism

By Adelle M. Banks — September 22, 2021
(RNS) — ‘Because the church is an engine of so much civically and spiritually and educationally, it’s recognized as a target,’ a museum curator said of Black congregations.
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