RNS Morning Report: 'Amazing Grace'; Bookstore Survival; Sudanese Religious Freedom

Aretha Franklin sings while recording her “Amazing Grace” album at a Los Angeles Baptist church in 1972. Photo courtesy of NEON

Need to know: Thursday, April 25, 2019

Aretha Franklin sings sweet sounds, recalls roots in ‘Amazing Grace’ documentary

The long-awaited documentary was delayed for almost five decades in part because of technical issues.

Bookmobile, groceries and relationships help niche bookstore stay afloat

As major Christian bookstore chains fold, niche faith-based bookstores look for creative ways to survive and thrive.

As Sudanese protesters demand democracy, Catholic bishop pushes for freedom of worship

While cheered by the role Christians have played in liberating the largely Muslim country from its dictator, Bishop Yunan Tombe Trille Kuku wants to see the laws that impede religious freedom change as well.

Civil rights advocates drop lawsuit against Oklahoma's 'Muslim-free' gun range

The gun shop owners say 'terrorists,' and not Muslims, were the true object of their ban.

MoveOn co-founder: Seeing the divinity in everyone might give our politics a new start

When we cut each other off, we deepen our division and we make our world smaller and our opportunities to learn fewer, writes Joan Blades.

A new museum explores 2,000 years of Jewish life in Italy

The new Museum of Italian Judaism and the Shoah in Ferrara explores the long and complex relationship between Christianity and Judaism.



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Kanye West at Coachella was a substitute Easter for sinner-saints

Beyond his showmanship, some experts say, the God-obsessed rapper is offering something the church typically doesn’t allow for: a space where people are allowed to be saint and sinner.

What to do about ordination? A gay divinity school student ponders her future

Dozens of LGBTQ United Methodist seminary students will graduate next month from the 13 schools affiliated with the denomination. Like Spencer Cullom, who is a lesbian, they face an uncertain future.

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Is there a war against Christianity?

Fewer people living with faith. More people dying for faith. A sacred paradox.

Three criteria to evaluate Francis’ reform of Vatican Curia

Six years after Pope Francis was elected, his proposals to reform the scandal-plagued Vatican Curia are ready to be released, writes Thomas Reese. Will they satisfy the critics of the Curia?

What would the Cossacks say?

It happened in Ukraine, It probably could not happen in the United States.