RNS Morning Report: Faith Leaders on Reopening; Divine Comedy Sculpture; Pastor Ashlee Eiland

A worshipper offers Eid al-Fitr prayers, marking the end of the Islamic fasting month of Ramadan on May 24, 2020. Muslims worldwide celebrated one of their biggest holidays under the long shadow of the coronavirus. (AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi)

Need to know: Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Redefining Worship

As pandemic wears on, faith leaders dig in on life or death decisions

Pastors, imams and rabbis are balancing their faiths’ core values with their communities’ sometimes fractious feelings about reopening. More from Religion News Service

Epic Representation

Catholic sculptor re-creating Dante’s ‘Divine Comedy’ aims to shift the emphasis off hell

According to the sculptor, limiting the poem’s scope to the Inferno has led to a secularization of Dante’s work. Schmalz’s sculpture will be the first to represent all 100 cantos of the famous poem. More from Religion News Service

Heart Work

Can kindness heal a world divided by pandemic, protests and politics? Pastor Ashlee Eiland thinks so

‘I think sometimes what kindness means, if we’re doing it well, is that we are righteously angry,’ said Ashlee Eiland, formation and preaching pastor at Mars Hill Bible Church near Grand Rapids, Michigan. More from Religion News Service

'Fomenting Enmity'

Russian court fines influential monk who denies virus exists

The 65-year-old monk has attracted nationwide attention by urging followers to disobey government lockdown measures and ignore church closures earlier during the pandemic. More from Religion News Service

Religion Remixed

Don't be fooled by QAnon’s post-apocalyptic fury. It’s really spiritual hunger.

Followers of the online Q and white supremacism yearn for a world in which everything makes sense and where they at last have a role to play, writes Tara Isabella Burton. More from Religion News Service

Reversing Trend

Before Trump, college students were growing fonder of conservatives

Though conservatives fear that higher education may be antithetical to their views, students of all faithswere warming up to political conservatives during the final year of Obama’s presidency. Three years into Trump’s presidency conservatives can only wonder what could have been. More from Religion & Politics