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RNS Morning Report: Israel-UAE Deal; ‘Pope Francis Voters’; Liberty U. Alumni on Falwell

President Donald Trump, accompanied by, from left, U.S. special envoy for Iran Brian Hook; Avraham Berkowitz, assistant to the president and special representative for international negotiations; U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman; President Donald Trump’s White House senior adviser Jared Kushner; and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, smiles in the Oval Office at the White House on Aug. 12, 2020, in Washington. Trump said on Thursday that the United Arab Emirates and Israel have agreed to establish full diplomatic ties as part of a deal to halt the annexation of occupied land sought by the Palestinians for their future state. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Need to know: Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Praising Israel-UAE deal, Trump points to influence of evangelicals

Trump’s focus on the domestic implications of the Israel-United Arab Emirates deal points up the importance of religious conservatives to his strategy in the general election campaign.

New liberal Christian groups hope to turn Trump voters to ‘Pope Francis voters’

Several new progressive Christian groups hope to woo religious voters away from Donald Trump.

Jerry Falwell Jr. needs to go, say Liberty University alumni and Christian pastors

The behavior of Liberty University's leader is inexcusable in a president of a Christian university, church pastors and alumni say.

QAnon: The alternative religion that’s coming to your church

Teaching susceptible Christians media literacy won’t counteract their sudden, widespread adherence to conspiracy theories because these Christians thrive on a narrative of media cover-up, writes Katelyn Beaty.

Josh Dickson’s road from Republican evangelical to Biden’s faith outreach director

The former community organizer on Chicago’s South Side calls racism ‘the key religious issue of this election,' writes Simran Jeet Singh.

Changing Mormon beliefs about — and preparations for — the end of the world

Mormons used to routinely predict not only the end of the world but particularly the downfall of America. What changed? Scholar Christopher Blythe explains to Jana Riess.

Latest news from RNS

Democrats tap array of faith leaders to speak at convention

(AP) — Bishop Mariann Budde will deliver the benediction on Tuesday, the second night of the convention, according to a list shared with The Associated Press on Sunday before its public release.

Joe Biden, president-elect at last, was shaped by a very American Catholic faith

“(Biden's) separating of the secular sphere and the sacred sphere, not in his personal life but in his approach to governing, is straight out of that Kennedy lineage,” said Manhattan College professor Natalia Imperatori.

Judge orders John MacArthur, Grace Community Church to wear masks, social distance during services

John MacArthur's megachurch can keep worshipping indoor for now, proving that worshipers wear masks and keep six feet apart.

More views from RNS

What the far-left might learn from Cardinal Bellarmine’s view of science

Progressives’ use of quasi-religious language has been noted in quarters critical of ‘wokeism’ — a term that expresses how much it looks and acts like a religion in the middle of an awakening, writes Charles C. Camosy.

Pakistan’s persecution of Ahmadi Muslims must end

During every moment of their life, Ahmadi Muslims in Pakistan face persecution, writes Siobhain McDonagh.

Five things Pope Francis should do while imprisoned by the pandemic

(RNS) — Reforms to the Vatican’s financial system, the Curia and how the church prevents clergy sexual abuse are the ecclesial equivalent of cleaning the basement and the attic, but now’s the time.