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RNS Morning Report: Megachurch switch; Gaza border; American exceptionalism

Jamal-Harrison Bryant, pastor and founder of Empowerment Temple. Photo courtesy of Empowerment Temple Church

Need to know: Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Megachurch pastor Jamal Bryant moves from Baltimore to Atlanta

The Rev. Jamal-Harrison Bryant, pastor of Empowerment Temple in Baltimore, has been named the new senior pastor of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in the Atlanta suburb of Lithonia, Ga.

Belief helps Gaza border residents hang on during rocket attacks

Residents on both sides of the Gaza-Israel border are relying heavily on faith to cope with escalating violence.

Is American religion exceptional? Maybe, maybe not

There is disagreement brewing among sociologists over whether the intense religious devotion that has long characterized a segment of the U.S. is impervious to anti-religious trends in Europe.

What’s wrong with American Catholicism

The weaknesses in American Catholicism have more to do with overall U.S. trends in religious identification and participation than what's happened in the Catholic church, writes Mark Silk.

A bicycle crash leaves me asking, ‘My faith or my health?’

When so many Sikhs have given up so much to honor their own identities, it’s hard for me to imagine cutting my beard for something so trivial as a split chin, writes Simran Jeet Singh.

Latest news from RNS

Rev. James Lawson, nonviolence advocate, recommended for Congressional Gold Medal

"Nonviolence is the force that can save our nation from itself," Lawson said at a congressional reception announcing plans to honor him.

Shrine to Vietnamese Lady of La Vang rises in Southern California

The new statue will commemorate the Marian apparition at La Vang in the late 1700s, a centerpiece of Vietnamese Catholic faith.

Pop heartthrob Zayn Malik says he’s no longer Muslim, leaving his Muslim fans divided

The former One Direction singer says he appreciates his religious upbringing but is no longer religious himself, beyond a "spiritual belief" in a God.

More views from RNS

Big changes ahead for Mormon missionaries, as “service missions” start in January

The good news is that Mormon missions are expanding to include humanitarian service opportunities, shorter lengths of service, and less stressful living arrangements. The bad news is that it may be ghettoizing people with disabilities, writes Jana Riess.

Why American doctors need to hold the line on physician-assisted suicide

The trend is toward acceptance of a practice that raises questions about the very meaning of health care, writes Charles C. Camosy.

Flawed people, great power clashed in worlds of Stan Lee’s creations

(RNS) — His characters demonstrate how heroism comes not from superpowers but from the willingness to use what we have to do what we can, however we can.