RNS Morning Report: UMC Protestations; Remembering Charleston Shooting; USCIRF Report

An Easter Sunday service at First United Methodist Church in Omaha, Neb., on April 21, 2019. Eight new confirmands recently addressed the congregation to say that they do not want to become full members at this time. Photo courtesy of FUMC Omaha

Need to know: Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Youth Protest

Protesting Methodist LGBTQ policy, confirmation class takes a pass

Eight teenagers who make up this year’s confirmation class stood before the congregation on Confirmation and read a letter saying they do not want to join the church at this time. More from Religion News Service

'I Can Still Remember His Sermons'

Widow of Mother Emanuel pastor: 'Much prayer is needed' four years after attack

Jennifer Pinckney, whose husband, the Rev. Clementa Pinckney, was killed in the attack on Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, reflects on her life four years later. She says that listening to his sermons 'ministered to me through some tough moments in my life.' More from Religion News Service

Global Suffering

USCIRF report: China, two dozen other countries top religious freedom offenders list

The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom concluded in its Monday report that 'innumerable believers and nonbelievers across the globe continued in 2018 to experience manifold suffering due to their beliefs.' More from Religion News Service


Rwanda's genocide at 25: 'Each soul decides to serve life or death'

We who lived faced a harsher task. How hard it has been, through grueling years: to overcome the loss, battle to forgive, and then bring healing to others — yes, even to killers, writes Denise Uwimana. More from Religion News Service

Public Declaration

BYU valedictorian comes out as gay in graduation speech

Matty Easton, a political science major at the Mormon church-owned Brigham Young University, declared to cheers that he is “proud to be a gay son of God.” More from Huffpost

Stolen by Archivist

400-year-old Bible stolen from Pittsburgh library is recovered in the Netherlands

A 1615 Geneva Bible stolen two decades ago from the Carnegie Library in Pittsburgh in a long-running theft scheme has been recovered from a Dutch museum, the F.B.I. announced this week. More from The New York Times