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Bestselling author tells Oprah she’s in a cancer battle for her life, but no longer mad at God

posted by

Debbie Ford says she has every right to be angry with God. But she’s not – anymore, that is. Her doctor’s grim diagnosis was one that nobody ever wants to year – the big “C” – cancer. Stunned, shaken, the co-author […]

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Science Whiz Gets a New Home

posted by Sharon Kirk

17 year-old Samantha Garvey made national headlines when she was selected as an Intel Science Talent Search semi-finalist—one of 300 across the country vying for the top prize, a $100,000 science scholarship.  It was Garvey’s home life that tugged at […]

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Paying It Forward

posted by Sharon Kirk

The folks at Pay it Forward Foundation are working hard to make a difference in the world.  Some think they are crazy; they prefer to be called visionaries.  And visionaries they are!  With over 1 million Pay It Forward bracelets […]

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Muslim women to shun bananas, cucumbers?

posted by

Yes, he’s read the reports that a Muslim cleric announced women should not touch cucumbers, carrots or bananas lest they become sexually impure, admits Egyptian newspaper editor Muna Khan in the Cairo daily al-Arabiya. And Khan says he is just […]

Daily Mail: Embattled Archbishop of Canterbury to resign

posted by

Dr. Rowan Williams is planning to resign as Archbishop of Canterbury by the end of next year – eight years early, London’s Daily Mail newspaper reported Monday. Rumors have been circulating that the 61-year-old Archbishop, who could remain in office until he […]

$80,000 lottery ticket in offering plate more than pays for looted air conditioner

posted by

Three weeks after thieves stole the copper coils from the Cathedral of Prayer’s air conditioner, an anonymous donor dropped an $80,000 winning lottery ticket into the offering plate. While cashing in the ticket, Gloria Rodgers, treasurer for the Columbus, Ga., congregation, […]

Amid South African controversy, accused officials receive prayer for God’s help

posted by

During Sunday’s worship service, four pastors and the congregation of the African Methodist Episcopal Church of Pimville, Soweto, laid hands on African National Congress Youth League President Julius Malema and Treasurer Pule Mabe. With their hands on the bowed heads of the pair […]

Author: Even a great marriage isn’t enough to help men recover from porn addiction

posted by

One of the many victims of an addiction to pornography is “hope.” A person addicted to porn may believe there is none. The marriage partner likewise may feel a painful mixture of anger, betrayal and hopelessness. There is in fact […]

Mounties investigate whether convicted polygamist Jeffs smuggled young girls from Canada

posted by

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police are preparing to send officers to the U.S. to investigate allegations that two young girls were smuggled from Bountiful, British Columbia, to be married to the head of a polygamous sect, according to the Canadian […]

Noah’s Ark floats into Cologne, Germany

posted by

“It’s a stately vessel floating on the Rhine River and somehow it looks vaguely familiar,” reports the German news site Deutsche Welle. “Plumbing one’s memory, it does indeed resemble illustrations from childhood picture books about the Bible.” “That’s just what Dutch […]

Sinai’s Beduin tribes hired to protect Egypt-Israel natural gas pipeline

posted by

  Companies managing the Sinai conduit that transports Egyptian natural gas to Israel have hired several Beduin tribes to protect the pipeline. Lines have been sabotaged three times in July, five times since January. North Sinai Governor Abdel Wahab Mabrouk told  the […]

Village Voice: Top 25 people responsible for Scientology’s decline

posted by

New York City’s off-beat tabloid the Village Voice is running a series of what it considers to be the top 25 people behind the decline of the late L. Ron Hubbard’s Church of Scientology. “On Friday,” writes Voice staffer Tony Orega, “we started a […]

Did LA Times violate Associated Press Stylebook to smear Texas prayer rally attendees?

posted by

“Let’s start with the obvious: There were more than a few believers who could accurately be described as ‘fundamentalists’ at the Gov. Rick Parry’s combination prayer rally and pre-White House campaign trial balloon festival,” observes the GetReligion.org website. “Let’s start […]

Spain’s soccer pros tackle team of 109 Chinese kids

posted by

Celebrating their team’s 109th anniversary, Spain’s premier professional soccer team Real Madrid took the field in Guangzhou, China, a few days ago against — yes, count ‘em — 109 young soccer players from local teams. To see the video, CLICK […]

Washington Post: Rabbi says Ground Zero cross should stay

posted by

“Ground Zero is a graveyard,” writes Rabbi David Wolpe in the Washington Post‘s On Faith section. “Yes, it is a national site and a place of competing interests, and a reminder of a peril facing our country and the world. […]

Jack Kerwick takes a look at forgotten Black conservative George Schuyler

posted by

“In my previous article,” writes Beliefnet’s Dr. Jack Kerwick, “I wrote about George S. Schuyler, a great conservative who also happened to have been black. Since his death in 1977, he has, unfortunately, been forgotten. It is with an eye […]

Supreme Court to decide if Christian schools choose who can teach

posted by

Most people would agree that a church should be able to preach the tenets of its particular faith. No government agency should have the authority to force an Assembly of God church to teach the Book of Mormon — or […]

Stars & Stripes: Colonel calls repeal of Don’t-Ask-Don’t-Tell “disgraceful hypocrisy”

posted by

“So let me see if I understand this:” writes a U.S. Army colonel serving in Afghanistan. “The Defense Department is proposing to let people who choose to live a homosexual lifestyle serve ‘openly’ in the armed forces, but won’t allow Christians […]

NY Times: Local Hindus make pilgrimage to “Ganges” beach in Queens, NY

posted by

The shells bobbed in the surf, not far from clay bowls, rotting limes and waterlogged rags that had washed back ashore, flotsam from previous Hindu ceremonies to mark festivals, births, deaths and everything in between. However, the location was not […]

Jerusalem Christian youth outreach warned not to be noisy

posted by

Preaching the Gospel in Israel’s Muslim neighborhoods is never easy, says Pastor Naim Khoury. However, he’s never before been warned by officials not to be noisy. Holy Land Missions recently purchased a building in a Muslim neighborhood to use as a […]

Is Facebook turning into “Faith”book? Jesus beats Harry Potter, Justin Bieber, Lady Gaga

posted by

by Ash Greyson Beliefnet Managing Editor Move over Lady Gaga! Sorry, Justin Bieber! Nice try, Harry Potter! According to Allfacebook.com, a website that tracks Facebook traffic and interactions, six of the top 20 most engaging Facebook pages are related to […]

Campus Crusade for Christ changes to “Cru”

posted by

Campus Crusade for Christ has decided to make a major change. It will drop “Christ” from its name. And “Campus.” And “Crusade.” In early 2012, reports the Internet website The Blaze, the ministry founded by Bill and Vonette Bright will officially drop […]

New York town clerk quits over gay marriage licenses

posted by

By Dan Wiessner Reuters HUDSON, New York (Reuters) – A town clerk in western New York has resigned to avoid being forced to sign marriage licenses for gay and lesbian couples, citing religious objections to same-sex marriage. Laura Fotusky, the […]

Congressman Rangel: “What would Jesus do?” Huckabee: “Pay His taxes”

posted by

With the national debt taking up most of Congress’s summer efforts, Congressman Charlie Rangel made a special plea to his colleagues that made all the Sunday morning news shows — telling fellow Congressman that in voting on whether to raise the […]

New Yorkers vow to overturn same-sex marriage law, just like Californians did

posted by

Following California voters’ success in repealing their legislators’ legalization of same-sex marriage, New Yorkers are planning an initiative to put the issue on the ballot. “New York same-sex ‘marriage’ advocates will soon face a backlash for forcing the new ‘marriage’ […]

Longtime Time correspondent blasts China’s “savage repression” of 1,000-member Beijing church

posted by

“As many American Christians are aware,” writes former Time magazine Asia correspondent David Aikman, “China’s Christian house churches, those Christian communities who don’t want to be controlled by the Communist Party, have been under their savage repression in years from the authorities.  The […]

San Francisco’s attorney questions proposed circumcision ban

posted by

By LAUREN MARKOE ~ c. 2011 Religion News Service In a potential blow to the proposed San Francisco circumcision ban, the city’s top lawyer has concluded it is unconstitutional to ban the practice as a religious ritual, but allow it […]

Prime time TV actually features a normal Christian offering thanks, praying with friends

posted by

The character Lourdes chats with 11-year-old Matt, a fellow survivor   After decades of portraying Christians as hypocrites, crazies and bigots, Sunday night on prime-time TV, a main character actually prayed over her meal, then led others in a prayer […]

Christian, Muslim, Jewish Leaders Unite to Support China’s Persecuted Uyghurs

posted by

China’s persecution of the Uyghurs, nine million Turkic-speaking Muslims, will be the focus of an inter-faith conference in Toronto on July 5. Most of the Uyghurs live in Xinjiang, a vast desert region of Western China. The group “One Free […]

Supreme Court to review FCC’s authority to halt foul talk on TV

posted by

WASHINGTON (Religious News Service) The U.S. Supreme Court announced Monday that it will examine whether the Federal Communications Commission has the right to ban “fleeting expletives” on broadcast TV. The case will review last year’s decision by the 2nd U.S. […]

NY Bishop: We Should Speak ‘Forcefully & Clearly’ Against Gay Marriage

posted by

Top Catholic leaders in New York have wasted no time in voicing their continued opposition to gay marriage since Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a bill that allowed same-sex couples to marry into law on Friday. Archbishop Timothy Dolan, the state’s […]

Trial Opens in Mass. Black Church Arson Case

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (RNS) After two accomplices pleaded guilty, the sole man to stand trial for torching a black church the night of President Obama’s election was confronted with secretly taped recordings during opening arguments on Monday (March 21). “Gas, straight-up […]

Critics Heated Up by Bell’s Hell

posted by editor

(RNS) Talk about hellfire! One of the nation’s rock-star-popular young pastors, Rob Bell, 40, has stuck a pitchfork in how Christians talk about damnation. Pastor Bell’s Love Wins: A Book About Heaven, Hell, and the Fate of Every Person Who […]

Blacks Bristle at Notion of ‘Slave of Christ’

posted by editor

(RNS) For evangelical author John MacArthur, the best way to explain a Christian’s relationship to Jesus is what appears to be a simple metaphor — one often used by the Apostle Paul himself. “To be a Christian is to be […]

Vatican Says New Guidelines Will Combat Global Abuse Scandal

posted by aroan

VATICAN CITY (RNS) The Vatican announced on Friday (Nov. 19) that it is preparing international guidelines to prevent the sexual abuse of children by Roman Catholic clergy, a long-awaited response to a scandal that has seeped into countless corners of […]

Clinton Details Religious Freedom, Nominee Faces Senators

posted by aroan

By Adelle M. Banks c. 2010 Religion News Service WASHINGTON (RNS) Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton on Wednesday (Nov. 17) called for continued vigilance to protect religious minorities as her department released its annual report on international religious freedom. […]

Bishops, in Surprise Move, Elect New York’s Dolan As President

posted by aroan

By Daniel Burke c. 2010 Religion News Service BALTIMORE (RNS) In a dramatic break with tradition, U.S. Catholic bishops on Tuesday (Nov. 16) elected New York Archbishop Timothy Dolan as their next president, choosing a friendly but assertive leader over […]

Coalition Seeks Moral Objection to War

posted by aroan

By Adelle M. Banks c. 2010 Religion News Service WASHINGTON (RNS) On the eve of Veterans Day, religious leaders and veterans called for a reconsideration of conscientious objection to war, saying military members should have the right to object to […]

Massive Pentecostal Meeting Means Big Bucks for City

posted by aroan

By Tim Townsend c. 2010 St. Louis Post-Dispatch ST. LOUIS (RNS) When is a church convention more than just another church convention? When 40,000 saints from the Church of God in Christ come marching in and relocate the year’s largest […]

Five Anglican Bishops Leave for Roman Catholic Church

posted by aroan

LONDON (RNS) Five bishops have decided to leave the Church of England and join the Roman Catholic Church under the Vatican’s new program to welcome disaffected Anglicans. The decision by three active and two retired bishops was reported Monday (Nov. […]

Pope, in Spain, Denounces Gay Marriage, Abortion

posted by aroan

By Francis X. Rocca c. 2010 Religion News Service VATICAN CITY (RNS) Pope Benedict XVI denounced abortion, same-sex marriage and the absence of religion in public life during a weekend (Nov. 6-7) visit to Spain, a country he called the […]

Controversial Gay Episcopal Bishop to Retire in 2013

posted by aroan

By KEVIN ECKSTROM c. 2010 Religion News Service (RNS) Openly gay Episcopal Bishop V. Gene Robinson, whose 2003 election caused a major schism within the Episcopal Church and the worldwide Anglican Communion, announced on Saturday (Nov. 6) that he will […]

Conservatives Send a Warning Shot in Ousting Iowa Judges

posted by aroan

By Whitney Jones c. 2010 Religion News Service (RNS) Three of the seven justices on the Iowa Supreme Court who voted to legalize same-sex marriage last year lost their jobs on Tuesday (Nov. 2), but conservative activists are warning they […]

Okla. Muslims Unsure of Status after Shariah Referendum

posted by aroan

By Omar Sacirbey c. 2010 Religion News Service (RNS) Born and raised in Oklahoma, Sarah Albahadily will wear her headscarf to a Brad Paisley concert and her cowboy boots to mosque. There are two things she says she never misses: […]

Faith Groups Press Geithner on Foreclosures

posted by aroan

WASHINGTON (RNS) A national network of faith-based organizations, homeowners and community organizers met with Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner on Wednesday (Nov. 3), urging him to tackle problems with fraudulent foreclosures. Organizers from the group People Improving Communities through Organizing (PICO) […]

Have Democrats Lost Faith in Faith-based Outreach?

posted by aroan

By Daniel Burke c. 2010 Religion News Service WASHINGTON (RNS) As Democrats conduct a grim postmortem on Tuesday’s (Nov. 2) elections, some liberal leaders say one diagnosis is already clear: the party’s outreach to religious voters was lifeless from the […]

Obama Meets, Prays with Church Leaders

posted by aroan

By Adelle M. Banks c. 2010 Religion News Service WASHINGTON (RNS) Twenty-one Christian leaders met and prayed with President Obama on Monday (Nov. 1), discussing joint concerns about poverty, U.S.-Cuban relations and peace in the Middle East. Leaders from the […]

Air Force Academy Cites Progress in Tackling Religious Intolerance

posted by aroan

WASHINGTON (RNS) A recent survey on the religious climate of the U.S. Air Force Academy showed that 41 percent of non-Christian cadets face unwanted proselytizing at least once during a year-long period. The Cadet and Permanent Party Climate Assessment Survey, […]

Exhibit Offers Peak Inside Vatican’s `Splendors’

posted by aroan

By Ann Rodgers c. 2010 Religion News Service Pittsburgh (RNS) The entrance to the Vatican Splendors exhibit evokes a part of St. Peter’s Basilica that few tourists ever see: the archaeological excavation beneath the altar, where the modest grave of […]

ACLU Questions Sunday Morning Voting at Churches

posted by aroan

WASHINGTON (RNS) The American Civil Liberties Union is criticizing plans by two Iowa churches to host early voting during worship services. “Combining polling places with religious services is an invitation to the abuse of both religion and the civic act […]

Obama May Skip Sikh Shrine

posted by aroan

International Herald Tribune – October 21, 2010 A plan for Mr. Obama to visit the Golden Temple in Amritsar appears to have foundered on the thorny question of how he would cover his head, as Sikh tradition requires. The Golden […]

Study: More Link Christian Faith to Being American

posted by aroan

(RNS) As the U.S. has grown more diverse, more Americans believe that being a Christian is a key aspect of being “truly American,” researchers say. Purdue University scholars found that between 1996 and 2004, Americans who saw Christian identity as […]

Pope Names Two Americans Among 24 New Cardinals

posted by aroan

By Francis X. Rocca c. 2010 Religion News Service VATICAN CITY (RNS) Two American archbishops, one serving in Rome and the other in Washington, D.C., will be granted a cardinal’s red hat in a ceremony at the Vatican next month, […]

Catholics, Orthodox Agree: Pope Remains a Sticking Point

posted by aroan

By Nicole Neroulias S c. 2010 Religion News Service (RNS) Visit a Roman Catholic and an Eastern Orthodox liturgy, and the differences are stark: Catholic statues vs. Orthodox icons, celibate vs. married priests, communion wafers vs. hunks of bread. Pay […]

Survey: Jewish Disapproval of Obama Rising

posted by aroan

(RNS) President Obama’s approval rating among U.S. Jews has dropped in the past year, while opinions of Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu have improved, according to a new survey released by the American Jewish Committee. The global advocacy organization pegged Jewish […]

Magazine: Most Think Sex Offenders Should Be in Pews

posted by aroan

(RNS) Nearly eight in 10 respondents who participated in a Christianity Today International survey said convicted sex offenders should be welcomed in church pews. The vast majority of survey participants — pastors, church leaders and staff members and active Christians […]

Courts Uphold Teen’s Piercing, Religious License Plates

posted by aroan

(RNS) Two federal courts have issued strong defenses of religious expression in two separate decisions, one involving a teenager’s nose piercing and the other a license plate. Ariana Iacono, a freshman at Clayton (N.C.) High School, was allowed to return […]

Muslims Say Free Speech Must Be Defended

posted by aroan

(RNS) More than 160 North American Muslims from the U.S. and Canada have issued a “Defense of Free Speech” statement that affirms free speech and condemns those who threaten violence against people who criticize or mock Islam. The statement follows […]

Vatican Perplexed by Nobel Awarded to IVF Creator

posted by aroan

VATICAN CITY (RNS) The Vatican’s top bioethics official expressed “perplexity” after the Nobel Prize in Medicine was awarded Monday (Oct. 4) to the inventor of in vitro fertilization (IVF). Bishop Ignazio Carrasco de Paula, president of the Pontifical Academy for […]

Ban on School Christmas Carols Upheld

posted by aroan

By Jeanette Rundquist c. 2010 Religion News Service (RNS) “Silent Night” and other religious songs will remain off the program at holiday concerts in one New Jersey school district — and possibly others across the country — after the U.S. […]

Pope, in Sicily, Denounces Mob

posted by aroan

VATICAN CITY (RNS) Pope Benedict XVI spent Sunday (Oct. 3) in the heartland of the Sicilian Mafia, denouncing organized crime and paying tribute to those slain in the long struggle against the mob. “Don’t give in to the temptations of […]

Druids Get Official OK in Britain

posted by aroan

LONDON (RNS) Druidry, the pagan worship that has been practiced on these shores for thousands of years, on Friday (Oct. 1) gained recognition by the British government as an official religion after a four-year legal battle. The Charity Commission, established […]

Abuse Charges Aren’t Long’s First Brush with Controversy

posted by aroan

By Adelle M. Banks c. 2010 Religion News Service (RNS) Bishop Eddie Long was once best known as an Atlanta-area megachurch leader and internationally known religious broadcaster. Now there’s another title: Accused sex offender. As the Lithonia, Ga., pastor faces […]

Buddhist Bhutan Bans Clergy from Voting in Elections

posted by aroan

(RNS) Officials in Buddhist-majority Bhutan have barred Hindu and Buddhist clergy from voting in upcoming elections in order to keep a clear distinction between religion and politics. The landlocked Himalayan nation considers Mahayana Buddhism the state religion and funds a […]

Buzz Builds Around New Unofficial Saint of Abuse Victims

posted by aroan

By Francis X. Rocca c. 2010 Religion News Service VATICAN CITY (RNS) Mother Mary MacKillop won’t be canonized until Oct. 17, but some Catholics already have an unofficial title for the 19th-century Australian nun: Patron Saint of Whistleblowers. MacKillop (1842-1909), […]

Poll Finds Unbelievers Know the Most About Belief

posted by aroan

By Adelle M. Banks c. 2010 Religion News Service Note: This story was updated to include a correction in the second paragraph. The word “not” was added. WASHINGTON (RNS) Who can best answer questions about religion in America? Based on […]

RNA Honors Top Religion Reporting

posted by aroan

DENVER (RNS) Religion reporters from The Washington Post and The New York Times won top honors Saturday (Sept. 25) at the 2010 Religion Newswriters Association’s annual awards competition. The RNA also honored former New York Times religion reporter Gustav Niebuhr […]

Long Vows to Fight Sexual Misconduct Charges

posted by aroan

(RNS) Bishop Eddie Long, the Atlanta-area preacher facing charges from four young men that he coerced them to have sex, told his congregation Sunday (Sept. 26) he is “under attack” and will fight the allegations against him. “I’ve been accused,” […]

Prominent Atlanta minister Named in Three Abuse Suits

posted by aroan

(RNS) Bishop Eddie Long, a prominent Atlanta-area megachurch leader, has been sued by three young men accusing him of sexual misconduct. Long, pastor of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in Lithonia, Ga., has denied claims of sexual abuse and gifts […]

Pope, in Typical British Form, Talks Frankly and Candidly

posted by aroan

By Francix X. Rocca c. 2010 Religion News Service LONDON (RNS) Seemingly unfazed by months of protests from secularist critics, Pope Benedict XVI deployed unusually forceful language on Friday (Sept. 17) to defend the “legitimate role of religion” in public […]

Skateboarder an Overnight Sensation After Rescuing Qur’an

posted by aroan

(RNS) At the end of a summer characterized by unprecedented levels of Islamophobia, Muslim Americans and their allies have found an expected reason to smile: Jake Isom, a skateboarder with a rat-tail from Amarillo, Texas. Last Saturday (Sept. 18), Isom, […]

Pope on UK Visit Admits Failures in Abuse Scandal

posted by aroan

Associated Press – September 16, 2010 EDINBURGH, Scotland – Pope Benedict XVI braved a chilly atmosphere Thursday in mostly secular Britain to issue his strongest comments yet on the sex abuse crisis, admitting that the Catholic Church had not acted […]

Black Muslims Hear Echoes of Jim Crow in Current Furor

posted by aroan

By Adelle M. Banks c. 2010 Religion News Service WASHINGTON (RNS) Imam Mahdi Bray is feeling a sense of deja vu these days, with threats and attacks on Muslims reviving memories of his younger days working and marching alongside civil […]

50,000 Hasidic Mark Jewish New Year in Ukraine

posted by aroan

Associated Press – September 9, 2010 KIEV, Ukraine – Tens of thousands of Hasidic Jews from around the world gathered in a small Ukrainian city Thursday to mark the Jewish New Year at the tomb of their spiritual leader – […]

Prominent Faith Leaders Denounce Islamophobia

posted by aroan

WASHINGTON (RNS) Three dozen faith leaders Tuesday (Sept. 7) issued a declaration denouncing anti-Muslim bigotry as the nation prepares to mark the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks at a time of inflamed religious tensions. Ingrid Mattson, president of the Islamic […]

Muslims Wary of Closeness Between Holiday and 9/11

posted by aroan

By Omar Sacirbey c. 2010 Religion News Service (RNS) For this year’s Eid al-Fitr, the Islamic holiday that concludes the holy month of Ramadan, Nakia Jackson received an unusual present from a Jewish friend: cab fare. “She doesn’t want me […]

As Ramadan Ends, Muslims Seek School Holiday

posted by aroan

By Nicole Neroulias c. 2010 Religion News Service NEW YORK (RNS) For Nikhat Choudhury, the Muslim holidays of Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha mean picking out new clothes, getting together with her cousins and feasting on homemade samosas and other […]

Mormons and Jews Reach Agreement on Baptism Dispute

posted by aroan

(RNS) Jewish and Mormon church leaders announced Wednesday (Sept. 1) that church policies preventing the posthumous baptizing of Holocaust victims have reduced tensions between them. Leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints said they now require church […]

Faith-healing Family Pleads Not Guilty to Manslaughter

posted by aroan

OREGON CITY, Ore. (RNS) Two members of an Oregon church that preaches faith-healing pleaded not guilty Monday (Aug. 30) to manslaughter charges for failing to provide medical care to their infant son, who died shortly after his premature birth. Attorneys […]

Beck Wants to Lead, but will Evangelicals Follow?

posted by aroan

y Adelle M. Banks c. 2010 Religion News Service WASHINGTON (RNS) Southern Baptist executive Richard Land was pleased at how religious Glenn Beck’s “Restoring Honor” rally turned out to be. Bishop Harry Jackson, a black evangelical leader, was pleasantly surprised […]

Five Years After Katrina, New Orleans Takes Stock

posted by aroan

By Bruce Nolan c. 2010 Religion News Service NEW ORLEANS (RNS) With prayers and the tolling of bells, but also with second-line parades and Mardi Gras Indians, New Orleanians on Sunday (Aug. 29)took stock of their rebuilt lives in the […]

Western Wall to Feature New One-way Partition Between Men, Women

posted by aroan

JERUSALEM (RNS) Jewish authorities at the Western Wall hope to replace the existing opaque partition that separates the men’s and women’s prayer areas with one that will enable female worshippers to see into the men’s section but not vice-versa. The […]

Poll: Majority Opposes Mosque near Ground Zero, Sees Site as `Sacred Ground’

posted by aroan

By Nicole Neroulias c. 2010 Religion News Service (RNS) The outcry over the proposed Islamic community center near Ground Zero should not be lumped together with protests against planned mosques in other parts of the country, a new poll suggests. […]

Presbyterian Minister Faces Church Trial on Gay Weddings

posted by aroan

By Daniel Burke c. 2010 Religion News Service (RNS) For the second time in two years, the Rev. Jane Spahr is on trial in the Presbyterian Church (USA) for performing same-sex weddings. A retired pastor and self-described “lesbian evangelist,” Spahr, […]

New Catholic Mass Approved for 2011 Roll-out

posted by aroan

WASHINGTON (RNS) The most sweeping changes to the Catholic Mass in 40 years will be rolled out in 2011, the U.S. bishops announced Friday (Aug. 20) after receiving formal approval from the Vatican. The new English-language translation of the Roman […]

Church Vows to Burn Qur’ans Without Fire Permit

posted by aroan

(RNS) Fire officials in Gainesville, Fla., have denied a permit to a church that wants to burn Qurans on Sept. 11, but church officials said they’ll go ahead with the protest that has garnered worldwide attention. Leaders of the Dove […]

Polls: One in Four Americans Thinks Obama’s a Muslim

posted by aroan

By Adelle M. Banks c. 2010 Religion News Service WASHINGTON (RNS) Two new polls say as many as one in four Americans mistakenly believe President Obama is a Muslim, presenting the White House with the unique challenge of defining a […]

Fight Over N.Y. Mosque Becomes a Partisan Wedge Issue

posted by aroan

By Adelle M. Banks c. 2010 Religion News Service WASHINGTON (RNS) What started as a local zoning debate about an Islamic center near Ground Zero, and then morphed into a fight over religious expression, has now turned into an election-year […]

Embattled Episcopal Bishop Seeks Allies Overseas

posted by aroan

By DANIEL BURKE c. 2010 Religion News Service (RNS) Contrary to what they say about Las Vegas, what happens in one branch of the worldwide Anglican Communion rarely stays there. And no one knows this more than the former Episcopal […]

Christian Leaders Praise Taize Community on 70th Anniversary

posted by aroan

GENEVA (RNS/ENInews) World Christian leaders are paying tribute to the ecumenical Taize community in eastern France, which is marking the 70th anniversary of its founding in 1940 by Brother Roger Schutz, who died in 2005. In a message in advance […]

Churches Come Up Short as Delegates’ Visas Denied

posted by aroan

By ALFREDO GARCIA c. 2010 Religion News Service WASHINGTON (RNS) When the Baptist World Alliance held its global conference in Hawaii earlier this month, it was missing about 1,000 attendees from around the world. In June, the inaugural meeting of […]

Calif. Judge Lifts Stay, Permits Gays to Marry Aug. 18

posted by aroan

(RNS) Same-sex couples can begin marrying in California again on Aug. 18 after a federal judge lifted a stay on his recent ruling that struck down California’s voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage. “Based on the trial record, which establishes that […]

SNAP Blasts Episcopalians On Reinstated Bishop

posted by aroan

(RNS) Advocates for victims of clergy sex abuse have blasted the Episcopal Church for reinstating the bishop of Philadelphia who had been charged with not investigating sex abuse allegations about his brother. A church appeals court ruled July 28 that […]

Plaintiffs Give Up Sex Abuse Case Against Vatican

posted by aroan

Associated Press – August 10, 2010 LOUISVILLE, Kentucky – Three men who sought to hold the Vatican liable in an American court for sexual abuses by Roman Catholic priests in a Kentucky diocese are abandoning the case. Lawyers looked to […]

Aid Group `Wants to Stay’ in Afghanistan Despite Killings

posted by aroan

(RNS/ENInews) The International Assistance Mission has rejected Taliban claims that 10 staffers from the Christian aid agency who were killed in Afghanistan had been trying to convert Muslims. “Our faith motivates and inspires us, but we do not proselytize. We […]

Baha’i Leaders Sentenced to 20 Years in Iran

posted by aroan

(RNS) Seven top leaders of the Baha’i faith who have been incarcerated in Iran since 2008 have each received jail sentences of 20 years after six months of court hearings that ended on June 14, according to the Baha’i World […]

Church of God Says Women Can Be Leaders But Not Bishops

posted by aroan

(RNS) The Church of God (Cleveland, Tenn.) has decided to permit women to serve on local church councils but has maintained its rule that they cannot be ordained as bishops. By a narrow vote during its recent General Assembly, the […]

After Public Family Feud, Another Schuller Steps In

posted by aroan

By Lilly Fowler c. 2010 Religion News Service GARDEN GROVE, Calif. (RNS) Christian author Carole Lewis stands at the front of the church sharing her tale of woe: bankruptcy, a daughter’s death, a husband’s prostate cancer, a home destroyed by […]

Religious Groups Press for CIA Torture Probe

posted by aroan

WASHINGTON (RNS) Twenty religious organizations are calling for Congress and President Obama to ensure a fair and thorough investigation into allegations of forced human experimentation by the CIA on detainees after 9/11. In June, the group Physicians for Human Rights […]

Jewish Activists Support Ground Zero Mosque

posted by aroan

Associated Press – August 5, 2010 NEW YORK – A group of Jewish activists and community leaders voiced their support for a planned mosque near ground zero and said opponents, including the nation’s leading Jewish civil rights group, are perpetuating […]

Catholic Charities Says BP Isn’t Filling Aid Request

posted by aroan

NEW ORLEANS (RNS) The social service arm of the local Catholic Church said Tuesday (Aug. 3) it’s nearly out of relief money for people damaged by the BP oil spill because the oil company has not approved a replenishment the […]

Appeals Court Sides with Prison in Headscarf Case

posted by aroan

WASHINGTON (RNS) A federal appeals court has sided with a prison system whose policy forbids Muslim women employees from wearing headscarves on the job. In a 2-1 decision issued Tuesday (Aug. 3), the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals called […]

Judge Overturns Calif. Gay Marriage Ban

posted by aroan

Associated Press – August 4, 2010 SAN FRANCISCO – A federal judge overturned California’s same-sex marriage ban Wednesday in a landmark case that could eventually land before the U.S. Supreme Court to decide if gays have a constitutional right to […]

Conservatives Will Appeal Go-ahead Vote for `Ground Zero Mosque’

posted by aroan

(RNS) A conservative religious law firm plans to appeal a decision that grants a green light for the construction of an Islamic community center two blocks from Ground Zero. The Washington-based American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) opposes the […]

Focus on the Family Announces More than 100 Job Cuts

posted by aroan

(RNS) Focus on the Family has announced 110 job cuts in the latest round of layoffs that the Colorado ministry attributes to the departure of founder James Dobson and the reduced financial support from donors. “This is not a happy […]

Evangelicals Condemn Planned Qur’an Burning

posted by aroan

(RNS) The National Association of Evangelicals has condemned plans by a Florida church to burn copies of the Quran on the anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. “The proposed burning of Qurans would be profoundly offensive to Muslims worldwide, just […]

Vatican Blasts FDA Over Stem Cell Ruling

posted by aroan

VATICAN CITY (RNS) A top Vatican official has criticized a decision by the Food and Drug Administration to allow the world’s first clinical trials using stem cells derived from human embryos. “Despite the efforts that are made to deny it, […]

Orthodox Jews Issue Statement in Support of Gays

posted by aroan

JERUSALEM (RNS) More than 100 modern-Orthodox rabbis, educators and mental-health professionals in Israel and the U.S. have signed a document that urges respect for homosexuals but stops short of condoning same-sex relationships. The “Statement of Principles,” released on the eve […]

Catholic Patriarch Blasts Israel for Allowing Gay Parade

posted by aroan

JERUSALEM (RNS) The Catholic Church’s highest official in the Holy Land sharply criticized Israeli authorities for permitting a gay pride march on Thursday (July 29) through the streets of Jerusalem. In a statement issued Friday following the city’s 8th Annual […]

Novelist Anne Rice says `I Quit Being a Christian’

posted by aroan

By Kevin Eckstrom c. 2010 Religion News Service (RNS) Vampire novelist Anne Rice says she’s leaving Christianity — again — because she no longer wants to be identified with such a “quarrelsome, hostile, disputatious, and deservedly infamous group.” Born and […]

Jewish Group Opposes Ground Zero Mosque

posted by aroan

Associated Press – July 30, 2010 NEW YORK – America’s leading Jewish civil rights group has come out against the planned mosque and Islamic community center near the World Trade Center’s ground zero site, saying the location is “counterproductive to […]

Religious Leaders Hail Cocaine-sentencing Bill

posted by aroan

WASHINGTON (RNS) U.S. religious leaders are applauding Congress’ approval of legislation that reduces the disparity of jail time between crack and powder cocaine offenses. After passing the Senate in March, the Fair Sentencing Act of 2010 was approved by the […]

News Feature: Mormons See Potential in Online Proselytizing

posted by aroan

By Peggy Fletcher Stack c. 2010 Salt Lake Tribune SALT LAKE CITY (RNS) Not so long ago, Mormon missionaries were prohibited from using the Internet, even to contact their families. The system then loosened a bit to allow weekly e-mails […]

Gospel Singer Doug Oldham Dead at Age 79

posted by aroan

(RNS) Doug Oldham, a prolific gospel singer and ministry partner of the late Rev. Jerry Falwell, died July 21 at the age of 79. Oldham, who was a soloist at Falwell’s Thomas Road Baptist Church and helped the evangelist raise […]

Senate Democrats Plead for Religious Support on Key Bills

posted by aroan

WASHINGTON (RNS) Top Senate Democrats said Wednesday (July 28) that Democrats need the help of religious groups in overcoming Republican opposition to key pieces of legislation. In a media roundtable hosted by Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., chairwoman of the Democrats’ […]

Muslims, ACLU Seek Data on FBI Profiling

posted by aroan

WASHINGTON (RNS) Muslim American groups and the American Civil Liberties Union are demanding the FBI turn over records relating to agency guidelines they say permit the FBI to collect and use racial and ethnic data. The groups allege that the […]

N.J. Supreme Court Declines to Take Gay Marriage Case

posted by aroan

TRENTON, N.J. (RNS) Supporters of gay marriage said they would press on with their fight despite the New Jersey Supreme Court’s decision not to hear a case in which six same-sex couples asked for the right to marry. “We … […]

Report: Anti-Jewish Incidents Remain `Sustained and Troubling’

posted by aroan

WASHINGTON (RNS): A Jewish group that tracks anti-Semitism has published its annual report of more than 1,200 incidents of assaults, vandalism and harassment against Jews in 2009, saying the level of incidents remained “sustained and troubling.” “America is not immune […]

Anglicans Reject Move to `Separate’ U.S. Church

posted by aroan

(RNS) Anglican leaders meeting in London have rejected a move to “separate” the Episcopal Church from the wider Anglican Communion, a proposal that officials called premature and “unhelpful.” The proposal was offered Saturday (July 24) by Dato Stanley Isaacs, a […]

Pope Grants Broad Powers to Legionaries Delegate

posted by aroan

Associated Press – July 24, 2010 VATICAN CITY – The pope has granted broad powers to the archbishop he selected to overhaul the Legionaries of Christ following revelations that the order’s founder led a double life. A decree approved by […]

Quietly, Another Mosque Operates in Shadow of Ground Zero

posted by aroan

By NICOLE NEROULIAS c. 2010 Religion News Service NEW YORK (RNS) Barely visible among the high-rise apartment buildings and cocktail lounges, a battered steel door in Manhattan’s trendy Tribeca neighborhood leads to a basement jammed with barefoot men praying on […]

Hospitals Revamp Chapels into Meditation Rooms

posted by aroan

By JOANNA CORMAN c. 2010 Religion News Service SACRAMENTO Calif. (RNS) When Connie Johnstone saw relatives of Muslim patients praying in a hospital parking lot, or laying out a plastic bag to create a clean spot on the lobby floor, […]

Spain Parliament Rejects Burqa Ban – For Now

posted by aroan

Associated Press – July 20, 2010 MADRID – Spain’s Parliament on Tuesday rejected a proposal to ban women from wearing in public places Islamic veils that reveal only the eyes. However, the Socialist government has said it favors including a […]

Vatican Rules for Bishops in Church-closure Cases

posted by aroan

CLEVELAND (RNS) A Catholic bishop, acting on what he believes to be good for his entire diocese, can close any parish, even if the parish is financially stable and has vibrant membership, the Vatican’s highest court has ruled. The decision […]

Methodists Study the Hallmarks of Healthy Churches

posted by aroan

By ALFREDO GARCIA c. 2010 Religion News Service (RNS) What is the key to a healthy church? United Methodists have paid big bucks to find out. As the sour economy and aging buildings wreak havoc on church budgets, United Methodists […]

Abortion Foes Win a Round in Health Overhaul

posted by aroan

Associated Press – July 19, 2010 WASHINGTON – Abortion foes have won a round in the first test of how President Barack Obama’s health care law will be applied to the politically charged issue. Meanwhile, traditional allies of the administration […]

Netanyahu Takes Dim View of Conversions Bill

posted by aroan

JERUSALEM (RNS) Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told his cabinet Sunday (July 18) that he opposes a proposed bill to give Orthodox rabbis control over conversions because it could alienate Jews in North America. “The bill could tear apart the […]

Foundation Donates $400K for Episcopal Gay Liturgies

posted by aroan

(RNS) A Michigan-based gay rights foundation has given more than $400,000 to a California seminary to help craft formal liturgies for the Episcopal Church to bless gay and lesbian relationships. The Episcopal Church still officially considers marriage between a man […]

Vatican Issues New Sex Abuse Guidelines After Crisis

posted by aroan

Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News – July 15, 2010 July 15–VATICAN CITY — The Vatican issued a revised set of in-house rules Thursday to respond to clerical sex abuse, targeting priests who molest the mentally disabled as well as children and […]

Muslims Launch Survey of American Mosques

posted by aroan

(RNS) Muslim-American organizations have launched what they say will be the most comprehensive survey of mosques in the United States in a decade. “This is the biggest mosque survey since 9/11,” said Ihsan Bagby, an Islamic Studies professor at the […]

U.S. Bishops Defend Women’s Ordination in New Abuse Laws

posted by aroan

By DANIEL BURKE and RICHARD ALLEN c. 2010 Religion News Service WASHINGTON (RNS) U.S. Catholic bishops on Thursday (July 15) defended the Vatican’s decision to include the ordination of women with the sexual abuse of children in a long-awaited revision […]

Ugandan Anglican Urges Citizens to Fight Terrorism, Condemns Blast

posted by aroan

NAIROBI (RNS/ENInews) A top church leader in Uganda, Anglican Archbishop Henry Luke Orombi, has appealed for calm after the “hideous crime” of a terrorist bombing at a World Cup watch party in Kampala that left more than 70 dead. “I […]

Conservatives Decry Court Ruling on Indecency

posted by aroan

WASHINGTON (RNS) Conservative groups blasted a federal court ruling that overturned a policy of the Federal Communications Commission intended to crack down on unscripted curse words and wardrobe malfunctions. Spurred on by celebrity slip-ups from Bono and Cher, the 2004 […]

Conservative Insurgency Topples Missouri Synod President

posted by aroan

By TIM TOWNSEND c. 2010 St. Louis Post-Dispatch HOUSTON (RNS) Delegates of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod on Tuesday (July 13) elected the denomination’s director of disaster response as president, a candidate backed by its more conservative members. The Rev. Matthew […]

French Parliament Approves Ban on Face Veils

posted by aroan

Associated Press – July 13, 2010 PARIS – France’s lower house of parliament overwhelmingly approved a ban on wearing burqa-style Islamic veils Tuesday, part of a determined effort to define and protect French values that has disconcerted many in the […]

Political Clash Grows Over Funding for Ground Zero Mosque

posted by aroan

(RNS) A major political clash is brewing in New York over a planned mosque near Ground Zero, with Republicans demanding an investigation into the mosque’s funding and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg calling such a probe “un-American.” Long Island […]

Church of England Gives Green Light for Women Bishops

posted by aroan

Church of England gives green light for women bishops LONDON (RNS) The Church of England will proceed with legislation to allow the ordination of women bishops, despite fierce opposition from Anglican traditionalists. After a marathon, 12-hour debate in York, the […]

Vatican Reports $5.2 million Deficit for 2009

posted by aroan

VATICAN CITY (RNS) The Vatican recorded a $5.2 million deficit for 2009 as investment in communication and building upgrades offset revenues from donations, according to new figures from the Holy See. The third consecutive deficit was also attributed to a […]

Tiny Shard Bears Oldest Script Found in Jerusalem

posted by aroan

Associated Press – July 12, 2010 JERUSALEM – Archaeologists say a newly discovered clay fragment from the 14th century B.C. is the oldest example of writing ever found in antiquity-rich Jerusalem. Dig director Eilat Mazar of Hebrew University says the […]

Belfast Police, Catholic Rioters Clash Over Parade

posted by aroan

Associated Press – July 12, 2010 BELFAST, Northern Ireland – Police battled Irish nationalists for control of a Belfast road Monday as a day dominated by peaceful Protestant parades across Northern Ireland turned violent when night fell. Riot police in […]

Pope Names New Leader of Legionaries of Christ

posted by aroan

VATICAN CITY (RNS) Pope Benedict XVI on Friday (July 9) appointed the Vatican’s chief financial auditor, Italian Archbishop Velasio De Paolis, to manage the powerful but scandal-scarred Legionaries of Christ order. The decision comes after an eight-month investigation of the […]

Presbyterians Continue To Be Divided Over Gays

posted by aroan

Associated Press – July 9, 2010 MINNEAPOLIS – A split decision from Presbyterian leaders on two gay-friendly measures guarantees even more debate among the U.S. church’s members on an issue they’ve been divided over for years. Delegates to the Presbyterian […]

Church Brokers Deal to Free 52 Cuban Dissidents

posted by aroan

VATICAN CITY (RNS) The Roman Catholic Church has brokered a historic deal to release 52 political prisoners in Cuba, following three-way talks between Cuban President Raul Castro, Spanish Foreign Secretary Miguel Angel Moratinos and Havana Cardinal Jaime Ortega. “Five prisoners […]

Church of England to Consider Women Bishops — Again

posted by aroan

LONDON (RNS/ENInews) The contentious issue of women bishops will once again be debated by the Church of England’s General Synod when delegates and bishops convene in York on Friday (July 9), years after the issue was first raised. Christina Rees, […]

Vatican to Issue Long-awaited Sex Abuse Document

posted by aroan

Associated Press – July 7, 2010 VATICAN CITY – Pope Benedict XVI will soon issue a document outlining the church’s procedures for handling clerical sex abuse cases that will gather the norms now in use and make them permanent and […]

A Gay Bishop for the Church of England?

posted by aroan

Associated Press – July 6, 2010 LONDON – The Church of England may be on the verge of promoting a gay priest to bishop, a step that would widen the split over sexuality in the global Anglican Communion. If that […]

Commuter Railroad Defends Company with Ties to Holocaust Trains

posted by aroan

WASHINGTON (RNS) A commuter rail line in suburban Washington is defending its decision to award a contract to a company partially owned by a French railway that was used by Nazi Germany to transport people to death camps. Mark Roeber, […]

Caterpillar Divestment Doesn’t Play Well with Peoria Presbyterians

posted by aroan

By DANIEL BURKE c. 2010 Religion News Service (RNS) Proposals to have the Presbyterian Church (USA) denounce or divest from Caterpillar Inc. because the company sells bulldozers to Israel are not playing well in Peoria. The central Illinois city is […]

Orthodox Woman Named Among 50 ‘Most Influential Rabbis’

posted by aroan

(RNS) An Orthodox Jewish woman is one of Newsweek’s 50 Most Influential Rabbis in America this year, reflecting a major shift in the magazine’s fourth-annual compilation of top Jewish leaders. Sara Hurwitz, who debuts at No. 36, made headlines when […]

48 Va. Inmates in Segregation Over Grooming Policy

posted by aroan

Associated Press – June 30, 2010 RICHMOND, Va. – Nearly 50 Virginia prisoners are being held in perpetual isolation because they refuse to cut their hair, several for religious reasons. The Associated Press reported in May that 10 Rastafarian inmates […]

Pakistan: Google Site to be Monitored for ‘Blasphemy’

posted by aroan

Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News June 26–(AKI) – Pakistan on Friday said it would monitor Google, Yahoo, and other popular websites to to weed out what the government considers material that could be offensive to Islam. The country in May blocked […]

Pope To Create New Office to Fight Secularization

posted by aroan

Associated Press – June 29, 2010 VATICAN CITY – Pope Benedict XVI is creating a new Vatican office to fight secularization and “re-evangelize” the West – a tacit acknowledgment that his attempts to reinvigorate Christianity in Europe haven’t succeeded and […]

Vatican Admonishes Austrian Cardinal for Comments

posted by aroan

Associated Press – June 28, 2010 VATICAN CITY – The Vatican on Monday issued an unprecedented rebuke of a top cardinal who had accused the retired Vatican No. 2 of blocking clerical sex abuse investigations, publicly dressing down a man […]

Caner Sacked as Seminary Dean After Probe into Background

posted by aroan

(RNS) After a seven-week probe into whether seminary dean Ergun Caner exaggerated his dramatic conversion from militant Islam to evangelical Christianity, Liberty University announced Caner will remain on faculty, but no longer as dean. The investigation, prompted by a growing […]

Supreme Court Rules Against Christian Legal Group

posted by aroan

By ADELLE M. BANKS c. 2010 Religion News Service WASHINGTON (RNS) The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Monday (June 28) that a Christian student group must accept gays and non-Christians as members if it wants to be officially recognized by a […]

Is Facebook a Sin? Some Muslims Think So

posted by mconsoli

(RNS) Do a Google search on Shirien Elamawy and you’ll find her Tweets, her Egyptian Gumbo website, her college newspaper columns, and the beginnings of her Muslim children’s book. What you won’t find anywhere is an image of Elamawy herself. […]

Vatican Secrecy Keeps Victims, Accused in the Dark

posted by mconsoli

(RNS) Daniel Donohue doesn’t know when the call will come. He could be anywhere — at the supermarket, poolside with his four children, or in a classroom studying social work — when he learns the fate of the priest he […]

Raelians want to rehab `reputation’ of the swastika

posted by mconsoli

(RNS) The Raelians have designated this Sunday (June 27) as “World Swastika Rehabilitation Day,” saying the ancient symbol should no longer be damned by its ties to Nazism. A cross with arms bent at 90-degree angles, the swastika was adopted […]

Traditional Hindu Temple Dedicated in Mississippi

posted by mconsoli

BRANDON, Miss. – A new Hindu temple is an incongruous sight in the middle of a bedroom community near the capital of Mississippi. The temple is believed to be among only a few in the South built in the ancient […]

Four in 10 Americans See Jesus’ Return by 2050

posted by mconsoli

(RNS) Four in 10 Americans believe Jesus Christ will return to earth by 2050, while a slightly larger portion (46 percent) don’t believe they’ll see a Second Coming by mid-century, according to a new survey. As part of Smithsonian Magazine’s […]

Muslim Liquor Store Owners Get Help with Moral Dilemma

posted by mconsoli

CHICAGO – Prescribed by his Islamic faith to pray five times a day, Mazen Materieh often prostrates himself on one of the prayer rugs in the basement of his corner store. When he is done, he returns to his perch […]

Critics Say Caner Isn’t Only Ex-Muslim with Dubious Past

posted by mconsoli

(RNS) Liberty University is expected to release a report this month on whether Ergun Caner, president of the school’s Baptist Theological Seminary, fabricated or exaggerated his life story as a former Muslim extremist rescued by Jesus. Caner is no ordinary […]

Homeowners Weigh Morality of Walking-Out on Mortgages

posted by mconsoli

ORLANDO, Fla. (RNS) Lynn Thompson quit paying the mortgage on her investment property — not because she couldn’t afford the payments, but because she thinks walking away is better for her long-term financial health. Thompson bought the property here for […]

Faith Groups Give G20 Nations Failing Grade on Poverty

posted by mconsoli

WASHINGTON (RNS) An alliance of religious denominations has given the world’s richest nations a near-failing grade for their progress on eradicating world poverty. Jubilee USA Network, an alliance of more than 75 religious groups that advocates debt forgiveness for poor […]

New Orleans Clergy Cool to Idea of Armed Parishioners

posted by mconsoli

Religion News Service NEW ORLEANS (RNS) The Louisiana Legislature may have cleared parishioners to carry guns to church, but the idea seems to sit pretty uncomfortably with clergy, whom legislators thought they were helping by providing homegrown security. “Unequivocally, no,” […]

For Clergy, Losing Faith Can Be an Occupational Hazard

posted by mconsoli

NEW YORK (RNS) For some clergy, it is the problem that dare not speak its name. Affected pastors say they cannot be themselves among their congregations or colleagues, sometimes even with their own families. It’s a huge and burdensome secret […]

Vatican Emissary Wraps up Talks with Castro

posted by mconsoli

VATICAN CITY (RNS) The Vatican’s foreign secretary ended a five-day trip to Cuba with a “cordial, respectful and continuous” talk with President Raul Castro on Sunday (June 20). The meeting between Castro and Archbishop Dominique Mamberti underscored the increasingly significant […]

Guns-In-Churches Bill Sent to La. Governor

posted by mconsoli

BATON ROUGE, La. (RNS) The Louisiana House approved and sent to Gov. Bobby Jindal on Thursday (June 17) a revived bill that would allow people qualified to carry concealed weapons to tote them to their house of worship. Lawmakers voted […]

Pagans to Pray for Earth’s Healing from Oil Spill

posted by mconsoli

(RNS) Bonfires, drum circles, dancing, candlelit meditation and other ceremonial rituals help usher in the summer solstice at the annual Pagan Spirit Gathering, now in its 30th year in the United States. Along with celebrating the longest day of the […]

It’s Hats-Off to Female Bishop, and Not In a Good Way

posted by mconsoli

(RNS)Q: When is a hat more than a hat? A: When the hat is a bishop’s miter, and belongs to the female head of the Episcopal Church, symbolizing her rank in a church hierarchy dominated by men. In a public […]

New Rabbi Takes Helm of Terrorized Mumbai Jewish Center

posted by mconsoli

(RNS) An Israeli rabbi and his wife were appointed to continue the work of Jewish emissaries who were killed during the 2008 terrorist attacks in Mumbai, India. Rabbi Chanoch Gechtman and his wife, Leiky, will move to India’s financial capital […]

Muslim Families Proving Vital in War Against Terror

posted by mconsoli

(RNS) Wiretaps. Informants. Financial records. They all play vital roles in U.S. government investigations to prevent terrorist attacks. But in the last six months, another investigative tool has received increased attention: cooperation from suspects’ families. Three times since December — […]

South African Church Leader Defends Noisy Horns at World Cup

posted by mconsoli

(RNS/ENInews) The captain of France’s national soccer team is said to have blamed noise from the “vuvuzela” for keeping his team awake at night and contributing to a poor match against Uruguay in the World Cup in Cape Town, South […]

Sikhs, Muslims Lobby Against Racial Profiling

posted by nsymmonds

WASHINGTON (RNS) Sikh and Muslim groups are pushing Congress to pass a bill prohibiting racial profiling that’s been languishing for more than nine years since the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Two groups, Muslim Advocates and the Sikh Coalition, are seeking passage […]

Abortion Strains Religious-Government Aid Coalition

posted by mconsoli

WASHINGTON (RNS) It took Dr. Hanna Klaus four years and $1.6 million in federal funding, but she and her team have preached abstinence to more than 23,000 African teenagers. It’s the only way to curb the AIDS epidemic that’s sweeping […]

Southern Baptists Critique Big Oil, Oppose Gay Policies

posted by mconsoli

(RNS) Southern Baptists issued a veiled but sharp critique of the nation’s oil companies on Wednesday (June 16), saying “all industries are … accountable to higher standards than to profit alone.” Members of the Southern Baptist Convention, meeting in Orlando, […]

Australian ‘Angel’ Saves Lives at Suicide Spot

posted by mconsoli

SYDNEY – In those bleak moments when the lost souls stood atop the cliff, wondering whether to jump, the sound of the wind and the waves was broken by a soft voice. “Why don’t you come and have a cup […]

Bishop Says New Mass Likely in Late 2011

posted by mconsoli

ST. LOUIS, Mo. (RNS) A historic change in the way Roman Catholics participate in Mass will likely begin Nov. 27, 2011, according to an Illinois bishop who’s been active in preparing for the changes. Bishop Edward Braxton of Belleville, Ill., […]

Report: Religious Groups See Slight Decrease in Giving

posted by mconsoli

WASHINGTON (RNS) Religious organizations reported a 0.7 percent decrease in donations last year, according to a study by Giving USA Foundation, a marked contrast from the 5.5 percent increase in giving reported in 2008. Religious congregations accounted for 33 percent […]

Scientology and Abortion

posted by nsymmonds

Scientology and abortion. The Church of Scientology does not take a position on abortion. However, the subject comes up in the writings of church founder L.Ron Hubbard, which the church regards as sacred scripture. Scientology counseling seeks to rid the […]

New Anglican Church Faces Fiscal Challenges

posted by mconsoli

Editors’ note: This is a corrected version of a story that first appeared on Beliefnet June 9. AMESBURY, Mass. (RNS) When the Anglican Church in North America launched last year, founders were clear on what they didn’t want to be: […]

Baptists’ Large Military Presence Colors Gay Debate

posted by mconsoli

(RNS) In many religious circles, the repeal of a military ban on openly gay members is considered practically a done deal. But Southern Baptists, who have many more active-duty military chaplains than any other denomination, are not giving up without […]

Pope Praises Priests, Despite Scandal

posted by mconsoli

VATICAN CITY – Pope Benedict XVI hailed priests on Sunday as gifts to the world for their generous and courageous work, in a speech that didn’t mention the clergy sex abuse scandal. “Dear friends, the priest is a gift from […]

Reform Jewish Leader Announces Plans to Retire

posted by mconsoli

(RNS) Rabbi Eric Yoffie, president of the largest Jewish congregational body in North America, has announced that he will retire in two years. Yoffie, 63, has helmed the Union for Reform Judaism since 1996, presiding over about 900 synagogues with […]

Prince Charles Praises Islamic Principles on Environment

posted by mconsoli

LONDON (RNS) Prince Charles, heir to the British throne and next in line as titular head of the Church of England, says Western society should learn from Islamic principles to save the environment. Charles told an audience at the Oxford […]

Gulf Spill Seeps Into Spiritual Life

posted by mconsoli

NEW ORLEANS (RNS) Twice a day, precisely at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., alarms ring on dozens of cell phones, alerting those participating in the Rev. Jim Woodard’s week-old Internet prayer initiative to spend one minute praying for relief from […]

Pope Begs Forgiveness, Promises Action on Abuse

posted by aroan

Associated Press – June 11, 2010 VATICAN CITY – Pope Benedict XVI begged forgiveness Friday from clerical abuse victims for the sins of priests and promised to “do everything possible” to ensure that prelates don’t rape or molest children ever […]

Mormon Church Agrees to Pay Fine Over Support for Prop. 8

posted by aroan

(RNS) The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will pay a $5,000 fine for not reporting non-monetary contributions in support of Proposition 8, which banned same-sex marriage in California. The California Fair Political Practices Commission concluded the church “failed […]

Broadway Play Explores Evangelical Faith, Gay Life

posted by mconsoli

A new Broadway play that has been nominated for a couple of Tony awards features a character that might seem rarer than a unicorn: a gay evangelical. “Next Fall,” by Geoffrey Nauffts, has already won the Outer Critics Circle Award […]

Thousands of Priests Rally in Defense of Pope

posted by mconsoli

VATICAN CITY – An estimated 15,000 priests massed in St. Peter’s Square on Thursday in one of the largest such gatherings in a show of support for Pope Benedict XVI and the priesthood itself amid the clerical abuse scandal. Benedict […]

Campaigners for Women’s Ordination Protest at Vatican

posted by mconsoli

ROME (RNS/ENInews) A group of women demonstrated in Rome’s St Peter’s Square on Tuesday (June 8), saying they want “full and equal participation” in the Roman Catholic Church. The small group held a banner stating, “Ordain Catholic Women,” to the […]

African Religious Leaders Warn About HIV During World Cup

posted by mconsoli

NAIROBI (RNS/ENInews) African Christian and Muslim leaders are warning of increased vulnerability to HIV infections during the soccer World Cup in South Africa, which begins on Friday (June 11). The world soccer extravaganza is coming to Africa for the first […]

New Anglican Church Faces Fiscal Challenges

posted by mconsoli

AMESBURY, Mass. (RNS) When the Anglican Church in North America launched last year, founders were clear on what they didn’t want to be: the Episcopal Church. But as the ACNA marks its first anniversary with a meeting here this week, […]

Anti-torture Group Demands Probe of Doctors’ Role in Interrogation

posted by nsymmonds

WASHINGTON (RNS) The National Religious Campaign Against Torture wants the government to investigate claims that doctors and medical professionals performed unethical experiments on detainees in CIA custody during the Bush administration. On Tuesday (June 8), members of NRCAT voiced their […]

Haggard’s New Flock Finds Faith in Redemption

posted by nsymmonds

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (RNS) Colby Rockhill was one of the 14,000 members of New Life Church who saw founding pastor Ted Haggard dramatically fall from grace in a 2006 scandal involving gay sex and drugs. Yet Rockhill never gave up […]

Episcopalians Booted from Anglican Bodies Over Gay Bishops

posted by nsymmonds

(RNS) The Episcopal Church has been removed from Anglican committees that engage in dialogue with other Christians and consider doctrinal issues, the latest fallout from the church’s consecration of a lesbian bishop last month. The Rev. Kenneth Kearon, secretary general […]

Israel Unearths 3,500-Year-Old Pagan Artifacts

posted by mconsoli

JERUSALEM – Archaeologists have unearthed a cache of rare, 35-century-old religious artifacts once used in pagan rituals, Israeli officials said Monday. The items were found during an excavation ordered by the Israel Antiquities Authority along the route of a new […]

Sikhs Blast ‘Raghead’ Comment Directed at S.C. Candidate

posted by mconsoli

WASHINGTON (RNS) The “raghead” comment aimed at South Carolina gubernatorial candidate Nikki Haley was unfair, uncalled for and unreasonable, Sikh advocacy groups said. “It is a very unfortunate situation,” said Gurinder Singh Mann, director of the Center for Sikh and […]

Pope Calls for International Attention to Middle East

posted by mconsoli

VATICAN CITY (RNS) Pope Benedict XVI called for an “urgent international effort” to bring peace to the Middle East, especially for the region’s dwindling Christian population, in a Mass on Sunday (June 6) at the end of a three-day visit […]

Christians Discuss ‘Good’ and ‘Bad’ Evangelism

posted by mconsoli

EDINBURGH, Scotland (RNS/ENInews) “Good evangelism” and “bad evangelism” came under discussion when a diverse group of Christians met to mark the 100th anniversary of the historic 1910 Edinburgh Missionary Conference. Antonios Kireopoulos, the associate general secretary for interfaith relations for […]

Previous Posts

Hispanics turning evangelical, Jews secular
Worship service attendance is up in New York City, but down among young adult Jews, according to recent studies. On the other hand, fewer Spanish-speaking teens are attending Catholic mass, but more are showing up at Evangelical churches. [caption id="attachment_12343" align="alignleft" width="48

posted 3:10:30pm Nov. 05, 2013 | read full post »

Billy Graham: I know where I'm going
“Daddy thinks the Lord will allow him to live to 95,” said Franklin Graham recently. It was not a prophecy but a hope, Franklin explained, that he would live to see the beginning of a Christian re

posted 10:02:01am Oct. 24, 2013 | read full post »

Are All These Christians' Complaints of Persecution Just So Much Empty Whining?
The headlines are alarming: “Catholic-Owned Company Wins Religious Freedom Court Decision,” “Death Toll Rises to 65 in Boko Haram Attack on Students,” “Little Sisters Catholic Charity Victimized By Obamacare,” “Christians Sought Out, Murdered in the Kenyan Mall Massacre,” “Judicial

posted 2:41:26am Oct. 07, 2013 | read full post »

How can Christians defend themselves against today's random violence?
So, a crazed gunman opens fire and you’re caught in the middle. How can you survive? Heroes come in all sorts of packages. And they wield all sorts of defensive weapons. Such as guns and Jesus. Sometimes both at the same time. [caption id="attachment_12246" align="alignleft" width="480"] Ant

posted 2:53:48pm Sep. 27, 2013 | read full post »

Does Sunday Morning Church Really Need All This Glitter, Showmanship and Gimmickry?
What’s wrong with church today? Are we in danger of turning worship into a flashy concert? Of watering down the message so nobody is offended? Of forgetting the simplicity of the Gospel? I grew up with a preacher’s kid. He was a fake following in the footsteps of his flimflamming father who d

posted 11:26:20am Sep. 20, 2013 | read full post »

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