Sarah Einselen 9-22-2022

Venezuelan migrants stand outside St. Andrew’s Church in Edgartown, Massachusetts, Sept. 14, 2022. Ray Ewing/Vineyard Gazette via Reuters.

When about 50 people found themselves stranded last week on Martha’s Vineyard, the island’s nonprofit social services agency called on local churches to help. “We rallied and did what any decent human being would do if strangers showed up,” local pastor Rev. Charlotte Wright told Sojourners this week.

Mitchell Atencio 9-21-2022

Church pews by CHUTTERSNAP via Unsplash. Graph by Pew Research Center. Mitchell Atencio/Sojourners

On Sept. 13, Pew Research Center released four hypothetical scenarios that model what the religious landscape of the United States might look like if current demographic trends continue. The four models projected that the U.S. population who identify as Christian would decrease from 64 percent in 2020 to between 35-54 in 2070.

Mitchell Atencio 9-12-2022

Courtesy of Seattle Pacific University.

A group of students, faculty, staff, and alumni from Seattle Pacific University filed a lawsuit against the university’s board of trustees after over a year of protesting policies that do not allow full-time staff and faculty in same-sex relationships to be hired.

A man wearing a clergy collar sits in a red car, with his left hand out the rolled down car window.

Chaplain Steve Lee as seen in police body camera footage outside the home of election worker Ruby Freeman on Dec. 15, 2020, in Cobb County, Georgia. SOURCE: COBB COUNTY POLICE DEPARTMENT

Georgia election worker Ruby Freeman didn’t recognize the man who banged on her door. Terrified, she called 911. She had reason to fear.

By the morning of Dec. 15, 2020, when she saw the stranger’s red sedan parked in her driveway, she had received hundreds of threats from supporters of former U.S. President Donald Trump. Two weeks earlier, Trump’s campaign had falsely accused Freeman and her daughter, Wandrea “Shaye” Moss, of pulling fake ballots from suitcases at Atlanta's State Farm Arena to rig the 2020 election for Democrat Joe Biden.

Mitchell Atencio 9-08-2022
“One Nation Under God” American flag painting in Texas.

“One Nation Under God” American flag painting in Texas. Via Alamy. 

Ever since Jan. 6, 2021, the term “Christian nationalism” has proliferated in discourse, but the precise definition is up for debate. Is Christian nationalism only applicable to those who welcome the label, like Georgia Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, who sells “Proud Christian nationalist” t-shirts, and Southern Baptist Theological Seminary president Al Mohler, who said he wasn’t going to run from Christian nationalism on a recent podcast episode? Or can it be applied to hanging images of Jesus in congressional offices and the post-rapture book and movie series­ ­ Left Behind?

Mitchell Atencio 8-30-2022

Catholic women with parasols expressing the call for women’s ordination in the church at the Vatican, Aug. 29, 2022. Courtesy Women’s Ordination Conference.

Kate McElwee, the executive director of the Women’s Ordination Conference and one of the women at the protest, spoke with Sojourners’ Mitchell Atencio about her hope for women’s ordination, Francis’ attitude toward reforms, and the symbolic nature of their activism.

Mitchell Atencio 8-26-2022

Farmworkers on their march from Delano to Sacramento, Calif. Courtesy of United Farm Workers

The marchers, organized by the United Farm Workers, were joined by hundreds of allies, including faith leaders, throughout their march. Farmworkers marched through triple-digit temperature days on their peregrinacion (pilgrimage). They carried American and Mexican flags, flags with union logos, and a banner featuring a large image of Our Lady of Guadalupe, a title for the Virgin Mary that carries special significance for Mexican and Mexican-Americans. Marchers proclaimed, “We feed you!” and chanted the UFW slogan “Sí, se puede (Yes, it can be done!)”

Pope Francis holds a little boy during his weekly general Audience In St. Paul Hall at the Vatican. Evandro Inetti/ZUMA Press Wire via Reuters.

Pope Francis was delighted when a young boy stormed onto the stage during his general audience on Wednesday, in which he addressed the topic of dialogue between young and old people.

A woman walks past the U.S. Department of Justice building, in Washington, D.C., Dec. 15, 2020. REUTERS/Al Drago

The Southern Baptist Convention, the largest U.S. Protestant denomination, said on Friday that several of its entities were being investigated by the U.S. Department of Justice, after a report found the church had mishandled sex abuse claims and mistreated victims.

Joshua Eaton 8-10-2022

An ambulance arrives at an emergency room. Via Alamy.

First Presbyterian, a congregation in the Presbyterian Church (USA) denomination, is one of many across the country raising money through the nonprofit RIP Medical Debt to buy and forgive medical debts owed by people who can’t afford to pay them back. The church hopes to raise $50,000 as one of two mission components to its capital campaign — enough to forgive $5 million in medical debt. 

Rebecca Randall 8-08-2022

Photo Illustration by Mitchell Atencio/Sojourners. Original images by Michael Maasen and Aaron Burden via Unsplash.

The June release of a Climate Vigil The Porter’s Gate Worship Project aims to nudge Christians toward climate action, but it isn’t alone among contenders to inspire the climate movement. For over 20 years, Carolyn Winfrey Gillette, a Presbyterian minister from New York, has written hymns for the times, including one for the 2021 UN climate talks held in Scotland and several to recognize increasing natural disasters such as wildfires, hurricanes, and floods. Fossil Free PCUSA, a campaign within the Presbyterian Church (USA) has used hymns in protests, including songs by Christian artist Matthew Black.

A poster depicting Ahmaud Arbery is seen outside the Glynn County Courthouse while Greg McMichael, his son Travis McMichael and William “Roddie” Bryan are tried over the killing of Ahmaud Arbery, in Brunswick, Ga., November 23, 2021. REUTERS/Marco Bello

A judge sentenced Travis McMichael to life in prison on Aug. 8 for committing federal hate crimes in the 2020 killing of Ahmaud Arbery, a Black man shot while jogging through a mostly white Georgia neighborhood in a case that probed issues of racist violence and vigilantism in the United States.

Mitchell Atencio 8-05-2022
A metal archway says "Seattle Pacific University" in front of trees with yellow leaves.

Courtesy of Seattle Pacific University.

Seattle Pacific University announced on July 28 that it is suing Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson, after the attorney general opened an investigation into whether SPU was violating the state’s anti-discrimination laws. SPU, which is affiliated with the Free Methodist Church, contends that Ferguson’s investigation is a violation of the school’s religious freedom.

Abortion rights activists protest outside the venue of a summit by the conservative group 'Moms For Liberty' in Tampa, Florida, July 16, 2022. REUTERS/Octavio Jones

Clergy members of five religions sued the state of Florida on Monday over a new law criminalizing most abortions in the state after 15 weeks of pregnancy, saying the ban violates their religious freedom rights.

Mitchell Atencio 7-29-2022

Ronald J. Sider. Courtesy Eastern University.

Ronald J. Sider, founder of Christians for Social Action and a stalwart evangelical advocate for social justice, died of a cardiac arrest on July 27. He was 82 years old.

A Canadian Indigenous woman wipes her tears during a mass led by Pope Francis at the Basilica of Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupre on July 28. Nathan Denette/Canadian Press via ZUMA Press/dpa

Two protestors held up a banner calling for the Catholic Church to reverse a 15th century policy known as the “Doctrine of Discovery” that backed seizing land from non-Christians at the start of a Mass led by Pope Francis near Quebec on Thursday.

Pope Francis is welcomed by some elders of the First Nations, Métis, and Inuit peoples during his visit to the Church dedicated to Our Lady of Seven Sorrows a Edmonton, July 25, 2022. Vatican Media/Catholic Press Photo. 

Pope Francis on Monday made good on a promise to apologize to Canada’s native people on their home land for the Church’s role in schools where Indigenous children were abused, branding forced cultural assimilation “evil” and a “disastrous error.”

Mitchell Atencio 7-25-2022

A graphic showing Bradly Mason, Jeff Liou, Tiffany Puett, Christina Edmondson, Nathan Luis Cartagena, and Robert Chao Romero. Via The African American Policy Forum

Last week the African American Policy Forum held its third annual summer school for scholars to discuss and develop anti-racism efforts in the United States. This year, AAPF dedicated a portion of its programming to “Keeping the Faith,” an exploration of Christianity and critical race theory.

Mitchell Atencio 7-21-2022

Students participate in the May 17, 2022 ‘Day Against Homophobia’ protest at Seattle Pacific University. Giao Nguyen/Courtesy 
The Associated Students of Seattle Pacific.

Over the last year, the majority of Seattle Pacific University’s community has been unwavering in its affirmation of LGBTQ equality on campus ... Nevertheless, on July 1, the evangelical university’s board of trustees affirmed — for a third time in about a year — that the school would not change its employee policy.

A general view is seen as Pope Francis holds a mass in St. Peter’s Square for the World Meeting of Families at the Vatican, June 25, 2022. REUTERS/Remo Casilli

The Vatican on Tuesday issued an overarching investments policy to ensure they are ethical, green, low-risk, and avoid weapons industries or health sectors involved in abortion, contraception, or embryonic stem cells.