Undocumented immigrant families walk from a bus depot to a respite center after being released from detention in McAllen, Texas, July 26, 2018. REUTERS/Loren Elliott

Over the past four months, news from the border has chronicled the stories of families detained and separated — many of them seeking asylum from gang violence in Central America. Children as young as 8 months have been taken from their parents and sent across the country to children’s shelters, privately run detention centers, and, some, to foster families. Now, 20 days after a court-imposed deadline, more than 550 children still have not been returned to their parents, at least 300 of whom have been deported.

This conflict has implications far beyond cake shops or even adoption. Most states still don't protect LGBTQ individuals from discrimination in the workplace, housing, and public accommodations., and under the Trump administration, the Justice Department has taken the position that the 1964 Civil Rights Act does not cover sexual orientation or gender identity. Wherever advocacy groups are able to secure legal protections for LGBTQ individuals, we should expect pushback from certain religious groups hoping to gain an exemption from those rules.

the Web Editors 8-14-2018

Image via REUTERS/Max Rossi

The report cited 301 priests who are accused of abuse. As a consequence of the cover up, only two priests are subject to prosecution — some abusers died and other cases are too old to prosecute. There were more than 1,000 victims identified in the report, mostly boys, but more victims are believed to exist.

Siblings Charlotte and Sean Kratovil-Lavelle stand on the perimeter of the Unite the Right counterprotest on Sunday. Photo by Holly Honderich.

About 1,000 protesters gathered a few blocks from a white nationalist rally Sunday, far outnumbering the fewer than two dozen Unite the Right activists who walked to Lafayette Park near the White House one year after the deadly riots in Charlottesville, Va.

Dhanya Addanki 8-09-2018

Image via Ric Urrutia

When Velasquez came to the border, she was taken to a detention center in Texas where she was held for a month and a half before making her way to Colorado. She met her husband in Colorado and the couple have three children who are American citizens. She lost a request for asylum in 2016 and was given a year-long stay of deportation in the U.S. Immigration officials indicated that they would not renew her stay of deportation any longer. So instead of going to her Aug. 9, 2017 check in with ICE, Velasquez and her family went to Park Hill and Temple Micah

the Web Editors 8-09-2018

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The mass resignation comes in the wake of an admitted mishandling of sexual harassment allegations made against the church’s founder and former pastor, Rev. Bill Hybels.

Dhanya Addanki 8-08-2018

Image via Wikimedia Commons 

“This is a great time for two churches that have been impacted by racial division to come together through the symbols of prayer, communion, focus on love and justice rather than racial division and hatred,” Roberts said. 

the Web Editors 8-08-2018

Children and family members take part in a sit-in following a march to mark “the court-ordered deadline for the Trump Administration to reunify thousands of families separated at the border, in Washington, U.S., July 26, 2018. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

According to a report by The Intercept, the agents took Salazar behind an abandoned Walmart where they shackled him and emptied his pockets before transporting him to the South Texas Detention Complex in Pearsall. Once there, Salazar says he was taken to a room where the FBI probed him for information and told him his immigration status had been revoked because he was a “bad person.” When he refused to talk to them, he was transferred to the Webb County Detention Center in Laredo, Texas.

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After being reunited with her daughter, Sandra Elizabeth Sanchez, of Honduras, browses through a rack of clothes at Catholic Charities in San Antonio, Texas, U.S., July 26, 2018. REUTERS/Callaghan O'Hare

“The Bible tells us, in numerous places, to care for the foreigner and stranger among us. As those who were once ‘aliens’ from the family of God and have now been given full citizenship through the blood of Christ, we should, of all people advocate for the flourishing and welfare for refugees,” said Elizabeth Bristow, Press Secretary at The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention. “We should see those settling into our communities, not as obstacles to our flourishing, but people created in the image of God."

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Samuel Oliver-Bruno at CityWell UMC. Photo by Elizabeth Evans

Oliver-Bruno is one of six people publicly in sanctuary in the state (a seventh doesn’t want to be identified). During the 1980s, more than 100 churches sheltered Guatemalan and Salvadoran immigrants, and the movement has seen somewhat of a national revival in recent years. Though sanctuary churches often attract media attention, the men and women living behind church doors represent a network of families and communities living under the unpredictable threat of government-sponsored raids and arrests.

the Web Editors 8-06-2018

Undocumented immigrant families walk from a bus depot to a respite center after being released from detention in McAllen, Texas, U.S., July 26, 2018. REUTERS/Loren Elliott

"Imagine your family ripped apart. That’s going to have reverberations across family members for years to come."

the Web Editors 8-03-2018

Image via REUTERS/Callaghan O'Hare. 

Immigrants have described the conditions in detention centers as “hieleras,” the Spanish word for ice boxes, and “perreras,” the Spanish word for dog pounds. In Laredo, Texas, a mother fleeing violence in Honduras with her two young sons said in a statement that they family was forced to sleep on the hard floor of the holding cell, clothes still wet from crossing the Rio Grande. Mothers also said they were given little to no food and are unable to produce enough breast milk to feed their children.

Image via Flickr / Thomas Hawk

And the Book of Proverbs maintains that the feminine figure of Holy Wisdom, Sophia, assisted God during the creation of the world.

FILE PHOTO: Pope Francis leads a Holy Mass at the Palexpo in Geneva, Switzerland, June 21, 2018. REUTERS/Tony Gentile/File Photo

The Roman Catholic Church formally changed its teaching on Thursday to declare the death penalty inadmissible whatever the circumstance, a move that is likely to be viewed askance in countries where capital punishment is legal.

the Web Editors 8-01-2018

Hurricane Harvey is pictured off the coast of Texas, U.S. from aboard the International Space Station in this August 25, 2017 NASA handout photo. NASA/Handout via REUTERS/File Photo

“Our current economies are running a Ponzi scheme with our planet,” Mathis Wackernagel, chief executive and co-founder of Global Footprint Network, said. “We are borrowing the Earth’s future resources to operate our economies in the present. Like any Ponzi scheme, this works for some time. But as nations, companies, or households dig themselves deeper and deeper into debt, they eventually fall apart.”

Witness Commander Jonathan D. White  during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing July 31, 2018. REUTERS/Allison Shelley

A senior official at the U.S. agency charged with caring for migrant children believed separating them from their parents carried "significant risk" of harm and said on Tuesday concerns had been raised internally before the Trump administration made it official policy. 

Cardinal Theodore Edgar McCarrick smiles during an interview with Reuters at the North American College at the Vatican February 14, 2013. REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi/File Photo

The allegations against McCarrick, which first surfaced publicly last month, came with Francis facing an image crisis on a second front, in Chile, where a growing abuse scandal has enveloped the Church.

Undocumented immigrant families walk from a bus depot to a respite center after being released from detention in McAllen, Texas, July 26, 2018. REUTERS/Loren Elliott

Lawsuits can force the government to change its policies, as has now happened with the apparent end to the family separation policy. But lawsuits do not always achieve the results intended. Since legal proceedings usually take years to adjudicate, they are often settled before running their course – well out of public view.

Image via Shutterstock/Pamela Au 

“It's easy to catch a heat stroke from prolonged exposure to the sun and the humidity here in the district,” said Reginald Black, a homeless journalist and vendor for Street Sense, a local newspaper produced and distributed by homeless individuals.

Sandi Villarreal 7-27-2018

Douglas Almendarez poses with his wife Evelin Meyer holding a photo of their son, in La Union, in Olancho state Honduras July 14, 2018. REUTERS/Edgard Garrido

U.S. District Judge Dana Sabraw earlier this week praised the government's efforts to reunify some of the more than 2,500 children who had been separated from their parents upon crossing the U.S.-Mexico border in advance of the July 26 deadline. Yet as of that deadline, 711 children ages 5-17 remain in U.S. custody. Another 46 children under the age of 5 also have yet to be reunited with their parents