the Web Editors 5-17-2019

Black Millennial faith, bodies in deserts, global religious persecution, climate warriors, and more!

Jenna Barnett 5-17-2019

“In a representative democracy, if our legislators are not legislating in accordance with the moral law that we’re given by God, then it’s really on us to select representatives who will legislate in accordance with that law,” she said.

Meagan Jordan 5-14-2019

Tim Bowman Jr. and Teddy R. Reeves speak during the #gODTalk session at Something in the Water. Photo by Nalan Smartt, courtesy Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture.

For nearly a decade, pollsters have been reporting the trend of disaffiliation with the church, particularly among millennials. This shift is playing out in the black church, though the rates of disaffiliation and eschewing overall spirituality are less pronounced. Black millennials are more likely to pray and believe that a higher power exists than other races, but a steady percentage of black millennials are still disengaging — and they are not returning to the church as they age. Instead, they are finding new ways and places where they can be free to stand in their identity.

the Web Editors 5-10-2019

Collective grief, generational war, cultivating joy, and more!

Raksha Kumar 5-08-2019

An Adivasi woman standing at the alleged site of a violent police encounter. Photo by Raksha Kumar

Trying to superimpose Western democratic ideas of a state, electoral democracy, the police, and the criminal justice system onto their societies does not bode well. To add, the protracted conflict has made villagers suspicious of the state security forces, who they already see as violent oppressors.

Memorial for Sandra Bland in Prairie View, the town where she was arrested. Photo by Marjorie Kamys Cotera for The Texas Tribune

The 39-second cellphone video shot by Bland remained in the hands of investigators until the Investigative Network obtained the video once the criminal investigation closed. Bland’s family said they never saw the video before and now call for Texas officials to re-examine the criminal case against the trooper who arrested Bland, which sparked outrage across the country.

Will Young 5-06-2019

In the past the results of shareholder activism with private prisons, at best, have been mixed. A very similar resolution was introduced in 2016; it garnered a mere 24 percent of shareholder votes. But even if the upcoming resolution were to get 50 percent or more of the shareholder votes at the meeting, resolutions are not binding for any private company.

Israel Palacio / Unsplash

The Pentagon said there were 6,053 reports of sexual assaults last year, according to an anonymous, bi-annual survey. It is the highest since the U.S. military began collecting this kind of survey data in 2004.

Da'Shawn Mosley 5-02-2019

Father Theodore Hesburgh

The new documentary Hesburgh, which premieres nationwide on Friday, May 3, and is directed by the Emmy-nominated filmmaker Patrick Creadon (Wordplay, I.O.U.S.A.) gives us a thorough look at Father Hesburgh’s walk. From Hesburgh’s origins to his decision to devote his life to the priesthood, to his appointment — at the young age of 35 — as president of the University of Notre Dame, to all the personal, national, and global adversities that the man of the cloth later faced afterward, Hesburgh weaves a beautiful and engaging story of faith lived out.

Camille Erickson 5-02-2019

Image via Camille Erickson 

In the meantime, Caño Martín Peña remains severely clogged and needs to be dredged to prevent continued flooding. Corporación ENLACE, an organization led by residents of Caño Martín Peña, has called on Congress to add a supplemental fund of $100 million to the disaster relief bill to dredge the channel.

Heather Brady 5-01-2019

President Joko Widodo of Indonesia is moving forward with a plan to relocate the country’s capital city.

Jakarta, the current capital city, has sunk about 13 feet in the last 30 years.

U.S. Attorney General William Barr is sworn in before testifying at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing in Washington. May 1, 2019. REUTERS/Jim Bourg

In his first congressional testimony since releasing a redacted version of the 448-page report on April 18, Barr deflected complaints made by Mueller in a letter to him over how the attorney general had handled the disclosure of the special counsel's conclusions.

Jenna Barnett 4-30-2019

Jimmy Carter Signing Extension of Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) Ratification, Nov. 20, 1978. Wikimedia Commons

The House Judiciary Committee today held the first hearing on the Equal Rights Amendment in 36 years. The ERA affirms that, “Women shall have equal rights in the United States and every place subject to its jurisdiction. Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.” If the ERA passes, the word “women” would appear in the Constitution for the first time in history.

Kayla Lattimore 4-26-2019

Van Jones in his new docuseries The Redemption Project. Photo courtesy Grace Hill Media

His latest docuseries, CNN’s The Redemption Project, Van Jones a look at what restorative justice and healing looking like within our criminal system, bringing offenders face to face with those affected by their violent crimes in hopes of promoting dialogue and healing.

Americans are more aware of the $99 billion global sex trafficking industry than its existence in the U.S., potentially because many people — Christians included — have a dated understanding of what constitutes sex trafficking.

Rishika Pardikar 4-26-2019

Alaa Salah, a Sudanese protester whose video gone viral and make her an icon for the mass anti-government protests, in Khartoum, Sudan, April 20, 2019. REUTERS/Umit Bektas

The Sudanese revolution is half-complete. On April 12, merely 24-hours after they had gotten rid of Omar al-Bashir, their dictator of 30 years, the Sudanese people were still out on the streets. They are out today too.

Melody Zhang 4-25-2019

Image via Sean Hawkey 

Christian Climate Action played a key role in securing the protest site at Marble Arch as they arrived by a truck which was used to block traffic and was later transformed into a solar-powered stage. Rev. Sue Parfitt, 77, along with two other Christians, ensured that the truck was not removed by police by locking themselves to the underside with metal chains. Richard Barnard, a member of the U.K. Catholic Worker Movement, then climbed on top of the truck and unfurled a banner reading “tell the truth.”

Demonstrators gather outside the U.S. Supreme Courthouse in Washington, U.S., April 23, 2019. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

The court has a 5-4 conservative majority and has backed Trump in other high-profile cases. Conservative justices indicated a citizenship question would be eminently reasonable, noting that other countries use such questions and that the United States has done so in the past in one form or another.

Sean Hawkey 4-22-2019

Christians are stepping up to show their leadership on climate action in London this week during the Extinction Rebellion protests that have occupied four key positions in central London over the past week. The Extinction Rebellion has three stated demands of the United Kingdom government: declare a climate and ecological emergency, reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2015, and "create and be led by the decisions of a Citizens’ Assembly on climate and ecological justice.” In the collective nonviolent efforts to achieve these goals, over 950 have been arrested.

Sri Lankan military stand guard inside a church after an explosion in Negombo, Sri Lanka April 21, 2019. REUTERS/Stringer

Sri Lanka said on Monday it was invoking emergency powers in the aftermath of devastating bomb attacks on hotels and churches, blamed on militants with foreign links, in which 290 people were killed and nearly 500 wounded.