Lexi McMenamin 11-23-2020

Graphic via the website isthisacoup.com

Even before ballots were cast in the 2020 presidential election, many were suspicious of how the Trump White House would handle a potential transfer of power. As the election wound down with clear margins in President-elect Joe Biden’s favor — and as Donald Trump continued his refusal to concede — more people began to use the word “coup.”

Gina Ciliberto 11-23-2020

Margaret Huang, then-executive director of Amnesty International USA, speaks to protesters at the Refugees Welcome protest outside the Capitol, Oct. 15, 2019. Photo by Mike Jett / Shutterstock

On Nov. 12, at a virtual event celebrating the 40th anniversary of Jesuit Refugee Service, President-elect Joe Biden doubled down on his promise to increase presidential determination for annual refugee admissions to 125,000. That pledge marks a big increase from the record low of 15,000 refugee admissions President Donald Trump had set for the 2021 fiscal year.

Betsy Shirley 11-20-2020

The CDC urges Americans to avoid Thanksgiving travel, delayed election certification, tips for countering misinformation, and other stories our editors are reading.

A polling booth at the Complexo do Alemao  in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Nov. 15, 2020. REUTERS/Ricardo Moraes 

Nearly 13,000 candidates with religious titles ran for office in Brazil's Nov. 15 local elections – an increase of 24 percent compared to previous municipal elections.

Rev. Wendell Anthony speaks at a news conference with Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan Nov. 18 in Detroit. Photo via screenshot from news conference.

“They want to count the votes in places where he is winning and don’t count the votes where he seems to have lost or is losing. It is a shame before God and man. Trump has taken gangsterism to a new level. He makes Al Capone and his crew look like choir boys,” Detroit NAACP president Rev. Dr. Wendell Anthony said.

Lexi McMenamin 11-19-2020

Protesters in New York City rally against the Muslim ban in February 2017. Photo: a katz / Shutterstock.com

“President Trump and some of his appointees have sowed fear and division among religious communities,” says the letter. “The Biden administration must act quickly to correct these actions and reclaim a positive vision of religious freedom that protects all Americans.”

Gina Ciliberto 11-18-2020

Misinformation is widespread, and it can be dangerous. And while correcting misinformation can feel urgent, a team of experts told Sojourners that challenging our loved ones’ beliefs is a difficult and time-intensive undertaking. This is because misinformation about politics, religion, and health often ties into our deepest beliefs about ourselves: Challenging them isn’t just correcting facts, it’s resetting an entire worldview.

Cassie M. Chew 11-18-2020

Calvin Williams canvasses in Orlando, Fla., on Oct. 28, 2020 for the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition (FRCC), an organization led by formerly convicted people dedicated to ending the disenfranchisement and discrimination against people with convictions. REUTERS/Octavio Jones

“We understand that this policy is being used to distract us from the fact that you are policing us at a greater rate than ever before,” said Brittany White, who spent five years at an Alabama correctional facility after being convicted of drug trafficking and now works to engage newly enfranchised voters. “We are not fooled by this First Step Act and the other minor policies that have been implemented.”

Detroit pastors, including Rev. Dr. James Perkins , right, observe the polling location at Greater Christ Baptist Church administrative offices on Election Day. Erik Howard / Sojourners

“I’ve been a pastor for 44 years in Detroit in the urban setting. I have never seen this level of organization and mobilization toward an election as I saw this time,” said Bishop Edgar Vann II, senior pastor of Second Ebenezer Church. “This one went deep into the literal souls of people because everything everyone has gone through this year.”

Betsy Shirley 11-13-2020

New rituals to bury our dead, how political candidates engage with religious voters, our tendency to doomscroll, and other stories are editors are reading this week.

Katie Koranda 11-12-2020

Mosaic from the Survivors Memorial / Photo by Katie Koranda / Mosaic art by Lori Greene

Against the backdrop of the Minneapolis skyline, three mosaic pillars stand tall on what was once Dakota land. They are inscribed with 11 words: We believe you. We stand with you. You are not alone.

This is the first permanent memorial in the U.S. dedicated to survivors of sexual violence.

Mitchell Atencio 11-10-2020

Joe Biden at Grace Lutheran Church in Kenosha, Wisc., on September 3, 2020. Photo by Adam Schultz / Biden for President / CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Before winning the election, Biden touted endorsements from more than 1,600 faith leaders, the largest number for a Democratic candidate in modern history. The noteable outreach could be attributed partially to President Donald Trump’s relationship with religious conservatives. The increasing visibility of religious leaders in progressive politics also provided an opportunity. However, when looking for a catalyst to the campaign’s faith outreach, experts in faith and politics point to Joe Biden himself.

Saint Peter's Square a day before the Vatican releases its long-awaited report into disgraced ex-U.S. Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, at the Vatican, November 9, 2020. REUTERS/Remo Casilli

With testimony from 90 witnesses and dozens of documents, letters, and transcripts from Vatican and U.S. Catholic church archives, the 460-page document offers a remarkable reckoning by an institution known for its secrecy, portraying a man long able to convince superiors of his innocence.

Jenna Barnett 11-09-2020

In president-elect Joe Biden’s acceptance speech on Saturday he “pledge[d] to be a president who seeks not to divide, but to unify. Who doesn’t see red and blue states, but a United States.”

Yet over the weekend, some social media users used their platforms to warn pastors not to conflate peace-building and unity with forced reconciliation.

Gina Ciliberto 11-07-2020

Vice president-elect Kamala Harris speaks at a campaign event in Las Vegas, Nevada, on October 27, 2020. REUTERS/David Becker

On Aug. 19, as she accepted the Democratic nomination for vice president of the United States, Harris quoted 2 Corinthians 5:7 expressing her commitment “[t]o the Word that teaches me to walk by faith, and not by sight. And to a vision passed on through generations of Americans ... of our nation as a Beloved Community — where all are welcome, no matter what we look like, where we come from, or who we love.”

Mitchell Atencio 11-07-2020

Democratic U.S. presidential nominee Joe Biden smiles as he takes off his mask to speak about the voting results of the 2020 presidential election on November 4, 2020. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

“I’m a practicing Catholic. I believe faith is a gift. And the first obligation we all have is, ‘Love your God,’ the second one is, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself,’” Biden said. The president-elect’s religion and theology had been a central part of his pitch to “restore the soul of America,” which has been reflected in his schedule, policy, and statements from the campaign trail.

Rev. Raphael Warnock

The Rev. Raphael Warnock, a Black Democrat, faces an uphill battle in trying to unseat Republican Senator Kelly Loeffler, a wealthy businesswoman who was appointed to the seat in the conservative-leaning state after its former occupant retired.
Jenna Barnett 11-06-2020

Activists dressed as the White House, Philadelphia City Hall, and the United States Postal Service mailboxes in Philadelphia. November 5, 2020. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz

It’s been a week of record highs: 143,855,830 people voted for Joe Biden or Donald Trump, and counting; 121,888 new daily cases of COVID-19 in the U.S., and counting.

Cassie M. Chew 11-05-2020

President Donald Trump attends a service at the International Church of Las Vegas in October 18, 2020. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

Preliminary exit polling indicates that religious voters maintained many of the political allegiances they have kept for the past several decades — with one possible exception: white Catholics. About two-thirds, or 68 percent, of voters who identify as Christian cast their ballots for President Donald Trump while 31 percent voted for Joe Biden, according to the latest numbers from Edison Research, which conducts a national exit poll for the news media.

Curtis Yee 11-05-2020

Activists, relatives of those killed in the drug war, and others protest extrajudicial killings in the Philippines. Photo by AC Dimatatac / 350.org

Should the faithful take to the streets in protest to combat political injustice, they will be following the footsteps of religious groups across the globe that have responded with nonviolent action during times of civil resistance.