Adelle M. Banks, Religion News Service

Adelle M. Banks is production editor and a national correspondent at RNS.

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Evangelicals Gather for Prayer Rally in Washington

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Evangelical Christians converged on the nation’s capital for a prayer rally on one of the hottest days of the summer.

With the nation reeling from recent shootings and shocked by news of a terrorist attack in France and an attempted coup in Turkey, speakers at “Together 2016” cited the global events from the stage and spoke of the challenges facing Americans.

After Recent Shootings, White Churches Take Stock on Race

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In the wake of a string of racially tinged shootings, majority white churches — even those quiet in past years about racial prejudice — have begun to find their voices.

The latest incidents of police shooting black men in Louisiana and Minnesota, combined with the targeting of white police officers in Dallas, have exposed for many congregations a racial divide in America too wide to ignore.

After the Shootings, Dallas Clergy Will Pray, Then Advocate for Change

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Dallas clergy, reeling from the shootings of police in their city and the recent shootings of black men by police elsewhere, say they will start responding with prayer and then move to advocating for concrete societal changes in the aftermath of the tragedies.

“Faith leaders now have a responsibility to say we’re going to pray with our feet until real structural change happens in this country,” said the Rev. Frederick Haynes, pastor of Friendship-West Baptist Church in Dallas.

AME Church Continues 200-Year Journey Toward Racial Justice

“We’ve been talking about Black Lives Matter since the AME Church started, not just now,” said the Rev. Gregory Ingram, host bishop for the quadrennial General Conference and leader of the AME Church’s First Episcopal District, in an interview.

Presbyterian Church in America Repents of 'Racial Sins'

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The nation’s second largest Presbyterian denomination has passed legislation repenting for “past failures to love brothers and sisters from minority cultures” and committing its members to work toward racial reconciliation.

The “overture” (or legislation) was approved overwhelmingly June 23 at the national meeting of the Presbyterian Church in America. The issue had been deferred from the previous year’s meeting, where there was a lengthy debate on similar legislation.

Evangelicals and Refugees: Care First, Conversion Maybe Later

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Ask Wah Nay Htoo how an evangelical church helped her refugee family after they arrived in Colorado and her list is long.

“Oh my goodness, Cornerstone helped our family a lot — everything,” said Htoo, 38, a Burmese woman who lived most of her life in a refugee camp in Thailand before moving to the Denver suburb of Lafayette in 2008.

WATCH: Russell Moore Shuts Down Suggestion That Muslims Don't Deserve Religious Freedom

Image via Adam Covington / Baptist Press / RNS

Southern Baptists are usually the first to defend religious freedom. But when it comes to Muslims, some want to draw a line.

At their annual meeting in St. Louis, an Arkansas pastor said Baptists shouldn’t support the right of Muslims to build mosques, especially “when these people threaten our very way of existence as Christians and Americans.”

Southern Baptists Invite Black Baptist Leader to Drive Home Message on Race

Ronnie Floyd (left) with Jerry Young (right). Image via Cross Church / Baptist Press / RNS

Southern Baptists turned a sharp focus on racism during their annual meeting, welcoming the president of a historically black denomination in a rare address to their national gathering.

“Those who would like to suggest that racism is not indeed a problem for the church but rather it is a sociological problem, I would argue it is without question a sin problem,” the Rev. Jerry Young, president of the National Baptist Convention, USA, told the predominantly white Southern Baptist Convention on June 14.

Russell Moore on Southern Baptist Church's Confederate Flag Vote: 'It's Well Past Time'

REUTERS/Brian Snyder 

The Southern Baptist Convention, born in 1845 in a split over its support for slavery, passed a resolution calling for Christians to quit using the Confederate flag.

“We call our brothers and sisters in Christ to discontinue the display of the Confederate battle flag as a sign of solidarity of the whole Body of Christ, including our African-American brothers and sisters,” reads the resolution adopted Tuesday at the convention’s annual meeting in St. Louis.

National Cathedral to Remove Confederate Flag Images

Detail of window honoring Stonewall Jackson. Image via Washington National Cathedral / RNS

The Washington National Cathedral will replace depictions of the Confederate flag in its stained-glass windows with plain glass but maintain adjoining panes honoring Confederate generals for at least two years while it fosters discussions about the church and race relations.

The board of the cathedral announced the decision June 8, almost a year after the South Carolina governor ordered the Confederate flag be removed from its statehouse grounds. The governor’s action followed the fatal June 17 shootings of nine members of Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, S.C., by an alleged perpetrator known for embracing the flag.

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