Adelle M. Banks, Religion News Service

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

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Religious Freedom Seriously Lacking for Three-Fourths of World’s Population, Ambassador Says

Unidentified Syrian refugees on the Turkish - Syrian border. thomas koch / Shutterstock.com

The U.S. State Department warned that religion-based terrorists as well as some governments across the globe are threatening the liberties of religious minorities.

“One of the best ways to deny these murderers their victory is by ensuring that those they have sought to destroy not only survive, but thrive,” said Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken, announcing the 2015 Annual Report on International Religious Freedom on Aug. 10.

Voter Registration on Faith Groups' To-Do List

Image via REUTERS / Dominick Reuter / RNS

Religious groups ranging from black Protestants to Latino evangelicals to Reform Jews are gearing up for massive voter registration activities to boost turnout on Election Day.

PICO National Network, a faith-based organizing network, announced its “Together We Vote” plan to work with allies to seek new voters who are especially concerned about racial justice.

John Lewis on His New Graphic Novel, Faith, and Civil Rights

Left to right, Nate Powell, Rep. John Lewis, and Andrew Aydin. Image via Sandi Villarreal / Top Shelf Productions / RNS

Q: Representative Lewis, in an earlier book of this series we read that you were asked by church leaders to tone down your speech at the 1963 March on Washington. How does March: Book Three deal with issues of faith?

Lewis: Book Three tells a story how people kept going, how people never gave up or gave in, in spite of the bombing of a church, the beating on the bridge as we had left church to march all the way from Selma to Montgomery. We kept going, we never gave up, we never gave in, we never became bitter or hostile. We kept the faith. It was the music of the church that lifted us, that carried us. … We felt like God Almighty was on our side.

Tim LaHaye, Evangelical Leader and 'Left Behind' Co-Author, Dead at 90

Tim LaHaye. Image via Evangelical Press Association / RNS

Tim LaHaye, the evangelical leader known for his conservative politics as well as the best-selling Left Behind series, has died at age 90, his ministry announced.

LaHaye died July 25 at a hospital in the San Diego area after recently suffering a stroke, his ministry said.

Evangelicals Gather for Prayer Rally in Washington

Image via Adelle M. Banks / RNS

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

Image via Matt Miller / Baptist Press / RNS

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

Image via REUTERS / Carlo Allegri / RNS

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

Image via Allen Clark / RNS

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.

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