Adelle M. Banks, Religion News Service

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

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National Cathedral Faces Calls to Remove Windows With Confederate Generals

Image via RNS/Danielle Thomas/Washington National Cathedral

After quietly removing panes bearing the Confederate flag from its stained-glass windows, leaders of the Washington National Cathedral are now wondering what to do about remaining images of Confederate generals Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson.

"How can you justify having those windows in a house of God?" challenged Riley Temple, a former board member of the Washington National Cathedral's foundation.

Religious Leaders Mark Centennial of S.C. Lynching

Image via RNS/[Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Black faith leaders and social justice advocates are commemorating the lynching of Anthony Crawford, a man who owned 427 acres in Abbeville, S.C., when he was killed on Oct. 21, 1916.

He had been jailed after a dispute with a white store owner over the price of cottonseed. He was released, but was abducted by a large mob of white men and lynched, his body riddled with bullets.

Conservative Christians Urge Progressive Faithful to 'Repent' of 'Destructive Agenda'

Image via RNS/Reuters/Rick Wilking.

The letter writers, who say they “are not here endorsing or denouncing a political candidate,” cite what they believe are consequences of a progressive agenda. The results, they say, include a “growth industry trafficking in human baby organs and body parts,” a “Transgender agenda imposed by Obama-government edict,” and “(h)ostility towards Judeo-Christian religious liberty in our courts.”

Confederate Flag Images Quietly Removed From National Cathedral

Image via RNS/Washington National Cathedral/Danielle Thomas

The two panes bearing the image of the flag were replaced last month with red and blue panes to match surrounding glass, said Kevin Eckstrom, chief communications officer for the cathedral. Adjoining panes honoring Confederate generals remain in place but “their long-term future is really very much up in the air,” he said.

Eckstrom said on Sept. 28 that he learned of the change in the windows the day it occurred — Aug. 26 — when an architect met with members of a cathedral committee who quickly decided on the specific replacement glass.

Obama Names Last Adviser to His Final Faith-Based Council

Image via RNS/The White House

President Obama has announced plans to appoint the leader of a Chicago Muslim organization as the final member of his corps of faith-based advisers.

Rami Nashashibi co-founded the Inner-City Muslim Action Network in 1997.

Here is the list of the members of the President’s Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships:

This Evangelical Seminary Will Require Sex Abuse Awareness Training

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“This is the first I know of an evangelical seminary with a free-standing requirement for graduation to participate in this kind of discrete training. There are other seminaries where sexual boundary, sexual abuse issues are part of another course or class. But it would not be a free-standing event, as Dallas is doing.”

Can Congregations Train to Be Helpers in Disaster?

Image via RNS/Reuters/Shannon Stapleton

In August 2016, as the 15th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks loomed, religious leaders tuned into a webinar to prepare themselves for a possible future disaster.

“Who was the first official casualty of 9/11?” asked Monsignor Stephen Rossetti, a Catholic priest and psychologist who led the webinar on “Shepherding in Tragic Times.”

“Father Mychal Judge,” he said, answering his own question, and referring to the priest who was fatally injured while ministering amid the chaos of the North Tower lobby.

New Smithsonian Museum Features Stories of African-American Faith

Image via RNS/John Sonderman/Flickr Creative Commons

The National Museum of African American History and Culture, set to open Sept. 24, tells many stories of African-Americans of diverse faiths who have shaped U.S. history. Close to 10 percent of the 2,586 artifacts in its inaugural exhibitions are related to faith and religious history.

Rex Ellis, associate director for curatorial affairs, said the museum is essentially an intersection of uplift, spirituality and resilience.

“There is no way you can discuss, talk about or understand the African-American journey without understanding the very real role faith played in its history,” said Ellis, an ordained Baptist minister.

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

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

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.