Adelle M. Banks is production editor and a national correspondent at RNS.
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British Humanitarian Group Offers War-Torn Christmas Cards
Don’t expect a peaceful scene of Mary, Joseph, and baby Jesus when you open a Christmas card from Doctors of the World.
The British branch of the humanitarian group has opted to set the characters of the creche in the midst of Mideast crises. On one card, Mary and Joseph are leaning over the baby Jesus, as a missile traverses a starry night.
“Christmas is a time people contemplate the world,” the group said in its online introduction to the cards. “Doctors of the World’s cards seek to remind the public that this year war has forced millions from their homes, and they really need our help.”
End-of-Life Care Finally Gets Discussion in Churches
Congregants who’ve heard the sermons — often accompanied by workshops and step-by-step guides — say they are verbal permission slips to discuss a topic few want to talk about. Slightly more than a third of the general public — 37 percent — say they have given a great deal of, or some thought, to their end-of-life wishes, according to Pew Research.
A Conversation Project survey found that while 90 percent of people say it’s important to talk to loved ones about those wishes, only 27 percent have actually done that.
African-American Faith Leaders Mourn Trump's Election But Remain Resolute
Back when so many thought Hillary Clinton would be the next president, two dozen African-American leaders wrote to the Democratic nominee, asking her to explain her policies related to the poor and the police.
African Methodist Episcopal Bishop Frank M. Reid III said black clergy will make some of the same demands of President-elect Donald Trump.
The Down-Ballot Issues People of Faith Are Watching
The nation’s attention may be on the presidential election, but there are a number of down-ballot issues of interest to religious and nonreligious voters. Here’s a sampling of what’s being considered and how people of faith are weighing them.
More Than $180,000 Raised for Church Burned and Marked With ‘Vote Trump’ Graffiti
Thousands of people pledged to raise money for Hopewell Missionary Baptist Church in Greenville by the afternoon of Nov. 3, far exceeding the original goal of $10,000.
“When I ginned up this page before my first meeting at work today, I had no earthly clue it would get so big,” writes J. Blair Reeves Jr., who organized the GoFundMe fundraising initiative on Nov. 2. “Responses have been pouring in from all over the world, and they’re truly extraordinary. Christians, Muslims, Jews, Hindus, atheists and many more, from all over the United States and many other countries.”
National Cathedral Faces Calls to Remove Windows With Confederate Generals
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
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'
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
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
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:
- 1 of 22