Adelle M. Banks, Religion News Service

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

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Influential Southern Baptist Layman Paul Pressler Subject of Sex Abuse Suit

Image via J. Stephen Conn / Flickr

The legal document also goes into the movement led by Pressler and Patterson starting in 1979 that turned the Southern Baptist Convention in a more conservative direction after deep theological battles. It claims that the movement was focused on power, which the suit called “a key ingredient in the abuse of children and women.”

Mother Emanuel AME Pastor Shows Solidarity with Sutherland Springs

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It is, of course, bringing up memories and exposing old wounds that we thought may have been healed throughout the process of time. It’s thrust several members back into that June 17, 2015, time when everything was kind of just moving very rapidly and having a lot of people experience the sheer raw emotions of having their church violated and having their ministerial staff and loved ones murdered within the sacred walls of the church.

Strong Link Found Between Worship Attendance and Religious Giving

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Overall, giving to religious causes amounted to close to a third of all charitable giving in 2016, Giving USA says. Religious institutions received $122.94 billion that year, or 32 percent of charitable donations. That figure is more than double the amount received by educational institutions, the next highest sector within nonprofits, which garnered $59.77 billion.

Christian Refugees Outnumber Muslim Refugees to U.S. in Last 15 Years

Image via RNS/Pew Research Center

As the Trump administration continues to enforce a travel ban affecting six Muslim-majority and other countries, a Pew Research Center report tracking the influx of displaced people finds that 47 percent of refugee arrivals in fiscal 2017 were Christian and 43 percent were Muslim.

Charismatic, Pentecostal Women Gather on National Mall for Day of Prayer

Image via RNS/Adelle M. Banks

Twenty years ago, men gathered as “Promise Keepers” and filled the National Mall for a prayer rally seeking repentance and spiritual revival. On Oct. 9, it was the women’s turn.

‘We Are Heartbroken:’ Faith Leaders Offer Comfort, Calls for Action After Las Vegas Shooting

Image via RNS/AP Photo/John Locher

“My heart goes out to all those impacted by this senseless act of violence. When tragedies like the Las Vegas massacre occur, the political and religious barriers that too often divide us break down and we come together to mourn as Americans. This moment presents all of us with the opportunity to be there for one another as we try to come to terms with what happened yesterday. As our nation mourns, I hope we continue in the spirit of inclusion, as we are all impacted by this terrible tragedy.”

Texas Officials Urge Trump to Act on FEMA Funding For Houses of Worship

Members of Cinco Ranch Church of Christ help hand out collected and donated supplies to homeowners cleaning up in the aftermath of tropical storm Harvey in Katy, Texas, U.S., September 8, 2017. REUTERS/Mike Blake

The Texas officials’ letter follows a Sept. 4 lawsuit filed by three churches in the state that were damaged by Hurricane Harvey. They are challenging the current FEMA policy, which “explicitly denies equal access to FEMA disaster relief grants for houses of worship solely because of their religious status,” according to the lawsuit.

 

Survey: Trump Voters ‘Anti-Islam, Anti-Feminist, Anti-Globalist’

Image via RNS/Baylor Religion Survey

Almost three-quarters of Trump voters said Islam is a threat, compared with 18 percent of those who voted for Hillary Clinton. An even higher percentage — 81 percent — of Trump voters strongly agreed that Middle East refugees are a terror threat, compared with 12 percent of Clinton voters.

“Today, divisions in the American public are stark,” said Paul Froese, a Baylor University sociology professor and director of Baylor Religion Surveys. “We can trace many of our deep differences to how people understand traditional morality, theology, and the purpose of our nation.”

Washington National Cathedral to Remove Windows Honoring Confederate Generals

Image via RNS/Washington National Cathedral

But the officials said their decision-making process concerning the windows sped up after the violence in Charlottesville, Va., last month, when neo-Nazis clashed with counterprotesters. But they also acknowledged that the windows’ removal is not sufficient for addressing racial injustice.

All the President’s Clergymen: A Close Look at Trump’s ‘Unprecedented’ Ties With Evangelicals

Image via RNS/Johnnie Moore

And while presidents before have consulted with spiritual advisers — evangelist Billy Graham is the best-known example — the current group’s members certainly appear to care not only about Trump’s own spiritual well-being, but also have concrete views about a range of issues and make no secret of wanting policy changes.

But exactly how much influence they wield — and whether they benefit from the association — is a matter of conjecture and debate.

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