Cathy Lynn Grossman is a senior national correspondent for Religion News Service, specializing in stories drawn from research and statistics on religion, spirituality, and ethics.

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Rich Stearns to Retire From Charity Behemoth World Vision

Image via World Vision/Kari Constanza

During his tenure, World Vision grew to collect $1 billion in annual revenue in 2017, making the 67-year-old ministry No. 15 on Forbes’ list of the nation’s largest charities. The agency’s statement on Stearns cites its “two million supporters, child sponsors, and partners and says it is on track to serve 30 million children by 2022.”

That track was nearly derailed in March 2014, however, with a blowup in Christian evangelical circles over how World Vision would deal with LGBT employees.

Cardinal Law’s Death Prompts Apologies – and Anger

U.S. Boston Cardinal Bernard Law gestures as he arrives at Rome's Fiumicino Airport April 22, 2002. REUTERS/Paulo Cocco/File Photo

When it comes time for Law’s funeral, Casteix said, “Every single Catholic should ask Pope Francis and the Vatican “why?” Why Law’s life was so celebrated when Boston’s clergy sex abuse survivors suffered so greatly? Why was Law promoted when Boston’s Catholic children were sexually abused, ignored, and pushed aside time and time again?”

Supreme Court Cake Case Laced with Clashing Ideas of Religious Liberty

Image via Shutterstock

“We can’t take for granted what ‘religious freedom’ is and what it protects,” says Wenger. “White American Christians [have] used religious freedom talk as a way to mark their own superiority” and control the legal, political and social culture.

Religion Scholars Turn Activist in the Shadow of Trump

Image via Cathy Lynn Grossman / RNS

“These dark times call for a different kind of scholar. We must step into the fray,” Glaude said. He concluded, “If you choose to sit on the sideline, you have chosen a side."

God? Meaning of Life? Many Americans Don't Seek Them in Church

Image via REUTERS/Jessica Rinaldi/RNS

LifeWay Research has taken a close look at what might draw them in, zeroing in on people who say they have not attended a religious service in the past six months except for special events or holidays.

Worship? Not particularly interested, two in three people told the evangelical research firm in a survey released June 28.

Why Some Evangelicals Changed Their Minds About Evolution

Creationist Christian tourists may soon flock to the Ark Encounter, a literal vision of Noah’s story in Genesis come to life in July as a theology-packed tourist attraction in Williamstown, Ky.

But this month, another group of evangelicals is making a very different case – minus any animatronic critters — in a new book, How I Changed My Mind About Evolution.

 

California's End of Life Option: More Peaceful Deaths or Moral Quicksand?

Image via REUTERS/Carlo Allegri/RNS

Somewhere in California on June 9, a terminally ill person may lift a glass and drink a lethal slurry of pulverized prescription pills dissolved in water.

And then die.

That’s the day the nation’s most populous state implements a law, passed in 2015, making physician-assisted dying accessible to 1 in 6 terminally ill Americans, according to its national backers, Compassion & Choices.

Biden and Boehner, Teary and Grateful, Receive High Catholic Honor

Both politicians spoke of how their families and their Catholic faith, in small personal moments, in joy and in tragedy, had inspired and informed their decades of political service.

Holocaust Museum to Give Highest Honor to Civil Rights Leader

John Lewis. Image via Marion S. Trikosko / Library of Congress 

The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum will give its highest honor to a lion of the American civil rights movement, U.S. Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga.

Lewis will be presented with the Elie Wiesel Award at the museum on May 4. Chairman Tom A. Bernstein lauded Lewis in a statement as a leader of “extraordinary moral and physical courage” and “an inspiration to people of conscience the world over.”

Highly Religious People Are Happier, Survey Finds

Image via Pew Research Center / RNS

Look around. Three in 10 people you see claim they are pretty satisfied with life, happy, healthy, and moral, too. They’re the “highly religious,” 30 percent of U.S. adults who say they pray daily and attend church at least once a week.

Applause, Dismay, Confusion Over Pope's Words

Image via REUTERS/Tony Gentile/RNS

Pope Francis’ “Joy of Love,” a massive document released April 8 that wraps unchanged doctrine on marriage, divorce, and LGBT life in gentle terms, is getting a mixed reaction from U.S. Catholics.

Episcopal Church Fires Two Top Executives for Workplace Misconduct

Presiding Bishop Michael Curry. Image via Melodie Woerman / flickr.com

Episcopal Church presiding bishop Michael Curry has fired two top executives for failing “to live up to the church’s standards of personal conduct in their relationships with employees.”

Army Will Let Sikh Officer Keep Turban, Beard on Active Duty

Image via U.S. Army Capt. Simratpal Singh / The Sikh Coalition / RNS

A decorated veteran Sikh officer is the first to win an approval from the U.S. Army to continue on active duty while maintaining his religiously mandated beard and turban. The Army issued a decision March 31, concluding that to allow beards for medical reasons but ban them for religious reasons is a discriminatory bar to service for Sikh Americans, according to a statement from the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, one of the law offices that argued his case.

Americans See Religious Liberty Sliding While Intolerance (and Whining) Rise

Most U.S. adults say religious liberty is declining in America and Christians face more intolerance than ever. But nearly 4 in 10 also say Christians “complain too much about how they are treated,” according to a new LifeWay Research survey.

Priest Says He Gambled $380K Raised for Iraqi Refugees

Image via Denis Beaumont / Shutterstock.com

Canadian police are investigating Chaldean Catholic priest from London, Ont., after church officials reported more than $500,000 Canadian dollars ($380,000 U.S.) slated for refugee sponsorship was lost to gambling, according to The Toronto Star.

Father Amer Saka, a priest working at the St. Joseph Chaldean Catholic Church in London, allegedly told his bishop, Emanuel Shaleta, that funds intended to help new Canadians had instead vanished in vice, Shaleta told the Star.

Americans See Immigrants More Favorably Than Do Trump, Cruz

Image via REUTERS/David Ryder/RNS

The 2016 Republican presidential campaign boils with anti-immigrant rhetoric but candidates’ harsh proposals don’t resonate with most Americans, particularly religious believers and young adults.

new analysis by the Public Religion Research Institute, released March 29 finds that many reject harsh proposals such as building a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border and deporting millions of undocumented immigrants, said Dan Cox, director of research for PRRI.

Catholic TV Pioneer Mother Angelica Dead at 92

Mother Angelica. Image via Our Lady of the Angels Monastery / RNS

Mother Angelica, the conservative nun who founded the Eternal Word Television Network, died on Easter Sunday, 15 years after a debilitating stroke on Christmas Eve. She was 92.

Although she was only able to communicate with a squeeze of her hand for many years, she retained devoted admirers nationwide who followed the Catholic cable channel she started in 1981. She personified EWTN, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Michael P. Warsaw said in a news release March 27, according to The Associated Press.

Study Reveals Differences in Religious Practice Between Men and Women

Image via Pew Research Center / RNS

Fewer men than women show up in U.S. churches, and women are markedly more likely to pray and to hold up religion as important. But in Muslim nations, it’s the women who are missing in action at the mosque — and yet they’re on par with men in upholding almost all the Muslim pillars of faith.

Priorities and Concerns Aren't That Different Among Muslims, Protestants, Jews

Image via REUTERS/Dave Kaup/RNS

This election season, Muslims face a slate of Republican candidates who demand curbs on immigration and compete over how tough they’d be on Islamic terrorism, if elected. But a new survey finds U.S. Muslims are looking at American society and its future much the same as their non-Muslim neighbors. Like non-Muslims, the economy is their top concern. They are engaged in community life, and share similar attitudes on several significant issues.

Franklin Graham Wants Your Heart, Not Your Vote

Franklin Graham. Image via Paul Sherar/RNS

The Rev. Franklin Graham picks up a toy stuffed animal, tattered by time and a child’s love, from a shelf in his office where his big game hunting trophies loom. It’s a little black sheep with a music box in its belly, a gift from his mother when he was a tot. When the son of Billy Graham winds a little key it plays, “Jesus loves me.” Franklin Graham, a hellfire evangelist and a social conservative force, is still a “black sheep” at 63.