Christina Colón is a writer and editor. Follow her at and @CJaneColon

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‘Immoral.’ ‘Unnecessary.’ ‘Cruel.’ First Federal Execution in 17 Years Sparks Outcry

by Christina Colón 07-14-2020

Protesters hold signs near the penitentiary where Daniel Lewis Lee was held in Terre Haute, Ind., on July 13, 2020. REUTERS/Bryan Woolston

On July 14 the federal government executed Daniel Lewis Lee — the first federal execution in 17 years.

Queer, Christian, and Beloved

by Christina Colón 07-02-2020
This Youth Organization Isn’t Waiting for the Church to Change Policies

On June 30, Beloved Arise hosted the first ever Queer Youth of Faith Day. The event was livestreamed on Youtube. 

Through their digital platforms, Beloved Arise is working to counter that message, telling youth from New York to Hawaii that they are loved “with no caveats, limitations, or exceptions.”

The Black Church Has Always Resisted Anti-Blackness

by Christina Colón 06-24-2020

The Reverend Eboni Marshall Turman preaches at High Point University in North Carolina. Photo courtesy of 

On the 155th observance of Juneteenth, a collective of Black church pastors and theologians released a theological statement to “emphatically repudiate the evil beast of white racism, white supremacy, white superiority and its concomitant and abiding anti-Black violence.”

Poor People's Campaign Digital Moral March 'Changes the Narrative'

by Christina Colón 06-22-2020

Rev. Dr. William Barber II and Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis, co-chairs of the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival, in Washington, D.C. on May 14, 2018. Photo by Rebekah Fulton for Sojourners.

On Saturday, more than 2 million people gathered virtually to “call for a radical redistribution of political and economic power” as part of the Mass Poor People’s Assembly and Moral March on Washington Digital Justice Gathering. 

Digital Poor People's March Calls for Moral Political Agenda

by Christina Colón 06-17-2020

Rev. Dr. William Barber II and Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis, co-chairs of the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival, in Washington, D.C. on May 14, 2018. Photo by Rebekah Fulton for Sojourners.

This Saturday, people across the country will come together digitally to demand action from public officials as part of the Mass Poor People’s Assembly & Moral March on Washington.

Protests Prompt Federal Review Into Deaths of Robert Fuller and Malcolm Harsch

by Christina Colón 06-16-2020

Robert Fuller, 24, was found hanged from a tree in a park about a block from Palmdale City Hall last Wednesday. Photo courtesy of GoFundMe fundraiser organized by Fuller's sister, Diamond Alexander. 

On Monday, law enforcement officials in California announced further investigation into the deaths of Robert Fuller and Malcolm Harsch.

Fuller, 24, was found hanged from a tree in a park about a block from Palmdale City Hall last Wednesday. Harsch, 37, was discovered 10 days earlier on May 31, hanged from a tree in Victorville, which lies just 50 miles east of Palmdale.

Nationwide Observances of 'Day of Mourning and Lament' Grieve Two Pandemics

by Christina Colón 06-01-2020

A man passes graffiti on a building a day after protests over the death in Minneapolis police custody of George Floyd in Washington, U.S., June 1, 2020. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

In more than 60 cities across the country, people stopped on June 1 to remember the more than 100,000 people who have died from COVID-19 as part of a National Day of Mourning and Lament.

A 'Momentous and Tragic' Moment as U.S. Surpasses 100,000 COVID-19 Deaths

by Christina Colón 05-27-2020

The body of a deceased person is prepared to be transferred at the Brooklyn Hospital Center, during the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Brooklyn. April 28, 2020. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

The United States surpassed 100,000 deaths related to the novel coronavirus on Wednesday.

It’s a staggering number representing nearly a third of the 353,011 COVID-related deaths worldwide. In the U.S., more Americans have died of the virus than in the Iraq, Afghanistan, Vietnam, and Gulf wars combined.

Virginia Pastors Weigh Reopening Churches as State Orders Lift

by Christina Colón 05-15-2020

First Baptist Church of Lexington, Va. will open its doors for services this Sunday. 

This Sunday, churches in parts of Virginia will be permitted to open their doors for services as part of phase one of Gov. Ralph Northam’s reopening plan.

It’s a moment many pastors in the state have been eagerly anticipating.

For Seminary Students, Pandemic Brings Change and Questions of Calling

by Christina Colón 05-12-2020

When campus life shuttered in March to slow the spread of the coronavirus, more than 14 million students across the nation were forced to adapt to new routines. Campus lawns speckled with students gave way to uniform rows of faces on video calls. The now coined “Zoom fatigue” replaced “pulling an all-nighter” at the library.

While the pandemic has strained students from all academic disciplines, seminary and divinity students have felt unique pressure as they discern calls to enter positions and spaces of worship that may not resemble what they did before the virus took hold.

Four students shared with Sojourners what their studies look like amid the pandemic and how this moment is shaping their call.

In a Pandemic, We Must All Be Fact-Checkers

by Christina Colón 05-05-2020

Silhouettes of mobile users are seen next to a screen projection of Youtube logo in this picture illustration taken March 28, 2018. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

In the 18 hours after President Trump publicly mused at a news conference about treating the coronavirus by injecting disinfectants such as bleach and Lysol, 30 calls were made to New York City’s poison control about toxic exposure to household cleaners.

Protestant Pastors Increasingly See Link Between Global Warming, Human Activity

by Christina Colón 04-21-2020

Photo by Harrison Moore on Unsplash.

It’s the first time that a majority of Protestant pastors have according to a new survey by LifeWay Research.

Amid Pandemic, the Way We Talk About Death Is Changing

by Christina Colón 04-15-2020

A pastor wearing a protective mask is seen at The Green-Wood Cemetery during the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the Brooklyn borough of New York City, New York, U.S., April 11, 2020. REUTERS/Jeenah Moon

As of April 15, more than 101,000 people worldwide have died of the novel coronavirus. In the U.S., 42 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico have issued orders for people to stay in their homes to slow the spread. But with at least 1.6 million infected globally, the mortality rate has forced an increasing number of people to confront a topic they tend to otherwise avoid: death.

The Peace Poets are Expanding the Circle

by Christina Colón 07-01-2019
The group is creating community across racial, national, and religious borders.

The Peace Poets.

BEFORE THEY ARE hip-hop performers, educators, and poets, the Peace Poets are a family. “It’s been a development of a brotherhood,” Frank Antonio López (aka Frankie 4) says of the group’s formation. López and Abraham Velazquez Jr. (aka A-B-E) met when they were 3 years old. Enmanuel Candelario (aka The Last Emcee) was introduced to the pair in grade school and introduced to Frantz Jerome (aka Ram 3) in high school. Candelario would go on to meet Luke Nephew (aka Lu Aya) at Fordham University in New York.

Much of the Peace Poets’ foundational development occurred in Harlem at Brotherhood/Sister Sol, a leadership and educational organization for black and Latinx youth. It was there, López says, that the Peace Poets were “politicized through art.”

When Your Sexual Harasser Has Keys to Your Apartment

by Christina Colón 03-18-2019
Bringing Sexual Harassment in Housing Out from Behind Closed Doors

Illustration by Rebekah Fulton

A murkiness in the numbers, combined with a lack of training and awareness, has made sexual harassment in housing a widespread, yet under the radar, problem. But local housing authorities are working to combat the problem on the ground. Their efforts could serve as a model for other communities.

Stormwater Pollution Is On the Rise. These People of Faith Are Trying to Change That

by Christina Colón 01-03-2019

The Chesapeake Bay in Md. Shutterstock. 

Stormwater pollution is the fastest growing source of pollution in the Chesapeake Bay watershed—a 64,000 square mile drainage basin that sprawls across parts of Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, West Virginia, New York, and Washington, D.C. One of the contributors: religious congregations. 

Nearly 150 Climate Activists Arrested in Mass Demonstration for Green New Deal

by Christina Colón, by Kayla Lattimore 12-10-2018

More than 1,000 young adults risked arrest Monday in Washington, D.C. by flooding the offices of Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), and Rep. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.). It’s the second time this winter that the Sunrise Movement has taken to the capitol in what Sunrise Movement co-founder Varshini Prakash referred to as part of a concentrated effort, “[to] build policy support and people power” around a Green New Deal.

From Grassroots to Government: A Climate Assessment Presents a Moral Opportunity

by Christina Colón 12-03-2018
Editorial credit: Rachael Warriner /

Washington DC/USA- November 13, 2018:Student activists with the Sunrise Movement occupy Nancy Pelosi's office to demand that she and the Democrats act on climate change. Editorial credit: Rachael Warriner /

A recent U.S. climate assessment made headlines last week for its conclusion that the victims of climate change are no longer some future generation, but us — and we’re feeling the effects now.

The Power of the Pulpit

by Christina Colón 11-21-2018
Review of 'She Preached the Word: Women's Ordination in Modern America' by Benjamin R. Knoll and Cammie Jo Bolin.

WHEN I WAS IN COLLEGE, I asked one of my faith leaders at the time why no women were in positions of authority in that ministry. He said that the male leaders’ wives were always available to serve as mentors. Besides, he added, if they hired a woman, she would just get married and quit to raise a family.

I left, I fumed, and then I read Sarah Bessey’s Jesus Feminist, which told me that not only could women serve as pastors and leaders in the church, but that Jesus wanted them to.

If that were so, I wondered, why had I encountered so few female faith leaders?

Benjamin R. Knoll and Cammie Jo Bolin have provided an answer. In She Preached the Word: Women’s Ordination in Modern America, Knoll and Bolin examine why women still make up just 15 percent of congregational clergy.

'The Many' Creates Liturgies that Leave Room for Lament

by Christina Colón 11-09-2018

The Many: Darren Calhoun, Hannah Rand, and Leslie Michele. 

The Many is an indie folk/gospel, liturgically-grounded worship band that creates music for people to sing together. Assistant Web Editor Christina Colón spoke with producer Gary Rand, manager and writer Lenora Rand, and lead singer Darren Calhoun, to learn more about how The Many is creating liturgies that speak to issues of injustice and leave room for lament.