Emily McFarlan Miller, Religion News Service

Emily McFarlan Miller writes for the Religion News Service.

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Nabeel Qureshi, Who Shared Conversion from Islam to Christianity, Dies at 34

Nabeel Qureshi. Image via RNS/McClure/Muntsinger Public Relations.

In his final video, Qureshi shared “where my heart has been during my ministry.”

“I think it’s very important that we discuss matters of truth, but at the end of the day, that is supposed to be undergirded by love and by peace,” he said. “When we talk to people about our beliefs, we should do it through a lens of love, and the whole point should be to bring people together — to bring people together to the truth.”

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.

Signs and Wonder: How Different Faiths Will View the Total Solar Eclipse

Image via Oregon State University/RNS.

About 200 million people live within a day’s drive of the path of totality and may be looking to the heavens when the solar eclipse happens Monday.

Texas Pastor: ‘God Has Given Trump Authority to Take Out Kim Jong-Un’

U.S. President Donald Trump, left, is greeted by Pastor Robert Jeffress at the Celebrate Freedom Rally July 1, 2017, in Washington, D.C. Photo by Yuri Gripas/REUTERS

Jeffress was a member of Trump’s evangelical advisory committee during the 2016 presidential election and since has attended several meetings of prominent evangelicals at the White House. That includes a dinner ahead of the National Day of Prayer, at which he assured, “Mr. President, we’re going to be your most loyal friends.”

Christian Author Jen Hatmaker on the ‘Moxie’ It Takes to Get Your Books Banned

Author Jen Hatmaker. Photo by Amy Melsa Photography

 

Of Mess and Moxie: Wrangling Delight Out of This Wild and Glorious Life will be released on Aug. 8. Hatmaker spoke with RNS about both mess and moxie, banned books and maintaining a healthy outlook on life. This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

Trump’s Evangelical Advisers Request Papal Meeting After Critique from Francis’ Friends

Pope Francis meets President Trump during a private audience at the Vatican on May 24, 2017. Photo courtesy of Reuters/Evan Vucci/Pool

President Trump’s evangelical Christian advisers are requesting a meeting with Pope Francis after a Vatican-approved magazine published a piece condemning the way some American evangelicals and Roman Catholics mix religion and politics.

Proposed Budget Bill Would Add Teeth to Trump’s Johnson Amendment Order

President Trump prays during the National Prayer Breakfast event in Washington, D.C., on Feb. 2, 2017. Photo by Carlos Barria/Reuters/ RNS

The bill cuts funding for the IRS by $149 million from fiscal year 2017, and the IRS wouldn’t be able to use any funding it receives to investigate a church for making such endorsements, according to the bill. It would have to get the consent of the IRS commissioner, who then would report to Congress on the investigation.

Democrats and Republicans Divided on Impact of Religion in the U.S.

Image via RNS/Pew Research Center

Do churches and religious organizations have a positive impact on the way things are going in the United States?

Americans are divided on that point, according to a Pew Research Center survey released on July 10 that shows they align along predictable party lines.

President Trump Promises Support to Military, Evangelicals at Fourth of July Event

Image via RNS/Emily McFarlan Miller

At a Fourth of July concert hosted by First Baptist Church Dallas at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., President Trump pledged never to forget the men and women who have served in the U.S. military — or the people of faith who put him in the White House.

“My administration will always support and defend your religious liberty,” Trump said at the event on July 1. “We don’t want to see God forced out of the public square, driven out of our schools, or pushed out of our civic life.”

Noah’s Ark Theme Park Founder Says Park Is Not Sinking

Image via Emily McFarlen Miller/RNS

As the Ark Encounter marks its first anniversary on July 7, attendance at the ark “will draw near the low end of the estimated guest number,” Ham wrote. Park co-founder Mike Zovath told the Lexington Herald-Leader it will attract its 1 millionth visitor by July.

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