Faith

Image via Madeline C. Mulkey / RNS

The Winter Games have attracted teams of Baptists, Presbyterians, and Methodists. Jehovah’s Witnesses and Mormons also abound, each group sharing the gospel in its own way. The United Christian Churches of Korea, a coalition of 144 local congregations, is helping foreign mission groups to arrange housing and ministry sites and learn about Korean culture.

Bobby Ross Jr. 2-20-2018

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“Look, if you want to be a racist old grandpa, you can be a racist old grandpa,” Johnson said. “But you cannot serve in public office. It’s wrong. I mean, everyone has the right to free speech, but you don’t have the freedom of the consequences of your free speech, right?”

Dec 16, 2017; Kerns, UT, USA; Maame Biney (1) reacts to winning the A Final of the 500-meter race qualifying her for a spot on the U.S. Olympic Team at Utah Olympic Oval. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Swinger-USA TODAY Sports

U.S. speedskater Maame Biney, just-turned 18, has a smile that can light up any room, a giggle that has charmed Olympic audiences and a joy that her coaches say has carried her so far in her athletic career at such a young age.

Juliet Vedral 2-14-2018

Image via CBS/Living Biblically Facebook video screenshot 

Based loosely on A.J. Jacobs’ book The Year of Living Biblically, the show centers on Chip, a man who, after losing his best friend and learning that his wife is pregnant, decides to do a sort of “soul-cleanse” by living his life completely by the Bible. Chip, played by Jay R. Ferguson, rather than taking the advice of his priest to live generally by the Bible, chooses instead to live literally by the Bible. With the help of his “God Squad,” Father Gene (Ian Gomez) and Rabbi Gil (David Krumholtz), the grudging support/tolerance of his wife Leslie (Lindsey Kraft), his best friend Vince (Tony Rock), and his boss Ms. Meadows (Camryn Manheim) Chip explores his faith and how to live it out, often to hilarious effect.

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“What are we going to do — put this out under the theme, ‘I love you; I’m sorry’?” he said he joked with church members. “But the more I thought about it the more I thought sometimes when something is odd or uncomfortable the best thing to do is to lean into the discomfort.”

the Web Editors 2-08-2018

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While avoiding the policy pronouncements that marked last year, Trump at this year’s breakfast spoke of a desire to “worship without fear” —  a nod to religious freedom concerns  often expressed by evangelical leaders.

John Gehring 2-06-2018

House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) (C) attends a news conference with Republican leaders on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., January 18, 2018. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas

Blues legend Robert Johnson, the story goes, made a deal with the devil and sold his soul on a Mississippi highway to play virtuoso guitar. House Speaker Paul Ryan’s musical tastes reportedly lean more toward Metallica than the Delta blues, but he faces a crossroads of his own that will test whether he will trade in his values to the nativist wing of the Republican Party or do what’s right for young immigrants.

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At UVA, one of the most popular study center offerings is the Faith, Reason, and Science Group, which has been a long-standing partnership with the Virginia Atheists and Agnostics. Participants might reflect on a chapter from a book by evolutionary biologist and atheist Richard Dawkins one week, and by geneticist and evangelical Francis Collins the next.

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After three developers, 18 months, a successful Indiegogo campaign and late nights raising funds as a Lyft driver, Cheatham recently released “Our Bible” — described on its website as a “meditation app for LGBTQ Christians, their friends, family and allies.”

Faithful from a Catholic church take part in a Christmas parade in Shanghai, China December 24, 2017. REUTERS/Aly Song

"Afterwards we will still be like a bird in a cage but the cage will be bigger," he said. It is not easy. Suffering will continue. We will have to fight for every centimeter to increase the size of the cage," he said.

Greg Williams 1-31-2018

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Pluralism is valuable because Jesus is the sovereign lord of everything — all places, people, religions, and cultures. 

The site of a shooting at the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs, Texas, U.S. November 6, 2017. REUTERS/Rick Wilking
 

“My job as the shepherd of the church is to protect the flock. And I will do so with whatever means I need.”

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The overall pattern that emerged is that concern about the environment has been flat over the past two decades, and in some cases declined. For example, more Christians prioritized economic growth over protecting the environment in 2015 than they did in 1990.

Image via Foreign and Commonwealth Office / Flickr

Mullally’s gender pleases those seeking evidence of growing equality for women in the church — her predecessor Richard Chartres did not ordain women priests. But while she supports traditional church teaching on marriage being between a man and a woman, she is also said to be supportive of greater equality for gay people.

Image via Twitter / RNS

The report shows that anti-Semitic incidents spiked during and immediately following the Charlottesville protests that left one woman dead. President Trump ignited a political firestorm in the wake of the violence when he attributed “blame on both sides” — white supremacists, as well as those who marched against them.

Image via Wikipedia Commons / RNS

Which is why, lastly, I am certain that the road to restored unity among Christians will not take another 500 years. The signs are all here.

10-27-2017

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Scores of clergy have signed their names to statements opposing the white nationalist groups’ values. They have planned community prayer vigils celebrating diversity and advocating for unity. And, ahead of [the] Oct. 28 protest, they have sent a strong message that hate is not a religious value.

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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.

Image via Jehovah's Witnesses / RNS

The right of Jehovah’s Witnesses to adhere to their faith’s rejection of military service — they believe their allegiance is to God alone — is recognized in the U.S. and other Western countries. But Tajikistan has no law concerning conscientious objectors.

Image via RNS/Yonat Shimron

“A lot of times churches are trying to preserve the legacy of who founded the congregations founded long ago,” said Elizabeth Eaton, the presiding bishop of the ELCA. “When you try to hold on to something so tightly, you strangle it. Taking a risk while being faithful to the core message of grace is my advice.”

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