RELIGION: The Sunday Assembly hopes to organize a godless future. It’s not easy.
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RELIGION: The Sunday Assembly hopes to organize a godless future. It’s not easy.

(RNS) — Steve Phelps gave up on God years ago. But the former Baptist music director and his wife still believe in tithing. So, every month, they make an automated donation to keep their home congregation going. Phelps is a board member of the Nashville Sunday Assembly, a congregation of nonbelievers that has faith in…

RELIGION: Newsrooms can hire subsidized local religion beat reporters—Sept. 30 deadline
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RELIGION: Newsrooms can hire subsidized local religion beat reporters—Sept. 30 deadline

NEW YORK — Report for America, a national service program that places talented journalists into local newsrooms, can be used to create local religion beats. Under the acclaimed program, Report for America typically covers half of the first-year salary and one-third of the second-year salary—and attracts talented reporters through a national competition and search. The…

RELIGION: Ken Burns portrays the multitudes of Muhammad Ali
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RELIGION: Ken Burns portrays the multitudes of Muhammad Ali

(RNS) — There are rare individuals whose lives are so vast and extraordinary that they reveal a nation to itself, who are at once a mirror to America and who are themselves America in miniature. The 19th century gave America Walt Whitman. The 20th, Muhammad Ali. Ali, like Whitman, contained multitudes. He was cocky and…

RELIGION: Suicide prevention for our youth is doable: We must act now
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RELIGION: Suicide prevention for our youth is doable: We must act now

(RNS) — Suicidal thinking is becoming increasingly common among youth and young adults. Pandemic restrictions such as long-distance learning and activity restrictions, shuttering of businesses and overall isolation highlighted this need. Recent published studies completed in 2020 indicated a 31% increase in emergency room visits by youth 12-17 years old compared to the previous year,…

RELIGION: German cardinal takes a break after report details failures in handling sex abuse cases
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RELIGION: German cardinal takes a break after report details failures in handling sex abuse cases

VATICAN CITY (RNS) – Pope Francis has accepted a request from German Cardinal Rainer Maria Woelki for a six-month break from his duties as archbishop of the Diocese of Cologne in order to deal with his “grave mistakes” in handling the sexual abuse cases. A statement released by the Holy See on Friday said there…

RELIGION: Local Indigenous groups worry Bears Ears Monument will limit access to ritual space
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RELIGION: Local Indigenous groups worry Bears Ears Monument will limit access to ritual space

(RNS) — As the daughter of a nonagenarian Navajo medicine woman, Ana Tom is used to long road trips. Tom supports her mother Betty Jones’ role as a traditional healer by taking her far from San Juan County, Utah, to look for rare herbs for use in various traditional medicines important for Navajo rituals. “There…

RELIGION: How Hindu chaplains went from anomaly to necessity
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RELIGION: How Hindu chaplains went from anomaly to necessity

(RNS) — When Vineet Chander accepted his job as the Hindu chaplain at Princeton University in 2008, his Hindu community was baffled by his profession. “It was incomprehensible to them,” said Chander. “I’d have people look at me like, what do you do? This is a full-time job?” Their puzzlement was understandable: Chander, a former…

RELIGION: Illinois passes legislation to allow student athletes to wear hijab without waivers
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RELIGION: Illinois passes legislation to allow student athletes to wear hijab without waivers

CHICAGO (RNS) — Ayah Aldadah, a hijab-wearing Muslim athlete, never thought about how strange it was she had to get a uniform waiver to participate in track and cross country each year at school — until she didn’t have to anymore. Now, with the Inclusive Athletic Attire Act in effect this school year in the…

RELIGION: Albert Raboteau, expert on African American religious history, dead at 78
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RELIGION: Albert Raboteau, expert on African American religious history, dead at 78

(RNS) — Albert J. Raboteau, an American religion historian who helped students and journalists enhance their understanding of African American religion, has died. The scholar died on Saturday (Sept. 18) in Princeton, New Jersey, years after being diagnosed with Lewy Body Dementia, Princeton University announced. He was 78. A Princeton faculty member since the 1980s,…

RELIGION: After months of protests, Poor People’s Campaign requests meeting with Biden
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RELIGION: After months of protests, Poor People’s Campaign requests meeting with Biden

WASHINGTON (RNS) — After dozens of near-weekly demonstrations in support of voting rights, raising the minimum wage and other issues, leaders of the Poor People’s Campaign have asked for a meeting with President Joe Biden, escalating efforts to arrange a public summit with a president who endorsed their cause during his campaign. In a letter…

RELIGION: Pope Francis reins in Catholic movements after flood of abuse cases
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RELIGION: Pope Francis reins in Catholic movements after flood of abuse cases

VATICAN CITY (RNS) — Pope Francis condemned recent instances of abuse of power within Catholic movements and organizations, reminding leaders that “to govern is to serve,” during a gathering at the Vatican on Friday (Sept. 16). Speaking to delegates of Catholic lay and religious movements at the Vatican, Francis said the root of the abuse…

RELIGION: Gen Z is keeping the faith. Just don’t expect to see them at worship.
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RELIGION: Gen Z is keeping the faith. Just don’t expect to see them at worship.

(RNS) — At 18, Sam still identifies himself as a Catholic. But if it partly defines him, it doesn’t limit him. “I regularly practice centering prayer and was involved in a centering prayer group, which wasn’t technically Catholic,” he recently told us as we researched Gen Z’s attitudes toward faith. “But through that, I discovered…

RELIGION: Young evangelicals to host Capitol Hill rally for climate action
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RELIGION: Young evangelicals to host Capitol Hill rally for climate action

(RNS) — Growing up in the Church of Christ in Burbank, California, Angelea Hayes was often told Christianity and environmentalism were incompatible. But in her first year at Pepperdine University in Malibu, Hayes found herself sheltering in place and sleeping on gym floors as 2018’s Woolsey Fire burned across Los Angeles and Ventura counties. Today,…

RELIGION: Pence hopeful the Supreme Court will restrict abortion in US
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RELIGION: Pence hopeful the Supreme Court will restrict abortion in US

BUDAPEST, Hungary (AP) — Former U.S. Vice President Mike Pence said Thursday that he is hopeful the new conservative majority on the Supreme Court created during his and President Donald Trump’s administration will soon overturn abortion rights in the United States. Pence spoke at a forum devoted to demographics and family values in Budapest, Hungary,…

RELIGION: Religious artifacts in new Reconstruction exhibit depict resilience, racism
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RELIGION: Religious artifacts in new Reconstruction exhibit depict resilience, racism

A family on a plantation near Savannah, Georgia, in the late 1800s. The United States emerged from the Civil War fundamentally changed. For the first time, slavery did not legally exist within its borders. What this meant was the question before the nation. Photo courtesy of Library of Congress/Creative Commons (RNS) — The pew from…

RELIGION: White Christian nationalism found fertile soil in post-9/11 America
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RELIGION: White Christian nationalism found fertile soil in post-9/11 America

(RNS) — When terrorists hijacked four planes with plans to redirect them for simultaneous attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, they had several aims. The most immediate was to kill and maim thousands of innocent people. As we’ve all been reminded this month, the death toll was horrific: 2,977 people were killed and more than 6,000…

RELIGION: Randall Balmer on why racism, not abortion, birthed the religious right
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RELIGION: Randall Balmer on why racism, not abortion, birthed the religious right

(RNS) — White evangelicals have long held that the 1973 Supreme Court ruling legalizing abortion propelled the rise of the political movement known as the religious right. Wrong, says Randall Balmer, who in his new book, “Bad Faith: Race and the Rise of the Religious Right,” argues that race, rather than abortion, galvanized white evangelical…

RELIGION: CPJ issues reports on regional impacts of COVID-19 pandemic
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RELIGION: CPJ issues reports on regional impacts of COVID-19 pandemic

Academic research finds several ways government and civil society can help families affected by the COVID-19 pandemic WASHINGTON — Today the Center for Public Justice (CPJ) released new academic research conducted by three undergraduate student-faculty pairs—who were awarded The Hatfield Prize. The 2021 awardees are three student-and-faculty pairs from Council for Christian Colleges & Universities…

RELIGION: Kenyan Methodists defy ban on campaigning at church, saying ‘humans are political’
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RELIGION: Kenyan Methodists defy ban on campaigning at church, saying ‘humans are political’

NAIROBI, Kenya (RNS) — Some churches in Kenya have barred politicians from addressing their congregations, saying campaigning during services disrespects the sanctity of worship. The national Anglican, Presbyterian and Roman Catholic churches have all issued bans, as many of the politicians begin early stumping for next year’s general elections. The Methodist Church, however, is keeping…