Quantcast

Back to profile

Religion News Service

Stories by Religion News

Tease photo

Religious conservatives defend Roy Moore

Conservative Christian supporters of former Alabama Judge Roy Moore are defending the U.S. Senate candidate against allegations of molesting a 14-year-old girl decades ago — and one of them used the biblical story of Mary and Joseph to rationalize an adult being sexually attracted to a minor.

Tease photo

Clergy members arrested at D.C. protest

Hoping to steer national politics in a different direction, African-American clergy members from several denominations came together this week for the first “African American Clergy Advocacy Day” on Capitol Hill to protest federal budget cuts proposed by the Trump administration.

Tease photo

President’s family gets special dispensation to fly on Sabbath

When it comes to Jewish observance, Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump may be in a class by themselves.

Tease photo

Hernandez cited Scripture on forehead before suicide

It wasn’t a suicide note that former NFL star Aaron Hernandez left in his Massachusetts prison cell when he reportedly hanged himself.

Tease photo

Defense Dept. expands its list of religions

Humanist? Deist? No religion?

Tease photo

Prison Fellowship launches ‘Second Chance Month’ to help convicts

A national prison ministry is joining forces with conservative and liberal groups to call on church leaders and politicians to give former prisoners a second chance at normal lives.

Tease photo

Christian coalition protests Trump’s planned budget cuts

With ashes on their foreheads, sackcloth draped around their necks and the U.S. Capitol as a backdrop, Christian leaders used the words “evil” and “immoral” to describe the federal budget cuts President Trump has proposed and many Republican lawmakers favor.

Tease photo

Religious leaders celebrate denial of easement for Dakota Access pipeline

Native American and other religious leaders called the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ decision on Sunday to deny an easement for the $3.8 billion Dakota Access pipeline an answer to prayer.

Tease photo

Educators worry science will be casualty of Trump administration

Science and education professionals are increasingly alarmed about the impact President-elect Donald Trump’s cabinet picks — many of them evangelical Christians — could have on science standards in public schools.

Tease photo

Muslims respond to Trump with #MuslimsReportStuff

During the second presidential debate last Sunday, Republican presidential candidate Donald J. Trump encouraged Muslims to report suspicious behavior when they see it happening.

Tease photo

Study puts monetary value on good works done by U.S. religious organizations

Religion News Service Religion is worth $1.2 trillion a year to the American economy, according to the first comprehensive study of the question. “In perspective, that would make religion the 15th largest national economy in the world, ahead of 180 other countries in terms of value,” according to the study’s author, Brian J. Grim, president of the Religious Freedom and Business Foundation and an associate scholar at Georgetown University’s Religious Freedom Project. “That would also make American religion larger than the global revenues of the top 10 tech companies, including Apple, Amazon and Google, or the combined annual revenue of the six largest American oil companies,” Dr. Grim said as he released the study Sept. 14 in a speech at the National Press Club in Washington. Dr. Grim understands why the religious and nonreligious alike might look upon the exercise of valuing religion’s contribution to the economy skeptically. To put a value on the work of the nation’s 344,000 religious congregations representing all faiths, Dr. Grim looked at the schools, the soup kitchens, the addiction recovery programs and other activities they run and the programs’ impacts on local economies. He found that congregations and religiously oriented charity groups are responsible for 130,000 alcohol and drug abuse recovery programs; 94,000 programs to support veterans and their families; 26,000 programs to prevent HIV/AIDS and to support people living with the disease; and 121,000 programs to train and support the unemployed. They also operate more than 50,000 schools. He also determined that churches, synagogues, mosques and other houses of worship employ hundreds of thousands of people and buy everything from flowers to computers to snow removal services. He believes the $1.2 trillion figure he came up with is a “conservative” valuation of the annual work of religious organizations in American society. Why crunch the numbers? Dr. Grim believes it is good to know the impact religion has on the nation. Dr. Grim also wants congregations and clergy — and the society that benefits from the charitable work— to appreciate the size of the contribution. In a country where people often hear much more about the evils committed by religious people — from sex abuse scandals to genocide — it’s time for some “balance,” Dr. Grim said. Even clergy often downplay the value of their work, said Ram Cnaan, director of the Program for Religion and Social Policy Research at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Cnaan, who attended the National Press Club presentation to help Dr. Grim unveil his work, said the study would allow the religious to take pride in their contributions. “This is a new day for the people who study congregations,” he said of Dr. Grim’s work, “The Socio-economic Contribution of Religion to American Society: An Empirical Analysis.” “This is the beginning of a national debate — not if religion is important but how much it is important,” Dr. Cnaan said. Dr. Grim said that secular organizations like the Red Cross and the Cancer Society and the host of other nonprofits certainly contribute generously to the social health of the nation. Indeed, he said if the work of the religiously motivated did not exist, “I don’t think we would see all the good of society disappearing. However, I think it would be significantly less.” William A. Galston, a Brookings Institution scholar and a former Clinton administration domestic policy adviser who writes on religion and society, called Dr. Grim’s estimate of $1.2 trillion “a sensible number.” Dr. Grim’s paper, Dr. Galston said, can be used by religious organizations as “a credible calling card to get in the door” of policymakers who have too long undervalued their importance to society.

Tease photo

Clinton talks faith, policy issues at National Baptist Convention, USA

Talking about one’s faith doesn’t come naturally to a “Midwestern Methodist,” Hillary Clinton admitted.

Tease photo

Mother Teresa lifted to sainthood

Mother Teresa, the tiny nun who devoted her life to the poor, was declared a saint by Pope Francis at the Vatican as he celebrated her “daring and courage” and described her as a role model for all people during his year of mercy.

Tease photo

Religion bullying focus of U.S. education website

Dapinder Ahluwalia’s 14-year-old son starts high school next month. Like many parents, she’ll spend the last days of summer ensuring he has the right school supplies and a copy of his class schedule.

Tease photo

Pastor whitewashes history of Southern Baptist denomination

Dr. Robert J. Jeffress Jr., senior pastor of the First Baptist Dallas megachurch, is the most prominent evangelical pastor to back Republican Donald Trump’s candidacy for president.

Tease photo

Presbyterians, Southern Baptists vote to end racism and racist symbols

Religion News Service The nation’s second largest Presbyterian denomination has passed legislation repenting for “past failures to love brothers and sisters from minority cultures” and committing its members to work toward racial reconciliation. The “overture,” or legislation, was approved overwhelmingly Thursday, June 23, at the national meeting of the Presbyterian Church in America. The issue had been deferred from the previous year’s meeting, where there was a lengthy debate on similar legislation.

Tease photo

Mother Emanuel’s pastor in Charleston reassigned

After an unusually short time on the job, church officials have reassigned the pastor of the Charleston, S.C., church where a gunman killed nine people during Bible study a year ago.

Tease photo

Bishop Tutu’s daughter quits priesthood after gay marriage

The daughter of Nobel laureate Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu of South Africa has given up her clergy credentials after marrying a Dutch woman. Mpho Tutu told South African media that because her church did not recognize her wedding, she could no longer serve in the country.

Tease photo

Trump wooing evangelical Christians

Donald Trump is moving quickly to rally the evangelical base of the Republican Party as the presumptive GOP presidential nominee pivots toward a general election contest where the conservative Christian vote will be crucial to his chances for winning the White House.

Tease photo

Most Americans pray for healing

The vast majority of Americans have prayed for the healing of others, and more than one in four have practiced the laying on of hands, a Baylor University expert reports.

Tease photo

National clergy group outraged over attempts to block court appointment

Black clergy from across the country are expressing outrage about the Republican-led U.S. Senate’s vow to block any nominee President Obama picks to fill a vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court, saying it reflects racism and disrespect.

Tease photo

Faith groups mobilize against opposition to Syrian refugees

Religious groups are pushing back against a wave of opposition toward Syrian refugees and are working to preserve the United States as a haven for those fleeing their war-torn nation.

Tease photo

World religious leaders condemn Paris carnage

Pope Francis raised the specter of a World War III “in pieces,” Muslims issued statements of condemnation, while evangelical Christians in America debated whether to speak of a “war with Islam.” These were some of the responses last week by religious leaders around the world to the series of attacks Nov. 13 in Paris that left more than 120 people dead and hundreds of others wounded.

Tease photo

Denzel preaches gratitude at C.O.G.I.C. gathering

Hollywood star Denzel Washington, the son of a pastor, preached a sermon of gratefulness to hundreds of members of the Church of God in Christ at their annual Holy Congregation in downtown St. Louis.

Tease photo

Black churches do better weathering decline in number of Christian faithful

At Alfred Street Baptist Church in Alexandria, the pews start to fill more than half an hour before the service begins. Ushers guide people of all ages to their seats. Some stand and wave their hands in the air as the large, robed choir begins to sing.

Tease photo

Catholic bishops call for the root causes of racism to be addressed

The president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops kicked off a gathering in St. Louis of approximately 250 of the nation’s bishops by referring to Ferguson, Mo., where an unarmed black teenager was killed last August by a white police officer.

Tease photo

President calls on religious groups to speak out on poverty

The African-American boy who grew up with an absent father, who started his work life as a community organizer on the payroll of a Catholic agency and who later became U.S. president had plenty to say about poverty in our “winner-take-all” economy. President Obama spoke Tuesday of “ladders of opportunity” once denied to black people and now being dismantled for poor white people as their difficult lives get that much more difficult: “It’s hard being poor. It’s time-consuming. It’s stressful.”

Tease photo

Dean of nation’s black preachers dies

Dr. Gardner C. Taylor, widely considered the dean of the nation’s black preachers and “the poet laureate of American Protestantism,” died Sunday, April 5, 2015, after a ministerial career that spanned more than six decades. He was 96. “Dr. Taylor was a theological giant who will be greatly missed,” the Rev. Carroll Baltimore, past president of the Progressive National Baptist Convention, said of the minister who received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2000.