NEWS STORY: Farrakhan visit to South Africa stirring controversy

c. 1996 Religion News Service JOHANNESBURG, South Africa (RNS)-The view of sprawling low-hung shanties outside Farhad Hussen’s Pretoria office window fades in and out of the choking canopy of cooking-fire smoke and drizzle. Bent figures float across the expanse of mud, between the wobbly shacks of wood and tin, hauling bundles of firewood and plastic […]

TOP STORY: RELIGION AND CULTURE: Baltimore museum is a window on the soul of `visionary art’

c. 1996 Religion News Service BALTIMORE (RNS)-Gerald Hawkes is an artist whose internal dialogue prompts him to paste together thousands-sometimes millions-of painted wooden matchsticks, producing creations he said reflect a struggle between God and Satan to speak through him. Each matchstick, said the 52-year-old Hawkes, a former printer left partially disabled by a mugging some […]

NEWS STORY: Luce Foundation funds study of Abrahamic religions

c. 1996 Religion News Service HARTFORD, Conn. (RNS)-The Hartford Seminary’s center for the study of Islam and Christian-Muslim relations and the University of Hartford’s center Judaic studies are joining in a major project to promote understanding among the faiths. A $400,000, five-year grant from the Henry Luce Foundation of New York will establish”the Luce Forum […]

NEWS STORY: Nation’s largest Baptist university lifts ban on campus dances

c. 1996 Religion News Service FORT WORTH, Texas (RNS)-Baylor University in Waco, Texas, the nation’s largest Baptist-related school, will begin allowing on-campus dances this spring, a move that has upset some religious conservatives. Robert B. Sloan Jr., the school’s 46-year-old president, approved the dances Friday (Jan. 26), lifting a ban going back more than a […]

TOP STORY: BIBLICAL SCHOLARSHIP: Did James, `the brother of the Lord,’ write the epistle attri

c. 1996 Religion News Service (RNS)-Is a brother of Jesus the real author of a letter attributed to him in the New Testament? Luke Timothy Johnson, a Catholic who teaches at Emory University’s Candler School of Theology, is bucking conventional wisdom by proposing that James-called the”brother of the Lord”by the apostle Paul in the New […]

TOP STORY: BIBLICAL SCHOLARSHIP: Did Jesus have brothers? Some scholars say yes

c. 1996 Religion News Service (RNS)-Did Jesus have brothers? Some prominent Catholic biblical scholars, bypassing centuries-old church doctrine that Mary was a lifelong virgin, say that indeed he did. The”brothers”of Jesus mentioned in the New Testament were probably siblings, the scholars say. Protestantism has long taken Gospel mentions of brothers, and sometimes sisters, of Jesus […]

NEWS STORY: Hillary Clinton announces Catholic-Orthodox relief effort in Bosnia

c. 1996 Religion News Service WASHINGTON (RNS)-Hillary Rodham Clinton, honoring the work of 30 religious and secular humanitarian groups working in Bosnia, said Monday the federal government will help finance the first joint Roman Catholic-Orthodox Christian relief program in the former Yugoslavia. Clinton, at a meeting and reception in the White House East Room, called […]

Denominational Report

c. 1996 Religion News Service (Following is a collection of news stories compiled from RNS staff, wire and denominational reports). Colorado’s Catholic bishops distance church from Christian Coalition (RNS)-Colorado’s three Roman Catholic bishops have sent a letter to the 200 Catholic priests in the state saying that the Christian Coalition’s Catholic Alliance does not represent”the […]

Global Religion Report

c. 1996 Religion News Service (Following is a collection of international religion stories compiled by RNS staff, wire and denominational reports.) Pope urges sacrifices to combat world hunger (RNS)-Pope John Paul II said Thursday (Jan. 25) that hunger is a”great tragedy afflicting humanity”and he urged Roman Catholics to make sacrifices to combat the suffering. The […]

NEWS STORY: World Jewish population plummeting, study says

c. 1996 Religion News Service JERUSALEM (RNS)-The Jewish population is plummeting around the world-with the exception of Israel, Germany, Canada and Panama-according to a demographic”State of the Jewish World”report issued during the World Jewish Congress annual convention held this week in Jerusalem. Only 13 million Jews are alive today worldwide-meaning that the community has not […]