Unique in a Divided Land, Israeli School Embraces Jews, Muslims, Christians

c. 2004 Religion News Service JERUSALEM _ Tucked away in a working-class neighborhood, the Hand in Hand elementary school is unlike any other in this ethnically and religiously diverse city where children of different faiths are rarely educated together. Here, Jewish, Muslim and Christian kids literally learn hand in hand. In the fall, the school’s […]

COMMENTARY: New Book Ponders The Passion for Christians and Jews

c. 2004 Religion News Service (UNDATED) “The Passion of the Christ,” Mel Gibson’s cinematic version of the death of Jesus attracted great controversy and large audiences when the film was released last February. Critics, including both Christians and Jews, charged the movie transmitted anti-Semitic images that unfairly demonstrated Jewish responsibility and culpability for Jesus’ execution. […]

RNS Daily Digest

c. 2004 Religion News Service Republicans, Churchgoers Want More Religion in Political Life (RNS) While nearly half of Americans think religion has too much political influence, Republicans and people who attend church frequently tend to think it should have more, according to a just-released Gallup Poll. The poll, taken after the Nov. 2 elections, found […]

NEWS STORY: In Wave of Christian Unity, Communion Becomes More Inclusive

c. 2004 Religion News Service (UNDATED) They marched down the sloping concrete ramps of the Communion aisles by the thousands _ Baptists, Presbyterians, Episcopalians, Congregationalists, Lutherans and even one Catholic priest. For more than a century, Christians had scattered throughout the grounds of the Chautauqua Institution in Chautauqua, N.Y. to receive the sacrament in the […]

NEWS FEATURE: Outrage Over Public Schools’ Handling of Christmas Reaches a Tipping Point

c. 2004 Beliefnet (UNDATED) It was the snowflake that broke the reindeer’s back. When her children’s school forbade the wearing of Halloween costumes, Lisa Lowry was mum. When her children said they were discouraged from saying “Merry Christmas” lest they offend someone who doesn’t observe the holiday, she was frustrated. But when her flute-playing daughter […]

COMMENTARY: Rabbi: `Stop Stripping Christmas of Christianity’

c. 2004 Religion News Service (UNDATED) Would you please do me a favor? Stop fooling with baby Jesus in the village square. And while you’re at it, don’t interrupt the kid singing “Silent Night” in the holiday pageant. It’s been years since this rabbi objected to public displays of creches, menorahs and Kwanzaa symbols. I […]

RNS Daily Digest

c. 2004 Religion News Service Aging Pope Tells Vatican Aides He Relies Increasingly on Their Help VATICAN CITY (RNS) In a rare reference to his increasing frailty, Pope John Paul II told his Vatican aides Tuesday (Dec. 21) that with the passing of the years he relies more and more on their help. The 84-year-old […]

NEWS STORY: Documentary Follows Trials of Church with Lesbian Pastor

c. 2004 Religion News Service (UNDATED) When filmmakers Alan and Susan Raymond started a documentary on an urban church facing a new pastor, membership loss and financial troubles, they thought they had a compelling story to tell. But when the church’s associate pastor came out as a lesbian half way through filming and was later […]

COMMENTARY: When Darkness Seems to Close, Hope Surprises

c. 2004 Religion News Service (UNDATED) It is semi-dark when we gather for worship in a church up North. Snow is falling, temperature plunging, the day not yet fully dawned. Darkness might have eased its hold during the closing hymn, “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel,” a gentle tune composed 600 years ago for French nuns. […]