Church closings in New Orleans reflect a national trend

c. 2008 Religion News Service NEW ORLEANS _ Archbishop Alfred Hughes’ decision in April to close 33 of what were once about 142 parishes in the Archdiocese of New Orleans was not only a concession to the damage wrought by Hurricane Katrina. It also introduced New Orleans Catholics and neighborhood activists to a wrenching phenomenon […]

Welcome to RNS’s New Website (phase one)

David Shaw |

Today marks the launch of the first phase of Religion News Service’s newly designed website, featuring more free full-text content posted every day (in addition to summaries of other stories we’re transmitting, the full-text of which is available to subscribers). There are many new features coming soon, including a special subscriber area with access to […]

Exhibit sees echoes of ‘36 Olympics in Tibet fight

By Jonathan Rubin |

WASHINGTON-The protests over China’s human rights abuses as it prepares to host this summer’s Olympics underline a key fact: Sports and politics are supposed to remain separate, but rarely are. A new exhibit at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum outlines another stark example of when athletes become ambassadors: the 1936 Berlin Olympics, used by the […]

Pagans find a sometimes uneasy home among Quakers

c. 2008 Religion News Service BALTIMORE _ When his partner died in 2004, Kevin-Douglas Olive reached a crossroads in his faith. Even though he had been a Quaker for almost two decades and put his trust in Jesus, he began to explore other ways of tapping into the divine. “I had this experience of (my […]

Exhibit sees echoes of ‘36 Olympics in Tibet fight

c. 2008 Religion News Service WASHINGTON _ The protests over China’s human rights record and its treatment of Tibet as it prepares to play host to the 2008 Olympics underline a key fact: Sports and politics are supposed to remain separate, but rarely do. A new exhibit at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum outlines another […]

Exhibit sees echoes of ‘36 Olympics in Tibet fight

c. 2008 Religion News Service Southern Baptists report lowest baptism rate in a decade (RNS) The number of baptisms in Southern Baptist churches _ considered a key measure of vitality and evangelism _ dropped to its lowest level in a decade last year, the denomination announced. The nation’s largest Protestant denomination has highlighted its need […]

The fun part’s over; now the real work begins

c. 2008 Religion News Service (UNDATED) Even though three-quarters of the U.S. population is not Catholic, a pope’s arrival on U.S. soil always generates extraordinary media coverage because of our intense fascination with one of the world’s few working monarchies. I should also mention most devout Catholics whom I have met consider Benedict XVI the […]

RNS Daily Digest

c. 2008 Religion News Service Top UCC leaders defend Obama’s church (RNS) Top leaders of the United Church of Christ are supporting Chicago’s Trinity United Church of Christ, which has been under fire for sermons delivered there by Sen. Barack Obama’s former pastor. The Rev. Jeremiah Wright, who led Trinity for 36 years, has been […]