Liberty University says no to student Democratic club

Adelle M. Banks |

(RNS) Liberty University is drawing criticism for its decision to no longer recognize a Democratic Party student club as an official campus organization. Jerry Falwell Jr., the president of the university and son of its late founder, said the club has not been disbanded and can continue to meet on campus but will no longer […]

South African church still not `moving beyond apartheid’

Stephen Brown and Hans Pienaar |

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa (RNS/ENI) A South African church that was suspended from the World Alliance of Reformed Churches in 1982 because of its support for apartheid is “still not ready for readmission,” leaders of the Geneva-based Reformed group were told. The Nederduitsch Hervormde Kerk van Afrika (Dutch Reformed Church of Africa), or NHKA, had been […]

Former Episcopal priest indicted on theft charges

Daniel Burke |

(RNS) A Colorado priest accused of stealing money from his Episcopal parish before he left the denomination to join a rival church has been indicted on 20 counts of felony theft by a grand jury. The Rev. Donald Armstrong is accused of embezzling nearly $400,000 from the parish of Grace and St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church […]

Vatican Radio to accept advertising to help pay bills

Tom Kington |

VATICAN CITY (RNS) After 78 years of broadcasting the pope’s message around the world, Vatican Radio is to break with tradition and take paid commercials for the first time. The move to mix jingles and advertising with religious programming will help balance the books at the station, which employs 500 people, broadcasts in 47 languages […]

Southwest families discover hidden Jewish roots

Amy Klein |

(UNDATED) Growing up in Wyoming to Catholic and Protestant parents, Isabelle Medina-Sandoval watched the women in her family practice strange customs — washing off babies’ baptismal water and setting aside some dough when they made tortillas. “As a teenager, I always had so many questions about spirituality, I always wanted to figure out the puzzle,” […]

10 minutes with … Richard Stearns

Adelle M. Banks |

(UNDATED) About a decade ago, Richard Stearns made a dramatic career change, moving from the top, Jaguar-driving post with Lenox, a fine tableware company, to the presidency of World Vision U.S., an evangelical relief organization. In a new book, “The Hole in Our Gospel,” Stearns, 58, talks about the transformation in his own life and […]

COMMENTARY: One love, one heart

Cathleen Falsani |

CHICAGO — The morning we drove to O’Hare International Airport to meet Vasco after his 30-plus-hour flight from Malawi, my husband and I turned on the car stereo and hit play on the CD in the six-disc changer. What came up was Paul Simon’s album, “Graceland.” “These are the days of miracle and wonder, This […]

How Catholic is she?

Kevin Eckstrom |

About the only thing we’ve been able to discern about Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor’s faith is that she’s Catholic and attended a Catholic high school. The White House says she attends Catholic Church for “important events, including family celebrations,” which doesn’t sound like she’s a daily-Mass-kind-of-Catholic. If confirmed, Sotomayor would be the sixth Catholic […]

Indian gay marriage law takes effect in Oregon

Bill Graves |

PORTLAND, Ore. (RNS) A Coquille Indian Tribe law allowing same-sex marriage took effect this week, and two women married Sunday (May 24) on the tribe’s reservation in Coos Bay, Ore. Kitzen Branting, 26, and her partner, Jeni Branting, 28, who now live in Edmonds, Wash., became the first same-sex couple to legally marry in Oregon, […]

Evangelical angst over Jon and Kate

Kevin Eckstrom |

I updated my Facebook status last night to say that I “can’t watch Jon & Kate’s marriage fall apart any longer. It’s too depressing.” I had actually stopped watching TLC’s “Jon & Kate Plus 8” several months ago because of all the sickening giveaways that the family was getting — it wasn’t enough for them […]