Study finds strong Amish growth, western migration

Alfredo Garcia |

(RNS) A new study says that the population of North American Amish has increased by nearly 10 percent in the past two years, causing many communities to turn westward in search of new land. Conducted by the Young Center for Anabaptist and Pietist Studies at Elizabethtown College in Elizabethtown, Pa., the study found that Amish […]

Bodies for/by Jesus

Alfredo Garcia |

They begin with a group prayer, concluded in Jesus’ name. Their music is religious in nature, a compilation of upbeat and encouraging Gospel music. Their workout kinesthetics could be confused for the choreography of a church piece. These are the images from the Body Gospel DVDs, the latest in the religious diet/workout culture. CNN covered […]

Catholic patriarch blasts Israel for allowing gay parade

Michele Chabin |

JERUSALEM (RNS) The Catholic Church’s highest official in the Holy Land sharply criticized Israeli authorities for permitting a gay pride march on Thursday (July 29) through the streets of Jerusalem. In a statement issued Friday following the city’s 8th Annual Gay Pride Parade, which attracted 3,000 marchers, Latin Patriarch Fouad Twal said the event seeks […]

Anglican priest convicted of sham marriages

Al Webb |

LONDON (RNS) An Anglican vicar has been convicted of conducting hundreds of bogus marriages in a scam aimed at helping African immigrants gain illegal entry into Britain. A jury at Lewes Crown Court, in southern England, on Thursday (July 29) found the Rev. Alex Brown had violated immigration laws by “marrying” 383 couples over a […]

Faith healers plead not guilty to criminal mistreatment

Steve Mayes / The Oregonian |

OREGON CITY, Ore. (RNS) Two members of a controversial faith-healing church were charged Thursday (July 29) with first-degree criminal mistreatment for failing to provide medical care for their infant daughter. Timothy and Rebecca Wyland pleaded not guilty during a brief appearance before Circuit Judge Robert D. Herndon and were released without bail. The charges were […]

Novelist Anne Rice says `I quit being a Christian’

Kevin Eckstrom |

(RNS) Vampire novelist Anne Rice says she’s leaving Christianity — again — because she no longer wants to be identified with such a “quarrelsome, hostile, disputatious, and deservedly infamous group.” Born and raised a Catholic, Rice left the church but returned after a 30-year absence in 1998. Best known for “Interview With the Vampire” and […]

Mormons See Potential in Online Proselytizing

BeliefNet (RNS):Not so long ago, Mormon missionaries were prohibited from using the Internet, even to contact their families. The system then loosened a bit to allow weekly e-mails home and some occasional viewing of church materials. Full story.