Tuesday’s roundup

Atheists and agnostics know more about religion than Roman Catholics and other Christians, according to new study conducted by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life. Mormons and Jews did pretty well on the survey, but more than half of Protestants could not identify Martin Luther as the man who started the Protestant Reformation. […]

Poll finds unbelievers know the most about belief

Adelle M. Banks |

WASHINGTON (RNS) Who can best answer questions about religion in America? Based on a new survey released Tuesday (Sept. 28) by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life, it’s your atheist or agnostic neighbor, followed by the Jew or Mormon down the street. A significant percentage — four in 10 — of Roman Catholics […]

COMMENTARY: The dangerous allure of magical thinking

Tom Ehrich |

RIO RANCHO, N.M. (RNS) A dozen Presbyterian teenagers learned important lessons this week in the difference between work-and-outcomes vs. “magical thinking.” In a mainline denomination whose latest national statistics show alarming decay, they boldly collaborated with parents and a professional chef to put on a spaghetti dinner for mission funding. From table settings to matching […]

Long vows to fight sexual misconduct charges

Adelle M. Banks |

(RNS) Bishop Eddie Long, the Atlanta-area preacher facing charges from four young men that he coerced them to have sex, told his congregation Sunday (Sept. 26) he is “under attack” and will fight the allegations against him. “I’ve been accused,” Long told the New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in Lithonia, Ga. “I’m under attack. I […]

RNA honors top religion reporting

Kevin Eckstrom |

DENVER (RNS) Religion reporters from The Washington Post and The New York Times won top honors Saturday (Sept. 25) at the 2010 Religion Newswriters Association’s annual awards competition. The RNA also honored former New York Times religion reporter Gustav Niebuhr with its William A. Reed Lifetime Achievement Award. Niebuhr, who left the beat in 2001, […]

Judge returns infant to faith-healing parents

Steve Mayes / The Oregonian |

OREGON CITY, Ore. (RNS) A Clackamas County judge ruled Friday (Sept. 24) that an infant who faced blindness from an untreated medical condition can return home while her parents prepare for trial on charges of criminal mistreatment. Circuit Judge Douglas V. Van Dyk imposed several conditions on Timothy and Rebecca Wyland, who are members of […]

Small dedicated following keeps shape-note singing alive

Greg Garrison |

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (RNS) The archaic sounds that fill the historic former church sanctuary echo, hauntingly, like a whispering ghost from the past. Inside the 1902 building that once housed the Second Presbyterian Church, the elaborate archways bounce back the sound of sacred harp singing. It’s a style of music that once dominated rural evangelical religion, […]

Churches find empty pews at Sunday evening services

Matt Vande Bunte |

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (RNS) Doug De Vries describes Sunday evening worship as “a lot less formal” than the morning service at Plymouth Heights Christian Reformed Church. It’s also a lot less crowded. Plymouth Heights is in step with a larger trend of declining evening attendance in evangelical denominations that long have cherished a heritage of […]