Supreme Court to weigh churches’ hiring rights

Lauren Markoe |

WASHINGTON (RNS) The Supreme Court on Wednesday (Oct. 5.) will hear one of most important religion cases in decades, centered on the degree to which religious institutions should be exempt from anti-discrimination laws. The case started at a Lutheran elementary school in Michigan where a teacher claimed she was fired in violation of the Americans […]

U.S. Christians rally around Iranian pastor

Adelle M. Banks |

WAHSINGTON (RNS) Religious freedom advocates rallied Wednesday (Sept. 28) around an Iranian pastor who is facing execution because he has refused to recant his Christian faith in the overwhelmingly Muslim country. The British-based group Christian Solidarity Worldwide has asked international supporters to urge Iranian officials to halt plans to execute Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani. The pastor […]

Wednesday Godbytes

Cathleen Falsani of the Sojourner’s God’s Politics blog talks about National Back to Church Sunday (wait, that was THIS PAST weekend?!). America Magazine reports on an online effort to start a Catholic Petition against the death penalty. Coming on the heels of President Obama’s encounter with a heckler Monday night, CNN reports on a (possible) […]

Wednesday Godbytes

Cathleen Falsani of the Sojourner’s God’s Politics blog talks about National Back to Church Sunday (wait, that was THIS PAST weekend?!). America Magazine reports on an online effort to start a Catholic Petition against the death penalty. Coming on the heels of President Obama’s encounter with a heckler Monday night, CNN reports on a (possible) […]

Is there a death penalty-sized hole in Catholicism’s âÂ?Â?seamless garmentâÂ?Â? ethic?

David Gibson |

(RNS) Is Catholic opposition to the death penalty losing traction as opposition to abortion, gay marriage, contraception and other causes become the defining “pro-life” issues for the American hierarchy? That’s what some Catholics are asking after the bishops’ Pro-Life Activities Committee on Monday (Sept. 26) released its message for October’s “Respect Life Month” campaign, which […]

Parents of dead baby defend use of faith-healing

Steve Mayes |

OREGON CITY, Ore. (RNS) Two years to the day after their newborn son died, two parents accused of choosing faith healing over medical care said Tuesday (Sept. 27) that given the chance, they would do nothing differently. Dale and Shannon Hickman are charged with second-degree manslaughter for failing to provide medical care for their son […]

New Jersey leads U.S. in till death do us part

Amy Kuperinsky |

(RNS) Poor New Jersey — derided for “Jersey Shore,” aggressive driving and talking too fast. But when it comes to happily ever after, the Garden State is No. 1. A recent U.S. Census report shows the Northeast — and New Jersey in particular — has the lowest divorce rate in America, trailed closely by New […]

Report says trends for U.S. churches mostly pointing down

Adelle M. Banks |

(RNS) American congregations have grown less healthy in the last decade, with fewer people in the pews and aging memberships, according to a new Hartford Seminary study. But there are also “pockets of vitality,” including an increase in minority congregations and a surge in election-related activities at evangelical congregations. The findings coming from the new […]

Wednesday’s Religion News Roundup

Happy New Year! It’s almost 5772! Just a few hours left to make your Jewish New Year resolutions. Christians in Syria are backing dictator Bashar al-Assad, who has afforded them some protection, as much of the Sunni Muslim country looks forward to his ouster. Christians are incensed in Britain that BBC broadcasters will on longer […]

Tuesday Godbytes

Christian E-Zine Relevant takes a look at how video games engage the nature of God by highlighting a new game based on the Dead Sea Scroll’s version of the Book of Enoch. Still nothing about who Mario prays to, though. Sarah Posner over at Religion Dispatches examines “Bring Back the Holy Bible and Christian Prayer […]