Boy is source of Native American saint’s miracle

Cathy Lynn Grossman |

(RNS) Jacob “Jake” Finkbonner of Ferndale, Wash., was 5 years old in 2006 when he split his lip playing basketball, developed a deadly flesh-eating strep infection and lay near death for months at Seattle Children’s Hospital. Jake’s father, Don, is Native American and a member of the Lummi tribe. The family’s priest at the time, […]

Ala. governor rejects bishops’ immigration plea

Ken Faulk |

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (RNS) Gov. Robert Bentley won’t support a repeal of the state’s get-tough immigration law, rejecting a Christmas appeal from a group of top religious leaders. “Gov. Bentley believes Alabama needs an effective illegal immigration law because the federal government has failed in its duties to enforce the law,” wrote Bentley’s press secretary, Jennifer […]

Tuesday Godbytes: (Mis)spelling Hanukkah; Merry Christmas in Klingon; Rob Bell’s Grammar

Today marks the first day of the eight-day Jewish celebration of Hanukkah. It also marks the beginning of a struggle journalists and bloggers know well – how do you actually spell Hanukkah? God only knows, right? Actually no. Apparently God doesn’t. Someone even wrote a song about it. (It’s ×Â?× ×Â?×Â?×Â?, by the way) Speaking of […]

U.S. jumps to top of charity index

Lauren Markoe |

ASHINGTON (RNS) Americans: the most generous people in the world. In this season of giving, that’s no idle gloat. According to a new study, the United States tops a massive global charity survey, rising from fifth place in 2010. The “World Giving Index,” based on 150,000 interviews with citizens of 153 nations, ranks the U.S. […]

Report shows Christianity shifting to Africa

G. Jeffrey MacDonald |

(RNS) With 2.18 billion adherents, Christianity has become a truly global religion over the past century as rapid growth in developing nations offset declines in Christianity’s traditional strongholds, according to a report released Monday (Dec. 19). Billed as the most comprehensive and reliable study to date, the Pew Research Center’s “Global Christianity” reports on self-identified […]

Muslims caught in reality show crossfire struggle to understand controversy

Kevin Allen |

DEARBORN, Mich. (RNS) When Fordson High School football coach Fouad Zaban was asked to be on a reality show about Muslim family life, his impulse was to decline. “It doesn’t seem like it now, but we kind of like our privacy,” Zaban said. “We are simple people. We don’t do crazy things. … Quite honestly, […]

COMMENTARY: A good year for a silent night

Tom Ehrich |

(RNS) This is a year for soft sounds in churches, like babies cooing, lovers wooing, believers holding candles and singing “Silent Night.” This is a year to turn down the volume, to dare to hear the still small voice of God. In a world of bare-knuckles politics, Christians don’t need to outshout the shouters. Let […]

Pope certifies miracles for two U.S. saints

Francis X. Rocca |

VATICAN CITY (RNS) A 17th-century Native American woman who cared for the sick and elderly, and a Catholic nun who worked with lepers in Hawaii, are on the verge of becoming the newest American saints, after Pope Benedict XVI certified miracles due to their intercession, the Vatican announced Monday (Dec 19). The decrees concerned Kateri […]

Muslim push Lowe’s boycott over reality series

David Finnigan |

LOS ANGELES (RNS) The controversy between Muslim Americans and the Lowe’s home improvement chain will spill into 2012 with a planned boycott of Lowe’s for dropping its advertising from the TLC reality show “All-American Muslim.” Leaders of the Muslim Public Affairs Council urged their members to boycott Lowe’s, and called on more than 50 major […]