A worship service at Hillsong Church noted its 30-year anniversary on Sunday (Oct. 27) at their main campus just outside of Sydney. RNS photo by Sarah Pulliam Bailey

A worship service at Hillsong Church noted its 30-year anniversary on Sunday (Oct. 27) at the main campus just outside of Sydney. RNS photo by Sarah Pulliam Bailey

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The Illinois House has approved a bill to allow gay marriage, setting up the state to become the largest in the heartland to allow same-sex marriage.

Yesterday we saw Republican Chris Christie re-elected governor of New Jersey, Democrat Terry McAuliffe elected governor of Virginia, and Democrat Bill de Blasio elected mayor of New York City, among other races in the election.

An Iranian-American pastor being held in Iran has reportedly been transferred to a more dangerous prison where he faces life-threatening conditions. President Obama expressed his concern to the Iranian president over Saeed Abedini’s imprisonment in September.

I recently returned from Australia where I visited Hillsong, one of the most globally influential churches, which celebrated its 30-year anniversary on Sunday.

Meanwhile, atheists are using the popular YouVersion Bible app to evangelize about unbelief.

A sheriff’s chaplain in Texas has started to remove tattoos for ex-offenders to help give them a fresh start.

More politicians are fighting the Employment Non-Discrimination Act as a bad economic move, not as a break with the Bible.

In February, Marvel Comics will begin a series whose lead character is a teenage Muslim girl living in Jersey City.

Planned Parenthood in Iowa may continue using its online system for dispensing abortion pills while the practice is debated in court, a judge ruled Tuesday.

James E. Winkler, general secretary of the United Methodist General Board of Church and Society, is the nominee for General Secretary/President of the National Council of Churches. The NCC Governing Board meets on Nov. 18.

More than 5,000 people from the devout Chabad-Lubavitch movement — the vast majority of them rabbis — gathered in New York City for their annual conference, which ended on Nov. 3.

Cathy Grossman notes that Christian charities should get a boost from Christmas. Jews are stepping up for Hanukkah tzedakah. The Jewish Daily Forward has a special giving section.

A New Jersey school district has reversed course and retracted its ban on religious holiday songs at winter concerts.

TV personality Paula Abdul has moved a Bat Mitzvah ceremony that she planned to hold at Jerusalem’s Western Wall.

Finally, congrats to our friend Peter Smith, leaving the Louisville Courier-Journal to cover religion for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Categories: Beliefs

Sarah Pulliam Bailey

Sarah Pulliam Bailey

Sarah Pulliam Bailey is a national correspondent for RNS, covering how faith intersects with politics, culture and other news. She previously served as online editor for Christianity Today where she remains an editor-at-large.


  1. Fox news as a source? Alarm bells should go off immediately. While Raja’i Shahr prison in Karaj may have murderers and rapists, so does Evin prison, the pastor’s recent “accommodations.” Raja’i Shahr prison is also where a number of non-violent, low-risk male prisoners of conscience are held. Male religious prisoners in particular have been clustered in Raja’i Shahr. See for example:


    By characterising the prison as a place for criminals, and especially violent criminals, Fox News has delivered a terrible insult to these innocent people. But they got their story, what do they care about the facts.

  2. Yeah, SPB, Anything attributed to Fox News should be looked upon with a very careful eye. Better yet, avoid using Fox News as a source as much as possible if you want me to continue reading these pages, which I enjoy, but wouldn’t near as much if that illustrious propaganda machine of the right were to be read too often by me here. Sorry, but my ears, I’m blind, my ears can’t take the Fox propaganda except in very, very small doses and preferably not at all!

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