Christianity

Buffalo church holds interfaith service to lament massacre

May 16, 2022

Hundreds of people brought their pain to the altar Sunday in remembrance of the 10 lives lost and three injured in a mass shooting in Buffalo on Saturday.

Macedonia Baptist Church, just minutes away from the Tops Supermarket where the tragedy took place, held an interfaith service that called for healing and action. Senior Pastor Julian Cook said planning a service that would bring people from all walks of life together was necessary, as the hate crime that took place affects everyone.

“Part of the lie of racism is that it only impacts minorities, right? Part of the...

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Buddhist Chaplains on the Rise in US, Offering Broad Appeal

May 15, 2022

Wedged into a recliner in the corner of her assisted living apartment in Portland, Skylar Freimann, who has a terminal heart condition and pulmonary illness, anxiously eyed her newly arrived hospital bed on a recent day and worried over how she would maintain independence as she further loses mobility.

There to guide her along the journey was the Rev. Jo Laurence, a hospice and palliative care chaplain. But rather than invoking God or a Christian prayer, she talked of meditation, chanting and other Eastern spiritual traditions: “The body can weigh us down sometimes,” she...

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Man accused of setting car ablaze over owner's religion

May 2, 2022

A Connecticut man has been charged with a hate crime after telling police he set a vehicle on fire because he didn’t like the owner’s Mormon faith.

The fire, which destroyed a 2022 Chevy Equinox, started just before 4 a.m. Monday outside a multifamily home in Torrington, police said.

Witnesses said they saw a man start the fire near the SUV’s gas tank and pointed authorities to the 22-year-old suspect, who lived nearby.

Source:...

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After Religious Controversy, Massachusetts School Board Okays Christian Private School

May 2, 2022

A Massachusetts school committee has fulfilled its duty and approved the application of a private Christian school despite controversy when committee members questioned the planned school’s religious beliefs in a way that drew accusations of impermissible hostility to religion.

“We are grateful that Somerville officials recognized that the government cannot ban a religious school because they disagree with its religious beliefs,” Ryan Gardner, counsel for the Texas-based First Liberty Institute religious freedom legal group. “Because of the school board’s decision, more...

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U.S. Supreme Court backs Christian group in Boston flag flap

May 2, 2022

Boston violated the free speech rights of a Christian group by refusing to fly a flag bearing the image of a cross at City Hall as part of a program that let private groups use the flagpole while holding events in the plaza below, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously ruled on Monday.

The 9-0 decision, authored by liberal Justice Stephen Breyer, overturned a lower court's ruling that the rejection of Camp Constitution and its director Harold Shurtleff did not violate their rights to freedom to speech under the U.S. Constitution's First Amendment. President Joe Biden's...

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How should Black churches respond to the fight for LGBTQ rights?

May 1, 2022

In the Rev. Cedric Harmon’s religious tradition, the prayers offered at church almost always start the same way. Worshippers acknowledge God and then give thanks for life, health, strength and safety, four blessings that every human needs.

“We thank God for those blessings and recognize how core they are,” he said.

The Rev. Harmon reminds people of those prayers when they question why the Black church should fight for LGBTQ civil rights protections. He tells them to stop feeling like gay and transgender Americans are seeking special treatment. What they want, he...

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Korean American female pastors push back

April 30, 2022

When the Rev. Kyunglim Shin Lee was ordained in 1988, it angered her in-laws for contravening long-held Korean cultural values subordinating women’s roles in society. Even her husband, a pastor, told her he understood intellectually “but his heart couldn’t accept it.”

Those reactions broke Lee’s heart — and steeled her resolve. Today she is vice president for international relations at Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington; has traveled to 60 countries as the seminary’s ambassador; and once served as interim lead pastor at a Korean American church for 11 months. Along the...

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Trump officials muzzled CDC on church covid guidance, emails confirm

April 29, 2022

Trump White House officials in May 2020 removed public health advice urging churches to consider virtual religious services as the coronavirus spread, delivering a messaging change sought by the president’s supporters, according to emails from former top officials released by a House panel on Friday.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention sent its planned...

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How race and religion have always played a role in who gets refuge in US

April 28, 2022

In the weeks since Russia invaded Ukraine, millions of Ukrainians have fled the country as refugees. Hundreds of those refugees have now arrived at the southern border of the United States seeking asylum, after flying to Mexico on tourist visas.

At the border, Ukrainians, alongside thousands of other asylum seekers, must navigate two policies meant to keep...

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