Nearly 700,000 tourists from the United States travel each year to Israel, accounting for about one-sixth of its tourists. Despite being considered a kind of religious pilgrimage to the “holy land,” the lands of the Bible actually stretch across several modern nations.
“Payday Advance.” “No Credit Necessary.”
The promises hide economic exploitation and political inaction. Yet in this darkness, churches are responding with an alternative message, a sign of hope.
By Kimberly Winston, Religion News Service|
April 28, 2017
(RNS) While politics and media both agree the "first 100 days" period is essentially meaningless in terms of predicting the eventual success of a presidency, neither is willing to ignore it.
One thing that is clear so far: White evangelical Christians, who helped put President Trump in the White House and who will be affected by many of his policies, both promised and delivered, remain his staunchest allies.
By Holly Hollman, Religion News Service|
April 25, 2017
(RNS) After a year of anticipation, the Supreme Court heard oral argument this week in a case involving religious liberty, federalism and original intent. The justices did so despite a recent development that changed the dynamics of the dispute.
By Yonat Shimron, Religion News Service|
April 19, 2017
NEW YORK (RNS) At the top of one of the hardwood sculptures currently on view at The Met Cloisters in Manhattan stands Jesus, flanked by saints and angels, two of whom are blowing the final trumpets. Beneath them, carved in deep relief, are souls in purgatory, prodded by demons, moaning as their fate is decided. At the sculpture’s base is the gaping maw of hell consuming someone.
Even if this were a normal-size work of art, the detailed, perfectly balanced presentation of its 50-plus figures would be remarkable.
Paul Msiza, a South African pastor serving as president of the Baptist World Alliance for 2015-2020, traveled to Jefferson City, Mo., in March. During his visit, he stopped by the Word&Way offices for an interview with Editor Brian Kaylor.
In the gospels, Jesus had to regularly contend with what people thought of him and the people that regularly surrounded him. Whether it was fishermen, tax collectors or the sick, the religious elite wondered why he preferred being around the wrong people. In Luke 7:36-50, Jesus deals with this head on during a meal at the home of Simon the Pharisee.
By Brent Landau, Religion News Service|
April 13, 2017
(The Conversation) This Sunday, April 16, Christians will be celebrating Easter, the day on which the resurrection of Jesus is said to have taken place. The date of celebration changes from year to year.
Easter is quite similar to other major holidays like Christmas and Halloween, which have evolved over the last 200 years or so. In all of these holidays, Christian and non-Christian (pagan) elements have continued to blend together.
By Adelle M. Banks, Religion News Service|
April 5, 2017
(RNS) About 65 million Americans – or 1 in 4 adults – have a criminal record that can lead to reduced access to jobs and education and a restriction from voting. A national prison ministry is joining forces with conservative and liberal groups to call on church leaders and politicians to give former prisoners a second chance at normal lives.
More than 110,000 Missourians, ages 65 years and over, suffer from Alzheimer’s Disease. Experts estimate that by 2025, that number will exceed 130,000. With more than 2,026 deaths in 2013, Alzheimer’s is the sixth leading cause of death in Missouri. Alzheimer’s deaths in Missouri rate 9th highest in America, with a whopping 85 percent increase since 2000.
All of Heaven was astir. The pearly gates were being polished. The golden streets were shined to shimmering. The angelic choir was practicing. Even the angels, wearied by time, were excitedly moving about. The normally quiet angels were busily conversing with one another. Jesus was returning to Heaven after a 30-year assignment on earth.
There is an axiom among those who study world religions: In exploring other faiths, we see our own with fresh eyes. I recently returned from a pilgrimage to Israel. In a very real way, my trip enabled me to see the oddness of us, the Jesus followers — not oddness in a bad way, but rather oddness in a way that is strange to outsiders.
Fresh from a four-year stint in the White House, a Baptist scholar in church-state issues offered advice on faith and politics to a packed church in a suburb of Washington, D.C., on March 8. Melissa Rogers, who served as executive director of the White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships from 2013 until January 2017, spoke to a meeting of the North American Baptist Fellowship, a group that unites 40 Baptist bodies in Canada and the United States.
Leaders of religious minorities in Iraq issued a declaration of principles in January urging support for freedom of belief. The Masarat Institution for Cultural Development, a non-profit organization in Iraq that works to protect minorities, organized a series of dialogues leading to the crafting of the “Baghdad Declaration for Supporting Religious Freedom.”