In many COVID hot spots, a pattern: High concentrations of white evangelicals


(RNS) — As COVID-19 cases surge again, two things are true about many counties considered hot spots: Vaccination rates are low and white evangelical Protestant populations are high, according to a new data analysis. Concern about vaccine hesitancy or outright anti-vaccine sentiment among white evangelicals has persisted since at least March, when, according to a … Read more

Trump religious freedom ambassador launches international religious freedom meeting


WASHINGTON (RNS) — Sam Brownback, former U.S. ambassador for international religious freedom in the Trump administration, helped launch a conference on international religious freedom in the nation’s capital on Tuesday (July 13), bringing together an array of faith and political leaders with the goal of tackling discrimination around the globe. The three-day IRF Summit 2021 … Read more

What is a mainline Christian, anyway?


(RNS) — Is it a denomination? Is it a set of theological beliefs? Is it the type of church you attend? How exactly do you define a mainline Protestant Christian? It’s a question asked by many on Thursday (July 8), after polling outfit Public Religion Research Institute unveiled a new survey that showed white mainline … Read more

In military authorization vote, Quakers claim a victory


WASHINGTON (RNS) — As the U.S. House of Representatives began calling the roll last month to vote on a repeal of the 2002 Authorization for Use of Military Force, staffers at the Friends Committee on National Legislation couldn’t stop messaging each other. According to Shoshana Abrams, a manager of advocacy teams at the FCNL, her … Read more

Study: Trump expanded evangelical support in 2020, but Biden gained with other white Christians


WASHINGTON (RNS) — A new survey reports former President Donald Trump expanded his robust support among white evangelicals in the 2020 election, but President Joe Biden won in part by making significant gains among Catholics and non-evangelical Protestants. That’s according to Pew Research’s new “Behind Biden’s 2020 Victory” study unveiled on Wednesday (June 30). The … Read more

Catholic bishop of Syracuse decries Doctrine of Discovery, suggests pope do the same


(RNS) — The Catholic bishop of Syracuse, New York, is speaking out against the Doctrine of Discovery and revealing plans to ask Pope Francis to repudiate theological teachings used for centuries to justify the subjugation of Indigenous peoples. In an interview with Religion News Service on Wednesday (June 30), Bishop Douglas J. Lucia explained he is … Read more

Pope sends letter praising priest who ministers to LGBTQ Catholics


(RNS) — Pope Francis sent a letter praising the work of a Jesuit priest who has been an outspoken advocate for more respectful treatment of LGBTQ people within the Catholic Church. In the letter, the pontiff described Father James Martin’s work as imitating the “style of God.” The letter, written in Spanish and dated June … Read more

Jesse Jackson, William Barber arrested protesting filibuster and Manchin


WASHINGTON (RNS) — The Rev. Jesse Jackson and Poor People’s Campaign co-chair the Rev. William Barber II were among several civil rights and religious activists arrested at a protest outside the U.S. Senate on Wednesday (June 23), where demonstrators demanded West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin and other lawmakers abolish the filibuster and pass voting rights … Read more

Catholic bishops publish Q&A clarifying controversial Communion document


(RNS) — The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops followed its vote last week to commission a document on the Eucharist with a new Q&A, aimed at clarifying the rationale for the document, widely seen as a move toward denying Communion to politicians who back abortion rights. The Q&A, published on the USCCB website on Wednesday (June … Read more

As Senate convenes hearing, more than 300 faith leaders declare support for DC statehood


WASHINGTON (RNS) — More than 300 faith leaders and heads of prominent religious organizations signed a letter sent to Senate leadership on Tuesday (June 22) backing the call to make Washington, D.C., a state, adding religious support to the growing Democratic-led effort. “As clergy and faith leaders from across our nation, we write to express … Read more