During Disability Pride, Religious institutions still behind on accessibility


(RNS) — July is Disability Pride Month and marks the passing of the Americans with Disabilities Act on July 26, 1990, a watershed moment for civil rights law. However, mosques, synagogues, churches and other religious institutions remain exempt from ADA requirements. The Americans with Disabilities Act prohibits discrimination based on ability in areas such as … Read more

Three Jehovah’s Witnesses sentenced to six or more years in Russian prison for their faith


(RNS) — Three Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia were convicted and sentenced to prison for practicing their faith on Thursday (July 29). Vilen Avanesov, 68, was sentenced to six years, and his son Arsen Avanesov, 37, along with a third defendant, Aleksandr Parkov, 53, were both sentenced to six-and-a-half years. All three men have already spent … Read more

Proud Boys leader pleads guilty for burning church’s Black Lives Matter banner


(RNS) — Proud Boys national leader Henry “Enrique” Tarrio pleaded guilty to two charges on Monday (July 19), including the burning of a Black Lives Matter banner taken from Asbury United Methodist Church, a historic Black church in Washington, D.C. Tarrio, 37, also pleaded guilty in the D.C. Superior Court to one count of attempted … Read more

In ACNA abuse case, mother of an alleged victim says she paid a price for coming forward


(RNS) — When Cherin Marie joined Christ Our Light Anglican Church in Big Rock, Illinois, in 2013, she trusted that the community of a few dozen — many of whom were family members, longtime church friends or neighbors — would care for her and her kids. Her great uncle, the Rev. Rand York, was the … Read more

Four new bishops — and first biracial bishop — elected to AME Church


(RNS) — Four new bishops were elected to the African Methodist Episcopal Church on Saturday (July 10), the final day of the denomination’s General Conference in Orlando, Florida. Four general officers and two judicial council members were also elected. The Rev. Francine A. Brookins is the first biracial bishop to be elected, and Advocate Thabile … Read more

Prominent Anglican bishop takes leave of absence amid ongoing accusations of mishandling abuse allegations


The Anglican Church in North America logo. Courtesy image (RNS) — A prominent Anglican bishop has announced a leave of absence after admitting he mishandled allegations of abuse.  Bishop Stewart Ruch III of the Anglican Church in North America’s Upper Midwest Diocese had known since 2019 that former lay minister Mark Rivera had been charged … Read more

AME General Conference votes to form committee to study LGBTQ issues


(RNS) — A day after its General Conference voted down a bill that would have allowed clergy to perform same-sex marriages, the African Methodist Episcopal Church, meeting in Orlando, Florida, passed a resolution on Thursday (July 8) to appoint a sexual ethics discernment committee to make recommendations to the denomination about LGBTQ matters.      … Read more

AME General Conference debate on same-sex marriage continues after bill is voted down


(RNS) — A bill concerning same-sex marriage failed to pass on its second reading Wednesday (July 7) at the African Methodist Episcopal Church General Conference, the denomination’s quadrennial meeting taking place in Orlando, Florida, this week. The proposed bill was submitted by Ravi K. Perry, chair of the political science department at Howard University who … Read more

Dr. Anthony Fauci named 2021 Humanist of the Year


(RNS) — The American Humanist Association announced Thursday (July 1) that Dr. Anthony S. Fauci is its 2021 Humanist of the Year. Fauci is chief medical adviser to President Joe Biden and has been director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the U.S. National Institutes of Health since 1984. Fauci played … Read more