Rolling Stone’s publisher planned to convert a Black church into his home, but residents fought back to preserve it


LOS ANGELES (RNS) — On a recent Sunday, about 10 people sat outside the steps of the boarded-up First Baptist Church of Venice, a century-old congregation that, to many, remains a symbol of the thriving Black population that once existed in the seaside town of Los Angeles. They discussed potential uses for the church that … Read more

Mary, mother of Jesus, returns as an icon for pop stars and social justice warriors


(RNS) — Lil Nas X, Bad Bunny and Princess Nokia all work their spirituality into their music, but you’re not likely to think of them as virginal. They are nonetheless helping to spread a craze for Mary, mother of Jesus, wearing designer Brenda Equihua’s splashy coats made from San Marcos cobijas: blankets found in many Latinx … 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

Despite white Christianity’s role in Capitol assault, some signs of hope and change


(RNS) — On Jan. 20, 2021, President Joe Biden became the first commander in chief to use the words “white supremacy” in an inaugural address. Naming “the cry of racial justice four hundred years in the making” and its corollary, “a rise in political extremism,” he called out white supremacy as a “domestic terrorism that … Read more

JewBelong goes digital — and hot pink — in campaign to sound alarm on antisemitism


A large billboard displays a message against antisemitism from JewBelong in Times Square, July 12, 2021, in New York City. RNS photo by Renée Roden (RNS) — The signs — hot neon pink banners flashing over Times Square in Manhattan — are bold and unapologetic: “Being woke and antisemitic is like being a vegan who … Read more

Judge tosses most claims over clearing protesters in DC park


WASHINGTON (AP) — A federal judge dismissed most claims filed by activists and civil liberties groups who accused the Trump administration of violating the civil rights of protesters who were forcefully removed by police before then-President Donald Trump walked to a church near the White House for a photo op. U.S. District Judge Dabney Friedrich … Read more