IN THE NEWS

‘Not A Real Schism’: Four Years Later, UMC Exodus More a Trickle
An analysis of departing churches suggests the country’s second-largest Protestant denomination will be weakened, but it is unlikely to break. Read article

National Prayer Breakfast Breaks From Tradition
The National Prayer Breakfast is under new management, with the National Prayer Breakfast Foundation taking over from The International Foundation. Read article

Arizona Episcopal Church Focusing on Affordable Housing
The Episcopal Church of the Epiphany in Flagstaff, Arizona, is hosting a series of exhibitions focusing on the most pressing issues of the day. The latest topic in the series is one that is tearing at the social fabric of America, from big cities to small towns: the affordable housing crisis. Read article

Syrian Priest Talks of ‘Spirit of Forgiveness’ After Being Held Hostage
A Syrian priest, whose appointment as archbishop was confirmed by Pope Francis on Jan. 7, shared the difficult times he spent being held hostage by the Islamic State (ISIS) terrorist group and the importance of the “spirit of forgiveness.” Read article

Evangelicals Eyeing DeSantis Over Trump
Longtime evangelical pastor Brad Cranston voted twice for Donald Trump. But Trump’s flaws have only grown in Cranston’s eyes, as the former president launches a third bid for the White House. Now, Cranston and other evangelicals are looking toward someone new, with an eye on Ron DeSantis. Read article

Supreme Court to Take On Religious Accommdation Law
A decades-old U.S. Supreme Court precedent making it easy for businesses to deny workers’ religious accommodation requests will be under the microscope now that the justices have a vehicle to reevaluate the standard. Read article

Religions Unite to Support Apache Fight Over Sacred Land
Congress approved the transfer of the land to Resolution Copper in 2014 in exchange for 6,000 acres elsewhere, but the Western Apache claim that the site has unique spiritual meaning. Read article

Prayer for Bills Player Hasn’t Stopped
Bills chaplain Len Vanden Bos said he has witnessed a unifying desire for prayer among both players and fans since Damar Hamlin fell to the turf in Cincinnati. Read article

Who Are the Christian Nationalists?
“Christian nationalist” once summoned images of fiery extremists — stark racists concerned with keeping immigrants out of the United States or politicians who argued that the Ten Commandments ought to coexist in law with the Constitution. Then came Jan. 6, and suddenly the term became a culture-war acid test. Read article

COVID had minimal long-term effect on church attendance
Despite the short-term upheaval COVID-19 caused among American churches, the pandemic’s long-term effect on worship attendance patterns was minimal, according to a study by researchers at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) and the University of Chicago. Read article

Crusades Exhibition Shows England Embraced Islamic Culture
Floor tiles from Chertsey Abbey in England, the subject of a new exhibition, resemble Muslim and Byzantine silks that crusaders brought back as souvenirs. Read article

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