ALEXANDRIA, Va. (RNS) At Alfred Street Baptist Church, the pews start to fill more than half an hour before the service begins. Uniformed ushers guide African Americans of all ages to their seats. Some stand and wave their hands in the air as the large, robed choir begins to sing.
(RNS) When news broke of the killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, a year ago, St. Louis seminary professor Leah Gunning Francis felt she couldn’t just sit quietly. She joined in the marches, the prayers and the vigils.
Fifty years after the signing of the Voting Rights Act, many black churches are redoubling efforts to maintain access to the ballot box.
James C. Perkins, president of the historically black Progressive National Baptist Convention, said the denomination is joining other religious and civic groups to challenge restrictions in state voting laws.
From a zero-waste synagogue to global development work after natural disasters, environmental projects by faith leaders are being hailed by the Obama administration as examples of exemplary leadership on climate change.
(RNS) From a zero-waste synagogue to global development work after natural disasters, environmental projects by faith leaders are being hailed by the Obama administration as examples of exemplary leadership on climate change.
WASHINGTON (RNS) The dean of Washington National Cathedral has called for two stained-glass windows featuring Confederate flags to be taken down from the Gothic edifice, in another instance of institutions reconsidering tributes to the Southern cause.
WASHINGTON (RNS) Civil rights veteran and Congressman John Lewis urged black clergy to work for changes in the Voting Rights Act on the second anniversary of the Supreme Court decision that removed key provisions of the law.
For African Americans, church violence has historic dimensions. The attack at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church reflects “a pattern of random, racialized violence against religious institutions,” said Valerie Cooper, associate professor of black church studies at Duke University.
DURHAM, N.C. (RNS) Gil Caldwell walked onto the campus of Duke Divinity School, leaning on a cane, alongside thousands of Duke alumni arriving for a reunion. But unlike the others, he wasn’t returning for a stroll down memory lane.
He had come here for a glimpse of what might have been.
In the past week, Kelly Brown Douglas, a black Episcopal priest and religion professor at Baltimore’s Goucher College, joined students as they watched, analyzed and agonized about their city erupting in protest after the death of yet another black man, Freddie Gray, in police custody.
On Friday, the Baltimore state’s attorney criminally charged six officers involved in Gray’s death and declared his arrest was illegal.
WASHINGTON (RNS) African-American women of faith joined other women and political leaders in a “pray-in” Wednesday to call on Republicans to stop delaying the confirmation of attorney general nominee Loretta Lynch.