President-elect Barack Obama says that the historically black church moved him from a skeptic to a believer.
He has spoken appreciatively of its vibrant worship, written about how the black church experience has moved him to tears. And he has credited black congregations for their work in helping the powerless and in speaking truth to power.
Metropolitan Kirill, considered a reformer in his approach to relations with the Russian government and the Roman Catholic Church, has been chosen as the interim leader of the Russian Orthodox Church following the death on December 5 of Patriarch Alexy II, who was 79.
The top Washington lobbyist for the National Association of Evangelicals, who had already faced criticism for his embrace of environmental activism, has resigned after signaling support for same-sex civil unions.