Southern Baptists opened their annual meeting last month with calls to turn around plummeting baptism rates, even as researchers warned that the nation’s largest Protestant body could lose half its size by mid-century.
A significant majority of gays and lesbians—six in ten—say faith is important in their lives, according to a new survey by an evangelical Christian research firm.
“People who portray gay adults as godless, hedonistic Christian bashers are not working with the facts,” said George Barna, founder of the Barna Research Group, a private company based in Ventura, California.
Sister Elizabeth Liebert took over as dean of San Francisco Theological Semi nary on June 30, becoming the first Catholic nun in that post at a Presby terian Church (U.S.A.) seminary. Liebert has taught at SFTS for 22 years and was the first Catholic to receive tenure at the 138-year-old school.
While celebrating the denomination’s broad ethnic, regional and linguistic diversity at their biennial meeting June 26-28, members of the American Baptist Churches USA also exhibited their ideological diversity.
President Obama signed long-sought legislation June 22 authorizing the Food and Drug Administration to regulate tobacco products, and among those cheering were the 25 faith groups in the Faith United Against Tobacco coalition. “Better late than never,” said Wesley “Pat” Padillo, a key advocacy official for the National Council of Churches.
Conservative Anglicans disenchanted with the liberal direction in their U.S. and Canadian churches say they are confident that a new church body formally launched in June will one day gain a seat in the worldwide Anglican Communion.
A South Korean group of churches has been urging its member congregations and organizations to join a campaign to give North Korean children milk and bread “without any precondition.” The gestures came amid heightened political tensions on the Korean peninsula.
Former president Jimmy Carter is calling Israel’s two-year-old blockade of Gaza an “atrocity” and saying that people there are being treated like animals. “Tragically, the international community largely ignores the cries for help, while the citizens of Gaza are being treated more like animals than human beings,” said Carter in a June 16 speech.
Prominent religious officials led a march to the White House last month to urge President Obama to form a commission of inquiry into interrogation practices under the Bush administration. The clerics and other senior religious leaders and supporters who joined them for the “public witness” formed a crowd adorned with robes, collars, hijabs and yarmulkes.