An East Tennessee serpent-handling pastor’s legal woes are over for now. After a hearing on January 8, a grand jury decided not to indict Andrew Hamblin on charges of violating a state ban on possessing venomous snakes.
CANTERBURY, England (RNS) The number of Roman Catholic adherents in England and Wales fell by more than 90,000 in 2012, despite a wave of immigrants from Poland and other Eastern European countries with historically Catholic backgrounds.
JERUSALEM (RNS) A famously child-friendly country with a federally subsidized universal health care system that offers free fertility treatments, Israel has made it easier for economically distressed women to obtain an abortion.
BOSTON (RNS) An Iraqi woman dons a black hijab but bares her thighs. A Lebanese woman wearing a sheer blouse curls up on a bed, both innocent and seductive. An attractive young Iranian couple shares breakfast at a small table, seemingly oblivious to the tank looming just a few yards away.
Jesus was breast-fed. It’s a point often made by mothers who want to breast-feed in church but know others would prefer that they retreat to the nursery or find an out-of-the-way bench. Another point they make: breast-feeding is part of God’s plan—so why not do it in church?
A deep divide within the United Methodist Church over how to minister to gays and lesbians has led a Washington, D.C., pastor to suggest the denomination should not wait until its 2016 General Conference to change its policies.