GOP abandons anti-abortion bill, angering religious conservatives on Roe anniversary

Anti-abortion demonstrators pray in the hallway outside Senate Majority Leader McConnell's legislative office on Capitol Hill in Washington

Abortion opponents marking the huge annual March for Life in Washington on Thursday (Jan. 22) and anticipating legislative gains by a Republican-dominated Congress were thrown into disarray after GOP leaders unexpectedly withdrew an anti-abortion bill that had been seen as a done deal.

Marcus Borg, leading liberal theologian and historical Jesus expert, dies at 72

Marcus Borg Theologian Dead at 72

(RNS) Marcus J. Borg, a prominent liberal theologian and Bible scholar who for a generation helped popularize the intense debates about the historical Jesus and the veracity and meaning of the New Testament, died on Wednesday (Jan. 21). He was 72 and had been suffering from a prolonged illness, friends said. Borg emerged in the 1980s […]

Candler School of Theology announces spring event schedule


Candler continues the yearlong celebration of its 100th birthday with “Prophetic Voices: Confronting Theological Challenges of the Next Century,” an academic conference to be held March 18-20 at the school.

Fossil Free UMC Commends GBOPHB Decision to Screen Coal from Investments


“Creating a coal investment screen is more than an act of fiduciary duty. It’s a bold expression of The United Methodist Church’s values,” says Rev. Jenny Phillips.

Mt. Bethel UM Church Withholds Apportionments

Withholding Apportionments in the United Methodist Church

One of the largest congregations in The United Methodist Church withheld over $200,000 of its apportionments in 2014 in response to what it believes to be “wholly unsatisfactory” inaction on the part of the Council of Bishops to recent controversies within the denomination. The congregation will make no further payments in 2015 without the explicit […]

U.S. churchgoers still sit in segregated pews, and most are OK with that

Is Sunday the Most Segregated Day In the US? - Selma - RNS Photo

On the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday (Jan. 15), just as the civil rights drama “Selma” was nominated for best picture in the Oscar race, one fact of American life was little changed. Sunday morning remains, as King once observed, the most segregated hour in America. And, against a backdrop of increased racial tensions, […]

Hundreds of Duke students rally with Muslims at Friday’s call to prayer

Duke Divinity students protest cancel of muslim Prayer Photo via Twitter

DURHAM, N.C. In the end, the Muslim call to prayer was broadcast from a small black speaker perched on the steps of the Duke Chapel Friday (Jan 16), as hundreds of students, some Muslim but mostly non-Muslim, gathered in solidarity for the right of all students to pray publicly. The gathering, replete with signs reading […]

Duke cancels Muslims’ call to prayer after Franklin Graham leads revolt

Duke Chapel The Center of Controversy Scheduling a Muslim Call to Prayer This Week

Officials at Duke University abruptly dropped plans to broadcast the Muslim call to prayer from the iconic bell tower of Duke Chapel after online protests led by evangelist Franklin Graham and unspecified security threats. The decision on Thursday (Jan. 15) came one day before the “adhan,” or traditional call to prayer, was to be broadcast […]

Pope Francis on free speech: ‘You cannot insult the faith of others’

RNS pope

Pope Francis on Thursday (Jan. 15) condemned last week’s terrorist attack on the French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo but warned there were limits on freedom of expression.

Nigerian archbishop calls for unity marches following Boko Haram massacres

Archbishop from Nigeria speaks in England on country’s Ebola efforts and contrasting with its lack of aggression in addressing Islamic extremism

Nigerian Roman Catholic Archbishop Ignatius Kaigama says his country needs a similar march to the one held in Paris on Sunday (Jan. 11) to pay tribute to victims of Islamist militant attacks.