Tag Archives: religion

Study: Church Membership Plummets 20 Points To 50%

The Associated Press reports: The percentage of U.S. adults who belong to a church or other religious institution has plunged by 20 percentage points over the past two decades, hitting a low of 50% last year, according to a new Gallup poll. Among major demographic groups, the biggest drops were recorded among Democrats and Hispanics. Gallup said church membership was …

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Notre Dame Officials Forecast Three Years Of Repairs Before Reopening, Pledged Donations Top $700 Million

ABC News reports: Ravaged by a massive fire that completely destroyed its roof, the Notre Dame Cathedral will likely not be reopened to the public for three years, a spokesman for the 13th Century basilica told ABC News. Andrew Finot, head of communications for Notre Dame, said he got a brief look inside the decimated sanctuary and reported the “entire …

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Billionaires Pledge €300M To Rebuild Notre Dame

Buzzfeed News reports: Two French billionaires have pledged to donate a total of 300 million euros to help reconstruct the Notre Dame Cathedral after a catastrophic fire tore through the historic structure, collapsing its spire and causing significant damage. Their donations came as Paris firefighters declared Tuesday morning that “the entire fire is out”. “A group of experts are analysing …

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French Officials Walk Back Claim Of Total Loss Of Notre Dame, Interior Relatively Unscathed, Bell Towers Saved

The Hill reports: Fire officials said late Monday that Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris was saved from “total destruction” after a massive fire broke out, engulfing much of the building and destroying its iconic spire and stained-glass windows. The blaze spread to the cathedral’s two rectangular towers Monday evening but was later contained. The news that the building has been …

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Notre Dame Cathedral Likely A Total Loss, Scramble To Save Artwork, “Nothing Will Remain From The Frame”

USA Today reports: The fire burned for hours, virtually unabated despite the efforts of hundreds of firefighters. The flames continued to glow when darkness fell. “A special mission has been launched to try to save all works of art that can be saved,” Emmanuel Grégoire, first deputy to the mayor of Paris, said on French TV. “Everything is burning, nothing …

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LOUISIANA: Hate Crime Charges In Church Fires

The Associated Press reports: The white man suspected in the burnings of three African American churches in Louisiana will remain in jail, denied bond Monday by a judge, as state prosecutors added new charges declaring the arsons a hate crime. Twenty-one-year-old Holden Matthews, the son of a sheriff’s deputy, entered his not guilty plea via video conference from the St. …

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Ex-Pope Blames Abuse On Gays, Porn, Sex Education

The New York Daily News reports: Former Pope Benedict XVI blamed the widespread clerical abuse on the sexual revolution of the 1960s and the “collapse” of theological and societal moral teachings — contradicting Pope Francis in his most extended statement since resigning more than six years ago. “Why did pedophilia reach such proportions?” he writes. “Ultimately, the reason is the …

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Reversal: Mormon Church To Baptize Children Of LGBTs

The New York Times reports: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced a remarkable reversal to its policies on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people on Thursday. The decision rolls back a 2015 policy that barred children living with same-sex couples from important religious practices like baby-naming ceremonies and baptisms. That policy also declared that church members in …

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Hotels Owned By Brunei Sultan Delete Social Media Accounts Over “Abuse” Due To Gay Death Penalty Law

The Hill reports: A number of luxury hotels owned by the ruler of Brunei have deleted their social media accounts amid calls for a boycott over the island nation’s new law punishing homosexuality. The accounts were removed the same day that the law, which makes gay sex and adultery punishable by death and calls for stoning, took effect. The Dorchester …

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TEXAS: State Bans All Prison Chaplains From Execution Chamber Rather Than Allow Buddhists In The Room

The Texas Tribune reports: The state of Texas has banned all prison chaplains from its execution chamber, days after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the state was violating an inmate’s rights by not allowing a Buddhist chaplain into the death chamber with him. The high court last week halted the execution of Patrick Murphy, a member of the infamous …

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POLAND: Catholic Priests Apologize For Book Burning

The Washington Post reports: A priest in northern Poland who led a public burning of books that included titles from the “Harry Potter” series and other items parishioners wanted destroyed has apologized, saying the ritual was not intended to condemn specific authors, religions or social groups. The Rev. Rafal Jarosiewicz called the burning of objects thought to be connected to …

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BRUNEI: Gay Death Penalty Law Goes Into Effect

The BBC reports: Brunei is introducing strict new Islamic laws that make gay sex and adultery offences punishable by stoning to death. The new measures, that come into force on Wednesday, also cover a range of other crimes including punishment for theft by amputation. The move has sparked international condemnation. Brunei’s gay community has expressed shock and fear at the …

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Missouri House Approves Public School Bible Courses

The Associated Press reports: Missouri House lawmakers have passed legislation to allow public schools to offer elective social studies classes on the Bible. The Republican-led House voted 95-52 to pass the bill Tuesday. “There’s a lot of misconceptions when it comes to separation of church and state. There’s several Supreme Court cases that have upheld similar types of things because …

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Kiwis Don Headscarves On Day Of Reflection [VIDEO]

Axios reports: One week on from the Christchurch mosque attacks, many New Zealanders showed their support for Muslim communities by wearing headscarves during the country’s national day of reflection Friday. Headscarf for Harmony organizers said their initiative was a “very simple gesture of support for our Muslim communities grieving the loss of 50 amazing mothers, fathers, children, friends and colleagues …

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SURVEY: As Many “Nones” As Catholics Or Evangelicals

Religion News Service reports: According to newly released General Social Survey data analyzed by Ryan P. Burge of Eastern Illinois University, Americans claiming “no religion” — sometimes referred to as “nones” because of how they answer the question “what is your religious tradition?” — now represent about 23.1 percent of the population, up from 21.6 percent in 2016. People claiming …

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WEST VIRGINIA: Republican AG Sues Catholic Diocese, Alleges Former Bishop Knowingly Employed Pedophiles

WHSV-TV reports: On Tuesday, West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey [photo] filed a lawsuit alleging the Wheeling-Charleston Diocese and former Bishop Michael J. Bransfield knowingly employed pedophiles. The suit also alleges they failed to conduct adequate background checks for those working at the diocese’s schools and camps. The Wheeling-Charleston Diocese encompasses the entire state of West Virginia. The complaint alleges …

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Man Charged For Threatening Arizona Mosque

CBS News reports: Police say a man threatened and intimidated members of a Phoenix mosque Saturday evening. According to the Phoenix Police Department, 40-year-old Noel Thomas Becht was reportedly acting suspiciously at the United Islamic Center of Arizona located near 35th Avenue and Yorkshire Drive. He first entered the mosque and told members he was curious about the Muslim religion. …

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KANSAS: Hundreds Petition Archbishop In Support Of Child Denied School Enrollment Over Same-Sex Parents

The Kansas City Star reports: A Prairie Village Roman Catholic grade school this year denied enrollment to a kindergartner who is the child of a same-sex couple. Now almost 1,000 people have signed a petition asking church leaders to reconsider. The petition over St. Ann Catholic School on Mission Road is addressed to Archbishop Joseph Naumann [photo] and school Superintendent …

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SCOTUS Rejects Historic Churches Preservation Case

USA Today reports: The Supreme Court refused Monday to consider whether churches and other religious institutions should be able to receive public taxpayer funds for historic preservation. The action stopped short of extending the justices’ 2017 ruling that churches can be eligible for purely secular grant programs such as playground renovations. New Jersey’s Supreme Court ruled unanimously last year that …

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TENNESSEE: GOP Bill Would Amend State Constitution To Declare That All “Liberties Come From Almighty God”

The Nashville Scene reports: It’s not the most ridiculous or embarrassing news from Capitol Hill this week, but Rep. James “Micah” Van Huss, Republican of Jonesborough, made headlines for renewing his effort to amend the state constitution to declare “Almighty God” as the source of liberties. Should it pass all the gauntlets in the House, including floor passage, the resolution …

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