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Richard Tsong-Taatarii/Minneapolis Star Tribune/TNS

These churches are putting their faith in new names

Religion / Religious News /

MINNEAPOLIS -- What's in a name? Plenty, if you ask leaders and members at Edina, Minnesota's Meetinghouse Church, which was known for more than seven decades as Colonial Church.

After a divisive, two-year process that included weekly meetings with a local branding studio, the church ditched a name linked to colonialism and adopted one it hopes...Read more

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Commentary: A ruinous Supreme Court decision to dismantle the wall between church and state

Religion / Religious News /

On Tuesday, the Supreme Court took another major step toward obliterating the wall separating church and state by holding that the state of Maine is constitutionally required to subsidize religious education when it pays for private secular education. The implications of this decision in mandating government financial support for religion are ...Read more

David Staats/Idaho Statesman/TNS

Affordable housing for Boise's poorest? How a church is helping to build some

Religion / Religious News /

BOISE, Idaho -- As the housing crisis in Idaho's Treasure Valley weighs down on Idahoans struggling with housing insecurity, a new affordable housing project plans to build homes for low-income families in a nontraditional place: underused church land.

Collister United Methodist Church in Boise and Leap Housing, a nonprofit that creates ...Read more

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Southern Baptist Convention vows to make public database of pastors charged with sex abuse

Religion / Religious News /

Just days after an independent investigation revealed a list of 700 volunteers, ministers and pastors known to be “credibly accused” of sexual abuse, the Southern Baptist Convention ushered in a series of reforms meant to ensure public oversight over the nation’s largest Protestant denomination continues.

Roughly 8,500 delegates ...Read more

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Supreme Court rules for parents seeking state aid for religious schools

Religion / Religious News /

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court on Tuesday extended its support for religious schools, ruling that parents who send their children to these institutions have a right to tuition aid if the state provides it to similar private schools.

The 6-3 decision in the Carson vs. Makin case from Maine could open the door to including religious schools ...Read more

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Supreme Court rules for parents seeking state aid for religious schools

Religion / Religious News /

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court on Tuesday extended its support for religious schools, ruling that parents who send their children to such institutions have a right to tuition aid if the state provides it to other similar private schools.

The 6-3 decision in the Carson vs. Makin case from Maine could open the door to including religious ...Read more

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Southern Baptist Convention in Anaheim approves resolutions designed to fight sex abuse

Religion / Religious News /

ANAHEIM, Calif. — More than 8,000 members of the Southern Baptist Convention on Tuesday voted overwhelmingly to take action to stem a sexual abuse scandal that has stunned members and caused rifts within the largest Protestant denomination in America.

Pastor Bruce Frank of the Biltmore Church in Arden, North Carolina, called it a "kairos" ...Read more

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Light Notes: Parenting is letting go and holding onto memories

Religion / Religious News /

First. Last.

They don't often collide. But when they do, your heart knows.

I was a witness to that kind of occasion years ago — a "first time" I knew would be the "last time."

It happened in such an ordinary way, a scene that's been repeated between parent and child through the generations. An event that often isn't given much thought.

But...Read more

Q&A: Talking about the Southern Baptist sex abuse scandal with Pastor P.J. Tibayan

Religion / Religious News /

LOS ANGELES — More than 8,000 Southern Baptists will descend on Anaheim next week for the annual meeting of the largest Protestant denomination in the United States — the first time in 41 years that the two-day meeting has been held in California.

The gathering comes just weeks after the release of an explosive 288-page report commissioned ...Read more

Carolyn Cole/Los Angeles Times/TNS

La Luz del Mundo 'apostle' sentenced to nearly 17 years as victims detail sexual slavery

Religion / Religious News /

LOS ANGELES — Naason Joaquin Garcia, the leader of the La Luz del Mundo church, was sentenced Wednesday to 16 years and eight months in prison for sexually abusing juvenile members of his congregation.

Several of Garcia’s victims testified during the lengthy hearing Wednesday, and the courtroom was filled with muffled sobs as the sentence ...Read more

Irfan Khan/Los Angeles Times/TNS

La Luz del Mundo church leader pleads guilty to sex abuse charges

Religion / Religious News /

LOS ANGELES — Days before his long-awaited trial was scheduled to start, La Luz del Mundo church leader Naason Joaquin Garcia pleaded guilty to multiple charges of sexual assault involving minors, the state attorney general’s office announced Friday.

“Today’s conviction sends a clear message that sexual exploitation is never acceptable ...Read more

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Pastor Rick Warren announces successor to lead Saddleback Church into the future

Religion / Religious News /

Pastor Rick Warren, who ministers weekly to a global audience of more than 40,000 people and has offered spiritual guidance to multiple American presidents, announced on Thursday the successor who will lead the Saddleback Church he founded nearly 43 years ago in Orange County, California.

Taking the helm in September when Warren and his wife, ...Read more

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Commentary: The Southern Baptists are having a come-to-Jesus moment

Religion / Religious News /

When Jesus became exasperated with the religious leaders of his day, he called them “blind guides” who “strain out a gnat but swallow a camel.” In the wake of the recent searing public revelations of sexual abuse in the Southern Baptist Convention, that description applies to the leadership of the largest Protestant denomination in the ...Read more

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Editorial: The Southern Baptist blasphemy

Religion / Religious News /

While the Catholic Church has spent much of the last three decades wrestling with deeply painful revelations of priestly sexual abuse and the bishops’ callous disregard for the people in their care, many American Protestant denominations self-righteously wagged fingers at the Catholic hierarchy for tolerating pedophile priests when they knew ...Read more

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Pelosi hits back at San Francisco archbishop for banning her from Communion over pro-choice stance

Religion / Religious News /

A “prayerful” Nancy Pelosi Tuesday hit back at the Catholic archbishop who banned her from receiving Holy Communion over her pro-choice stance.

The powerful House speaker said the archbishop of her hometown of San Francisco has no business imposing his conservative views on her or the nation’s tens of millions of Catholics.

“We just ...Read more

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Editorial: Southern Baptist Convention must confront its own sexual abuse scandal

Religion / Religious News /

A third-party organization brought in by the Southern Baptist Convention to investigate allegations of systemic sexual abuse within the nation’s largest Protestant denomination found its leaders ignored and even “vilified” the victims, and knew more about the perpetrators than they admitted. The abuses occurred over a two-decade period, ...Read more

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Top Southern Baptist leaders minimized sexual abuse claims, 'ignored or even vilified' victims to protect abusers, report says

Religion / Religious News /

Top leaders of the Southern Baptist Convention mishandled sexual abuse claims, while ignoring — or even vilifying — victims to protect abusers, an explosive new report released Sunday has found.

The report is the conclusion of a seven-month investigation by Guidepost Solutions, an independent company that was contracted by SBC’s executive...Read more

Ricardo Ramirez Buxeda/Orlando Sentinel/TNS

In aftermath of Roe leak, Central Florida church leaders share range of abortion views

Religion / Religious News /

ORLANDO, Fla. -- As a crowd gathered outside City Hall in downtown Orlando to rally a day after a draft of a Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade was leaked, Rev. Margalie Belizaire joined them to demand that the nation’s abortion rights remain intact.

The demonstrators needed to see her there, said Belizaire, minister at First ...Read more

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San Francisco archbishop says Rep. Nancy Pelosi is not entitled to receive Communion

Religion / Religious News /

Archbishop of San Francisco Salvatore Cordileone announced Friday that Rep. Nancy Pelosi will be barred from receiving Communion in response to her push to codify abortion rights, underscoring the nation’s widening divisions as the Supreme Court considers whether to overturn Roe vs. Wade.

His statement marks the latest clash between ...Read more

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San Francisco archbishop says Rep. Nancy Pelosi is not entitled to receive Communion

Religion / Religious News /

Archbishop of San Francisco Salvatore Cordileone announced Friday that Rep. Nancy Pelosi will be barred from receiving Communion in response to her push to codify abortion rights, underscoring the nation’s widening divisions as the Supreme Court considers whether to overturn Roe v. Wade.

His statement marks the latest clash between Cordileone...Read more