Millennials and other Americans are abandoning churches because churches have become irrelevant, not because they are leaving the faith, Baylor professor Rodney Stark says. (Creative Commons photo)
Millennials and other Americans are abandoning churches because churches have become irrelevant, not because they are leaving the faith, Baylor professor Rodney Stark says. (Creative Commons photo)

Scholar disputes pollsters’ dire predictions for faith in U.S.

Baylor University professor Rodney Stark says claims that Americans are abandoning religion result from misinterpreting survey data. 

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Lawyers who had abortions petition Supreme Court

More than 100 female lawyers have joined in an unusual friend-of-the-court brief to tell the U.S. Supreme Court about their own abortions and why their reproductive freedom was pivotal to their personal and professional lives.

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Syrian refugees wait in line to register with the Greek government. Efforts to ban Syrian refugees in the United States has boosted support for ministries that serve internationals. (Creative Commons photo by Freedom House)
Syrian refugees wait in line to register with the Greek government. Efforts to ban Syrian refugees in the United States has boosted support for ministries that serve internationals. (Creative Commons photo by Freedom House)

2015 delivered battering to the church — but also blessings, ministers say

Along with challenges to churches, ministries and clergy during the year, there seemed to be corresponding benefits, observers say.

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One Baptist minister suggests simply smiling at or greeting Muslims can be enough to show God’s grace. (Creative Commons photo by Shazron)
One Baptist minister suggests simply smiling at or greeting Muslims can be enough to show God’s grace. (Creative Commons photo by Shazron)

Christians must model grace and love in time of fear, ministers say

The current anti-Muslim mood in much of the nation is mirrored in many of its churches, contributing to an atmosphere of fear that is compounded by pandering politicians, many Baptist writers and pastors say.

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Syrian refugees like these children at an Iraqi camp were receptive to the spiritual and material gifts offered by visiting Baptists — and inspired a song. (Creative Commons photo by the European Commission)
Syrian refugees like these children at an Iraqi camp were receptive to the spiritual and material gifts offered by visiting Baptists — and inspired a song. (Creative Commons photo by the European Commission)

Baptist missionaries hope song may soften hearts toward Syrian refugees

For the Refugee was written and recorded after a songwriter’s family returned from a mission trip to the Middle East, where they encountered desperate Syrian refugees hungering for safety and hospitality.

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Speaking out against rising religious bigotry were (from left) Michael De Dora of the Center for Inquiry, Madihha Ahussain of Muslim Advocates, Brent Walker of the Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty, Rabbi Jack Moline of the Interfaith Alliance and Arjun Singh of the Sikh Coalition. (Photo/Cherilyn Crowe)
Speaking out against rising religious bigotry were (from left) Michael De Dora of the Center for Inquiry, Madihha Ahussain of Muslim Advocates, Brent Walker of the Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty, Rabbi Jack Moline of the Interfaith Alliance and Arjun Singh of the Sikh Coalition. (Photo/Cherilyn Crowe)

Faith groups join White House in targeting religious bigotry

Government, religious and community leaders discussed a new plan to combat discrimination against religious minorities at a White House gathering attended by Baptist leaders.

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Baptist leaders help draft call to respond to refugees with compassion

Evangelical leaders meeting at Wheaton College released a statement saying “we cannot allow voices of fear to dominate” the Christian response to refugees.

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The Paris agreement on climate change provides a framework to hold nations accountable, say many of the Christian leaders who attended the conference. (Photo/Brian Kaylor)
The Paris agreement on climate change provides a framework to hold nations accountable, say many of the Christian leaders who attended the conference. (Photo/Brian Kaylor)

Faith advocates weigh Paris agreement on climate change

Hundreds of Christians from multiple denominations and countries joined delegates to press the moral case for action.

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Baptist schools seek waiver from LBGT discrimination ban

A number of Baptist colleges and universities are getting waivers from the federal Title IX law described by some as a license to discriminate.

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Interfaith leader cites religious liberty threat

“If Muslims are not free in this nation, none of us are free in this nation,” former Interfaith Alliance head and Baptist minister Welton Gaddy declared in accepting a courage award from Muslim Advocates.

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