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The NFL and the church share the same culture of silence on abuse (COMMENTARY)

(RNS) Too often, it can be easy to assume that some issues are less prevalent in the church. We forget that, as a collective of individuals shaped by the culture at large, sin is indiscriminate in whom it touches. Many church leaders do not realize that all evils are present in thei...
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Will the Catholic Church change its stand on marriage and divorce?

VATICAN CITY (RNS) Pope Francis made headlines this week when he officiated at the weddings of 20 couples, including  some who had been living together and a woman who has a daughter from a previous relationship. It was the first time that the Argentine pontiff had presided over a...
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Book on pastoral succession: ‘All pastors are interim pastors’

(RNS) When megachurch pastor Max Lucado greeted his successor at his San Antonio church, the two stood onstage and tried to put on each other’s shoes. They couldn’t. The problem? Randy Frazee, Lucado’s successor, was six inches shorter. The point, say co-authors William Vanderbl...
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In McAllen, Texas, faith groups responded, while Washington dithered (COMMENTARY)

 (RNS) In the face of an imploding immigration system, an exploding political debate and a deadlock on reform in Washington, it was religious leaders who rallied to form a humanitarian response to the surge of unaccompanied children crossing the border to the United States this summ...
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Many church choirs are dying. Here’s why

(RNS) James Merritt spent years as senior pastor of an Atlanta-area megachurch that featured a mighty choir.     Then he changed his tune.     At 50, he left First Baptist Church Snellville to plant a new church _ 200 people in a rented space at a high school 12 miles away _ focus...
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Yale chaplain’s resignation reflects larger mainline tensions over Israel

(RNS) When an Episcopal chaplain at Yale University seemed to suggest that Jews were culpable for Israel’s actions against Palestinians and a related rise in global anti-Semitism, his comments not only led to his resignation but rekindled a debate within mainline Protestant churches...
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Does the Muslim headscarf boost body image?

(RNS) In non-Muslim societies, a woman in a headscarf is often perceived as less approachable and sociable, according to past research, and some see the head covering as a means of repressing women. But a new British study concludes that for many Muslim women, the headscarf, or hi...
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Historic civil rights church to be considered for national recognition

(RNS) The West Hunter Street Baptist Church in Atlanta, where the Rev. Ralph Abernathy Sr. and the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. met, prayed and organized the civil rights movement, could be on its way to formal national recognition after a vote by the U.S. House of Representatives on...
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Religious communities can do more to get out the vote (COMMENTARY)

(RNS) Much is at stake in this year's midterm elections.      * A low voter turnout would be disheartening. If people get the government they vote for, then not voting at all distorts the outcome. The stay-at-home party can't be read, can't be responded to or taken seriously. Afric...
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For Ismaili Muslims, a Toronto milestone

TORONTO (RNS) Two new Muslim attractions opening soon should help dispel negative stereotypes of Islam, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper said.     The country's first museum of Islamic art is scheduled to open Thursday (Sept. 18) in the heart of Canada's largest city, Toronto...
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