Church giving on the rebound, report says

Church GivingThe recession and a sluggish recovery have made for a lighter collection plate in recent years, but a new study shows that giving to U.S. congregations bounced back in 2011 as the economy improved. According to the fourth annual State of the Plate survey, 51 percent of churches last year saw an increase in giving, up from 43 percent in 2010 and 36 percent in 2009.


Churches lost $1.2 billion in recession

Even as membership remains relatively stable in U.S. churches, the effects of the recession have caused contributions to drop by $1.2 billion.

White House offers to expand exemptions in birth control mandate

The Obama administration is offering to expand the number of faith-based groups that can be exempt from the controversial contraception mandate and proposing that third-party companies administer coverage for self-insured faith-based groups at no cost.

Obama appeals to 'social gospel'

President ObamaPresident Obama denied March 12 that he is “waging a war on religion,” citing his own work as a community organizer before entering politics as part of the “social gospel.”


Church-state tension inherent in health-care system, expert says

A Baptist church-state scholar says religious liberty concerns about new coverage mandates come with the territory in America's employer-based health insurance system.


Adjustment to birth-control coverage rule met with mixed reviews

[UPDATED] Some Baptist leaders applauded President Obama's announcement that insurance companies, rather than religious institutions, will be required to provide employees' contraception coverage. Others said it failed to answer the concerns of self-funded religious insurance providers.

Obama announces change in birth control coverage rule

President Obama said Feb. 10 insurance companies must pay for birth control services for women who work for religious institutions that object to paying for them on moral grounds.

SBC leader criticizes Komen reversal

The head of the Southern Baptist Convention’s publishing house said Feb. 3 that Susan G. Komen for the Cure’s reversal of a decision to disassociate from Planned Parenthood means that pink-bound Holman Christian Standard Bibles taking up warehouse space likely won’t be going anywhere soon.


Political 'God talk' turns off many voters, LifeWay poll shows

A LifeWay Research survey indicates frequent use of "God talk" actually may be more likely to hurt rather than help a candidate's chances with voters.


'Ministerial exception' to employment discrimination laws upheld

A unanimous U.S. Supreme Court ruled Jan. 11 that churches can fire their ministers for reasons that for other employers would be job discrimination.

Evangelical group links climate change and poverty

The National Association of Evangelicals released a document Dec. 14 about changes to the environment and how they affect the poor.

School district settles suit with Tennessee ACLU

Church & StateA Tennessee school district has settled a lawsuit over the proper role of religion in public schools. The Sumner County Board of Education voted Dec 6 to accept an agreement with the American Civil Liberties Union of Tennessee ending a lawsuit filed against school officials May 2.


Candidates asked to sign pledge to give priority to religious freedom

An advocacy organization for persecuted Christians has asked the 2012 presidential candidates to sign a pledge stating they would make religious freedom a priority in the United States and overseas if they win the White House.

Religious & political leaders call for AIDS-free generation

world aids dayA star-studded array of political and religious leaders -- from President Obama to rock legend Bono to AIDS activist Kay Warren -- came together Dec. 1 for World AIDS Day to call for an entirely AIDS-free generation by 2015.


Some abusive predators hide in plain sight in trusted institutions

The abuse allegations at Penn State seem unthinkable—revered assistant coach and prominent community activist Jerry Sandusky preying on eight children. But such abuses of trust play out across the country over and over again.
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