Church membership trends unchanged

Pentecostals, Mormons and Jehovah's Witnesses gained ground, mainline churches continued to decline and growth in the largest two denominations -- Roman Catholics and Southern Baptists -- remained stagnant, according to new statistics compiled by the National Council of Churches.

Initial picks for faith-based panel light on Baptists

President Obama's first dozen appointees to the next President's Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships were heavy on mainline Protestants but light on Baptists.

At prayer breakfast, Obama discusses personal faith

President Obama spoke at length Feb. 3 about the daily contours of his Christian faith, brushing off the skeptics who question the authenticity of his beliefs.



Rosa Parks enshrined in stone

Six feet above the vaulted entranceway to Washington National Cathedral, the rough contours of Rosa Parks’ face are taking shape.

Senator concludes probe of ministry finances, calls for self-reform

Sen. Charles Grassley of Iowa has concluded a three-year probe into alleged lavish spending at six major broadcast ministries and asked a prominent evangelical group to study ways to spur self-reform among religious groups.

Q & A: Melissa Rogers on religious liberty

Melissa RogersMelissa Rogers, a veteran religious-liberty attorney and nationally recognized expert in church-state law, is director of the Center for Religion and Public Affairs at the Wake Forest University School of Divinity. In an e-mail interview, she reflects on some of the major developments in her field over the last decade and where things might go in the decade that just began.


Church-state scholar objects to 'Christian Right' designation

Observers of religion in public life have been scratching their heads about inclusion of a Baptist scholar known for advocating the separation of church and state in a recent Newsweek magazine article titled "Faces of the Christian Right."


Ousted Rep. Chet Edwards recounts religious-liberty fight

Early on in his House tenure, someone lit a religious-liberty fire under Rep. Chet Edwards -- and, despite Edwards’ position in the most Republican House district in the country to be represented by a Democrat, that fire never burned him.

Calif. court strikes down Wiley Drake's 'birther' case

A state appellate court in California has dismissed a lawsuit filed by plaintiffs including a former Southern Baptist Convention officer claiming that Barack Obama is not a natural-born citizen of the United States and therefore is not eligible to occupy the White House.

New polls show rising support for gay marriage, little change on abortion

Gay MarriageAbortion and gay rights appear to be decoupling as important dividing lines among Americans when it comes to social issues, according to recent surveys on values, faith and public life.


Supreme Court torn on free speech rights, private funeral rites

The last rites of a slain Marine clashed with a small church’s right to preach its anti-gay gospel in oral arguments heard before the U.S. Supreme Court.

Critics still waiting for action from faith-based office

Six months after advisers turned in 164 pages of recommendations to the White House’s faith-based office, thorny church-state questions remain unanswered and some critics say the office has been used to push the president’s health care reform.

Group urges IRS to probe church; calls for end to National Day of Prayer

A church-state watchdog group says the Internal Revenue Service should investigate whether a New York church violated federal tax law by endorsing a Democrat running for governor.

Most Americans OK student religious speech, poll reveals

A majority of Americans—including those who do not practice any particular faith—think students should be able to express their religion in public schools, according to a new poll by the First Amendment Center.

Jimmy Carter discharged from hospital

Former President Jimmy Carter was discharged Sept. 30 after two nights in a Cleveland hospital for what doctors say was a stomach virus.
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