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Author Kevin Eckstrom

(RNS) 2011 was supposed to be the year the world ended. Twice. But after evangelist Harold Camping’s doomsday predictions failed to materialize, all eyes are now on 2012 when, according to an ancient Mayan calendar, we need to once again prepare for the end of the world as we know it. Jesus was pretty clear: […] Read More

WASHINGTON (RNS) Christopher Hitchens will be remembered as many things: an acerbic essayist, connoisseur of Scotch and cigarettes and roguish writer whose forceful pen was fueled by an imposing intellect. Yet his impact on American life, which will be felt long after his death at age 62 on Thursday (Dec. 15), is likely to be […] Read More

WASHINGTON (RNS) The number of religious advocacy groups in the nation’s capital has more than tripled since the 1970s, with conservative groups seeing the biggest growth, according to a new report. Together, faith-based lobbying and advocacy groups spend $390 million a year to influence lawmakers, mobilize supporters and shape public opinion, according to the report, […] Read More

(RNS) Ten years after tiny St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church was destroyed by falling rubble from the World Trade Center towers, church leaders reached an agreement Friday (Oct. 14) to rebuild at Ground Zero. The church, founded by Greek immigrants in 1916, sat in the shadow of the twin towers and was the only religious […] Read More

(RNS) An Illinois college affiliated with the United Church of Christ is poised to become the first school in the U.S. to ask prospective students about their sexual orientation. Elmhurst College, located just west of Chicago, said the decision to add sexual orientation to the 2012-13 applications is entirely optional and is aimed at promoting […] Read More

(RNS) An Illinois judge has ruled that the state can terminate adoption and foster care services with Catholic Charities, saying the church-run agency has no “recognized legal right” to a state contract. Circuit Judge John Schmidt ruled Thursday (Aug. 18) that state officials can cancel contracts with Catholic Charities after church officials said they could […] Read More

WASHINGTON (RNS) House lawmakers voted Thursday (July 7) to order the Pentagon to uphold the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act that defines marriage as between one man and one woman. In an amendment to a larger Defense Department funding bill, the House voted 248-175 to restrict the Pentagon from granting same-sex couples the same rights […] Read More

WASHINGTON (RNS) The Saudi Arabian embassy on Friday (June 24) denied as “completely false” reports that U.S. Jews would not be able to travel to Saudi Arabia under Delta Air Line’s planned partnership with Saudi Arabian Airlines. U.S. Jewish groups had criticized Delta for next year’s planned addition of the Saudi airline to the SkyTeam […] Read More

WASHINGTON (RNS) The nation’s leading advocacy group for victims of clergy sexual abuse is opposing an Oregon Jesuit’s bid to serve as House chaplain, saying he failed to follow up on alleged abuse 25 years ago. The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) said the Rev. Patrick Conroy should have contacted the police […] Read More

WASHINGTON (RNS) A bipartisan group of senators has introduced a bill that would make it harder for protesters from a fringe Baptist church in Topeka, Kansas, to protest outside military funerals. The Sanctity of Eternal Rest for Veterans Act, introduced by Sen. Olympia Snowe, R-Maine, comes in the wake of the Supreme Court’s 8-1 decision […] Read More