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“It’s a ministry of compassion, from A to zed.” So says Alia Abboud, director of development and partner relations for the Lebanese Society for Educational and Social Development (LSESD), as she characterizes how Lebanese churches are responding to the great needs of Syrian refugees in Lebanon. Abboud speaks, in a new Skype interview with, […] Read More

In a previous column, I suggested that an assumed culture of violence prevails among many of those who are most vocal in defense of gun ownership. They are not alone, however. Even many non-gun owners live in fear, mistrust and suspicion. Therefore, I urged that addressing our assumed culture of violence should be on par […] Read More

Given the number of Americans who identity with no religion, the aggressive anti-Christian agenda of some atheists, and those who water down the practice of traditional Christianity, practicing Christians would do well to remember and recite how the faith community builds social capital. Below is my column that appeared last week in the Tennessean. While […] Read More

Most Americans still are not using social media technology to connect with their faith communities, according to a Washington-based research institution focused on religion and public life. “Overall, Americans report limited use of technology for religious purposes, both inside and outside of worship services,” read a recent report by the Public Religion Research Institute. “White […] Read More

One of the challenges facing the church today is the culture of technology, according to Baptist World Alliance (BWA) General Secretary Neville Callam. Callam spoke May 22 at a reception he hosted for pastors at the international offices of the BWA in Falls Church, Va., a suburb of Washington, D.C. Callam, drawing on studies conducted […] Read More

On May 8, North Carolinians were given the opportunity to vote on the following amendment to their state constitution: “Marriage between one man and one woman is the only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized in this State.” Despite concerns – voiced by the ACLU and several North Carolina lawprofessors – about […] Read More

They are all around us – no matter where we live. They are so common that they seem invisible, or at least that’s often how they feel. “It wasn’t that I was treated badly. It’s just that I was completely ignored.” That’s a rather frequent comment I hear from them, as they come in, puzzled, […] Read More

WASHINGTON (RNS) For the fourth year in a row, President Obama is proposing lower tax deductions for the wealthy on donations to churches and other nonprofit organizations. And for the fourth year in a row, nonprofit groups say the change would lead to a dramatic drop in charitable giving. The reduction, included in Obama’s 2013 […] Read More

(RNS) Ron Williams is the pastor of Church at the GYM in Sanford, Fla. As the Baptist church’s name implies, Williams’ congregation meets, well, in a gym. Williams said the goal is to remove the “stained-glass barriers” for people who might not be comfortable in traditional church settings. “I think all the trappings of traditional […] Read More

CLEVELAND (RNS) The Euclid Avenue Church of God and the former Episcopal Church of the Transfiguration sit empty on this city’s former Millionaires’ Row, remnants of a heyday when mansions marched east from downtown. Their congregations have fled. And historic preservationists fear that both churches will disappear, too, swallowed up by the nearby Cleveland Clinic’s […] Read More