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VATICAN CITY (RNS) Catholic priests at this week’s World Youth Day (WYD) celebrations in Madrid will be specially empowered to lift the excommunication of anyone who seeks forgiveness for having undergone or assisted in an abortion. The special authorization from Cardinal Antonio Maria Rouco of Madrid applies to “all priests lawfully approved to hear sacramental […] Read More

(RNS) Sending a small band of young people to talk about condoms at World Youth Day, the triennial Catholic jamboree that opens in Madrid on Tuesday (Aug. 16), sounds like penance, if not a kind of martyrdom. The six-day event is expected to draw close to 1 million young pilgrims, as well as thousands of […] Read More

VATICAN CITY (RNS) Pilgrims at next month’s Catholic World Youth Day in Madrid will have some high-tech help in their devotions, thanks to a new iPhone app unveiled at the Vatican on Friday (July 29). World Youth Day (WYD), an international gathering held every three years in a different city, will take place August 16-21, […] Read More

(RNS) Jewish organizations are aiming to send more North American teens and young adults than ever to Israel this year, focusing on increasing current numbers and reaching out to new groups. Taglit-Birthright Israel, which takes 18- to 26-year-olds on its 10-day heritage tours, has been awarded a $100 million matching grant from the Israeli government […] Read More

LOS ANGELES (RNS) Muslim leaders are admitting disaffected Muslim youth such as the alleged Oregon bomber arrested last month are ripe for online recruitment by extremists. “Why do we in Muslim communities not have centers for at-risk youth?” said civil rights attorney Reem Salahi at the annual national convention of the Muslim Public Affairs Council […] Read More

(RNS) Most Americans believe messages about homosexuality coming from religious institutions contribute to negative views of gays and lesbians, and higher rates of suicide among gay youths, a new poll reports. While split on whether same-sex relations are sinful, Americans are more than twice as likely to give houses of worship low marks on handling […] Read More

Why are young people leaving the church when they reach their young-adult years? The Baptist Union of Great Britain’s Younger Leaders’ Forum relayed some of their key findings at a recent gathering. They include: ·   A diet of “Bible stories and rules to follow” is not preparing youngsters to deal adequately with the dilemmas of […] Read More

For years John Grisham has been capturing readers with his page-turning stories of the legal arena of life. His most recent book starts a new shelf in his legal fiction library as he targets a younger reading audience with “Theodore Boone, Kid Lawyer.” Engagingly written, the story explores the adventures and dilemmas of a 13-year-old […] Read More

The Kentucky Baptist Fellowship held its annual Spring Gathering in the small town of Stanford, Ky., on April 23-24. I gathered with other Baptists from around the state to learn, network, encourage and worship. What stands out most as I reflect on the gathering was the congregational recitation of the Lord’s Prayer as part of […] Read More

Christ the Living Water

Many younger emerging Baptist leaders around the world long to attend an international conference and often hear of their leaders traveling to places they can only dream about. These younger leaders are usually not chosen to attend and do not have the resources themselves to pay the fare. The Baptist World Alliance’s Living Water conferences […] Read More