5 Stories

China Secretly Meets With Long-Banned Churches

Only state-backed religious groups legal; 100M worship in secret

(Newser) - Inching toward reconciliation after decades of opposition, China’s government invited leaders of the country’s banned Protestant churches to secret talks, the Times of London reports. The government is hoping to smooth relations as it celebrates its 60th year in power and aims for stability amid economic turmoil. Beijing... More »

Prosperity Gospel Blamed for Subprime Hell

Belief that God bestows riches may have duped faithful into dodgy mortgages

(Newser) - A fast-growing strain of Pentecostalism may have made its followers victims of the credit crisis by preaching that God's hand was behind dubious mortgages, Time reports. "Prosperity Gospel" preaches that God will "make way" for the poor to gain wealth, making believers easy prey for greedy mortgage brokers,... More »

Christianity in China Grows Quickly, Quietly

Government puts total enrollment at 21M; others say 130M

(Newser) - Despite government restrictions, Christianity in China is widespread and growing. Authorities typically look the other way, occasionally applying pressure that only seems to spread religion's influence, reports the Economist. Most of the Protestant "house churches" consist of 25 people—the largest legal gathering—where new Christians lead newer converts... More »

Denver Can 'Corral' Convention Protesters: Court

Judge rules security concerns take priority over free speech

(Newser) - A federal judge has ruled that protesters can be confined to a fenced-in zone at the Democratic National Convention because security concerns outweigh activists' right to free speech, Reuters reports. The ACLU and a coalition of protest groups had brought a lawsuit against Denver and the Secret Service over plans... More »

Pope to Cut Luther a Break

Vatican changing view after 500 years

(Newser) - Five centuries after he ignited the Reformation by challenging papal authority, Martin Luther is expected to get a break from—of all people—Pope Benedict XVI. The pope is German and ostensibly that's the only thing he has in common with Luther. Nevertheless, the pope plans a warmer and fuzzier... More »

5 Stories