15 Stories

'The Waster' Sending Scary Letters to Dozens of Churches

Police are investigating though no crime has been committed

(Newser) - As many as six dozen churches in two states are on high alert after receiving eerie letters signed by "the Waster." Over the last two weeks, churches of varying denominations in McMinn and Monroe counties in Tennessee, and Murray County in Georgia, have received a photocopied letter criticizing... More »

FBI Foils Va. 'Race War' Plot to Bomb Black Churches

Virginia white supremacists tried to buy weapons from undercover agent: FBI

(Newser) - The FBI says two white supremacists in Virginia tried to buy weapons from an undercover agent so they could carry out mass shootings and bombings at black churches and synagogues. Authorities say Robert C. Doyle, 34, and Ronald B. Chaney III, 33—whom Buzzfeed identifies as belonging to a white... More »

Suspect Charged in 2 of the St. Louis Church Fires

Authorities no longer suspect a hate crime

(Newser) - Authorities charged A 35-year-old black St. Louis man with arson following fires at two predominantly African-American churches earlier this month and federal investigators said they no longer believe the incidents were a hate crime. David Lopez Jackson was charged Friday in St. Louis Circuit Court with two counts of second-degree... More »

'Miracle Church' Targeted in St. Louis' 7th Arson

Authorities hope $9K reward will lead them to suspect

(Newser) - A church considered to be the first miracle west of the Mississippi River became the seventh to be targeted by a suspected arsonist in St. Louis early Thursday. Like other arson cases since Oct. 8, the front exterior doors of the rectory of the Shrine of St. Joseph were set... More »

Bombs Rock 2 NM Churches as Parishioners Gather

No injuries in Las Cruces; police say explosions likely linked

(Newser) - Police are investigating a pair of blasts that rocked two New Mexico churches where parishioners had gathered yesterday morning, though there were no injuries and damage was "relatively minor," authorities tell NBC News . One explosion came from a mailbox outside an administrative entrance to Calvary Baptist Church in... More »

600 Churches Say It's Time to Quit 'War on Drugs'

Group says it's the 'most devastating, dysfunctional social policy since slavery'

(Newser) - The pope doesn't believe in legalizing drugs , but hundreds of churches say otherwise. The New England Conference of the United Methodist Church, a body comprising more than 600 congregations, passed a resolution during its annual meeting on June 18 to try to help alleviate the nation's drug issues... More »

Black Churches Are Going Up in Flames

Churches in Georgia and South Carolina are among suspected arson cases

(Newser) - "Churches are burning again in the United States, and the symbolism of that is powerful." So writes Emma Green at the Atlantic after at least five mostly black churches went up in flames over the past week following the Charleston church massacre. Investigators say the blaze that badly... More »

'Fight Churches' Let Pastors Duke It Out

Hundreds of evangelical churches allow fighting: film

(Newser) - "Can you love your neighbor as yourself and at the same time knee him in the face as hard as you can?" That question is posed in Fight Church, a new documentary about churches that promote mixed martial arts fighting among pastors, Huffington Post reports. The film's directors... More »

Bitter Split Riles Atheist Church

New York non-believers break off from London group

(Newser) - Atheist-church leaders in New York have bitterly broken away from their central church in London, creating what may be the first schism in modern organized atheism, CNN reports. Late last year, Lee Moore and two other members of The Sunday Assembly's franchise in New York broke off and created... More »

Nigeria Church Bombings Kill 21, Spark Reprisals

Boko Haram claims responsibility

(Newser) - Religious clashes have left dozens of people dead in a state that straddles Nigeria's Muslim north and Christian south. At least 21 people were killed when militants bombed three churches in Kaduna provinces yesterday. A suicide bomber was behind one attack while another was the work of militants throwing... More »

Madonna's Bro Homeless, Living Under Bridge

Anthony Ciccone not living in material world

(Newser) - Madonna might be a material girl, but her big brother isn't. He's homeless, living under a bridge in MIchigan—and complains he's been deserted by his famous sis and the rest of his kin. "My family turned their back on me when I was having a... More »

Churches Ask Men to Fight Like Jesus

The latest trend combines Christianity with mixed martial arts

(Newser) - Jesus just too wimpy for you? Fear not: A new crop of churches that combine religion with mixed martial arts could solve all your spiritual problems. "Compassion and love—we agree with all that stuff, too," one pastor tells the New York Times , "but what led me... More »

Boom-Time Loans Cripple Churches

(Newser) - Even houses of worship are facing foreclosures and unpaid bills these days, the AP reports. With credit markets dried up, churches and synagogues—normally rock-solid in recessions—are abandoning half-built properties and scrambling to find a home. "We now have children who don't have classrooms to get into, adults... More »

Spiritually Sound, But Many Churches Literally Bankrupt

Donation lifeline dries up as recession bites, forcing many into Chapter 11

(Newser) - In trying times, many turn to the church to ease anxieties, but even houses of God haven’t been spared the wrath of recession, the Wall Street Journal reports. A church building boom begun in the 1990s has left many congregations overextended, and with the economic slowdown taking a sizable... More »

Obama's Church Flouts Tax Law

Candidate's church offers praise from the pulpit, pans opponent

(Newser) - Barack Obama's home church in Chicago may be risking its tax-exempt status by promoting the candidate in sermons. Churches are allowed to support specific causes, but not candidates, and some experts say the praise—and attacks on Hillary Clinton— violate IRS laws. "There does seem to be a pattern... More »

15 Stories