18 Stories

Shakespeare Begs for Refugees' Mercy in Own Hand

Handwritten script by the Bard about to go online, thanks to British Library

(Newser) - A script reworked by none other than William Shakespeare and believed to be the only surviving handwritten play script penned by the Bard will soon be online via the British Library, and it speaks to a quite contemporary crisis, the Guardian reports. A scene by Shakespeare added to The Book ... More »

China Creating New 'Theology' for Christians

One that will 'better integrate with Chinese culture,' says an official

(Newser) - The number of Christians in China is on the rise, a fact that's making the country's control-freak atheistic government quite nervous and causing tensions between police and worshipers. To address this issue, state media reports that China is creating its own Christian-based theology that will conform more closely... More »

56 Cops Hurt in Belfast Riot

Protestants, Catholics stage rival marches

(Newser) - It was like a rerun of the bad old days in Northern Ireland: Protestant militants attacked and wounded 56 police officers protecting a parade by Irish Republican Army supporters in Belfast last night. The outbreak of violence could be the first in a tense weekend involving parades by both the... More »

No Longer a US Majority: Protestants

One-fifth of US doesn't identify with any traditional religion

(Newser) - The US population is no longer dominated by Protestants, a Pew study finds: They account for just 48% of us. And while 79% of the US remains affiliated with a traditional religious group, nearly a fifth of American adults—and a third of those under 30—don't identify with... More »

China Detains 169 for Praying in Public

Protestant group latest target of government clampdown

(Newser) - China’s weeks-long campaign against dissenters continues: Some 169 congregants of an unofficial Protestant church were detained yesterday after they tried to pray in public in Beijing, the New York Times reports. The thousand-member Shouwang church, which has for years sought official recognition, had been evicted from its rented space... More »

D'Oh! Simpson Clan Not Catholic

Pope's wrong; they're 'Presby-Lutheran Protestants,' says producer

(Newser) - Turns out the pope is fallible after all. The official Vatican newspaper declared last week that Homer Simpson and his family are Catholic. But the creators of the cartoon characters have announced that church officials are downright wrong, reports the BBC . Homer and son Bart considered converting to Catholicism five... More »

'Bloody Sunday' Report Blames British Soldiers

PM David Cameron apologizes to Irish victims of 1972

(Newser) - Relatives of 13 Irish demonstrators shot to death by British troops on Northern Ireland 's Bloody Sunday cried tears of joy today as an epic fact-finding probe ruled that their loved ones were innocent and the soldiers entirely to blame for the 1972 slaughter. The investigation took 12 years and... More »

Add Kagan, and High Court Won't Have Any Protestants

Court rarely reflects country's faith mix well

(Newser) - If Elena Kagan is confirmed, the Supreme Court will have six Catholics, three Jews, and, for the first time in history, not a single Protestant. That might not seem as important as it used to, but Ed Kilgore of FiveThirtyEight decided to take a quick look at the court's historic... More »

Holy Hell: Churches Squeezed by Economy

(Newser) - The hallelujahs are strained in US churches these days as donations plunge at the same time demand for aid is skyrocketing, reports the Wall Street Journal. Congregations across the nation are slashing budgets and even laying off staff, including pastors. Churches and synagogues usually weather downturns well, but not this... More »

Widow of Victim in Soccer Mob Attack Pleads for Peace

Don't retaliate in his name, she asks

(Newser) - The wife of a Catholic man beaten to death by a mob of Protestant soccer fans in Northern Ireland wants no violence in her husband's name, the Telegraph reports. "He wouldn't want retaliation for it," said Evelyn McDaid, who has two black eyes and a bruised face from... More »

Soccer Mob Beats Catholic to Death in N. Ireland

Protestant fans were celebrating a victory

(Newser) - A mob of Protestant soccer fans beat a Catholic man to death last night in Northern Ireland, the Belfast Telegraph reports. After a victory by Scotland’s Glasgow Rangers, as many as 70 fans drove to the Catholic section of the town of Coleraine, where they “literally attacked the... More »

Americans Shift to the Right on Abortion: Poll

Majority call themselves 'pro-life' for first time in survey's history

(Newser) - For the first time in 15 years, a majority of Americans identified themselves as “pro-life” on the issue of abortion, a Gallup poll finds. In a drastic shift from just a year ago, 51% say they’re pro-life, 42% pro-choice, after a 50%-44% split in favor of pro-choice in... More »

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 »

Protestants Hold Inauguration Monopoly

Priests, rabbis have been missing from ceremony for 20 years

(Newser) - Barack Obama's swearing-in will be the sixth straight inauguration where rabbis and Catholic priests will be absent from the dais, reports Time. For decades it was traditional to have Protestant, Catholic, and Jewish representatives at the ceremony, but Billy Graham’s invocation (and benediction) at George Bush’s 1989 inauguration... More »

Top N. Ireland Minister Will Step Down

Paisley played key role in power-sharing, peace agreements

(Newser) - Northern Ireland’s influential first minister, Ian Paisley, will step down in May, Reuters reports. The Protestant evangelist, 81, helped soothe religious strife in the province when he agreed to share power with Catholics last year after decades of fueling the conflict, the AP reports. "I've achieved my aims,... More »

Shunning Makes a Comeback in US Churches

Pastors resurrect old practice to tame black sheep in their flocks

(Newser) - In an effort to reclaim their churches' role as moral authority, many Protestant ministers have reinstated the all-but-lost practice of shunning unrepentant sinners from their congregations. And while nobody's yet had to pin a scarlet "A" to their Sunday best, the consequences of the puritanical revival have weighed heavy... More »

Fundamentalists Appeared After First English Bible

Having book in a common tongue allowed readers' own interpretations

(Newser) - The first English translation of the Bible led to the rise of fundamentalist interpretations of scripture, a Harvard professor writes in a new book. In Burning to Read: English Fundamentalism and its Reformation Opponents, James Simpson writes that once the general public no longer had to rely on clergy to... More »

Pope Pounds Protestants

(Newser) - In a remarkable nod to the 16th century, Pope Benedict XVI’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which he once led, said of Protestant denominations, 'it is nevertheless difficult to see how the title of 'Church' could possibly be attributed to them." The document restates Benedict's position... More »

18 Stories