Christianity

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This Tiny Viking Pendant Could Rewrite History

It suggests Danes became Christians earlier than thought

(Newser) - Denmark's Dennis Fabricius Holm got off work early on March 11 and decided to go for a stroll with his metal detector near the town of Aunslev. "Suddenly I hit upon something," he tells national broadcaster DR , per the Local . "Ever since I turned over the... More »

One Key to Civilization's Rise? Fear of an Angry God

It's why strangers work together, say researchers

(Newser) - The belief in all-seeing and punitive gods may be a huge factor in how modern civilization came to be. So report researchers in the journal Nature after studying nearly 600 individuals from eight communities, including plant cultivators on the South Pacific island of Tanna, wage laborers on Fiji and in... More »

ISIS Destroys Oldest Christian Monastery in Iraq

St. Elijah's Monastery is now 'a pile of rubble'

(Newser) - The oldest Christian monastery in Iraq has been reduced to a field of rubble, another apparent victim of the Islamic State's relentless destruction of ancient cultural sites. Satellite photos obtained exclusively by the AP confirm the worst fears of church authorities and preservationists—St. Elijah's Monastery of Mosul... More »

Vatican to Catholics: Stop Trying to Convert Jews

Help them fight anti-Semitism instead: new report

(Newser) - The Vatican is taking steps toward fixing its long-troubled history with the Jewish faith with the Thursday release of a 10,000-word document that instructs Catholics to help Jews fight anti-Semitism instead of trying to convert them, Reuters reports. The Commission for Religious Relations With the Jews explained that Catholicism... More »

Rare Christian Papyrus Was Put on eBay for $99

Scholars jump at the chance to study the fragment

(Newser) - You never know what you'll find on eBay—like a rare New Testament papyrus fragment dating to around AD300. Opening bid? Just $99. "I thought, this can't be allowed to sell on eBay," Christianity scholar Geoffrey Smith tells the New York Times of the January listing.... More »

Michele Bachmann: Jesus Is 'Coming Soon'

After trip to Israel, she encourages Jews to convert before it's too late

(Newser) - She may no longer be a presidential frontrunner or even a member of Congress, but Michele Bachmann can still generate headlines. In this case, it's for a radio interview following a trip to Israel in which she encouraged Jews to convert to Christianity because Jesus is "coming soon,... More »

US Episcopals Install First Black Leader

Michael Curry gets the nod in Washington, DC

(Newser) - Presiding Bishop Michael Curry, installed Sunday as the first black leader of the US Episcopal Church, urged Episcopalians to evangelize by crossing divides of race, education, and wealth. Curry used the example of his own mother being given Communion at a white Episcopal parish before desegregation, and how that act... More »

Americans Leaving Christianity in Droves

Unaffiliated now number 56M in US behind evangelicals

(Newser) - The nation's Christians are experiencing a steep slide in numbers, according to a new Pew Research Center poll. The survey of 35,000 adults finds the number of those who identify as Christian slid from 78.4% in 2007 to 70.6% in 2014, the New York Times reports.... More »

Church Crosses to Be Banned in 'China's Jerusalem'

They're already gone from hundreds of Zhejiang churches

(Newser) - A Chinese province where authorities have forcibly removed hundreds of rooftop crosses from skylines of cities and towns has proposed a ban on any further placement of the religious symbol atop sanctuaries at both Protestant and Catholic churches. The draft, if approved, will give authorities in the eastern province of... More »

'Boy Who Came Back From Heaven' Made It All Up

Alex Malarkey: 'I did not die. I did not go to Heaven'

(Newser) - The account of a 6-year-old boy's trip to heaven while in a coma for two months is to be taken out of print following his admission that it was all a lie. Alex Malarkey co-authored The Boy Who Came Back From Heaven along with dad Kevin Malarkey after the... More »

After Protests, City Turning Cross Into Anchor

48-foot cross has stood over Michigan city for decades

(Newser) - A 48-foot cross that has stood on a hill over Grand Haven, Mich., for half a century is being turned into a less controversial and more nautical symbol. The city council voted 3-2 on Monday night to convert the cross that stands on city land into an anchor after protests... More »

How Hardship Affects Religious Belief

People living in harsh times embrace high gods, researchers say

(Newser) - Living under harsh conditions like extreme weather or food scarcity? Then you're more likely to believe in powerful, judgmental gods, according to a new study . A group of researchers from various fields reached their conclusion after synthesizing historical data from 583 societies around the world, phys.org reports. "... More »

Teacher: Public School Is Such a Concentration Camp

Ray Fournier has since—wait for it—apologized

(Newser) - North Carolina teacher Ray Fournier is belatedly learning that concentration camp metaphors are usually rapidly followed by apologies. He teaches biology at Fuquay-Varina High, is a self-styled "local evangelist and public school missionary," and wrote an article featuring the following condemnation of public schools: "Walking through the... More »

'Last Supper' Papyrus Sheds Light on Early Christians

Small document was likely used as protective charm

(Newser) - Who scrawls Biblical passages on the back of a tax receipt and wears it as a protective amulet? Someone in Egypt about 1,500 years ago, LiveScience reports. Researchers stumbled on the ancient papyrus, which is written in Greek and dated between 574 and 660, when looking through a British... 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 »

Christian Woman Who Faced Execution Arrives in US

Philly mayor greets Sudanese woman, gives Liberty Bell replica as liberation gift

(Newser) - Being called a "world freedom fighter" by the mayor is a nice way to be greeted when you land in Philly. Meriam Ibrahim Tehya Ishag, the woman who came perilously close to being hanged in Sudan for renouncing Islam, marrying a Christian, and converting to Christianity, arrived in the... More »

Woman Sentenced to Death for Christianity to Be Freed

Sudan appeals court reportedly steps in

(Newser) - A Sudanese court has voided the death sentence for Meriam Ibrahim and ordered her release, the country's SUNA news service reported today. Ibrahim had been sentenced to 100 lashes and hanging because she refused to renounce her Christian faith, in a case that has drawn international attention. Her lawyer... More »

Church, Synagogue, Mosque to Share One 'House'

Berlin project will cater to Christians, Jews, and Muslims

(Newser) - A pastor, a rabbi, and an imam walk onto an empty lot, and ... bury their shoes. Why? Because they plan to build what may be the world's first interfaith facility with separate houses of worship for Christians, Jews, and Muslims, the BBC reports. Dubbed the "House of One,... More »

Rape Victims: Bob Jones University Called Us Sinners

Students asked to find 'root sin' that 'caused' their rapes

(Newser) - Rape victims who turned to Bob Jones University for help often wind up getting told to repent, an al-Jazeera investigation has learned. Five former students told the network that they'd been horribly scarred by the counseling they received at the conservative Christian school. Their stories include:
  • One woman said
... More »

Woman Sentenced to Death for Christianity Gives Birth

Meriam Yehya Ibrahim's husband hasn't been allowed to see her, baby

(Newser) - The 27-year-old Sudanese woman sentenced to death for refusing to renounce Christianity gave birth in prison this morning, her lawyer confirms. Meriam Yehya Ibrahim, who was sentenced to be hanged two years after having her baby , has also had her 20-month-old son in prison with her since late February. She... More »

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