churches

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Here's a Novel Idea for a First Date

Tennessee couple allegedly broke into church to play the piano

(Newser) - Technically, a young couple in Hendersonville, Tenn., didn’t really "break in" to a church, even though they've admitted to doing so. As surveillance video shows, the door to the Indian Lake Peninsula Church was actually unlocked. Police say the two were on their first date, and they...

After 'Past Mistakes,' a DOJ Probe Into Southern Baptist Convention

Nation's largest Protestant denomination says it's under federal investigation for sexual abuse

(Newser) - In May, church leadership of the Southern Baptist Convention, the nation's biggest denomination of Protestants, put out a damning report by an independent consultant that acknowledged its higher-ups had kept sexual abuse allegations hush-hush for more than 20 years. Shortly after that, the SBC—which claims 14 million members...

IRS: It's Not a Think Tank, It's a Church
IRS: It's Not
a Think Tank,
It's a Church
longform

IRS: It's Not a Think Tank, It's a Church

ProPublica reports that conservative Family Research Council gets the designation

(Newser) - When the Family Research Council surfaces in news stories, it is often described as a right-wing think tank. The FRC defines itself on its website as a "nonprofit research and educational organization dedicated to articulating and advancing a family-centered philosophy of public life." The Southern Poverty Law Center...

For This Megachurch, a 'Swift and Stunning Decline'

In just a few weeks, more than half of Hillsong's US churches shutter

(Newser) - Just two weeks ago, Hillsong Church—the popular Sydney-based megachurch that has counted Justin Bieber, Bono, actor Chris Pratt, and the NBA's Kevin Durant among its devotees —had 16 campuses spread across the US from coast to coast. Now, in a plotline that seems lifted from The Righteous ...

Church Attendance Hasn't Recovered, Polls Show

People don't seem to want to leave home, pastor says

(Newser) - When Westminster United Methodist Church in Houston resumed in-person services late last year, after a seven-month pandemic halt, there were Sundays when only three worshippers showed up, said the pastor, Meredith Mills. Since then, attendance has inched back up, but it's still only about half the pre-pandemic turnout of...

Catholic Churches on Indigenous Land Burn to the Ground

Arson suspected following discovery of graves at former Catholic-run residential school in Canada

(Newser) - Two century-old Catholic churches on Indigenous land in southern British Columbia burned to the ground on Monday, Canada's National Indigenous Peoples' Day—roughly a month after the discovery of the unmarked graves of 215 children at the former Catholic-run Kamloops Indian Residential School. Flames were reported at Sacred Heart...

Newlyweds to Blame for Palm Sunday Church Bombing: Officials

Suicide bombers in Indonesia were married 6 months before attack in Makassar, authorities say

(Newser) - A recently married couple with suspected militant links used pressure cooker bombs to blow themselves up outside a Roman Catholic cathedral during Palm Sunday Mass, Indonesian officials said Monday. The attack wounded 20 people, including four church guards, and broke windows at the church and nearby buildings in Makassar, the...

Gallup: Church Membership Is Below 50% for the First Time
US Church Membership
Hits Record Low

US Church Membership Hits Record Low

Gallup says rate has fallen below 50% for the first time

(Newser) - If you're an American who belongs to a church, synagogue, or mosque, you're now in a minority, according to a new Gallup poll . Gallup says church membership has fallen below 50% to a record low of 47%, largely due to a corresponding increase in the proportion of people...

SCOTUS Hands Down Split Decision on COVID Church Ban

Court rules California can't bar church services, but it can still ban singing, chanting

(Newser) - The Supreme Court is telling California it can't bar indoor church services because of the coronavirus pandemic, but it can keep for now a ban on singing and chanting indoors. The high court issued orders late Friday in two cases where churches had sued over coronavirus-related restrictions in the...

4 Churches Were Vandalized After DC Pro-Trump Rally

Black Lives Matter banners were torn down, burned

(Newser) - Vandalism at four downtown Washington churches after rallies in support of President Trump Saturday is exposing rifts among people of faith as the nation confronts bitter post-election political divisions. Among the damaged houses of worship were two historically Black churches where people ripped down Black Lives Matter banners, with video...

Man Gets 25 Years in Prison for Torching Black Churches

Prosecutors: Holden Matthews, 23, burned down 3 La. churches to impress 'black metal' fans

(Newser) - Three Black churches in Louisiana whose roots stretch back to the post-Civil War Reconstruction period were burned to the ground in 2019, and now a 23-year-old white man is being held accountable for what a DOJ official calls "acts of hate." Holden Matthews, who pleaded guilty to three...

California Churches Can Open Sooner Than Expected

Gov. Gavin Newsom had initially said reopening religious gatherings could be weeks away

(Newser) - Religious services in California will look much different under rules unveiled Monday that limit attendance to 100 people and recommend worshippers wear masks, limit singing, and refrain from shaking hands or hugging. The state released guidance under which county health departments can approve the reopening of churches, mosques, synagogues, and...

Trump: I'll 'Override' Governors on Church Openings

But it's not clear what authority he has to do so

(Newser) - President Trump issued orders to the nation's governors to allow houses of worship to open "right now," saying he'll "override" them if they don't. The president made the unscheduled announcement Friday at the White House, taking no questions from reporters. He pronounced houses of...

They Gathered for Easter Services. Then Came the Cops

Ky. churchgoers who flouted governor's orders against mass gatherings ordered to self-quarantine

(Newser) - Pastors in Florida and Louisiana have been hit with charges for flouting coronavirus lockdown rules, and now a pastor in Kentucky, and his parishioners, are facing their own battle. Per WDRB , Gov. Andy Beshear had warned the faithful that anyone who mass-gathered over Easter weekend would be made to self-quarantine...

Cops on Defiant Pastor: He 'Has Chosen to Embarrass Us'

Tony Spell continues to hold church services in Louisiana despite virus mandate against gatherings

(Newser) - The Rev. Tony Spell said he would keep holding church services during the coronavirus pandemic until he was forced to stop. Tuesday evening found the Louisiana pastor once again preaching to congregants at Central City's Life Tabernacle Church, despite Spell being hit with six misdemeanor charges earlier that day...

Outbreak Affects Worship Across Asia

Many churches close, others advise faithful to avoid contact with others

(Newser) - In a popular Catholic church in the Philippines, nearly half of the pews were empty for Sunday Mass. The few hundred worshipers who showed up, the AP reports, were asked to refrain from shaking others' hands or holding them during prayers to prevent the spread of the virus that started...

A Disappointing 200-Year First for Notre Dame

There will be no Christmas services this year

(Newser) - The Nazis didn't keep Notre Dame Cathedral from celebrating Christmas Mass. Fire will. CNN reports the blaze that ravaged the Paris cathedral in April will prevent it from holding Christmas services, marking the first time that's happened in two centuries. Cathedral rector Patrick Chauvet tells the AP he...

Same-Sex Marriage Clash Ends With Church, Pastor Removed

Minneapolis congregation plans to continue

(Newser) - A Minneapolis denomination has evicted a church and defrocked its pastor over longstanding differences on same-sex marriage. The Evangelical Covenant Church voted to remove First Covenant Church and the Rev. Dan Collison, the Star Tribune reports. It's the first time that a pastor and church have been kicked out...

Suspect in Church Burnings Linked to 'Black Metal' Music

Holden Matthews, a deputy's son, accused of burning 3 churches in Louisiana

(Newser) - After police announced the arrest of a suspect in the burning of three black churches in Louisiana, two notable storylines emerged: First, suspect Holden Matthews, 21, is the son of a sheriff's deputy in St. Landry Parish, where the fires occurred. And, second, the sheriff says Matthews listened to...

Cops Make Arrest in Spate of Church Fires

Louisiana TV station says suspect in custody is a deputy's son

(Newser) - Police in Louisiana have made an arrest after suspicious fires at three historic black churches in a single parish, reports WAFB . The fires gutted the churches—all of them more than 100 years old—in St. Landry Parish in March and April. All were empty at the time, and nobody...

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