By Richard Mouw, Religion News Service|
May 26, 2017
DRIEBERGEN, Netherlands (RNS) Once a year in the Netherlands, joggers in the park stop running for two minutes. Bicyclists pull over to the side of the road. Television sets and radios are turned off. Parents hush their children. And in many villages and cities people congregate in public spaces for a communal ceremony.
By Kimberly Winston, Religion News Service|
May 18, 2017
DAVIS, Calif. (RNS) When Ian Johnson first went to China as a student three decades ago, he pronounced religion there “dead.”
But Johnson, a Pulitzer Prize-winning American journalist now based in Berlin and Beijing, has witnessed a transformation, one he documents in “The Souls of China: The Return of Religion After Mao,” published in April.
Attending church with a preschool child can improve one’s prayer life. I silently hope my five-year-old son won’t say anything embarrassing when the leader for children’s time asks a question. I pray not too many people heard the outburst as he turned his coloring markers into fighting robots that kept making noises into the few seconds of silence after the choir’s special music ended. As he crawls under the pew, I wonder if I’ll need to ask forgiveness if he pops up between someone’s legs.
I have been an outsider among judgmental people. I know how it feels to walk into a room and for people to think they know who you are the moment they see you because of the neighborhood where you grew up or your family life circumstances.
We grew up in a predominantly African American neighborhood called the Ville in North St. Louis City. The Bible asks the question, “What good can come from Nazareth?” The question could be reworded to ask, “What good can come from the Ville?”
How many times have you been impressed by the dramatic testimony of a missionary guest in your church or the biography of a person who survived persecution because of their faith? We thrill to the stories of Peter, John or Paul, as we should. But is it not equally impressive when someone consistently lives a Christian witness against the challenging influences of our everyday world?
By Robert H. Nelson, Religion News Service|
May 12, 2017
The question of whether a God exists is heating up in the 21st century. According to a Pew survey, the percentage of Americans having no religious affiliation reached 23 percent in 2014. Among such “nones,” 33 percent said that they do not believe in God – an 11 percent increase since only 2007.
In January, Republican Mike Parson took the oath of office as Missouri’s 47th Lieutenant Governor. A member of First Baptist Church in Bolivar, Mo., his ascension makes him the highest-serving Baptist in Missouri’s government. Word&Way Editor Brian Kaylor sat down with Parson for an interview in the Lieutenant Governor’s office in the Capitol.
On May 4, President Donald Trump signed an executive order on “promoting free speech and religious liberty.” Using a National Day of Prayer event at the White House for the political act, Trump signed an order he claimed would give “our churches their voices back” and “not allow people of faith to be targeted, bullied or silenced anymore.” Yet, supporters and critics alike note his executive order actually does little, instead outlining a general philosophy. Many Baptists quickly responded to the new executive order.