Author: Editor - Religion News

In Kenya, an HIV-positive pastor and his wife model new thinking about AIDS

Pastor Samson Mulinge Mutuse poses for a photograph after his wedding to Evelyn Mueni Mulinge at the Deliverance Church in Nthange, Kenya, on Nov. 25, 2017. RNS photo by Fredrick Nzwili NTHANGE, Kenya (RNS) – They tried to burn down his church and home. But the arson was hardly the worst of the grief Pastor Samson Mulinge Mutuse has suffered because of others’ fear of AIDS. AIDS killed his wife in 2013, and his 13-year-old daughter the next year. And when his flock found out that Mutuse himself tested positive for HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, many abandoned...

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Cue the religion scholar! Representing faith on the big and small screen

BOSTON (RNS) – Quick! The cameras are rolling! Cue the religion scholar to  compress centuries of religious history into a sound bite, elucidate complex theology in eight-word sentences — and guard against any stereotyping. Religion scholars face such challenges when they comment on breaking news or serve as advisers to television and film producers. Their goal is to ensure accuracy and avoid offense in media that portray the lives of the faithful and chronicle the impact of religious ideas, institutions and leaders. But the role is a stretch and a risk for scholars. Photo courtesy of Stephen Prothero Popular entertainment media stress...

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Pope in Bangladesh, continues diplomatic tightrope walk

DHAKA, Bangladesh (RNS) — Pope Francis has arrived in Bangladesh, praising the country for welcoming refugees from neighboring Myanmar, though he still refrained from identifying them as Rohingya Muslims. Bangladesh is the second and final leg of one of the most politically fraught trips of Francis’ papacy, where his outspoken concern for refugees has been tempered by sensitivities on the ground. In a speech Thursday (Nov. 30) before President Abdul Hamid and other government officials at the Presidential Palace, Francis praised Bangladesh for welcoming “refugees from Rakhine state” and called on other nations to help deal with the crisis. “None of us can fail Read More At Article Source | Article...

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Bill that would allow churches to receive FEMA aid advances in Congress

WASHINGTON (RNS) — Churches, synagogues, mosques and other faith-based community centers damaged in a natural disaster could be eligible for federal disaster relief funds under a measure approved by a congressional committee. The Disaster Recovery Reform Act, also known as H.R. 4460, was approved on Thursday (Nov. 30) by the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and will next move to the House floor for deliberation. The bill received strong support from both sides of the aisle despite objections that using taxpayer funds to rebuild houses of worship would violate the separation of church and state. Proponents of the measure argue that religious groups, which are Read More At Article Source | Article...

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The guy in the red apron: How a Salvation Army bell ringer brings heart to the job

NORTH RICHLAND HILLS, Texas (RNS) — To hear Bruce Bachman tell it, he’s  just a guy with a bell, a red apron and a heart to serve who gives a little of his time during the holiday season. He’s just one of the thousands of volunteer bell ringers who keep alive a 127-year tradition that the Salvation Army traces to Capt. Joseph McFee, who set out a large, iron kettle in 1891 to collect funds for a Christmas dinner in San Francisco. From Thanksgiving to Christmas, the change, bills and occasional large checks and gold coins that Americans drop...

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