White congressman gesticulating

New Congress 91 Percent Christian Despite Shifts in American Religious Makeup

January 6, 2017

The United States Congress is about as Christian but more Catholic than it was 50 years ago, according to a recent Pew Research Center study.

In their “Faith on the Hill” report released Tuesday, Pew delves into the religious makeup of the 115th Congress, which took office the same day. Of the 535 members of Congress, 485—or 91 percent—self-identify as Christian. This percentage has barely shifted since 1961, when 95 percent of Congress identified as Christian.

Mary and Jesus in light of drone

“Alternative” Christmas Cards Highlight Realities of Middle East

December 23, 2016

This December, a British humanitarian organization released a special collection of Christmas cards aiming to unsettle traditional depictions of the Nativity.

The UK branch of Médecins du Monde, or Doctors of the World, is an association of medics, midwives, and psychologists providing healthcare to displaced persons in the Middle East. The organization reports that it provided services to over 580,000 people in Syria, Yemen, Jordan, Lebanon, and Iraq last year.

Young girl holds American flag at pro-immigration rally

Post-Election, Churches Across Nation Declare Sanctuary Status

December 12, 2016

In the month since Donald Trump was elected president of the United States, churches across the nation have joined an ecumenical movement to provide safe haven to immigrants.

The “sanctuary” movement is a wide-sweeping effort among universities, religious communities, and other sites that serve the public to provide refuge to those under threat of deportation. “Sanctuary” can take a variety of forms, from serving as a symbol of the congregation’s support of immigrants to offering physical shelter in cases of crisis.

Pope Francis addresses bishops in South Korea

Pope Francis Extends Priests’ Power to Forgive Abortions

November 30, 2016

Last week, Pope Francis announced that he will indefinitely extend the power of Catholic priests to forgive abortions.

The extension follows the Church’s Jubilee Year of Mercy—a practice rooted in the Old Testament of the Christian Bible. Originally occurring every 50 years, the jubilee was a yearlong reminder of God’s mercy, during which time debts were absolved and relationships were restored. In the Roman Catholic Church, the pope can call an extraordinary year of jubilee at his discretion.

Chick Tract

Fire-and-Brimstone Christian Cartoonist Jack Chick Dead at 92

October 31, 2016

Jack Chick, one of Christianity’s most famous and most polarizing cartoonists, died Sunday at age 92.

Chick gained notoriety in the mid-20th century for his prolific Christianity-themed comics, often called “Chick tracts.” The tracts were known for their fire and brimstone rhetoric, railing against cultural forces ranging from Dungeons and Dragons to Harry Potter to the Roman Catholic Church. Chick often depicted hell, Satan, and Satan’s earthly emissaries, followed by an entreaty to readers to reject the devil and seek God.

Two young women hold hands on a college campus

Christian Campus Ministry Will Fire Staff Who Support Same-Sex Marriage

October 21, 2016

National evangelical campus ministry InterVarsity Christian Fellowship has asked all employees who disagree with their position on sexuality and marriage to identify themselves for involuntary termination by November 11 of this year.

The announcement marks the culmination of the organization’s years-long theological study of human sexuality. In a 20-page internal position paper released in March, InterVarsity clarified its position on issues ranging from pornography to masturbation to homosexuality.