Religious life won’t be the same after downturn

By RACHEL ZOLL (AP) NEW YORK — Organized religion was already in trouble before the fall of 2008. Denominations were stagnating or shrinking, and congregations across faith groups were fretting about their finances. The Great Recession made things worse. It’s further drained the financial resources of many congregations, seminaries and religious day schools. Some congregations... Continue Reading

Why can’t Christians unite to change America’s ways?

Study finds faithful can’t agree on Bible, government’s role, social responsibility The commonly referenced “God gap” between Republicans and Democrats is disappearing. Polls released before the 2008 election demonstrated America’s Christian voters are no longer synonymous with the political right: a George Barna survey showed born-again Christians evenly split between John McCain and Barack Obama,... Continue Reading

Meanwhile, in Afghanistan …

AFGHANISTAN: While healthcare reform dominates D.C. these days, politicians face serious questions about raising troop levels | Emily Belz WASHINGTON—The Taliban is growing in power in certain Afghan cities like Kandahar, the results of the recent presidential election are in question, corruption is overwhelming efforts at good governance, and the chairman of the U.S. Joint... Continue Reading

Holy mess: 11 million Irish Americans leave Catholic Church

By Niall O’Dowd A new survey shows 34 million Americans, or 15 percent of the population, say they have no religion. Even more significant is that one-third of those, about 11 million people, are Irish Americans. The survey by professors at Trinity College in Hartford, CT, does not explain why Irish Catholics are by far... Continue Reading

Conservative chorus

POLITICS: Republican politicians at this past weekend’s Values Voter Summit stick to singing the same tune | Edward Lee Pitts WASHINGTON—For the second weekend in a row, thousands of the nation’s conservatives are invading what they now call enemy territory: Washington, D.C. And just like at last week’s protest march on the U.S. Capitol, for... Continue Reading

Aid Dependents

World Relief’s almost-hire spotlights ministries need for government funds | Warren Cole Smith World Relief is the compassion and benevolence arm of the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE). “We’re not the mouth of the NAE, but we are its arms and legs,” said Don Golden, the group’s senior vice president of church engagement. In theory,... Continue Reading

Happy Rosh Hashanah, Christians

The ‘Jewish New Year’ is a day of judgment for all of creation. Yitzchok Adlerstein and Abraham Cooper The High Holiday season that gains fast upon traditional Jews is primarily a time of self-examination and repentance. We scrutinize our deeds and misdeeds, attempting a mid-course correction on the long journey of life. We take stock... Continue Reading

U.S. Conservative Christians Target 16 Democrats

By Ed Stoddard WASHINGTON, Sept 19 (Reuters) – Conservative Christians, a key base for the Republican Party, said on Saturday they were targeting 16 Democrats, including Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, in the 2010 congressional elections. Four other Democratic senators and 11 U.S. representatives were on the list, which was released at a summit in... Continue Reading

Schaeffer’s Son Not Repentant

By Julia Duin I still remember the first time I saw Frank Schaeffer, then known in the evangelical Christian world as “Franky,” the son of revered scholar Francis Schaeffer. It was 1983, and Franky, then 31, was giving a rousing speech about laying down one’s life in defense of the unborn to pro-lifers gathered at... Continue Reading

Is the Era of Age Segmentation Over?

A researcher argues that the future of youth ministry will require bringing the generations together. The statistics are grim. Rainer Research estimates that 70 percent of young people leave the church by age 22. Barna Group argues that the figure increases to 80 percent by age 30. The Southern Baptist Convention, America’s largest denomination, recently... Continue Reading