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Ahead of the Trend

Some churches got mega PPP loans. A few got tiny ones.

By Bob Smietana — November 8, 2021
(RNS) — While some congregations got multi-million-dollar PPP loans, some got tiny loans by accident. Two churches got loans for $666.
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Study: Religion soothed evangelicals at start of COVID. Politics put them at risk.

By Bob Smietana — September 17, 2021
(RNS) — From the start, religion has divided how Americans respond to COVID.

Abortion just isn’t the motivating issue for evangelicals it once was

By Ryan Burge — August 9, 2021
(RNS) — Studies show white evangelicals, by and large, do not have a hard-line approach to abortion — other issues like immigration and race are taking priority over advocating for the unborn.

Curmudgeons or not, atheists like those of other faiths more than Christians do, study finds

By Bob Smietana — July 2, 2021
(RNS) —  A new study found that, while Christians look down on atheists, atheists have positive views of religious folks.

‘Denomination matters’ in Black-focused faith-based health programs, scholars say

By Adelle M. Banks — June 28, 2021
(RNS) — ‘Faith-based health initiatives need to appropriately integrate the faith practices and norms of Black church members with denomination in mind,’ Duke scholars say.

Who are the Southern Baptists and why is their 2021 annual meeting so divided?

By Ryan Burge — June 15, 2021
(RNS) — Skirmishes over race and gender pit conservatives against ultraconservatives.

Pagan politics are not as uniform (or liberal) as you think

By Heather Greene — May 26, 2021
(RNS) — One of the few formal surveys of this understudied religious population found pagans' political leanings to be hard to pin down.

Republicans and Democrats switch sides on religion vs. science

By Carol Kuruvilla — May 25, 2021
(RNS) — Mistrust of the scientific community is affecting the COVID-19 vaccine rollout. But research suggests the religion and science debate wasn’t always this divisive.

Will COVID-19 finally be the end of the church collection plate?

By Bob Smietana — April 22, 2021
(RNS) — COVID-19 and the rise of a cashless society may make passing the collection plate, which once was crucial to church finances, less important.

Barring women as leaders in church may be bad for their health, new study finds

By Bob Smietana — April 19, 2021
(RNS) — Past studies have shown participating in religious services and in the life of a religious community can be good for your health.

Study: Multiracial Methodist churches draw and keep more people than their white counterparts

By Yonat Shimron — April 16, 2021
(RNS) — The 6.6 million-member United Methodist Church is predominantly white. But its racially diverse congregations are faring better than white churches at a time when the denomination as a whole is experiencing declining attendance.

Like Beth Moore, many women preachers have had to break free to follow God’s call

By Bob Smietana — March 29, 2021
(RNS) — For women preachers, following their call has often conflicted with the rules put forth by their churches — even though people in the pews are open to a woman in the pulpit.

How pleading ‘sexual addiction’ protects evangelical men

By Kelsy Burke and Samuel L. Perry — March 19, 2021
(RNS) — Given Long's exposure to Christian porn addiction recovery rhetoric, it likely contributed to his claim that his out-of-control sex addiction fueled his atrocious violence.
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