Kimberly Winston, Religion News Service

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‘Christian America’ Dwindling, Including White Evangelicals, Study Shows

Image via RNS/Sally Morrow

Almost every Christian denomination in the U.S. shows signs of growing diversity as white Christians, once the majority in most mainline Protestant and Catholic denominations, give way to younger members, who tend to be of different races, according to a study released Sept. 6 by the Public Religion Research Institute.

And American evangelicals — once seemingly immune to the decline experienced by their Catholic and mainline Protestant neighbors — are losing numbers and losing them quickly.

Rabbis Forgo Annual High Holy Days Call with President Over Charlottesville Remarks

Image via  Nicole S Glass / Shutterstock.com

“Responsibility for the violence that occurred in Charlottesville, including the death of Heather Heyer, does not lie with many sides but with one side: the Nazis, alt-right and white supremacists who brought their hate to a peaceful community. They must be roundly condemned at all levels.”

Trump’s Spiritual Adviser Says He Is ‘Raised Up by God’

Paula White speaks at her church, New Destiny Christian Center, on Jan. 1, 2017, in Apopka, Fla. RNS photo by Sarah M. Brown

“They say about our president, ‘Well, he is not presidential.’ Thank goodness. Thank goodness. Thank goodness,” White said. “And I mean that with all due respect. Because in other words, he is not a polished politician. In other words, he is authentically — whether people like it or not — has been raised up by God.”

Los Angeles Statue of St. Junipero Serra Defaced

Monuments associated with Serra have been vandalized before. Within days of his elevation to sainthood in 2015, the historic mission in Carmel, Calif. was vandalized and gravestones were toppled. Serra’s remains are buried at the Carmel Mission, which was founded in 1770.

White House Confirms Rev. Jerry Falwell Jr. on Education Task Force

Image via RNS/Reuters/Brian Snyder

The Rev. Jerry Falwell Jr., president of Liberty University and a vocal supporter of President Donald Trump, will be part of a planned task force on higher education, the White House confirmed. According to Falwell, who spoke to the Chronicle of Higher Education, he will be one of 15 college presidents who will participate. Falwell told Politico, “We haven’t had any substantive discussions on the issues yet.”

China, Once Officially Atheist, Now Booming with Religion

China is experiencing “one of the great religious revivals of our time,” Johnson writes. “Across China, hundreds of temples, mosques, and churches open each year, attracting millions of new worshippers. … Faith and values are returning to the center of a national discussion over how to organize Chinese life.

“This is not,” he continues, “the China we used to know.”

Jesuits in South Dakota Return Land to Sioux Tribe

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The Jesuit-run St. Francis Mission, which serves the Lakota peoples in south-central South Dakota, announced it will return about 500 acres to the Rosebud Sioux tribe, a band of Lakotas with a reservation in the same area.

The land was given to the Jesuits in the 19th century by the U.S. government. It is in multiple parcels across several counties, and includes some now-closed churches and other church structures.

Hashtag About Christian Women Highlights Misogyny in the Church

Image via RNS/Creative Commons/Jason Howie

What a Christian author started on a whim rapidly turned into a whirlwind. Sarah Bessey, author of Jesus Feminist: An Invitation to Review the Bible’s View of Women, created a Twitter hashtag on April 18 called #ThingsOnlyChristianWomenHear. She kicked it off with a couple things that have been addressed to her.

New Study Reveals Growth in Population of American Atheists

Image via RNS/Tyrone Turner

A new study shows there may be more than twice as many atheists in the U.S. than previous studies have found.

The report by two University of Kentucky scholars suggests that because people may be embarrassed to admit they don’t believe in God, the number of Americans who say they are non-believers may be artificially low. Polls from Gallup, Pew, and Barna have reported that number between 3 and 10 percent.

Why Won’t Mike Pence Eat Alone with a Woman Who Is Not His Wife?

Image via RNS/Reuters/David Becker

A recent Washington Post profile of Karen Pence mentioned that her husband, Vice President Mike Pence, never eats alone with another woman or goes without her to events where alcohol is being served.

Twitter erupted with outrage and ridicule.

But the Indiana Republican’s practice is not unusual in many conservative Christian circles. As Emma Green pointed out in The Atlantic, it likely stems from something called “the Billy Graham Rule,” named for the 98-year-old international evangelist. Nor is it that much different in intention from the practices of conservative Jews and Muslims.

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