New research into the religious beliefs of people in the U.K. has found that for the first time ever, those without a religion outnumber Christians, at least when it comes to the countries of England and Wales.
"The striking thing is the clear sense of the growth of 'no religion' as a proportion of the population," said Stephen Bullivant, senior lecturer in theology and ethics at St Mary's Catholic University in Twickenham.
"The main driver is people who were brought up with some religion now saying they have no religion. What we're seeing is an acceleration in the numbers of people not only not practising their faith on a regular basis, but not even ticking the box. The reason for that is the big question in the sociology of religion," added Bullivant, who analyzed data collected through British Social Attitudes surveys over three decades. more >>
CHARLESTON, S.C. — Federal prosecutors will seek the death penalty for a white man accused of killing nine black parishioners in a racially motivated attack at a church in Charleston, South Carolina, last June, the U.S. Justice Department said on Tuesday.
"The nature of the alleged crime and the resulting harm compelled this decision," Attorney General Loretta Lynch said in a statement.
Dylann Roof, 22, is accused of opening fire on June 17, 2015, during Bible study at Charleston's historic Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in a massacre that shook the country and intensified debate over U.S. race relations. more >>
An atheist group has filed a complaint against a Wisconsin-based Christian school for its decision to punish students who openly express transgender or homosexual behaviors.
St. John's Lutheran School of Baraboo, which receives federal funding for certain student aid programs, informed parents earlier this year that they reserve the right to punish homosexuality and transgender activity.
Patrick Elliot of the Madison-based Freedom From Religion Foundation, the largest atheist organization in the United States, filed a complaint earlier this month against the school before the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction. more >>
An expert on helping churches grow their ministries agrees with the recent comments by Life.Church Pastor Craig Groeschel that churches need to be careful in adding new campuses.
In comments made at the recent conference Catalyst One Day in Birmingham, Alabama, Groeschel argued that churches needed to be cautious about adding more campuses.
A conservative Anglican leader stated that Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby's recent comments on evangelism are "half-right."
At an interfaith event held in London earlier this month, the head of the 88 million-member Anglican Communion drew a line between evangelism and proselytizing by saying: "I draw the line in terms of respect for the other; in starting by listening before you speak; in terms of love that is unconditional and not conditional to one iota, to one single element on how the person responds to your own declaration of faith; and of not speaking about faith unless you are asked about faith," said Welby, according to the Telegraph.
"I draw a pretty sharp line, it is all based around loving the person you are dealing with which means you seek their wellbeing and you respect their identity and their integrity." more >>
Just hours after he celebrated his graduation from a local Bible college with his family, a Texas pastor and his three sons were killed in a grisly car crash on Saturday that also left his wife and daughter in critical condition, while his mother is expected to survive injuries.
Pastor Jeff Fugate of Clays Mill Road Baptist Church confirmed with the Lexington Herald Leader that Pastor Israel Avelar, 46, and his sons Kevin, 17; Daniel, 14; and Matthew, 6, died after a crash near Carthage, Texas, Saturday morning. A KGAS report said Avelar was the pastor of Temple Baptist Church in Lexington.
Avelar's wife, Hilda, 41, and daughter Kimberly Avelar, 11, were said to be in critical condition Sunday and his mother, Lazara Abaraca, who was also traveling with them, is expected to recover from injuries she suffered. more >>