The Catholic Church has been increasingly turning to Africa and Asia to find priests to staff its parishes in the U.S., Europe and other parts of the world because it's now struggling to find native priests in these areas, according to the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate at Georgetown University.
"A growing phenomenon within the Church is the use of African and Asian priests in the U.S., Europe, and elsewhere where there are too few native priests to staff parishes," noted CARA in a report highlighted on the Center's blog 1964 Thursday.
The report explained that across the world the ratio of Catholics per priest has grown with the number of Catholics per priest increasing from 1,895 in 1980 to 2,965 in 2012. more >>
In a novel method of attracting worshipers, Unleashed Community Church in Oregon, started by a couple who got a vision from God to use people's relationships with their pets to show His love for mankind, is now encouraging parishioners to bring their dogs along for Sunday Service.
Ruth Rini and her husband, Ron, who run the church started last September, reveal on the church's Facebook page that Unleashed Community Church is the "first dog-friendly church in the Eugene/Springfield area" and that "we are here to share God's unconditional love for people and pets."
"We realized there was no church community for those who needed pastoral care and a community of support and friendship during all the various circumstances people experience with their beloved pets, who are members of their family," explained the couple. "We also realized that dogs and other pets are a perfect example of God's unconditional love for us, the relationship between humans and animals could be used to demonstrate how much God cares for us and for all of creation." more >>
A narrow red stain that has remained for years beneath a painting of a crucified Christ at the Saint John the Evangelist church in Newport, Rhode Island, has led the church's pastor to speculate on its possible meaning and the presence of Jesus.
Providence Journal reported on Monday that the 140-year-old Episcopal church has recently been attracting attention for the strange rust-colored stain, which in the right light appears to be coming directly from Jesus' crucified feet from the 12th Station of the Cross painting.
The mark has been there for years, but the church's leadership has resisted trying to turn it into a "roadside curiosity." more >>
NEW YORK — Bishop T.D. Jakes, founder of The Potter's House, one of the largest megachurches in the United States, recently called on the Church to become a source of unity and healing in the faith community, particularly in the wake of ongoing racial unrest.
Earlier this year, Jakes, along with Bishop Harry Jackson and James Robison, launched the Reconciled Church, an initiative designed to help heal the racial divide in America. The Destiny author recently told The Christian Post that he believes the Church is critical in the restoration of America while also acknowledging the lack of multiracial congregations across the nation.
"First, I think we have our own house to clean before we clean anybody else's house," Jakes told The Christian Post during an interview in New York City last week. "When we started Reconciled Church with Bishop Harry Jackson and James Robison, we came together, we started bringing thought leaders from every stream of Christian faith that we could, and we had to admit that the 11 o'clock hour is still far too segregated." more >>
Starting this Sunday a church located in the heart of New York City will be giving away free movie tickets to every first-time visitor as well as the person who invites them.
Flyers highlighting the chance to attend the movies for free by simply showing up for worship services at The Journey Church in Manhattan were distributed in a local paper Thursday morning as a part of a summer teaching series called "God on Films."
The movie ticket offering was also highlighted via the church's social media accounts. more >>
There has been considerable discussion on the Pew Research Center's new report titled, "America's Changing Religious Landscape." The conclusions of the report certainly seem troubling: Christians are declining as a share of the U.S. population, while those unaffiliated with any faith tradition continue to grow. The report shows that since 2007, Catholicism has seen a 3.1 percent decline, as Catholics decrease from 23.9 percent of the American population to 20.8 percent. Even more worrisome, another recent study on American adolescents' religious orientation, shows that the losses to the Christian faith are especially pronounced among our young people. This report states, "In just the 13 years between 2000 and 2013, 87 percent more college students chose no religious affiliation."
So what's next? Is Christianity dying a slow and painful death in America?
Hang on for a moment before jumping to any doomsday scenarios. more >>