The board of the United Methodist Church's $20 billion Pension and Health Benefits Fund has essentially blacklisted Israel's five largest banks by declaring them off limits for investment amid claims of human rights violations.
Mark Tooley, president of The Institute of Religion and Democracy who is also a lifelong member of the United Methodist Church, however, says the pension board's decision is "unfortunate and embarrassing" and could likely harm relations between the United Methodist Church and the Jewish people.
The five banks — Bank Hapoalim, Bank Leumi, First International Bank of Israel, Israel Discount Bank and Bank Mizrahi-Tefahot — are on a list of 39 companies from a number of countries that have been declared off limits for not meeting the church's Human Rights Investment Policy guideline implemented in 2015. more >>
A number of Christian denominations in Kenya, including Evangelicals and Catholics, have slammed new government forced registration rules for churches, though some Anglican leaders have said it is a good way to tackle the "commercialization" of religion.
BBC News reported that the government proposals will put in requirements for all religious bodies to register with the government, for pastors to undergo formal training at a 'reputable' seminary, and to obtain police clearance.
The Evangelical Alliance of Kenya has slammed the plans, however, arguing that they are aimed at stopping the growth of Evangelical churches. Over 82 percent of the Kenyan population is Christian, and close to half of those Christians are from Protestant churches, while roughly a fourth are Roman Catholic. more >>
A 22,000-member Methodist megachurch in Kansas has hired a man who was found guilty of murder and then exonerated after 24 years behind bars to be its newest associate pastor after he completed seminary in December.
Although Darryl Burton grew up in the Baptist faith, he stopped going to church during his teen years, became increasingly disillusioned with religion and grew to be a skeptic of God. As Burton distanced himself from the church, his grandmother warned him that "one of these days, boy, you are going to need Jesus. I hope you remember to call on Him."
While Burton didn't think much of his late grandmother's words at the time, those words rang through his head as he sat for two decades in prison after he was convicted in 1985 for a murder he didn't commit. more >>
Millions of Christians from Orthodox traditions celebrated the birth and baptism of Jesus Christ on Thursday, marking the day with festivals and blessing of water ceremonies.
Famous world leaders, such as Russian President Vladimir Putin, observed the day as well, with the Russian leader taking part in a candle lit service at the Church of the Intercession of the Mother of God in Turginovo.
Orthodox Christians celebrate the Epiphany on Jan. 6, according to the old Julian calendar, along with the birth of Christ a day later. more >>
The issue of gay marriage is threatening to split apart the Anglican Communion ahead of an important summit in Canterbury in England next week, with African and Asian leaders threatening to walk out on Archbishop Justin Welby.
Mail Online reported that Welby is preparing for a "make of break" effort at the summit in order to keep the Anglican churches together despite disagreements over homosexuality.
Although Welby and the Church of England have remained opposed to the legalization of gay marriage, a number of bishops within the Anglican Communion, including American church leaders as part of the Episcopal tradition, have backed the practice. more >>
A Catholic parish in Massachusetts will soon file an appeal with the U.S. Supreme Court in the hopes of keeping open their church, which was closed several years ago by the Archdiocese.
Members of St. Frances Xavier Cabrini Church of Scituate have until March to send a writ of certiorari to the highest court in the land.
Jon Rogers, a spokesperson for the group Friends of Saint Frances, which is trying to keep the church from being closed, told The Christian Post that this is their latest legal effort out of many. more >>