A former lesbian candidate for ordination in the United Methodist Church has recently announced that she has undergone a "gender transition."
Mary Ann Barclay, a Texas resident who recently garnered headlines for purportedly being barred from ministry over her sexual orientation, announced earlier this week that she was transitioning to "a non-binary person."
"I am so thrilled to share that this past Friday I was able to have 'top surgery' to help me live into my self and my body better. This was, of course, a surgery I have thought about long before coming out as genderqueer," said Barclay, who now abbreviates her first name to M. more >>
A California Roman Catholic diocese that owns the property that once was the Crystal Cathedral has received a $20 million donation for its renovation work.
The Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange announced that an anonymous donor gave $20 million to aid the estimated $113 million renovation of the former Crystal Cathedral.
Pope Francis and several of the world's leading religious leaders joined together in a pledge to end human slavery by 2020, focusing on the tens of millions of people "in chains" due to human trafficking and forced labor.
"The physical, economic, sexual and psychological exploitation of men and women, boys and girls, is chaining tens of millions of persons to inhumanity and humiliation," the pope said and signed the pledge to do "all in our power, within our faith communities and beyond" to end modern slavery by 2020.
The signatories of the declaration included Anglican Archbishop Justin Welby of Canterbury; Rabbi David Rosen, international director of interreligious affairs for the American Jewish Committee; Ayatollah Mohammad Taqi al-Modarresi, an influential Shiite scholar; Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople, as well as representatives for Ahmad el-Tayeb, a grand imam from Egypt. more >>
The largest religious body in the state of Mississippi and the American Family Association are not supporting a controversial ballot initiative that promotes government support for Confederate heritage and Christianity.
The Mississippi Baptist Convention, which has an estimated 663,000 members belonging to approximately 2,100 Southern Baptist congregations statewide, has not endorsed the Magnolia State Heritage Campaign's recently launched ballot initiative.
William Perkins, spokesman for the Mississippi Baptist Convention Board and editor of The Baptist Record, told The Christian Post that his organization "has not been consulted and has no opinion on Initiative 46." more >>
As many as 7,800 people have resigned from the Lutheran Church in Finland since the parliament approved a law legalizing same-sex marriages on Friday, which was backed by Kari Mäkinen, the Archbishop of Turku and Finland.
Mäkinen reportedly said that he was "rejoiced" by the passage of the law, YLE News reported on Sunday.
"I know how much this day means for rainbow people, their loved ones and many others. I rejoice with my whole heart for them and with them," the Archbishop said. "We are in the same situation as our neighboring Nordic churches: our concept of marriage needs a fundamental examination. Speaking for myself, I think it is time for reconsideration." more >>
A new Pew survey found that Latin American Catholics are increasingly leaving the Catholic Church, either to join evangelical Protestant churches or are abandoning religion altogether. The survey participants cited a search for a personal connection with God as the biggest reason for their shift.
The wide-ranging survey, released on Thursday, reported that although 69 percent of adults across the region identify as Catholic, in almost every country surveyed there was a reported net loss of Catholics in terms of people raised Catholic and currently Catholic. Overall for Latin America as a whole, 84 percent of the population was raised Catholic, but only 69 percent identify as part of the Catholic Church now. By contrast, only nine percept of Latin America's population was raised in the Protestant tradition, but today 19 percent identify as Protestant. The number of religiously unaffiliated people is also rising, going from four percent raised without religion to currently eight percent identifying as no religion today.
As for various reasons why Latin Americans are leaving the Catholic Church, 81 percent of those who responded said that they are seeking a personal connection with God; 69 percent saidthey enjoy the style of worship at a new church, while 60 percent said that they wanted a greater emphasis on morality. more >>