The president of a Virginia Ku Klux Klan group claims that the KKK is a faith-based Christian organization that does not condone violence.
"We don't hate people because of their race. We are a Christian organization," Frank Ancona, the imperial wizard of the Traditional American Knights of the KKK, told NBC 12, distancing himself from the Klan's violent history, asserting that he is seeking to "set the record straight."
Despite Ancona's claims, the KKK are widely reviled for their history of committing acts of violence against African Americans, including lighting their homes on fire, lynchings, and leaving burning crosses in the front yards of homes and churches. An organization that was also closely associated with Protestants in its heyday in the 1920s, many of its 4 million members then were also anti-Semitic and anti-Catholic. more >>
Author Trillia Newbell, an African-American woman who began attending a predominantly white 200-member church more than a decade ago shares her experiences in her recently released book, Unity: Captured by God's Vision for Diversity.
Newbell, who resides in Tennessee, writes in that she was initially attracted to the church by warmth of the congregants, the seriousness with which the leaders grappled with theology and doctrine, and the growth that her own faith experienced.
Yet, she could hardly ignore the fact that she was part of the only 5 to 10 percent of the total African-American population at the church. more >>
While Westboro Baptist's Fred Phelps will be mostly remembered for preaching that "God hates fags," part of his legacy is also one of a civil rights hero.
Phelps, who died Thursday, was once dubbed the leader of "the most hated family in America" by BBC. In the 1950s and 1960s, however, at the height of the Civil Rights Movement, his advocacy for anti-discrimination cases as a defense lawyer earned him awards from civil rights groups and retribution from anti-civil rights forces.
Phelps arrived in Topeka, Kan., in 1954, the same year that the United States Supreme Court handed down its groundbreaking civil right decision, Brown vs. Board of Education of Topeka, Kan. That decision led to the desegregation of schools and opened up opportunities for other anti-discrimination cases. more >>
A Texas pastor advises church leaders that aim to reach Hispanic families, to embrace Latino's relationship-driven culture and be willing to hire a diverse, bilingual staff within the congregation.
Transitioning a monocultural church into a multicultural congregation has its challenges and in order to bring on Hispanics in particular, church leaders should prepare for a process that entails positive and negative changes, advises teaching pastor Jason Paredes of Fielder Church in Arlington, Texas.
"There are so many complications that you don't even anticipate…cataclysmic change is going to come, there's no way to get around it smoothly...feelings are going to be hurt, mistakes are going to be made. There has to be some boldness if you're going to walk into that," Paredes said, in a video interview with the Leadership Network. more >>
India suffers from an abysmal literacy rate, weak infrastructure and rampant poverty. But one of the toughest challenges the world's second largest country must confront in the 21st century is how it will better serve its declining and vulnerable female population.
The causes discouraging families and communities from raising and protecting girls and women are explored in "Veil of Tears," a new documentary from Gospel for Asia, which releases in the U.S. on March 28. more >>
A storefront church in East Harlem lost its building and at least five of its members in Wednesday's gas leak explosion.
Spanish Christian Church, which celebrated its 80th anniversary in 2013, not only occupied the first level, but also had apartments above the church where many of its 60 members lived.
Five of the seven confirmed dead attended the small congregation, Thomas Perez, the church's pastor confirmed to the New York Daily News. Five people are still missing, while nearly 60 people have suffered broken bones, hearing loss, and cuts and scrapes related to the explosion. more >>