Archive for the ‘General Articles’ Category

Congregations’ role as sanctuary coming under strain under Trump administration?

The longtime tradition of government respecting the autonomy of churches in offering sanctuary to illegal immigrants and other violators of the law is gradually being dissolved under the presidency of Donald Trump, reports the libertarian magazine Reason (February). The internal policies of government immigrant agencies such as Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) have long treated […]

Calvinist charismatics flourishing by joining head and heart religion

Reformed churches, known for their intellectual and doctrine-based approach to the faith, are also adopting charismatic practices, reports Christianity Today magazine (January/February). The mixing of Calvinism and charismatic practices is particularly evident in the new church planting networks, such as Advance, Newfrontiers, and Acts 29 (to some extent), which are active in the U.S., Britain, […]

#MeToo movement resonates with evangelical women

The #MeToo movement, involving women speaking out against sexual harassment, is finding expression in religious institutions, particularly evangelical churches where there is sometimes a conflict between granting offending clergy forgiveness and holding them accountable for their actions. National Public Radio (January 24) reports on how the issue of evangelical churches dealing with pastoral sexual abuse […]

C3 expands in Canada by winning over hipsters

“A church for hipsters”—that has been the tone of several media reports on C3 Church for the past few years, the latest one being an article about the Toronto branch in The Globe and Mail (January 18). C3 stands for Christian City Church, a neo-Pentecostal church launched in 1980 that now counts 450 churches around […]

European women’s circles embracing spirituality and “sisterhood”

Since the early 2000s, the emergence of women’s circles, small, intimate monthly gatherings exploring women’s issues, in Europe has also seen the growth of eclectic spirituality among participants, writes Chia Longman in the journal Religions (January 1). These circles “appear to be a growing phenomenon across the globe in recent years, as they have become […]

Segments of French Catholicism pursue resistance while tide of decline continues

Facing a sociological decline as well as a shift of values, a number of practicing Roman Catholics in France have become more combative on the public stage, according to a new book by historian and political scientist Jérôme Fourquet, a leading expert at IFOP, a French survey firm. He finds that six percent of the […]

Poland shows more individualistic approaches to religion

Although there have not been changes as radical as what some observers had expected to see in Polish religiosity and its connections to the dominant Roman Catholic Church, sociological research as well as surveys report stronger secularization and a changing attitude toward the church in Poland since 2008. Still, writes Fr. Janusz Mariański  (Catholic University […]

Flourishing Lubavitch Hasidim positions itself as voice of Russian Jewry

Chabad, the outreach arm of Lubavitch Hasidic Judaism, shows significant growth in Russia and has successfully created the image of itself as the leader of Russian Jewry in line with Russian nationalism, writes Galina Zelenina of Moscow State University in the journal Contemporary Jewry (online January). Chabad entered the stage when traditional Russian Jewish communities […]

New concerns, players in movement against persecuted Christians in Middle East

While the Islamic State’s attempt to impose a caliphate in Iraq and Syria may have ended, it seems the movement to fight for the religious freedom of Middle Eastern Christians is still gaining momentum. An early-December conference in New York on Middle East Christians, organized by the Anglosphere Society and attended by RW, shows a […]

Churches of Christ decline affects ‘brand loyalty’ to church colleges

Along with the decline of membership and congregations in the Churches of Christ, there is diminishing “brand loyalty” to the denomination’s colleges and universities. The Christian Chronicle (December 26) reports that universities associated with the Churches of Christ have seen a 51 percent decline in students who identify with the fellowship. At the start of […]