Posts Tagged ‘Volume 34 No. 6 and 7’

Researchers find Catholic Church’s patterns of sexual abuse consistent across time and place

Recent reports of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church in the U.S. show similar patterns to those found in the period before 2002 as well as in other Western nations, according to researchers speaking at an April conference at Fordham University in New York, which RW attended. Researchers Margaret Smith and Karen Terry of John […]

Undercover policing in mosques meets resistance and self-censoring from Muslims

Police programs in the United States using undercover officers in mosques to monitor members suspected of extremism are facing pushback from the Muslim community, which tends to view such tactics as anti-Islamic and sinful, and are fostering distrust in Islamic institutions, according to Ibrahim Bechrouri of the Institute of Geopolitics at the University of Paris. […]

Coptic Orthodox assimilate and coexist through “majority” status in Nashville

Nashville, Tennessee, has emerged as a center of Coptic Orthodox Christianity in the U.S. and also serves as a case study of Muslim-Coptic coexistence outside of a context of conflict and persecution, writes Lydia Yousief in the blog Public Orthodoxy (April 17). There are 10,000 to 20,000 Copts in Nashville, based on counts of worshippers […]

Charismatic ministries, festivals disband and regroup

Charismatic ministries, festivals, and conferences around the world have recently been closing, though not necessarily for lack of success and numbers, reports Charisma magazine (March). Ministries and conferences including Onething, TheCall, the UK-based Soul Survivor conferences, and Germany’s Augsburg Prayer House conferences, which reached over 10,000 people annually, closed down in 2018 or will cease […]

Quakerism’s struggle with the God question deepens

While liberal Quakers have allowed room for non-theists in the last century, the church body, at least in the northern hemisphere, is “increasingly open-minded on the ultimate religious question: whether or not there is a God,” reports The Economist (April 26). Ben Pink Dandelion of the University of Birmingham said part of the reason for […]

Spiritualism, occult find new following in health care and Internet

Mediums or psychics are increasingly finding a prominent place in the holistic healing milieu, especially among women, reports Lisa Held in the New York Times (March 24). The new prominence of mediums, or “intuitives” as they are called today, was on display at the recent In Goop Health Summit, run by Gwyneth Paltrow’s wellness media […]

Meditation apps grow in demand while secularizing

The growing interest in meditation practices—mostly disconnected from their traditional religious anchoring—means that some apps helping people to meditate are also enjoying an amazing success. In February, Calm, an application for meditating, relaxing and sleeping, with a stated mission “to make the world a happier and healthier place,” announced that it had succeeded in raising […]

Declining congregations in Canada reborn as community resources

While different denominations in North America and Europe have had to close and sell places of worship due to shrinking attendance or moves of their followers to new urban areas, the recent figures published by the National Trust for Canada, with estimates that 9,000 religious spaces in the country will be lost in the next […]


Congregational membership has dropped by 20 percentage points over the past two decades, hitting a low of 50 percent in 2018, according to a new Gallup poll. Gallup found church membership to be at 70 percent in 1999, consistent with much of the membership rates throughout the 20th century. Since 1999, that figure has fallen […]

Anti-Christian violence spreading worldwide

The violent persecution of Christians has intensified significantly in the last seven years, with much of this violence shifting to China and India, writes religion journalist Rupert Shortt in the British magazine The Tablet (April 20). Shortt reported on the widespread abuse and repression of Christians in his 2013 book Christianophobia, which, despite its title, […]