Posts Tagged ‘Volume 36 No. 8’

Southern Baptists pointing to evangelical moderation or just more polarization?

The Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) has been in the spotlight lately, not only for its national meeting in early June, but also for the way that the 14 million-member denomination is said to reflect the wide-ranging changes evangelicalism is undergoing. In the space of a few months, the church body has undergone its own “racial reckoning” over the controversial “critical race theory” (CRT), a continuing scandal over clergy sexual abuse, and rumors of an impending schism between ultraconservatives and the SBC mainstream over church teachings and politics.

“Heavenly Mother” finds following and reveals divisions among Latter-day Saints

Teachings and references to the “Heavenly Mother” are finding their way into ordinary Mormons’ religious life, informing children’s books, poetry, and a new round of theological debates, according to an article in Christian News (June 7). In the article originally published in the Salt Lake Tribune, Peggy Fletcher Stack reports “a tidal wave of interest in this divine feminine among Latter-day Saints….

Black Eastern Orthodox converts turn African American history into Orthodox history

Following in the footsteps of other religious movements associated with black identity, African
American converts in the United States are adopting the full Orthodox doctrinal framework
while adapting Orthodox forms to their history and needs, writes Elena V. Kravchenko in the
Journal of the American Academy of Religion (March).

Hip-hop artists increasingly take Christianity along on ride to mainstream acceptance

Hip-hop music, a counterculture genre that emerged in the 1970s on the black and Latino streets of the Bronx, has seen a gradual shift toward Christian themes in recent years, reports Sandi Dolbee in the San Diego Union-Tribune (June 13).


Increasing numbers of African American mosques are closing while the overall number of mosques in the United States continues to expand, according to a new report. “The American Mosque 2020: Growing and Evolving,” a study jointly published by the Islamic Society of North America, the Center on Muslim Philanthropy, and the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding was conducted by Ihsan Bagby, who produced similar reports in 2001 and 2010.

“Evangelical extremists” a terror threat in Brazil?

Attacks against Afro-Brazilian religious groups led by evangelical Christians in Brazil have increased in recent years, causing human rights watchdog groups and activists to press for a “terrorist” designation for such perpetrators, writes Danielle Boaz of the University of North Carolina in the online Journal of Religion & Society (Vol. 23).

French Catholics show new tensions over Tridentine rite and eye Vatican intervention

The accommodations made by the Vatican for celebrating the Tridentine (Latin) rite may be taking a more turbulent turn in the post-Vatican II Catholic Church judging by recent events in France. La Croix International (June 29) reports that the Archdiocese of Dijon has asked the traditionalist Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter (FSSP) to leave due […]

Hindus not exempted from India’s religious freedom restrictions

Violations of religious freedom by India’s government are not only committed against minority religions but also increasingly against Hindu institutions, writes Timothy Shah in the online journal Religions (12). What Shah calls India’s “other religious freedom problem” can be seen in the way the country’s Hindu nationalist government has enacted “controls and limits on majority religious institutions[,]…an oppressive and invasive reality that is simply out of step with what. 

Jihadists turning hostile toward China?

While jihadists have long been critical of China for its discriminatory policies toward Muslim Uyghurs in Xinjiang, the country’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) means it will create infrastructures in areas where jihadist cells are also present, thus creating new threats for Chinese companies and citizens, writes Jan Wojcik (a board member of the European Issues Institute, an independent think tank based in Warsaw) in an article published on the European Eye on Radicalization website (June 25).

Independent Pure Land Buddhist networks, clergy face bans in China

Pure Land Buddhism is the latest religion to face banning by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), reports Deng Huizhong in the online newsletter Bitter Winter (June 17). In May in Jilin province, the police interrogated followers of Buddhist Master Jingzong of Hongyuan Monastery, which is located in Xuancheng, Anhui province.