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The Adventist Review shares the following world news from Religion News Service as a service to readers. Opinions expressed in these reports do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Review or the Seventh-day Adventist Church. -- Editors

Archive Year:


December 21, 2009

Evangelist Oral Roberts Dies
He pioneered television evangelism.

Episcopal Membership Drops
The U.S. church lost 300,000 since 2004.

Nearly 1 in 4 Christians Dabble in Eastern, New Age Beliefs
Survey found that most Americans have some supernatural connections.

Obama: "No Holy War Can Ever Be a Just War"

The president's remarks from Oslo, Norway.

December 14, 2009

Vatican, Russia Agree to Full Diplomatic Ties
The move is seen to end decaes of mutual suspicion and tension.

Anti-Muslim Discrimination Up, Hate Crimes Down
American Muslims continue to fear profiling and surveillance.

NIH Approves Stem Cell LInes as Obama Revamps Bioethics Panel
First human embryonic stem cell lines approved for research.

Fire Safety Reminders Issued

Candles, electric lights create hazards.

December 7, 2009

German High Court Rules Against Sunday Shopping
The ruling has prompted protests.

Canadian Judge Rules Breakaway Churches Must Leave Property Behind
The church properties are valued at $18.7 million.

N.Y. Churches Apologize to Native Americans
After 400 years, Collegiate church holds healing ceremony.

Handwritten Bible Sells for $15,000

The project had more than 31,000 contributors.

November 30, 2009

Religious Hate Crimes Highest Since 2001
A new report was compiled by the FBI.

Americans Pin Poverty Passage on Obama, Not Bible
American Bible Society says many credit the Obama for Proverbs 3:18.

Lutheran Dissidents to Form New Church
An estimated 700 congregations may join the new body.

Christian Scientists Concerned About Health Care Provisions

Some spiritual care measures were struck from the Senate bill.

November 23, 2009

Baptist Offerings Down, 600 Positions at Risk
Leaders cite a $7.5 million shortfall.

Religious Leaders: Close Gitmo
The faith coalition says the prison is a "symbol of torture."

14.6 Million U.S. Households at Risk of 'Food Insecurity'
A report was issued by the U.S.D.A.

Vatican Searches Google For Internet Lessons
The Vatican seeks ways to harness new technologies.


November 16, 2009

Religious Progressives Decry Health Care Abortion Amendment
The amendment eliminates government funding of abortion.

Muslim Groups Condemn Fort Hood Violence
Suspect often attended Muslim services.

No Change in Vatican Rules on Married Priests
Anglican clergy are eligible to be Catholic priests but not bishops.

British Anglican Group to Convert to Catholicism
The group claims 400,000 members worldwide.


November 9, 2009

James Dobson Retires From Radio
The broadcaster will end 30 years on the air.

Christian Prison Proposed in Oklahoma
Prison officials will only hire Christians and try to rehabilitate using biblical principles.

First Female Bishop Elected to Lead German Protestants
There are 24 million German Protestants.

Lutherans Ask Forgiveness for 16th-century Persecutions

The formal apology is expected in July 2010, in Stuttgart, Germany.

November 2, 2009

Faith Leaders Divided Over Hate Crimes Bill
The bill passed by a 68-29 vote.

Pastor's Accuses Killer Found Unfit for Trial
Psychologists reported that Terry Sedlacek was schizophrenic.

Del. Catholic Diocese for Bankruptcy
Seven U.S. dioceses have filed Chapter 11.

Congregation Keep on Giving, Despite the Recession

Many churches report increased giving.

October 26, 2009

Vatican Opens a Door for Anglican Dissidents
The move spurs a major shift in Catholic-Anglican relations.

Missouri Synod Lutherans Declare Worship Wars 'Sinful'
Officials seek to defuse clashes over worship styles.

Evangelicals Endorse Immigration Reform
NAE says new policies shoudl reflect "biblical grace."

Study: 1 in 4 People are Muslim
Survey counted 1.57 billion Muslims.


October 19, 2009

Supreme Court Weighs Fate of Mojave Cross
Justices delved into questions about national memorials with religious symbols.

Religious Groups Praise Obama's Nobel Prize
Though the pick angered conservative groups.

Schwarzenegger Angers Sikhs by Vetoing Kirpan Bill
Ceremonial daggers are considered central articles of faith for Sikhs.

India Rejects Albania's Request for Mother Teresa's Remains

Though a Macedonia-born ethnic Albanian, she was an Indian citizen.


October 12, 2009

White House Concerned About Spreading Flu in Churches
Officials urge worshippers to take precautions.

Suit Threatened Over Religious Ornaments For Capitol Christmas Tree
Conservative Christians say free speech rights are being infringed.

Evangelicals Skeptical About 'Joseph Coins'
The coins were discovered in Egypt.

Israeli Rabbis Rule Against 'Shabbat Elevators'

Rabbis believe that using the elevators desecrates the Sabbath.

October 5, 2009

Archbishop Says No Funerals For Pro-Abortion Politicians
Raymond Burke heads the Vatican's supreme court.

Study: One in 5 Americans May Be Secular By 2030
Non-religious Americans are on the increase.

Lutheran Conservatives Delay Decision to Leave ELCA
A group of conservative members have established a free-standing synod.

Dalai Lama, Tutu Awarded First Forgiveness Prizes

The prizes were awarded by Fetzer Institute.

September 28, 2009

Dissident Lutherans Seek a New Reformation?
ELCA vote brings major response.

South Carolina Supreme Court Rules for Breakaway Episcopal Parish
The All Saints Church seceded from the denomination in 2004.

Coalition Seeks Repeal of Federal Grant Rules
Nearly 60 groups are protesting current grant rules.

Huntsville Pastor to Lead National Baptists

Members seek new leadership.

September 21, 2009

Female Senior Pastors Double in 10 Years
Ten percent of U.S. churches now employ a woman as senior pastors.

White House Advisor Has Low Expectations for Faith-based Office
Former Baptist leader expresses deep frustrations.

Poll Finds More Positive Views of U.S. Muslims
Many concede that Muslims are subject to discrimination.

Judge: Homeless Shelter Exempt From Discrimination Laws

Statues do not apply to Idaho facility.

September 14, 2009

Alleged Child Sex Tourists Arrested
The PROTECT Act helps deter sexual deviants who prey overseas.

Canadian Churches Weigh in on U.S. Health Care Debate
Canadians endorse their country's universal health-care system.

Christian Leaders Frequent White House Visits to Bush
James Dobson visited 24 times.

Children of Reformed Church Clergy Must Attend Church Schools

The policy affects 300 office holders.


September 7, 2009

Conservative Christian Groups Say U.S. Healthcare System is Working
Even though 45 million Americans lack insurance.

Poll: Six in 10 U.S. Catholics Ambivalent About Latin Mass
Only 10 percent would attend a Latin ceremony.

Zondervan to Update NIV Bible
The last edition was printed in 1984.

CBN Founder Pat Robertson Recovering From Heart Surgery
Robertson is 79.


August 31, 2009

Lutherans Lift Ban on Gay Clergy
ELCA has 4.6 million members.

Churches Step into Health Care Debate
Many faith groups have expressed support for expanded health care.

Lutherans, Methodists Approve Full Communion Pact
Documents allow pulpit exchanges and other joint ventures.

School Leaders Face Trial for Breaking Pledge Not to Pray

Defendents could face up to six months in jail.

August 24, 2009

Louisiana Couples Say 'I Don't' To Covenant Marriages
One percent of married couples took part in covenant program.

Southern Baptist North American Mission Board Leaders Resign
Management concerns spur departures.

Nuns Question Vatican Probe
Some conservatives complain that some sisters avow progressive views.

Religious Freedom Experts Put India On 'Watch List'

Observers cite India's lukewarm response to attacks on religious minorities.

August 17, 2009

Faith Leaders Campaign For Health Care Reform
Christians, Jews, and Muslims join together.

Senate Confirms First Hispanic U.S. Ambassador to Vatican
Miguel Diaz is a Cuban-born theologian.

Assemblies of God Reaffirms Speaking in Tongues
This doctrine separates Pentecostals from other evangelicals.

Survey: Aquinas College Has 'Most Religious' Students
The study was conducted by the Princeton Review.


August 10, 2009

Obama Awards Medal of Freedom to Religious Leaders
Retired Anglican archbishop Desmond Tutu was among the honorees.

Christians Protest Mob Attacks on Fellow Christians in Pakistan
Schools and institutions run by Christians shut down in protest.

Faith Groups More Likely to Attract Volunteers, Report Says
More than one third of country's almost 62 million volunteers serve through religious organizations.

Clinton Asked to Raise Religious Freedom Issues in Africa

U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) asked Hillary Clinto to speak up.

August 3, 2009

Christian Schools Report Closures, Drops in Enrollment
200 schools closed or merged this past fiscal year.

Report: U.S. Funded Religious Programs in Africa, Iraq
Report raises questions about church-state seperation.

Faithful Can Now 'Tweet' Prayers to Western Wall
Twitter is one way believers can send prayers.

Churches Push $10 Minimum Wage by 2010

Religious leaders, advocates not satisfied with current set-up.

July 27, 2009

Atheists Sue to Stop "In God We Trust" in the Capitol Visitor Center
Wisconsin group claims the phrase is unconstitutional.

White House Panel Maps Out Faith-based Plans
A task force will be reforming the office of faith-based initiatives.

AME Church Bids for Rosa Parks' Estate
Proceeds could total $10 million.

Appeals Court Rules on Bible Distribution in Schools

The court declares the distribution unconstitutional.


July 20, 2009

Sotomayor Has Mixed Record on Church-state Disputes
Her views cannot be pigeonholed.

Episcopal Church Takes Steps in Favor of Gay Rights
Assembly delegates to vote to lift ban on gay, lesbian bishops.

Pope Meets Obama, Abortion Topic 1
Obama received copies of the Pope's encyclical letter.

Study: One-third of Scientists Believe in God

The report shows a major divergence with the general public.

July 13, 2009

Presbytarian Membership Plummets
Many members are joining more conservative groups.

Suspicious Substance Closes CBN
CBN staffers were evacuated.

Vatican Reports $22 Million Deficit
Vatican officials have raised retirement ages to help make ends meet.

Economy Closes One Relief Agency, Forces Cuts at World Vision

International Aid ceases operations, World Vision cuts 75 slots.


July 6, 2009

No Longer Episcopalians, Anglicans Launch Own Church
New church boasts 69,000 members.

Obama and Pope to Meet July 10
Obama will be in Italy to attend the G8 meetings.

Unitarians, UCC Elect Minorities as Presidents
Both denominations have predominantly White memberships.

Pope Says Relics are Those of St. Paul

Scientists have authenticated the remains.


June 29, 2009

Southern Baptists Seek to Reverse Plummeting Membership
Trends show that membership could drop by 50 percent by 2050.

Study: Jehovah's Witnesses More Likely to Die in Childbirth
Members often refuse blood transfusions.

France Considers Dissolving Church of Scientology
The church faces fraud charges.

Israeli Company Launches Kosher Search Engine

The search engine is designed for ultra-Orthodox Jews.


June 22, 2009

10 Commandments Monument Declared Unconstitutional
Appeals court strike down memorial.

Schuller's Daughter to Lead Crystal Cathedral
The move follows Schuller's resignation.

PBS Limits Religious Programming
PBS board voices concern over violation its nonsectarian status.

Religious Charities Gain in Down Year

Donations increased by 5.5 percent in 2008.

June 15, 2009

Religious Colleges Have Highest Graduation Rates
Top 10 schools were all religious.

Obama Urges Religious Freedom
But religious liberty panel voices concerns.

Megachurches Attract Many Under 45
Most have attended other churches.

Vatican Radio to Accept Advertising to Help Pay Bills

The ministry cost $27 million to run.

June 8, 2009

Obama Names Hispanic As Vatican Ambassador
Miguel Diaz will be the first Hispanic to serve in the post.

South African Church Still Not 'Moving Beyond Apartheid'
WARC suspended the church in 1982.

U.S. Home-school Numbers Up
The number of students as almost doubled.

Germans 'Tweet' Their Way Through the Bible

More than 3,000 Internet users took part in the 10-day initiative.

June 1, 2009

Laid-off Religious Workers Denied Jobless Benefits
Many churches are exempt from paying unemployment taxes.

California Supreme Court Upholds Gay Marriage Ban
Ban was upheld bya 6-1 majority.

Christianity Today to Close For Publications, Lay Off 31
CTI stopped two journals in January.

Reformed Churches to Merge, Form a Worldwide Union

Merger to mark Calvin's 500th birthday.

May 25, 2009

Marijuana Reaches New Potency, Data Shows
Psychoactive ingredients at record levels

N.H. Governor OKs Gay Marriage, With Religious Exemptions
Faith groups, non-profits exempt from performing ceremonies.

Majority of Americans Call Themselves 'Pro-life,' Poll Says
Pro-life sentiments resonate across Christian faith groups.

Pope Ends Holy Land Trip, Returns to Rome

The pontiff beleives the holocaust must never be forgotten.


May 18, 2009

National Day of Prayer Gets a Political Makeover
Obama ends White House ceremony.

Methodist Bishops Take Pay Cut
Annual pay maintains at $121,000

Abstinence Education Funding to End in 2010 Budget
US to shift pregnancy prevention focus.

Recession Prompts Jewish Schools to Cut Costs

Savings to come through larger class sizes and other measures.


May 11, 2009

Methodists Reject Moves to Support Gay Marriage
Clergy barred from performing same-sex ceremonies.

Evangelicals Launch Bid to Ditch Nuclear Weapons
New coalition wants multilateral disarmament.

Pat Robertson to Step Down as President of Regent University
He founded the Virginia school in 1978.

Nigeria Marked as Religious Freedom Violator

Many Christians have fled the country.


May 4, 2009

Presbytarians Defeat Move to Allow Gay Clergy
The vote was the third in 12 years.

Supreme Court Sides With FCC on Indecency Case
The ruling was a 5-4 split decision.

Southern Baptists' Baptisms Dip
Baptisms are the lowest in 20 years.

Obama Team Seeks Progressives' Support on Poverty

Domestic team reaches out to religious leaders.

April 27, 2009

Conservatives Decry Homeland Security 'Extremism' Report
Study links anti-abortion activists with hate groups.

Cuba Thwarts Visit by Liberty Panel
Cuba denies visas to delegation.

Nearly Half of New Priests Discouraged Against Seminary
Number of priests has declined sharply in recent years.

Worldwide Church of God Changes Name

It's the second name change since founding in 1934 by Herbert W. Armstrong.


April 20, 2009

Catholic Mass Attendance Drops to Mirror Protestant Levels
Less than half attend regularly.

Protect the Health Conscience Rule, Land Urges HHS
Current rule permits medical professional to refrain from performing abortions.

Non-Jews Take Custody of Food During Passover
Jews not allowed to own leavened foods during the festival.

Army Chaplain Criticized for Fasting Call on Passover

The call responded to rising suicides in the military.


April 13, 2009

Presbyterians, Lutherans Cut Staffs, Budgets
ELCA announces a $5.6 million reduction.

Vermont is Fourth State to Approve Gay Marriage
Vermont becomes first to approve same-sex marriage without a court order.

White House Rolls Out Revamped Faith-based Office
The revamped office will not control grant money.

Survey: Personal Invites Are Most Effective for Churches

Family invitations more effective than broadcast commercials and other media.

April 6, 2009

Churches Trim Presence on Capitol Hill
Bad economy forces deep cuts.

Jewish Leaders Try to Combat Passover Price Gauging
Conservative rabbis sign religious edict.

Conservatives Lose Texas Evolution Vote
The vote could influence text books nationwide.

Poll Find Catholics to the Left of U.S. on Social Issues

The study flies in the face of the Catholic church's longstanding conservatism.


March 30, 2009

Will Obama Tax Plan Hurt Churches?
Obama's proposed budget contains a cut in charitable tax deductions for wealthy taxpayers.

Naming of Sudan Envoy Greeted by Land, Graham
The new appointment comes as Darfur crisis deepens.

Episcopal Bishops Say Church Missed Economic Crisis
Leaders admit being "preoccupied" with internal disputes.

Appeals Court Upholds Texas Moment of Silence Law

The law requires a moment of silence after the Pledge of Allegiance.


March 23, 2009

Catholics Report Rise in Abuse Cases
More than 800 cases reported in 2008.

ACLU, Faith Groups Protest Restrictions on Prison Books
Activists oppose a rule that would allow prison authorities to ban on religious materials.

Study: Compared to Christians, Few Jews 'Switch' Faiths
Researchers say Jews are more religiously stable than Christians.

French Physicist Wins Templeton Prize

Bernard d"Espagnat is best known for his work in "quantum information science."

March 16, 2009

Illinois Pastor Killed in Pulpit
Pastor Fred Winters had served the church for 22 years.

Church Shootings Prompt Security Talks
As churches strive for opennes, vulnerabilities emerge.

Research Suggest Faith Lowers Stress, Makes Tasks Easier
Canadian researchers studied 28 students.

Study: Mainline Clergy Growing Even More Liberal

Mainline Protestants make up 18 percent U.S. population.

March 9, 2009

James Dobson Retires From Focus on the Family Board
Dobson started the ministry 32 years ago.

Obama Moves to Rescind 'Conscience Clause' for Healthcare Workers
The measures shield workers that are morally opposed to abortions.

Court Sides With Montana Church Over Free Speech
An appeals court ruled that the church's First Amendment rights were violated.

Poll: Most Teens Think Lying and Cheating Can be Ethical

Analysts say results reveal ethical confusion.

March 2, 2009

Jesuits in Northwest Declare Bankruptcy
Jesuits have settled at least 200 legal claims since 2001.

Groups try to Strip Atheist Provision From Arkansas Constitution
The provision prohibits atheists from holding office and testifying in court.

North Dakota Bill Part of Growing Personhood Movement

The new measures provide protection to all persons from conception.

February 23, 2009

Church of England Inches Toward Women Bishops
But opponents say the new leglislation is unworkable.

Assemblies of God General Secretary Steps Down, Citing Misconduct
John M. Palmer resigned Feb. 13.

Prison Ministry Sues for Access to Inmates
Oklahoma officials have placed restrictions on religious materials in prisons.

Pope Condemns Holocause Denial as "Unnacceptable"

The Pontiff met with Jewish leaders on Feb. 12.

February 16, 2009

Proposed Postal Cutbacks Have Church Newspapers Worried
The postal service faces a $2.8 billion deficit.

Man Pleads Guilty to Church Shooting
Two people were killed, six others wounded.

Anglican Bishops Cal on Mugabe to Step Down
Mugabe "illegitimately holds on the power," primates say.

Senate Rejects Stimulus Aid For Religious Buildings

Some church-state groups welcomed the vote.

February 9, 2009

Update: Palin's Burned Church Reopens
The Wasilla church was torched on December 12.

Workplace Discrimination Claims Rise
More employees are demanding the right to religious expression on the job.

Report African-Americans Surpass Others in Religiosity
Blacks are more likely to report a formal religious affiliation.

Unitarian Church to Shut Down For a Month to Save Money

The congregation projects a deficit of $150,000 by June 30.


February 2, 2009

Vatican Launches YouTube Channel
The channel is available in four languages.

Rabbi Under Fire for Attending Inaugural Prayer Service
The Rabbi violated a long-standing policy of the Rabbinical Council of America.

3 Men Charged in Black Church Fire After Obama's Election
The arsonists could face a 10-year imprisonment.

Graham Grandson Tapped as Successor to D. James Kennedy

The search committee considered more than 150 candidates.

January 26, 2009

Seven States Sue to Block Controversial HHS Rule
Rule allows care givers to abstain giving any service that they object to morally.

Bishops Say Gay Seminary Problems Have Been 'Overcome'
Vatican probe was ordered in 2002.

Survey Finds Protestant Loyalty Low
Many churchgoers are open to switching churches and denominations.

Evangelical, Progressives Announce Common Agenda

Church leaders want to move beyond divisive hot-button issues.

January 19, 2009

Homeschooling Numbers Climb 36 Percent Since 2003
Homeschooled children reached 1.5 million in 2007.

Faith-healing Deaths to Take Center Stage in Oregon
Two trials will test freedom of religion issues.

Rick Warren Offers Shelter for Breakaway Anglicans
Warren vows to help churches that stand to lose their property.

Pa. Courts Uphold Weddings by Clergy Ordained Online
The rulings upholds challenges made by the American Civil Lilberties Union.



January 12, 2009

Church Leaders Appeal For Ceasefire in Gaza
More than 600 Palestinians have been killed thus far.

Atheists File Suit to Block Inaugural Prayer
Atheists say the prayers violate the First Amendment.

California Court Ruling May Impact Church Property Fights
The ruling mandates that breakaway parishes cannot keep their property.

Poll: No Evidence That Recession Pulls People Into Pews

Worship patterns have remained steady, says Gallup.


January 5, 2009

Bush Gives Protection to Pro-life Doctors
Health care providers can now refuse to take part in abortions.

Church Searches for Answers After 'Santa Clause Massacre'
Ten killed on Christmas eve.

Gallup: Americans See Religious Influence Waning

U.S. is losing confidence in religion.





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