Religion Posts

  • My new Twitter handle is now live - check me out at @jackiewgibson!

  • CNN has posted a history of bias against Sikhs - more reason for people to learn about religions before they attack anyone:...

  • Sikh temple shooting unfolding, learn about Sikhism here:

  • Sikh temple shooting unfolding, learn about Sikhism here:

  • Hackers group Anonymous takes down Vatican website:

  • WGN-TV calls doomsday prophecies "an illusion":

  • RT @graceishuman: Really,? Asking people JUST LEAVING the service how they felt about it? Tacky, tacky, inappropriate

  • Whitney Houston's funeral service really took the world to church. Love Pastor Winans' honesty, very moving.

  • #teacher ? Here are appropriate responses to situations with your Jehovah's Witness student:

  • #Teachers: Want to know why your Jehovah's Witness student won't say the pledge and how to respond?

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The end of 2010 brought loads of bad news: attacks on Christians in their homes in Baghdad, attacks on a church in Egypt, the abduction of a Hindu spiritual leader in Pakistan, and so on. Unfortunately religion reporters had their hands so full with murders and devastation that very little airtime was left for coverage of religious celebrations: Pancha Ganapati, Christmas, Hanukkah, Yule, Ashura, etc. (Fortunately you can still click these links to learn more about those holidays.)

In the spirit of the new year, RT is taking a quick look at a couple of fun lists (ok, they’re serious issues, but who doesn’t enjoy light-hearted list-making?).

  1. Looking back: Religion Newswriters Association recently released its ranking of the top religion stories of 2010 (voted on by religion journalists). The top five stories involved the Ground Zero mosque proposal, the earthquake in Haiti, the pope’s handling of priest pedophiles, the Tea Party Movement, and Obama’s health care reform bill.
  2. Looking forward: The Public Religion Research Institute posted 10 stories from 2010 that will affect us in the coming months. These include churches and homosexuality, immigration reform, and Americans’ religious knowledge.

Still looking for a good new year’s resolution? Resolve to learn a little more about your neighbor’s faith this year. Click on the religion overviews in the top navigation to get some quick background information on the religions of people around you.

Created by Religion Transcends, 2011

First, apologies for the absence of posts for two months. The Religion Transcends writer recently became engaged to the Religion Transcends website designer. Pushing wedding plans to the side for a moment, we look to this recent development.

The winter season brings with it a number of important holidays for folks around the world. Among these holidays is Christmas, a Christian celebration. At this time of year, Christians tend to gather together, decorate their homes and churches, give gifts, and remember the birth of Jesus, founder of the Christian religion. But this merry-making will be impossible for Christians in Iraq this year.

Christians in Iraq have been receiving threats from Al-Qaeda and, as reported by the AFP, are still mourning the loss of 53 Christians in the October 31 Al-Qaeda attack on a Baghdad church. An additional 39 Christians were attacked in their homes in Baghdad in November.  Churches in Iraq have widely called off their celebrations, choosing only to participate in worship services.

Readers should remember that not all countries allow freedom of religion. And in this instance, although freedom of thought/belief exists, lack of respect for that freedom has led to fear, death threats, and loss of life.

To all RT readers, we thank you for following us on our site and on Twitter this year. It has been a great year with new content, a new design, and new followers. Have a great holiday season.

Created by Religion Transcends, 2010

Tomorrow is the 90th anniversary of women’s suffrage in the United States. While women do have the right to vote, women still do not hold an equal place within the hierarchies of many of the world’s religions. Take, for example, the Church of England, which does not ordain women.

Recently, the Church of God (Cleveland, Tenn.), a Pentecostal Christian denomination, said it would allow women to serve on local church councils – but like the Church of England, women cannot be ordained as bishops.

As quoted on the Pew Forum:

“This has nothing to do with women not being smart enough or good enough or qualified enough. The issue is, did God know what he was talking about? And whether we like it or don’t like it … if our rules, our standard, is biblical text, then we have to be faithful to biblical text even in a contemporary society that sees it as bigoted or old-fashioned.” — Britt Peavy, senior pastor of West Ward Church of God in Douglas, Georgia

Religion Transcends supports the Church of God’s efforts to work toward inclusion of women at every level. Here’s hoping religious groups continue to consider women’s roles and debate the sacred texts that seem to define those roles.

Created by Religion Transcends, 2010

Within the Christian religion, race can sometimes become a divider. But are there things about black culture that white church-goers can learn from? Are there characteristics of decidedly white churches that might lend themselves to the black church?

At a time when the media is pushing the loss of black believers (with some even claiming the black church is dead), one retort displays the worth of black churches – and it’s written by two white pastors/academics.

In What We Love About the Black Church: Can We Get a Witness?, William H. Crouch, Jr. and Joel C. Gregory show what they’ve learned from working with black church leaders that white preachers could incorporate into their churches. For example, they applaud:

-Energetic, Narrative preaching


-No “stifling sense of conformity”

-Recognition and appreciation of efforts and older members of the church

Such a focus on recognition and cooperation despite differences shows an effort to appreciate the “other.” It shows an attempt to set aside preconceived ideas to discover one another’s merits, celebrating our similarities while understanding our differences.

Created by Religion Transcends, 2010