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In Oklahoma, an 'Extraordinary Move' on Bible in the Classroom

Ryan Walters, state superintendent, orders the religious text to be taught in public schools

(Newser) - Coming to classrooms in Oklahoma: the Bible. The state's superintendent has ordered the religious text be taught in Oklahoma's public schools, reports the New York Times , which calls it "an extraordinary move that blurs the lines between religious instruction and public education." "Every teacher, every...

'Jesus Sat With Sinners, So He's Going to Sit With Trump'

Support for former president remains with evangelicals, other Christian conservatives

(Newser) - As Donald Trump increasingly infuses his campaign with Christian trappings while coasting to a third Republican presidential nomination, his support is as strong as ever among evangelicals and other conservative Christians. "Trump supports Jesus, and without Jesus, America will fall," said Kimberly Vaughn of Florence, Kentucky, as she...

Swear You Saw Stigmata? Vatican Has New Guidelines

Church officials update norms to confirm Virgin Mary visions, other supernatural claims

(Newser) - The Catholic Church has a long and controversial history of the faithful claiming to have had visions of the Virgin Mary, of statues that purportedly wept blood tears, and of stigmata that erupted on hands mimicking the wounds of Christ. On Friday, the Vatican will announce new norms to help...

Johnson's God Speech Irks Republicans: 'I'm Not at Church'

Speaker of the House's religious-themed attempt to rally Republicans at retreat didn't resonate

(Newser) - It makes sense that the Republican speaker of the House would lead a GOP retreat meant to discuss how to keep and expand the chamber's majority. What didn't make sense to some in attendance at the Miami event last weekend, however, was the tenor of Mike Johnson's...

Vatican Reminds Catholics Freemasonry Is Banned

Church believes those Catholics who join are in a state of 'grave sin'

(Newser) - In 1738, Pope Clement XII declared Freemasonry an excommunicable offense, and the Catholic Church's position hasn't softened much since then. The Vatican this week confirmed its ban on Catholics becoming Freemasons, a secretive and ritualistic society with an estimated 6 million members worldwide. "Active membership in Freemasonry...

Hundreds Hear ChatGPT Sermon, Sometimes Snickering

A theologian helped design a 40-minute service, which included music and prayers

(Newser) - The artificial intelligence chatbot asked the believers in the fully packed St. Paul's church in the Bavarian town of Fuerth to rise from the pews and praise the Lord. The AP reports the ChatGPT chatbot, personified by an avatar of a bearded Black man on a huge screen above...

Number of Americans Sure God Exists Is Dropping
A Look at the State
of Religion in America

A Look at the State of Religion in America

Surveys find fewer Americans believe in God, go to church

(Newser) - This is an interesting snapshot on the state of religion in America: As of 2022, not quite half of Americans have no doubt that God is watching over them, which is a little startling in that that number topped 60% in 2008, just 15 years ago. As the Hill reports,...

Study: More Americans Are Rethinking Religious Affiliations

Religious landscape is changing rapidly

(Newser) - A growing number of Americans are switching religions, Axios reports. According to a Public Religion Research Institute Poll, almost a quarter of Americans follow a different denomination or tradition than the one they grew up in, including those who switched to no religious affiliation. This trend is supported by...

'He Gets Us' Jesus Campaign Ticks Off Left and Right
'He Gets Us' Jesus Campaign
Ticks Off Left and Right
the rundown

'He Gets Us' Jesus Campaign Ticks Off Left and Right

A look at the group behind the ads putting Jesus in the spotlight

(Newser) - One of the ad campaigns during the Super Bowl that continues to draw attention pushed neither beer nor snacks. Instead, the two "He Gets Us" spots pushed none other than Jesus Christ. A look at the continuing reaction:
  • The spots: One shows Latin American families heading toward the US

The 'Nones' Are the 'Small but Mighty' Group Voting for Dems

Per AP VoteCast, voters with no religious affiliation supported Dem candidates, by a lot, in midterms

(Newser) - When members of the small Pennsylvania chapter of Secular Democrats of America log on for their monthly meetings, they're not there for a virtual happy hour. "We don't sit around at our meetings patting ourselves on the back for not believing in God together," said founder...

Christians, Not-So-Great News Coming
News Coming

Christians, Not-So-Great News Coming

Pew finds Christianity on track to no longer be America's majority religion within decades

(Newser) - Christianity is currently the majority religion in the United States, but it's not on track to stay that way. CBS News reports on a new study by Pew Research Center and the General Social Survey that examines various scenarios of religious "switching" over the next few decades, and...

They Haven't Come Knocking in 2-Plus Years. They're Back

Jehovah's Witnesses making in-person rounds again after a pandemic hiatus since March 2020

(Newser) - Jehovah's Witnesses have restarted their door-to-door ministry after more than two and a half years on hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic, reviving a religious practice that the faith considers crucial and cherished. From coast to coast, members of the Christian denomination fanned out in cities and towns Thursday...

Gallup: US Belief in God Hits a New Low

It's dropped by 6% over the last 5 years

(Newser) - The last five years has apparently taken a big toll on Americans' belief in God—especially among the young, the liberal, and Democrats. Gallup says that in its latest poll , a new low of 81% of Americans said they believed in God, down from 87% in 2017 and from a...

Slick Series About Jesus Upends Crowdfunding Strategy

'The Chosen' is breaking new ground on that front, reports the 'Wall Street Journal'

(Newser) - Like any Hollywood-esque production depicting Jesus' Sermon on the Mount, The Chosen needed plenty of extras for the scene. The twist here: In this case, the extras actually paid for the privilege, with most shelling out at least $1,000 each. Welcome to the unusual—and successful—production model of...

Gallup: Church Membership Is Below 50% for the First Time
US Church Membership
Hits Record Low

US Church Membership Hits Record Low

Gallup says rate has fallen below 50% for the first time

(Newser) - If you're an American who belongs to a church, synagogue, or mosque, you're now in a minority, according to a new Gallup poll . Gallup says church membership has fallen below 50% to a record low of 47%, largely due to a corresponding increase in the proportion of people...

Christian Group: 'Trump Has Used Christianity'

'Not Our Faith' rolls out 6-figure TV and digital ad campaign

(Newser) - A group of prominent Christians from both sides of the aisle, including a past faith adviser to former President Barack Obama, is forming a political action committee designed to chip away at Christian support for President Trump in the final weeks of the 2020 campaign, the AP reports. Dubbed Not...

Man Says He Was Hypnotized Into Marrying Clueless Star

Dash's estranged husband says pastor used 'hypnotic prayer techniques'

(Newser) - Jeffrey Marty says he married Stacey Dash because he was entranced—and not in a good way. In a court filing, the Clueless star's estranged husband says he married her on April 6, 2018, 10 days after her pastor "unexpectedly and suddenly proclaimed that it was God's...

Trump Says Biden Opposes Guns, Energy. Also, 'He's Against God'

Democrat's campaign says he lives his faith 'with dignity'

(Newser) - President Trump warned Thursday of a radically different future for Americans under a President Joe Biden. "Take away your guns, take away your Second Amendment. No religion, no anything," Trump told supporters at the Cleveland airport. "Hurt the Bible. Hurt God. He’s against God." The...

Supreme Court Gives Victory to Conservatives on Schools

Upholds Montana program that aids religious schools

(Newser) - The Supreme Court on Tuesday made it easier for religious schools to obtain public funds, upholding a Montana scholarship program that allows state tax credits for private schooling, per the AP . The court's 5-4 ruling, with conservatives in the majority, came in a dispute over a Montana scholarship program...

2019 Was a Bad Year for One Kind of Killing

From Burkina Faso to California, houses of worship came under deadly fire

(Newser) - On Dec. 1, a band of assailants opened fire on worshippers at a small-town Protestant church in Burkina Faso, an impoverished West African country where the Christian minority is increasingly a target of attacks. The victims included the pastor and several teenage boys; regional authorities attributed the attack to “...

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