Articles on Church

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Halloween can also be a time of expression of cultural and social anxieties. AP Photo/Richard Vogel

When Halloween became America’s most dangerous holiday

In the early 1970s, rumors about poisoned candy on Halloween led to mass paranoia. A historian explains why such fears emerge – and what, in reality, feeds them.
Honduran migrant Vicky Chavez with her daughter Issabella on May 31, 2018 in the First Unitarian Church in Salt Lake City, where she sought protection from deportation in late 2017. AP Photo/Rick Bowmer

More Central American migrants take shelter in churches, recalling 1980s sanctuary movement

The number of migrants living in churches has spiked recently in anticipation of threatened immigration raids, but churches have long protected refugees in an act of faith-based civil disobedience.
St Peter’s Square, 2014. The Pope benefits from a wide popularity especially in Europe, but does it really influence people’ decisions on political issues? Alfredo Borba/Wikimedia

Is Pope Francis really an ‘influencer’ on nuclear matters?

Pope Francis has been a staunch voice for a world free of nuclear weapons. But should he be involved in defence politics at all? And how does the Pope's message resonate among the European public?
The Mormon church is still grappling with a racial past. AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File

Mormons confront a history of Church racism

Forty years ago, the Mormon church reversed restrictions on its members of African-American descent. Today, the church wants to celebrate the value of its diversity.
Worshippers at Ash Wednesday mass. AP Photo/Alan Diaz

Why do Christians wear ashes on Ash Wednesday?

Churches started to use ashes early as the ninth century as a symbol of repentance. In 1091, Pope Urban II ritualized their use to mark the beginning of Lent. Today, churches provide 'ashes to go.'
The tomb of Abelard and Héloise. Alexandre Lenoir, via Wikimedia Commons

What a medieval love saga says about modern-day sexual harassment

An affair between a philosophy professor and his teenage student became the subject of ballads in the streets of Paris in the 12th century. A scholar asks: Why wasn't it called sexual harassment?
A memorial for the victims of the shooting at Sutherland Springs First Baptist Church, including 25 white chairs painted with a cross and and rose, is displayed in the Texas church. A man opened fire inside the church yet his attack has not been labelled terrorism. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

The debate over what constitutes terrorism

White men routinely gun down innocent victims in mass shootings in the United States. Yet they are not branded terrorists the way Muslims who commit violent acts are. Why not?
Younger Australians seem particularly inclined to say they have ‘no religion’. Shutterstock

How religion rises – and falls – in modern Australia

In recent years, Australians appear to have become both more willing to declare themselves religious, and more willing to say they have no religion.
Lyndon Johnson, who was friends with evangelist Billy Graham, wasn’t targeting religious groups when he pushed his eponymous amendment in 1954. AP Photo

Trump’s vow to ‘destroy’ Johnson Amendment could wreak havoc on charitable world

President Trump recently repeated his pledge to eliminate the 63-year-old law, which bans charities from engaging in political activities, at the National Prayer Breakfast.

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