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Articles on Religion and society

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The exterior view of the Bethel African American Methodist Episcopal Church at 125 S. 6th St. in Philadelphia. Breton, William L., circa 1773-1855 Artist via the Library of Congress, World Digital Library

A brief history of the Black church’s diversity, and its vital role in American political history

Millions of enslaved Africans were forcefully converted to the Christian faith. The Black church came about when African Americans began to establish their own congregations.
People pray in front of the tomb of the late Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI inside the grottos of St. Peter’s Basilica, at the Vatican, on Jan. 8, 2023. AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia

Calls for Pope Benedict’s sainthood make canonizing popes seem like the norm – but it’s a long and politically fraught process

A specialist in Catholic liturgy and rituals explains that while several popes have been canonized, it is a long process that may take several years to examine and uncover any hidden flaws.
Technology is increasingly important in Holocaust education – seen here in ‘The Journey Back’ within The Richard and Jill Chaifetz Family Virtual Reality Gallery at the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center. Courtesy of the Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center

Combating antisemitism today: Holocaust education in the era of Twitter and TikTok

Antisemitism often appears and spreads on social media. But digital technology can be part of the solution, too.
A painting showing the Prophet Muhammad raising his hands in prayer while standing on the Mountain of Light in Mecca. Siyer-i Nebi (Biography of the Prophet), Istanbul, Ottoman lands, 1595-96. Topkapı Palace Library, Istanbul, H. 1222, fol. 158v. Photograph by Hadiye Cangökçe.

Islamic paintings of the Prophet Muhammad are an important piece of history – here’s why art historians teach them

An art historian describes the two historical representations of Prophet Muhammad that led to a controversy at Hamline University.
Pentecostal televangelist Paula White, center, prays before giving a sermon in Maryland in 2017. Mary F. Calvert For The Washington Post via Getty Images

What is Pentecostal Christianity?

Pentecostals agree on the importance of the Holy Spirit – but not necessarily on what it empowers them to do.

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