Religious News From Around the Web January 11, 2021
Baptist Pastor Elected Georgia Senator, Missionaries Face Coronavirus Challenges, Bill Would Restrict Government Interference With Religious Services, Beckett Religious Freedom Index Released for 2020, Most-Searched Bible Verse of 2020, Religious Leaders Condemn Violence at Capitol
Religious Leaders Condemn Violence at Capitol
Progressive and conservative Catholic leaders condemned the storming of the Capitol, calling the mob’s actions Wednesday “sinful” and “appalling,” while reminding Catholic faithful “this is not who we are as Americans.”
Baptist Pastor Elected Georgia Senator
The Rev. Raphael Warnock – lead pastor at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta and the son of two Pentecostal preachers – defeated Republican Kelly Loeffler in a runoff for the U.S. Senate from Georgia. “That I am serving in the United State Senate in a few days,” said Warnock, “pushes against the grain of so many expectations but this is America and I want some young person who’s watching this to know anything’s possible.”
Missionaries Face Coronavirus Challenges
The United Methodist Board of Global Ministries has 350 missionaries serving in 70 different nations. “We did offer to evacuate our missionaries back in March when we didn’t know exactly what the reality would be,” said Rev. Judy Chung, executive director of missionary service, adding that just a few evacuated. She said most wanted to “stay in place to be engaged in mission.”
Bill Would Restrict Government Interference With Religious Services
Oklahoma Senate Bill 216 would add that the closure of a religious institution, or the declaration of a religious institution as “non-essential,” would be deemed a substantial burden on the free exercise of religion. The measure also states that a government entity cannot restrict access to religious facilities or gatherings as long as the institution is not engaged in illegal activities.
Beckett Religious Freedom Index Released for 2020
The Beckett Religious Freedom Index Tracks American Opinion on First Amendment Freedoms. The 2020 Index found that Americans weather storms anchored by the religious beliefs, religious identity cannot be quarantined, and the index revealed leadership gaps in advocating for racial justice and elected officials prioritizing religious freedom.
Most-Searched Bible Verse of 2020
You Version, a Bible app, reported that the most searched, shared and bookmarked verse worldwide in 2020 was Isaiah 41:10: “Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”