Charles Spurgeon Knew It Was Possible to Be Faithful and Depressed

How his example can encourage believers who “walk in darkness, and see no light.” For Charles Spurgeon, the celebrated 19th-century preacher, depression was more than just circumstantial. When he spoke of it in his sermons and lectures, his examples, which were often rooted in his own experience, included a significant form of depression: the kind that comes without cause. In one sermon, he said, You may be surrounded with all the comforts of life and yet be in wretchedness more gloomy... Read More

And Campaign to Add 13 New Chapters During Pandemic

Political tensions and growing racial awareness have fueled interest in its message of social justice and biblical morality. The And Campaign—the organization rallying urban Christians to “faithful civic engagement”—is on track to quadruple its size in the span of a year, with chapters launching in three Southern cities in 2020 and scheduled to launch in another 10 cities in the first half of 2021. Last year’s convergence of the COVID-19 pandemic and political... Read More

Iraq’s Struggling Christians Hope for Boost from Pope Francis Visit

Landmark trip will include Qaraqosh, where most families fled ISIS yet some are now trying to restore the Christian heartland of the Nineveh Plains. Nasser Banyameen speaks about his hometown of Qaraqosh in the historical heartland of Iraqi Christianity with nostalgia. Before Islamic State group fighters swept through the Nineveh Plains in northern Iraq. Before the militants shattered his sense of peace. Before panicked relatives and neighbors fled, some never to return. Iraq’s... Read More

A World Vision Employee Is Still Awaiting Fair Trial in Israel

The charges against him don’t make sense. And his day in court has been delayed again and again. Every day, at least once and sometimes more, Khalil el-Halabi logs on to Twitter and posts pictures, videos, and appeals on behalf of his son Mohammad. Tagging people he believes might come to his aid—human rights lawyers, politicians, and journalists—he calls for justice and mercy. On January 4, he posted, “To our Israeli neighbours. My son will be brought to court for the... Read More

Died: Celebrate Recovery Founder John Baker, Who Shifted Evangelicals’ Approach to Addiction

The Saddleback Church pastor developed the popular Christ-centered 12-step program for “hurts, habits, and hang-ups.” Celebrate Recovery founder John Baker, who turned his testimony recovering from alcoholism into a biblical 12-step program used by more than 7 million people, died unexpectedly on Tuesday at age 72. Baker’s ministry began in 1991 at Saddleback Church in California and has spread to 35,000 churches nationwide over the decades. Celebrate Recovery is credited with... Read More

Black Church Group Offers Its Best Shot at Closing Vaccine Gap

To reach the most vulnerable, leaders say vaccine sites have to set up in hard-hit neighborhoods and let churches spread the word. As the nation passed 500,000 coronavirus deaths this week, government data revealed that the life expectancy for African American men dropped three years—triple the decline among Americans overall during the first half of 2020. In an effort to help reach minority communities that have been disproportionately affected by COVID-19 but less likely to get the... Read More

Southern Baptists Expel Two More Churches Over Abuse

Top leaders address divides in the denomination at the first in-person Executive Committee meeting in a year. At its first in-person meeting since the pandemic took off a year ago, the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) Executive Committee decided to cut ties with two churches whose pastors had been convicted of sexual offenses as well as two LGBT-affirming churches. But it was leaders’ concerns over ongoing tensions within the denomination that stirred Southern Baptists during the... Read More

Most ‘Nones’ Still Keep the Faith

When research looks beyond affiliation, the move away from religious institutions becomes more nuanced. I pastor an American Baptist church in a small town in rural Illinois. When the current building was dedicated in 1968, there were more than 300 members. By the last 1990s, there were about a hundred. When I became the pastor in 2006, just 50. Now, on a good Sunday I can look out from the pulpit and see 20 souls in the seats. Where did they all go? I became a social scientist, in part, to... Read More

Palestinian Christians Promised an Outsized Voice in New Legislature

President Mahmoud Abbas sets their quota at 7 seats in first elections in West Bank and Gaza since 2006. President Mahmoud Abbas has guaranteed that at least seven seats of a new legislative council will go to Christians in the next elections in the Palestinian territories. Planned for May 22, the elections are hoped to be the first since the militant Hamas movement won the last vote over Abbas’s Fatah party in 2006. The measure would give Christians, who make up about 1 percent of the... Read More

If Muslims Can Build Churches in Egypt, Has Persecution Ended?

With an activist in jail and a grandmother humiliated, religious freedom advocates weigh the value of progress in church legalization and public rhetoric. Egyptian Christians have long struggled to build their churches. But now, they can have Muslim help. Last month, Egypt’s Grand Mufti Shawki Allam issued a fatwa allowing Muslim paid labor to contribute towards the construction of a church. Conservative scholars had argued this violated the Quranic injunction to “not help in... Read More