Most churches are not holding in-person services. SRN’s Michael Harrington reports.
Despite some widely publicized stories of congregations ignoring state lock orders, the vast majority of Christians have been staying home during the virus outbreak. A new poll conducted by Life Way Research finds only six percent of Protestant pastors held in-person services the last Sunday of April and the percentage has been about that low ever since the last Sunday in March. A lot of congregations are now meeting in cyberspace, though some churches plan to reopen soon.
A troubling new report about America’s churches and their finances. SRN’s Michael Harrington has more.
According to research done by Indiana University, 39 percent of the country’s congregations don’t have enough money saved to cover three months’ worth of expenses. That’s a real problem these days, with the corona virus lock-down cutting sharply into most church finances. Rural congregations appear generally better able to withstand a short-term loss of funds than those in cities and suburbs. Experts say some churches may have to shut their doors permanently.
Something new for Christians in the app store. SRN’s Michael Harrington reports.
Meditation and mindfulness apps have boomed in the last decade. Now apps for believers such as Pray, One Minute Pause and Hallow have entered the scene, adding prayer and Scripture to the digital meditation landscape. Several of those Christian apps have reported spikes in searches on such topics as anxiety since the virus outbreak began. Bobby Gruenewald of Life Church, which produces the You Version Bible app, says “It’s really exploding right now.”
A Christian educator fights for religious freedom
Nicholas Meriweather was disciplined by Shawnee State University in Ohio because he refused to call a male student, who is living as a woman, by female pronouns. He took his complain to District Court and saw it dismissed, but he’s not giving up. With the help of Alliance Defending Freedom, the professor is now putting his case before the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals. ADF spokesman Travis Barham says “Professors don’t give up their First Amendment freedoms simply by choosing to teach.” Michael Harrington, SRN News.
The two remaining Democratic presidential candidates talk abortion
Sunday’s debate was an opportunity for Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders to fight over who is the LEAST pro-life. On the Hyde Amendment, which bars taxpayer dollars for abortion, Sanders — who opposes it — challenged Biden for his past support. Biden quickly fell all over himself to say that he ALSO opposes Hyde, saying it would be unthinkable for a poor woman not to be able to have an abortion because taxpayers didn’t want to foot the bill. Michael Harrington, SRN News.
A Kentucky school district surrenders to an atheist organization
After receiving a threatening letter from the Freedom From Religion Foundation, officials in Letcher County have removed several religious signs in the public schools. One of them, posted in a high school locker room, read “But the Lord is with me like a Mighty Warrior.” That’s Jeremiah 20:11. The Foundation sends a lot of these demand letters to school systems and small towns across the country. They usually decide to comply rather than risk a costly legal battle. Michael Harrington, SRN News.
The Supreme Court will consider a free-exercise case this month
Franklin Graham is gearing up for a trip across the Atlantic