Word&Way News: Aug. 11
Here’s the weekly roundup from Word&Way. This week at A Public Witness, we published a report from the general assembly of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and a report from the annual session of the Progressive National Baptist Convention.
Top 5 at wordandway.org
Reflecting on the Disciples General Assembly. Robert D. Cornwall wrote about how one of the smallest Mainline denominations is dealing with some of the church’s biggest issues.
Disciples Meet to Disrupt Business as Usual. Tim Trussell-Smith reflected on how his denomination is growing in its commitment to social justice and inclusion as gospel mandates.
Former Southwestern Seminary Trustee Calls for Forensic Audit of Troubled School. Bob Smietana wrote about the ongoing controversy at a Southern Baptist seminary in Texas.
Are White Evangelical Pastors at Odds With Their Congregants? A New Study Says No. Yonat Shimron reported on new findings that White evangelical clergy are no less conservative politically than their congregations.
Review: Jesus the Refugee. Robert D. Cornwall reviewed Jesus the Refugee: Ancient Injustice and Modern Solidarity by D. Glenn Butner Jr.
This week: Valerie Hobbs on No Love in War
by Brian Kaylor, Word&Way Editor-in-Chief
Two nuns were fined for reading the Bible during a Catholic church service. The Mass in question occurred in the Central Asian country of Kyrgyzstan. Like Russia, this nation that was formerly part of the Soviet Union has a law banning missionary activity by foreigners without government permission. Local church officials say that is only supposed to apply to preaching and evangelism, not merely reading the Bible.
But as Forum 18 recently reported, a Catholic church was raided by armed police with congregants detained for over an hour after two visiting Slovak nuns participated in Mass. With armed officers pressuring them, the nuns signed statements admitting to the charges for which they were fined what amounts to about two weeks average wages in the country. For reading the Bible during Mass, the nuns were considered guilty of “illegal missionary activity” and “spreading their ideology.”
Unfortunately, the raid is not an isolated incident. Such violations of religious liberty occur regularly in Kyrgyzstan. But they rarely make news outside the country. May this be a reminder that real Christian persecution does occur in Kyrgyzstan, Russia, and elsewhere. And may we keep our fellow Christians in our prayers as they faithfully read the Bible, even if it’s deemed “illegal.”
Other News of Note
An interfaith coalition of clergy in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, held a rally and march to oppose Christian Nationalism.
“This language has disturbed us. And if this governor cares about people, he should not want this disturbance to linger in our culture.” —Rev. Carl Johnson, president of a Black Baptist convention in Florida as he urged Gov. Ron DeSantis to sit down and talk about new state educational standards about slavery.
Crux reported that Catholic bishops in Niger and neighboring Burkina Faso are expressing their opposition to military intervention to end the recent coup in Niger.
A new project from photographer Corrie Aune documents female pastors in New York City.
Kristin Du Mez wrote at her Substack newsletter about how Fox News made up a story about protesters at a Kirk Cameron library event:
Photo of the Week
Thanks for reading!