Posts Tagged ‘religion’

Racial Diversity Increasing In U.S. Congregations

Wednesday, March 27th, 2013


(Huffington Post) Martin Luther King's once said 11 a.m. Sunday morning is the most segregated hour in America. That statement seems to remain true today, 57 years later. However, the 2010 Faith Communities Today** report shows a major shift toward desegregation is underway among the nation's religious communities. 

The study, which included more than 11,000 congregations, found the number of multiracial faith communities has nearly doubled in the past decade. Nearly 14 percent of congregations are considered multiracial, with at least 20 percent of members coming from racial groups different from the congregation's majority race. The study also found 4 percent of America's congregations are multiracial, with no racial group having a majority.
Researchers have been tracking these changes since the 1990s. Mark Chaves, in the 1998 National Congregations Study, reported that 7.5 percent of all congregations were multiracial.  Another study in the late 1990s by sociologist Michael Emerson found 5 percent of Protestant churches and 15 percent of Catholic churches were multiracial.

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Hispanic community reacts to election of Pope Francis

Friday, March 15th, 2013


(WTOC) Roman Catholics across the world are still celebrating the announcement of their new leader, Pope Francis. For the millions of Roman Catholics of Latin American descent, Pope Francis represents the beginning of a new era.

More than one billion people belong to the Roman Catholic faith, and nearly 500 million of them live in Latin America. WTOC spoke with Lidia Niederkorn, Director of Hispanic Ministry for the Diocese of Savannah, and she said she was absolutely thrilled when she saw the white smoke coming out of the Vatican on Wednesday. She was even more thrilled when she found out Pope Francis is from Argentina.

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Hispanic American immigrants increasingly finding home is Islam

Thursday, January 31st, 2013


(Public Radio International) A growing community of Hispanic American immigrants, as well as Hispanics in their home country, are choosing to convert from their predominantly Christian religions to Islam. It's especially common for women.

Tucked away in a quiet rural neighborhood in Somerset, N.J., is an old brownstone that houses the New Jersey Chapter of the Islamic Center of North America’s WhyIslam Project.

Within its confines, in a second floor office decorated with rose-colored walls, sits the administrative assistant and only female employee of the department, Nahela Morales.

In a long black garment and gray headscarf, Morales sits in front of a computer entering notes and taking phone calls from the program’s hotline,             1-877-WhyIslam      , a resource for individuals hoping to learn more about the religion. A Mexican immigrant and recent convert, Morales is the national Spanish-language outreach coordinator for the program, part of ICNA’s mission to disseminate information about Islam nationwide.

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African American churches protest foreclosures by black-run bank

Monday, November 5th, 2012

(Los Angeles Times) A coalition of African American ministers is protesting foreclosures on their churches — byBroadway Federal Bank, a savings bank established in the 1940s to serve Los Angeles' then-segregated black community.

About one-quarter of the money Broadway Federal has lent out has been for mortgages on church properties. In the tough economy, it's become a problematic business for the bank, which regulators have categorized as troubled since 2010.

The bank's annual report for 2011 with the Securities and Exchange Commission said regulators have barred it from making additional church loans. Broadway Federal, which continues to be run by African Americans, said its problems "raise substantial doubt about the company's ability to continue as a going concern."

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Community outraged after African American couple prevented from marrying at church

Wednesday, August 1st, 2012


(WLBT) Hundreds gathered Monday evening in Crystal Springs, Mississippi to show their support for an African American couple who was prevented from being married at a predominately white church.  The City of Crystal Springs organized the rally to send a message of unity.

First Baptist Church of Crystal Springs pastor Rev. Stan Weatherford and New Zion United Methodist Church pastor Rev. Fitzgerald Lovett embraced while hundreds in the city held hands in prayer.

The community came together to show their love during a unity rally after Charles and Te'Andrea Wilson were prevented from marrying at First Baptist.   People of different races and religions prayed for healing.

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Survey: Among black, Hispanic Americans, complexity reigns on abortion issue

Monday, July 30th, 2012


(CNN) A large majority of black and Hispanic Americans identify as both “pro-life” and “pro-choice” when it comes to abortion, according to a survey released Thursday. The poll finds that both minority groups are more likely than Americans in general to embrace or to reject both labels.

Large majorities of African-Americans identify both as “pro-life” (71%) and “pro-choice” (75%), according to a Public Religion Research Institute survey released Thursday. Hispanic Americans harbor similarly complex views on abortion, with 77% identifying as “pro-life” and 72% calling themselves as “pro-choice.”

The survey found that 52% of black Americans and 47% of Hispanic Americans acknowledge that they embrace or reject both labels, proportions that are higher than those for Americans overall. Thirty seven percent of all Americans embrace both labels or neither label.

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Fred Luter elected first African-American head of Southern Baptists

Friday, June 22nd, 2012


(Washington Post) Messengers or representatives from churches affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention, the nation’s largest Protestant group, elected the first African-American president for the 167-year-old denomination.

Delegates are meeting in New Orleans, the hometown of the Rev. Fred Luter, Jr., who “has already served as the first African-American in various leadership positions within the convention, including as its current first vice president,” Reuters reported Tuesday morning.

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African American And Latino Clergy On Obama’s Gay Marriage Support

Thursday, May 17th, 2012


(Huffington Post) Barack Obama's endorsement of gay marriage triggered a storm of reactions from LGBT, religious and political leaders.

African American Latino Gay Marriage

Many Jewish groups including the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism and the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism came out in support of Obama, as did a number of Christian groups.

But not everyone was happy. Joel Hunter, one of the President's spiritual advisors, expressed disappointment about Obama's decision. Timothy Cardinal Dolan of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops said that Obama's remarks were "deeply saddening."

A number of African American and Latino clergy have come out strongly in support of Obama's statement. While groups like National Organization for Marriageemphasize divisions between the black and gay communities, it is often overlooked that many identify as both African-American or Latino and LGBT.

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Catholic vote split along ethnic lines

Sunday, May 6th, 2012


(Politico) It's confirmed. Religious white Catholics are breaking for presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney, while Hispanic Catholics are favoring President Barack Obama, according to Gallup.

Obama holds a whopping 70 percent to 20 percent lead over Romney among Hispanic Catholics. But among white Catholics, Romney bests Obama 55-38, Gallup daily tracking polls found.

The white Catholics are divided along levels of religiosity, with devout and moderately religious going for Romney by large margins — 62-32 and 56-34 respectively. The nonreligious favor Obama 54-40.

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Survey paints portrait of black women in America

Wednesday, January 25th, 2012

(Washington Post) Rich or poor, educated or not, black women sometimes feel as though myths are stalking them like shadows, their lives reduced to a string of labels.

The angry black woman. The strong black woman. The unfeeling black woman. The manless black woman.

“Black women haven’t really defined themselves,” says author Sophia Nelson, who urges her fellow sisters to take control of their image. “We were always defined as workhorses, strong. We carry the burdens, we carry the family. We don’t need. We don’t want.”

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