Putin's demand for a Jerusalem church
Plus a relief hub for Ukrainians in Alaska and more headlines
Hi ReligionUnplugged readers,
Vladimir Putin is demanding that Israel grant him control of a Russian Orthodox church in Jerusalem’s Christian quarter. The Church of St. Alexander Nevsky is located close to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, where Jesus has been traditionally believed to have been crucified and buried. Putin’s demand comes as the next in a long line of property disputes in Israel and geopolitical clashes in the midst of Russia’s war with Ukraine. Jerusalem correspondent Gil Zohar reports.
Columnist and frequent contributor Bobby Ross Jr. recently went on a reporting trip to Alaska, where he visited a Russian-speaking church in Anchorage. Members of New Chance Christian Church, under the leadership of Ukrainian Zori Opanasevych, have created a relief program for Ukraine. They’ve become the support hub for the whole city.
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An Anchorage congregation with members from Ukraine, Russia and other Slavic nations is working to feed and support families forced to flee their homes. “We can’t just sit here,” church member Zori Opanasevych says. “We have to do something.”
After Fire, Construction To Resume At $77 Million Bahá’í Shrine In Israel by Iain Carlos and Gil Zohar
Bahá’í leaders will resume construction soon on the shrine of ʻAbdu’l Bahá, the Iran-born head of the faith who popularized the religion outside the Middle East. A fire on April 8 caused significant damage to the main building under construction at the holy site on Israel's coast just north of Haifa.
Atlanta Jewish organizations assess the Georgia Senate's stance in not voting a definition for antisemitism into state legislation, an issue that had already largely passed the House.
(ANALYSIS) If you’re a golf fan, you should know the name Scottie Scheffler by now. The 25-year-old has been the talk of the PGA for the past few months for his remarkable run this season. His win at the widely-televised Masters Tournament also built a wider audience for Scheffler’s calm, zen-like Christian faith.
(REVIEW) “Theirs Is the Kingdom” follows the painting of a fresco mural inside the sanctuary of a North Carolina Methodist church. This is a painting not of the rich and powerful, but of people battling homelessness, addiction, and mental illness.
Christians In Ukraine Share Stories Of Evacuation, Separation And Grief by Erik Tryggestad
As Russian forces withdraw from the capital and western Ukraine, Christians in Ukraine report that they’re concerned attacks will intensify in the cities of the east, including Dnipro and Mariupol. In Mariupol, a port city that has been all but obliterated by Russian artillery, 33 Christians were taking refuge in the meeting place of a Church of Christ.
IRS Backlog Affects Ministries And Churches, Leaving Donors Uninformed by Shannon Cuthrell
Almost 11 weeks into tax season, the U.S. Internal Revenue Service continues to experience delays in processing last year’s tax returns. Millions of tax returns and filings are still backlogged, including those in the Form 990 series, an annual reporting obligation by tax-exempt entities like ministries and churches.
In Friday’s Weekend Plug-In column, Bobby Ross Jr. reflects on a reporting trip to Alaska. Plus, as always, catch up on all the best reads and top headlines in the world of faith.
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Reflection On The Production Of American Evangelicalism by Michael Metzger
Why ‘Religious Liberty’ Has Ended Up Inside Quotation Marks by Terry Mattingly
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(ANALYSIS) While Pope Francis was presiding over a ceremony at the Vatican to consecrate Ukraine and Russia, a group of high-ranking American bishops met in Chicago. The gathering, entitled “Pope Francis, Vatican II and the Way Forward,” aimed to create a dialogue between theologians and bishops.
(REVIEW) “Father Stu” nails the faith-based formula better than maybe any other faith-based film. But it remains to be seen if audiences will come out to see a faith-based film with so much cussing — or where the hero leaves the girl to pursue God.
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