One thing wrong with that ‘give up one thing for Lent’ thing

I don’t know precisely when it happened, but somewhere during the past decade or two Lent became cool for all kinds of people, including Godbeat reporters. Lent wasn’t just for Catholics and the Eastern Orthodox (whoever they were) anymore. Lent was for edgy free-church Protestants, bookish evangelicals and all of the mainline Protestants, not just [Read More...]

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Got news? A Baptist emerges as acting president of Ukraine

The news rolls on in Ukraine, with leaders of the opposition attempting to get some work done after the chaos. As you would expect, the tensions remain highest in the Eastern half of the nation, where cultural and, yes, religious ties to Russia are strongest. However, one of the first things that caught my attention [Read More...]

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Dear journalists: When in Ukraine, try talking to Ukrainians

Hearing the confessions of soldiers shortly before they go into combat is one of the most important and symbolic duties performed by priests who serve as military chaplains representing Christianity’s ancient churches. After all, the soldiers are going into harm’s way and there is no way to know if they will return. In a way, [Read More...]

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Keeping Lent: Not once a year but four times

TERRY (YES, that TERRY) ASKS: Whatever happened to the Lenten disciplines that used to be part of Advent, in the weeks before Nativity? How do they differ from the season of Lent? THE RELIGION GUY ANSWERS: As Christendom nears the annual season of Lent, this refers to the Orthodox Church’s little-known practice of not just [Read More...]

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What’s God got to do with it — in Maidan square?

I’ve said it once, twice, and I’ll say it again — there is more than one Orthodox Church in the Ukraine. Does this matter? Is this pettifogging carping — dull minded pedantry? Am I just showing off a store of useless knowledge, or Is it important to distinguish between the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Kiev Patriarchate) [Read More...]

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Balkan absurdist reporting by Reuters

At Get Religion it is usually considered bad form to criticize wire service reports for lacking context. There is only so much information that a reporter can pack into a 300 word story. The absence of an explanatory sentence or two that gives the reader some clues as to the meaning of the story is [Read More...]

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Orthodox voices: Who is chanting what in Kiev right now?

The images continue to pour out of Kiev. Right now there are flames rising high over the lovely public squares I first visited in 2009, while speaking at a Ukrainian conference on religion and the news. While there, I wrote this column — “Religion ghosts in Ukraine” — about a tense public event involving then [Read More...]

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Women and men and the Bible and the church

PARK ASKS: What are the major scriptural passages [and interpretations] relative to a complementarian and egalitarian approach to gender roles in the church? THE GUY ANSWERS: This is a big one. First, about that lingo: “Egalitarians” say the Bible teaches across-the-board equality without regard to gender. Period. Nevertheless, this supposedly “liberal” view is held by [Read More...]

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