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March 1, 2003 | From Times Wire Reports
Roman Catholics, Mormons, Pentecostals and a historically black denomination are the fastest-growing churches in the United States, according to the 2003 Yearbook of American and Canadian Churches. The numbers are based on self-reporting by denominations, not all of which are equally accurate. Roman Catholicism continues to be the nation's largest church, reporting 65 million parishioners. The other churches on the list of 10 largest are: * The Southern Baptist Convention: 16 million.
June 1, 2008 | Faye Fiore and Michael Finnegan, Times Staff Writers
Barack Obama announced Saturday that he and his wife had resigned as members of their Chicago church in the wake of controversial remarks from its pulpit that have become a serious distraction to his presidential campaign. In a letter dated Friday to the pastor, the Rev. Otis Moss III, Obama said he and his wife, Michelle, had come to the decision "with some sadness."
July 23, 2006
Re "IRS Warns Churches to Stay Neutral on Politics," July 18 I wonder if the Internal Revenue Service is following its own advice to stay neutral. Is the IRS also investigating tax-exempt organizations and churches that are taking a stand on stem cell research, gay marriage or abortion? Does the political position of the organization affect the probability of an investigation? DON WHITE Camarillo Pulpit pronouncements to go out and vote for (whomever) clearly place churches in the campaign as political operatives.
November 6, 2002 | From Reuters
U.S. financial regulators moved to shut down an alleged financial fraud that may have bilked $3 million from more than 1,000 mostly African American churches. The Securities and Exchange Commission won a temporary restraining order and asset freeze in federal court in Philadelphia, where at least 38 of the churches involved in the alleged scheme are located, against Georgia resident Abraham Kennard and two of his companies, Network International Investment Corp.
July 28, 1999 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
A man accused of setting fires at 12 churches in Indiana and Georgia was indicted by a federal grand jury in Indianapolis on charges that he set 17 other church fires across the country. The indictment accuses Jay Scott Ballinger, 36, of burning a total of 29 churches in California, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri, Ohio, South Carolina and Tennessee since 1994.
May 12, 1990 | United Press International
A Baptist minister said church officials should quit complaining about declining membership, stop telling the faithful "thou shalt not" and start having some fun instead. Anthony Campolo, president of Evangelicals for Social Action in Pennsylvania, offered the advice this week to 1,300 participants at the National Evangelism Workshop. The Bible is not as humorless as many churches portray it, Campolo said. "Jesus said the kingdom is like a wedding reception and he's the bridegroom.
May 2, 1998 | Associated Press
Pete van der Harst isn't a man of the cloth, but he knows how to pack the pews. And the vestments and Bibles, too. Van der Harst owns Portable Church Industries, a company in Troy, Mich., that caters to new churches and parishes without permanent homes. Not only will his company provide the goods for worship, it also will design the crates, boxes and cartons necessary to pack, move and store them each week.
November 13, 2005 | From Associated Press
Hundreds of Muslims attacked and burned two churches in Pakistan on Saturday after reports that a Christian man had desecrated Islam's holy book. No one was hurt. A school, a student hostel and the home of a priest also were set afire by the crowd of about 1,500 Muslims near the town of Sangla Hill, about 80 miles northeast of Lahore, police official Ali Asghar Dogar said. The attacks were being investigated. About two dozen people were arrested, Dogar said.
December 15, 2004 | From Associated Press
After months of resistance and round-the-clock vigils at several churches, archdiocese officials Tuesday reversed a decision to close one parish, and will reevaluate four other planned closings. Archbishop Sean Patrick O'Malley's decision to shutter or consolidate 83 churches by year's end came in response to declining attendance, a shortage of priests and financial pressure caused in part by the clergy sex abuse crisis.
October 20, 2005 | Scott Martelle
Coming soon to a church near you: Hollywood. Producers of the "Left Behind" movie series plan to screen "Left Behind: World at War" in 3,000 churches in the U.S. and Canada this weekend, bypassing theater chains before Sony Pictures Home Entertainment releases it Tuesday on DVD. The church-focused marketing campaign is reminiscent of the pamphleting and advance-sale tickets that preceded the theatrical release of the Trinity Broadcasting Network-funded "The Omega Code" six years ago.
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