religion

Nadege Green / WLRN

Pastor Wilifred Allen-Faiella looked out into the congregation from the pulpit.

Everyone calls her Pastor Willie.

Her sermon was, in part, about modern-day demons.

“Demons of homophobia,” she preached.  “Demons of seeing anything other as a threat.”

The University of Miami is on the verge of setting a new precedent in religious studies. It’s introducing an Atheism Chair to its faculty.

 

Retired businessman Louis Appignani donated $2.2 million in April to endow what is said to be the nation’s first academic chair for the study of atheism, humanism and secular ethics, according to the New York Times.

 

Nancy Klingener / WLRN

  When the Interfaith Ministerial Alliance of the Key West and Lower Keys met Tuesday, the group's agenda included a resolution renouncing discrimination based on religious faith. The resolution was a response to presidential candidate Donald Trump's proposal to bar Muslims from entering the country.

But even before the members looked at the agenda, they were already talking about the Trump proposal, said the Rev. Randy Becker, president of the alliance.

Debate Over Capitol Holiday Displays Quieter This Year

Dec 7, 2015
Phil Sears / AP via Miami Herald

Visitors to the Florida Capitol likely won't see a Nativity scene this year. They also won't see a protest display from the Satanic Temple.

However, they could see a menorah. And an irreverent disco ball-topped, multi-colored gay pride festivus pole --- built of beer cans --- might still be on tap.

State Archives of Florida

What does Cyrus Teed have in common with people like Marjorie Rawlings, Ernest Hemingway, Henry Flagler and Juan Ponce de Leon? 

He was not from Florida. But he came to Florida, like the names listed above, and left an indelible mark on the state's history. 

The first thing you should know about Teed is that he was likely a lunatic. Or so thought many of the people who challenged him in the 19th and early 20th century. And by challenging, I mean people who wanted to fight, sue or even kill Teed.

David von Blohn/AP

The lake is the Nezahualcoyotl reservoir, created when the local Grijalva River was dammed back in 1966. The church ended up submerged under water.

But now it's visible again, as the reservoir's waters have receded. The reservoir's level has dropped by more than 80 feet because of a long drought.

Nadege Green / WLRN

The faithful stand with their arms outstretched.

“If God has saved you, scream out, ‘There is a God,’ ” a speaker yells into a microphone.

The crowd of about 2,000 people responds, “There is a God.”

Several women jump up and down in circles. Nearby a man punches his arms into the air in exaltation.

Jericho, an annual spiritual revival held at Notre Dame D’Haiti Catholic Church, draws about 10,000 people over seven days. Locals flock to the church and some people fly in from Haiti and Canada to participate.

President Obama is taking some heat over who's been invited to attend Pope Francis' large arrival ceremony at the White House this Wednesday. The list includes the first openly gay Episcopal bishop, an activist nun and a transgender activist — guests the Vatican reportedly objected to, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Pope Francis' Visit Means More Than Religion To Cubans

Sep 20, 2015
Al Diaz / Miami Herald

Pope Francis' arrival in Cuba was met at Havana's Plaza de la Revolución by 300,000 spectators who braved the heat Sunday morning to hear the Holy Father deliver Mass and talk about the need to serve. 

"The importance of one person is always based on how they serve the frailty of their brothers," the pope told the assembled crowd. "In this we find one of the true fruits of humanity. Because, brothers and sisters, those who don't live to serve, do not have a life worth living."

Mark Stein / WLRN

This week, the Society for Crypto-Judaic Studies hosts its 25th annual conference here in Miami. The society aims to study the history of Jewish communities persecuted during the Spanish Inquisition of the 14th and 15th centuries.

WUSF

In the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court ruling guaranteeing the right to same-sex marriage, some Florida clergy members and lawmakers are mobilizing to ensure legal exemptions for religious organizations.

On July 1st, Chris Walker, a pastor at the Cathedral of Power International Church in Clermont, launched a petition on Change.org calling for Governor Rick Scott to sign a "Pastor Protection Act" into law. The petition has garnered over 22,000 signatures.

KEENPRESS Photography/flickr

The Evangelical Environmental Network (EEN) has taken up the cause of climate change in Florida. The national group claims 600,000 members or supporters around the country with more than 100,000 of them in Florida. It's funded by donations and grants.

EEN is part of the Floridians for Solar Choice coalition, which is pushing a constitutional amendment that would allow Floridians to buy electricity directly from someone other than a utility company.

The South-Dade Bluesman Raised In The House Of God

May 15, 2015
Roosevelt Collier / Facebook

Roosevelt Collier says music makes up 70 percent of each worship service at his House of God Church in Perrine, in south Miami-Dade County. Collier grew up in that church, contributing to aural prayers by playing the drums, bass, keys and anything else his cousins and uncles taught him.

But after picking up one instrument, he didn't need any new ones. At 12 years old, he started playing the sacred steel guitar.

"In our church, the steel is the focus," Collier says. "It is what makes that church different from any other church."

Lisann Ramos

Those celebrating Easter this Sunday know the importance of Holy Week. Yesterday Roman Catholics from across South Florida went on a tour of seven churches to mark the beginning of this Holy Weekend. 

Carolyn Fetscher began this church pilgrimage eight years ago. She took the advice of a woman who organizes a tour in Boston and encouraged Fetscher to start her own tour here.

“It’s an ancient custom, goes back to the middle ages. There’s countries in Central and South America and Haiti that do these seven churches,” Fetscher said.

12/22/14 - Monday's Topical Currents: Millions of Americans who aren’t religious feel a bit excluded from many friends and relatives during the holiday season.   Professor of sociology and secular studies Phil Zuckerman has researched those whose religious beliefs have waned . . .

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