In 2010, a Florida pastor with just a few dozen followers attracted international media coverage when he announced plans to burn copies of the Quran on the anniversary of 9/11. By taking the bait, media outlets became complicit in advancing his hate-filled agenda, making Terry Jones a household name in the U.S. and far beyond. […]
Reporting guides on Christianity
Source guides on Christianity
Gene editing could provide a revolutionary cure for gene-linked diseases. But does it take medicine too far?
Who carries King’s theological banner today? How does his theology apply to contemporary issues?
This edition of ReligionLink aims to assist reporters in pulling out the deeper threads under the bright tapestry of the celebration.
Stylebook entries on Christianity
- Abbreviation of the Latin phrase anno Domini, translated as “the year of the Lord.” Traditionally, it is used to date years after the birth of Jesus. Scholars and textbooks are increasingly using the abbreviations B.C.E. for “before the common era” and C.E. for “common era” to avoid using terms defined by their relation to Christianity. AP style, however, remains A.D. and B.C. Use A.D. preceding the year, as in A.D. 77. Do not say the seventh century A.D. If A.D. is not specified, it is assumed to be A.D. Use B.C. afterward, as in 255 B.C.
- The practice of ritual washing in a religious rite to cleanse a person of sin or disease, to purify, or to signify humility or service to others. In Christianity, baptism and foot-washing are both forms of ablution. In liturgical churches, ablution can refer to purifying fingers or vessels related to the Eucharist. In Islam, ablution is ritual washing, known as wudu, before prayer. In Judaism, immersion in a mikvah is a form of ablution.
- When choosing terms to describe a person’s stance on abortion, journalists should remember that abortion is a nuanced issue, with many people supporting or opposing abortion in some, but not all, circumstances. Take care to describe a person’s view rather than relying on terms popularized in the heated public debate. For example, journalists should use pro-abortion rights or a similar description instead of pro-choice, and opposed to abortion or against abortion rights instead of pro-life. The AP Stylebook advises using anti-abortion instead of pro-life and abortion rights instead of pro-abortion or pro-choice. See pro-choice and pro-life.
- In Catholicism, a priest grants absolution to a confessed sinner as part of the sacrament of penance. The concept of absolution also exists in Lutheranism, Anglicanism and Eastern Orthodox denominations.
- In Western Christianity, it is the season before Christmas and opens the liturgical year of the Latin church; Advent begins on the fourth Sunday before Christmas Day (the Sunday nearest Nov. 30) and ends on Christmas Eve (Dec. 24). In Eastern Catholic churches, Advent begins Nov. 14, the feast of St. Philip the Apostle. Advent anticipates Jesus Christ’s birth as well as his Second Coming. The Eastern Orthodox Church does not observe Advent. Instead there is a period of fasting 40 days before Christmas.
Organizations on Christianity
The Episcopal Diocese of El Camino Real in the Monterey, Calif., area has a Restorative Justice Commission.
The Center for Reconciliation at Duke University in Durham, N.C. is dedicated to “shaping a distinctly Christian vision of reconciliation, with a desire to equip the Church for reconciliation, justice, and peacemaking in a divided world.”
The General Commission on Religion and Race is one of six commissions of the United Methodist Church.
The National Marriage Week USA website brings together the many activities that organizations throughout the country, including churches and houses of worship, are doing to strengthen marriage during National Marriage Week USA, Feb. 7-14 each year.