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
Prediction season is upon us. Here are three issues that could be an important piece of religion coverage in 2019.
Having trouble coming up with holiday story ideas? This edition of ReligionLink can help.
Scholars, scientists and faith leaders around the world are working to reduce tensions between religion and science.
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 Thomas More Society is a Chicago-based not-for-profit, national public interest law firm dedicated to restoring respect in law for life, family and religious liberty. Special counsel Peter Breen testified before the Indiana House of Representatives in 2015 on behalf of the state’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act. For interview requests, contact Tom Ciesielka.
Green the Church works to increase environmental activism within predominantly African-American faith communities.
Young Evangelicals for Climate Action mobilizes evangelical Christians on climate change and sustainability. This organization grew out of a retreat hosted by the Evangelical Environmental Network.
Global Catholic Climate Movement is an international organization that helps coordinate the work of more than 650 smaller Catholic groups and congregations concerned about the environment and climate change. They describe Laudato Si’, Pope Francis’ encyclical on the environment, as their founding document.
Catholic Climate Covenant is an umbrella environmental and climate change advocacy organization that includes multiple Catholic organizations, such as the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. It organizes public letters to policymakers on environmental topics and provides training on lobbying.