LISTEN LIVE

Religion

Every Ash Wednesday for over 20 years, photographer Greg Miller has lugged a large format camera around New York City, taking photos on old-school film, and capturing how Catholics across the world perform this devotional together.

This year, instead of New York, he brought his camera to Capitol Hill to photograph members of Congress, their staff, lobbyists and religious leaders and discuss what Ash Wednesday means to them.

As the coronavirus pandemic intensifies across the country, many churches, synagogues, temples and mosques are temporarily shutting their doors to all public services.

Although there are exemptions for some religious services, congregations are still expected to follow state stay-at-home orders and limitations on gatherings.

Priest pours wine into a chalice
WikiCommons

As the spread of coronavirus worsens, faith leaders across Florida are taking steps to keep followers safe and that includes making changes to worship services.

The Roman Catholic Diocese of St. Petersburg – which has 74 parishes in the region — has issued new directives in response to the virus.

Despite not being officially allowed to live in Florida until 1763, Jewish people escaping expulsion and exclusion were among the earliest settlers of the state.

A new comprehensive history – "Jews of Florida: Centuries of Stories" – takes a look at that historic individuals who include politicians, business leaders, artists and Nobel Prize winners.

Judge Closes Book On Disputed Abortion Law

Jul 11, 2018

In a case that focused heavily on First Amendment rights, a federal judge has issued a permanent injunction against a 2016 abortion law approved by Florida lawmakers and Gov. Rick Scott.

The Southern Baptist Convention, the largest Protestant denomination in the country, wrapped up its annual meeting Wednesday on a partisan tone. The featured speaker was Vice President Pence, who spoke of the day he accepted Jesus Christ as his savior and of the importance of prayer, but mostly delivered a speech fit for a campaign rally.

Florida Governor Rick Scott has signed off on a controversial measure offering additional protections for religious expression in schools.

USF Religious Studies Club

The Tampa Bay Rays beat the New York Yankees 7 to 3 on Opening Day Sunday, perhaps fueling the optimism of fans in the team's 20th year.

The beginning of a new baseball season is one of the times that proves the statement, "hope springs eternal." The similarities between the tenets of religion and baseball are the subject of a Monday afternoon event sponsored by the University of South Florida's Religious Studies Club. 

Religious Freedom Bills Move Forward

Mar 24, 2017
Kim Danoher / Flickr

A bill aimed at protecting displays of religious faith in public schools passed the Senate on nearly party-line vote Thursday, while a more-limited version moved toward the House floor.

Quincy Walters / WUSF News

On Sunday, Christian conservatives rallied at Church of God Pentecostal to talk about the coming election. 

Former NFL player Burgess Owens was among those telling about 50 attendees that Democrats like President Barack Obama don't reflect his values. 

Evangelical voters are a major force in Iowa Republican politics. A force that can tip the balance in the state's marquee event: the first-in-the-nation Iowa caucuses.

A highly controversial bill pitting civil right against civil right is on final approach to Governor Rick Scott’s desk. While adoption is one of the most private decisions a family can make, a so-called “religious conscience” bill is stirring a very public debate.

A Florida rabble-rouser wants the city of Deerfield Beach to allow him to say a satanist prayer at the beginning of a council meeting.

Of course, Chaz Stevens' request comes after the Supreme Court ruled that sectarian prayer before a government meeting does not necessarily violate the Constitution's Establishment Clause.

When most people drive to church on Sunday, it's to sit for an hour-long service on uncomfortable wooden pews. Not at the Daytona Beach Drive In Christian Church in Florida.

As church attendance continues to decline in the United States, some parishes are doing what they can to draw congregants: embracing social media, loosening dress codes and even altering service times for big sporting events. At this church, people park in rows on the grass facing an altar on the balcony of an old drive-in theater. To hear the service, they switch on their radios.

Yoselis Ramos / WUSF

The sun shone like a beacon through the windows of the St. Andrew United Church of Christ in Sarasota. It started off like a regular Catholic mass but instead of men wearing the deacon slashes as they walked down the aisle it was women.

An Atheist Monument Rises In Florida

Jul 1, 2013

As NPR reported over the weekend, the first monument to atheism erected on government property in the United States has been dedicated in Florida.

Gay-rights activists have welcomed a decision by a Christian ministry dedicated to "curing" homosexuals to shut its doors, praising the organization's president for his "integrity and authenticity" in offering an apology for the group's actions.

The Orlando, Fla., based Exodus International, which calls itself the oldest and largest Christian ministry dealing with faith and homosexuality, announced Thursday that it would cease its operations.

Exodus International, an Orlando-based Christian ministry that promoted efforts to change homosexuals' orientation, is shutting down. Exodus President Alan Chambers issued an apology on the ministry's website Thursday.

Dalia Colón / WUSF

When it comes to performing, Jim Copeland is a pro. He’s been directing choirs since his dad volunteered him to lead music at a friend’s congregation, Nebraska Avenue Church of Christ. He was just 15 at the time.

"In fact, I had to ride a streetcar over there because I didn’t have a driver’s license at that time," said Copeland, 78.

 

Since then, Copeland has racked up quite a resume.

Worshippers Observe RNC Party Politics

Aug 31, 2012

We’ve talked  a lot about the protests and parties surrounding the Republican National Convention, and there have been a lot of them. But there’s a religious aspect to the convention as well.

Bell Shoals Baptist Church in Brandon invited conservative political columnist Cal Thomas to speak at its Sunday services. Two-thousand worshipers attended the 11 o'clock service.

"Cal we are so thankful you're here with us today. We look forward to hearing what God is going to say through you," said Pastor Stephen Rummage as he welcomed the guest speaker up to the pulpit.