Southern Baptists become first to require vaccines as agencies navigate health requirements and travel restrictions. COVID-19 vaccine refusal rates may be high among white evangelical Christians, but the International Mission Board—which deploys thousands of missionaries—is not hesitant about the shot. The global agency of the Southern Baptist Convention, the largest evangelical Protestant denomination in the US, announced this month it is requiring vaccinations for missionaries they’re sending into the field amid the pandemic. The IMB may be the first US missionary agency known to have such a mandate, according to leaders in the field, as other faith groups approach the…

After a recent outbreak, leaders say they’re prioritizing parental decision-making over county protocols on masking and social distancing. When students at Resurrection Christian School in Loveland, Colorado, returned on Wednesday from a four-day Labor Day weekend, school leaders were there at the entrances to welcome them, masked and unmasked, and to keep an eye out for county health officials. Last week, following a COVID-19 outbreak that infected around 35 of 1,600 students, the health department directed Resurrection Christian to adopt a universal mask mandate and social distancing for at least 14 days, but the school—which required masks last school year…

Ahead of the legal payments, the California pastor acknowledged that he and others contracted the virus last winter. The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday voted to authorize a $400,000 payment to settle a legal battle with Grace Community Church over lead pastor John MacArthur’s defiance of COVID-19 restrictions in the early months of the pandemic. Under the agreement, which the board unanimously approved without discussion, the state of California will also pay the church $400,000. This agreement, county officials said, was reached in the context of the US Supreme Court’s decision in February that told California it…

Scripture says that might be a good thing. “The average human lifespan is absurdly, terrifyingly, insultingly short.” That’s how Oliver Burkeman begins his new book, Four Thousand Weeks: Time Management for Mortals. In it, he confronts readers with the disquieting truth that we have a paltry 4,000 weeks on this earth, and a lot of what we do with them is meaningless, at least by some human standards. As bleak as it sounds, that is exactly the message we need to hear right now. Life expectancy in the United States has dropped for the first time since World War II….

Legal experts suggest churches should be cautious about providing documentation to help people get around mask and vaccine rules. Some Christian leaders have spoken out alongside the public officials, doctors, and other community figures who are helping people circumvent COVID-19 precautions. An Oregon school superintendent is telling parents they can get their children out of wearing masks by citing federal disability law. A pastor at a California megachurch is offering religious exemptions for anyone morally conflicted over vaccine requirements. And Louisiana’s attorney general has posted sample letters on his office’s Facebook page for those seeking to get around the governor’s…

As students report high levels of anxiety and isolation in a new InterVarsity survey, ministry leaders look to small groups to provide community for Gen Z. Even as many colleges lift COVID-19 restrictions and anticipate more-active campus life in the fall, ministry leaders expect that pandemic will continue to shape how they gather and have lingering effects on students’ mental health and social lives. A survey commissioned by InterVarsity Christian Fellowship and released today is the latest in a string of research indicating that college students suffered higher levels of stress and anxiety as their lives inside and outside the…

Amid a second wave of infections, Christian leaders wrestle with leadership vacuum and how openly to raise funds to aid neighbors under a suspicious government. Congregations in Nepal are reeling after a deadly surge in COVID-19 cases this spring threw the Himalayan nation into chaos, overflowing hospitals and crematoriums and leaving the national army to deal with 100 bodies a day in the Kathmandu Valley alone. The Nepali church has lost more than 130 pastors during a second wave of the pandemic that has pushed reported cases past 635,000 and confirmed deaths past 9,000. Half of those cases and two-thirds…

After settlement, the televangelist and his church can no longer sell his Silver Solution as treatment. His lawyers, though, say state officials “unfairly targeted” the show. Jim Bakker and his southwestern Missouri church will pay restitution of $156,000 to settle a lawsuit that accuses the TV pastor of falsely claiming a health supplement could cure COVID-19. Missouri court records show that a settlement agreement was filed Tuesday. It calls for refunds to people who paid money or gave contributions to obtain a product known as Silver Solution in the early days of the pandemic. The settlement also prohibits Bakker and…

A conversation with the director of the National Institutes of Health. Over the last year of the US pandemic, a few key scientists and medical professionals have been lifted onto the national stage by their timely expertise. Americans turn to them for information, insight, and even pastoral care of a certain kind. Among those is the physician-geneticist Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and founder of BioLogos. Timothy Dalrymple, president and editor in chief of Christianity Today, and Ted Olsen, CT’s executive editor, spoke recently with Collins about the Delta variant, vaccine hesitancy among evangelicals, and…

A national project aims to understand the impact of the pandemic on the church attendance, giving, staffing, and church leadership. Most of us are aware of the effects of COVID on our home church. Many of us have heard accounts of various other churches through conversations with friends and colleagues. But it is hard to know what these individual stories mean for the church as a whole. The National COVID-19 Church Attendance Project (NCCAP) represents our efforts to try to see the bigger picture. By gathering as many individual church stories as possible, from all over the country, we aim…

Analysts point to risks a delayed presidential transition could pose to national security. The same, they say, is true of the pandemic.

Financial help for countries coping with the impact of the coronavirus is coming with strings to ensure honest governance. Corruption cannot remain a norm.

Lockdowns are being implemented across Europe as authorities seek to flatten a rise in coronavirus cases. Germany goes into partial lockdown today while England and Austria will follow later this week.

Seattle Opera tenor Stephen Wall’s at-home concerts are one more example of artists getting creative to share their gifts amid COVID-19 lockdowns.

Coronavirus bubbles connect pandemic-free countries to boost trade and tourism, but they raise political and practical questions.

A global day of prayer on May 14 reflected an upsurge of prayer as a healing response to the coronavirus.

Divided by geography and culture, and relying on different media sources, Americans are experiencing the pandemic through divergent partisan lenses.

The coronavirus pandemic has created a unique economic crash. Yet past crises provide important perspectives on uncertainty, adaptability, and change.

Seis lições do presidente da Aliança Evangélica Espanhola para as igrejas. A Espanha enfrenta a pior crise de que se tem notícia desde que nosso país se tornou uma democracia moderna, há 40 anos. O novo coronavírus já matou mais de 22 mil pessoas e infectou pelo menos 220 mil. Nossas igrejas evangélicas não foram poupadas desta pandemia e eu estou entre os que foram hospitalizados com o COVID-19. Sou pastor de uma congregação com 350 pessoas em uma pequena cidade na costa do Atlântico. Também sirvo como líder nacional da minha denominação e como presidente da Aliança Evangélica Espanhola….

Six leçons pour les Églises par le Président de l’Alliance évangélique espagnole. L'Espagne traverse la pire crise dont nous nous souvenions depuis que notre pays est devenu une démocratie moderne, il y a 40 ans. Le nouveau coronavirus a tué plus de 22 000 personnes et infecté au moins 220 000 personnes. Nos congrégations évangéliques n'ont pas été épargnées par cette pandémie, et je fais partie de ceux qui ont été hospitalisés à cause du COVID-19. Je suis le pasteur d'une Église de 350 personnes dans une petite ville sur la côte atlantique. Je suis également leader national de ma…

Sei lezioni per le chiese del presidente dell’Alleanza evangelica spagnola. La Spagna sta attraversando la peggiore crisi che possiamo ricordare da quando il nostro paese è diventato una democrazia moderna 40 anni fa. Il nuovo coronavirus ha ucciso oltre 22.000 persone e ne ha infettate almeno 220.000. Le nostre congregazioni evangeliche non sono state risparmiate in questa pandemia, e io sono tra quelli che sono stati ricoverati in ospedale con il COVID-19. Sono pastore di una chiesa di 350 persone in una piccola città sulla costa atlantica. Sono anche leader nazionale della mia denominazione e presidente dell'Alleanza evangelica spagnola. Ma…