RNS reporters look ahead at 2020

Religion News Service

Jan. 1, 2020

The past year on the religion beat began with a prayer meeting and weeklong retreat by U.S. Catholic bishops, hoping that by fasting and prayer they might find a way forward in response to the ongoing abuse scandal in the church. It ended with a pair of attacks on faith groups: five people stabbed while attending a Hanukkah party and three people killed during a church service in Texas.

In between were moments of grief and scandal, hope and resilience.

As we enter the new year, we asked Religion News Service’s reporters to give us a glimpse into the stories they’ll be following in 2020.

Adelle M. Banks
Southern Baptists have started the journey of addressing sexual abuse within their ranks but they have a long way to go. They focused on the issue and held a time of prayer and lament at their 2019 annual meeting and have offered new resources. It will be worth watching to see what happens next, including how a new committee handles accusations of abuse against local churches and what role a new president, who will be elected in June, will play in the denomination’s next steps.

African American voters of faith are bound to have an influence on the coming election year. Many may be in Joe Biden’s corner and few seem to support Pete Buttegieg. How will this group, which has organized “Souls to the Polls” events in past elections, work toward Election Day 2020? Will they be successful in achieving voter turnout?

Religious freedom issues will remain a focus of the Trump administration. What shape its actions take in the next year and how much difference the administration makes in reducing religious oppression across the globe remains to be seen.

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