The percentage of U.S. adults who belong to a church or other religious institution has plunged by 20 percentage points over the past two decades, hitting a low of 50% last year, according to a new Gallup poll. Among major demographic groups, the biggest drops were recorded among Democrats and Hispanics.
The Episcopal Church on Friday cleared the way for same-sex marriages in an upstate New York diocese where they had been barred by a bishop who claimed the church had been "hijacked by the "Gay Rights Agenda."
AP Poll-Religion and Politics
Religion's role in politics and public policy is in the spotlight heading toward the midterm elections, yet relatively few Americans consider it crucial that a candidate be devoutly religious or share their religious beliefs, according to a poll released Tuesday by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.
Clergy Abuse-State Prosecutors
Attorneys general around the U.S. have been largely silent this week about any plans to conduct an investigation like Pennsylvania's that uncovered widespread child sexual abuse in six Roman Catholic dioceses, although New York's top prosecutor is an exception, saying she is exploring teaming up with the local district attorneys.
Priest Scolds Congregation
Baptist Pastor Jim Standridge seemed to lose control recently at a Sunday morning service as he scolded members of his congregation at the Immanuel Baptist Church in Skiatook, Oklahoma.

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