Test of Faith

“And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.”… Continue reading.


The Next Generation

Pentecostal serpent-handlers have taken up venomous snakes during their worship services for more than a century. However, this Appalachian religious practice is hardly old-fashioned. At the Tabernacle Church of God in La Follette, Tenn., 23-year-old Pastor Andrew Hamblin leads a millennial generation of serpent-handlers in their 20s and 30s. While… Continue reading.


Born-Again Bikers

With their tattoos, leather jackets, and sometimes dark pasts, some bikers say they feel judged and unwelcome at traditional churches. However, in southeast Ohio, dedicated biker ministries and churches are helping motorcyclists use Christianity to turn their lives around. At least 100 people gather regularly for worship services at the… Continue reading.


A Less Lonely Road

For truck drivers, Christianity is often about fellowship, not formality. Transport for Christ, an international trucker ministry, has placed 28 mobile chapels at truck stops around the United States, including TA stops in Lodi, Ohio, and Ontario, Calif. The chapels offer Bible study, worship, and counseling from volunteer chaplains, but… Continue reading.


American Heathens

After unsatisfactory experiences with mainstream religions, many Americans have felt the calling of Odin, Thor, and other Old Norse deities. Rooted in ancient Norse belief and custom, Ásatrú, meaning “belief in the gods,” is now a fast-growing polytheistic faith in the United States with several formal organizations, including the Ásatrú Alliance,… Continue reading.

Faith in Action (In Progress)

Occupy Church

In the predominantly secular Occupy Movement, religion almost seemed out of place. However, for many people of faith in Washington, D.C., Occupy provided an opportunity to become more socially engaged. At the beginning of the movement, a group known as Occupy Church provided spiritual sustenance to protesters and served as a… Continue reading.

Fading Faith

A Struggling Tradition

Tucked away among serpentine roads and precipitous mountain slopes, the old coal mining towns of McDowell County, West Virginia, are places where religious tradition runs deep. But with the area’s high unemployment rate, growing drug crisis, and high frequency of disease and death, local church congregations have become shadows of… Continue reading.

Begging to Learn

Begging to Learn: Qur’anic Students in Senegal

In the West African country of Senegal, many underprivileged families send their sons to study the Qu’ran in distant urban schools. These students, known as talibés, are often required to beg on the streets in order to support their religious education and financially strained instructors. Child begging has long been… Continue reading.


Cycle of Hardship

Home to hundreds of temples and bordered by the sacred Yamuna River, the city of Vrindavan, India, is a sacred destination for Hindus and members of the Hare Krishna Movement, many of whom travel there on pilgrimage each year. But in the shadows of its temples and tour buses, Vrindavan’s… Continue reading.