religion

LaRaven Taylor

Millennials aren't as religious as generations before them. That's according to a report from the Pew Research Center. The study found 35 percent of Americans born between 1981 and 1996 are religiously unaffiliated. We gathered a group of church leaders to explain how they engage with young people. 

Boston Public Library / Flickr

In an episode of "Meet the Press" in April 1960, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said he thought it was one of the most "shameful tragedies of our nation that 11 o'clock on Sunday morning is one of the most segregated hours in Christian America."

Nearly 60 years later, a pair of church leaders in Macon observed that not much had changed. The New Georgia Encyclopedia states Macon is home to more churches than any other city in the American South.

GPB recorded a conversation between Rev. Dr. Jake Hall of Highland Hills Baptist Church and Rev. Dominique Johnson of Kingdom Life, Inc. for the series "Macon Conversations." In this excerpt, they discussed finding common ground between white people and people of color in their congregations.


Courtesy Anthony Batista

Five years ago, Jonathan Merritt moved from Buford to Brooklyn, New York. Almost immediately, Merritt found he couldn't communicate with the people around him. It was not that they spoke a different language, but rather that Southern Baptist preacher's son — and Emory-educated Master of Divinity — felt unable to have the conversations about faith and spirituality that he had always had in his hometown. Merritt set out to find out if other people in the United States were avoiding conversations about religion. In a survey of 1,000 people, he found that 1 in 5 had not had a conversation about religion in the last year. 


Courtesy Ikhlas Saleem and Makkah Ali / Identity Politics Podcast

Muslims all over the world celebrate Ramadan this month. The holy month began two weeks ago. Muslims fast during this time to commemorate the Islamic prophet Muhammad's first revelation about the Quran.

"Identity Politics" podcast hosts Ikhlas Saleem and Makkah Ali are trying to change the misconceptions about what it means to Muslim in America.

What does it mean to have an awakening? For Christopher Paul Curtis, it meant finding his calling in his 40s. After working for more than a decade in Detroit's automobile manufacturing industry, Curtis began writing children's books about the African American experience. His 1996 novel "The Watsons Go to Birmingham" earned him a John Newbery Medal, making him the first African American man to win this honor. He won again in 2000 for "Bud, Not Buddy" and in 2008 for "Elijah of Buxton." We spoke with Curtis in 2017. 

Can Going To Church Make You Live Longer?

Jan 31, 2018
guineypub / Flickr

There are all kinds of way to get healthy. You could spend time jogging, doing yoga...or going to church. New research from Emory University finds regular attendance at religious ceremonies can improve one’s health and lower mortality. We talk about this idea with the lead author on that study, Ellen Idler. She’s a Professor of Sociology at Emory University. We also chat with Harold Bennett, Chair of the Department of Philosophy and Religion at Morehouse College.

Charles Rex Arbogast / AP Photo

Pulitzer Prize-winning author Garry Wills has spent his career taking a close look at the Roman Catholic Church. But for all that thinking about religion, he had never read the Qur’an until recently. What he learned about Islam is the subject of his new book, “What the Qur’an Meant: And Why It Matters,” and this episode of “Two Way Street.” 

Reza Aslan

A new book by religious scholar Reza Aslan challenges some very old ideas about religion, and how we describe a higher power. The book is “God: A Human History.” It hits shelves this week, and Reza appears in Atlanta this Saturday as part of the Marcus Jewish Community Center’s Book Festival. He joined us live. 

Sean Powers / On Second Thought

Muslims are a mystery to many Americans. And to some, they are targets. In recent weeks, several Atlanta-area mosques have received death threats. Leaders of all faiths across the state hope to give people a better understanding of Islam. Over the weekend, GPB’s Olivia Reingold visited an Atlanta mosque that opened its doors for the second annual “Visit a Mosque Day.”

Kristie Macrakis

Kristie Macrakis is on a personal journey in north Georgia. A transplant from Boston and a self-described “pagan agnostic,” she decided one way to learn more about the people who live in her community was to go to church with them. Macrakis calls the project “Six Churches, Six Miles, Six Weeks.” She has been writing about the experience on her blog. We talk to her about her spiritual journey. 

Plus, Macrakis is also an expert in something else which has nothing to do with religion. Host Celeste Headlee tries to uncover what it is as part of our occasional series "No Notes." 

Branden Camp / AP

Two Baptist churches in Macon - one black and one white – are located right next to each other. Both churches have been segregated since the end of the Civil War. Now, the leaders of the church want to bridge the racial divide. They will lead joint discussions with church members on racism in the history of the U.S. and their congregations. We talked with the two church leaders: Rev.

The End Of White Christian America

Jul 20, 2016
Public Domain Pictures

A significant demographic change occurred in the past eight years since Barack Obama first ran for president in 2008. White Christians went from making up 54 percent of the country to comprising less than half. This decline is important in understanding today’s political landscape, according to Robert Jones.

Church of Scientology

Earlier this month, Georgia's first Ideal Church of Scientology opened its doors. The 45,000-square-foot mansion that houses the church is located in Sandy Springs, just outside Atlanta. We talk to a Scientologist from Atlanta about what draws him to the church, and how it has diversified.