Religion

AP / npr.org

April 4, 1968: The date resonates in the hearts of many Americans, including Wichitans.

A polarizing debate over the role of faith-based adoption organizations, and their ability to exclude same-sex couples, has tangled an update of Kansas adoption and foster care laws.

A bill needed to revise the rules passed the House without a dissenting vote in late February. But it drew opposition in the Senate this week when a controversial amendment was added.

Stephen Koranda / KPR/File photo

Updated on Thursday, Dec. 28 at 4:30 p.m.

Gov. Sam Brownback has more hurdles to clear before potentially leaving Kansas to head the Office of International Religious Freedom at the U.S. State Department.

The governor’s name wasn’t among dozens of nominees approved in the Senate this week, nor was it on a list of nominees to hold over until its next session.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s office said that means when the session ends in early January, Brownback’s nomination will go back to the White House, which would need to renominate him.

KCUR 89.3

The American Humanist Association on Wednesday sued Kansas prison officials, alleging the Topeka Correctional Facility promotes Christianity in violation of the First Amendment.

The lawsuit, filed in federal court in Kansas City, claims the prison displays prayers and messages on prison bulletin boards, has erected an eight-foot cross in one of its multi-purpose rooms and often broadcasts movies with Christian themes on inmates’ televisions.

Ark Valley Fire Buff / Flickr

Both Emprise Bank and the Wichita Police Department say they were just following procedure last week during an incident that led to the arrest of a Wichita State University doctoral student of Middle Eastern descent.

Police were called to the bank at 21st and Woodlawn last Wednesday in response to reports of a man with what bank staff believed to be a forged check for $151,000. The WPD says in a statement that one Kansas Highway Patrol Officer, one Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Officer and two Wichita Police officers responded to the call.

David J. Phillip/AP/NPR

A Wichita pastor who formerly spent 27 years in Houston will lead an effort with other churches to assist those ravaged by Tropical Storm Harvey.

Bloomsberries / flickr Creative Commons

A former employee of Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach’s office said in federal court Monday that she was fired in part for not attending church, which left her confused and depressed.

AxsDeny / flickr Creative Commons

Wichitans of different faiths, races and cultures will meet Tuesday night over dinners hosted at homes across the city. As KMUW’s Nadya Faulx reports, the Dinner Dialogues are designed to start conversations between people from diverse backgrounds.

This is the second year the Wichita-based group Beyond Tolerance is hosting the Dinner Dialogues. Eight to 10 people will be at each dinner, and a trained facilitator will lead a conversation about issues related to race and religion.

Courtesy

Steven L. Jones is known for demonstrating his sheer joy in playing the Hammond B-3 organ. He’s been playing at numerous church services across the city for more than four decades.

A local chapter of the Gospel Music Workshop of America decided it was time to recognize many years of musical service with a tribute coming up this weekend. KMUW’s Carla Eckels talks to Steven about his music and his impact on the community.


Courtesy Wichita Common Humanity, artist

A new art exhibition opens today in Wichita that will showcase the work of Middle Eastern artists displaced by war.

The Building Bridges exhibit includes 80 paintings, most of them from Iraqi refugee artists. The work was brought here by the nonprofit Wichita Common Humanity, a collaboration of different religious and interfaith groups.

Coordinator Jan Swartzendruber says the goal of the project is to challenge stereotypes about the Muslim and Arab worlds and help the Wichita community better understand its Muslim neighbors.

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