Presbyterians form new denomination

Conservative Presbyterians launched a new denomination in January, though most don't plan to leave their current one. In response to the Presbyterian Church (USA)'s decision to ordain noncelibate gays and lesbians, dissenting congregations can exclusively join the new Evangelical Covenant Order of Presbyterians (ECO), but they can also affiliate with it while remaining in the PC(USA). A poll of the 2,100 representatives from 900 congregations who attended the ECO's founding conference in Florida indicated most churches would not leave the PC(USA). But the New Wineskins Association of Churches, which broke from the PC(UCA) in 2007, said it would "conclude its ministry" and merge with the ECO.

Contraception fight no longer just for Catholics

Evangelicals joined Roman Catholics in challenging a government mandate that employers' insurance plans cover contraceptives and some abortifacients. In December, the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities sent a letter to the White House, voicing concerns that none of its members would "fall within the regulation's extremely anemic religious exemption." A group of high-profile evangelical leaders also sent a letter written "in solidarity, but separately" from Catholics to protest the requirement. Additionally, Colorado Christian University filed a federal lawsuit against the mandate. In January, the Obama administration granted a one-year delay for religious employers to comply with the mandate, but did not broaden its religious exemption.

Court: Ultrasound before abortions

A pro-life law now has another lease on life. The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a Texas law requiring abortion providers to perform an ultrasound, have the patient listen ...

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