Religion: Sin City Exit?

Protestant heartland murmurs

A generation ago, mainstream Protestant churches began clustering their national agencies in New York City. With such institutions as the U.N. and the National Council of Churches already in place, Manhattan seemed the ideal base for forward-looking church leaders. Now, for various reasons, four major denominations are simultaneously pondering whether to pull up stakes. The underlying trouble is not New York's reputation as Sin City--except insofar as liberalism is counted a sin. Churchgoers on Main Street are increasingly concerned that the left-of-center New York bureaucracies are out of step with heartland beliefs.

"There's been a massive reaction by people in the...

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