Quotes and news
Global religiosity index
People who consider themselves religious form the majority of the world population.
According to a study conducted by the Gallup International Association 59 per cent of those surveyed described themselves as religious, 23 per cent said they are not religious, and 13 per cent said they are convinced atheists.
The study was conducted in 57 countries. Malta was not included.
The study did not gauge actions that show one’s religiosity or lack of it. It asked people whether or not they describe themselves as religious. The nations with the highest percentages of self-described religious people are Ghana, Nigeria, Armenia, Fiji, Macedonia, Romania, Iraq, Kenya, Peru, and Brazil.
The nations with the highest percentages of “convinced atheists” are China, Japan, the Czech Republic, France, South Korea, Germany, the Netherlands, Austria, Iceland, Australia and Ireland.
Pope finishes Jesus of Nazareth, Vol. 3
The third volume of the Pope’s trilogy – Jesus of Nazareth – about Jesus has now been concluded. The Pope wrote in his native language, German. The Vatican press office gave this information while saying the volume is now being translated into various languages; a process that will take quite some time.
The third volume is to be shorter than the previous two, and centres on the infancy of Jesus.
Olympic athletes’ faith
Several Olympic athletes have given testimony of how faith has changed their lives.
US swimmer Missy Franklin told belief.net she had not been raised in an environment that was particularly religious. “Every day over the last three years, my faith has grown. One of my favourite times is going to our school chapel and spending time with God. Faith has changed my life forever. I now work on keeping my faith strong,” she said.
Franklin won her first gold medal in the 100-metre backstroke.
Jordyn Wieber, the 17-year-old US Olympic gymnast, spoke of how her parents helped instil the importance of her Catholic faith. “My parents have always made going to church as a family important,” Weiber told a diocesan magazine. “Sometimes we have to split up due to our schedules, but most times we’re able to get to Mass together. It’s a very special family time and it means a lot to me.”
US Sisters struggle on
The Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR), which is locked in battle with the Vatican, will discuss the latter’s call for change at its annual conference. The Vatican found serious problems with this group, which represents the majority of religious sisters in the US.
The sisters informed Archbishop J. Peter Sartain of Seattle, who has been charged by the Vatican with responsibility for supervising the reform of LCWR, that his presence at the conference would not be considered as helpful.
Judge says Jewish girl may be baptised
A British judge has ruled that a 10-year-old Jewish girl may convert to Anglicanism and seek baptism.
“Her upbringing for the first eight years of her life lacked any significant religious teaching upon which her own moral compass could be based,” he said in his ruling. At the age of eight, her parents divorced, and her father converted to Christianity. When the girl decided to seek baptism, her mother filed suit, alleging the child had been brainwashed.
The judge accepted the evidence that it was the child who asked to accompany her father to church and that it is her wish to learn more about Christianity, and her wish to be baptised.
(Compiled by Fr Joe Borg)