Religion Posts

  • My new Twitter handle is now live - check me out at @jackiewgibson!

  • CNN has posted a history of bias against Sikhs - more reason for people to learn about religions before they attack anyone:...

  • Sikh temple shooting unfolding, learn about Sikhism here:

  • Sikh temple shooting unfolding, learn about Sikhism here:

  • Hackers group Anonymous takes down Vatican website:

  • WGN-TV calls doomsday prophecies "an illusion":

  • RT @graceishuman: Really,? Asking people JUST LEAVING the service how they felt about it? Tacky, tacky, inappropriate

  • Whitney Houston's funeral service really took the world to church. Love Pastor Winans' honesty, very moving.

  • #teacher ? Here are appropriate responses to situations with your Jehovah's Witness student:

  • #Teachers: Want to know why your Jehovah's Witness student won't say the pledge and how to respond?

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The following series of winter religious holidays was written by Religion Transcends writer Jackie Walker for the Winter 2009 issue of Relate magazine. Relate’s mission is to inspire teen girls to pursue their dreams with confidence and to teach them to be an example for others in their speech, life, love, faith and purity. Religion overviews may have Christian overtones to make the content relatable for the Christian teen audience.

If you’re putting the finishing touches on a winter wonderland of figgy pudding, jingling bells, and neatly wrapped presents, you’re in good company. Each year, about 93% of Americans celebrate Christmas. That’s more than 9 out of every 10 people in the United States! Of course, Christmas comes in a variety of packages: Santa and his sleigh, Jesus and his manger, the Grinch and his itty-bitty heart. So just what is the real Christmas story? And what are some of the holy nights that the other 7% of Americans are celebrating this winter? Set aside those gingerbread cookies and read this holiday list (we checked it twice!).


Holiday: Christmas

Date: December 25

Main Players: Jesus Christ

The Story: You probably know that Jesus – not Santa – is the reason for Christmas. But when was the last time you heard the real Christmas story? The story is pieced in the Bible’s New Testament. These stories tell of Joseph and his fiancée Mary, a virgin who became pregnant. An angel told Mary she was pregnant with God’s son. The couple had to travel from Nazareth to Bethlehem, Joseph’s hometown, so they could be counted in the government’s census. They reached an inn in Bethlehem, but it was full. So the innkeeper let them stay in the stable with the animals. There, Mary gave birth to Jesus in a manger, a feeding trough for animals. Three magi, called “Wise Men,” came to the inn, where they gave him gifts. Jesus Christ would go on to let the world know he was God, die on a cross, and spark the beginning of Christianity.

Traditions: From Christmas cards and stockings to Rudolph and his reindeer, you could probably list a mile of Christmas traditions. But three stick out that relate directly to Jesus’ birth:

  • Christians walk around town singing Christmas carols about the birth of Jesus.
  • Churches often put up nativity scenes, displays of the scene at Jesus’ birth.
  • Christians give gifts to one another, just as the Wise Men gave gifts to Jesus.

Other installments in this series:
-Buddhism: Bodhi Day
-Judaism: Hanukkah
-Islam: Ashura
Hinduism: Vasant Panchami

Other holidays this winter:
-Islam: Hijra (December 18)
-Wicca: Winter Solstice (December 21)
-Shinto: Gantan-sai (January 1)
-Baha’i: World Religion Day (January 17)
-Buddhism/Confucianism: Chinese New Year (February 14)

Created by Religion Transcends, 2009

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