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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Religion Stats

You’ve heard before that today’s generation of young adults is focused on social justice issues. But did you know they were really active?

A new Barna Group study found that 93% of church-attending Christians are concerned about global poverty and 20% of practicing American Protestants have traveled outside of the United States to serve the global poor. But what’s really striking is the info they gathered about young adults:

Younger Christians, those under 40, are more than twice as likely to have traveled outside the U.S. to serve the global poor.

Younger Christians give 50% more than older Christians toward the cause of global poverty.

45% of younger Christians believe their churches should be more involved in helping the poor…and 37% said they would donate more to their church if their church increased its involvement.

Do your religious beliefs affect your concerns about poverty? Are you doing anything to eradicate hunger?

Created by, 2011

The end of 2010 brought loads of bad news: attacks on Christians in their homes in Baghdad, attacks on a church in Egypt, the abduction of a Hindu spiritual leader in Pakistan, and so on. Unfortunately religion reporters had their hands so full with murders and devastation that very little airtime was left for coverage of religious celebrations: Pancha Ganapati, Christmas, Hanukkah, Yule, Ashura, etc. (Fortunately you can still click these links to learn more about those holidays.)

In the spirit of the new year, RT is taking a quick look at a couple of fun lists (ok, they’re serious issues, but who doesn’t enjoy light-hearted list-making?).

  1. Looking back: Religion Newswriters Association recently released its ranking of the top religion stories of 2010 (voted on by religion journalists). The top five stories involved the Ground Zero mosque proposal, the earthquake in Haiti, the pope’s handling of priest pedophiles, the Tea Party Movement, and Obama’s health care reform bill.
  2. Looking forward: The Public Religion Research Institute posted 10 stories from 2010 that will affect us in the coming months. These include churches and homosexuality, immigration reform, and Americans’ religious knowledge.

Still looking for a good new year’s resolution? Resolve to learn a little more about your neighbor’s faith this year. Click on the religion overviews in the top navigation to get some quick background information on the religions of people around you.

Created by Religion Transcends, 2011

Atheists and Agnostics appear to know more about religion than members of large religions throughout the United States, according to a new survey from the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life, released this morning.

The Pew Forum recently surveyed more than 3,400 people about 32 religious knowledge questions to see how much Americans know about religion. On average, Americans answered 16 of 32 questions correctly. Atheists/Agnostics did the best, answering 20.9 questions correctly on average. Hispanic Catholics did the worst of the groups surveyed, answering 11.6 questions correctly on average. Here’s the breakdown:

Religious Knowledge by Group (chart created by Religion Transcends with info from the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life)


The questions were a mixture of Biblical knowledge and knowledge of world religions. Jews and Atheists/Agnostics did far better on questions about world religions than other groups surveyed. Mormons scored best on knowledge of the Bible, with white evangelical Protestants coming in second on Bible knowledge.

So what did they get right?

  • 89% of respondents knew public school teachers cannot lead class in prayer.
  • 82% knew Mother Teresa was Catholic.
  • 71% knew Jesus was born in Bethlehem.

What did they get wrong?

  • Only 47% knew the Dalai Lama is Buddhist.
  • Only 27% knew most people in Indonesia are Muslim.
  • Only 23% knew public school teachers CAN read from the Bible as an example of literature.

What other factors are involved?

  • College graduates did better than respondents who only had some college or high school or less.
  • Those who took a religion course in college did better than those who did not.
  • When it came to race, white respondents did better than black respondents or Hispanics.
  • Men did better than women.
  • Respondents in the South answered fewer questions correctly than respondents in all other regions of America.
  • Respondents aged 18-29 answered fewer questions correctly than respondents in older age groups.

What does all of it mean?

Frankly, when it comes to knowing our neighbors in terms of their religious beliefs, Americans in general are doing a poor job – particularly when it comes to knowing about religions other than their own.

Regardless of your religious belief or non-belief, take some time to understand what people around the world believe about God. Understanding leads to the development of relationships and tears down walls of fear, intolerance, and hatred.

Not sure where to start?

Take the quiz about religious knowledge on the Pew Forum site. Then return to Religion Transcends and click on “Religion Overviews” in the top navigation to learn about a religion other than your own. Want more? Check out news from those religions in the “religion posts” drop-down menu in the left navigation.

Have a question about a religion? Post it as a comment on this post.

Created by Religion Transcends, 2010

Are American 20-somethings disengaged when it comes to religion? Perhaps. Or maybe it depends on your definition of religion.

According to a recent Pew Forum study, 1/4 of Americans ages 18-29 say they aren’t affiliated with any one religion. Then again, a 2009 LifeWay survey showed that 73% of unchurched 20- to 29-year-olds said they are more spiritual than religious. So perhaps America’s 20-somethings are not so disengaged in religious/spiritual activities as they are disinterested in organized religion/labels.

What GenY is not interested in

Engaged spiritual activity: The LifeWay study looked at Christian 20-somethings in particular. The study found that 65% of Millennials say they’re Christians – yet only 1/3 of those Christians say they attend church regularly and 14% say they are Atheist or Agnostic. Furthermore, young Christians rarely read the Bible if ever and rarely pray if ever.

Labels: This CNN article asked if it’s dangerous to be spiritual but not religious, with one priest saying spirituality can be selfish and that spiritual people simply don’t want to put in the work that religion requires. But some Millennials who define themselves that way say they don’t need to be put into one religious box or because they don’t like the ego/power that’s tossed around in the world’s religions. CNN’s article says religious institutions need to prove their relevancy and show Millennials that it’s ok to call yourself religious.

What GenY IS interested in

Family: The LifeWay survey showed that most Millennials choose family over religion: 61% said family is their top priority while only 13% put religion/spirituality at the top of the list.

Social justice: Check out this article in the New York Times.

What we hope GenY will take interest in

Whether Millennials choose religion, spirituality, Atheism, or Agnosticism, one hopes GenY will not choose Apathy. It is familiarity and engagement with religions and religious folk that open us up to  conversations and mutual respect. Even if you are not a practitioner yourself, it is worthwhile to pay attention to those who are and to become familiar with their institutions. Need more of a reason? Check out our About page.

Created by Religion Transcends, 2010