Religion rail for Dec. 24, with items on a social-networking-based ministry, the original Saint Nicholas, the religious makeup of Puerto Rico, and more.
A national ministry has launched a campaign to share the Bible using social networking.
Pray Daily America’s Bible Blitz USA is an outreach effort in which a Bible verse and patriotic religious quote are e-mailed weekly to anyone who signs up to receive the verses. Recipients are then urged to spread the quotes on Facebook, Twitter, Christian Chirp, church bulletins, blogs and more.
There is also a contest in which participants can take pictures, make videos or share how they are “Bible Blitzing.”
For more information, visit www.PrayDailyAmerica.com/BibleBlitzUSA.html.
Missions conference to focus on global issues
Urbana 09, a student missions conference set for Dec. 27-31 in St. Louis, is expecting more than 20,000 attendees.
The conference is organized by InterVarsity Christian Fellowship and will focus on the issues faced by missionaries around the world, including movement of peoples, money in terms of missions funding, environmental stewardship, and divisions between peoples.
The previous conference, in 2006, educated attendees on issues such as AIDS, slum communities in the developing world, sex trafficking and African missions.
The first InterVarsity student missions conference was held in Toronto in 1946. For more information, visit www.urbana09.org.
A 2009 survey by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life found that only 9 percent of conservative Republicans say the Democratic Party is friendly toward religion, less than half the number who said this in 2008 (23 percent).
Moderate and liberal Republicans are 11 percentage points less likely to see Democrats as friendly toward religion than they were last year (21 percent in 2009 vs. 32 percent in 2008). The number of independents describing the Democrats as friendly toward religion is down nine points (from 35 percent to 26 percent), and the number of conservative and moderate Democrats taking this view is down eight points (from 50 percent to 42 percent).
“The Ultimate Happiness Prescription: 7 Keys to Joy and Enlightenment” by Deepak Chopra
In “The Ultimate Happiness Prescription,” bestselling author Deepak Chopra shows us seven keys to uncover the true secrets of joy in the most difficult times.
The goal of life is the expansion of happiness, he contends. But in today’s demanding world, that goal seems elusive, if not impossibly out of reach. Society reinforces the belief that fulfillment comes from achieving success, wealth, and good relationships. Yet Chopra tells us that the opposite is true: all success in life is the by-product of happiness, not the cause.
Chopra shares spiritual principles for a life based on a sense of your “true self” lying beyond the ebb and flow of daily living. Simple daily exercises lead to eliminating the root causes of unhappiness and letting a deeper level of bliss unfold.
Get to Know … Saint Nicholas
Saint Nicholas (270-346) is the more well-known name of Nicholas of Myra, a saint from what is now Turkey.
His reputation for secret gift giving helped him become the model for the modern-day Santa Claus.
Saint Nicholas is honored by Catholic and Orthodox Christians, as well as Anglican and Lutheran churches. He is the patron saint of sailors, merchants, archers, and children and students in Greece, Belgium, Romania, Bulgaria, Georgia, Russia, the Republic of Macedonia, Slovakia, Serbia and Montenegro.
Saint Nicholas Day is celebrated in many European countries on Dec. 6 and is associated with the saint’s legends and reputation for giving gifts.
The majority of Saint Nicholas’ remains are preserved in Bari, Italy. Several miracles are associated with his relics.
Canon law: A term used primarily within the Roman Catholic Church to refer to a collection of church laws. – www.religioustolerance.org
Religion Around the World
Religious makeup of Puerto Rico
Roman Catholic: 85 percent
Protestant and other: 15 percent
- CIA Factbook
GateHouse News Service