GateHouse News Service's weekly Religion News with items on the Pope, the most religious states in America and Wicca.
Week in Religion
The Pope has signalled he is ready to form alliances with world leaders of other faiths to oppose gay marriage, according to Reuters. The announcement was made during the annual Christmas address and is believed to be a response to several recent laws passed or proposed in the United States and Europe legalizing same-sex marriage and protecting the rights of same-sex couples.
He also showed his support for a study claiming same-sex marriage would negatively impact children and society, done by France's chief rabbi, Gilles Bernheim.
The Pope, who is the religious leader of the world's 1.2 billion Catholics, has denounced same-sex marriage on several occasions, saying "There is no denying the crisis that threatens it (the family) to its foundations - especially in the Western world."
Franco Grillini, a leader in the gay community of Italy, said the Pope's staement was "great foolishness" and pointed out that "Where gay marriage has been approved, there has been no consequence on heterosexual marriage."
Gallup has found that Mississippi is the most religious state in America, with 59 percent of residents saying that religion is an important part of their daily life and that they attend church service once a week or almost every week. Only seven other states had more than half their population fall into this "very religious" category. They are (in descending order): Utah, Alabama, Louisiana, Arkansas, South Carolina, Tennesee and North Carolina.
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Quote of the Week
"You cannot believe in God until you believe in yourself." - Swami Vivekananda
Wicca: There are many forms of Wicca, but most share a worship of the divine feminine, or Goddess, and a reverence for nature and its cycles. It is traditionally believed to be based on the symbols, celebrations, beliefs and deities of ancient Celtic peoples. Many scholars consider it the largest segment of neo-paganism, saying it can be traced back to Gardnerian Witchcraft, founded in the United Kingdom during the late 1940s.
Religion Around World
The religious makeup of India, according to CIA World Factbook:
80.5 percent: Hindu
13.4 percent: Muslim
2.3 percent: Christian
1.9 percent: Sikh
1.8 percent: Other
0.1 percent: Unspecified
GateHouse News Service