Click the link to go to GHNS' weekly Religion News, with the Pope's book on Christmas traditions, the quote of the week and religious makeup of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Or check out these other links.

Week in Religion


A new book released by Pope Bendict XVI looks at the early life of Jesus and debunks several myths about the Nativity scene, the date and year Jesus was born and that Jews did not kill Jesus. The third volume in a series by the pontiff is being published in time for Christmas; the previous two books dealt with Jesus' adult life and his public minstry.


The initial worldwide print run is more than a million copies with release across 50 countries and in multiple languages, including: Croatian, English, French, German, Italian, Polish, Portuguese and Spanish. According to the Vatican, in the coming months, the book will be translated into 12 more languages for publication in 72 countries. "Anyone who's wondering why Christmas came to be such a great celebration in the West can find the answer right here. The pope explains how the birth of Jesus changed history forever," said Monsignor Philip Whitmore, who translated the book into English.


-- CNN.com


Survey Says


A 2012 Gallup poll found that 46 percent of Americans believe in the creationist view that God created humans in their present form at one time within the last 10,000 years.


Good Book?


"Beyond Religion: Ethics for a Whole World," by H.H. Dalai Lama, 208 pages


Ten years ago, in the best-selling Ethics for a New Millennium, His Holiness the Dalai Lama first proposed an approach to ethics based on universal rather than religious principles. With Beyond Relgion, he returns to the conversation at his most outspoken, elaborating and deepening his vision for the nonreligious way — a path to lead an ethical, happy, and spiritual life. Transcending the religion wars, he outlines a system of ethics for our shared world, one that makes a stirring appeal for a deep appreciation of our common humanity, offering us all a road map for improving human life on individual, community, and global levels. — Mariner Books


-- amazon.com


Quote of the Week


"I hope that no American will waste his franchise and throw away his vote by either voting for me or against me solely on account of my religious affiliation. It is not relevant." — John F. Kennedy


The Word


sadhana: pronounced "SAAD-han-aa," in Hinduism, religious practice that is undertaken on a regular basis for the purpose of purifying oneself to gain wisdom, devotion or enlightenment.


-- religionstylebook.com


Religion Around the World


The religious makeup of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, according to the CIA Factbook:


50 percent: Roman Catholic


20 percent: Protestant


10 percent: Kimbanguist 


10 percent: Muslim


10 percent: Other (includes syncretic sects and indigenous beliefs)


GateHouse News Service