Religion News: Blasphemous Coca-Cola?

Staff Writer
Mount Shasta Herald

Coca-Cola pulls ad campaign

Coca-Cola's main Russian bottling distributor has removed religious images from its drinks refrigerators after a group of Russian Orthodox believers accused it of blasphemy.

People in the city of Nizhny Novgorod, 250 miles from Moscow, complained to the prosecutor's office about pictures of an orthodox cross and church domes on the outdoor refrigerators. -- Reuters

Survey Says

As the 2008 election approaches, the Pew Forum has analyzed the role of religion. According to survey results, 25 percent of Americans say they would be less likely to vote for a Mormon for president, 45 percent express reluctance about voting for a Muslim, and 61 percent say they would be less likely to support a candidate who does not believe in God.

Far fewer express reservations about voting for an evangelical Christian, a Jew or a Catholic. Moreover, about as many people say they would be more likely to vote for an evangelical Christian or a Jew as say they would be less likely, and about twice as many people see being a Catholic as an asset as see it as a liability (13 percent vs. 7 percent). By comparison, just 5 percent say they would be more likely to vote for a Mormon, though two-thirds (66 percent) say it would make no difference in their vote.

Good Book?

Over the next couple of weeks, we’ll be taking a look at some religious classics that you might want to include on your “to-read” list this year.

“The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” (Chronicles of Narnia) by C.S. Lewis tells the story of Narnia, a land frozen in eternal winter; a country waiting to be set free. Four adventurers step through a wardrobe door and into a land enslaved by the power of the White Witch. But when almost all hope is lost, the return of the Great Lion Aslan signals a great change and a great sacrifice. The novel takes inspiration from the Gospel themes of betrayal, death, resurrection and redemption. It borrows ideas from Biblical stories so as to illustrate basic conceptions of Christianity.

Quote of Note

"We're almost 100 percent confident that it will be controversial. But our goal is not necessarily to impress people who already go to church; it's to impress people who don't."

Robbie McLaughlin, pastor of Next Level Church of Matthews, N.C. Church staffers planned to visit area bars to pass out shot glasses that ask patrons to "give us a shot" and bear the slogan, "Real church for real people" to promote the church’s new location. – Charlotte Observer

Get to Know … Martin Luther King Jr.

The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., a Baptist minister by training, became a civil rights activist early in his career. His efforts led to the 1963 March on Washington, where King delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech, raising public consciousness of the civil rights movement. In 1964, King became the youngest person to receive the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts to end segregation and racial discrimination through civil disobedience and other non-violent means. King was assassinated on April 4, 1968, in Memphis, Tenn. -- Wikipedia

The Word

Ecumenical: From a Greek word meaning worldwide. Any movement that attempts to bring together various denominations or traditions within a single religion. The term is used most commonly to refer to Christian intra-denominational efforts. --

Religion Around the World

Religious makeup of Kenya

Protestant 45 percent

Roman Catholic 33 percent

Muslim 10 percent

Indigenous beliefs 10 percent

Other 2 percent

Note: A large majority of Kenyans are Christian, but estimates for the percentage of the population that adheres to Islam or indigenous beliefs vary widely.

- CIA Factbook

GateHouse News Service