Religion News: Pope kicks off marathon Bible reading

Staff Writer
Mount Shasta Herald

Pope Benedict on Sunday, Oct. 5, began a seven-day, Bible-reading marathon by reading several minutes from the start of the Book of Genesis.

More than 1,200 people in Rome are planning to take turns reading from the Bible until all 73 books of the Catholic edition are finished, according to wire reports.

The second reader was from the Russian Orthodox Church and the third was an Italian protestant leader. Others on the first night included Italian politicians and artists, among them Oscar-winning actor and director Roberto Benigni.

The broadcast began live on Italian broadcaster RAI's first channel and was to continue on one of its satellite channels.

Episcopalians apologize for slavery

Episcopal leaders gathered last week in Philadelphia to express repentance for the church’s involvement in slavery.

Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori issued a public apology, saying that after slavery was formally abolished, the church continued to support segregation and discrimination.

The gesture drew hundreds to St. Thomas African Episcopal Church in Philadelphia for the Day of Repentance -- a two-day observance which included presentations that examined racism in the past, present, and future. --

Survey Says

Research shows that two-thirds of the public opposes churches and other houses of worship speaking out in favor of one candidate over another.

This strong opposition to church political endorsements applies to people with different levels of religious commitment. For example, nearly the same level of opposition exists among those who say that religion is very important to them (66 percent) as among those who say religion is not too important or not at all important to them (69 percent). -- Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life

Good Book?

“The Green Bible” by Harper Bibles

“The Green Bible” aims to equip and encourage people to see God’s vision for creation and help them engage in the work of healing and sustaining it.

With more than 1,000 references to the earth in the Bible, compared to 490 references to heaven and 530 references to love, the Bible carries a powerful message for the earth. This edition of the Bible will highlight scriptures in green ink that teach about God’s care for creation and how God interacts with creation.

Essays from leading conservationists and theologians on how to read the Bible through a “green lens” as well as a green topical index and Green Bible trail guide for personal study will be paired with teachings throughout the ages to show people how caring for God’s creation is not only a calling, but a lifestyle.

Get to Know … Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan

Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan (c. 1890-1988) was a Pashtun Indian political and spiritual leader known for his non-violent opposition to British Rule in India.

A lifelong pacifist, a devout Muslim and a follower of Mahatma Gandhi, he was also known "Frontier Gandhi." In 1985 he was nominated for the Nobel peace prize. In 1987 he became the first non-citizen to be awarded the Bharat Ratna, India's highest civilian award.

Ghaffar Khan's goal came to be the formulation of a united, independent, secular India. To achieve this end, he founded the Khudai Khidmatgar ("Servants of God"), commonly known as the "Red Shirts" (Surkh Posh), during the 1920s. The Khudai Khidmatgar was founded on a belief in the power of Gandhi's notion of Satyagraha, a form of active non-violence as captured in an oath.

He was a champion of women's rights and nonviolence. Throughout his life, he never lost faith in his non-violent methods or in the compatibility of Islam and nonviolence. He viewed his struggle as a jihad with only the enemy holding swords. --

The Word

Charismatic: Those Christians who believe that the manifestations of the Holy Spirit seen in the first century Christian Church, such as miracles, prophecy and speaking in tongues, are available to contemporary Christians and may be experienced and practiced today. --

Religion Around the World

Religious makeup of Aruba

Roman Catholic: 80.8 percent

Protestant: 9 percent

Other (includes Hindu, Muslim, Confucian, Jewish): 5.6 percent

None or unspecified: 4.6 percent

- CIA Factbook

GateHouse News Service