Religion News: Is God taking calls?
A Dutch artist has set up a telephone number in the Netherlands and is encouraging people to leave messages for God on the answering machine.
According to wire reports, Johan van der Dong said he set up the number to give people an opportunity to organize their thoughts and take time for contemplation.
Callers dialing 06-4424-4901 (or 011-31-6-4424-4901 if calling from the U.S.) after March 7 will hear:
"Hi, you are speaking to God. I'm not in right now so leave a message after the beep."
Senate panel rejects guns in church bill
A state Senate panel last week rejected a bill that would allow concealed handguns in Arkansas churches.
The measure would have removed churches and other houses of worship from the list of places where concealed handguns are banned in Arkansas, according to wire reports.
The House approved the measure in February, but the Senate Judiciary Committee stalled the bill on a voice vote. Supporters of the measure said it was an issue of religious freedom rather than gun rights.
A new analysis of data from the U.S. Religious Landscape Survey, conducted by the Pew Research Center's Forum on Religion and Public Life, finds that 66 percent of women pray at least daily, while 49 percent of men pray at least daily.
“Good Book: The Bizarre, Hilarious, Disturbing, Marvelous, and Inspiring Things I Learned When I Read Every Single Word of the Bible” by David Plotz
Like many Jews and Christians, David Plotz long assumed he knew what was in the Bible. He read parts of it as a child in Hebrew school, then attended a Christian high school where he studied the Old and New Testaments.
But it wasn't until he picked up a Bible at a cousin's bat mitzvah — and became engrossed and horrified by a lesser-known story in Genesis — that he couldn't put it down.
“Good Book” is what happens when a regular guy — an average Job — actually reads the book on which his religion, his culture and his world are based. Along the way, he grapples with the most profound theological questions: How many commandments do we actually need? Does God prefer obedience or good deeds? And the most unexpected ones: Why are so many women in the Bible prostitutes? Why does God love bald men so much? Is Samson really that stupid?
Get to Know …
Amy Wilson Carmichael (1867–1951) was a Protestant Christian missionary in India, who opened an orphanage and founded a mission in Dohnavur, India.
She served in India for 55 years and wrote more than 30 books about the missionary work there.
Growing up in Ireland, she founded the Welcome Evangelical Church in Belfast before becoming involved in missionary work. Initially, she traveled to Japan, but after a brief period of service in Sri Lanka, she found her lifelong vocation in India. She was commissioned by the Church of England Zenana Mission. Much of her work was with young ladies, some of whom were saved from forced prostitution.
Her biography quotes her as saying: "One can give without loving, but one cannot love without giving."
Five poisons: A Buddhist list of five harmful influences commonly found in life: ignorance, hate, pride, craving and envy. -- www.religioustolerance.org
Religion Around the World
Religious makeup of Seychelles
Roman Catholic: 82.3 percent
Anglican: 6.4 percent
Seventh Day Adventist: 1.1 percent
Other Christian: 3.4 percent
Hindu: 2.1 percent
Muslim: 1.1 percent
Other non-Christian: 1.5 percent
Unspecified: 1.5 percent
None: 0.6 percent
- CIA Factbook
GateHouse News Service