Weekly Religion News with a new survey from the Pew Center, "Desperate for Hope: Hanging on and Finding God During Life's Hardest Times" by Bruce W. Martin and more.
According to the Pew Research Center on Religion and Public Life, 67 percent of Americans agree it's important that a president have strong religious beliefs.
But a new survey from Pew says many voters have "limited awareness" of what religious faith either Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama adhere to.
The national survey, conducted among 2,973 adults, found 60 percent of voters are aware that Romney is Mormon, and 60 percent of those voters say they are comfortable with his faith, while 21 percent say it doesn't matter to them.
Among Republican and Republican-leaning voters who say they are comfortable with Romney being Mormon, 44 percent back him strongly. Meanwhile, among those who say they are uncomfortable with his faith, 21 percent say they back him strongly.
A separate Pew survey, released July 24, revealed that just 16 percent of voters want to hear more about Romney's religious beliefs. More say they want to hear about his record as governor (41 percent), his federal income tax returns (36 percent) and his record at Bain Capital (35 percent).
The new survey finds that only 49 percent of American voters say Obama is a Christian. Four years into his presidency, 17 percent of voters say he is Muslim, while 31 percent of voters say they do not know Obama's religion.
The percentage of voters correctly identifying Obama as a Christian, however, has increased since August 2010, up from 38 percent.
Among conservative Republicans, 16 percent said Obama was Muslim in October 2008 while 34 percent say he is a Muslim when asked in July 2012. Among Independents, 11 percent said he was a Muslim in October 2008, while 16 percent say he is a Muslim when asked in July 2012.
Overall, however, 45 percent of voters say they are comfortable with Obama's religion, while 19 percent are uncomfortable. Among those who describe him as Christian, 82 percent are comfortable with his religion. Among those who describe Obama as Muslim, just 26 percent are comfortable with is religion.
Week in Religion
Aug. 15, 1790, Father John Carroll, 55, was consecrated by Pius VI as the first Roman Catholic bishop (later, in 1811, the first archbishop) of the United States.
Aug. 16, 1972, African-American Methodist clergyman from Dominica, West Indies, Philip A. Potter, 51, was named general secretary of the World Council of Churches.
Aug. 17, 1809, in Pennsylvania, Thomas Campbell, 46, and his son Alexander, 20, formed the American Movement for Christian Unity, which later became the Disciples of Christ Church.
-- William D. Blake, Almanac of the Christian Church
"Desperate for Hope: Hanging on and Finding God During Life's Hardest Times" by Bruce W. Martin
With sincere sympathy and ready encouragement, Bruce W. Martin takes you through a grieving process that will help you reconcile your deep suffering with your beliefs about God. A unique and compassionate take on the age-old question of suffering, this book is for anyone who has experienced life-shattering pain.
-- Baker Publishing Group
Quote of the week
“A baby is God's opinion that the world should go on.” -- Carl Sandburg
Star of David: A six-pointed star that is a symbol of Judaism and of Israel. The Hebrew term for it is Magen David, which translates as “shield of David.”
Religion Around the World
Religious makeup of Jamaica (2001 census)
Protestant: 62.5 percent
Roman Catholic: 2.6 percent
Other or unspecified: 14.2 percent
None: 20.9 percent
- CIA Factbook
GateHouse News Service