Weekly religion news with items on the 2010 midterm election religion demographics, "Your Secret Name" by Kary Oberbrunner and more.

The largest change that occurred in the 2010 midterm election when comparing religious groups and their votes may have been with the Catholics, who favored the Democrats over the Republicans in the past two elections (55 – 42 percent in 2008 and 55 – 44 percent in 2006).

According to analysis by the Pew Research Forum on Religion & Public Life of National Election Pool exit data as reported by CNN, the GOP won the majority support of Catholic voters in the recent midterm election with 54 percent of the vote, compared with 44 percent for the Democrats.

The Republican Party gained support with the overall electorate, and white voters in particular, when compared with the 2006 midterm election.

As in the recent past elections, white Protestant voters (those who describe themselves as “Protestant,” “Mormon” or “other Christian”) overwhelmingly supported the Republican Party (60 – 39 percent), and religiously unaffiliated voters overwhelmingly supported the Democratic Party (66 – 32 percent).

However, the GOP managed to pick up 10 points with unaffiliated voters when compared with the 2006 elections, where they won 22 percent of their vote.

White Evangelicals or born-again Christians continued a pattern of staunchly support for the GOP, giving them 78 percent of their vote and 20 percent to the Democrats. (The 2008 numbers were 70 – 28 percent and, again, 70 – 28 percent in 2006.)

Overall, six-in-ten of the voters who attend religious services on a weekly basis continued to follow a pattern of zealous support for the GOP. Those who attend religious services less frequently gave the Republicans 44 percent of their vote.

Week in Religion

-- Nov. 9, 1681, Hungarian parliament promises Protestants freedom of religion.

-- Nov. 10, 461, St. Leo I ends his reign as Catholic pope.

-- Nov. 11, 1620, 41 pilgrims land in Massachusetts and sign the Mayflower Compact enforcing just and equal laws for everyone.

Survey Says: Religious messages towards gays and lesbians

Nearly half (47 percent) of young adults (age 18 to 34) say that messages from places of worship are contributing “a lot” to negative views of gay and lesbian people. Among Americans age 65 and older, less than one-third (30 percent) agree with that same statement.  

-- Public Religion Research Institute/ Religion News Service

Good Book? Discovering ‘Your Secret Name’

“Your Secret Name: Discovering Who God Created You to Be” by Kary Oberbrunner

We all have one -- a secret name that is. The Bible tells us so. Yet, few of us know ours. Ignorantly, we're stuck, caught up in the ‘name game.’ Oberbrunner calls us to stop accepting the world's labels and start wrestling with God to discover our true identity. In this book, readers will find the courage to abandon what they know in order to become who they were born to be.

-- Amazon.com

Get to Know …

Sister Nirmala (born 1934) succeeded Mother Teresa as the Superior General of the Missionaries of Charity, and she retired in 2009.

Raised as a devoted Hindu in India, Nirmala converted to Christianity after meeting Mother Teresa and devoted her life to missionary activities. Most notably, she served in rural Nepal and was awarded one of the highest civilian honors by the government of India.

The Word

Chakra: This is a term used in some traditions in Buddhism to refer to seven points of energy concentration throughout a person's central nervous system -- in their brain and along their spine.

-- religioustolerance.org

Religion Around the World

Religious makeup of Ethiopia

Orthodox: 43.5 percent

Muslim: 33.9 percent

Protestant: 18.6 percent

Traditional: 2.6 percent

Catholic: 0.7 percent

Other: 0.7 percent

-- CIA Factbook

GateHouse News Service