Weekly religion rail, with items on using Twitter to reach God, getting to know the Bishop of Orlando, a survey about Mormons, and more.
People around the world can now use social messaging site Twitter to send prayers for placement in the crevices of Jerusalem's Western Wall, also known as the Kotel.
Faithful believe the Jewish holy site provides a direct line to God.
The Kotel, at www.twitter.com/TheKotel, is run by Alon Nir, an Israeli college student and resident of Tel Aviv.
Twitter users can follow The Kotel, wait to be followed in turn, and then privately direct message a 140-character prayer. Nir then prints out the prayers and delivers them to the wall.
As Nir says on his Web site, www.tweetyourprayers.info, people of many different faiths place prayers in the Western Wall, including Pope Benedict XVI and President Barack Obama.
In the News: Gay-marriage supporters stage ‘kiss-ins’
Supporters of gay rights have been conducting “kiss-ins” throughout the country to show criticism of the church and Proposition 8, which banned gay marriage in California.
About 200 people gathered in downtown Salt Lake City on Saturday to protest the Mormon church’s involvement with and support of Prop 8. According to wire reports, also raising ire are several incidents in which gay couples were arrested, cited for trespassing or harassed for publicly kissing.
More than 20 people gathered on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., to participate in the kiss-in. About 50 people attended an event in downtown Atlanta.
Mormons make up 1.7 percent of the American adult population, a proportion that is comparable in size to the U.S. Jewish population, according to the U.S. Religious Landscape Survey, conducted by the Pew Research Center's Forum on Religion & Public Life in 2007.
“Images of Muhammad: Narratives of the Prophet in Islam Across the Centuries” by Tarif Khalidi
In “Images of Muhammad,” Tarif Khalidi examines the ways Muhammad has been depicted and revered from the immediate aftermath of his death to the present day.
Khalidi explores how the “biography” of Muhammad has been constructed, reconstructed and utilized in various Islamic cultures, and traces the influences that have shaped his image, including the profound effect of negative perceptions promulgated by the West.
He provides Western readers with a clear, objective perspective on the current conflicts within the Muslim world as well as their global repercussions.
Get to Know …
Bishop Thomas Wenski is the Bishop of Orlando and a member of the Board of Trustees of The Catholic University of America. Wenski speaks Haitian, Creole and Spanish fluently and preaches and celebrates Mass regularly in both languages.
He has extensive experience working with Haitian communities, serving in the 1970s as associate director and then director of the Pierre Toussaint Haitian Catholic Center in Miami. The center provides for the pastoral and spiritual needs of the Haitian communities of South Florida.
In January 1996, he was appointed the Archdiocese Director of Catholic Charities, helping to collaborate with Caritas Cuba, the social service arm of the Catholic Church in Cuba. Since early 1996, he has traveled to Cuba on many occasions on behalf of the Church.
Pope John Paul II appointed Wenski as coadjutor bishop of the Diocese of Orlando on July 1, 2003. He assumed the role of the fourth bishop of the Diocese of Orlando on Nov. 13, 2004.
Concupiscence: From the Latin word “concupiscentia,” the natural inclination or innate tendency of humans to perform evil deeds. – religioustolerance.org
Religion Around the World
Religious makeup of Guinea-Bissau (small country on the western coast of Africa)
Muslim: 50 percent
Indigenous beliefs: 40 percent
Christian: 10 percent
- CIA Factbook
GateHouse News Service