4 Out of 10 Nations Favor a Specific Religion or Religions

Earlier this month the Pew Research Center published  the results of their analysis of  their study of 199 countries and territories around the world.  They found that more than 40% of these countries or territories (83 of 199), "favor a specific religion, either as an official, government-endorsed religion or by affording one religion preferential treatment over other faiths." Government-Endorsed Religion Only four religions have been granted the status of government-endorsed religion in Read More …

The Least Educated Americans: Christians

A few weeks ago the Pew Research Center published a detailed chart showing a nation by nation breakdown of the educational attainment of those identified with select world religions. United States In the United States, the average educational attainment of all adults aged 25 and older was 12.9 years. In rank order by average educational attainment in number of years the report shows:  Hindus - 15.7  Jews - 14.7  Muslims - 13.6  Buddhists - 13.4  Christians - 12.6 Note: Read More …

Unique Opportunity to Learn About World Religions

Religious literacy is an essential interpersonal competency for all who seek to live well and to relate effectively to other people.  The lack of basic religious literacy continues to fuel isolation, hate, and even violence. My belief that all people need to expand their religious literacy beyond their own religion to the world's great religions has inspired me to teach world religions at the college level eighteen times (and counting!). While I cannot invite you to audit my class, I can Read More …

World Religions from 2010 to 2050

Last week the Pew Research Center released projections for how the makeup of the world's largest religions are likely to shift between now and 2050.  These projections rely on complicated assumptions and modeling designed over the last six years by team of demographers from the Pew Research Center (Washington, D.C.), and the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (Laxenburg, Austria). Globally between 2010 and 2050: world population will increase by 35%, number of Muslims Read More …

Religious Symbols on National Flags

According to a new Pew Research analysis, a third of the world's countries have national flags that contain religious symbols.  The 64 flags with religious imagery can be categorized by religion as follows: Christianity - 31 Islam - 21 Other Religions - 6 Hinduism/Buddhism - 3 Buddhism - 2 Judaism - 1. So What? According to data gathered a few years ago by Pew Research, more than half of the global population are adherents to one of the world's two largest religions: Read More …

Review of The Shambhala Principle

Meet the Author Sakyong Mipham is the head of Shambhala, a a global community of meditation and retreat centers founded by his father, the Buddhist teacher Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche. He is the author of the numerous books, including one bestseller: Turning the Mind into an Ally (2004). Shambhala Shambhala is "a union of the Kagyu and Nyingma lineages of Tibetan Buddhism with the Shambhala teachings introduced by Chögyam Trungpa in the 1970s, based on the warrior tradition of Tibet's Read More …

Review of Unifying Truths of the World’s Religions

Meet the Author C. David Lundberg grew up around religion as a part of his family's inspirational publishing business.  Over forty years ago he realized that, for him, spiritual truth extended well beyond the biblical text.  In response, he has spent most of his life exploring the world's many religious texts and traditions. Lundberg is a minister with the Spiritual Awareness Fellowship and Pathways of Light. Book Basics Unifying Truths of the World's Religions is a thoughtful, Read More …

Review of Beyond Religion

Meet the Author His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso (short for Jetsun Jamphel Ngawang Lobsang Yeshe Tenzin Gyatso), "is both the head of state and the spiritual leader of Tibet."  For decades he has been among the most recognizable advocates of peace, and was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his continued non-violent efforts aimed at the liberation of Tibet.  Additionally, His Holiness has received nearly a hundred formal awards or honors for his "message of peace, non-violence, Read More …

Review of Happiness

Meet the Author Sister Joan Chittister is a member of the Benedictine Sisters of Erie, PA, where she served as prioress for 12 years.  She is a social psychologist with a doctorate from Penn State University, the founder of Benetvision (an organization that exists to encourage the development of contemporary spirituality from a feminist and global perspective through her work), regular columnist for National Catholic Reporter, and a sought after speaker.  Chittister presently serves as the Read More …