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Christianity continues to decline among US adults
according to a Pew Research Center survey released Tuesday.

Currently, self-identified Christians of all types make up about 63% of the population. This includes Protestants, Catholics, members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and Orthodox Christians. That number is down 12 points from 75% in 2011, a continuation of a downward spiral in the 21st century.

According to the study, about three-in-10 adults (29%) identify as religious "nones," people who describe themselves as atheists, agnostics or "nothing in particular" when asked about their religious identity
[...]
The decline in Protestantism is equal between evangelicals - believers who describe themselves as born again - and non-evangelical, with both sects seeing a 6-point decline. In contrast, Catholics have held steady after suffering a downward trend between 2007 and 2014. Gorski believes immigration is holding that number firm.

Report: Socialism attacks hurt Dems with Latinx voters, 2021
PEW | Faith Among Black [African and Caribbean immigrants], 2021

archived Tue Dec 8th, 2020, Fri Apr 5th, 2019, Fri Jul 20th, 2018, Thu Sep 6th, 2012

by Cat on Wed Dec 15th, 2021 at 05:27:21 PM EST
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NASA enlists theologians to assess how we would react to alien life
The program aims to answer questions that have baffled us since the begging of time such as what is life? What does it mean to be alive? Where do we draw the line between the human and the [a-word]? What are the possibilities for sentient life in other places?
reference
Should NASA have given $1.1M to a theology institute?, 2016
In 2014, NASA gave $1.1 million to the Center of Theological Inquiry, an independent institution "rooted in Christian theology." The grant supports an initiative to study "the societal implications of astrobiology." Surprisingly, it took more than a year for anyone to complain.
[...]
Since 1998, part of the Astrobiology Program's role has been to address the societal implications of the field, mostly through a series of initiatives at the Library of Congress (although there's also an astrobiology-themed, NASA-funded student debate competition. Most recent topic: "Resolved: An overriding ethical obligation to protect and preserve extraterrestrial microbial life and ecosystems should be incorporated into international law.") The Library has a Chair in Astrobiology and hosts dialogues about astrobiology-and-society issues.
IMDB | Contact, 1997
by Cat on Sun Dec 26th, 2021 at 07:53:30 PM EST
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APsplainin US Catholic clergy shortage eased by recruits immigrants from Africa
Africa is the Catholic church's fastest-growing region. There, the seminaries are "fairly full," said the Rev. Thomas Gaunt, director of Georgetown University's Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate, which conducts research about the Catholic church.

It's different in the U.S. where the Catholic church faces significant hurdles in recruiting home-grown clergy following decades of declining church attendance and the damaging effects of widespread clergy sex abuse scandals.
[...]
Abanulo oversees two parishes in rural Alabama. His typical Sunday starts with an English-language Mass at Holy Family Catholic Church in Lanett, about 125 miles (200 kilometers) from Birmingham along the Alabama-Georgia state line. After that, he is driven an hour north to Wedowee, where he celebrates one Mass in English, another in Spanish.

praise be John Paul II
"He just breaks out in song and a lot of his lectures, he ties in his boyhood, and I just love hearing those stories," said Amber Moosman, a first-grade teacher who has been a parishioner at Holy Family since 1988.
[...]
Abanulo was ordained in Nigeria in 1990 and came to the U.S. in 2003 after a stint in Chad. His first U.S. role was as an associate pastor in the diocese of Oakland, California, where his ministry focused on the fast-growing Nigerian Catholic community. Since then, he has been a hospital chaplain and pastor in Nashville, Tennessee, and a chaplain at the University of Alabama.
[...]
When Maria Sheri Rukwishuro was told she was being sent from the Sisters of the Infant Jesus order in Zimbabwe to West Virginia to work as a missionary nun, she asked her mother superior, "Where is West Virginia?" She was scared, worrying about the unknowns.

"What kind of people am I going to? I'm just a Black nun coming to a white country," Rukwishuro told The Associated Press from Clarksburg, West Virginia, where she has been teaching religious education to public and Catholic school students since arriving in 2004.

Mitch O'bama School of diplomacy
Abanulo, who moved to Alabama in 2020, admits he was initially apprehensive about his latest posting, which meant exchanging a comfortable role as university chaplain for two rural parishes.

"People were telling me 'Father, don't go there. The people there are rednecks,'" he said. But after a year, and a warm reception, he says he now tells his friends, "There are no rednecks here. [There are no bluenecks.] All I see are Jesus necks."

by Cat on Mon Dec 27th, 2021 at 08:55:44 PM EST
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