Weekly religion news briefs rail.
Religion News: First openly gay Olympic medalist meets with Putin
By More Content Now
Week in Religion
After months of outrage over Russia’s gay propaganda law, Olympic spectators got to see something different this week.
Dutch speedskater Ireen Wust, the first openly gay gold medalist at the Sochi Olympic games, got a hug from Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“I got a cuddle from him,” Wust told Dutch national broadcaster NOS at a party held in her honor. “He congratulated me and asked if everything was OK in Russia and I congratulated him on (Russian speedskater) Olga Graf, of course, for her third place (in the 3,000 meters). He was happy to see me, but then he had to leave again. But I cuddled him.”
Wust took home the gold medal during Sunday’s 3,000-meter women’s speedskate. She’s one of seven openly gay athletes competing at the games, according to news reports.
Russia’s gay propaganda law prohibits promoting homosexuality around minors. Gay rights advocates have spoken against the law in recent months as Sochi prepared to host the Olympics, fearing gay athletes would be unfairly targeted or mistreated during the games.
— Amber Krosel, More Content Now
The Winter Olympic Games in Sochi have brought attention to a recently enacted Russian law banning the distribution of gay “propaganda” to minors. The statute has been widely criticized by Western politicians, Olympic athletes, celebrities and others. Among the 15 countries that used to comprise the Soviet Union, Russia is not the only state to restrict LGBT speech. Laws restricting “homosexual propaganda” also have been enacted in Lithuania and in parts of Moldova.
— Pew Research Center
“What We Talk About When We Talk About God,” by Rob Bell
Pastor Rob Bell explains why both culture and the church resist talking about God, and shows how we can reconnect with the God who is pulling us forward into a better future. Bell uses his characteristic evocative storytelling to challenge everything you think you know about God. “What We Talk About When We Talk About God” tackles the misconceptions about God and reveals how God is with us, for us, ahead of us, and how understanding this could change the entire course of our lives.
gentile: In Judaism, anyone who is not a Jew. It is usually a reference to Christians. Some Mormons use the term to describe non-Mormons.
Religion Around the World
According to the CIA World Factbook, the religious makeup of Russia is:
- 15-20 percent Russian Orthodox
- 10-15 percent Muslim
- 2 percent other Christian
Note: Estimates are of practicing worshipers. Russia has large populations of non-practicing believers and non-believers, a legacy of more than seven decades of Soviet rule.
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