WEEK IN RELIGION

Thousands of religious leaders have come together to ask the U.S. Congress to protect the Johnson Amendment. Spearheaded by Americans United for Separation of Church and State and the Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty, more than 4,000 leaders signed a letter urging Congress to maintain the Johnson Amendment, which is a law barring pulpit politicking. President Donald Trump has vowed to remove the law, but Methodists to Muslims signed the letter noting that there is nothing wrong with the current law. “Faith leaders are called to speak truth to power, and we cannot do so if we are merely cogs in partisan political machines,” the letter said. “Particularly in today’s political climate, engaging in partisan politics and issuing endorsements would be highly divisive and have a detrimental impact on congregational unity and civil discourse.” In February, Trump said he would “totally destroy the Johnson Amendment and allow our representatives of faith to speak freely and without fear.”

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STUDY SAYS

U.S. Muslims concerned about extremism

According to a recent Pew Research Center study, 82 percent of U.S. Muslims said they were either very (66 percent) or somewhat concerned (16 percent) about extremism committed in the name of Islam around the world.

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GOOD BOOK?

“Religion: What It Is, How It Works, and Why It Matters” by Christian Smith

Drawing on the philosophy of critical realism and personalist social theory, Christian Smith answers key questions about the nature, powers, workings, appeal, and future of religion. He defines religion in a way that resolves myriad problems and ambiguities in past accounts, explains the kinds of causal influences religion exerts in the world, and examines the key cognitive process that makes religion possible. Smith explores why humans are religious in the first place ― uniquely so as a species ― and offers an account of secularization and religious innovation and persistence that breaks the logjam in which so many religion scholars have been stuck for so long.

— Princeton University Press

THE WORD

Jehovah: A somewhat archaic English rendering of the four Hebrew letters, usually transliterated as YHWH, that form the name of God.

— ReligionStylebook.com

RELIGION AROUND THE WORLD

According to the CIA World Factbook, the religious makeup of Costa Rica:

— Roman Catholic: 76.3 percent

— Evangelical: 13.7 percent

— Jehovah’s Witness: 1.3 percent

— Other Protestant: 0.7 percent

— Other: 4.8 percent

— None: 3.2 percent

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