WEEK IN RELIGION

A federal judge in Wisconsin recently struck down a law that gives clergy tax-free housing allowances, which could affect religious leaders around the country. Under federal law, a “minister of the gospel” is exempt from paying income taxes on compensation that is designated part of a housing allowance. According to the congressional Joint Committee on Taxation, religious leaders save around $800 million per year because of the law passed in 1954. U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb ruled that the exemption provides an unconstitutional benefit to religious persons, violating the establishment clause of the U.S. Constitution. Crabb deferred taking action on granting relief. The Freedom From Religion Foundation had argued that a member of the clergy can use untaxed income to purchase a home and then could deduct interest paid on the mortgage and property taxes.

— More Content Now

STUDY SAYS

More people turn to prayer instead of social media

According to a recent survey, conducted by ComRes, more people turn to prayer when making a difficult decision than they turn to social media. The study found 77 percent of people will consult friends and family, 51 percent will turn to the internet to search for answers, 6 percent would turn to prayer and 4 percent would look to social media.

— More Content Now

GOOD BOOK?

“Martin Luther: The Man Who Rediscovered God and Changed the World” by Eric Metaxas

On All Hallow’s Eve in 1517, a young monk named Martin Luther posted a document he hoped would spark an academic debate, but that instead ignited a conflagration that would forever destroy the world he knew. Five hundred years after Luther’s now famous Ninety-five Theses appeared, Eric Metaxas, paints a startling portrait of the wild figure whose adamantine faith cracked the edifice of Western Christendom and dragged medieval Europe into the future. Written in riveting prose and impeccably researched, “Martin Luther” tells the searing tale of a humble man who, by bringing ugly truths to the highest seats of power, caused the explosion whose sound is still ringing in our ears. Luther’s monumental faith and courage gave birth to the ideals of liberty, equality, and individualism that today lie at the heart of all modern life.

— Viking

THE WORD

Vedas: Pronounced “VEH-daas.” Hinduism’s most ancient scriptures. There are four: Rig Veda, Atharva Veda, Sama Veda and Yajur Veda.

— ReligionStylebook.com

RELIGION AROUND THE WORLD

According to the CIA World Factbook, the religious makeup of Uruguay is:

— Roman Catholic: 47.1 percent

— Non-Catholic Christians: 11.1 percent

— Nondenominational: 23.2 percent

— Jewish: 0.3 percent

— Atheist or agnostic: 17.2 percent

— Other: 1.1 percent

— More Content Now