WEEK IN RELIGION

A researcher for the International Star Bible Society believes he has identified the famous Star of Bethlehem, which led the Three Wise Men to the newborn Jesus Christ more than 2,000 years ago according to the Bible. In an article authored by Ron Allen of the ISBS, he argues that the Star of Bethlehem was first observed as a nova by Chinese astronomers in 5 B.C. along the meridian of the star Altair. Allen said that by following the Chinese longitude north up the meridian of Altair (about 25 degrees) he was able to find the latitude where the star would’ve been located directly over Bethlehem. Today, Allen’s location for the Star of Bethlehem is a black hole known as X-1 Cygnus in the Cygnus constellation. Allen said the the black hole is the remains of a large nova and can be identified as the Star of Bethlehem.

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STUDY SAYS

Majority of Americans discount biblical Nativity story

According to a recent survey conducted by the Pew Research Center, a declining number of Americans believe the biblical Christmas story reflects historical events. The number of adults that said Christmas for them is more a religious holiday than a cultural one, dipped from 51 percent in 2014 to 46 percent in 2017.

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GOOD BOOK?

“Unimaginable: What Our World Would Be Like Without Christianity” by Jeremiah J. Johnston

In a day when Christians are often attacked for their beliefs, professor and speaker Jeremiah Johnston offers an inspiring look at the positive influence of Christianity, both historically and today. In Unimaginable, you’ll discover the far-reaching ways that Christianity is good for the world — and has been since the first century A.D. Like “It’s a Wonderful Life,” the classic film that showed George Bailey how different Bedford Falls would be without his presence, “Unimaginable” guides readers through the halls of history to see how Jesus’ teachings dramatically changed the world and continue to be the most powerful force for good today.

— Bethany House Publishers

THE WORD

karma: In Buddhism and Hinduism, the universal law of cause and effect; the effect (or fruits) of a person’s actions in one’s next lifetime.

— ReligionStylebook.com

RELIGION AROUND THE WORLD

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

— Roman Catholic: 66.7 percent

— Evangelical or Protestant: 16.4 percent

— Jehovah’s Witness: 1 percent

— Other: 3.4 percent

— None: 11.5 percent

— Unspecified: 1.1 percent

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