Study Says Religion Losing Influence in America, Black Mass Demonstrations

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Here’s what you need to know in news for Sept. 23:

Pew study says religion’s influence is down

A new Pew Research Center study says that religion is losing influence with Americans.

According to the study, released Monday, 72 percent of Americans say religion’s influence is falling. Comparably, only 52 percent of Americans said its influence was falling in 2001.

“Most people (overwhelmingly Christians) view this as a bad thing,” said Greg Smith, associate director of Pew’s Religion & Public Life Project. “That unhappiness may be behind their desire for more religion and politics.”

Also according to the study, 49 percent of Americans want churches and other houses of worship to “express their views on day-to-day social and political issues.”

Scotland votes to stay in UK, Christians hoping for unity

Voters in Scotland decided last week that Scotland will not become an independent nation.

More than 50 percent of voters opted to remain part of the United Kingdom. ABout 45 percent voted to become independent.

After the vote, the Evangelical Alliance Scotland asked that Scotland unite with Christian values.

“This has been an incredible season for our nation and the referendum debate has invigorated Scotland with our churches at the heart of the debate,” said Fred Drummond, national director for Evangelical Alliance Scotland. “With the votes now cast and the result declared the people of Scotland have spoken and it is now time for us to unite as a nation and build a new and better Scotland based on the vision, hope and aspiration which characterized the debate.”

Pakistan remembers 2013 church bombing

Pakistani Christians marked the anniversary of the bombing of All Saints Church in Peshawar on Monday.

In 2013, the attack killed 98 people and injured more than 150.

Reportedly, Christian in Pakistan are still facing persecution from extremists.

CSW chief executive Mervyn Thomas said: “We urge the government of Pakistan to be proactive in combating the threat of extremism, and to enact the ruling of the Supreme Court, in order to ensure protection for places of worship and communities of minority faiths.”

Catholics demonstrate against black mass

Catholics in Oklahama gathered this week to demonstrate against a black mass in Oklahoma City.

“We are gathered as witnesses to hope at a time when darkness seems to be gaining ground both here and around the world,” Archbishop Paul Coakley said in a homily for a Holy Hour at Oklahoma City’s St. Francis of Assisi.

Thousands later gathered outside the Oklahoma City Civic Center Musical Hall to protest the black mass.

The occult group Dakhma of Angra Mainyu had scheduled a black mass for the music hall. A black mass is a sacrilegious ceremony that mocks the Catholic service.

Only about 40 people attended the black mass.

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