Daily briefs of the top news stories impacting Christians around the world.
In today's edition:
- College Majors May Shape Religiosity, Survey Finds
- 11 Christians Arrested in Latest Crackdown in Eritrea
- Gallup: Most Religious Americans Have High Levels of Well-Being
- Christian Villages at Heart of Indonesia's Triple Disaster
College Majors May Shape Religiosity, Survey Finds
Certain academic majors can influence students' religiosity - positively or negatively - over time, according to researchers at the University of Michigan Institute for Social Research. According to the story on churchleaders.com, education majors showed the most dramatic increase in religious attendance and religious importance. Biology, engineering, physical science and math majors all increased their religious attendance but saw a decrease in religious importance. Humanities and social science majors are likely to dip slightly in religious attendance, but religious importance plunges. "College is one of the few times you have a neat little label about the sorts of ideas a person has come in contact with," economics professor Miles Kimball said. "Professions can have a profound effect on people's attitudes."
11 Christians Arrested in Latest Crackdown in Eritrea
ASSIST News Service reports that on October 20 Eritrean government officials arrested 11 Christians and took them to unknown locations following a provincial governor's orders. Mustafa Nurhussein, the governor of the Southern Zone (province) of Eritrea, ordered Christians in the cities of Mendefera, Dekemharre and Dibarwa arrested. Security officials also confiscated TVs, video players and other electronic equipment that belonged to the Christians. Most of the detained belong to the Full Gospel Church, an evangelical church that was among those that were banned by Eritrean officials in 2002. Eritrea only recognizes four religious groups: Islam, the Eritrean Orthodox Church, the Roman Catholic Church and the Lutheran Evangelical Church of Eritrea.
Gallup: Most Religious Americans Have High Levels of Well-Being
The most religious Americans also have the highest rates of well-being, according to a new Gallup survey. The finding is based on a survey of more than 550,000 people about their physical and emotional health and their work environment. Overall, the very religious received a score on Gallup's well-being index of 68.7 percent, while both the moderately religious and the nonreligious received a score of 64.2 percent. The very religious were defined as those who said religion is an important part of their daily lives and they attend worship services at least every week or almost every week. Religion News Service reports that researchers did not determine why the very religious had higher levels of health and happiness.
Christian Villages at Heart of Indonesia's Triple Disaster
According to Barnabas Aid, mainly Christian islands are at the heart of the three-fold disaster of earthquake, tsunami and volcanic eruption that have killed hundreds and displaced thousands in Indonesia last week. A 7.7 magnitude undersea earthquake triggered a three-meter high tsunami, which pounded the Mentawai Islands, off the coast of West Sumatra, on Monday evening. The following day Mount Merapi on the island of Java erupted, spewing out clouds of ash and jets of searing gas. The combined death toll has topped 300 with over 400 missing and tens of thousands displaced as homes were destroyed. ASSIST News Service reports that rescuers have struggled to reach the worst-affected communities following the tsunami, which swept away 13 villages.