Religion Today Summaries - Dec. 3, 2010

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk Editorial Staff

Religion Today Summaries - Dec. 3, 2010

Daily briefs of the top news stories impacting Christians around the world.

In today's edition:

  • Former Anglican Head Bemoans Attempt to 'Air-Brush' Out Christianity
  • Very Religious Americans Report Less Depression, Worry
  • Americans Prefer 'Merry Christmas' to 'Happy Holidays'
  • Mexico Missions Affected by Drug Violence

Former Anglican Head Bemoans Attempt to 'Air-Brush' Out Christianity

Former Anglican Archbishop of Canterbury George Carey has slammed attempts to "air-brush" Christianity out of society -- a trend he said is gaining speed as Christmas nears. Religion News Service reports that Carey claimed Britain's "rich legacy" of Christian culture is "under attack" and that Christmas itself is being "re-branded" as a secular festival. Lord Carey, who led the Church of England and the worldwide Anglican Communion from 1991 to 2002, made his remarks in a leaflet issued Wednesday by the group Christian Concern as part of its "Not-Ashamed Day" campaign to promote its faith. "The Christian faith is in danger of being stealthily and subtly brushed aside," he said. "This attempt to air-brush the Christian faith out of the picture is especially obvious as Christmas approaches." Carey also cited cases where a nurse was banned from her job for wearing a cross and a British Airways worker was ordered by the company to remove her crucifix necklace.

Very Religious Americans Report Less Depression, Worry

Very religious Americans are not immune from worry or depression, but are less likely than moderately religious or nonreligious people to experience them. According to a Gallup poll, about one in six American adults who identify as very religious have been diagnosed with depression in their lifetime. That's about 24 percent lower than moderately religious people and 17 percent less than nonreligious people. Very religious people include those who attend church, synagogue or mosque at least once a week -- almost 44 percent of American adults fall into this category. Though Gallup reported that it is possible that Americans who exhibit lower emotional negativity may just be more likely to choose to be religious, the research firm suggested, "The best explanation for the observed relationship between religion and more positive states of emotional health may be the most straightforward - that being religious in fact produces a salutary effect on one's mental health."

Americans Prefer 'Merry Christmas' to 'Happy Holidays'

Most Americans still prefer to see "Merry Christmas" as a store's holiday greeting, The Christian Post reports. According to a Rasmussen Reports survey in November, 69 percent of those polled would rather see "Merry Christmas" instead of "Happy Holidays." Liberty Counsel President Mathew Staver said the results to the November poll corresponds to what he has been saying all along. "People enjoy Christmas," he stated. Liberty Counsel publishes a Friend or Foe Christmas list to indicate a retailer's friendliness towards the traditional greeting. Staver cited Wal-Mart as an "absurd" example of so-called anti-Christmas policies. "They had even said that [store employees] could not return a greeting of ‘Merry Christmas' even if it was said by a customer," he recalled. "The absurdity of this has [made] people become very vocal and I think retailers are now listening."

Mexico Missions Affected by Drug Violence

As drug lords continue to battle for territory and drug routes in Mexico, missionaries in the country have had to adapt to a new way of operating. Mission News Network reports that in the city of Monterrey, Jon and Jeanne Herrin have had to adapt their work with The Mission Society. "The violence here has increased rapidly and to an amazing level over what they've known in the past," Jon said. "It's thrown the people here into a great deal of fear, understandably. There's unrest in their souls and in their lives. It's changed the way the city moves and operates." The couple has moved many activities in the seminary where he teaches and the Christian high school where his wife works to the weekend. Many mission teams have canceled trips to the city. But he says the Gospel moves forward no matter what. "Because of the unrest and fears in people's lives, they are looking for answers like they haven't before. So we see that, in fact, the city is opening up to the Gospel more than it has in the past."