Weekly Religion News with a new survey out from Pew Research Center on religion and politics, "Starting and Closing: Perseverance, Faith and One More Year" by John Smoltz and more.

A new survey from The Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life finds "the number of people who say there has been too much religious talk by political leaders stands at an all-time high since the Pew Research Center began asking the question more than a decade ago.”


Today, 38 percent of Americans say there has been too much expression of religious faith and prayer from political leaders, while 30 percent say there has been too little. In 2010, 37 percent of Americans said there was too little religious expression from politicians, while 29 percent said there was too much.


Meanwhile, 54 percent of Americans say churches should keep out of politics, while 40 percent say religious institutions should express their views on political matters.


Among Protestants, 47 percent of think churches and other houses of worship should keep out of political matters, while 49 percent think they should express their views. Among white evangelicals, 36 percent say keep out while 60 percent say they should express their views.


Among black Protestants, 43 percent say keep out; 51 percent say express views. Among Catholics, 60 percent say stay out while 36 percent say express views. Among white Catholics, 59 percent say stay out while 37 percent say express views. Finally, among the religiously unaffiliated, 66 percent say stay out while 27 percent say express views.


Week in Religion


April 2, 1956, the General Conference of the Methodist Church, held in Minneapolis, demanded abolishment of racial segregation in all Methodist churches.


April 3, 1675, a Massachusetts law was enacted requiring church doors to be locked during the worship service. (Too many people were leaving before the long sermons were completed.)


April 4, 1256, Pope Alexander IV founded the Roman Catholic religious order of the Augustine Hermits.


-- William D. Blake, Almanac of the Christian Church


Good Book?


"Starting and Closing: Perseverance, Faith and One More Year" by John Smoltz


As a 7-year-old kid pitching a ball against a brick wall, John Smoltz decided to be a professional baseball player when he grew up. And from that simple decision until his last season on the mound in the major leagues, it was his faith, work ethic and love for the game — even more than God-given talent — that propelled him through challenges that would have ruined other athletes.


-- HarperCollins Publishers


Quote of the week


"God knows quite well how hard we find t to love him more than anyone or anything else, and he won't be Angry with us as long as we are trying. And he will help us." -- C.S. Lewis


The Word


Tanakh: The technical name for the entire Hebrew Bible. It includes the Torah, the Prophets and the Sacred Writings, organized into 24 books.


-- religionstylebook.com


Religion Around the World


Religious makeup of South Korea


Christian: 26.3 percent


Buddhist: 23.2 percent


Other or unknown: 1.3 percent


None: 49.3 percent


- CIA Factbook


GateHouse News Service