Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Matters of Faith

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Matters of Faith

Article excerpt

Support for Muslim women

With an American penchant for polling regularly on almost every issue, insights from national or global surveys can present the startling or just the obvious - especially when it comes to religion.

A recent Gallup World Poll offers what some might consider surprising results about attitudes within predominantly Muslim countries toward women in government. In all but one of eight nations surveyed, a clear majority supports women holding leadership positions.

The results ranged from 54 percent support in Egypt to 78 percent in Iran to 91 percent in Lebanon. Only in Saudi Arabia was there less than majority backing (40 percent). The findings point up the fact that women have been elected to top posts in Turkey, Pakistan, Indonesia, and Bangladesh.

In US polling, Gallup has been checking up on attendance at houses of worship. An analysis of thousands of interviews over the past two years shows that 42 percent of Americans say they attend church regularly (similar to past years). About the same percentage say they "seldom" or "never attend."

Not surprisingly, perhaps, attendance remains highest in the South and in Utah, and lowest in New England and western states, ranging from about 58 percent in Alabama down to 24 percent in Vermont and New Hampshire. The Church of Christ, Mormons, and Pentecostals have the highest attendance rate - about two-thirds; only 15 percent of Jews regularly go to synagogue.

Vatican reviews condom policy

Controversy has long surrounded the Roman Catholic Church's refusal to support condom use in the fight against AIDS, consistent with its opposition to contraception. Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini, the retired archbishop of Milan, recently made headlines by suggesting that exceptions might be called for. Now John Allen, Vatican correspondent of the National Catholic Reporter, reports that a draft study is being prepared at the Vatican that would accept the use of condoms, but only within the narrow context of marriage, where one partner has HIV/AIDS. The study still faces review before going to the pope.

Spiritual help after trauma

How crucial are prayer and spiritual support to survivors of crime, violence, or natural disaster? …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed


An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.