WEEK IN RELIGION
A Spanish priest who was sentenced to jail for 18 months by a Vatican court for leaking confidential information to journalists was granted an early release by Pope Francis earlier this week. Monsignor Lucio Vallejo Balda was sentenced in August to stealing and passing Vatican documents to two Italian journalists in a case that become know as the Vatileaks 2 case. Vallejo Balda was released on Dec. 20 and will return to his home diocese in Spain. Vallejo Balda and co-defendant Francesca Immacolata Chaouqui, who were both members of the Vatican’s now defunct financial commission, were found guilty in the Vatileaks 2 trial. “Considering that the Rev. Vallejo Balda has already served more than half of the sentence, the Holy Father Francis has given him the benefit of conditional release. It is a measure of clemency which allows him to regain freedom. The penalty is not resolved, but he can enjoy the benefit of parole,” the Vatican said in a statement.
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SURVEY SAYS
Many evangelicals don’t believe in evolution
Almost a third of American evangelicals do not believe in the theory of evolution, according to a recent survey. In a study conducted by researchers at West Virginia University, Baruch College and Rice University, researchers found that 70 percent of American evangelicals don’t believe in evolution. Although they don’t believe in evolution, the study also found that a majority of evangelicals believe that climate change is occurring and/or that humans have a role in climate change. Less than 28 percent of evangelicals believe that climate change is a fabrication.
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GOOD BOOK?
“Creed: What Christians Believe and Why” by Adam Hamilton
We’re all searching. Sometimes the search is easy: Simply type a question and the answer pops up. But sometimes our questions are complicated, and the answers are difficult to see and harder to articulate. How do we discover and examine the truths that give meaning and purpose to life? Adam Hamilton believes that some powerful answers are contained in the Apostles’ Creed, an early statement of foundational Christian beliefs. In this book for Lent, Easter, and beyond, Hamilton considers important questions of life, reality, and truth. He explores not only what Christians believe, but also why they believe it and why it matters.
—Abingdon Press

THE WORD
Talmud: In Judaism, the extensive written body of interpretation and commentary by scholarly ancient rabbis of the oral law believed to have been given by God to Moses at Mount Sinai.
— ReligionStylebook.com

RELIGION AROUND THE WORLD
According to the CIA World Factbook, the religious makeup of Tonga is:
— Protestant: 64.9 percent
— Mormon: 16.8 percent
— Roman Catholic: 15.6 percent
— Other: 1.1 percent
— None: 0.03 percent
— Unspecified: 1.7 percent
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