WEEK IN RELIGION
After nearly 500 years of division, the Roman Catholic Church and Lutherans are putting their differences aside. In a nearly unanimous vote on Aug. 10, the 2016 Evangelical Lutheran Church in America Churchwide Assembly (the largest denomination of Lutherans in the U.S.) approved the “Declaration on the Way,” which recognizes that “there are no longer church-dividing issues” on many of the points originally posted by Martin Luther in 1517. That year, Luther nailed his 95 theses (a list of 95 statements Luther wanted to debate with the Catholic Church) to the door of the Catholic Church in Wittenberg, Germany, which marked the beginning of the Protestant Reformation. The recent declaration contains 32 “Statements of Agreement” on issues of church, ministry and the Eucharist. It also lists the remaining differences and what steps will be taken in the future to address the issues. Both churches are currently preparing for a year’s worth of celebrations leading up to the 500th anniversary of the Reformation.
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SURVEY SAYS
If the technology were available to enhance human abilities, highly religious Americans are less likely to want any enhancements according to a new survey conducted by the Pew Research Center. The survey focused on three possible enhancements — gene editing to reduce risk of disease, brain chip implants to improve cognitive abilities and adding synthetic blood to improve physical abilities — and 64 percent those respondents who consider themselves as highly religious (based on an index of common religious measures) said they would not want to use gene-editing technology for their babies. Of the respondents who consider themselves with a low religious commitment, 63 percent said the would want to use such technology.
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GOOD BOOK?
“The Strength You Need: The Twelve Great Strength Passages of the Bible” by Robert Morgan
Pastor Robert Morgan leads a busy life as a pastor and is also a multitasking caregiver to his disabled wife. Most days he feels exhausted, yet over time God has shown him how to build himself up when he’s worn himself out. He has learned to fully embrace Psalm 84, as he moves from strength to strength. The valleys and the weaknesses are inevitable. Our task is to embrace these as we wait for God to take us to our next time of strength. After reviewing the 232 occurrences of the word strength in Scripture, Pastor Robert discovered twelve clear passages that drop anchor in God’s Sea of Strength.
— Thomas Nelson
THE WORD
yahrzeit: In Judaism, the anniversary of the death of an immediate family member, marked by the lighting of a yahrzeit candle that burns for 24 hours.
— ReligionStylebook.com

RELIGION AROUND THE WORLD
According to the CIA World Factbook, the religious makeup of Cameroon is:
— Catholic: 38.4 percent
— Protestant: 26.3 percent
— Other Christian: 4.5 percent
— Muslim: 20.9 percent
— Animist: 5.6 percent
— Other: 1 percent
— Non-believer: 3.2 percent
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