Mississippi is America's most religious state while President Barack Obama's home state of Hawaii has taken New York's place among the least religious ones, according to results of a Gallup poll released this week.
With 58 percent of Mississippi residents describing themselves as very religious, the state's average of very religious people is 40 percent higher than America's least religious state, Vermont, where only 19 percent of residents say they are very religious. It is also 18 percent more than the national average of 40 percent of Americans who describe themselves as very religious.
Gallup identifies very religious people as those individuals who say religion is an important part of their daily life and that they attend religious services weekly or almost every week. more >>
Carman Licciardello, popular Christian music artist described as part evangelist and part Vegas showman, has revealed that he was recently diagnosed with an incurable form of cancer and may have no more than four years left to live.
Licciardello, 57, shared the grave news Thursday evening with his 51,000-plus supporters on Facebook, describing the cancer diagnosis as a "new battle."
"One week ago I was diagnosed with myeloma cancer. It is incurable and I've been given a 3-4 year (sic) window of time. Tomorrow I go in for my first bone biopsy and the process will start. I used to go to movies in the afternoon, now I go see doctors," wrote the accomplished recording artist who is known professionally as just Carman. more >>
Lent is in full swing for many Christians who started their 46-day period (40 not counting Sundays) of self-denial on Ash Wednesday, with some taking up a fast of food or alcohol, cutting back on watching television, or refraining from using social media in an effort to gain ground in their spiritual life.
The period known as Lent, which ends on Easter Sunday upon the start of Holy Week, has its roots in a 4th century tradition and is not mentioned in the Bible, although it is observed in some fashion by various Christian traditions, including Roman Catholic, Protestant and Orthodox. The season traditionally starts on Ash Wednesday with observers getting the sign of the cross rubbed onto their foreheads with ashes, a reference to Jesus Christ. Although Ash Wednesday is not mentioned in Scripture, dust and ashes are symbolically identified with repentance and mourning.
While some may argue that efforts at self-discipline and spiritual growth should be a year-round pursuit for Christians, many nonetheless use Lent as an occasion to recalibrate their spiritual life, as well as draw others to Christ. more >>
Mandy Hale, who is affectionately known as "The Single Woman," chatted with The Christian Post on the eve of Valentine's Day about using singlehood as an advantage during the holiday traditionally celebrated in romantic ways by couples. Hale is one of several speakers featured at a Christian-based event for single women in Nashville, Tenn., on Thursday hosted by LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention.
Hale suggests that singles having a hard time with the celebration of romance on this day can cherish other types of love in their life, including relationships with parents, friends, neighbors, and co-workers.
For singles, the holiday should not be "this horrible day that you need to 'cope with' or 'survive,'" she writes in her interview with CP via email. more >>
Rap artist Lecrae, who became the first Christian hip-hop musician to take home a Grammy for his album "Gravity" on Sunday, said he hopes people will begin to understand that his faith is a part of who he is as a person and artist and not simply a musical genre.
"To me it's a testament of years of laboring to break down barriers in music and culture," Lecrae told The Christian Post via email about winning the award for Best Gospel Album. "Hopefully people will listen and understand what I do creatively and how my faith is a part of who I am, not a genre."
After winning the award, Lecrae thanked God and his family of devoted fans for his accomplishment on Twitter. He tweeted, "Just won a Grammy. I dedicate it all to the Unashamed fam all over the planet. 1.1.Six-To God be the Glory." more >>
A stampede in India on Sunday resulted in the death of 36 victims, predominately older women, as millions rushed to take part in the world's largest religious festival at a temporary city in Allahabad, northern India.
The tragedy reportedly occurred at the train station located in the northern city of Allahabad, where a stampede took place as thousands scurried to board a train that would take them to the site of the Kumbh Mela festival, a two-month -long festival that takes place at a makeshift city featuring a long, sandy bank that represents the intersection of the Ganges, the Yamuna and the mythical Saraswati rivers.
Sunday was said to be one of the most holy days to bathe in the rivers as part of the festival, and the temporary city, which is constructed four times every 12 years for the festival, saw an attendance of 30 million Hindu pilgrims in one day. more >>