USA - Study shows Americans takes Bible literally

Aargauer Zeitung, February 16, 2004

The majority of US citizens believe that the stories in the Bible happened literally. This was aired on Sunday in a survey done by US broadcaster ABC. According to the survey, about 60 percent of those questioned were convinced that God actually made the world in six days, that Moses and his people walked through the Red Sea and that Noah survived a flood in his ark. On the other hand, an overwhelming majority, about 90 percent rejected the notion that the Jews were to fault for the death of Jesus.


Most Americans take Bible stories literally

by Jennifer Harper

God's creation of the Earth, Noah and the flood, Moses at the Red Sea: These pivotal stories from the Old Testament still resonate deeply with most Americans, who take the accounts literally rather than as a symbolic lesson. An ABC News poll released Sunday found that 61 percent of Americans believe the account of creation in the Bible's book of Genesis is "literally true" rather than a story meant as a "lesson." Sixty percent believe in the story of Noah's ark and a global flood, while 64 percent agree that Moses parted the Red Sea to save fleeing Jews from their Egyptian captors. The poll, with a margin of error of 3 percentage points, was conducted Feb. 6 to 10 among 1,011 adults.

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Gauging American religious beliefs has been the focus of other recent surveys as well. A Harris poll of 2,201 adults charting "Religious and Other Beliefs of Americans 2003" found last year that 93 percent of the nation's Christians believe in miracles, 95 percent in heaven, 93 percent in the virgin birth of Christ and 96 percent in Christ's resurrection. In another survey of 2,306 adults released in October, Harris also found that 42 percent felt God was a male, while only 1 percent said God was a female. Thirty-eight percent said God was neither male nor female, and 11 percent said God was both genders. The poll also found that 48 percent said God was a "spirit or power that can take on human form but is not inherently human," 9 percent said God was "like a human being" and 27 percent said God "does not take on human form." Meanwhile, a Gallup Poll of 1,004 adults released Dec. 30 found that 61 percent of Americans believe "religion can answer all or most of today's problems," although 64 percent felt that religion is losing its influence on the nation. Another Gallup Poll released in November found that six out of every 10 Americans said religion was "very important" in their lives - compared with 28 percent of Canadians and 17 percent of the British.

Belorussia - American Senator gives speech about human rights violations

Jewish.Ru, February 13, 2004

Co-chairman of the US Congress Commission for Security and Cooperation in Europe, American Senator Ben Nighthorse Campbell appeared 11 February with a statement about the situation in Belorussia. Senator Campbell exercised serious criticism on the latest events in Belorussia: the persecution of journalists and rights advocates, the arrests of opposition activists, the closure of independent publications, pressure on non-governmental organizations, and appealed to the US Congress to pass a resolution about democracy in Belorussia. In his address, Campbell called Belorussia [back-translated] "the worst country in Europe on the situation with human rights." He noted that "in the attacks last year by Belorussian dictator Lukashenko steadily intensified. There were liquidations of numerous non-governmental organizations, pressure was applied to opposition activists, independent mass media and trade unions. The situation in Belorussia has developed into a descending spiral, everyday information is received about intensified repression and new human rights violations."

Independent mass media continue to feel the regime's pressure. The major independent daily newspaper "Narodnaya Volya" was subjected to legal persecution, the bulletins printed for the Assembly of Belorussian democratic organizations were seized, dissemination was refused by the postal services of the independent newspaper "Regionalnye novosti," an edition of the "Mestnoi gazety" was confiscated in Smogroni, and the independent newspaper "Volnae Glybokae" was subjected to censorship in Vitebskoi oblast. There were acts of destruction at several Jewish cemeteries, a Baptist community was fined and Krishna adherents were detained," reported the Senator.