By Christy Barritt
Americans at 13-Month Low
Earlier this year, Gallup’s Life Evaluation Index, which measures how Americans feel about their current and future lives, fell to 47.2 on a scale of zero to 100. The number has been in decline for months.
The index also showed a partisan split in the scores, verifying a relationship between how people feel about their lives after the November presidential elections and their political party. Among Republicans, the LEI score dropped to 40.3 after being at 47 in October. Democrats, on the other hand, increased to 56.9 from 53.7.
When all of the scores were balanced, the overall index showed that Americans were at a 13-month low.
A sample of 30,294 adults was surveyed for the poll.
Court Rules Against Woman for Opinion on Gay Rights
In December, a federal appeals court ruled against a university official who was fired from her position at the school after she wrote a column for a local newspaper criticizing gay rights.
Crystal Dixon worked as the interim associate vice president for human resources at the University of Toledo in Ohio before she was fired in 2008. She was terminated from her position at the school because her view on gay rights contradicted the university’s mission.
The piece she wrote was for the Toledo Free Press in rebuttal to another column that compared the Civil Rights Movement to the modern gay rights movement. She wrote, “As a black woman . . . I take great umbrage at the notion that those choosing the homosexual lifestyle are ‘civil rights victims.’”
A three-judge panel of the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that she was rightfully fired. The court agreed that her opinion was contrary to the school’s diversity plan, equal hiring policy, and anti-harassment policy.
U.S. Citizen Detained in Iran for Faith
Saeed Abedini is a Christian convert and U.S. immigrant who’s currently being imprisoned in Iran for his Christian faith.
Abedini, who was born in Iran, moved to the U.S. in 2005, where he gained his citizenship. During a trip to Iran to visit family in 2009, Abedini was detained and interrogated for converting to Christianity. He was released under the agreement that he would not perform official house church duties while in the country.
In July 2012, Abedini made another visit to Iran to build an orphanage when he was arrested again and told he must “face a penalty for his previous work as a Christian leader in Iran.” According to Fox News, he was indicted by an Iranian court on several charges, all of which had not been made public.
The American Center for Law and Justice has launched an international campaign to draw attention to what’s happening with Abedini in hopes of helping his situation.
Christianity Most “Popular” Religion
The Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion & Public Life poll found that Christianity is the religion with the most followers worldwide. Thirty-two percent of the world’s population, or 2.2 billion people, are Christians. Islam carried 23 percent of the population, followed by Hinduism at 15 percent and Buddhism at 7 percent.
According to the poll, half of the world’s Christians are Catholic while 37 percent identify themselves as Protestant.
The largest share of Christians live in the United States at 11 percent, followed by Brazil at 8 percent, Mexico at 5 percent, Russia at 5 percent, and the Philippines at 4 percent.
Christians made up the majority of Europe, North America, Latin America, and Sub-Saharan Africa. Hindu and Buddhists were found mostly in the Asia-Pacific region, while Muslims dominated the Middle East region.
Christy Barritt is an award-winning author, freelance writer, and speaker living in Chesapeake, Virginia. She and her husband Scott have two sons.