A mother in Mercer County, West Virginia, is suing the public school district contending that her daughter is being bullied by other students for not participating in voluntary and privately funded Bible courses offered at their public schools. Currently, the schools offer Bible classes on a voluntary basis and the program is paid for by parents and community members. The elementary and middle school students are taught about the Bible’s stories. Elizabeth Deal, one of the two plaintiffs along with he Freedom from Religion Foundation, is alleging that the classes are voluntary, but no alternative lessons or classes are offered for those who choose not to participate. Deal said that her daughter is exposed to bullying because she is sent to a computer lab to read a book. School officials said the classes are not teaching “religion,” rather teaching students about character and respect and the importance of telling the truth. Parents and other residents of the county raise $500,000 to pay the course teachers to the school district’s 4,000 students. The Freedom from Religion Foundation officials are hoping the courts to rule that the classes are unconstitutional and to end them.
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Bible largely goes un-read
According to a new survey conducted by LifeWay Research, more than half of Americans have only read a few stories in the Bible. Among the 1,000 Americans surveyed, 30 percent said they have personally read several passages or stories, 13 percent only a few sentences and 10 percent said they had read none of the Bible. Of the 11 percent who have read all of it, 9 percent have read all it more than once.
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“Don’t Settler for Safe: Embracing the Uncomfortable to Become Unstoppable” by Sarah Jakes Robers and Lisa Bevere
Everyone has experiences in their lives that stop them in their tracks and become burdens they carry with them everywhere they go. No one knows this better than Sarah Jakes Roberts. Pregnant at 14, married by 19, divorced by 22, and all while under the intense spotlight of being Bishop T.D. Jakes’s daughter, Sarah knows what it is to feel buried by failure and aching pain. But when her journey brought her to faith’s fork in the road, Sarah found she had to choose between staying in the comfort of the pain she knew or daring to make new wounds and move forward. Now Sarah shares the numerous life lessons she’s learned along the way with other women also struggling to believe they’re not disqualified by their pain and past mistakes.
— Thomas Nelson

Opus Dei A Roman Catholic organization founded in 1928 in Madrid by Josemaria Escriva de Balaguer, who was proclaimed a saint in 2002, to help Catholic lay people experience God in their daily work.
— ReligionStylebook.com

According to the CIA World Factbook, the religious makeup of Japan:
— Shintoism: 79.2 percent
— Buddhism: 66.8 percent
— Christianity: 1.5 percent
— Other: 7.1 percent
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