Weekly Religion News with a study on Mormonism and its people, "Catholicism: A Journey to the Heart of the Faith" by Robert Barron and more.

A comprehensive survey, conducted by the Pew Research Center's Forum on Religion & Public Life, questioned 1,019 respondents who describe their religion as Mormon.

Here are some of the key findings to help people better understand the Mormon religion and its people:

• Mormons place a high priority on family life. Large majorities say that being a good parent (81 percent) and having a successful marriage (73 percent) are among their most important goals in life, far surpassing the numbers in the general public who say the same.

• Politically, Mormons are quite conservative and supportive of the Republican Party. Two-thirds of Mormons (66 percent) describe themselves as politically conservative, and three-quarters of Mormon voters (74 percent) identify with or lean toward the Republican Party.

• Nearly four-in-ten Mormons (39 percent) say the GOP is friendly toward Mormons, more than twice the percentage that says the Democratic Party is friendly toward Mormons (17 percent).

• Significant minorities of Mormons express belief in certain tenets of Eastern religions. Roughly one-quarter of Mormons (27 percent) say they believe in yoga not just as exercise but as a spiritual practice, and one-in-ten Mormons (11 percent) say they believe in reincarnation. Among the general public, 23 percent say they believe in yoga as a spiritual practice, and 24 percent say they believe in reincarnation.

• Three-quarters of Mormons (74 percent) were raised in the Mormon faith, while roughly one-quarter are converts (26 percent). When asked to describe their reasons for converting to Mormonism, about six-in-ten converts (59 percent) cite the religion's beliefs as the main reason they joined the church.

-- ReligionNews.com

Week in Religion

Jan. 24, 1989, the Rev. Barbara C. Harris, 55, of Boston, was confirmed as the first female bishop in the 450-year history of the Anglican Church.

Jan. 25, 1940, Nazi decrees the establishment of Jewish ghetto in Lodz Poland.

Jan. 26, 1906, the first General Assembly of the Church of God convened. It is the oldest Pentecostal Church denomination in the U.S.

-- William D. Blake, Almanac of the Christian Church

Good Book?

"Catholicism: A Journey to the Heart of the Faith" by Robert Barron

What is the Catholicism? A 2,000-year living tradition? A worldview? A way of life? A relationship? A mystery? Father Robert Barron examines all these questions and more, seeking to capture the body, heart and mind of the Catholic faith. Starting from the essential foundation of Jesus Christ’s incarnation, life and teaching, Father Barron moves through the defining elements of Catholicism –– from sacraments, worship, and prayer, to Mary, the Apostles, and Saints, to grace, salvation, heaven and hell –– using his distinct and dynamic grasp of art, literature, architecture, personal stories, Scripture, theology, philosophy and history to present the Church to the world.

-- The Doubleday Religious Publishing Group

Quote of the week

"We should so work as if we were to be saved by our works; and so rely on Jesus Christ, as if we did no works." -- Francis Asbury, American Methodist bishop

The Word

Dominican: A Roman Catholic order of priests founded by St. Dominic in Spain in the early 13th century. They focus on preaching and teaching and take vows of poverty. There is also an order of Dominican nuns.

-- religionstylebook.com

Religion Around the World

Religious makeup of Uzbekistan

Muslim: 88 percent (mostly Sunni)

Eastern Orthodox: 9 percent

Other: 3 percent

- CIA Factbook

GateHouse News Service