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Faith and Family

Stay up to date on the latest news and discussions on religion, faith and family.

Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem (AP Photo)

Creche over sleigh: Majority of voters still see Christmas as a religious holiday

By Jennifer Harper - The Washington Times

Though Christmas is a beloved holiday for many reasons, a new survey finds that 56 percent of Americans view Christmas as primarily a religious holiday, while 21 percent view it as a cultural holiday — and 22 percent say it’s a little of both. Published December 18, 2014

Recent Stories

Salvation Army. Illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

Salvation Army makes Christmas dreams come true

- Associated Press

The Salvation Army's Angel Tree program provided toys, including 113 bikes, and food vouchers for about 450 families and 1,000 children on Wednesday. The Bloomington Salvation Army serves all of Monroe County.

Pope Francis (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

Pope gives early Christmas presents - prisoner visits

- Catholic News Agency

As inmates are moved by a letter Pope Francis has sent to the prison of a small town in central Italy, the news broke that a man serving a life sentence will be among those at an audience with Pope Francis on Dec. 20.

A rosary, a kiss, a surgeon and a child's heart

- Associated Press

This is a story about signs and miracles. Oh, it's about science, too, but there's one little girl who would like you to see the story through her eyes.

Buttons are laid out at the National Draft Ben Carson for President Committee booth at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) held at the Gaylord Hotel, National Harbor, Md., Friday, March 7, 2014. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)

The $10.5 million Draft Ben Carson PAC opens a N.H. office — it's 'just the beginning'

- The Washington Times

The same group that has already rounded up 23,000 volunteers for Ben Carson and raised $10.5 million for his potential White House campaign are upping their ante. The National Draft Ben Carson for President Committee, an independent political action committee formed to draft the retired neurosurgeon and author has opened a 1,700-square-foot "Draft Ben Carson for President Victory Center" in Manchester, New Hampshire.

FILE - In this Jan. 5, 2012 file photo Elsie Shemin-Roth holds a World War I photo of her father William Shemin at her home in Labadie, Mo. Nearly a century ago, Sgt. Shemin raced across a battlefield three times to pull wounded comrades to safety, survived a bullet to the head and led his unit to safety. The heroism should have earned him the Medal of Honor but didn't, possibly because discrimination was rampant _ and he was Jewish. Thanks to the efforts of his daughter, Shemin is on the cusp of finally being honored with a medal, 41 years after his death. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson, File)

Jewish soldier may get top medal - a century later

- Associated Press

Nearly a century ago, Sgt. William Shemin raced across a World War I battlefield three times to pull wounded comrades to safety. With all the senior leaders of the platoon wounded or killed, the 19-year-old survived a bullet to the head and led his unit to safety.

Hundreds of bystanders watch as Kepari Leniata, a woman accused of witchcraft, is burned alive in the Western Highlands provincial capital of Mount Hagen in Papua New Guinea on Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2013. (AP Photo/Post Courier)

Sorcery, mob killings, violence against women condemned

- Catholic News Agency

A bishop in Papua New Guinea last week condemned the witch hunts which take place in the country, where many residents believe in sorcery and those accused of practicing it attacked and murdered by mobs.

In an article released Thursday, Dec. 11, by Science magazine, researchers from Columbia University and the University of California-Los Angeles detail a study, which found that openly gay canvassers were far more effective than straight canvassers in shifting voters' views toward support for same-sex marriage. (AP Photo/Danny Johnston, File)

How to change minds on gay marriage

- Associated Press

For years, backers of same-sex marriage have said more voters would support it if only they could hear directly from gay people with a personal stake in the issue. A new academic study bears out that hunch.

A new survey of more than 41,000 U.S. teens finds that more students are using electronic cigarettes than tobacco cigarettes.  (AP Photo / Tim Ireland, PA)

Teens use e-cigs more than tobacco

- The Washington Times

Teen use of alcohol and cigarettes fell to their lowest level in decades, while use of several drugs, including marijuana, is down or stable, according to the new Monitoring the Future survey.

Abigail Ramirez, 1, center, dances in the middle of the Danza Guadalupana dance group in the annual St. Peter Claver Parish Virgen de Guadeloupe parade in Tyler, Texas. Virgen de Guadalupe, also known as Our Lady of Guadeloupe, is the patron saint of Mexico. Catholics around the world celebrate Virgen de Guadeloupe each year on Dec. 12. It is said that in 1531, an image of the Virgin Mary, a young woman surrounded by light, appeared to an indigenous peasant named Juan Diego outside of Mexico City. (AP Photo/The Tyler Morning Telegraph, Sarah A. Miller)

Holy family holds lesson on immigration

Catholic News Agency

Faithful Catholics "need to remember that the Holy Family too was once a family of immigrants and refugees," Archbishop Charles J. Chaput of Philadelphia said on the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem (AP Photo)

Indian migrants offer pre-Christmas prayers for peace

- Catholic News Agency

More than 2,000 Indian migrant workers in the Holy Land took part in a brief pilgrimage from Jerusalem to Bethlehem's Church of the Nativity over the weekend as part of their preparations for Christmas.

Brazilian Cardinal Joao Braz de Aviz, Prefect of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, left, flanked by Sister Sharon Holland, center, and Mother Agnes Mary Donovan, speaks during a press conference at the Vatican, Tuesday, Dec. 16, 2014. The Vatican released the long-awaited results of its controversial three-year investigation into U.S. women's religious orders, and the report was remarkable for what it didn't say. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)

Vatican offers olive branch to U.S. nuns

- Associated Press

The Vatican went out of its way Tuesday to mend fences with American nuns, thanking them for their selfless work caring for the poor and promising to value their "feminine genius" more, while gently suggesting ways to survive amid a decline in their numbers.

Recent Opinion Columns

The Bible is a textbook, saving grace

- The Washington Times

Have you been to a funeral lately? A funeral where the assembled start reaching into their jacket pockets and purses? Grabbing their cellphones? Looking up and down the pews?

Civilization's essential book

- The Washington Times

It was 1952 and as a seven year old who had a Sunday School perfect attendance record for a year, I was presented with my very own King James Bible. I still have it and still refer to it.

Illustration on the American Christmas tradition by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

Ignoring the Christmas haters

Alas, it is over. I am speaking of the Thanksgiving Day celebration — one of my favorite holidays. It is a serious celebration as we give thanks for our many blessings. Yet it is also a jolly day, full of good food, drink and sport, perhaps touch football, more likely a televised game. The whole family comes together and, often in the company of friends, has a festive time. Moreover, there is a venerable sense of tradition to the feast that renders the whole holiday somehow reassuring.