Week in Religion
Residents of tiny Vatican City consume more wine than any other country in the world.
According to statistics released by California’s Wine Institute, residents drink 74 liters of wine per person a year, which is double the per-capita consumption of Italy as a whole. A standard bottle of wine is .75 liters.
That’s double the amount of wine that’s consumed in France or Italy and triple the amount drunk in the United Kingdom.
Some of that wine consumption is related to religious activity in the form of ceremonial communion wine, but the Italian press reported that the high levels of wine consumption are more related to the Vatican’s unusual and uniform demographic.
With a population of around 800, the Vatican is a landlocked sovereign city state, whose territory consists of a walled enclave of 110 acres within the city of Rome. Residents are overwhelmingly male, highly educated and tend to eat in large groups — all factors that lead to higher wine consumption.
The Vatican also has a single supermarket that sells wine almost tax-free, the Religion News Service reported.
The Wine Institute study looked at other micro states such as Andorra (46 liters per person). Second on the list was the small country of Luxembourg. It’s population of 535,000 is much larger than the Vatican and drinks around 56 liters of wine a year.
The number of countries with a very high level of religious hostilities increased from 14 in 2011 to 20 in 2012. Six countries – Syria, Lebanon, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Thailand and Burma (Myanmar) – had very high levels of religious hostilities in 2012 but not in 2011. The number of countries with very high government restrictions on religion rose from 20 in 2011 to 24 in 2012. Five countries had very high government restrictions in 2012 but not in 2011: Azerbaijan, Tajikistan, Morocco, Iraq and Kazakhstan.
— Pew Research Center
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What is faith? It is not something we must receive from a religion, nor is it a quality we must abandon in order to become rational. “Faith,” writes bestselling author Roger Housden, “implies a basic trust in the way life weaves its patterns-an awareness that is not passive or fatalistic, but actively engaged with and accepting all of life’s twists and turns.” At a time when more and more people self-identify as “spiritual but not religious,” Housden’s new book offers a way to recognize and embrace the extraordinary mystery of our lives without resorting to dogmatic beliefs or nihilistic scientism.
Nondenominational: Used among North American Protestants to describe Christian churches, activities or organizations that are not sponsored by a specific denomination. Some non-Christian groups, including some Jews, use the term as well. It should not be used as a synonym for interfaith, interdenominational or ecumenical. Independent would be an acceptable substitute for nondenominational.
Religion Around the World
According to the CIA World Factbook, the religious makeup of Aruba is:
- 80.8 percent Roman Catholic
- 7.8 percent Protestant
- 1.5 percent Jehovah’s Witnesses
- .2 percent Jewish
- 5.1 percent other
- 4.6 percent none or unspecified
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Religion News: Vatican leads world in wine consumption
Week in Religion