The inauguration of Barack Obama as president of the United States was solemnized over four days in January in Washington with prayers by a diverse group of clergy and admonitions from the new White House resident. The mixture of clergy reflected Obama’s intention to cross religious lines.
Ecumenical leaders have welcomed the election of Metropolitan Kirill of Smolensk and Kaliningrad as the 16th patriarch of Moscow and of all Russia and expressed hopes of greater church unity under his leadership.
American and British Jewish groups say they are shocked by a decision of Pope Benedict XVI to overturn the excommunication of a British bishop who has said the number of Jews killed during the Holocaust has been exaggerated.
The religious makeup of the new 111th Congress roughly matches the overall American religious landscape, with overrepresentation among Jews and Mormons, according to a new analysis by the nonpartisan Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life. Just over half (55 percent) of House and Senate members who took office January 6 are Protestants, compared to 51 percent of the U.S. population.