From the Desk 06.02

Xpat Magazine February, 2006

Taiwan’s religfrom_desk_7ious affiliations: mixture of Buddhist, Confucian, and Taoist 93%, Christian 4.5%, other 2.5%

Population of China: 1.3 billion

Worldwide Membership of the Catholic Church: 1 billion

Number of Asian conversions to Catholicism since 1978: 54 million

Nicknames earned by Pope Benedict while working for the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (a descendant of the Holy Inquisition): “The Pope’s Enforcer” and “God’s Rottweiler”.

Pope Benedict’s description of homosexuality: An “intrinsic moral evil.”

Age at which Pope Benedict joined the Hitler Youth: 14

Manner in which Pope Benedict left the German Army: Deserted

Percentage of Vietnam citizens proclaiming no religious affiliation: 80.8%

Percentage of Cambodia and Thailand citizens that are practicing Buddhists, respectively: 95% and 94.6%

Number of Muslim protesters suffocated to death last October when packed into overcrowded trucks by presumably Buddhist Thai police forces: 78

Aims of the Church of Scientology according to a 1972 document entitled ‘Governing Policy’ written by founder L. Ron Hubbard: MAKE MONEY…MAKE MONEY…MAKE MORE MONEY…MAKE OTHER PEOPLE PRODUCE SO AS TO MAKE MONEY

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s ideal fate for the Jewish state of Israel: to be “wiped off the map.”

His opinion on the holocaust: “a myth”

His suggestions for alternate locations for Israel: “Europe, the US, Canada or Alaska”

Percentage of the world population that did not feel their country was governed by the will of the people, according to a Gallup International poll taken last September: 65%

Percentage that trusted politicians: 13%

Percentage that trusted religious leaders: 33%

Winner of the BBC ‘Who Runs Your World’ contest in which participants choose their ideal leader of a fictional world government: Nelson Mandela

In same contest, rankings of Noam Chomsky, Osama BinLaden, and Harry Potter book author JK Rowling respectively: 4th, 70th, and 49th

Percentage of Americans who feel that presidential candidates must be strongly religious: 70%

Percentage of Americans who would not vote for a well-qualified Muslim for president: 38%

Percentage of Americans who believe that Islam is more likely than other religions “to encourage violence among its believers”: 44%

Percentage of Americans who would not vote for a well-qualified atheist: 52%

Number of British citizens who claimed to be Jedi Knights in 2004: 45,000

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