December 21, 2012
Roundup of Christmas Gleanings
Some links to tide you over as Gleanings takes a break for the holidays.
Editor's note: Gleanings will take a break for the holidays and resume on December 31. So, as a parting gift, here's a roundup of Christmas-related items we've noted over the past month, as well as some fresh ones.
First, an update: In the wake of South Korea's presidential election, the outgoing governmnet has granted permission—for the first time in nine years—for Christmas lights deemed "psychological warfare" by North Korea to be displayed on the border.
British supermarkets and card stores are offering more than 5,700 types of Christmas cards this year, but only 1 percent feature the birth of Jesus, according to a Nielsen survey commissioned by the U.K. Bible Society.
RNS notes how Christmas billboards have become the latest warfront between atheists and Christians. CT noted how such ad battles took over public transit in London and D.C. during the 2009 Christmas season.
In Indonesia, Islamists are threatening to disrupt an open-air Christmas Eve mass. CT has regularly noted how the archipelago's concept of pluralism ("pancasila") has weakened in recent years.
In today's roundup of Holy Land pilgrimage news, Malaysia has loosened restrictions on Christian pilgrimages.
And two items from the start of the Advent season:
Pope Claims Christmas Traditions Are Wrong
Also the calendar, says Benedict XVI: "The actual date of Jesus's birth was several years before."
This Year's 'Must-Have' U.K. Christmas Gift: Godbaby
Will controversial ad campaign get British consumers to buy into meaning of Christmas?