a friend of mine sent me this link. earlier this year, keith ellison became the first muslim member of congress, and a huge furore broke out when he chose to be sworn in on the qur'an. i'm not even link to that stuff, cos it was pretty ugly. but what wasn't so widely publicised was the fact that the qur'an he used belonged to thoman jefferson, america's third president. it was published in 1764, and became part of the congressional library in 1815, when jefferson sold his entire collection to replace books that had been lost in a fire.
i couln't find the latest human rights commission's interfaith network newsletter on their website (not that i'm very good at doing searches). so i'm going to reproduce what i thought were some interesting facts about the religious make-up of the asia pacific region, included in the latest newsletter:
The 15 countries that have taken part in subsequent [Asia Pacific Interfaith] dialogues are Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Fiji, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Timor L’Este, and Vietnam.
These fifteen nations together comprise 620 million people. They are made up of:
- 7 nations with under 10 million people (Fiji, NZ, PNG, Singapore, Timor, Brunei, Laos)
- 3 nations with 20-50 million people (Australia, Cambodia, Malaysia)
4 nations with 50-100 million people (Philippines, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam); and
1 nation with 245 million people (Indonesia)
Taken together, the 15 nations comprise approximately:
- 244 million Muslims
- 151 million Christians
- 149 million Buddhists
- 7 million Hindus
71 million other religions/no religion
finally, meant to do this weeks ago, but wanted to link to keith ng's blog where he debunks various (mis)uses of statistics by politicians and the media. these blog posts are copies of his columns in the "herald on sunday".