On Feb. 17, the last day of his visit to Mexico, Pope Francis prayed for the migrants who have died on their journey to the U.S. and called for compassion as he said mass in front of more than 200,000 people on the El Paso, Texas - Juarez, Mexico border.

“We cannot deny the humanitarian crisis which in recent years has meant the migration of thousands of people, whether by train or highway or on foot, crossing hundreds of kilometers through mountains, deserts and inhospitable zones.”

The pope’s view stand in contrast to leading Republican presidential candidates, such as Donald Trump, who are calling for the mass deportation of illegal immigrants and reinforced borders.

SURVEY SAYS

According to a recent Gallup poll, South Carolina is the seventh most religious state. Most religious states tend to be in the South (Utah being an exception). When asked about their religious service attendance and how important religion is in their life, 51 percent of South Carolinians said it was very important and attend services almost every week.

GOOD BOOK?

‘Putting God Second: How to Save Religion from Itself’ by Donniel Hartman

Why are the great monotheistic faiths — Judaism, Christianity, and Islam — chronically unable to fulfill their own self-professed goal of creating individuals infused with moral sensitivity and societies governed by the highest ethical standards?

To answer this question, Hartman identifies the primary source of religion’s moral failure in what he terms its “autoimmune disease,” or the way religions so often undermine their own deepest values. While God obligates the good and calls us into its service, Hartman argues, God simultaneously and inadvertently makes us morally blind. The nature of this self-defeating condition is that the human religious desire to live in relationship with God often distracts religious believers from their traditions’ core moral truths. — Beacon Press

THE WORD

caliph: Pronounced “KAY-luhf.” Successor or representative of the Prophet Muhammad, and the political leader of the Ummah, or Islamic community. A dispute over who should succeed Muhammad after his death prompted the Sunni-Shiite split that continues today.

According to Sunnis, who make up the vast majority of Muslims, the first four caliphs were Abu Bakr As-Siddiq, Omar ibn Al-Khattab, Othman ibn ‘Affan and ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib. These four are known collectively as the “Rightly Guided Caliphs.” Shiites believe that Muhammad’s relatives should have succeeded him. Another term for caliph is khalifah. — ReligionStylebook.com

RELIGION AROUND THE WORLD

According to the CIA World Factbook, the religious makeup of Taiwan is:

• Mixture of Buddhist/Taoist: 93 percent

• Christian: 4.5 percent

• Other: 2.5 percent