December 24th, 2011
10:00 PM ET

'What's Christmas without chopsticks?' How other faiths celebrate December 25th

By Eric Marrapodi, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

(CNN) -
Two days before Christmas, Imam Mohamed Magid, the executive director at the All Dulles Area Muslim Society, preached about Jesus at Friday prayers.

"We live in a country with a majority of Christians, where Christmas is a major holiday... It's a reminder we do believe in Jesus. Jesus' position in Islam is one of the highest prophets in Islam," Magid said, adding that Muslims view Jesus as a prophet on par with Abraham, Moses, Noah and Mohammad.

Often when he says the name of Mohammad or Jesus in conversation, Magid adds the Islamic honorific "Peace be upon him" after his name.

"Jesus is a unifying figure, unifying Muslims and Christians," he said. The Quran, the Islamic scriptures, makes specific mention of Jesus and of his mother Mary. "It's very interesting that there are many places where the prophet (Mohammad) is quoting Jesus."

Christmas has a way of bleeding into other faiths in America.  The Christian holiday celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ in a manger in Bethlehem 2000 some odd years ago is ubiquitous across the country, even if the American tradition has leaned away from the sacred and toward the secular.

Christmas at every corner can be somewhat problematic for those who are not in the estimated 246 million Christians living in the United States.  But for some faiths, the season brings reminders of their own traditions.

CNN's Belief Blog – all the faith angles to the day's top stories

Magid said Muslims believe many of the same things about Jesus that Christians do: Jesus was born of the virgin Mary, he lived a sinless life, he raised the dead, and he preformed miracles. He also said many Muslim scholars believe that Jesus will one day return to the earth, using the Christian vocabulary of "the Second Coming."

Explain it to me: The Hajj

"Certain aspects of our theology are different," he carefully notes, pointing specifically to incarnation, the Christian belief that Jesus was divine. Muslims are perhaps the most ardent monotheists in the world, making them at odds with Christians theologically over not only the Christian doctrine of incarnation, but also belief in the Trinity, that God the Father, the Holy Spirit and Jesus are three in one.

The All Dulles Area Muslim Society is one of the largest Muslim congregations in the country with ties to 5,000 families in the Washington area. Some of the families do put up a Christmas tree and exchange gifts, which one member suspects is often more about cultural assimilation than religious observance.

"I think Muslims, although they believe in Jesus, they give respect to this as a Christian holiday, so they don't pretend to celebrate this in a religious way," Magid said. "A Muslim would not expect a Christian to celebrate his holiday."

My Take: Why we're skipping the Christmas roast

At the Abhayagiri Buddhist Monastery three hours north of San Francisco, there is a small Christmas tree set up near the statue of the Buddha.

"Normally we just have flowers, incense and candles, but now we have a tiny Christmas tree. It's really cute," Ajhan Yatiko, a monk in residence who is originally from Canada, said. "It's more like a traditional thing, respecting and appreciating the culture of where we live."

During the holidays, Yatiko said, "The senior monk might give a talk to the lay people which might draw parallels between the Christian faith and the Buddhist faith, as well as the differences, because I think both of those are important aspects of interfaith harmony.

"Sometimes in the West these days there's a kind of tendency to clump all the religions together and say, 'We're all climbing the same mountain,' and I think the intention there is nice. There's a harmonious intention there. But I think it's much nicer to say, 'Let's respect the differences and love and appreciate the differences of the other faiths," Yatiko said.

For the monks at Abhayagiri, life is spent in meditation, community, celibacy and work. They practice Buddhism in the Theravada tradition or the Thai Forest tradition. In their faith tradition, monks cannot handle money, grow their own food or trade, so they live entirely off of the generosity of others.

That means every half moon, about once a week, they head into town for alms rounds, where they walk around in their saffron robes with alms bowls to collect donations. The new moon this week fell on Christmas Eve.

"Everyone we see is going to be wishing us a Merry Christmas, and we'll be doing likewise," Yatiko said a few days before Christmas.

"We don't touch money and live a very simple lifestyle, so the Christmas tradition of exchanging gifts doesn't work so well for us," Yatiko said.

Yet Buddhists are called to live generously at every chance, be it in material things or spiritual ones, so at Christmastime the monks bring a truckload of fire wood and a fruit basket to a neighboring Ukrainian Catholic monastery.

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"We do have some rather revered traditions for Christmas Day," said Rabbi Rick Rheins.  "I'm not sure if it was Talmudic or not, to visit the movie theater followed by a Chinese dinner," joked Rheins referring the collection of ancient rabbi teaching called the Talmud.

"What's Christmas without chopsticks?" joked Rheins who is the head of Denver's Temple Sinai, a Reform congregation of about 1,100 families.

"We acknowledge the importance of this day for our Christian neighbors and for my Christian colleagues. And so we don't celebrate Christmas as Jews, but we do thrill for our Christian neighbors," he said. Rheins said the celebration of Hanukkah simultaneously at Christmastime this year will mean he won't be bringing in any Christmas metaphors into services on Friday and Saturday.

As for the Christmas Day itself, including the popcorn and chopsticks, he said, "We encourage our members to do special volunteer work to relieve our Christian neighbors of their responsibilities, whether it's at hospitals or emergency services, to give them the opportunity to spend this time with their family and celebrate this sacred day for them.

"Christians and Jews, especially over the last generation, have really worked so hard to build bridges, not just of tolerance, but also have generated true mutual respect and cooperation," he said. He cited working to fight hunger and poverty together. "These are the expressions of a society where the differences in religion and the expressions of one's faith are less divisive than they are enriching.

"I don't think that was the case a generation ago," Rheins said.

Christmas has a way of seeping into Hindu traditions, as well. At least the tree and presents part.  "Because of the children," Uma Mysorekar, the president of the Hindu Temple Society of North America said.

"The children say, 'Oh, there's a tree in my friend's house.  Why not in my house?' So they will get a small tree, a symbolic tree," Mysorekar said.

"We do look up to Jesus as one of the deities of Christianity," Mysorekar said.

At the Hindu Temple Society of North America in the Flushing area of Queens, New York, Christmas Day will be filled with worshipers coming in and out.  Unlike other faiths, Hindus do not have a set day for communal worship.  The temple is a key part of Hinduism for prayer, worship and offerings.  Christmas will be busier because of the three day weekend, Mysorekar guessed.

Their temple even had a holiday party for the children.

Sacred Spaces: Inside a Hindu temple

"We have a holiday party for them, and we give them gifts and tell them what it's all about.  You know the Hindu festival of Diwali, it is more or less the same, where we give gifts and we meet with friends... So the custom is very easy to relate to."

During Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights, lamps are lit in celebration of good triumphing over evil.

"Apart from the religious aspect of it - the concept, theme of Christmas - I think it's very much the same all over," she said.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Belief • Buddhism • Christianity • Christmas • Hinduism • Islam

soundoff (2,252 Responses)
  1. Plug1

    All christains, who celebrate these pagan hoildays do it out of desire while still claiming to be devout and God Fearing people.

    December 24, 2011 at 10:58 pm |
    • iBELIEVE

      And you save these comments for Christmas day so you can feel proud of yourself

      December 24, 2011 at 11:00 pm |
    • b4bigbang

      Dear Plug1,

      Have you finished building my religious prison yet? Put me in my cell quick! I certainly don't want to be paganized by enjoying Christmas!
      Born-again Christian

      December 24, 2011 at 11:02 pm |
    • moebar

      your right Christmas used to be the winter solstice which was a pagan holiday and Jesus was born in the summer....i dont think that its so much as getting the right day but actually celebrating it....however i think it was wrong in the first place to make the winter solstice Christmas to get converts

      December 24, 2011 at 11:03 pm |
    • gene fleagle

      Matthew 25:41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:

      December 25, 2011 at 12:45 am |
    • HeavenSent

      Actually Plug1, we celebrate the day Emmanuel (God with us ... aka Jesus) was conceived and came into the world. December 25th is the day that John the Baptist (cousin to Jesus) leaped in his mother's womb. Jesus was born September 29th.

      Merry Christmas.

      December 25, 2011 at 1:06 am |
    • Maani

      Heaven Sent:

      Uh...not quite. We know from Luke's chronology that John was exactly six months older than Jesus. And Josephus gives John's birth in the Spring. This would give a (correct) Fall birthday for Jesus, probably September/October.

      And Plug1 and moebar are correct: Jesus' birth was "subsumed" into the Roman (pagan) festival of Saturnalia, from which we get the "gift-giving" of Christmas. As well, almost every "accoutrement" of "Christmas" is pagan, from the "Christmas tree" to the first "Christmas carols" (originally pagan circle dances). And, of course, this does not even begin to get into the crass consumerism and materialism that Jesus would almost certainly find...distasteful. LOL.

      This is not a matter of being a "grinch." It is simple historical fact, and it is particularly interesting in light of the fact that capital F Fundamentalists believe in the inerrancy of Scripture – except, apparently, when it comes to the subsuming of the birth of their claimed savior into a pagan celebration. The Bible tells us over and over not to celebrate pagan rites of any sort, either directly or otherwise. In this regard, I don't think Jesus would appreciate having His (already incorrect) birthday celebrated as part of a pagan festival.


      December 25, 2011 at 5:44 am |
  2. Mo.

    The more innovation christianity invented the more unrelgious it becomes. Jesus is a man, and hes indeed the messiah, and the son of the blessed virgin mary. You do not need songs, you do not need christmas trees and yule logs to say peace be upon jesus, the messiah. As a muslim, jesus is a man, but hes a man born of no sins, a great religous man who taught the injeel. The bible is the first innovation of man. The more you innovate, the more you change, and the more you change, you become what you are today. Believe in the oneness of god, 3 chairs dont make 1 chair, there is no trinity. Just 1, as Abraham peace be upon him perscribed.

    December 24, 2011 at 10:57 pm |
    • kr

      The Quran according to many literary experts is a revised and distorted edition of the bible based on narrations Mohammed heard from Jews and Nestorian Christian preachers and monks who were heretics because they did not beleive in the divinity of Christ.

      December 25, 2011 at 1:55 am |
    • Whistleblower

      Mo sir,
      Don't forget to be clear when you say Christ, peace be upon him, was a man to clarify that he was a Prophet also. Not just a man but a Prophet of Allah among over 120,000 Messengers & Prophets that walked the earth for centuries.
      Christ, peace be upon him, is one of the most prominent Prophets (24 most famous) who came directly after Prophet Solomon, peace be upon, & before Prophet Mohamed peace be upon him.
      & in [John:16:7-8] Christ explicitly uses the term paraclete which was taken from the Greek word Periklytos, which was taken from the Hebrew word Muhammadim, which is the equivalent of Arabic for Muhamad which means the praised one.
      Furthermore, What was revealed in [John:16:7-8] is echoed in the Quran in [Al Saf/chapter 61 verse 6].
      There; now it is clear to all & it shouldn't offend our Christian fellow human beings.
      For those of you Christians who want to read about the high status Islam gives Christ, peace be upon him, then go ahead & read about the immaculate conception in the Quran in [Mary(am)/chapter 19 verses 16-37]
      Enjoy your holiday people & I hope this message will bring us closer to the truth not farther apart.

      December 25, 2011 at 9:34 am |
    • ....

      You know what's great? Not caring about your nonsense...

      December 25, 2011 at 9:54 am |
    • Sa

      That would be an incredible thing, since Mohammed (PBUH) was an illiterate. The fact of the matter is, the bible as you know it today wasn't written until 300 years after Jesus passed. And as for your references, even sir Isaac Newton thought that to worship Jesus as God is idolatry.

      December 25, 2011 at 11:24 am |
  3. james young

    Marry Christmas and Happy Holidays to everyone else. =0)

    December 24, 2011 at 10:55 pm |
    • iBELIEVE

      Top Ten Politically Correct Christmas Carols:

      10. O Holiday Tree, O Holiday Tree
      9. Have Yourself a Merry Little Day of Winter
      8. Frosty the Snowperson
      7. Chestnuts Roasting on a Safely Contained, Continuously Monitored, Eco-friendly, Non-toxic Outdoor Fire
      6. Higher Power Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen
      5. Grandma Allegedly Got Run Over by an Unidentified Non-Human Perpetrator
      4. Deck the Halls with Boughs of Unendangered Foliage
      3. Hark! The Herald Mythical Winged Creature Sings
      2. I Saw Mommy Greeting Santa Claus with a Purely Platonic Expression of Inoffensive Mutual Affection
      1. I'll Be Home for a Short Period of Time in December

      December 24, 2011 at 10:56 pm |
    • tekstep1

      How can one marry a holiday?

      December 24, 2011 at 10:56 pm |
    • tekstep1

      Only two of those even mention Christ and are totally secular.

      December 24, 2011 at 10:57 pm |
  4. hypocrites

    "Some of the families do put up a Christmas tree and exchange gifts, which one member suspects is often more about cultural assimilation than religious observance."

    American muslims falling into secular beliefs as did the american christians have, any muslim who is putting up a tree is following the viking belief of idolizing the tree and as well as celebrating the christian "holy day". May Allah guide them back, and may Allah curse those 2x the amount who doesnt.

    December 24, 2011 at 10:55 pm |
    • tekstep1

      May you be cursed with constipation.

      December 24, 2011 at 10:59 pm |
    • Plug1

      Ameen,Allahu mustaain.

      December 24, 2011 at 11:00 pm |
    • Fizzylift

      Allah has no power here. Be gone before she drops a house on you too!- Glinda

      December 25, 2011 at 2:45 am |
    • ....

      "Muslim beliefs, like all religious beliefs, are garbage."

      Oscar Wilde

      December 25, 2011 at 9:56 am |
  5. M. DaSilva

    If Muslims beileve Jesus is so special why are His children persecuted in every country where Islam is the predominant religion?

    December 24, 2011 at 10:52 pm |


      December 24, 2011 at 10:53 pm |
    • tekstep1

      Love the man, hate the hypocritical followers.

      December 24, 2011 at 10:56 pm |
    • moebar

      thats like asking hey if Christians have such a high regard for the prophets of the old testament why did they kill some many Jews over the years....its because people are violent

      December 24, 2011 at 11:00 pm |
    • tookie

      Do not believe the lies and the misshype. go to many arab countries and you will see Christmas celebrated just like in the states. trees, lighted homes and shopping.. and masses respect their christian and jewish worshipers, friends and neighbors.....that is the 100% truth..

      December 24, 2011 at 11:12 pm |
    • Whistleblower

      M. Da Silva,
      That's not true. If Muslims did persecute Christians in Muslim countries then how come there are still Christians in Muslims countries LoL?! do you ever wonder about that?
      There may be some idiots who think they're Muslims & do crazy things to Christians in Muslim countries. & I say there mayb be. Because we don't actually know for sure. What we do know is the Zionist media portrays it that way. Although i am aware of the fact that there are many an ignorant Muslim out there. However Islam forbids targetting anyone who is NOT FIGHTING us simply because of their faith or colour. Now if Christians or anyone else for that matter fight Muslims then you're d. right we're going to expedite you to kindgom hell LoL.
      It's called self defense.
      Would you not do the same???!!!

      December 25, 2011 at 9:45 am |
    • Cyrus

      Many Christians have been living and comfortably practicing their faith in many Muslim countries for centuries. That's why there are Orthodox churches in South and South East Asian countries, Central Asian countries, etc. Get off of Faux News. I am not denying that some fringe elements do persecute minorities every now and then, but their anger is not solely towards Christians. They are equal opportunity haters.

      December 25, 2011 at 10:53 am |
  6. Spence

    No matter where you go or what you do or what you believe, there are always other beliefs that you are not familiar with. This argument could be used for Christians that visit Muslim countries or Jews that visit Buddhist countries. The local tradition is always dominant to visiting cultures and traditions. I guess my statement would be, "Who Cares". Visiting other people and other cultures is interesting, but you can't expect them to change because of your presence there.

    December 24, 2011 at 10:51 pm |
  7. Gruber

    If my great great great great... great grandfather killed your God, imagine what I can do to you.

    December 24, 2011 at 10:50 pm |
    • GAW

      I think your mom's calling you down for some eggnog Jr.

      December 24, 2011 at 11:01 pm |
  8. Larry L

    You words are well meant and carefully chosen. It's a great leap of faith from a sense of spirituality to belief in a diety. For those of us who hear no inner voices nor see evidence of the existance of god, the religions of believers are less than spirtual in nature. As you scan the globe you see the destruction and chaos caused by religious wars and the hatred of zeolots in every religion. My Christmas wish to us all is for some true tolerance of those who choose to believe differently. Peace on Earth...

    December 24, 2011 at 10:50 pm |
    • Whistleblower

      Larry L,
      Come on Larry dude, don't you think that people have grown tired of that broken old record of "religions are the cause of wars"???!!!
      Was the Egyptian/pharoh empire built over religious wars???!!!
      Was the Persian empire built over religious wars???!!!
      Was the Roman empire built over religious wars???!!!
      Were the Crusades that brought the hungry Europeans to the Middle East religious wars???!!!
      Was the British empire built over religious wars???!!!
      Were the extermination of Natives in the Americas & Australia religious wars???!!!
      Was the U.S war of independence a religious war???!!!
      Was the U.S civil war a religious war???!!!
      Was the invasion & dissection of the Muslim empire by the Russians, the british & French, based on religious reasons???!!!
      Were the French & Russian revolution religious rebellions???!!!
      Were WWI & II religious wars???!!!
      Was the Korean war a relgious war???!!!
      Was the invasion of Vietnam a religious war???!!!
      Was the invasion of Iraq a religious war???!!!
      Was the invasion of Afghanistan a religious war???!!!
      Is the Arab spring against the tyranny of Western & Eastern model client dictators, a religious rebelion???!!!
      I can list more wars if you like LoL.
      The truth is most wars are either motivated by the quest for freedom from oppression & justice or greed & racism.
      If you don't know that much then I don't honestly don't know what to tell you!
      But we all know that you do know you just pretend not to. Don't we?!

      December 25, 2011 at 10:13 am |
    • Sa

      Belief in the non-existence of God is an equal leap of faith as the belief in the existence of God. Both are without proof.

      If the absence of proof of existence of God was the proof of non-existence of God, then the absence of proof of the non-existence of God would equally be a proof of the existence of God. That would be a contradiction.

      Perhaps atheism is among the fastest growing religions in the world. And I would call it a religion, given that it entails belief without proof.

      December 25, 2011 at 11:33 am |
  9. Sari in Vegas

    Ah, the heck with it! Let's bake some cookies and get along 🙂

    December 24, 2011 at 10:50 pm |
    • tekstep1

      NOOOOOOOO!!!! No more cookies! I'm turning into a chocolate chip!!!!

      December 24, 2011 at 11:05 pm |
    • Whistleblower

      Okay by me friend LoL.

      December 25, 2011 at 10:15 am |
  10. tighthole

    I view Jesus as a throbbing god-toy, full of salty yum yum. I want to drop to my knees before Him and "pray" while gazing into his beautiful eyes.

    December 24, 2011 at 10:48 pm |
    • Jesus

      Are talking about my one eyed snake?

      December 25, 2011 at 12:00 am |
  11. Abdullah

    Correction to this story what Muslim believing in Jesus

    Muslim do not believe that Jesus was crucified and then raised again instead he was raised up by God unto the heavens


    December 24, 2011 at 10:44 pm |
    • Answer


      December 24, 2011 at 10:45 pm |
    • jnsm


      December 24, 2011 at 11:16 pm |
    • Whistleblower

      Abdullah sir,
      Just list the following verse number & Chapter/sura name next time. People want to get right to the point.
      Christ, peace be upon him, was neither crucified nor killed by anyone. Someone else was made to look like him & crufified.
      This is confirmed twice in the following verse in the Quran.

      "And [for] their saying, Indeed, we have killed the Messiah, Jesus, the son of Mary, the messenger of Allah . They did not kill him, nor did they crucify him; but [another] was made to resemble him to them. And indeed, those who differ over it are in doubt about it. They have no knowledge of it except the following of assumption. And they did not kill him."
      [Al Nissa'/chapter 4 verse 157]

      December 25, 2011 at 9:54 am |
  12. I'm The Best!

    Happy holidays!

    (Brought to you by an atheist)

    December 24, 2011 at 10:43 pm |
    • tekstep1


      December 24, 2011 at 10:53 pm |
    • GAW

      Same to you. Happy belated Festivus.

      December 24, 2011 at 11:03 pm |
    • I'm The Best!

      Festivus for the rest-of-us!

      December 24, 2011 at 11:08 pm |
  13. crappyname

    unfortunately, there is no jesus so this article is stupid, and for your info the correct term for this holiday is Yule, the celebration of the winter solstice, and yes it is pagan. When will the christian sheep learn that christianity was put together using folklore from greek, roman, norse and middle eastern cultures. You can find the exact stories in the bible in these cultures, only the name are changed. Grifters looking to sucker people and get rich created it to make a fortune, they would save your soul for only 10% of your assets, sound familiar.

    December 24, 2011 at 10:43 pm |
    • tekstep1

      Wish there was a like button.

      December 24, 2011 at 10:53 pm |
    • kendallpeak

      You are so smart!!! If only people would realize how smart you were!!! You know so much more than other people!!! What a guy!!! You would get all the girls if they knew how clever you were!!! Merry Christmas sad little atheist.

      December 24, 2011 at 10:58 pm |
    • tekstep1

      Bet he gets more chicks than you... and actually understands cultural relativism.

      December 24, 2011 at 11:00 pm |
    • Answer

      "Merry Christmas sad little atheist."

      Problem = christians. No love even on the eve of their "holy day". What a joke religious people are.

      December 24, 2011 at 11:00 pm |
    • GAW

      We must not question crappyname. He has all the answers. Again he must not be questioned no matter whatever any other scholar or expert may say on this matter.

      December 24, 2011 at 11:10 pm |
    • Answer

      Exactly like not ever questioning the bible. Gotcha.

      December 24, 2011 at 11:13 pm |
    • b4bigbang

      Actually, yours is the minority position even in the secular history/archaeology fields. The idea of Christianity being an amalgamation of borrowed ideas from older pagan beliefs was discounted many years ago.

      December 24, 2011 at 11:24 pm |


    December 24, 2011 at 10:41 pm |
    • kendallpeak

      I see you are full of peace and brotherhood this wonderful Christmas Eve. I'm so glad your belief system has filled you with such joy!! Merry Christmas, God even loves his wayward children such as you.

      December 24, 2011 at 10:54 pm |
    • Metal

      the Bible was created by God to teach humankind through his dealings with the Jews as his chosen people how he would deal mankind, when he told them to conquer the Pagans God told them if you become like them you will suffer the same fate, God will bring Armageddon on humankind and leave over on earth only the people that listen and obey God, and he will give all things to them, psalm 37 and the meek shall inherit the earth

      December 24, 2011 at 11:04 pm |


      December 24, 2011 at 11:28 pm |
    • me123me

      It is sad that Satan has taken hold of you so greatly. I pray for you. Satan only destroys lives. God is perfect good. Why you would follow Satan as you do is quite sad for you.

      December 25, 2011 at 6:10 am |
  15. kendallpeak

    Merry Christmas. Jesus loves YOU!!!

    December 24, 2011 at 10:41 pm |


      December 24, 2011 at 10:42 pm |
    • crappyname

      Yes you are an Idiot. Please read attached info under my name.

      December 24, 2011 at 10:44 pm |
  16. LOL


    December 24, 2011 at 10:40 pm |
  17. Don

    As an Irish Jew, Catholic father, Jewish mother, I actually received my first Star of David as a Christmas gift from my mother from under our tree as my family celebrated, and to this day, celebrates.... Hannumas!

    December 24, 2011 at 10:37 pm |
  18. Abdullah

    hay how come you got Muslim Hindu Buddha but i don't see anything what Jewish believing in Jesus , Jewish who killed Jesus and you don't have them on the list what Jews believing in Jesus this is hypocrite

    December 24, 2011 at 10:37 pm |
    • Don

      The Romans killed Jesus. Your hatred of Jews is obvious and odious and based on historical fallacies, but then, everything taught by Muslims to Muslims about Jews a lie anyway...how else will Muslim "leaders" stay in power if they can't fool the ignorant follower?

      December 24, 2011 at 10:42 pm |
    • scottros

      Silly of you "abdullah". As Jesus was a Jew...and if you believe that he is the son of God or a great prophet, then it was certainly God's plan to sacrifice him. Surely God could have saved him if he wished-or are you just an unbeliever in the power of your own God?

      December 24, 2011 at 10:47 pm |
    • Peikovianii

      According to my Jewish neighbors, they intend to bomb Gaza as a Christmas gift.

      December 24, 2011 at 10:50 pm |
    • Abdullah

      "scottros" If Jesus was Jews then Christianity doesn't exist he show have been preaching Jewish, where dose the Christianity come from ????? then i guss GOD father is also Jewish.

      December 24, 2011 at 10:54 pm |
    • tekstep1

      Roses are red, violets are bluish. If it wasn't for Jesus, we'd all be Jewish!

      December 24, 2011 at 11:07 pm |
    • Jimmy

      @don Romans (Pilate) only allowed Jesus to be killed. It was the Jews choice to convict him of Blasphemy and to release a murderer for Jesus to be killed. @scrottros Although God planned Jesus to be killed, he gave the Jews a choice well before Jesus was baptized. God sent John the Baptizer ahead of Jesus in order to prepare for him. God gave all jews a chance to repent and a chance to accept his son Jesus. We obviously know what the end result is but it was the only option God had left since the Israelites continually abandoned and defiled Gods name Jehovah. And so with Jesus' death we all have the opportunity (not just Jews) for everlasting life in his Kingdom

      December 24, 2011 at 11:11 pm |
    • Beth

      You noticed that it left out what Jews believe regarding Jesus. The answer is we don't believe in Jesus. We don't really even know or care whether any such person ever lived. He may have or he may not have but if he did he certainly did not fulfill what Jewish people believe the messiah would fulfill. If you read the Jewish bible, which is NOT the same as the Old Testament in some key ways, you will see that from a Jewish point of view Jesus could not be the messiah. Jesus is not a part of our religion and we don't really think about him other than when it gets brought up by others. We certainly don't think we killed Jesus. That doesn't make sense anyway. Jesus and all his early followers were Jewish. All early followers of the story of Jesus were also Jewish for quite a long time. They did not consider themselves to be "Christian" until long after his supposed death. Romans killed Jesus in the Christian story, anyway. I'm not sure how that makes Jewish people hypocrites. Even though I don't believe in Christianity I still respect the spiritual beliefs of my good Christian friends. I don't try to take away their faith and I value the good that their beliefs do for them and the good they in turn do for others. Doesn't make me want to convert but it is a very good reflection on their religion. Not believing in a religion doesn't mean one is opposed to it. It just isn't my religion.

      December 25, 2011 at 12:04 am |
    • Beth

      YOu might want to read about this more. Early followers of the Jesus story did not call themselves Christian. They considered themselves another sect of Judaism. They were certainly not anti-Jews because they, themselves were Jewish. Maybe once you know history more you might want to comment then but maybe you might want to first open your mind, study history for reliable sources (if they are available in your country) and try not to be such a bigot. I would imagine the hypocrite might be YOU because I am guessing Islam teaches love and kindness to others but you are prejudice against millions of people because of misunderstanding of history and this other religion.

      December 25, 2011 at 12:10 am |
  19. KatranM

    You forgot about pre-Christian European traditions, from which the Christians borrowed the Yule log and tree, caroling, and a lot of other old symbols of greenery and resurrection designed to help us cope with the darkest time of the year and uplift our spirits as we look forward to the return of life, light and hope. There are millions of modern pagans who still celebrate Yule and the family, feast and gift-giving part of Christmas.

    Most of these traditions have the ideas of family, love, sharing, and resurrection/return of light in one form or another.

    December 24, 2011 at 10:36 pm |
    • Jimmy

      You are undeniably right. I really can't understand why "Christians" choose to blend the Bible with Pagan beliefs. This belief in Christmas and any other holiday will prove to be a thorn in every "Christians'" life.

      December 24, 2011 at 10:57 pm |
    • faberm

      @Jimmy: It's called syncrentism. The church imposed religious significance on holidays that had been observed for millenia before Jesus, Mohammed, and probably Moses had come.

      December 25, 2011 at 9:44 am |
  20. Chrism

    Merry Christmas to all. God has revealed Himself to all people. All cultures have sensed something spiritual. Many believe a higher power created the universe, in living a moral life according to our creator's laws and in the possibility of eternal life. Praise God may He help us know Him as He wants us to.

    December 24, 2011 at 10:34 pm |
    • Lol!


      December 24, 2011 at 10:59 pm |
    • Relictus

      God wants us to know him as the one sending people like me to Hell? Well, okay then.

      December 25, 2011 at 12:53 am |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.