Scholar Peter Berger argues that the peaceful coexistence of different racial, ethnic and religious groups has become a global phenomenon and the resulting emergence of religious choice is the best model for understanding religion in a today's world.
The Pontiff's diplomatic skills may well be tested as he visits a country where negative views of Christians and the West are on the rise.
Government leaders in the Netherlands reignited the debate over veils and head scarves when they announced plans for legislation that would ban the full-face veil. A Pew survey found that European publics are divided on head scarf bans.
Has the repeal of Sunday blue laws given the Devil a new playground? A pair of economists think so.
Many Americans are uneasy with the mix of religion and public life. Some 69% say liberals have gone too far to keep religion out of schools, but 49% say conservatives are too eager to project their religious values into the public sphere.
Even before British authorities announced they had thwarted a terrorist plot to blow up airplanes, many people in Britain - including Muslims - were very concerned about Islamic extremism.
Muslims living in Europe worry about their future, and many say they have had a bad experience as a result of their religion or ethnicity. But Muslims there do not generally believe most Europeans are hostile toward people of their faith.
Has U.S. power stoked both anti-Semitism and anti-Americanism?
What does the global rise of Pentecostalism mean for U.S. foreign policy?
After a year marked by riots over cartoon portrayals of Muhammad, a major terrorist attack in London, and continuing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, most Muslims and Westerners see relations between them as generally bad.