St. Nicholas for Nice Children; Krampus for Naughty

The integration of Syrian and Iraqi refugees in rural Austria is facing a terrifying challenge this holiday season.

CHR Comment: Sometime in the medieval era the Christian feast for St. Nicholas, a historical fourth century bishop, was mixed with pagan folklore about a humanlike beast that punished naughty children. This is the Austrian version of the “naughty or nice” element in modern Christmas celebrations. This a good example of syncretism in European Christianity.

Source: Austrian Villagers to Refugees: Please Don’t Fear Krampus – NBC News

Lord’s Prayer May Cause Offense

The Church of England is threatening legal action over the rejection of a one-minute film featuring the Lord’s Prayer that it wanted to run before showings of the new Star Wars film that opens shortly before Christmas.

CHR Comment: The Lord’s Prayer is perhaps the most widely known text of the Bible since it is memorized and most frequently repeated among Christians. The smartly placed ad was rejected by Digital Cinema Media.

Source: Church of England fighting ban of ‘Lord’s Prayer’ film spot | Fox

Christians Are Not Outraged about Starbucks Cups

The media inform us Christians are upset about Starbucks cup for making Christmas even less religious than normal. The evidence is sorely lacking.

CHR Comment: Mike Tokars, a staff reporter for the Christian Science Monitor, raised the question of whether Christians were outraged about Starbuck’s new cups, extending an online discussion. Mollie Hemingway’s article “Nobody Is Actually Upset” corrects the record and includes some helpful history about holy day/holiday “wars.” The news reports about Starbucks started from a lampoon on a blog and not from any Christian uprising against the colored cups.

Source: Nobody Is Actually Upset About The Starbucks