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Hot Topic:

Religious Holiday Displays


Providence College’s faculty and staff members are ready to provide their expert opinion on all of today’s hot topics and trends. They are available to respond to all media inquiries regarding their studied areas of expertise.     

Rev. James G. Sabak, O.F.M., Ph.D., is an assistant professor of theology at Providence College.

A new Pew Research Center survey finds that 44% of Americans say Christian symbols like nativity scenes should be allowed on government property even if they are not accompanied by symbols from other religions. In addition, 28% of U.S. adults say that such symbols should be permitted, but only if they are accompanied by symbols from other religions, such as Hanukkah candles. One-in-five (20%) say there should be no religious displays on government property, period. 

The new survey also suggests that most Americans believe that the biblical Christmas story reflects historical events that actually occurred. About three-quarters of Americans believe that Jesus Christ was born to a virgin, that an angel of the Lord appeared to shepherds to announce the birth of Jesus, and that wise men, guided by a star, brought Jesus gold, frankincense and myrrh. And eight-in-ten U.S. adults believe the newborn baby Jesus was laid in a manger.

Rev. James G. Sabak, O.F.M., Ph.D., is an assistant professor of theology at Providence College. He has a collection of international Christmas creches currently on display in the Center for Catholic and Dominican Studies on campus. He can provide his expert opinion on the recent survey from the Pew Research Center.  

To speak with him directly, please contact Chrissy Centazzo at (401) 340-5710, or   

Meet Our Expert:

Rev. James G. Sabak, O.F.M., Ph.D.,

assistant professor of theology;

Teaching at PC since 2012
  • Liturgy
  • Christian ritual
  • Sacraments
  • Sacramental Theology
  • Early Church History, Ritual, and Culture
Selected Courses Taught:
  • Foundations of Theology
  • Growth in Christian Life
  • Sacraments
  • Prayer and Liturgical Life
Steve Maurano
Associate Vice President for Public Affairs, Community & Government Relations​
(401) 865-2413​

Chrissy Centazzo
Public Affairs, Community & Government
Re​lations Specialist
(401) 865-2413




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