Christmas at a time when the nation is waging war against terrorism, following the September 11 attacks.
"I have heard the Gospel preached many times," said New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, who was elected as Person of the Year by Time Magazine.
"To hear it (the Gospel) at Ground Zero (the site of what was the World Trade Center), a place of so much devastation and heroism was very special, Giuliani said. after visiting a prayer service.
He added that "the message of Christmas" will accompany the volunteers who will continue to work during the holiday’s in an effort to recover at least some "bodies or body parts" of the thousands of victims, still buried beneath the rubble. Giuliani said special services will be held during the Holiday season at ground zero, to comfort the recovery workers.
AMERICANS MORE RELIGIOUS
He spoke as the Cable News Network (CNN) and Time released a poll showing that 74% of Americans said they became more religious since September 11, when hijacked planes plunged into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.
"Americans have been shaking, but they have been shaking on their knees," said television preacher Rev. T.D. Jakes on CNN’s Late Edition. Asked why God allowed the terrorist attacks, Jakes suggested "not to blame God,". He stressed that "God gave us a free choice" to do good or evil.
However Christian leaders have also shown understanding for serious questions about faith among those who for the first time will celebrate Christmas without those they loved.
DARK NIGHT OF SOUL
"There is a dark night of the soul," said former US Education Secretary and current leader of Empower America, Bill Bennett, who also appeared on Late Edition.
But the question is what happens at the end of the day. It reminds us to a world of right and evil," said Bennett, a Catholic. But he expressed hope that the young generation will carry the torch of faith and what has been describes as the "spirit of America."
"15 years ago when young people were asked who was their hero, they answered: "Number one the drummer of Kiss, number two Nobody." "Now young people know pretty well who the heroes are and they find noble causes in life, not just to make a profit," he said.
MORE GOVERNMENT JOBS
He suggested that Government agencies such as the CIA had more job applications in the last two months than ever in such period. On Sunday politicians also urged Americans to continue their lives and not to become to afraid for terrorists, despite the diversion this weekend of an American Airlines plane to Boston, after explosives were discovered at the shoes of a passenger.
"I think we are a nation under God," stressed Rev. T.D. Jakes, who believes that one day Christ will defeat all evil. Around the world churches and the Jewish community have been praying for the US.
In Hungary’s Capital Budapest the Jewish community as well as an Internet Church and other congregations have recently remembered the terrorist victims during the Jewish holidays of Chanukah and other religious events.