Messiah probably more popular of a name than you think

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) A Tennessee judge has ruled the name Messiah cannot be used, because it is reserved for Jesus. But how common is the name Messiah in our culture? The answer might surprise you.

The story has been grabbing attention around the world in only a matter of days. A family, fighting a judge for the right to name their 7 month old son Messiah. The judge has ordered that Jaleesa Martin change the name of her son to Martin, an order the family says it will fight however far it needs to go.

"This is just outrageous," Lucy Benjamin said. Benjamin is the grandmother to the 7 month old.

So how common is the name Messiah? A search of the Social Security's Most Popular Baby Names website says, it's fairly regular.

In fact, it's a name growing in popularity.

Of the top 1,000 names in 2012, Messiah ranked at 387. In 2011, it was at 633. Moreover, in the past year, there were 762 applications for the name Messiah. In fact, religious names were prominent on the list of popular baby names. From Jesus to Cruz, Emanuel to Muhammad, names with a religious backing have been common for some time.

The family has said they will continue to fight this in court. They are due back before a judge in September for another hearing.

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