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Trump begins inauguration day activities with church service

Washington - US President-elect Donald Trump on Friday attended the first event of his jam-packed inauguration day -- a prayer service just hours before he takes the oath of office.Trump, his wife Melania and his adult children arrived at St.

Protesters confront Russian Orthodox Church in cathedral dispute

Sanktpeterburg - Russians living in the northwestern city of Saint Petersburg have been protesting against city authorities' decision to hand control of the country's largest cathedral to the powerful Russian Orthodox Church.

Russians petition against return of iconic cathedral to Orthodox Church

Sanktpeterburg - More than 100,000 people Wednesday signed an online petition against the handover of a flagship cathedral in the Russian city of Saint Petersburg to the Orthodox Church.

Queen Elizabeth misses Christmas church service with cold

Sandringham - Queen Elizabeth II missed the Christmas Day church service attended by the British royal family on Sunday because she was still suffering with a heavy cold.

Sri Lanka's record Christmas tree pruned due to work delays

Colombo - Sri Lanka surpassed the world record for the tallest artificial Christmas tree Saturday despite building delays forcing organisers to prune the structure by almost half, an official said.

Sri Lanka's record Christmas tree pruned due to work delays

Colombo - Sri Lanka surpassed the world record for the tallest artificial Christmas tree Saturday despite building delays forcing organisers to prune the structure by almost half, an official said.

Sri Lanka's record Christmas tree pruned due to work delays

Colombo - Sri Lanka surpassed the world record for the tallest artificial Christmas tree Saturday despite building delays forcing organisers to prune the structure by almost half, an official said.

Sri Lanka scraps tallest Christmas tree after church snub

Colombo - Sri Lankan cricket legend Arjuna Ranatunga Wednesday abandoned a bid to build a record-breaking 100-metre tall Christmas tree after the head of the Catholic church on the island called it a waste of money.

Argentine pedophile dies after cathedral concert attack

Buenos Aires - A convicted pedophile has died after being badly beaten during a concert he was performing in a cathedral near Buenos Aires, attacked by parents from a preschool where he had allegedly molested children, a priest said.

China priests' fears over Vatican's Beijing olive branch

Bejing - Secret talks between the Vatican and Beijing are raising hopes of a "historic" rapprochement after six decades of estrangement, but some Chinese clergy fear that Rome will accept a Communist stranglehold over the country's Catholics.

Argentine court fines Catholic church $50,000 for sex abuse

Buenos Aires - A court in Buenos Aires on Saturday ordered the Catholic Church to pay $50,000 to a former seminarian who alleged he was sexually abused some 25 years ago by an Argentine archbishop.

French church hit by jihadist murder reopens

Saint- - Some two months after jihadists murdered a French priest in cold blood while he was celebrating mass, the Normandy church he served for decades reopened its doors on Sunday.

Gay Catholics test Poland's conservative church

Varsovia - When gay and lesbian Catholics launched a campaign this month to ask for acceptance in the Polish church, the backlash was swift and uncompromising.

Russian Orthodox Patriarch signs petition to Putin urging abortion ban

Moscow - Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill on Tuesday signed a petition calling for a legal ban on abortion, the Church said in a statement.

China willing to reach 'understanding' with Vatican: cardinal

Hong Kong - The head of the Catholic Church in Hong Kong has said the Chinese government is willing to reach an "understanding" with the Vatican over the contentious issue of the appointment of bishops.

Pro-refugee activists cleared of disrupting Greek mass

Thessalon - A Greek court on Monday released 26 anarchists who had disrupted a Sunday Orthodox church service to protest against refugee evictions, a judicial source said.

Syrian asylum seeker held over French church attack: Source close to probe

Paris - A Syrian refugee staying at a French centre for asylum seekers has been taken in for questioning in connection with a deadly jihadist attack on a church, a source close to the probe said Friday.

Priest killed in France church hostage-taking

Saint- - A priest was killed on Tuesday when men armed with knives seized hostages at a church near the northern French city of Rouen, a police source said.

Refugees in Germany turn to church for sanctuary

Tutzing - Peshtiwan Nasser Abdal has been holed up in a church for the past four months, in a desperate bid to avoid deportation from Germany.

U.S. to seek death penalty for South Carolina church shooter

Washington - U.S. officials said Tuesday that they would seek the death penalty in the trial of a young white man who killed nine black parishioners at a South Carolina church last year.

Indian police, Hindu hardliners halt church wedding

New Delhi - A group of hardline Hindu activists and police stormed a church in central India and stopped a wedding midway after accusing the pastor of forcefully converting the bride to Christianity, an official said Thursday.

Polish Catholic Church calls for total abortion ban

Varsovia - Poland's Catholic Church on Wednesday called for a total abortion ban, as pro-life activists seek to tighten the law that is already one of the most restrictive in Europe.

French cardinal Barbarin 'apologises' to abuse victims

Lyon - A French cardinal accused of covering up the sexual abuse of children by priests apologised to victims during a mass, according to the website of his diocese.

Gold dome lifted onto future Russian Orthodox cathedral in Paris

Paris - A huge golden dome was hoisted into place Saturday atop a Russian Orthodox cathedral being built in Paris, as Russian and French dignitaries looked on.

Indian activists criticise Vatican for revoking priest's ban

New Delhi - Children's activists in India on Wednesday criticised the Vatican for revoking the suspension of a Catholic priest who was convicted by a US court of sexually abusing a minor.

Fidel Castro hails Catholic-Orthodox talks in Cuba

Havana - Cuba's former revolutionary president Fidel Castro on Monday said the historic meeting in his country between the heads of the Catholic and Russian Orthodox churches raised worldwide hope for peace.

Cuba decorates Russia patriarch after pope visit

Havana - Cuba's president Raul Castro awarded the country's highest honor to Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill on Saturday, hailing his role in the communist island's relations with Moscow.

Greek parliament approves civil union for same-sex couples

Atenas - Greece's parliament on Wednesday approved a bill granting same-sex couples the right to a civil union, becoming one of the last European countries to give them legal recognition after years of opposition from the influential Orthodox church.

Ontario priest guilty of stealing up to $234,000 from his church

Tecumseh - A clergyman who was found guilty Thursday of allegedly stealing up to $234,000 from his church will retain the title of priest. A jury only needed a few hours to deliberate before finding Rev. Robert Couture,52, guilty of theft over $5,000.

Salvadoran church apologizes for pedophilia cases

Sansalvador - The archbishop of El Salvador's capital apologized Sunday for pedophilia cases involving a bishop and a priest and pledged to clean house.The two clergymen will also face church justice, he said.
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