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Church News

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.

El Salvador condemns bishop accused of raping girl

Sansalvador - A "well-loved" senior bishop in El Salvador who is also a prominent Church historian was Friday condemned by government officials and a rights organization after being accused of repeatedly raping a girl in the 1980s.

Russia says new DNA tests confirm last tsar's remains

Moscow - New DNA tests on the remains of the last tsar Nicholas II confirm their authenticity, Russia said Wednesday, after exhuming them in a bid to end a dispute with the Orthodox Church.

Tens of thousands march in Moscow as Putin extols patriotism

Moscow - President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday extolled patriotism as tens of thousands marched through Moscow in the Kremlin-choreographed show of unity amid tensions with the West.

Russia readies to exhume Tsar Alexander III in Romanov probe

Sanktpeterburg - Russian investigators began examining the grave of Tsar Alexander III Tuesday ahead of his exhumation in a probe looking to finally identify the remains of the last tsar Nicholas II and his family.

Teen recounts deadly NY church beating

New Hartford - A 17-year-old boy testified Wednesday of being punched and whipped with a cord during a deadly assault in a US church carried out by his family and congregants.

U.S. church assault sees parents charged with killing son, 19

New York - A spiritual counseling session turned deadly at a church in New York state this week when a teenager was beaten to death and his brother left with serious injuries.

Church says Russia fighting 'holy battle' in Syria

Moscow - Russia's powerful Orthodox Church on Wednesday voiced support for Moscow's decision to carry out air strikes in Syria against the Islamic State group, calling it a "holy battle".

Russia digs up remains of last tsar for new probe

Sanktpeterburg - Russian investigators on Wednesday exhumed the remains of the country's last emperor Nicholas II and empress Alexandra as part of a new probe into the notorious 1918 slaying of the Romanov family.

Church incense could be banned as a ‘legal high’

London - Incense, used by some churches in services, could be banned as part of the U.K.’s crackdown on so-called "legal highs." These are psychoactive drug substances currently escaping drug enforcement measures.

Russia to bury last tsar's heir and daughter next month

Moscow - Russia on Friday said it plans next month to finally bury the remains of Tsar Nicholas II's son and heir Alexei and daughter Maria alongside their family in Saint Petersburg.

Hungarian priest extends lonely offer of help to migrants

R - Going against the wishes of local church bosses, and many of his compatriots, one Hungarian priest has extended a helping hand to some of the tens of thousands of refugees pouring across the border."In my view, we must help in such a situation.

Spanish court rules archdiocese liable in altar boy sexual abuse case

Madrid - A Spanish court ruled Tuesday that the archdiocese of the southern city of Granada can be held civilly liable for the alleged sexual abuse of a teenage altar boy by several priests, in a case drawing intervention from Pope Francis.

Hundreds protest smashing of 'Mephistopheles' in St Petersburg

Sanktpeterburg - More than a thousand Russians rallied in Saint Petersburg on Sunday after a century-old bas relief of a mythical demon was destroyed amid fears of increasing religious intolerance under President Vladimir Putin.

Russia probes smashing of 'Mephistopheles' figure claimed by Orthodox group

Sanktpeterburg - Russia has launched a probe after a century-old figure of Mephistopheles was ripped down in Saint Petersburg, with Orthodox activists claiming responsibility amid fears of an increasing intolerance in the country.

Russia probes smashing of 'Mephistopheles' figure claimed by Orthodox group

Sanktpeterburg - Russia has launched a probe after a century-old figure of Mephistopheles was ripped down in Saint Petersburg, with Orthodox activists claiming responsibility amid fears of an increasing intolerance in the country.

St. Nicholas Church in Babylon to raise funds for restoration

West Babylon - St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church in West Babylon is hosting a fundraiser for the restoration of the church, which suffered fire damage last month.

Vladimir hails Vladimir: Putin fetes Russia's religious founder

Moscow - Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday marked 1,000 years since the death of Prince Vladimir, the Orthodox saint credited with bringing Christianity to the country in the Middle Ages.

St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church in Babylon suffers fire damage

West Babylon - On the night of July 21, a devastating fire caused millions of dollars in damages at the St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church in West Babylon on Long Island.

Family feud shakes influential century-old Iglesia ni Cristo

Philippine-based Christian-denomination religion Iglesia ni Cristo (Church of Christ) or INC founded by Felix Y. Manalo 100 years ago in Manila is being shaken by allegation of corruption following the disclosure by some members of the church.

Pope to urge healing in Cuba during upcoming visit

Havana - Pope Francis will urge Cubans divided for decades over their rigid communist system to bury the hatchet when he visits the island in September, a church official said Thursday.

Costa Rica to regulate IVF after long row

San Jos - Costa Rica's president will issue a decree to regulate in vitro fertilization (IVF) after a long legal battle, he said Wednesday.

Russia seeks to identify and bury remains of last Tsar's children

Moscow - Russia has launched a new drive to confirm the identity of and bury remains thought to be those of the last tsar's daughter and only son, which have been stored in state archives for nearly a decade.

Ukraine convent shows scars from conflict's fiercest battle

Donetsk - Nikolai Borodulya picks his way past tripwires and unexploded mines when he visits his relatives' graves in the cemetery of the ravaged Svyato-Iversky convent near the frontline of east Ukraine's war.

Lagos megachurch negligent over deadly building collapse: coroner

Lagos - A coroner on Wednesday said a megachurch run by popular Nigerian preacher TB Joshua should be prosecuted after a building collapse killed 116 people, most of them South Africans.

No racial motivation in U.S. church fires: Official

Washington - Fires at six African-American churches in the southern United States do not appear to be linked or racially motivated, officials said.

Charleston church holds first service since massacre

Charleston - The church in South Carolina where a white gunman murdered nine African Americans, held Sunday its first church service since the massacre, an emotional gathering celebrating the lives of those slain.

Blacks massacred in Civil War church

Charleston - There are reports of at least nine black people shot dead at a black church in Charleston, South Carolina during a prayer meeting. The Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church had served as beacon for enslaved slaves before the Civil War.
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