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Religion News

Detained Canadian pastor 'confesses' at Pyongyang church service

Seoul - North Korea on Monday released video footage of a detained Canadian pastor attending church in Pyongyang and admitting to unspecified subversion charges levelled after his arrest in January.

Colombia rebels want meeting with pope during Cuba visit

Havana - Colombia's Marxist FARC rebels, now negotiating a peace deal in Havana, said Sunday they hope to meet with Pope Francis on his upcoming Cuba visit.

S.Africa's Tutu to remain in hospital for 'another few days'

Cape Town - South African archbishop Desmond Tutu will remain in hospital in Cape Town "for another few days" despite making good progress, his foundation announced Saturday, four days after he was hospitalised with a recurring infection.

Mexico village reels after truck tragedy

Santa Rosa - A rural village in northern Mexico is reeling after a truck lost control and crushed into a crowd of pilgrims, with six of the 26 dead related to one devastated farmer.

Mullah Omar's death: Taliban's loss, Islamic State's gain

Kabul - Mullah Omar's death poses an existential crisis for the Afghan Taliban, analysts say, potentially presaging a splintering of the movement as the Islamic State group gains a toehold among insurgents enthralled by its battlefield prowess.

Death toll in Mexico truck accident rises to 23

- At least 23 people, including a baby, were killed when a truck's brakes failed and plowed into pilgrims in north-central Mexico, authorities said Thursday, as the driver fled the tragedy.

Poroshenko honours Ukraine Church leader derided by Russia

L'viv - Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko on Wednesday unveiled a monument to a Catholic Church leader derided by Moscow for initially welcoming Nazi soldiers during World War II.

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.

Pope signs up for World Youth Day using iPad

Vatican City - Pope Francis on Sunday became the first person registered for next year's World Youth Day festivities, using an iPad to sign up while addressing thousands of pilgrims and tourists in Saint Peter's Square.

China sentences 14 'Almighty God' members to jail: Xinhua

Bejing - A total of 14 members of a Chinese religious cult have been jailed for up to three years, state media said Sunday, the latest sentences after two members were executed this year for killing a woman.

Clashes rock Jerusalem's Al-Aqsa mosque

Jerusalem - Israeli police Sunday entered Jerusalem's Al-Aqsa mosque, one of Islam's holiest sites, as they clashed with Palestinians angered by Jews' access to the compound on an annual day of Jewish mourning.

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.

Pope Francis U.S. approval ratings on the decline: Poll

Washington - Pope Francis will travel to the United States in several weeks, but a new poll suggested that his popularity in the country is waning, especially among conservative Catholics.

Rushdie says 'wrong lessons' learned from his Iran fatwa ordeal

Paris - More than a quarter century after being slapped with a fatwa from Iran calling for his murder over his book "The Satanic Verses", Salman Rushdie says the world has learned the "wrong lessons" about freedom of expression.

World mayors sign pact to fight climate change

Vatican City - Mayors from around the world have signed a declaration with Pope Francis stating that man-made climate change is real and humanity has a moral imperative to take action.

Big city mayors tackle slavery, climate change at Vatican

Vatican City - Harrowing accounts of girls forced into prostitution and modern slavery opened a two-day conference at the Vatican Tuesday, at which mayors from around the world testified to their efforts to fight forced labour and global warming.

China media says deceased Tibetan monk got appropriate treatment

Bejing - Chinese state-run media has defended the government's treatment of a revered Tibetan monk who died in prison last week, after rights groups and his family slammed the handling of his death.

Cashing in on the Pope's visit to Philadelphia

New York - For enterprising dwellers in Philadelphia, the pope's maiden visit to the US means one thing: mega bucks and listing their apartments on Airbnb for thousands of dollars a night.

Australian jailed over 12-year-old daughter's 'marriage'

Sydney - An Australian man who consented to an Islamic "marriage" ceremony between his 12-year-old daughter and a man more than twice her age was Friday jailed for at least six years.

Doctors confident of Desmond Tutu's recovery

Cape Town - South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu is expected to spend at least a third night in hospital where he is being treated for a persistent infection, his daughter said Thursday.

Thwarted Indian couple in Taj Mahal 'suicide pact'

Agra - An Indian couple forbidden to marry because of their different backgrounds are in hospital after slitting their own throats in an apparent suicide pact at India's famed monument to love, the Taj Mahal.

China holds nine foreigners over 'propaganda video': charity

Bejing - Nine tourists from South Africa, Britain and India have been detained in China and may face criminal charges after being accused of watching "propaganda videos", a charity said Wednesday.

27 crushed to death in India holy river stampede

Hyderabad - A stampede on the banks of a holy river killed at least 27 pilgrims Tuesday in southern India in a tragic beginning to a religious festival season.

Five crushed to death in India holy river stampede

Hyderabad - A stampede on the banks of a holy river killed at least five female pilgrims Tuesday in southern India at the start of a religious festival season, officials said.

Belfast police attacked in loyalist parade violence

Belfast - Northern Ireland's police were pelted with bricks and bottles and used a water cannon to disperse crowds as violence broke out at a traditional Orange Order parade in Belfast on Monday.

Pope leaves for Rome after South America visit

Asunci - Pope Francis departed Paraguay for Rome late Sunday, bringing to a close a weeklong visit where he drew attention to the poor and marginalized in some of the region's poorest nations.

Pope laments corruption as 'gangrene of a people'

Asunci - Pope Francis decried the scourge of corruption as the "gangrene of a people" in Paraguay, one of the poorest countries in South America and where graft is rampant.

Ex-archbishop hospitalised ahead of Vatican paedophilia trial

Vatican City - A former Polish archbishop became ill and was placed in intensive care ahead of the opening of his unprecedented trial on paedophilia charges at the Vatican, officials said Saturday.

Vatican holds first trial of cleric accused of paedophilia

Vatican City - The first ever trial of a former papal official accused of paedophile crimes opens Saturday at the Vatican in what is viewed as belated Church efforts to battle child abusers among the clergy.

Pope takes message of equality to Paraguay

Asunci - Pope Francis brought his message of equality to Paraguay, on the third and final stop of a South America tour that has burnished his reputation as a powerful voice for the downtrodden.
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A mock-up of how the CFI's ad will look on a Toronto bus
Courtesy CFI
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A mock-up of a CFI "skepticism" ad to be placed in Toronto subways
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