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Religion News

French environment minister announces partnerships in Iran

Tehran - French Environment Minister Segolene Royal met with her Iranian counterpart in Tehran on Sunday to announce plans for a number of joint projects addressing energy, water shortages and pollution.

Turkey allows policewomen to wear Islamic headscarf

Istanbul - Turkey has for the first time allowed policewomen to wear the Islamic headscarf as part of their uniform, according to a ruling published in the official gazette Saturday.

Bangladesh 'free of curse' after police kill militant: PM

Dhaka - Bangladesh's prime minister said the nation was "free of another curse" Saturday after police stormed a militant hideout, shooting dead the suspected mastermind of an horrific attack on a cafe that killed 22 hostages.

In Egypt, ecstatic pilgrims start journey to Mecca

Cairo - Pilgrims have been saying their farewells at Cairo airport before leaving for Saudi Arabia to perform the hajj in the tradition, they believe, of the Prophet Mohammed and Abraham before him.

Dutch far-right party says it will ban mosques, Koran

Den Haag - The political party of Dutch far-right politician Geert Wilders, which is leading polls ahead of parliamentary elections next year, has vowed to close mosques and "ban the Koran" in its manifesto.

Scottish police become latest in Britain to allow hijab

London - Scotland's police this week became the latest force in Britain to allow the hijab as an optional part of the uniform in an effort to encourage more ethnic minority recruits.

Man held over stabbing of Jewish man in Strasbourg

Strasbourg - A mentally disturbed man shouting "Allahu Akbar" stabbed a Jewish man in the northeastern French city of Strasbourg on Friday, police and Jewish community sources said.

Germany proposes burqa ban in public places

Berlin - Germany's interior minister on Friday proposed partially banning the full-face burqa Islamic veil, as a debate on integration rages after two jihadist attacks and ahead of key state elections.

Russian mufti calls for genital mutilation of all women

Moscow - A senior Muslim cleric in Russia has prompted controversy by urging universal female genital mutilation after a rights group released a report on the practice in the country's North Caucasus region.

Italian bishop launches crusade against Pokemon Go

Rome - An Italian bishop has threatened legal action against Pokemon Go, saying the "diabolical" game has turned its army of smartphone-wielding players into "walking dead", reports said Thursday.

Pope meets French President after priest murder

Rome - Pope Francis on Wednesday granted French President Francois Hollande a private audience, three weeks after Islamist militants killed an elderly French priest by slitting his throat in front of worshippers.

Italy rules out burkini ban, wants home-trained imams

Rome - Italy will not follow France by allowing burkini bans on public beaches but is planning tighter regulation of imams and mosques, the country's interior minister said in comments published Wednesday.

Vietnamese furnish ancestors with jets, rollers and mansions

Hanoi - With an average annual income of around $2,000 most Vietnamese would not consider themselves especially wealthy. But in the afterlife you can be a billionaire thanks to paper offerings made by your scions.

Iranians fight rising infertility and taboos

Tehran - With infertility rising in pollution-plagued Iran, a growing number of couples must navigate the country's web of social and religious taboos as they seek treatment.

France's Hollande to meet pope over priest killing

Paris - French President Francois Hollande will meet Pope Francis at the Vatican on Wednesday, three weeks after the jihadist murder of a priest in France sent shockwaves through the Catholic Church.

Catholic pilgrims rally behind terror-hit France in Lourdes

Lourdes - Thousands of Catholic pilgrims offered up prayers for terror-scarred France during Assumption celebrations on Monday in Lourdes, held under tight security after last month's massacre in Nice and murder of a priest.

New York police seeking killer of imam, assistant

New York - A New York neighborhood teetered on edge as it struggled to pinpoint the motives behind a gunman's fatal daytime attack on an imam and his assistant near their mosque.

Imam, assistant gunned down near New York mosque

New York - A gunman shot and killed a New York imam and his assistant near their mosque in the borough of Queens during a brazen attack in broad daylight Saturday.

Pope in surprise visit to ex-prostitutes

Vatican City - Pope Francis surprised 20 former prostitutes on Friday by knocking on their door in Rome and popping in for a chat.

French Catholic shrine prepares for pilgrimage in shadow of attacks

Lourdes - French security forces are on high alert as thousands of Catholics converge on the shrine of Lourdes for an annual pilgrimage unfolding in the shadow of a string of terror attacks.

Syrian child refugees tell Pope of new life in Rome

Vatican City - Young Syrian refugees who Pope Francis brought home with him after a trip to Greece laughed and joked with the pontiff Thursday as they told him of their new life in Italy.

US decries IS 'genocide' of Christians, Shiites, Yazidis

Washington - The United States on Wednesday denounced the "genocide" carried out by the Islamic State group against Christians, Shiites and Yazidis, as the State Department unveiled its somber annual report on religious freedom around the world.

Second man arrested over French priest's murder

Paris - Police in southwest France arrested a 21-year-old man in connection with the jihadist killing of a priest in a Normandy church last month, judicial sources said Wednesday.

Turkey suspends 2,500 more from religion agency after coup bid

Ankara - Turkey suspended over 2,500 more staff from the powerful religious affairs state agency on Tuesday in the latest purge after last month's failed coup blamed on US-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gulen.

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.

Second chance for sinners as pope fetes 'Assisi pardon'

Assisi - Pope Francis travelled to the Italian town of Assisi on Thursday for a private visit to mark the 800th anniversary of the 'Pardon of Assisi', under which the slates of sinners can be wiped clean.

Briton arrested over deadly Bangladesh cafe siege

Dhaka - A British national and a student at a Canadian university who were dining at a Bangladeshi cafe when it was besieged by jihadists last month have been arrested on suspicion of involvement in the attack.

Paris's 'animal church' cleared for wrecking ball

Paris - A Paris church known for its annual tradition of blessing people's pets was the scene of high drama on Wednesday as police forcibly removed its priest and 30 followers ready for the building's demolition.

Danish Muslim group offers to bury French priest killer

Copenhagen - A Danish Muslim group has offered to bury one of the jihadists who murdered a French priest, after Muslim leaders in France refused to do so, a newspaper said Wednesday.

Pope urges Rio athletes to 'fight the good fight'

Vatican City - Pope Francis on Wednesday urged athletes heading to the Rio Olympics to fight the "good fight", aiming not for medals but solidarity in a world "sick with cruelty".
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A mock-up of a CFI  skepticism  ad to be placed in Toronto subways
A mock-up of a CFI "skepticism" ad to be placed in Toronto subways
Courtesy CFI
Pope Benedict XVI leads the recitation of the Holy Rosary during a candlelight vigil at the Catholic...
Pope Benedict XVI leads the recitation of the Holy Rosary during a candlelight vigil at the Catholic shrine of Fatima in central Portuga
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The difference between science and religion
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Jesus on the cross
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Desecrated Virgin Mary statue.
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From the BHA's website: the image of the side of a bus with a campaign banner
British Humanist Association
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A sign
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A billboard advertising The Freedom From Religion Foundation
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Pastor Sean Harris, Fred Phelps Protests, LGBT Protests
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Edmonton Beltaine Faire 2014
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Edmonton Witches' Market, March 22, 2014.
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A fetus doll that was given to 3rd, 4th, 5th graders as part of a religious teaching on anti-abortion and the pro-life movement at a public school in Virginia.
WVEC screen shot
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Professor Reza Alsan giving a lecture.
Wikicommons
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Edmonton Witches' Market, March 22, 2014.
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Pastor Sean Harris, Fred Phelps Protests, LGBT Protests
Google Images
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A group of counter-protesters
Edmonton Witches  Market  March 22  2014.
Edmonton Witches' Market, March 22, 2014.