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Religion News

Israel removes holy site metal detectors, but boycott maintained

Jerusalem - Israel removed metal detectors from a highly sensitive Jerusalem holy site Tuesday after their installation triggered deadly violence, but Muslim worshippers suspicious over what would come next kept up a boycott.

Israel removes metal detectors from sensitive holy site

Jerusalem - Israel removed metal detectors from a highly sensitive Jerusalem holy site in the pre-dawn hours of Tuesday and said they would no longer be used after the new security measures set off deadly violence.

Abbas freezes Israel contact over holy site dispute

Ramallah - Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas said Friday he was freezing contacts with Israel over new security measures at a highly sensitive Jerusalem holy site, after deadly clashes erupted earlier in the day.

Israel, Palestinians brace for more unrest at holy site

Jerusalem - Israel's army boosted security Thursday and braced for possible unrest on the eve of the main weekly Muslim prayers after security measures imposed at a sensitive Jerusalem site angered Palestinians.

Thai court charges disgraced 'jet-set monk' with rape

Bangkok - A Thai court charged a disgraced former monk Thursday with the rape of an underage girl, fraud and money laundering, after he was extradited from the United States.

Muslims again boycott holy site over Israeli security measures

Jerusalem - Muslims boycotted a Jerusalem holy site for the third day running Tuesday after Israeli authorities installed metal detectors and cameras at entrances to the sensitive compound following an attack that killed two policemen.

Russian court confirms Jehovah's Witnesses ban

Moscow - Russia's Supreme Court Monday confirmed a ban on Jehovah's Witnesses, labelled by authorities as an "extremist organisation".

Muslims heed calls to avoid holy site over Israeli security measures

Jerusalem - Muslims heeded calls Monday not to enter a Jerusalem holy site and protested outside after Israeli authorities installed metal detectors at entrances to the ultra-sensitive compound following an attack that killed two policemen.

Out of the woods: Thai 'hermits' harness web to go global

Khon Kaen - From communing with forest spirits to whipping up love potions, Thailand's cave-dwelling hermits once conducted their supernatural endeavours with just ancient magic and ritual as their guide.

16 pilgrims killed in bus crash in northern India: police

Srinagar - At least 16 Hindu pilgrims were killed and many more injured Sunday in a bus crash in northern India, police said, just days after gunmen shot dead eight worshippers making the same holy visit.

Israel reopens sensitive holy site, but Muslims refuse to enter

Jerusalem - Israel reopened an ultra-sensitive holy site Sunday closed after an attack that killed two policemen, but Muslim worshippers were refusing to enter due to new security measures including metal detectors and cameras.

Israel reopens sensitive Jerusalem holy site closed after attack

Jerusalem - Israel reopened an ultra-sensitive holy site Sunday closed after an attack that killed two policemen, but Muslim worshippers were refusing to enter due to new security measures including metal detectors and cameras.

Israel to reopen sensitive Jerusalem holy site after attack

Jerusalem - Israeli authorities were to reopen an ultra-sensitive holy site Sunday closed after an attack that killed two policemen, but new security measures including metal detectors and cameras were being put in place.

Tibetan student self-immolates in India

New Delhi - A Tibetan student has self-immolated in India after shouting "freedom", police said Saturday, injuring himself critically.The student set himself on fire on Friday at the Central University for Tibetan Studies in Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh state.

Gay rights supporters parade amid rain, protests in Seoul

Seoul - Thousands of people celebrated gay rights with song, dance and a march in Seoul Saturday, amid rain and boisterous protests by conservative Christians.

No visitors allowed on Japan's men-only UNESCO island

Toukyo - Visitors will not be allowed to set foot on a men-only UNESCO World Heritage island in Japan from next year, an official said Saturday.

'No complaining': Pope Francis takes on moaners

Vatican City - Pope Francis carries the weight of the world's poor and suffering on his shoulders: the last thing he needs is people turning up at his apartment for a whinge.

Pride and prejudice at S.Korea gay parade

Seoul - Thousands of people will march through Seoul to support gay rights in this Saturday's Pride parade, and probably just as many conservative Christians urging them to "repent" their "sins".

China's Uighur Muslims struggle under 'police state'

Kashgar - Worshippers quietly passed through metal detectors as they entered the central mosque in China's far western city of Kashgar under the stern gaze of stone-faced police officers.

Top Europe court upholds ban on full-face veil in Belgium 

Strasbourg - The European Court of Human Rights on Tuesday upheld a Belgian ban on wearing the full-face niqab veil in public, calling the restriction "necessary in a democratic society".

Pope Francis adds new pathway to becoming a saint

Vatican City - Christians who lay down their life to save others, "following in the footsteps and teaching of Jesus", will now be eligible for beatification, Pope Francis said Tuesday.

Top Europe court upholds ban on full-face veil in Belgium 

Strasbourg - The European Court of Human Rights on Tuesday upheld a Belgian ban on wearing the full-face niqab veil in public.

Militants kill six Hindu pilgrims: police

Srinagar - Militants killed six Hindu pilgrims and wounded 14 others Monday in Indian-administered Kashmir, police told AFP, after their bus came under attack.

No girls allowed: Japan's men-only island gets UNESCO nod

Toukyo - A men-only island in Japan where women are banned and male visitors must bathe naked in the sea before visiting its shrine, has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Cardinal Pell back in Australia to face abuse charges

Sydney - Vatican finance chief Cardinal George Pell arrived back in Australia on Monday ahead of a court appearance later this month over historical sex abuse charges.

No gluten-free hosts for Eucharist, Vatican says, but GMOs OK

Vatican City - The unleavened bread used to celebrate the Eucharist during Catholic masses can be made with genetically modified organisms, the Vatican said Saturday, but they cannot be entirely gluten-free.

Pope warns of 'dangerous alliances' among G20 powers

Rome - Pope Francis said Saturday that the G20 summit in Germany "worries" him because of the potential for "very dangerous alliances" among world leaders, with particularly dire consequences for migrants.

Venezuela Catholic Church calls govt 'dictatorship'

Caracas - Venezuela's Catholic Church raised pressure on the leftist government Friday in a deadly political crisis, warning that its drive for constitutional reforms is turning the country into a "military dictatorship.

Venezuela Catholic Church calls govt 'dictatorship'

Caracas - Venezuela's Catholic Church said Friday that constitutional reforms planned by the country's leftist government in response to a deadly political crisis were turning the country into a "military dictatorship.

In crime-plagued Mexico, 'Heavenly Police' turn to higher power

Seguro Social - It sometimes seems there's no hope for justice in Mexico, where ultra-violent drug cartels operate with impunity and graft reaches from the lowest levels of the police to the highest halls of power.
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