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Religion News

Pope urges police to show 'mercy' in traffic stops

Vatican City - Pope Francis on Monday called on police to show "mercy" during traffic stops while standing firm against those who use the streets as their own Formula 1 race track.

France to 'prevent' Muslim street prayers in Paris suburb

Paris - French authorities will stop Muslims from praying in a street north of Paris, the country's interior minister said Sunday, after a series of protests by lawmakers and locals over what they view as an unacceptable use of public space.

EU examines bootlegging allegations at Kabul compound

Kabul - European investigators are looking into allegations that alcohol imported by the EU's diplomatic mission in Kabul was illegally sold on the city's black market, an EU spokesman confirmed on Sunday.

Pope denounces 'indifference' on first 'World Day for the Poor'

Rome - Pope Francis called on Sunday to fight indifference to poverty on what has been dubbed the first "World Day for the Poor" by the Catholic Church.Celebrating the event in Rome at a mass attended by about 7,000 poor people at St.

Doctors at Vatican to debate ethics of euthanasia

Vatican City - "We don't carry out euthanasia as often as it is asked for," says Dutch GP Carin Littooji, advocating for assisted dying on a bench usually reserved for bishops in the Vatican.

Pope denounces healthcare inequality in rich countries

Vatican City - Pope Francis on Thursday took wealthy nations to task over unequal healthcare and systems which increasingly penalise all but the very wealthy.

Godspeed: Francis passes on Lamborghini

Vatican City - Lamborghini gave Pope Francis a personalised white supercar on Wednesday, but he put it up for auction to raise money for charity rather than give up his trademark popemobile.

In Saudi visit, Lebanese patriarch backs PM Hariri over resignation

Riyadh - The head of Lebanon's Maronite church, in a historic visit to Saudi Arabia, voiced support Tuesday for prime minister Saad Hariri over his resignation, which tipped his country into crisis.

Ultra-nationalist Myanmar monk denied bail over anti-Rohingya protest

Yangon - One of Myanmar's most prominent ultra-nationalist monks was denied bail on Tuesday after he was arrested charges of inciting unrest in an anti-Rohingya protest held outside the US Embassy last year.

Pope warns of nuclear terror threat

Vatican City - Pope Francis on Friday renewed calls for global nuclear disarmament, warning that new technology had increased the risk of deadly weapons falling into the hands of terrorists.

Tensions over Muslim street prayers north of Paris

Clichy - Around 100 local French lawmakers attempted to block Muslims praying in a street north of Paris on Friday and called on the government to ban what they see as an unacceptable use of public space.

Millions mark key Shiite commemoration in Iraq holy city

Karbala - An estimated 14 million Shiite pilgrims thronged Iraq's holy city of Karbala on Friday to mark the annual Arbaeen commemoration, as Baghdad looks to wipe out the Islamic State group that has targeted their branch of Islam.

Book details alleged sexual abuse in the Vatican

Rome - An Italian journalist acquitted in last year's so-called Vatileaks trial published Thursday a book detailing the attempts of a young whistleblower to report alleged sexual abuse.

Pope stubs out cigarettes sales in Vatican

Vatican City - Pope Francis has outlawed the sale of cigarettes at the Vatican in a bid to lead by example on healthy living.

Party time in the cemetery as Bolivians fete skulls

La Paz - Some wear glasses. Others have sombreros and a cigar. These are Bolivia's "natitas" -- human skulls with miracle-working powers.On Wednesday thousands of people and their skulls converged on La Paz's oldest cemetery as part of a pre-Hispanic tradition....

Texas gunman: a militant atheist who beat wife and child

Sutherland Springs - The former Air Force airman who shot dead 26 people in a Texas church had been jailed by the military for beating his wife and child, and had ranted against God and the church on his social media pages.

Erdogan signs contentious religious marriages law

Istanbul - President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has signed into law controversial legislation to let state-approved clerics conduct marriage ceremonies, a move critics claim risks undermining Turkey's secular foundations.

Pope Francis condemns war as 'useless tragedy'

Nettuno - Pope Francis condemned wars around the world Thursday while dedicating his thoughts to young soldiers and commemorated the dead at an American military cemetery in Italy.

Poles launch petition over French plan to axe cross

Varsovia - More than 38,000 people signed an online petition as of Thursday protesting against a French court order to remove a cross from a statue of the late Polish-born Pope John Paul II in Brittany, western France.

Poles honour the dead at Skull Chapel

Poland - From inside the tiny baroque Skull Chapel in southern Poland, Father Romuald Brudnowski offers up a prayer for thousands of nameless individuals whose bones line the walls of an unusual place of worship.

Pope Francis condemns terror attacks around the world

Vatican City - Pope Francis condemned on Wednesday recent terror attacks around the world, including in New York where eight people were killed, saying he was "saddened" by events.

French Catholics lash out at cross removal

Rennes - French Catholic authorities expressed anger Tuesday at the court-ordered removal of a cross from a statue of the late pope Jean-Paul II, which prompted outrage from his native Poland.

Protestants, Catholics mark 500 years since Reformation

Wittenberg - Catholic and Lutheran leaders Tuesday begged forgiveness for violence sparked by the Reformation, as worshippers celebrated 500 years since the religious revolution that created the Protestant church.

Pope decries low birth rates in Europe

Vatican City - Pope Francis on Saturday decried low birth rates in Europe and urged more help for young people preparing their future path in society.

Myanmar Kachin Baptist leaders jailed for 'helping' rebels

Yangon - Two Baptist leaders were sentenced to prison in Myanmar Friday on charges of supporting ethnic minority rebels in the war-torn northeast, in a trial slammed by rights groups as a cover-up for alleged military abuses.

Relics picked from late Thai King's ashes

Bangkok - Thailand's new king picked bits of bone and ash from his father's remains on Friday to be enshrined as royal relics, after the cremation of the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej capped an extravagant funeral that brought the nation to a standstill.

Pope asks spacemen life's big questions in ISS live chat

Vatican City - Pope Francis chatted with six astronauts at the International Space Station (ISS) on Thursday, kicking off the rare interview with a philosophical question on "man's place in the universe".

Pope gets philosophical with ISS crew in space chat

Vatican City - Pope Francis chatted with six astronauts at the International Space Station (ISS) on Thursday, kicking off the rare interview with a philosophical question on "man's place in the universe".

Plague alert over Madagascar's dance with the dead

Antananarivo - In Madagascar, ceremonies in which families exhume the remains of dead relatives, rewrap them in fresh cloth and dance with the corpses are a sacred ritual.

Malaysian man dies in bizarre 'human steaming' stunt

Kuala Lumpur - A Malaysian Taoist medium has died while performing a "human steaming" stunt which involved him sitting on top of a bubbling wok covered by a giant metal lid, police said Wednesday.
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