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Religion News

Pope faces Mexicans worshipping skeletal 'Death Saint'

Tultitla - Two weeks after baptizing her at a Catholic church, baby Adriana's parents put her in a white gown again for a second sacrament: This time, with Mexico's skeletal "Death Saint.

Russian church hopes 'historic' pope talks will reset ties

Moscow - The Russian Orthodox Church on Tuesday said it hoped a historic first meeting between its Patriarch Kirill and Pope Francis would herald a new era of cooperation between two Christian branches that have been estranged for centuries.

Controversial trial of Islamic opposition opens in Tajikistan

Dushanbe - Thirteen members of a moderate Islamist opposition party went on trial behind closed doors in volatile Tajikistan on Tuesday, accused of fanning a wave of unrest that killed dozens of people last year.

Francis broke my heart, says abuse victim sidelined by Vatican

Rome - A British paedophilia survivor who has been asked to step down from a Vatican panel on the issue told AFP on Monday that he felt betrayed by Pope Francis.

Mexicans to light pope's route with mobile phones

- Worshipers will line the roadside holding up their mobile telephones to light the way for Pope Francis when he arrives on his visit to Mexico next week, organizers said Sunday.

Former victim leaves Vatican child sex abuse commission

Vatican City - A former paedophilia victim has left the Vatican advisory commission on sexual abuse by the clergy, the Vatican announced Saturday, two days after the British campaigner criticised the body in the press.

Vietnam's 12-hour Tet cake worth the wait

Hanoi - She may be edging into her nineties, but Tran Thi Tam still refuses to serve her children store-bought banh chung, the savoury rice cake prepared in a frenzy during Vietnam's lunar new year festival known as Tet.

Russian Patriarch Kirill, Kremlin's unwavering backer

Moscow - A close ally of President Vladimir Putin, Patriarch Kirill has helped to transform the Russian Orthodox Church into a powerful institution of the post-Soviet state.The 69-year-old native of Saint Petersburg will meet Pope Francis next week in Cuba.

'Juarez is Love': City hosting pope sheds murder image

Juarez - Billboards with pictures of Pope Francis welcome the pontiff to Mexico's former murder capital with the inviting phrase "Juarez is Love," as the northern border works to shed its violent image.

Pope and Patriarch to bridge 1,000-year split in Cuba

Vatican City - Pope Francis will meet Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill in Cuba next week in a historic first meeting between the heads of the two largest Christian churches, the Vatican announced Friday.

Turkey to send envoy back to Vatican after Armenia 'genocide' row

Ankara - Turkey says it will send its ambassador back to the Vatican, after recalling him last year in a row over Pope Francis' use of the word "genocide" to describe the massacres of Armenians by Ottoman forces during World War I.

Obama decries anti-Muslim rhetoric on first mosque visit

Baltimore - Barack Obama offered an impassioned rebuttal of "inexcusable" Republican election rhetoric against Muslims Wednesday, on his first trip to an American mosque since becoming president seven years ago.

Pope Francis under fire over China 'Realpolitik'

Vatican City - Pope Francis came under fire Wednesday after lavishing praise on China in a move widely seen as part of Vatican moves to improve relations with Beijing.

Obama makes first trip to US mosque

Washington - Seven years into his presidency, Barack Obama will make his first trip to an American mosque on Wednesday, offering a high-profile rebuttal of harsh Republican election-year rhetoric against Muslims.

Dalai Lama portraits confiscated in China: Report

Bejing - A Chinese province with a large Tibetan population has ordered shopkeepers to hand in portraits of the Dalai Lama, state-run media said Wednesday, quoting Beijing experts likening the Nobel laureate to executed Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein.

Pope reaches out to China with New Year praise

Vatican City - Pope Francis hailed China's "great history of wisdom" on Tuesday, holding out the prospect of reconciliation with Beijing sought by some Chinese Catholics but feared by many others.

Pope warns gossiping priests, nuns to 'bite your tongue'

Vatican City - Pope Francis told gossip-loving priests and nuns to bite their tongues on Monday, and warned those breaking their vow of obedience to fall into line sharpish.

China to execute two for killing British monk

Bejing - China has sentenced two men to death for stabbing to death a British monk who founded Europe's first Tibetan monastery over a financial dispute, state media said.

Catholic Church calls on Philippine crowd to spread gospel

Cebu - The special envoy of Pope Francis told a gathering of hundreds of thousands in the Philippines on Sunday that they had a special role to play in spreading the gospel, even to developed nations.

Islamic State group claims bombings near Syria Shiite shrine

Birut - The Islamic State group on Sunday claimed responsibility for bombings near a revered Shiite shrine outside the Syrian capital Damascus that killed at least 45 people.

Syria bombs 'kill 45' near Shiite shrine

Damascus - At least 45 people were killed and 110 wounded on Sunday in three bomb blasts near the revered Shiite shrine of Sayyida Zeinab outside the Syrian capital Damascus, state media said.

Pope to plead for justice in Mexico visit: Archbishop

- Pope Francis will call for justice for victims of violence during his visit to Mexico and plead for a more humane treatment of migrants, the country's archbishop said Thursday.

Documentary on radical Islam raises hackles in France

Paris - A documentary on radical Islam has struck a nerve in France two-and-a-half months after a devastating jihadist attack in Paris and sparked a debate about freedom of expression.

Rights groups rap treatment of Indonesian sect members

Jakarta - Indonesia has relocated more than 1,500 members of a controversial sect from their village "for their own safety", an official said Wednesday, but rights groups described their treatment as religious persecution.

2016 campaign a season of discomfort for U.S. Muslims

Cedar Rapids - The imam of Cedar Rapids, Iowa has long considered explaining Islam his mission. But when Republicans start ruminating over jihad and US presidential hopeful Donald Trump, Hassan Selim would rather turn to prayer.

The unorthodox path of a Ukrainian Jew in the 'new' Ukraine

Dnipropetrovs'k - Asher Cherkasskiy lived a modest life in peaceful southern Ukraine, observing Orthodox Jewish custom and putting his three children through religious school.But when war against pro-Russian insurgents broke out in 2014, everything changed.

In Mexico, a carpenter for three popes awaits Francis

Zapopan - Carpenter Agustin Parra Echauri has worked for two pontiffs, and now his employees are busy hand-carving chairs and an altar for Pope Francis, set to arrive in Mexico in February.

Pope hits out at Internet trolls

Vatican City - Pope Francis spoke out Friday over the increasingly aggressive nature of much political discourse and the use of social media as a forum for personal abuse.

Two million Russians mark Epiphany with icy plunge

Moscow - An estimated two million Russians plunged into icy waters on Monday night and Tuesday to mark the Christian holiday of the Epiphany, when Orthodox believers take part in an outdoor purification ritual.

Hamtramck, a 12-mosque town in the heart of America

Hamtramck - Three faces from afar -- a man in a headdress and a veiled girl and woman -- greet patrons at a Yemeni restaurant in the US city of Hamtramck, gazing into the distance from a mural outside the eatery.
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Edmonton Beltaine Faire 2014
Edmonton Beltaine Faire 2014
Papal inauguration of Franciscus
Papal inauguration of Franciscus
Roberto Stuckert Filho
Edmonton Witches  Market  March 22  2014.
Edmonton Witches' Market, March 22, 2014.
Muslims protest against insults to Islam.
Muslims protest against insults to Islam.
SS&SS
The “Mohammed VI Center for the Dialogue of Civilizations” in the city of Coquimbo  Chile.
The “Mohammed VI Center for the Dialogue of Civilizations” in the city of Coquimbo, Chile.
The “Mohammed VI Center for the Dialogue of Civilizations” in the city of Coquimbo  Chile.
The “Mohammed VI Center for the Dialogue of Civilizations” in the city of Coquimbo, Chile.
The “Mohammed VI Center for the Dialogue of Civilizations” in the city of Coquimbo  Chile.
The “Mohammed VI Center for the Dialogue of Civilizations” in the city of Coquimbo, Chile.
Holy Bible
Holy Bible
Ian Britton
Edmonton Beltaine Faire 2014
Edmonton Beltaine Faire 2014
Edmonton Witches  Market  March 22  2014.
Edmonton Witches' Market, March 22, 2014.
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Participants getting ready to walk.
Professor Reza Alsan giving a lecture.
Professor Reza Alsan giving a lecture.
Wikicommons
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Office of National Statistics
Edmonton Beltaine Faire 2014
Edmonton Beltaine Faire 2014
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A mock-up of how the CFI's ad will look on a Toronto bus
Courtesy CFI
The “Mohammed VI Center for the Dialogue of Civilizations” in the city of Coquimbo  Chile.
The “Mohammed VI Center for the Dialogue of Civilizations” in the city of Coquimbo, Chile.
Pastor Sean Harris  Fred Phelps Protests  LGBT Protests
Pastor Sean Harris, Fred Phelps Protests, LGBT Protests
Google Images
Dancers leading the march.
Dancers leading the march.