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Religion News

In first, headscarf-wearing woman named minister in Turkey

Ankara - For the first time in the history of Turkey, a Muslim but secular country, a woman who wears an Islamic headscarf has been named as a government minister.

Italian lesbian author gets papal blessing

Vatican City - Pope Francis has sent his blessing to a lesbian author of children's books dealing with same-sex families, wishing her and her wife well in their work, it emerged on Friday.

Russia probes smashing of 'Mephistopheles' figure claimed by Orthodox group

Sanktpeterburg - Russia has launched a probe after a century-old figure of Mephistopheles was ripped down in Saint Petersburg, with Orthodox activists claiming responsibility amid fears of an increasing intolerance in the country.

Tajikistan's Islamic opposition party faces ban amid crackdown

Dushanbe - Tajikistan on Friday demanded that the country's largest opposition party halt its "illegal activities" in a move widely seen as an effective ban on the group.

Ex-archbishop dies ahead of paedophilia trial: Vatican

Vatican City - Josef Wesolowski, a former Polish archbishop who had been due to be the first cleric tried in the Vatican for child sex abuse, has been found dead in his apartment in the city state.

Malaysian police arrest 10 suspected of IS links

Kuala Lumpur - Ten Malaysians have been arrested for fostering suspected links with the Islamic State group and planning attacks in the country, police said.

Migrant crisis puts Italy's bishops and politicians at loggerheads

Rome - It has been a hot summer in Italy and tempers have started to fray, even in the upper echelons of the Catholic Church.

Turkey's Alevis hail 'historic' court decision on prayer houses

Istanbul - Turkey's Alevi community on Tuesday hailed a Supreme Court ruling on the funding of their prayer houses as a historic decision bringing Turkey's biggest minority faith more closely in line with other beliefs.

In U.S. workshop, an altar for Pope Francis takes shape

Frederick - Deacon David Cahoon is a carpenter on the holiest of deadlines: to build the altar from which Pope Francis will celebrate Mass before an al fresco crowd of thousands in Washington next month.

Bangladesh arrests Briton over blogger murders

Dhaka - Bangladesh's elite security force Tuesday arrested three suspected Islamist militants, including a British citizen who police said was the "main planner" of the murder of two prominent atheist bloggers.

Newspaper nixes Peru cardinal after papal 'plagiarism'

- Peru's leading newspaper said it will no longer publish editorials by the cardinal and archbishop of Lima after accusing him of plagiarizing past popes in his articles.

Moscow art smashed as Orthodox activists denounce 'blasphemy'

Moscow - Sculptures by a renowned Soviet artist on show in central Moscow were smashed after being denounced by Orthodox activists as "blasphemous.

Bangladesh police arrest two over blogger murder

Dhaka - Bangladesh police said Friday they have arrested two suspected members of a banned Islamist group over the brutal killing of an atheist blogger.

Pope urged to condemn gay unions as unnatural

Vatican City - Nearly half a million Catholics have signed a petition urging Pope Francis to condemn same sex unions as unnatural and rule out allowing divorced believers who remarry to receive communion, organisers claim.

Boy abused because he couldn't adequately read the Koran

Birmingham - A pair of Islamic school teachers have confessed to abusing a 10-year-old boy and beating him with a stick at a mosque in Birmingham.

French court to rule on pork school dinners for Jews and Muslims

Dijon - A French court will rule this week on the decision by a right-wing mayor to ban non-pork meals in schools for Muslims and Jews, his lawyer said Tuesday.

Church clashes with Italy's right over boat migrants

Rome - High-ranking members of the Italian Church on Monday slammed politicians who peddle anti-immigrant ideas to win votes -- sparking a heated row with Italy's right wing.

Stampede at India temple kills 11

New Delhi - A stampede outside a temple killed at least 11 pilgrims in eastern India early Monday after thousands tried to jump a queue that stretched for kilometres during a holy Hindu month, a police officer said.

Pope says never again, recalling 'horrific' WWII atomic bombings

Vatican City - Pope Francis said Sunday that the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings still evoked "horror and revulsion" 70 years on and called for a ban on nuclear arms and weapons of mass destruction.

Married by a woman: A quiet Palestinian revolution

Ramallah - Holding the young couple's identity cards in one hand and the Koran in the other, the Palestinian justice of the peace pronounces Thaer and Rawan man and wife.

Bangladesh vows to 'hunt down' secular blogger's killers

Dhaka - Dhaka vowed Saturday to hunt down the killers of secular blogger Niloy Chakrabarti who became the fourth such writer to be murdered in Bangladesh by suspected Islamist militants this year.

Mexico arrests driver of truck that killed 27 pilgrims

- Mexican authorities arrested the alleged driver of a truck that plowed into a crowd of pilgrims last week killing 27 people, regional authorities said.

Fourth secular blogger hacked to death in Bangladesh

Dhaka - A gang armed with machetes hacked a secular blogger to death at his home in Dhaka Friday, sparking protests in the capital over the fourth such murder in Bangladesh this year.

Pope slams 'atrocious, inhuman' persecution of Christians

Vatican City - Pope Francis on Thursday slammed the "atrocious, inhuman and inexplicable" persecution of Christians and minorities, urging the international community not to remain silent.

Remarried divorcees 'not excommunicated', pope tells Church

Vatican City - Divorced people who have remarried "are still part of the Church" and should not be treated as if they have been excommunicated or cast out, Pope Francis said on Wednesday."These people are not excommunicated -- they are not excommunicated!

Pope to lead Havana mass next to Che Guevara portrait

Havana - Workers in Cuba have begun building the altar where Pope Francis will deliver mass during a landmark visit next month, placing it just to the left of a giant image of Che Guevara.

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.
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Desecrated Virgin Mary statue.
Desecrated Virgin Mary statue.
Screengrab: WCNC-TV
Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception  Albany  NY: Thinking about death nearing could generate reli...
Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, Albany, NY: Thinking about death nearing could generate religious beliefs as people age, University of Chicago researchers speculated. But could spritualty deepen from more years of pondering life's mysteries?
Skunkworks Photographic/Flickr.com
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.
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Edmonton Witches' Market, March 22, 2014.
A depiction of Jesus Christ
A depiction of Jesus Christ
Ricard Mealha
religious artifacts for sale
religious artifacts for sale
eronjohnsonantiques.com
Edmonton Witches  Market  March 22  2014.
Edmonton Witches' Market, March 22, 2014.
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Edmonton Beltaine Faire 2014
Edmonton Beltaine Faire 2014
Edmonton Beltaine Faire 2014
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Pope Benedict XVI leads the recitation of the Holy Rosary during a candlelight vigil at the Catholic shrine of Fatima in central Portuga
Catholic Church
Edmonton Witches  Market  March 22  2014.
Edmonton Witches' Market, March 22, 2014.
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Office of National Statistics
Papal inauguration of Franciscus
Papal inauguration of Franciscus
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Holy Bible
Holy Bible
Ian Britton
A billboard advertising The Freedom From Religion Foundation
A billboard advertising The Freedom From Religion Foundation
jszkut
Participants listening to speeches and songs at Nathan Phillips Square.
Participants listening to speeches and songs at Nathan Phillips Square.
Participants listening to speeches and songs at Nathan Phillips Square.
Participants listening to speeches and songs at Nathan Phillips Square.
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 Bulbe à Clochers Church  Marseille France
The Bulbe à Clochers Church, Marseille France