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Religion News

Austria rejects registering Jews for kosher meat

Vienna - Austria rejected Friday registering Jews who want to purchase kosher meat after a far-right politician proposed introducing stricter controls on ritual slaughtering to reduce the practice citing animal rights.

Israel adopts controversial Jewish nation-state law

Jerusalem - Israel's parliament on Thursday adopted a law defining the country as the nation state of the Jewish people, provoking fears it could lead to blatant discrimination against Arab citizens.

Israel adopts controversial Jewish nation-state law

Jerusalem - Israel's parliament on Thursday adopted a law defining the country as the nation state of the Jewish people, provoking fears it will lead to blatant discrimination against Arab citizens.

Turnbull calls on Pope to sack archbishop for concealing child abuse

Sydney - Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull on Thursday called on Pope Francis to sack disgraced archbishop Philip Wilson after he was convicted of covering up child sex abuse but remains employed by the church.

100 years on, Orthodox Church split over executed tsar's remains

Moscow - Next week's centenary of the execution of Russia's last tsar has reignited a long-running conflict between the state and the Russian Orthodox Church over what to do with the murdered royal family's remains.

Turkey detains Muslim televangelist on fraud charges

Ankara - Turkish police on Wednesday detained on fraud charges a televangelist notorious for propagating conservative views while surrounded by scantily-clad women he refers to as his "kittens".

Russia pursues Jehovah's Witnesses as 'extremists'

Moscow - With masks and rifles, police came to Anatoly Vilitkevich's door in the early morning and made him pack a bag. He was wanted for religious extremism -- as a Jehovah's Witness.

Massive Turkey-funded mosque stirs unease in north Cyprus

Nicosia - In the flat sunbaked fields north of the Cypriot capital Nicosia, a huge Turkey-funded mosque opening this week has caused a stir in the largely secular Muslim society.

Italian journalist named Vatican's first lay comms officer

Vatican City - Pope Francis has appointed an Italian television journalist as the Vatican's first-ever lay communications officer, the Holy See said on Thursday.

Australian archbishop gets 12 months for concealing child abuse

Sydney - One of the highest-ranked church officials convicted of covering up child sex abuse was Tuesday sentenced to 12 months' imprisonment, but Philip Wilson could avoid jail after a court ordered he be assessed for home detention.

Lithuanians seek identity in their pagan roots

Vilnius - Dancing around a blazing fire with garlands of wildflowers in their hair, members of Lithuania's Romuva neo-pagan community mark the summer solstice, as the Baltic state undergoes a revival of its pre-Christian beliefs.

Abortion row reignites as US supreme court justice retires

Los Angeles - Justice Anthony Kennedy's retirement from the United States Supreme Court has sparked fears over universal abortion rights as President Donald Trump looks for an ultra-conservative replacement judge.

Pope appoints 14 new cardinals

Vatican City - Pope Francis appointed 14 new cardinals Thursday, a diverse selection from all over the world including Iraq, Pakistan, Madagascar and Japan whom he warned to avoid the kind of "palace intrigues" which have plagued the Vatican over the years.

Dutch approve partial ban on burqa wearing in public

Den Haag - Dutch senators overwhelmingly approved a bill Tuesday to ban the Islamic full-face burqa from some public places such as schools and hospitals, ending years of discussion on a hot-button issue.

Pope and Macron hold 'intense' meeting at Vatican

Vatican City - French President Emmanuel Macron held an "intense" meeting with Pope Francis during his first official visit to the Vatican on Tuesday, discussing global issues including the fate of migrants coming to Europe.

Outrage after Philippines' Duterte calls God 'stupid'

Manila - Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte faced growing outrage on Tuesday in his largely Catholic nation after calling God "stupid", the latest furore he has sparked with an unfiltered broadside.

Vatican visit puts Macron's religious views in spotlight

Paris - As a schoolboy, Emmanuel Macron decided he wanted to be baptised as a Catholic, despite his parents' misgivings.It was "the start of a mystical period that lasted for a few years," the French president told an interviewer during campaigning in 2017.

Imams, rabbis ride tandems in Berlin rally for mutual respect

Berlin - Jewish rabbis and Muslim imams took to tandem bicycles Sunday to ride through central Berlin in a joint show of inter-faith respect and against racism and anti-Semitism.

Quite a mud-dle! Filipino devotees slather themselves in soil

Aliaga - They say there's nothing quite like it for cooling the blood, but for more than a thousand Filipinos at a Catholic festival on Sunday, slathering their bodies in mud was a way to show devotion and humility.

Vatican jails Italian priest for child porn

Vatican City - A Vatican court on Saturday jailed for five years an Italian priest who worked as a diplomat for the Holy See's Washington embassy, for possessing and sharing child pornography.

Pope Francis seeks 'unity' with non-Catholics in Geneva

Geneva - Pope Francis called Thursday for deeper unity between the Catholic Church and other Christian faiths as he visited Geneva, a centre of Protestantism, amid Christianity's waning influence in Europe.

Pope Francis to seek closer ties with non-Catholic churches in Geneva

Vatican City - Pope Francis will seek deeper relations between the Catholic Church and other Christian faiths Thursday when he meets the world's largest ecumenical community of Protestant and Orthodox churches amid waning influence in Europe and indiscriminate attack...

Russia seeks to force out foreign rabbis as 'national security threat'

Moscow - For the past three months, Asher Krichevsky, Siberia's chief rabbi, has been battling to stay in the country after the Russian authorities accused the Israeli citizen of attempting to overthrow the state.

Religious Turkish party turns against ex-ally Erdogan

Istanbul - Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Sunday's elections risks seeing his vote critically eroded by an unlikely foe -- a religiously conservative party with roots in the same Islamic political ideology as his own.

Pope Francis 'a strong voice' for all Christians: inter-church group

Geneva - Pope Francis's visit to Geneva, a centre of Protestantism, expresses "Christian unity", the World Council of Churches chief told AFP, insisting the pontiff's message of love and inclusion speaks across denominations.

Rohingya refugees mark first Eid since Myanmar crackdown

Cox's Bazar - As Muslims around the world celebrated Eid with feasting and gift-giving, Rohingya refugees in squalid Bangladesh camps marked the festival Saturday with a peaceful demonstration demanding justice and dignified repatriation.

Paris suburb defies efforts to loosen Salafist grip

Trappes - Just a short drive from the opulence of Versailles Palace, a closed-off community of strictly conservative Muslims is posing the most visible challenge to French authorities hoping to stem the rise of homegrown extremists.

Peace for Eid as Afghanistan observes ceasefire

Kabul - Afghans greeted the beginning of Eid with prayers on Friday as the Muslim holiday dawned in peace for the first time since the 2001 US-led invasion, after the Taliban agreed to an unprecedented ceasefire.

Peace for Eid as Afghanistan observes ceasefire

Kabul - Afghans greeted the beginning of Eid with prayers on Friday as the Muslim holiday dawned in peace for the first time since the 2001 US-led invasion, after the Taliban agreed to an unprecedented ceasefire.

Argentina abortion debate goes into second day

Buenos Aires - Debate on a bill to legalize abortion in conservative Argentina dragged into a second day Thursday without a vote as thousands of pro- and anti-abortion supporters demonstrated outside the Congress.
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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
From the BHA s website: the image of the side of a bus with a campaign banner
From the BHA's website: the image of the side of a bus with a campaign banner
British Humanist Association
Edmonton Beltaine Faire 2014
Edmonton Beltaine Faire 2014
Muslims protest against insults to Islam.
Muslims protest against insults to Islam.
SS&SS
Edmonton Witches  Market  March 22  2014.
Edmonton Witches' Market, March 22, 2014.
A sign
A sign
A counter-protester holds up a sign while the Westboro Baptist Church pickets the Golden Globe Award...
A counter-protester holds up a sign while the Westboro Baptist Church pickets the Golden Globe Awards.
Chanel store in Limassol  Cyprus.
Chanel store in Limassol, Cyprus.
Pastor Sean Harris  Fred Phelps Protests  LGBT Protests
Pastor Sean Harris, Fred Phelps Protests, LGBT Protests
Google Images
A mock-up of how the CFI s ad will look on a Toronto bus
A mock-up of how the CFI's ad will look on a Toronto bus
Courtesy CFI
PAPAL VISIT: Pope Francis visits the Brazilian city of Varginha in 2013.
PAPAL VISIT: Pope Francis visits the Brazilian city of Varginha in 2013.
Agência Brasil/Wikimedia Commons
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.
Extent of Islamic beliefs (shades of green) from North Africa into the Pacific -- a  ring of fire.
Extent of Islamic beliefs (shades of green) from North Africa into the Pacific -- a 'ring of fire.'
Wikipedia
A wheelchair in a church
A wheelchair in a church
Corey Elsen
A billboard advertising The Freedom From Religion Foundation
A billboard advertising The Freedom From Religion Foundation
jszkut
Ghost praying
Ghost praying
Pablo Piedra/U.S. Army
Holy Bible
Holy Bible
Ian Britton
Kid Sings  Ain t No Homos Gonna Make it to Heaven
Kid Sings 'Ain't No Homos Gonna Make it to Heaven"
care2
The Bulbe à Clochers Church  Marseille France
The Bulbe à Clochers Church, Marseille France