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Religion News

Vatican panel urges 'compassion' for victims of abuse

Vatican City - A panel advising Pope Francis on child protection has called on the Vatican to react "directly and compassionately" to letters from victims of clerical sex abuse, reviving an issue that unleashed a storm just weeks ago.

Jihadists, racists: Twin fears for French terror victim's daughter

Paris - Hanane Charrihi never felt shunned by the country of her birth until a radical drove a truck through a crowd celebrating France's national holiday in Nice, killing 86 people, including her mother.

Indonesian girl howls through circumcision as debate heats up

Gorontalo - Indonesian toddler Salsa Djafar was wearing a glittering golden crown decorated with ribbons and a shiny purple dress to mark a special occasion -- her circumcision day.

Indonesian girl howls through circumcision as debate heats up

Gorontalo - Indonesian toddler Salsa Djafar was wearing a glittering golden crown decorated with ribbons and a shiny purple dress to mark a special occasion -- her circumcision day.

Indonesian girl howls through circumcision as debate heats up

Gorontalo - Indonesian toddler Salsa Djafar was wearing a glittering golden crown decorated with ribbons and a shiny purple dress to mark a special occasion -- her circumcision day.

Leader of India's biggest state boosts Hindu right agenda

- When India's prime minister named a hardline Hindu known for his anti-Muslim speeches to head its largest state Uttar Pradesh this month, many saw it as a sign his party's huge election win had emboldened him to pursue a more radical agenda.

Pope in Milan region to rally for those in need

Milan - Pope Francis went to Milan on Saturday where he met families on a working-class housing estate and visited a prison before celebrating mass for hundreds of thousands of faithful in nearby Monza.

Pope heads to Milan hinterland to rally poor

Vatican City - Pope Francis visits Milan Saturday where he will meet families on a housing estate, nap in a prison and hold a mass for hundreds of thousands of believers in nearby Monza.

'Priest worth 20 doctors' claim angers Croatia medics

Zagreb - Croatian medics on Friday slammed the health minister for saying a hospital priest can sometimes do 20 times more good than a doctor, warning that their sector faces a deep crisis.

'Priest worth 20 doctors' claim angers Croatia medics

Zagreb - Croatian medics on Friday slammed the health minister for saying a hospital priest can sometimes do 20 times more good than a doctor, warning that their sector faces a deep crisis.

'Priest worth 20 doctors' claim angers Croatia medics

Zagreb - Croatian medics on Friday slammed the health minister for saying a hospital priest can sometimes do 20 times more good than a doctor, warning that their sector faces a deep crisis.

Pope Francis to offer birthday counsel to troubled EU

Vatican City - European Union leaders will receive guidance from Pope Francis Friday, on the eve of the troubled bloc's 60th anniversary celebrations in Rome.

Divine diamonds: Sierra Leone pastor's 709-carat find

Freetown - Evangelical preacher Emmanuel Momoh prayed for five years that he would discover the diamond he needed to pull his family out of poverty in eastern Sierra Leone.

Pope to make Fatima child visionaries saints

Rome - Two child shepherds who claimed to have had holy visions in Fatima are to be made saints, possibly during Pope Francis's upcoming trip to the Portuguese pilgrimage site.

Israel arrests Jewish teen over anti-Semitic threats in US

Jerusalem - Israel arrested on Thursday a Jewish teenager accused of making dozens of anti-Semitic bomb threats in the United States and elsewhere, and one to a major airline, following a wide-ranging investigation involving the FBI.

Jewish youth arrested in Israel over anti-Semitic threats abroad

Jerusalem - A Jewish youth was arrested in Israel on Thursday on suspicion of making dozens of anti-Semitic threats in countries around the world, police said.

Newly restored shrine at Jesus's tomb unveiled

Jerusalem - The newly restored shrine surrounding what is believed to be Jesus's tomb was unveiled at a ceremony in Jerusalem Wednesday following months of delicate work and in time for crowds of Easter visitors.

Jerusalem's Holy Sepulchre shrine renovation completed

Jerusalem - A major restoration project at the shrine inside the Jerusalem church where Jesus is said to have been buried was completed Monday ahead of its inauguration, an AFP reporter said.

Pope to visit Egypt to meet imam, persecuted Copts

Vatican City - Pope Francis is to visit Cairo next month for talks with the grand imam of the capital's famed Al-Azhar mosque, but also to show solidarity with Coptic Christians targeted by violence in Egypt.

Pope tells priests to call in exorcists when needed

Vatican City - Pope Francis on Friday advised priests who hear troubled confessions from parishioners to not hesitate to call on the services of an exorcist.

Italian bishop bans mafia godfathers from baptisms

Rome - A bishop in Sicily has banned known mafia criminals from acting as godfathers at baptisms in churches in his diocese.

US states mull laws allowing religion in science class

Odessa - Angela Garlington feels alone in the way she teaches science at a high school in Odessa, a Texas city populated by oil field workers.

Aussie beer boycott over Christian gay marriage video

Sydney - Leading Australian brewery Coopers apologised Wednesday after pubs vowed a boycott over its links to a Christian organisation that featured its beer in a same-sex marriage debate.

Turkey says EU headscarf ruling to 'strengthen anti-Muslim trend'

Istanbul - Turkey on Tuesday attacked a ruling by the EU's top court that European companies can ban employees from wearing religious or political symbols including the Islamic headscarf, saying it would intensify anti-Muslim sentiment.

EU court rules workplace headscarf ban is legal

Luxembourg - European companies can ban employees from wearing religious or political symbols including the Islamic headscarf, the EU's top court ruled Tuesday in a landmark case.

How about Nat? Devotees dance for Myanmar party spirit

- The medium spins around in a frenzy of red and gold while glugging from a bottle of whisky, part of an age old ritual to honour Myanmar's spirit guardian of drunkards and gamblers.

Russian blogger goes on trial for hunting Pokemon in church

Moscow - Russia put a blogger on trial Monday on charges of offending religious believers and fomenting hatred by posting a video online that showed him hunting Pokemon in a church.

Sluggish reforms blot pope's four-year report card

Vatican City - Elected in 2013 with a brief to reform a scandal-hit Vatican, Pope Francis has launched numerous initiatives but, four years later, he is still struggling to deliver real change.

Pope considering Egypt trip: Vatican

Vatican City - The Vatican is examining the possibility of Pope Francis visiting Egypt, but no dates have been set, his spokesman said Saturday after Italian reports suggested the trip would happen in May.

Hate speech Myanmar monk banned from sermons by Buddhist council

- A Myanmar monk infamous for his bilious anti-Muslim tirades has been banned from giving sermons for a year by the country's top Buddhist body, an unprecedented slapdown to a man whose hate speech has galvanized religious tensions.
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Extent of Islamic beliefs (shades of green) from North Africa into the Pacific -- a 'ring of fire.'
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