August 27, 2009

Taiwan risks China’s wrath by welcoming Dalai Lama

by Benjamin Graham

Taiwan’s president Ma Ying-jeou has approved an application by the Dalai Lama to visit a typhoon-hit island in the country. “We have decided to the Dalai Lama’s visit to pray for the souls of the deceased and seek blessings for the survivors of the typhoon,” Ma said. In approving the visit, Taiwan risks provoking China’s […]

Creationist zoo attacked by atheists

by David Masters

A North Somerset zoo has come under fire from atheists who claim the tourist attraction has a creationist agenda. The British Humanist Association (BHA) is urging tourist boards to stop promoting Noah’s Ark Zoo. According to the BHA, the zoo farm promotes creationist views, and in doing so, is misleading tens of thousands visitors and […]

August 26, 2009

Malaysia delays caning beer drinker

by Benjamin Graham

The caning of a Malaysian women who was caught drinking beer has been delayed until after Ramadan. Kartika Sari Dewa Shukarno, 32, was sentenced to six strokes with a rattan cane after pleading guilty to the offence in an Islamic court. Officials said the caning has been delayed on compassionate grounds on the advice of […]

Governments block humanitarian aid

by Sara Levy

Governments are blocking aid agencies from providing humanitarian assistance in regions of violent conflict, a Catholic relief group has claimed. Caritas Internationalis (CI), which helps 24 million per year in 200 countries and territories, said its efforts to support the most vulnerable people in the world have been severely hampered by governments in the past […]

Cardinal attacks Ireland’s gay rights law

by David Masters

Ireland’s proposals to legalise same-sex unions has been criticised by the leader of the Catholic Church in the country. Cardinal Sean Brady said the new civil partnership legislation risks “undermining” the family. In a sermon on Sunday evening, the Cardinal said heterosexual marriage “will always remain the best environment in which to raise children”. “What […]

Archaeologists to unearth Cathedral’s past

by Sara Levy

Budding archaeologists have been invited to help unearth religious secrets at the original site of Brechin Cathedral next month. Volunteers can sign up to help with the archaeological dig, which is expected to uncover the Cathedral’s foundations, as well as bones, stones, and ceramics dating back to the 1700s. “This dig has the potential to […]

Police warn of Ramadan burglars

by Benjamin Graham

West Yorkshire Police have warned Muslims in Leeds to be security conscious during the holy month of Ramadan. Last year a number of Muslim homes were targeted by burglars during the festival with valuable gold jewellery stolen. Police said thieves know houses are likely to be left empty at regular intervals during Ramadan when Muslims […]

Buddhist master meditates by playing boules

by David Masters

A Buddhist master has claimed that playing boules is a form of meditation. Maître Kaisen, 56, said the sport, known as pétanque in France, helps players develop focus and ignore outside distractions. “If pétanque is practiced in a just frame of mind, then yes, it can help you to grow,” he said. To explain his […]

August 21, 2009

RSPCA urges climate change sermons

by David Masters

Clergy are being urged to preach about the effects of climate change on animals in a special service later this year. The RSPCA is encouraging vicars and lay preachers to highlight the damage to biodiversity caused by climate change in their Animal Sunday sermon on 4 October. Oxford University theologian Rev Professor Andrew Linzey said: […]

August 19, 2009

Muslim minister urges France to ban the burqa

by Benjamin Graham

A blanket ban on Muslim women wearing the burqa in France would go a long way towards halting the spread of radical Islam, a female Muslim minister in the French government claimed this week. Fadela Amara, minister for urban regeneration, said the burqa, which covers the whole body apart from netting over the eyes, is […]

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