August 19, 2009

Mecca ban provokes Cairo airport sit-in

by David Masters

Hundreds of Egyptian pilgrims staged a sit-in protest at Cairo airport Sunday after they were banned from travelling to Mecca by authorities attempting to halt the spread of swine flu. The travel restrictions, which came into effect Sunday, apply to all pilgrims over 65 and under 25 travelling to Mecca. Extra security guards were drafted […]




August 17, 2009

Religious booksellers boost sales in recession

by Benjamin Graham

Bookworms in Hong Kong are using the economic downturn as an opportunity to nurture their spiritual life. At the Hong Kong Book Fair last month, books on religion and philosophy were the fourth bestsellers, after novels, literature, and travel books. “Some scholars analysed that books on souls and spirituality will have a boost under the […]




Is debt the slavery of the 21st century?

by Sara Levy

A ground breaking book on how money becomes a god in debt-based economies has been reissued in the light of the credit crunch. ‘Grace and Mortgage’ by the former Bishop of Worcester Dr Peter Selby was originally published in the late 1990s in support of the Jubilee 2000 campaign to end third world debt. In […]




Bible-reading soldier refuses to fight

by David Masters

A Christian soldier has been sentenced to a year in confinement and discharged from the US army for refusing to fight in Afghanistan after reading the Bible. Travis Bishop, 26, previously served for 14 months in Iraq. He was recently told to deploy to Afghanistan. Before going, he read the Bible “to get right with […]




August 14, 2009

Falun Gong members denied South Korean asylum

by Benjamin Graham

South Korea has deported two members of the Falun Gong spiritual group to China after denying them political asylum. A further 31 of the movement’s members could also be sent back to China after a South Korean court ruled that there is insufficient evidence of China persecuting Falun Gong practitioners. Practicing Falun Gong, a combination […]




Burqini banned in Paris swimming pool

by Sara Levy

A Muslim convert has been banned from a Paris-area swimming pool after she turned up to swim in a burqini, a head-to-toe swimming costume. The woman, known only as Carole, was allowed to swim in her burqini in the public pool earlier this year, but was denied access when she returned this month. “Quite simply, […]




Flying rabbis pray for swine flu protection

by David Masters

Rabbis took to Israel’s skies this week in an effort to ward off swine flu. The 50 rabbis, from the mystical Kabbalah branch of Judaism, chartered a small passenger plane to circle the country as they prayed. Through chants, prayers, and blowing the shofar ram’s horn, the rabbis sought to protect Israel from the pandemic. […]




Viral video highlights Christian Luddite tendencies

by Sara Levy

The church’s love-hate relationship with modern technology is the subject of a new viral video launched to promote the Original Christian Web and New Media Awards 2009. The forty-second video, “The Geek Shall Inherit the Church”, has already amassed nearly 2,000 views on YouTube In the video, a mobile phone, a laptop and a USB […]




August 12, 2009

Tutu: Give Zuma a chance

by Benjamin Graham

Desmond Tutu, former Archbishop of Cape Town, urged South Africans to give president Jacob Zuma a chance to prove himself in office. Tutu made the plea after an hour long meeting with the new president. “The people of South Africa overwhelmingly supported a particular party [the African National Congress] in recent democratic elections,” Tutu said […]




Priest confesses to being a dad

by Sara Levy

A Catholic priest admitted to his Greater Manchester congregation that he has a four-year-old son before announcing his resignation from the Church. Father Peter McDonough confessed to breaking his vows of chastity during a sign-language mass for the deaf at St Joseph’s Mission to Deaf People, in Collyhurst, this Sunday. A spokesperson for the Diocese […]




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