October 23, 2009

Gay couples can wed in Swedish churches

by David Masters

Gay couples in Sweden can now get married in church after the synod of the Lutheran Church of Sweden voted in favour of same-sex marriage. Around 70% of the church’s 250 synod members voted in support of move that makes it one of the few churches around the world to allow gay marriage. The decision […]

October 20, 2009

Catholic diocese bankrupted by abuse payouts

by Sara Levy

A Catholic diocese in America has filed for bankruptcy protection ahead of civil trial over a former priest accused of sexual abuse. Wilmington diocese, in the state of Delaware, said it filed for bankruptcy to ensure that all victims would be “fairly compensated” by the bankruptcy court. Bishop Francis Malooly, head of the diocese, said […]

October 19, 2009

Sectarian attacks drive family from village

by Benjamin Graham

A Protestant man claims his family are desperate to leave their Northern Irish village after a series of sectarian attacks on his home and property in Rasharkin. In the latest attack Christopher McCaughan’s car was splattered with paint and his home had windows smashed. “This has been going on since February,” McCaughan said. “I need […]

Bishop attempts to justify holocaust denial

by Sara Levy

A Roman Catholic bishop claims he should not be punished in Germany for denying the holocaust on Swedish television. British bishop Richard Williamson said he tried to put a block on the Swedish television interview from being broadcast in Germany. “I tried to prevent my interview with Swedish television from being broadcast in Germany via […]

October 17, 2009

Suicide bomber attacks Iraq mosque

by Sara Levy

At least 15 people have been killed and 42 injured in a suicide bomb attack on a Sunni mosque in northern Iraq. The attacker walked into the mosque carrying an AK-47 rifle. He opened fire, then detonated the explosives on his belt when he had run out of ammunition. Those killed in the attack included […]

Obama gives Diwali video greetings

by David Masters

US President Barack Obama has wished Hindus around the world a happy Diwali in a recorded video message. In the two minute video posted on the White House website, Obama gives his “warmest wishes for Diwali to all who celebrate this auspicious holiday here in America and around the world.” The President began by explaining […]

October 16, 2009

Vatican hosts Galileo exhibition

by Benjamin Graham

The Vatican is hosting an exhibition to mark the 400th anniversary of the work of Galileo Galilei. The 17th century physicist and philosopher was prosecuted by the Inquisition in 1633, and his books were banned by the Vatican. He avoided being burned at the stake by agreeing to renounce his view that the sun rather […]

Archbishop welcomes opportunity of climate crisis

by David Masters

The climate crisis offers people the chance to rediscover their interdependence and to assert their humanity, the Archbishop of Canterbury has claimed. In a lecture at Southwark Cathedral, Dr Rowan Williams, head of the Church of England, said taking action to protect the earth from climate change is “to honour the special dignity given to […]

October 14, 2009

Priest Idol returns to US

by David Masters

American priest James McCaskill, star of Channel 4’s Priest Idol TV series, has announced he is leaving his Yorkshire congregation for a church in his homeland. In 2004, when McCaskill was appointed leader of St Mary Magdalene’s, Lundwood, the congregation of the church had dropped to nine. McCaskill’s work to revive the congregation was filmed […]

Sikh schoolboy excluded over religious dagger

by Sara Levy

A Sikh schoolboy has been excluded from attending classes at his London school because he was wearing a religious dagger. The 14-year-old was told he could no longer carry the 13cm kirpan blade after school governors ruled it was a safety risk. Under Sikh religious law, the kirpan is one of five “articles of faith” […]

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