December 19, 2009

Thieves plunder Auschwitz for infamous sign

by Benjamin Graham

Thieves have taken the infamous “Arbeit Macht Frei” iron sign from the Auschwitz memorial site, Polish police said yesterday. The sign, German for “Work Sets You Free”, was taken from the gate of the memorial site. During the Holocaust, hundreds of thousands of prisoners passed under the sign, which was made by prisoners. Over a […]




December 17, 2009

Anti-gay registrar loses religious discrimination appeal

by David Masters

Registrar Lillian Ladele has lost her appeal against being required to carry out civil partnerships for same-sex couples. Ladele said she could not hold the ceremonies because of her Christian beliefs. However, the Court of Appeal ruled that she had not been discriminated against by her employer, Islington Council, who require her to carry out […]




December 16, 2009

Christmas carols have folk roots

by Benjamin Graham

The popular Christmas carol ‘While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks’ used to be sung to the tune of folk song Ilkley Moor, a hymn expert has claimed. Professor Jeremy Dibble, of Durham University, said the tune was the first folk song to be accepted for use in the Church of England. “While shepherds watched their flocks […]




Jewish school loses discrimination appeal

by Sara Levy

A Jewish school has been found guilty of racial discrimination by the Supreme Court after it refused a place to a pupil it didn’t consider ethically Jewish. The nine justices of the court voted by a slim majority that the Jewish Free School (JFS) in London had acted in breach of race relations legislation. “The […]




December 15, 2009

Austrians campaign to boot out Santa

by David Masters

Traditionalists in Austria are campaigning to save Christkind, their traditional gift giver, from the clutches of Santa Claus. “Christkind is a wonderfully beautiful Christmas story,” said Katrina Scheur, marcher on a recent pro-Christkind parade. Santa Claus, she added, was invented by Coca-Cola and is an outsider representing heartless consumerism. A tinkling bell after dark on […]




December 14, 2009

Religious leaders urge EU to fight anti-Roma discrimination

by David Masters

Jewish and Hindu leaders have jointly expressed their shock at the results of an European Union (EU) survey showing widespread discrimination against the Roma people. The EU Agency for Fundamental Rights survey found that every second Roma has been the victim of discrimination. Rabbi Jonathan B. Freirich, a prominent Jewish leader in the USA, and […]




December 11, 2009

Atheist bus adverts invade New Zealand

by Sara Levy

Atheist funded adverts claiming “There’s Probably No God” are set to adorn buses in New Zealand, following a similar campaign on the London Underground and British buses. The New Zealand Atheist Bus Campaign launched this week and has already raised NZ$10,000 to fund the bus adverts. Following the British campaign, similar adverts were displayed in […]




December 10, 2009

Americans “pick and mix” religions

by Benjamin Graham

Nearly a quarter (24%) of Americans sometimes attend religious services of a faith different from their own, new research has discovered. A nationwide poll by the Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion & Public Life found Americans are increasingly blending religious practices from a range of diverse traditions. Many Americans mix Christianity with Eastern or […]




Irish Evangelicals support same-sex partnerships

by Sara Levy

A leading group of Evangelicals in Ireland has called for Christians in the country to support the Civil Partnership Bill, which includes legal recognition of same-sex relationships. “We suggest that evangelical Christians should support the basic thrust of the Bill,” said the Evangelical Alliance Ireland (EAI). “We may disagree on the detail of the legislation, […]




December 9, 2009

Interfaith voices call for nuclear disarmament

by David Masters

Representatives from four of the world’s major religions together joined together this week in calling for the abolition of nuclear weapons. Muslim, Jewish, Buddhist and Christian representatives called on their respective religions to take moral leadership on the issue of nuclear missiles and warheads. People of faith can play a vital role in lobbying governments […]




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