April 21, 2010

Jesus would welcome gay people to church

by David Masters

Jesus would welcome everyone to church, including gay people, a Methodist preacher has claimed. John Beasley, a lay preacher from Peckham, said he was “disturbed” after discovering that a church in the area might prevent gay people from using its premises, a former cinema. “There is no record that Jesus said anything about homosexuality,” Beasley […]




April 20, 2010

Nationwide survey of churches launched

by Benjamin Graham

The first ever nationwide survey of churches, chapels and meeting houses in the UK launched this week. The National Churches Trust (NCT) Survey 2010 aims to create an overall picture of the current status of places of worship across Britain. Buildings from all Christian denominations, of all ages and conditions, are included in the survey. […]




Palestinian state inevitable, claims Israel’s defence minister

by David Masters

Palestinians must be allowed to rule themselves, Israel’s Defence Minister said yesterday in a radio interview. Ehud Barak said on Army Radio that a Palestinian state is inevitable “whether you like it or not”. “The world isn’t willing to accept, and we won’t change that in 2010, the expectation that Israel will rule another people […]




April 19, 2010

Buddhist nuns learn kung fu

by Sara Levy

At a Buddhist nunnery in Nepal nuns are learning kung fu to help them grow stronger, healthier and more confident. The young nuns, members of the 800-year-old Drukpa Buddhist sect, are being taught the martial art by their Vietnamese master. Kung fu was introduced to the nunnery two years ago, and the nuns practice for […]




Lord Carey’s homophobia offensive to Christians

by David Masters

Lord Carey’s demand that Christians should be allowed to discriminate against gay people is offensive to the “vast majority of Christians”, the British Humanist Association (BHA) has claimed. The BHA made the statement after Lord Carey, former Archbishop of Canterbury, told the Court of Appeal that British law should distinguish between real homophobia and religious […]




April 15, 2010

Vatican’s anti-gay remarks provoke outrage

by David Masters

Remarks by a Vatican official linking the Catholic Church’s sex abuse scandals to homosexuality have left gay rights groups fuming. UK-based group Stonewall said it was amazed that gay people should still have to deal with “such an offensive myth”. Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the Vatican’s secretary of state, said on Monday that homosexuality, not celibacy, […]




April 14, 2010

Nigeria considers ban on extremist preachers

by Benjamin Graham

Islamic preachers in north-east Nigeria could have to apply for a license to deliver sermons if a new bill to tackle extremism is passed by the region’s government. The Islamic Preaching Bill is designed to prevent extremists from sparking violence through their sermons. If the bill is passed, violators could be sentenced to up to […]




April 13, 2010

Vatican forgives The Beatles for rock-and-roll lifestyle

by Sara Levy

The Vatican has forgiven The Beatles for their misdemeanours, including John Lennon’s claim that the band was “bigger than Jesus”. An article in the Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano offers the band forgiveness for their excesses of “drugs and music”. “It is true they did drugs and, overwhelmed by success, they lived dissolute and uninhibited years, […]




April 12, 2010

Shoe-throwing allowed as ritual protest

by David Masters

The Metropolitan Police have confirmed that Muslims who throw shoes in protest will not be prosecuted for violent disorder. The London police force has accepted shoe throwing as a form of ritual protest. Shoes, and in particular the soles of shoes, are considered unclean according to Islamic purity codes. The Met’s concession for throwing shoes […]




April 9, 2010

Army apologises over Mosques on firing range

by Benjamin Graham

The Ministry of Defence has apologised for using model mosques on a Yorkshire firing range used to train soldiers for combat in Afghanistan and Iraq. “It was never our intention for these generic structures to look like or replicate mosques, only to provide a setting similar to operational environments in which our personnel could train,” […]




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