July 29, 2011

Sikh daggers allowed at Olympics

by Jan Harris

The organisers of the London 2012 Olympics have decided to allow Sikhs to bring ceremonial daggers into the games. A statement by the organisers of the 2012 games said: “At Games-time, small symbolic ceremonial daggers, with a maximum blade length of three inches, carried for religious reasons will be allowed”. The Kirpan is usually attached […]




July 28, 2011

Interfaith Network warns against using religion to justify terrorism

by Jan Harris

The Inter Faith Network for the UK, which aims to promote good relations between people of different faiths, has issued a statement following the killing of 76 people in Norway by Anders Breivik. Although Breivik has been described as a ‘fundamentalist Christian’, he has been revealed to have nurtured a hatred of Muslims and believed […]




July 27, 2011

Anti-Vatican feeling sweeps Irish media

by Jan Harris

A wave of anti-Vatican feeling is sweeping Ireland following Taoiseach Enda Kenny’s attack on the Catholic Church’s handling of the child abuse scandal described in the Cloyne report. The report describes how the sexual abuse of children by Roman Catholic priests in the Irish diocese of Cloyne was covered up. Complaints were made against 19 […]




July 26, 2011

Monsoon threatens Pakistan once again

by Jan Harris

Last year’s monsoon caused the deaths of 2,000 people in Pakistan and left 11 million without homes. Charities and international agencies are warning that the country is once again facing the monsoon season, but with many flood defences still unrepaired after last year’s floods, the outlook is bleak. The United Nations believes that around five […]




July 25, 2011

Catholic Church apologises to Australia’s adoption victims

by Jan Harris

The Catholic Church in Australia has issued an apology over the practice of forcing unmarried mothers to give up their babies for adoption. The practice took place over three decades, from the 1950s to the 1970s, with many maternity hospitals across Australia forcing mothers to give up their babies against their will. It is believed […]




July 22, 2011

Irish PM attacks Vatican over child abuse

by Jan Harris

Earlier this week Ireland’s Prime Minister, Enda Kenny, fiercely attacked the Vatican’s handling of child abuse allegations in the diocese of Cloyne in Co Cork. In a parliamentary debate on a report about the abuse, Kenny, himself a practising Catholic, said that just three years ago the Holy See tried to “frustrate an inquiry in […]




July 21, 2011

Amnesty International highlights suffering of Somali Children

by Jan Harris

A new report from Amnesty International describes how children in Somalia could become a ‘lost generation’ unless the world stops ignoring their suffering. The report, ‘In the line of fire: Somalia’s children under attack’, describes how children are still being recruited by Somalia’s Transitional Federal Government as child soldiers, despite the party having promised to […]




July 20, 2011

Marriage does not influence educational performance

by Jan Harris

Placing his faith in strong families as key to mending ‘broken Britain’, David Cameron promised, before the election, to offer tax breaks to married couples. He hoped that this would encourage people to marry, redressing the balance of a benefits system which makes it more beneficial for people to cohabit. However, the basis for this […]




July 19, 2011

Malaysian woman loses appeal against Islamic trial

by Jan Harris

A civil court in Malaysia has refused to grant a woman permission to leave Islam, even though she has given up her Muslim faith to become a member of the Sky Kingdom sect. The woman, Kamariah Ali, has been tried under Islamic law for apostasy – the rejection of her former religion – and faces […]




July 18, 2011

Desmond Tutu praises Leicester for multicultural harmony

by Jan Harris

Archbishop Desmond Tutu was conferred with an honorary doctorate by the University of Leicester on Friday, in recognition of his work to improve race relations. He was instrumental in ending the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa and has also fought for an end to homophobia, slavery and sexism. In his acceptance speech the Archbishop said […]




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