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Religion

  • 1st November 2007

    Pope to meet Saudi King Abdullah 4

    Tuesday's meeting between Benedict XVI and King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz will be the first between a Pope and a Saudi ruler.

    11:10 AM — The leader of the Roman Catholic Church is to hold meetings with the head of state of Saudi Arabia.Tuesday's meeting between Benedict XVI and King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz will be the first between a Pope and a Saudi ruler.The King has been on a controversial state visit to the United Kingdom, which ended today.

  • 31st October 2007

    Gay hate church trial nears end 3

    On Saturday alone, members the Kansas family demonstrated at the funerals of three soldiers.

    10:43 AM — Shirley Phelps-Roper took the witness stand last week as the lawsuit brought against her father's Westboro Baptist Church drew to a close.Phelps-Roper told jurors at the courtroom in Baltimore that she was an angel sent to speak the truth to "earth dwellers" about the hate God has for their evil.She explained last week that's why she picketed the funeral of Matthew Snyder, a 20-year-old Marine who was killed in Iraq in March of 2006.

  • 30th October 2007

    Study claims homophobic literature is available at UK mosques 3

    Extremist texts that encourage hatred of gays, Christians and Jews can be easily found at many of Britain's mosques, a survey has found. photo: syN+H@flickr.com

    2:00 PM — Extremist texts that encourage hatred of gays, Christians and Jews are available at Britain's mosques.Researchers for the centre-Right think tank Policy Exchange claim to have found such publications in a quarter of the 100 mosques and Islamic institutions they visited, including London Central Mosque in Regent's Park, which is funded by Saudi Arabia.Many of the publications allegedly called on British Muslims to segregate themselves from non-Muslims and contained repeated calls for gays to be executed.

  • Catholic Archbishop supports gay discrimination 13

    Cardinal Pell's comments were backed by evangelical Christian group the Australian Christian Lobby (ACL).

    12:30 PM — The leader of the Roman Catholic Church in Australia has said it is acceptable to discriminate against people because of their sexuality.Archbishop of Sydney Cardinal George Pell said that comparisons between gay and racial discrimination are false.Australia's federal elections will be held on November 24th and the religious leader's comments are an attempt to influence discussion about gay equality.

  • 29th October 2007

    Evangelicals call for ban on Harry Potter books 10

    Other Christians groups have never been fans of the books, because they think they promote witchcraft.

    1:05 PM — America's largest conservative organisation has called for the banning of the Harry Potter books and films after author JK Rowling revealed that main character Albus Dumbledore was a gay wizard.The Christian Coalition of America claims to have 2.5 millions supporters and describes its mission as "defending America's Godly heritage."Its chairman, Roberta Combs, said she was disappointed that Rowling chose to out one of the most popular characters in children's literature.

  • 26th October 2007

    Gay baby campaign is “strange” says Vatican 2

    Gay activist group Arcigay congratulated the Tuscany region on being at the “forefront“ but another activist was unhappy.

    4:45 PM — A senior Roman Catholic Cardinal has criticised an anti-discrimination poster that features a baby wearing a wristband with "homosexual" written on it.The government of the Italian region of Tuscany is poised to display thousands of copies of the poster in public places and municipal offices as part of a campaign against discrimination.The tagline on the posters - Sexual Orientation Is Not A Choice - has divided gay people, while conservative politicians are outraged that public money has been spent on it at all.

  • 25th October 2007

    Gay marriage divides Church of Sweden 3

    Opinion polls show that 46% of Swedes are in favour of gay marriage, with 31% opposed.  photo: megan ann@flickr.com

    2:20 PM — A proposal by Sweden's three opposition parties in to legalise gay marriage has divided the Church of Sweden.Until 2000 the Church was established, meaning was is the official state religion. It now has autonomy from the government.However, it now faces being required to marry gay and lesbian couples or withdraw completely from performing the legal element of marriages.The Church governing body has voted 161 to 74 in favour of retaining the right to carry out legally-binding weddings.

  • 22nd October 2007

    Suspended Vatican priest has list of gay colleagues 5

    The Curia is the governing body of the Roman Catholic Church.

    4:50 PM — A Roman Catholic Church official suspended after he was identified in a television broadcast supposedly declaring his homosexuality and making advances to a young man has a dossier of gay clergy who work in the Vatican, according to a TV report.Monsignor Tommaso Stenico has a "list of names and circumstances implicating a certain number of priests and even bishops working at the Curia," Italian current affairs show Panorama revealed on Friday.The Curia is the governing body of the Roman Catholic Church.

  • 18th October 2007

    Homophobia turns young people off Christianity 3

    75% of young non-Christians thought that present-day Christians are too involved in politics - half of young Christians agreed.

    2:50 PM — Research into the declining respect for Christianity among young people has identitfied religious hostility to LGBT people as a major factor.An investigation by The Barna Group, an evangelical market research company, into the attitudes of Americans aged 16 to 29, makes grim reading for religious leaders.91% of young non-Christians and 80% of young churchgoers said "anti-homosexual" describes Christianity.

  • 17th October 2007

    Moldovan church leader attacks gay equality

    Around 20 activists attempted to march for gay rights in the Moldovan capital Chisinau last May. photo: dittaeva@flickr.com

    3:05 PM — The Metropolitan of Chisinau and All Moldova, has attacked gay marriage at a theological conference of globalisation challenges held in the country.He said that equality between same-sex marriage and heterosexual marriage is contrary to "Christian convictions."The Metropolitan also expressed his conviction that politicians should be loyal to their faith above all other considerations.

  • 16th October 2007

    Homophobic church hit by pro-gay vandals 1

    IRA and Sinn Fein was written on the whitewashed cement of the 50-year-old church. “Gays have a life too” was also plastered across the walls.

    5:25 PM — Sectarian and pro-gay graffiti has been daubed on a Free Presbyterian church on the outskirts of Belfast.Walls and gates at the Dunmurry church were smeared with pro-Republican slogans and the Nazi swastika in an overnight attack, broadcaster UTV has reported.The incident followed comments about homosexuals on television last night by Free Presbyterian cleric the Rev David McIlveen.

  • 15th October 2007

    Vatican’s quick investigation of priest in gay sex sting 5

    The president of the Disciplinary Commission of the Roman Curia told La Repubblica newspaper that the Vatican wanted a quick “internal clean-up.“

    5:55 PM — A senior Roman Catholic official has said that the Church will conduct immediate investigations into allegations against a priest exposed on Italian TV.Cardinal Julian Herranz, president of the Disciplinary Commission of the Roman Curia, told La Repubblica newspaper that the Vatican wanted a quick "internal clean-up."Monsignor Tommaso Stenico was suspended on Sunday after he was identified in a television broadcast supposedly declaring his homosexuality and making advances to a young man.

  • Muslim leader wants gays exiled from Uganda 5

    The Muslim community, who make up 12% of Uganda's population of 27 million, were quick to add their voices of disapproval.

    2:53 PM — The leading Muslim cleric in Uganda, Sheikh Ramathan Shaban Mubajje, has come up with a novel solution to deal with gay and lesbians speaking up in the country.He told journalists at a press conference on Friday that he had recommended to the country's President at a meeting last week that all gay people should be sent into exile on an island in Lake Victoria."If they die there then we shall have no more homosexuals in the country," he added. There has been rising tension in the country over gay and lesbian rights.

  • Canadian Anglicans vote for same-sex blessings 2

    The Ottowa decision will do nothing to heal the rift in the 77 million member Anglican church in North America and rest of the world.

    12:15 PM — A diocese of the Anglican church in Canada has voiced its support for the blessing of gay and lesbian marriages in spite of assurances from the national church that no such ceremonies will take place.Ottawa Anglicans voted 177 to 97 in favour of blessing gay marriages at a meeting on Saturday, following several hours of impassioned debate. A similar vote in the diocese of Montreal will take place later this month.Some Ottawan priests have threatened to stop performing marriage ceremonies for heterosexuals unless they are allowed to bless same-sex couples.

  • Gay friendly bishop’s UK tour 1

    As well as gay rights, 76-year-old Bishop Spong encourages feminism and racial equality within the church.

    10:10 AM — A provocative retired Anglican bishop who supports gay rights within the church is to give give a series of talks in the UK.John Shelby Spong, a bishop with the Episcopal Church in Newark, New Jersey, for 24 years, is conducting a world tour in support of his book Jesus for the Non-Religious.He has already toured New Zealand and flies to South Africa afterwards his UK appearances.

  • 14th October 2007

    “Outed” Vatican priest suspended by Vatican 5

    Monsignor Tommaso Stenico's photograph was released by PapaNews

    8:12 PM — A senior Roman Catholic Church official has been suspended after he was identified in a television broadcast supposedly declaring his homosexuality and making advances to a young man.Originally only identified as sixty-year-old, working in the Congregation for the Clergy department which manges the 400,000 active Catholic priests across the globe. He was identified by Vatican officials who recognised his office in the background of the picture.

  • 9th October 2007

    Muslims join Christian condemnation of gay protection law 100

    The IHRC, an “independent, not-for-profit, campaign, research and advocacy organisation based in London,“ attacked the concept of a gay incitement law.

    12:31 PM — The Islamic Human Rights Commission has condemned a proposed new offence of incitement to hatred on the basis of sexual orientation, adding its voice to a chorus of complaints from evangelical Christians.The IHRC, an "independent, not-for-profit, campaign, research and advocacy organisation based in London," attacked the concept of a gay incitement law."If someone is reading the Bible and calls homosexuality an abomination, is that going to be incitement?"

  • 8th October 2007

    English bishop threatens conference boycott over gays 30

    Michael Nazir-Ali, who is an evangelical Christian, has said he would “find it difficult“ to attend the conference.

    11:36 AM — The Church of England's war of words over the ordination of a gay bishop has been reignited by the Bishop of Rochester, who has indicated he may boycott a meeting of senior Anglican leaders next year.The Lambeth conference, held every ten years, has been a focus of discontent from traditionalists angry over the Church's stance over gay clergy and the blessing of same-sex relationships.Conservative bishop Michael Nazir-Ali has said he would "find it difficult" to attend the conference.

  • 5th October 2007

    Gay rights off the agenda for African church leaders

    The move divided US Episcopalians and alienated them from parts of the church's global membership of 77 million.

    5:16 PM — A meeting of African Anglican Archbishops avoided homosexuality yesterday, a topic dividing their Communion, in favour of other issues affecting the continent.The gathering took place in Mauritius and was chaired by Nigerian Archbishop Peter Akinola, an outspoken opponent of gay rights.Last month he criticised the US Episcopal Church for not making a clear stand against consecrating gay clergy or blessing gay unions.

  • 4th October 2007

    Christians are ‘anti-homosexual’ according to US poll

    Of believers, 80% identified “anti-homosexual“ as a negative adjective describing Christianity today.

    6:30 PM — A survey in the United States conducted by the Barna Group between 2004 and now has found that both Christians and non-Christians have a 'bad impression' of Christianity.The religion is also waning in popularity with a rapid increase in people describing themselves as 'non-Christian' since the same poll was conducted in 1996.Surveying 440 Christians and the same amount of non-believers, nine out of ten non-Christians found Christians too "anti-homosexual."

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