Religion

This new history of the Christian genocide during the Ottoman Empire sounds a dark warning for the future

Is it possible for a people to be so inured to cruelty that they changed, that their acts of sadism could alter their humanity? Robert Fisk Independent Israeli historian Benny Morris doesn’t do things by half. The footnotes of his new book on the 30-year genocide of Christians by their Turkish rulers, cowritten with his colleague Dror Zeevi, take up more than a fifth of the 640-page work. “It was nine years, a long haul,” he admitted to me this week, with an ... Read More »

Why a centuries-old religious dispute over Ukraine’s Orthodox Church matters today

A new Orthodox Church was recently established in Ukraine. Shortly after, Bartholomew I, the Patriarch of Constantinople and the spiritual head of global Orthodox Christianity, granted independence to the new Orthodox Church of Ukraine and transferred its jurisdiction from the church of Moscow to the church of Constantinople, located in Istanbul. Victoria Smolkin The Conversation This competition between the churches of Constantinople and Moscow for dominance in the Orthodox Christian world is not new – it goes back more than ... Read More »

Canberra’s first Buddhist pagoda set to open

The finishing touches are being put to an important religious building in the ACT. Steve Evans The Canberra Times The Sri Lankan community has been building a special “stupa” or pagoda which is to be formally finished with a ceremony on Saturday and officially opened a week later. There are several Buddhist temples in the territory but a stupa is viewed as the very essence of Buddhism. It’s a domed structure to hold relics of the life of the Buddha, ... Read More »

Former far-right Dutch MP van Klaveren tells of reactions to his conversion to Islam

Joram van Klaveren spent several years serving far-right and anti-Islam politics in the Netherlands. But van Klaveren, once a right-hand man to Dutch anti-Islam politician GeertWilders, took the world by surprise when he announced his conversion to… Nalan Koçak – ISTANBUL Hurriyet “You are like a vegetarian working in a slaughterhouse,” Wilders told van Klaveren upon his shift to his newfound faith, the former MP recalled in an interview with Hürriyet Daily News on Feb. 12. Van Klaveren was a lawmaker for the Party of Freedom (PVV), led by the Dutch populist Wilders, from 2010 to ... Read More »

Catholic archbishop in Brazil bans priests from being alone with children

Decree follows court order forcing archdiocese to pay almost £2.5m in compensation over sexual exploitation of minors Tom Embury-Dennis Independent A Brazilian Catholic archbishop has banned priests in his district from being alone with children. Manoel Delson, archbishop of the northeastern state of Paraiba, signed the decree on Wednesday following a court order forcing the archdiocese to pay almost £2.5m in compensation over the sexual exploitation of minors. Mr Delson’s decree prohibits priests from being in the company of children and vulnerable adults unaccompanied by their ... Read More »

I’m a contented atheist. My conscience is my only god

I floated in and out of Catholic and Hindu beliefs until one day I stopped Cauvery Madhavan The Irish Times I was born in India into a reasonably devout Hindu family and therefore, very unsurprisingly for then, received a traditional Catholic schooling. Educated by nuns, Irish in the main, I was one of many millions of children who were part of that strange trade-off between middle-class Indians of various faiths and the Catholic Church. To be “convent-educated” meant you had received more than ... Read More »

Dutch former anti-Muslim politician converts to Islam

Joram van Klaveren is the second ex-PVV politician to convert. A former member of Geert Wilders’ far-right Dutch party announced Monday that he has converted to Islam. Eline Schaart Politico Joram Van Klaveren said he made the switch from critic to convert while writing a book about Islam. “During that writing I came across more and more things that made my view on Islam falter,” he… Van Klaveren was a member of parliament for the Freedom Party (PVV) from 2010 to ... Read More »

Turkey’s Sweeping “Educational” Penetration into the Balkans

As part of its expansionist neo-Ottoman agenda, the government of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been building mosques and setting up Islamic educational institutions around the world. Uzay Bulut Gatestone Institute The mosque that Ankara is currently constructing in Tirana, Albania, will reportedly be the largest of the dozens of its mosques in the Balkans. Through the Maarif Foundation — established in 2016 by means of a law enacted by the Turkish parliament, which gave it the authority to ... Read More »

Persecution of Christians across the Globe independent review: Foreign Secretary’s launch speech

Speech Jeremy Hunt made remarks at the official launch of the review that will be conducted by the Bishop of Truro, Philip Mounstephen. From: Foreign & Commonwealth Office and The Rt Hon Jeremy Hunt MP Archbishop, bishop, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, a very warm welcome this morning to this very important occasion and very significant launch. Last Sunday, many people here will have been going to church, as indeed was the case in the Philippines at the Cathedral of ... Read More »

Catholic Church orders nuns who protested Indian bishop accused of rape to leave state

Catholic nuns who protested against an Indian Bishop accused of rape have been ordered to leave the state of Kerala and serve the community from others parts of the country. Salvi Manish SBS A group of nuns who led a historic protest in the southern Indian state of Kerala that made the headlines worldwide last year have been issued with transfer notices by the Catholic Church. In response, the nuns have produced a letter to the Chief Minister of Kerala ... Read More »

Pope says weary Church ‘wounded by her own sin’ in reference to abuse

Panama City: Pope Francis said on Saturday the Roman Catholic Church was weary and “wounded by her own sin,” in an apparent reference to the global sexual abuse crisis. Reuters The Canberra Times Francis made the comment in the homily of Mass for priests, nuns, and members of Catholic lay organisations in Panama City’s newly renovated cathedral of Santa Maria Antigua, the first in mainland America, which was completed in 1716. The pope has called a summit of the heads of ... Read More »

Fundamental freedoms and the right to participate in public and political life

Almost two quarters of a century have already passed since July 20, 1974 when Turkey invaded Cyprus, occupied 40% of its territory and used all possible means to force the 200 000 Christian inhabitants of the occupied area to flee their ancestral homes and settle in the free southern part of the island as refugees. Mattheos Economides Agora Dialogue More than 7 000 Cypriots of Greek origin were murdered by the invaders and around 2000 were held hostages, the fate ... Read More »

Between the Millet System and EU Values: The Sunni Muslim Turkish State and Non-Muslim Minorities

The relationship between the state and non-Muslim communities[1] has been a sensitive issue since the founding of the Turkish Republic in 1923. Dr. Özgür Kaymak MDC Although the principle of secularism has been stated in the constitution, wherein the state was ostensibly required to distance itself from all religious beliefs equally,  Islam had always played an important role in the formation of Turkish identity. The debates with regard to freedom of religion and conscience as well as the rights of ... Read More »

Shocking video emerges after two women and child ‘racially abused’ on Melbourne train

Ugly footage has emerged after a woman allegedly verbally abused a mother and child over their religion on a Melbourne train before yanking the hijab off a passenger who tried to help. Joe Hinchliffe The Age Fahima Adan, 20, appeared on Nine News on Sunday night sporting bruises and scratches on her arm following the incident which occurred shortly after midday on Saturday on a train from Dandenong, ending in the arrest of a… Ms Adan, from Dandenong, said she ... Read More »

Belgium Bans Religious Slaughtering Practices, Drawing Praise and Protest

BRUSSELS — A Belgian ban on the Muslim and Jewish ways of ritually slaughtering animals went into effect on New Year’s Day, part of a clash across Europe over the balance between animal welfare and… Milan Schreuer The New York Times With both animal rights advocates and right-wing nationalists pushing to ban ritual slaughter, religious minorities in Belgium and other countries fear that they are the targets of bigotry under the guise of … “It is impossible to know the ... Read More »

India’s Muslims: Rich Hunting Ground for Middle Eastern Rivals

How Turkey’s President Erdogan is seeking to expand his leadership claim in the Islamic world in India. James M. Dorsey The Globalist Indian Muslims, 180 million strong, constitute the Islamic world’s second-largest community, after Indonesia, and well ahead of Turkey and ten times larger than Saudi Arabia’s population. Thus, when the ever expansionist and ambitious President Recep Tayyip Erdogan recently declared that Turkey was “the only country that can lead the Muslim world,” it stands to reason that he wasn’t ... Read More »