Religion

Ashes to ashes: Britons follow David Bowie in choosing direct cremations

Flor 2b

Demand for simpler services grows as tastes change and cost of lavish funerals increases Rupert Jones The Guardian The “cost of dying” is continuing to rise, figures out next week are expected to show. But the good news for those on a tight budget, or who simply don’t want a big fuss made, is that the cost of the very… “Direct cremation” is a low-cost, no-frills option where there is no funeral service and mourners aren’t present. In its most ... Read More »

Can this Egyptian actor’s photo in bed with another man send him to prison?

Upol 1a

CAIRO — A photo and a gay pride flag on a T-shirt has spurred controversy and eventually a legal case in Egypt last month, targeting actor Khaled Abol Naga and the international clothing brand Bershka. Ahmed Fouad Al-Monitor Lawyer Ahmed al-Ganzouri told Al-Monitor that both Abol Naga and Bershka risk facing legal charges under Article 294 of the Egyptian Penal Code. The article stipulates six months to three years of imprisonment for inciting adultery, immorality and prostitution, verbally, by implication, by signs or any similar means. The Egyptian ... Read More »

German far right fuels Muslim ‘takeover’ fears

Supporters of the Seebruecke (sea bridge) movement pile up life vests during a demonstration for unhampered sea rescue of refugees in the Mediterranean Sea and for secure escape routes for migrants that was titled "Seebruecke creates safe harbours" on September 2, 2018 in front of the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, Germany. (Photo by Kay Nietfeld / dpa / AFP) / Germany OUT        (Photo credit should read KAY NIETFELD/AFP/Getty Images)

A series of violent crimes committed by refugees is unsettling the nation. By MATTHEW KARNITSCHNIG Politico BERLIN — Can Germany survive Islam? That question is once again at the center of the country’s public discourse amid the violent protests that followed last week’s brutal killing of a German man, allegedly at the hands of two Muslim refugees, and the publication of a new book titled “Hostile Takeover, how Islam halts progress and… On Saturday, about 11,000 people (8,000 right-wing and far-right protesters ... Read More »

Australian Catholic Church rejects calls for priests to report child abuse confessions

Sofe qa

Australia’s Catholic Church has rejected calls for priests to be compelled to report child abuse revealed in confessionals. By Euan McKirdy and Ben Westcott, CNN The Church said Friday it would accept “98%” of recommendations made by a high-level government inquiry into child sexual abuse, which uncovered shocking accounts of widespread abuse inside… But church leaders said that they would maintain the sanctity of confession, arguing to remove it would infringe on religious liberties. “The only recommendation we can’t accept ... Read More »

Turkey calls on country’s religious authority in struggle to keep prices down

BURSA, TURKEY - JUNE 10: An imam leads the first Friday Prayer during the Muslim holy fasting month of Ramadan at Fatih Sultan Mehmet Mosque in Bursa, Turkey on June 10, 2016. Ali Atmaca / Anadolu Agency

As the Turkish lira continues to be hit by losses in value against foreign currencies, the government has been struggling to keep prices down, even going to the extent of using the… TM “[Islam] certainly forbids unlawful profits such as bribery, usury, speculation, black marketing and rigging prices, which challenge moral values and disrupt the peace in the society,” the weekly sermon said, according to the… Earlier this week one of Turkey’s biggest retailers, BİM, known for its cheap prices ... Read More »

China Is Treating Islam Like a Mental Illness

A woman stands behind a pillar during the Eid al-Adha festival at Niujie mosque in Beijing, China September 12, 2016. REUTERS/Jason Lee - D1BEUAVHGQAA

The country is putting Muslims in internment camps—and causing real psychological damage in the process. Sigal Samuel The Atlantic One million Muslims are being held right now in Chinese internment camps, according to estimates cited by the UN and U.S. officials. Former inmates—most of whom are Uighurs, a largely Muslim ethnic minority—have told reporters that over the course of an indoctrination process lasting several months, they were forced to renounce Islam, criticize their own Islamic beliefs and those of fellow inmates, and recite Communist ... Read More »

Why it’s so hard to hold priests accountable for sex abuse

Clia 1a

A grand jury report recently found shocking levels of child sex abuse in the Catholic Church. It uncovered, in six dioceses, the sexual abuse of over 1,000 children and named 301 perpetrator priests. Carolyn M. Warner The Conversation It also found that religious officials had turned a blind eye to the abuse. In response, Pope Francis, head of the Roman Catholic Church, wrote a letter addressed to “the People of God,” saying, “With shame and repentance, we acknowledge as an ... Read More »

To end abortion, don’t ban it. Support families instead.

Doe c

(RNS) — Anti-abortion leaders have been thrilled with President Trump’s nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to replace Justice Anthony Kennedy on the U.S. Supreme Court. Katelyn Beaty Many hope he can be pivotal in overturning Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision legalizing abortion. Priests for Life has called Kavanaugh “exactly what we need on the Supreme Court.” Kristan Hawkins, president of Students for Life of America, tweeted, “THIS IS NOT A DRILL: Kennedy is RETIRING. We can overturn Roe and Doe. ... Read More »

Four centuries of trying to prove God’s existence

Koma 2b

Whether God exists or not is one of the most important philosophical questions there is. And the tradition of trying to establish God’s existence involving evidence is a long one, with a golden age during the 17th and 18th centuries – the early modern period. Lloyd Strickland The Conversation Attempts to prove God’s existence continue today. But they are on nothing like the same scale as they were hundreds of years ago, with secularism now being as common among philosophers ... Read More »

Vatican expresses ‘shame and sorrow’ over abuse of 1,000 children by more than 300 priests in Pennsylvania

Pla 5e

The Vatican has expressed ‘shame and sorrow’ after a report detailed decades of abuse in the Catholic Church Chris Riotta Independent The Vatican has expressed “shame and sorrow” in its first response to a groundbreaking US Grand Jury report detailing decades of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church. The report accuses over 300 “predator” priests throughout Pennsylvania of abusing nearly 1,000 children — and the Church of conducting a systematic cover-up. However, the actual number of total abuses in those dioceses since 1947 ... Read More »

Argentina retains strict abortion laws by rejecting elective procedures

Proc 1a

Argentina’s decision to retain its stringent abortion laws has left Latin America and the Caribbean with some of the most restrictive abortion laws in the world. ABC Argentine senators this week narrowly rejected a bill to legalise abortion in the first 14 weeks of pregnancy, overcoming support for a surging abortion rights movement in the homeland of Pope Francis. The Senate’s 38-31 vote against the proposed legislation could echo across Latin America, where anti-abortion forces remains strong even if the ... Read More »

Are Turkey’s Christians as ‘fine’ as they say?

Keri 2c

As tensions simmered between Ankara and Washington over detained American pastor Andrew Brunson, the leaders of Turkey’s non-Muslim minorities issued a joint statement July 31 to deny that they faced any oppression in the country. Fehim Tastekin Al-Monitor The timing of the move was rather remarkable, and for Garo Paylan, an ethnic Armenian lawmaker for the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), the issuance of such a declaration was “in itself a proof that we are not free.” The 18 Christian and Jewish community leaders ... Read More »

Can you be Christian and support the death penalty?

Vek 5e

Pope Francis has declared the death penalty “inadmissible.” This means that the death penalty should not be used in any circumstance. Mathew Schmalz The Conversation It also alters the Catholic Catechism, a compendium of Catholic doctrine, and is now binding on Roman Catholics throughout the… But in spite of his definitive statement, Pope Francis’ act will probably only deepen the debate about whether Christians can support capital punishment. As a Catholic scholar who writes about religion, politics and policy, I ... Read More »

With anti-Muslim laws, Europe enters new dark age

Women wearing niqab are pictured in front of the Danish Parliament in Copenhagen, Denmark, on May 31, 2018. - The Danish parliament on Thursday, May 31,2018, passed a law banning the Islamic full-face veil in public spaces, becoming the latest European country to do so. (Photo by Mads Claus Rasmussen / Ritzau Scanpix / AFP) / Denmark OUT        (Photo credit should read MADS CLAUS RASMUSSEN/AFP/Getty Images)

Leading rabbi condemns discrimination in the name of security. Pinchas Goldschmidt Politico LONDON — What has become of Europe? New laws targeting Muslims are reminiscent of a time when innocent Jewish children were abducted by masked monks and imprisoned in monasteries to “save” them from the eternal fire of hell. In our blind mistrust of religious differences, we are returning to the Middle Ages, when the only model for integration was the forced conversion of the minority religion to the ... Read More »

Patriotic songs and self-criticism: why China is ‘re-educating’ Muslims in mass detention camps

Katho 1a

China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs denies their existence. But extensive reporting by international media and human rights groups indicates upwards of hundreds of thousands of Uighurs — a… The Conversation By Michael Clarke ABC The camps are not only massive, with some exceeding 10,000 square metres, but have also been likened to prison-like compounds, with, “reinforced security doors and windows, surveillance systems… The US Congressional-Executive Commission on China calls it, “The largest mass incarceration of a minority population in the ... Read More »

Artificial Intelligence Shows Why Atheism Is Unpopular

Dan 2b

“I lose sleep at night on this.” Imagine you’re the president of a European country. Sigal Samuel The Atlantic You’re slated to take in 50,000 refugees from the Middle East this year. Most of them are very religious, while most of your population is very secular. You want to integrate the newcomers seamlessly, minimizing the risk of economic malaise or violence, but you have limited resources. One of your advisers tells you to invest in the refugees’ education; another says ... Read More »