A top Islamic institute in Egypt has called for a ban on Darren Aronofsky's upcoming "Noah" movie, arguing that the Hollywood film provokes people and violates Islamic law.
Al-Azhar, a main Sunni Muslim institute, said in statement on Thursday that movies like "Noah" are "contrary to faith and to the fundamentals of the Islamic Sharia [law]," and announced that it is prohibiting the screening of films that personify biblical figures, Al Arabiya News reported.
"Al-Azhar renews its rejection to the screening of any production that characterizes Allah's prophets and messengers and the companions of the Prophet [Muhammad]," the institute said, adding that such productions "provoke people's feelings." more >>
A Roman Catholic Church cardinal has criticized the Ugandan anti-gay law that expanded punishment for gay people and threatened life in prison for certain offenders, arguing that gay people "are not criminals."
Cardinal Peter Turkson of Ghana, president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, made the comments Tuesday in Bratislava, Slovakia, during a church and human rights conference, according to CatholicHearald.co.uk. He urged the international community, however, to keep sending much needed aid to Uganda, which is now facing cuts and sanctions because of the law.
Uganda's decision to expand the legal punishment for homosexuality has been criticized by some world leaders, though the nation's political and church leaders have insisted that it is their right to manage the country according to their ways. more >>
Chris Oyakhilome, charismatic pastor of 30,000-member Christ Embassy church in Lagos, Nigeria, has sparked an online debate after insisting that it is "never mentioned anywhere in the Bible to keep a child from a woman who was raped!"
Christ Embassy Naples in Italy shared on its Facebook page remarks reportedly made by Pastor Oyakhilome during a question-and-answer segment during a church service on Sunday, March 2.
Considering the question, "Can a baby that is a product of rape be aborted?" Oyakhilome was said to have responded: more >>
A pastor in Kenya is making headlines for recently banning his female congregants from wearing underwear to church, telling them to avoid wearing the garments in order to be closer to God.
The pastor, described only as the Rev. Njohi by The Kenyan Daily Post, reportedly asked his female congregants at the Lord's Propeller Redemption church in Dandora to arrive at Sunday's service without underwear or bras. The pastor's reasoning was that the undergarments are "ungodly," and people need to be "free in 'body' and 'spirit' to receive Christ," according to the local newspaper. The church is located in an eastern suburb of Nairobi.
According to Nigerian Watch, the pastor also said he made the new rule for women so God can enter their bodies easily. The pastor added that women who continue to wear undergarments to church will suffer "dire consequences," and encouraged mothers attending his services to check their daughters to make sure they had obeyed the new rule. more >>
The Anglican Church of Uganda warned that it may consider leaving the Anglican Communion if it faces pressure from western bodies to resist the government's new anti-gay laws, which have been condemned around the world.
"The issue here is respect for our views on homosexuality, same-sex marriage as a country and church. If they are not willing to listen to us, we shall consider being on our own," top Uganda Anglican Archbishop Stanley Ntagali told AFP on Monday.
"Homosexual practice is incompatible with Scripture, and no one in the leadership of the church can say legitimize same-sex unions or homosexuality," he continued, and called on the "governing bodies of the Church of England to not take the path advocated by the West." more >>
JUBA, South Sudan – Sudanese authorities arrested a pastor in Omdurman as he was preaching on Sunday and threatened that he would "face justice" unless he resigned his position, sources said.
Personnel from the Criminal Investigation Department entered the compound of Omdurman Evangelical Church and arrested the Rev. Yahya Abdelrahim Nalu as part of a government plan to take over properties of the church's denomination, the Sudan Presbyterian Evangelical Church (SPEC), the sources said. Omdurman is opposite Khartoum on the River Nile.
The Federal Ministry of Guidance and Religious Endowments seeks to replace Nalu, senior leader at the church and moderator of the SPEC Synod, with a government-appointed committee that favors turning SPEC properties over to the government, they said. more >>