Malta has become the 22nd European country to recognize same-sex unions and the 10th to allow gay couples to adopt children following a parliament vote, going against the warnings of the Roman Catholic Church, which is the official state religion.
The bill passed by a vote of 37-0, with the opposition abstaining because it is in favor of gay unions but not in allowing gay couples to adopt.
The vote prompted celebratory scenes for the thousands who had gathered at the central square in the capital Valletta to support the passage of the bill. more >>
Ukraine's interim government has asked the United Nations to send peacekeeping troops in an effort to confront pro-Russian separatists who have gained an increasing amount of control in the country's eastern regions in recent days.
Separatists ignored the Monday deadline set by Ukraine's government to disband and in Donetsk, rebels announced their intention to "seize control of infrastructure and the levers of state power."
A group of Donetsk separatists have already declared the region the "People's Republic of Donetsk" and, following on the lead of fellow city Slaviansk, called on Russian President Vladimir Putin to send troops into the region if the Ukraine government should confront them with military force. more >>
A gay priest has become the first to defy the Church of England and marry his long-time partner following Britain's legalization of same-sex marriage. A conservative group has warned that there will be a "crisis" for the church if it fails to take disciplinary action.
"There's no doubt that there is pressure within some parts of the church for the church to change its mind on sexuality," said the Rev. Preb Rod Thomas, chairman of the Reform evangelical group, according to The Telegraph on Saturday.
"If there is not clear discipline then it is the equivalent to saying 'we really didn't mean what we said.' It will precipitate a crisis." more >>
Susannah Birch had a traumatic experience when she was just a little girl, but is just now revealing what happened all those years ago. Her mother, suffering from bipolar disorder, decided to sacrifice her daughter, following the Old Testament story of Abraham sacrificing his only son, Isaac.
Susannah was only two years old and the only daughter of John and Linda Andrew, who were practicing Seventh Day Adventists in Queensland, Australia.
Comparisons have been made between the biblical sacrifice of Isaac, Abraham's only son, and Susannah's story. Yet John had no idea that Linda would actually try to do something so horrific to their daughter. more >>
British Prime Minister David Cameron has said Christianity is now the most persecuted religion around the world, and that Britain should be "unashamed" in standing up against persecution of Christians and other religious groups.
"I hope we can do more to raise the profile of the persecution of Christians around the world," Cameron said in an opening speech at his Easter reception at Downing Street. "It is the case today that our religion is now the most persecuted religion around the world. I think Britain can play a leading role in this."
Cameron said Britain had met its obligations in terms of the aid it gives to countries around the world. "We're seen as a country which is engaged internationally." more >>
The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, or Pastafarianism, may soon be recognized as an official religion in Poland after a court overturned a 2013 ruling against it.
"Judge Wlodzimierz Kowalczyk said that Tuesday's ruling was taken on formal grounds, as the ministry [of administration]had not given the applicants a two-month extension to submit outstanding documents," Polskie Radio reported.
Kowalczyk said the ministry "had not even indicated that there were such shortcomings" in the original application. The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster has essentially been cleared to apply to be registered as an official religion. more >>