An atheist group celebrating the upcoming International Blasphemy Rights Day on Friday, has said that laws around the world that restrict or punish those who criticize religion take away the rights of atheists, Christians, and other people.
"In too many countries around the world, criticizing religion is illegal. We've seen the consequences of these laws too many times — when a tweet or a post on Facebook declaring one's atheism or questioning a tenet of religion leads to arrests, beatings, prison, and sometimes death sentences," the Center for Inquiry, which set up the first event in 2009, said in a statement on Monday.
"Sometimes religious militants make their own laws, deciding for themselves that expressions of dissent justify brutal killings, like the grisly murders of secularists in Bangladesh, or attacks on religious minorities in Pakistan," the group added. more >>
Pope Francis has announced new regulations surrounding the Roman Catholic practice of declaring saints, most often due to miraculous healings that cannot be explained by science, by revealing that such miracles will need to be affirmed by two-thirds of medical panel experts.
"The purpose of the regulation is for the good of the (saints') causes, which can never be separated from the historical and scientific truth of the alleged miracles," said Archbishop Marcello Bartolucci, secretary for the Congregation for Saints' Causes, when explaining the revised norms.
Catholic News Service reported that the new regulations will require a medical panel of six experts to agree, at least in a two-thirds majority, that a presented healing has no natural or scientific explanation. more >>
The head of the U.K's Secret Intelligence Service says the threat posed by radical Islamic extremist groups like the Islamic State and their increasing use of technology to spread jihadi propaganda across the globe will last a "professional lifetime."
British news outlets are reporting that Alex Younger, the chief of the secret intelligence service also known to many as MI6, made a rare public appearance at a national security conference in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday, which was also attended by CIA director John Brennan.
As the world is looking for ways to defeat the Islamic State and reclaim the lands that have been conquered by the barbaric organization, Younger was asked if he believes the threat from groups like IS (also known as ISIS or ISIL) and al-Qaeda had reached its peak. more >>
A Muslim migrant boat captain who killed six Christians by throwing them overboard is facing a murder trial in Spain over his deadly actions.
The Telegraph reports that the Muslim captain, identified as Alain N. B. from Cameroon, blamed Christian passengers for the onset of a storm during a 2014 crossing from Morocco to the southern shore of Spain, and punished them by throwing them overboard.
The boat, one of many that have been transporting thousands of refugees across dangerous seas to Europe, was reportedly carrying 50 sub-Saharan migrants on the fatal journey, witnesses said. more >>
A survey concerning France's growing Muslim population has found that as many as one in four French Muslims support Islamic laws that would require women to wear face veils.
MailOnline reported that the study from Institut Montaigne of 1,029 people found that French Muslims hold diverse views about law and governance. Close to half, or 46 percent of those who responded to the poll, said they were "completely secular," and demonstrated their religious faith by only eating halal meat.
Another 25 percent who said they were devout and "proudly Muslim" supported a greater role for religion in the work place, but opposed practices such as polygamy and wearing the burqa. more >>
A terminally ill 17-year-old has died in Belgium by physician-assisted suicide just two years after restrictions on euthanasia were lifted in the country to allow children of all ages to end their life, a move one family advocate is calling "tragic" and "atrocious."
Though few details have been released about the child's identity, government officials confirmed that the physician-assisted suicide has taken place.
Often called "mercy killings," euthanasia has been legal in Belgium since 2002 and to date there have been 8,752 cases, according to EuroNews. In 2014, the law was amended and the age restrictions were scrapped, making it the only nation where children can choose to end their own lives. The Netherlands also allows euthanasia, but has an age restriction requiring children to be 12 years old or older. more >>