Greek Justice Minister Haralambos Athanasiou has said that he will never back legalizing same-sex marriage in the country, arguing that it harms society and poses a danger to traditions.
"I won't discuss it, I can't conceive of it," the conservative politician told Greece's Mega TV. "Besides, the convention of human rights forbids it. When it speaks about marriage it speaks [of marriage] between a man and woman. We are a country that respects traditions, respects human nature, and it's not possible at least with this government and this ministry, to permit marriage."
While Greece has faced sanctions by the European court of human rights for not extending rights to gay couples, in July, the court refused to judicially impose same-sex marriage on countries, stating that gay marriage is not a human right. more >>
Theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking has warned that the rapid rise of artificial intelligence could bring about the end of humankind.
"The development of full artificial intelligence could spell the end of the human race," the atheist professor told BBC News, while discussing the technology that allows him to verbally communicate.
The physicist added that artificial intelligence programs have proved useful for people so far, but claimed that the next steps in their evolution could prove dangerous. more >>
Pope Francis and several of the world's leading religious leaders joined together in a pledge to end human slavery by 2020, focusing on the tens of millions of people "in chains" due to human trafficking and forced labor.
"The physical, economic, sexual and psychological exploitation of men and women, boys and girls, is chaining tens of millions of persons to inhumanity and humiliation," the pope said and signed the pledge to do "all in our power, within our faith communities and beyond" to end modern slavery by 2020.
The signatories of the declaration included Anglican Archbishop Justin Welby of Canterbury; Rabbi David Rosen, international director of interreligious affairs for the American Jewish Committee; Ayatollah Mohammad Taqi al-Modarresi, an influential Shiite scholar; Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople, as well as representatives for Ahmad el-Tayeb, a grand imam from Egypt. more >>
As many as 7,800 people have resigned from the Lutheran Church in Finland since the parliament approved a law legalizing same-sex marriages on Friday, which was backed by Kari Mäkinen, the Archbishop of Turku and Finland.
Mäkinen reportedly said that he was "rejoiced" by the passage of the law, YLE News reported on Sunday.
"I know how much this day means for rainbow people, their loved ones and many others. I rejoice with my whole heart for them and with them," the Archbishop said. "We are in the same situation as our neighboring Nordic churches: our concept of marriage needs a fundamental examination. Speaking for myself, I think it is time for reconsideration." more >>
A senior Church of England bishop has said that Prince Charles' coronation service should include a reading from the Quran so that Muslims feel "embraced" by the nation – a proposal which is being criticized by some Christian groups in the U.K.
Lord Harries of Pentregarth, the former Bishop of Oxford who now serves as an assistant bishop in the diocese of Southwark, made the proposal during a House of Lords debate, U.K.'s Daily Mail reports.
Reading the Quran at the coronation would mean the Church of England is taking the lead in "exercising its historic position in a hospitable way," as well as allow leaders of non-Christian religions to give their blessing to the new king, the bishop was quoted as saying. more >>
Pope Francis said Sunday, the last day of his three-day Turkey trip, that the Islamic State, or ISIS, terror group is committing a "profoundly grave sin against God" by using violence.
ISIS militants are committing a "profoundly grave sin against God," the pope said in an address at a Mass in Istanbul Sunday, the last day of his Turkey visit that is being seen as an effort to foster inter-faith relations, according to Reuters.
Francis said that ending poverty is vital because it leads to "the recruitment of terrorists." more >>