Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI has denied covering up child sex abuse by priests and called a Richard Dawkins book "science fiction" in a long letter to one of Italy's most well-known atheists.
"I never tried to cover these things up," the former pope says in the letter.
"That the power of evil penetrated so far into the interior world of the faith is a suffering that we must bear, but at the same time we must do everything to prevent it from repeating." more >>
Citing the recent Pakistan church bombings and violence against Syrian Christians as an example, Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby asserted this week that "Christians have been attacked simply because of their faith."
"I think it is true in Peshawar that we have seen more than 80 martyrs in the last few days and they have been attacked because they were testifying to their faith in Jesus Christ by going to church, and that is outside any acceptable expression in any circumstances for any reason of religious difference," he said on BBC Radio's The World at One, as he gave an update on the various challenges confronting Christians around the world.
The archbishop called the Peshawar church bombing that killed over 80 Pakistanis on Sunday "an absolutely appalling attack." more >>
The International Olympic Committee [IOC] released a statement Thursday saying Russia's ban against "homosexuality propaganda for minors" does not breach the Olympic charter, adding that it is "fully satisfied" that Russia will not apply the law at the upcoming Sochi winter Olympic games in February.
Russia has come under fire from some athletes for its ban against "propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations among minors." After it was announced that Russia would host the Winter Olympic Games this upcoming February, several openly gay athletes expressed concern that the law would affect them. However, Russia argued that the law is only meant to protect children and would not infringe on an adult homosexual's life.
"The Olympic Charter states that all segregation is completely prohibited, whether it be on the grounds of race, religion, color or other, on the Olympic territory," Jean-Claude Killy, chairman of the IOC's Co-ordination Commission, said in a statement after visiting Sochi, the site of the winter games, earlier this week. more >>
Pope Francis challenged the Church to pray for its most vulnerable yesterday, in his weekly general audience remarks at the Vatican, in the wake of a church bombing in Pakistan and continued violence against Egyptian and Syrian Christians.
"How many of you pray for Christians who are persecuted" said the Pope, calling upon his audience to be "genuinely concerned about their plight, just as one would be for a family member in distress."
When one of them is under duress, "am I indifferent or is it like someone in the family is suffering?" the Pope added. more >>
A Christian legal group is calling on members of Parliament and the head of police to better educate law enforcement about public order and breaching the peace laws, after a Scottish street preacher was arrested twice last week.
Since this summer, Christian Concern has tracked the arrests of three street preachers in Britain. In July, American Tony Miano was arrested in London. Rob Hughes was arrested in the beginning of September in Essex, and Josh Williamson was arrested twice last week in Perth, Scotland.
It is not uncommon for street evangelists to preach on the "High Streets" or main roads of town, where they encounter a significant amount of foot traffic said Peter Norris, a spokesperson for the British legal group, Christian Concern. "Its public property and they are free to preach there," he said. "Sometimes you have to get a permit for bigger things, but for these guys it's perfectly legal for them to preach on the street." more >>
A British doctor who was fired from a hospital in England's West Midlands because of a prayer he sent to coworkers has lost his second appeal for wrongful termination this week.
Dr. David Drew, 65, had tried to convince an appeals court that he was fired from his post as a consultant pediatrician at Walsall Healthcare NHS (National Healthcare System) Trust in 2010 because he had been acting as a whistleblower against budget cuts that he argued put patient safety at risk. The hospital and two employment appeal tribunals argued, however, that Drew had been fired because he had refused to conform to the hospital's guidelines regarding religion.