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 >>
Pope Francis has rejected the idea that it is "old-fashioned" to speak of Satan in the 21st century, warning that Christians live in constant battle against evil and urging people to turn to the Gospel to learn how to fight against temptations.
"Maybe some of you might say: 'But Father, how old fashioned you are to speak about the devil in the 21st century!' But look out because the devil is present! The devil is here… even in the 21st century! And we mustn't be naïve, right? We must learn from the Gospel how to fight against Satan," the Roman Catholic Church leader said during Mass on Friday at the Vatican.
Satan, he said, does not want people to be disciples of Christ, and wants to distance believers from Jesus. more >>
The crisis in Ukraine continues to escalate with reports of pro-Russian separatists taking a government building in the city of Luhansk and declaring independence in Donetsk. The latest event sparks fears that other Ukrainian territories might break away, much like the annexation of Crimea last month.
"A resolution to this crisis will be found within the next 48 hours," said Ukrainian Interior Minister Arsen Avakov in the capital Kiev, Reuters reported.
"For those who want dialogue, we propose talks and a political solution. For the minority who want conflict they will get a forceful answer from the Ukrainian authorities." more >>