Britain's most popular baby boy name offers a revealing look into it's growing Muslim population. More than 8,000 boys born last year were named some variation of Muhammad. The United Kingdom's Office of National Statistics declared Oliver as the top pick of 2013 with 6,949 boys sporting the name. However a closer look at the complete list showed that parents selected several spellings of Muhammad for their sons, making the Muslim prophet's name more popular.
There are 18 variations of Muhammad featured on the 2013 list of baby boy names. The most common variations were Muhammad, with 3,499 namesakes, Mohammed,,with 2,887, and Mohammad, with 1,059.
This revelation is a reflection of the estimated 3 million Muslims now living in Great Britain. more >>
Notable atheist author and intellectual Richard Dawkins has recently claimed that nonviolent religious believers enable acts of violent extremism by being "nice."
While speaking at the Edinburgh International Book Festival, Dawkins blamed "nice Muslims, nice Christians" for acts of religious terrorism.
"It's very important that we should not demonise ordinary, law-abiding, very decent Muslims, which of course is the vast majority in this country," Dawkins said Wednesday, according to the UK Telegraph. more >>
Travelodge, one of the largest hotel chains in Britain, is removing Bibles from its rooms reportedly because of the country's growing "multicultural" society. The Church of England has condemned the decision, describing it as "tragic and bizarre."
"The reason is because of diversity. With the country being increasingly multicultural, we didn't feel it was appropriate to just have the Bible because there are people of other religions. People were also taking Bibles away and with the redesign of the rooms, it was felt that it would be better to remove them," a Travelodge spokesman said, according to The Daily Mail.
Another spokesman further explained: "In order not to discriminate against any religion, customers who would like a Bible can pick a copy from any one of Travelodge's 500 hotel reception desks across the country, whilst staying at the hotel. To date, Travelodge has not received any customer feedback regarding this decision." more >>
Former evangelical megachurch leader Ulf Ekman, who in March announced to his congregation at Word of Life in Sweden that he was leaving the Protestant ministry to join the Roman Catholic Church, recognized in a new article that the decision had caused an "uproar" among the faithful.
"It caused more than just a stir when I told the congregation of the Evangelical megachurch that I served as pastor since I founded it 30 years ago that my wife and I intended to become Catholics," Ekman begins in a lengthy article published online by The Catholic Herald on Wednesday.
"It caused a real uproar in my country of Sweden, which remains overwhelmingly Protestant. The period from that day, March 9, until May 21, when we were received into the Catholic Church, was marked by contention and debate. I have binders full of articles, comments and reactions that appeared in the traditional media and on the internet." more >>
A Spanish priest who had been serving in Liberia is the first reported European casualty in the Ebola virus outbreak, which has now claimed over 1,000 lives.
Mielgu Pajares, 75, died in a hospital in Madrid, Spain, after being airlifted from Liberia on August 7, Reuters reported. The priest had been working for a non-governmental organization in the African country when he contracted the disease.
Pajares was in quarantine and had been treated with the experimental drug ZMapp, which has helped two U.S. missionaries who also contracted the virus while working in Liberia. more >>
The Fifty Shades of Grey erotic novel series has inspired the creation of a real life sadomasochist-themed hotel that one Spanish Church is making sure will not be able to open its doors.
One businessman in Vilafranca, Spain, attempted to rent out the L'Om del Llosar hotel that he wants to turn into a sadomasochism-themed hotel complete with dungeons and rooms where people can "be able to enjoy games, flaunt themselves and share experiences with other visitors," according to "The Local" Spanish publication. While the businessman is unnamed on "The Local" website, he spoke about the inspiration that the best selling Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy written by E.L. James had on his hotel idea.
"With the Fifty Shades of Grey phenomenon in full swing, I saw a business opportunity that hadn't been exploited yet in Spain," the unnamed businessman told "The Local." more >>