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 >>
A day after calling for inter-religious dialogue to end Islamist extremism, Pope Francis on Saturday visited a 17th-century mosque in Istanbul and spent several minutes in a silent prayer with his head bowed in the direction of Mecca.
The pope made the gesture to promote Christian-Muslim relations at the Sultan Ahmet Mosque, known as the Blue Mosque, on Saturday, the second day of his three-day Turkey visit, according to the Vatican Radio.
He removed his shoes before entering the mosque with blue tiles on its walls. Standing next to him was the Grand Mufti, who explained about the Koranic verses illustrated on the stones pillars and the dome. more >>
Pope Francis, who arrived in Turkey Friday for a three-day visit, said there needs to be dialogue between faiths and religious freedom in the war-ravaged Middle East to counter religious extremism, and highlighted the plight of Christians and other minorities in that region.
"Fanaticism and fundamentalism, as well as irrational fears which foster misunderstanding and discrimination, need to be countered by the solidarity of all believers," the pope said in a speech to Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and other political leaders on the first day of his pastoral visit to the cities of Ankara and Istanbul.
Francis said this solidarity must rest on certain pillars, which he described as "respect for human life and for religious freedom, that is the freedom to worship and to live according to the moral teachings of one's religion; commitment to ensuring what each person requires for a dignified life; and care for the natural environment." more >>
As Pope Francis visits Turkey on Friday for a weekend trip, Muslim religious figures have expressed hopes that the occasion can serve to restore Islam's image of peace and repair some of the negativity that has been associated with the religion.
Imam Ishak Kizilaslan of Istanbul's Sultan Ahmed Mosque said that he welcomes the pope's scheduled visit to the mosque, and said that he hopes Francis will see from the worshippers inside that Islam is a religion of peace.
"I will tell him ... that Islam is peace, the word means peace and submission," Kizilaslan said of what he plans to relay to Pope Francis during the pontiff's private stop on Saturday. more >>